I don’t even know how to do it … to start, I mean, because the whole thing is so complex and meandering. Like any woman’s brain, one thing leads to another, and like any neuro-divergent, the easiest path from here to there includes a jaunt over the river and through the woods, to grandmother’s house, and yeah, she’s a part of all of this too isn’t she? So, really how do I start?
My supervisor at work says the best place to start is … wait for it… at the beginning! We enforce financial child support obligations. It’s complex too, and one thing always leads through the woods and before the answer is discovered, five more questions pop up. But always she reminds me to start at the beginning. I’m not sure that works in this situation, this revealing of my not so deep, dark secret, but a confession of the one that’s right on the edge of the slippery slope where everyone can and has seen me frolic.… Yeah… the beginning is not going to work.
I’m not me right now. I know me, I know who I am, but I’m kind of lost. There are plenty of reasons why but this is where I’m at and writing has always soothed me and been a part of me and… well, I have a blog, might as well use it...
I have always considered myself an odd duck, the older I get the more I think most people think this about themselves on some level… “I am different than the rest.” So maybe I’m not as odd as I think, but I suspect I fall somewhere on the quirky side of life, because of ADHD? because of upbringing? because of my controversial artist mind? Who knows.
I also know I tend toward depression. Depression coupled with ADHD is more like a frenzied, fury of pent-up energy unsure of where to go or what to do than it is a feeble soul curled up in bed wishing the world away. The best I can describe it is like one of those mini-penny-cars from my childhood. The tiny, rubber-wheeled cars had a slot in the back where a penny could be inserted for weight. The car was spring loaded and after it was pulled back, it could be let loose. They would do wheelies and spin like crazy but never really go anywhere. Forget putting one on a track to get from A to B, or write a book, nope, just a bunch of kinetic energy turned loose for no particular reason.
I have an incredible urge to run, run far and fast, to start over, not so much to escape but to take away the burden that is me… like this… from those I love most. It does almost seem like a better idea to leave than to put them through this. I was a fun chick, I brought joy and love, now I suck the life from people. It’s not what I want to do.
I have my moments of happiness and joy, I have a divergent attention span how could I not? I can be genuinely tickled by something or caught up in passion and everything, everything seems good and right in the world. I can do my job, tell my husband good things, learn, write, help people but the car keeps pulling back and the energy has to do something and usually the frenzy isn’t pretty.
I have a new life. It’s a great life. Together my new husband, Jeremy, and I are realizing things both of us have dreamed of... but it is not what it once was. Jeremy says it’s probably part of the grief cycle, but I don’t want to grieve. I was left! Now I have this great man who loves me so wonderfully and communicates in a way I can understand, why would I want to grieve he who left me any longer or the family that once was but by now would be grown-up and different anyway?
I have lost much of my spiritual strength and fellowship. I never quite replaced the church I had in Arlington but I haven’t found a church home since I left Leavenworth in 2015… that’s a long time with no church roots. Maybe I’m picky but nothing’s been quite right. Well, Calvary Crossroads, but then I moved right when I was settling in. I tried to find something closer but nothing yet. I feel far from God. I don’t memorize like I used to and feel like I’m always on the spiritual defense. I’m exhausted, and I know I brought this on myself but I need a safe place to spiritually land.
I am terrified of being left again! I’ve never been an anxious person, but I actually have anxiety over it and fluctuate between clingy, needy and desperate and ready to pack my bags and go do it on my own so I don’t have to fear being left again.
My gramma is fading away. She’s my steady in life. I do not know life without her. She didn’t answer the phone yesterday when I called, how long until she never answers? How long until she forgets me? It’s hard enough to take care of her bills and finances but the fact that I’m doing it because she’s going away and my aunt is sick makes it so much worse.
And then there’s the thing… all of that purge above is probably just a cover for it, maybe? No, I think they’re valid reasons to be “lost,” but the thing… the thing... is really probably THE issue. But I guess I have another week to prepare to go there, because I’ve used up all my words for this post...
I had originally intended to post this yesterday, since it would have been an anniversary. But I finished the night on the phone with a man who loves me and chooses to be with me. I'll never forget what once was but I realized during the conversation, that I'm happy where I am now. I don't miss 'back then' anymore. I'm excited for what the future holds. I don't need to look back and mourn the way I used to. I can remember what lies behind but press on boldly into a future full of hope.
So... here's to the past, here's to the present, and here's to me Leaving the Middle, it's been swell, for the most part I've had a blast, but life's changing again...
Two years ago yesterday (From FB memories):
“Here we go. The day is here. It's supposed to be our 14th wedding anniversary, but he walked away so instead I have been in this wilderness for 40 days. Thankfully I have been far from alone and treasure each person who is walking this road with me. I am ready to let go of what was, not quite yet of hope, but of what we used to be. My God promises that He works all things for good for those who are called according to His purpose. With that promise in my pocket, I am moving on to a new chapter of my life. But first, for today, I will finish writing this one. One last day,
here in this valley, to feel this moment in my life, to remember the good, because there is so much good, to mourn the loss of a dream and to exhale the hurt, pain and anger. May it be well with my soul!”
