Do we all feel things so deeply? To the core of our being, in a way that encompasses every waking thought, infiltrates dreams; things that become a thread in the fabric of who we are? Or is that just those of us with massive anxiety and a propensity for overthinking?
Recently, my father gave my sister several of his handwritten journals to read, which he began in 1983 (i.e. a million years ago.) These journals will eventually fall into my hands, but if we’re being honest I spent many an hour as a teenager reading them sneakily late at night or after school. He followed up with a cautionary email to take what he had written with a grain of salt: they were the thoughts and musings of a 28 year old man, a father, a 35 year old man, a husband, a 60 year old man, a grandfather. They were his “in the moment” reflections of his life as it happened.
And so it goes, the old adage of hindsight is 20 20. It is easy, looking back, to say that I should have done this. Or, I could have done that. Or, if only I had known. But then, what fun would life be? (I am infusing a heavy tone of sarcasm if you can’t tell.)
Because where I am right now feels like the aftershocks of the storm. My divorce with PC is still not final. PC still continues to be, well, a fucking dick. But whereas the beginning was a crisis mode, and the middle was a hey, I’ve got this mode, now feels like a well, fuck this mode.
If I’m going to be fully honest, I feel as though I am just existing right now. I’m dealing with what needs to be dealt with: poorly most of the time. I’m thinking a lot about who I am, what I want, what my purpose in this life is. Everyone can come to me and say you’re a mother! You’re this! You’re that! But the truth is I feel like a shadow in my own life. Existence is not purpose. Being alone is not natural.
I find myself looking back. What if I had left PC before he left me? What if I had not gone back when we “broke up” early in our relationship, before marriage? What if I had never met him in the first place? What if I had not allowed him to drag me along for his hellish ride for so many years? What if I had stood up and said, enough, no more?
And then I think, what if i had not taken up with The Plumber? Because right now, what stands is that that, whatever it was, is no more. Intellectually, I know that its circumstantial. Emotionally, I feel as though I have been betrayed once again. Not so much by The Plumber himself, but by the universe. He may be in the midst of a life storm that rivals mine…but I’m still over here like, hey, remember me? And wondering what on earth was the point of all of this?
Its not the same, but it feels the same. PC left, imploded our lives, tormented me for months on end (still going strong). His brand of betrayal left a bullet hole in my soul. My trust was shattered. My belief in the good of human kind: questioned. My heart decimated, and this was from a person who, when it comes down to it, I never really loved.
The Plumber? PC may be a drastic wound but The Plumber is going to leave a scar too. A quiet one. A slice that reminded me that breaking down those walls might not have been the best idea. I’m not totally convinced that it was worth it: a very short time period of wonderful moments followed by a lot of spirit-crushing realizations. I don’t want to say I regret it (yet) but there is a little bit of a hole in me, a little piece of crushed hope.
You see, I thought The Plumber was the universe’s reward for everything I’ve been through. Like, hey: you’ve had a shitty 17 years with a horrible person, and now you’ve been through hell but hey! Here is something wonderful! You deserve this!
And then, nope! Not for you! Sorry about that. And what that leaves me with is a reminder that there is a reason why I had a big, giant wall around my heart. There is a reason why my gut screams out don’t trust anyone. There’s a reason why I should have been more cautious when it came to The Plumber. I don’t discount that anything we had was real. But that’s part of the problem now. It was in my hands, it was real, and I soaked it up in my soul. The Plumber, just like PC, became part of my story, part of who I am, part of my lesson, I suppose.
So here I am again. Me, myself and I. And my two kids, and a dog, and my family, and my friends…but its not the same as that connection. And just as I look back on my 20 year old self, my 30 year old self…I suppose someday I will look back on my 40 year old self. And maybe I will say, silly you. Thinking this was something. Or, perhaps there’s a part of me that will always, always have a soft spot for The Plumber and this chapter that was short but so incredibly sweet.
My trust is shaken once again. It’s not a bullet hole this time, but its a wound. A small one, one that will heal rather swiftly and leave behind just a faint memory of pain. Like a burn from a match…memorable every time you strike one, but still, you keep on using them.
Or, perhaps, you put them away for awhile and find some other way to add some light when darkness encroaches again and again.