I took to the mountains, because my help comes from the LORD, the One True Author and Perfecter of my faith, and I am closest to Him there. Exhaling what was... letting go. Breathing in the fresh-air healing that only comes in an earthy pine tree scent no man can package and ship on the gusts of alpine breezes.
“Sounds strange to say but this solo drive alone in the mountains was one of the most liberating and spiritual things I've ever done! Soooo there I was on top of a mountain... The furthest I've ever been alone. It was supposed to be an epic letting go. I bought a huge balloon, paid $15 for it!!! I had a sparkly notebook of blank pages to fill. I had nothing but the sounds of nature and my songs playing on repeat. I was a teary mess. I was going write until the tears stopped flowing and tie the pages to the balloon and send my sorrows, my hopes, my prayers up, up and away to the heavens and say goodbye to this chapter of my life... But the wind whipped up and the balloon slammed into a rock and popped so loud it startled me out of my sobbing. It was tragic and I bawled even more because my beautiful plan to let go, like so many plans before it, was ruined. I shook my fist at God, ‘That’s not how it’s supposed to happen!’ Then a still small voice reminded me, this isn’t my story, if it was I would have written it differently. This is His story and I am a mere character. This is character development. This is where I start to become who I’m going to be. I will forever treasure this day. And I can't wait to go kick up more mud real soon! I sure do miss being the shotgun rider but driving was awesome!!!”
One year ago today:
I ran 10 miles to mark the day, it seemed like a good idea.
I hope for something I’ve never had before, in a man like none I’ve ever known before. He loves me and I know it’s true because he shows me over and over with his faithful, patient, steadfast persistence that I keep trying to find the catch in. He’s still here for no other reason other than he picks me every day and I pick him. Whether he shares it or not, he strengthens and encourages my faith. I believe in his love for me as I am, with all my "over thinking" and butterfly business and eccentricities. I know he has a magnificently strong will that can handle me and mine boldly and without fear or intimidation. He has earned all my respect and admiration and I believe him when he says he’ll never leave me. And yet I am oh so wary! Not because of him but because sometimes I still feel like a dog run over. But I believe him and the risk is worth it, because he’ll put all my fears to rest in time… I just know it! Pray it up brothers and sisters and all the rest of y'all wish us well!
It's been so long that I don’t even have your number anymore… I don’t even know you anymore. It’s weird isn’t it? After years of knowing and loving and living together, there’s nothing. It would be a lie to say you’re not still here in every single day of my life.
I didn’t marry you to ever be here without you. But you left. You didn’t want me. Discarded me like the trash you rolled to the street week after week, year after year, house after house. I told you I’d wait as long as I could, and I did. I waited, faithfully waited. Then I dated, silly, fun, data gathering dates to numb the pain of being alone and remind myself I was pretty and desirable, at least by others, if not by you. I had my rules and boundaries and time limits but in the back of my head I think I was still waiting for you to figure out what you needed to figure out. I waited. For a word, a call, a text… anything to give me hope that there was hope. There’s been nothing.
And the truth is I’ve known from the beginning of The Leaving you never wanted me. I knew you were done. Strange as it sounds, and though some will question it when I write it, I feel like God’s been in the leaving as much as you. I can’t wrap my head around why He would allow a good marriage to end.
And it was good, wasn’t it? No one cheated, no one abused anyone or anything. We were the not-quite-white-picket fence family and couple. Bumps in the road, issues that we had to work through, but good.
We were good together. We had a good life, a good family. It was good.
I just don’t understand. I want clarification. Why did you leave? What did I do? How could I make it better? Nothing… Nothing… I’ve come to accept that maybe I’ll never have the answers I want. I have to accept the things I cannot change. Maybe I’ll never know.
But before I go, I owe you some words. I must write them, who knows if you’ll ever read them...
I am sorry. You were a good man. I sure I didn’t say it enough. You were an honest man and I didn’t realize what a gift that is. You were a protector and provider. You stood by me when I was such a mess of a person. You helped me become the woman I am today and I love who I am so much and you’ll ever have all my respect for sticking through the mess that I was. I didn’t give you enough credit. I didn’t thank you enough for all you did… all the good things day after day. For the longest time I wished I could go back and re-do what I didn’t do right and say what I should have said.
I spent a lot of time agonizing about how I failed you and wishing I had a chance to do it right. I read the Love and Respect book the pastor recommended a little too late. I read other books. I made a point to study the needs of men and realized how far from the mark I was when it came to honoring you. I am sorry. I wish I would have known… but I didn’t know then.
I guess I accept now that I’m not responsible for what I didn’t know but I still feel bad that I didn’t have a chance to “get it right” with you. But… you didn’t tell me and I didn’t have the information until I had it and then it was too late… But still I hoped… And I practiced what I learned. If the research and books are right, and I think they are, I missed the mark. I didn’t give you enough respect, I didn’t treat you the way men treat each other. I messed up. I got it wrong. And I’m sorry. You deserved better. I hope that in time, you can forgive me for my short-comings. And like you’ve told me, I hope you find love.
But as for me… now that I know better, I’ll do better. And as for me, it might be a sin, or another failure notch in my belt, but I waited as long as I could. I’m done hoping, wondering, waiting. I’m moving on. I wish you the best in life. For however they were for you, they were the best fourteen years of my life so far. Thank you for all of them. Thank you for taking my kids as your own and for letting me get to know your daughter and for adopting our daughter together with me. Thank you for bringing us here to Chelan County. Thank you for being a steady stable force in my life. I’m sorry it didn’t work out but I will honor the last thing you told me to do, I will go and find love. It will happen for me, may it also happen for you. May the God of grace and mercy bless you and where ever life may take you.
I am a dog run over.
Life… hit me… left me for dead on the side of the road. I was crossing, simply crossing, ignorant of the dangers that lay ahead, just getting from there to here. The car hit me out of nowhere. I lay there, hurt, beyond help, alone and afraid.
I whimper, I beat my tail on the pavement but I am helpless.
I cannot do this. Cars go pass, most fast, some slow. I am breathing, quick, shallow, painful breaths. I am dying. I feel the life-blood oozing out of me even as I tell my paws to move, will my body to get up and run to help but.... I stagger, I stumble, I fall. I cannot. I am dying.
I am a dog run over.
I am helpless. The cars go by quickly, furiously, each filled with a person or persons with a place to go, a thing to do… they drive and I bleed. Helpless and alone. I am afraid. I am stuck. I am hurt. I am dying.
Then he comes to save me.
He sees where the blood flows from me. He tries to stop it. He touches me and I snap at him. It hurts and I am ferocious in my fear and pain! I bite. I draw his blood. He pulls back, with curses. I am wounded and he is trying to touch the pain, I do not know what else to do. I growl. His hand recoils… bloodied… and he leaves.
I am alone. I am hurt. I am dying.
She comes. Again I snap… she recoils, moves far off. I have frightened her away.
And… again I am alone. I am hurt. I am dying.
She calls Him and He comes. This Savior, this One who is not afraid. I know when I see Him that He is strong enough. His hands are covered in thick, dark, leather gloves. They are impenetrable. He sees my pain and knows how to handle me despite it.
He is the Healer. He is the Counselor. He talks to me with words I cannot understand. I snap yet He is undeterred. He applies pressure firmly on the parts torn up and also to my muzzle. He is stronger than my pain (though it rips me apart), impervious to my defenses (though I struggle and fight with all the strength I have left) and carries me to the place of surgery.
He holds me and heals me. It is not an easy task, I am a feisty dog… even if I am run over. It is not a quick task. It takes time to mend the injuries, to strengthen the broken bones, to stitch up what was torn open.
I am unwell.
I lay many days, with minimal interaction because I am afraid, because I snap, because I hurt. But He comes, touching the wounds, not to hurt but to heal, to insure they are mending. I understand this now as I could not before. He hurts me to help me. I do not bite the hand that helps me anymore.
Slowly… ever so slowly I trust His face, His touch. He is kind, He is good. He means me no harm, but His hands don’t always deliver kindness. He pats my head, then removes the bandages, exposes the pain, makes sure the healing is progressing.
It is not easy. It is not fun. It is pain. It is healing.
In time, I look forward to his visits tough I cannot say why. I want Him, though He hurts me. His voice begins to somehow soothe me, even as His hands force joints to move that do not want to bend, pull stitches out that are stuck in place and push and press on places still raw and tender to the touch. He is a Healer and despite the pain, I long for His voice, if not His touch.
Slowly, ever so slowly, like His face, I trust His voice. The words He speaks refresh me. His voice strengthens me. He gives me a name I never knew I had.
And He walks with me. And He talks with me. And He tells me that I am His own. And the joy we share... as we tarry there, none other, has ever known!
In time, I can smell Him before I even see Him or hear Him or feel Him. I know Him. He is mine, and I am His and... I love Him! He comes to me and my tail wags. Moving is still hard, pain is still a part of my life, but … with His patience, His wisdom, His touch, His words... I am healing!
Someday, I won't flinch at His caress but lean into it. Someday, I will walk up to Him and hoist my paws onto His chest. Someday, I will be well enough to run beside Him. Someday, He will throw a stick or ball and I will run fast and free to catch what he throws out for me…
But for now… all I can do is heal. I am not well but… I am safe in His care.
And, I will get better. I am mending
But for now my job is to heal.
For now, I am grateful for He who braved the pain to come to me, to save me, to stand with me, pet me, soothe me, stay with me at my worst, celebrate my healing and participate in my restoration.
I am a dog run over, redeemed from the side of the road. I am healing… I am OK.