keep living

//

i used to think i knew what happened when people died. i comforted myself with images of heaven, of a better place, of no more crying and no more pain. the reality is i don’t know what really happens when someone dies. i can guess, but i don’t really know. the old adages don’t bring any comfort anymore. truth is brutal to swallow.

i used to think i had experienced the worst traumas i ever would. i thought i had seen enough of my share. childhood sexual abuse, the divorce of my parents, acquaintance rape in highschool, clergy abuse in highschool and college, being asked to leave a church due to said clergy abuse while they encircled the hurting pastor and his family, the stillbirth of my second child, the miscarriage of my fourth child, losing the scaffolding of the christian faith and christian god that I had built and based my entire life upon…and then the sudden disappearance of my husband and his suicide eighteen days later.

i am sitting here tonight, six and a half months later, still trying to figure out how my life turned into this. supposedly there comes a point where you figure out how to stop asking the questions, how to stop trying to figure out what the hell happened, how to keep the internal tsunami at bay that still desperately wants to save him.

i cannot imagine another man in my life, although i want it and parts of me feel guilty for wanting it now. maybe i want it this soon because of how it all ended. but the reality is that i am not a loner. i don’t do life well without close friends and without a man i love who also loves me back. there is so fucking much i want and need to be different from here on out, but before i nail down all those specifics i just want another human being to look me in the eyes and tell me they see me and that they believe i’m going to make it up and out and away from this ground zero. i want to believe that i can trust again, that i won’t let fear dictate my life from here on out because of all the staggering losses.

there have been days i have wanted to box it all up and call it quits, but really that is not an option i want deep down inside, nor is it an option i would ever pursue. giving up, throwing in the towel, no fucking way. feeling hope again? i sure as hell hope so. feeling wanted again? yes, please. i didn’t die when he left our house quietly one sunday morning. i didn’t die when he pulled the trigger to end his own life. i didn’t die. i didn’t die. i didn’t die. i am alive. i am here. i get to be here. my life is no small thing. i don’t take my own life lightly, i don’t hold it carelessly. i’m here and i want to live. i want to keep living. and i will as best i can.

i wonder sometimes what becoming a widow suddenly and traumatically is supposed to look like and feel like. i wonder if i’m anywhere within normal or if i’m just totally screwed up and can’t even tell. i just don’t know. does anybody really? i know it’s not all black, there is still color. it’s not all tears, there is still laughter. it’s not all sadness, there is still beauty and enjoyment to be found. if you had asked me a year ago what i thought life without him would be like i never would’ve guessed right. it would’ve been too far outside my lived experience. but I can tell you now. it’s hell and it’s not hell, it’s a nightmare and yet it’s not, it’s horrific and maddening, and yet on some days it’s mostly just exhausting and confusing. and every now and then some normalcy seeps in the cracks of this shattered life and you see flickers of light that tell you that you are still very much alive, and life is still very much worth breathing for.

{zt}

crack in the armor

//

I always wondered if I really asked for it

Trusted the wrong person at the wrong time

If only my timing had been different

If only I didn’t have a pull towards him when deep down I knew he was bad news

I bore my heart, somehow tricked into thinking he was a worthy confidant

He saw an opening, a crack in the armor

A woman broken and splintered into pieces

He wedged himself in there, wooing me in my shattered innocence

Purity washed down the drain already

What was one more rendezvous now that she had been down that road

A kiss returned on the whispers of salty tears and a choked out confession of a girl gone bad

He pushed and pushed, trying to assure me that what I really wanted was him

That he would make it all better

Smooth out the rough edges

Show me what a good time really meant

But that isn’t what I came to him for at dusk with a throat holding back the sobs from pouring forth

He pushed and pushed, pretended not to hear my no

Assured me I must just be messing with him, that I surely didn’t want to turn him down

He thought himself irresistable, and I unable to resist

He didn’t listen

He didn’t take me seriously

He had his way with me against my protests

The pain was too scorching and shocking to even find the will to try and stop him again

I felt guilty giving up on resisting, for succumbing to his advances once my no didn’t matter

No after no after no wasn’t heard

So i let him finish rather than claw his eyes out like I wanted to

Why? Where was the fight in me?

I left when he was in the bathroom, snuck out and we never spoke of it again

I spoke of it to no-one because who would believe me that something wrong had taken place

Hadn’t I asked for it, come for it, always wanted it?

No. No. No.

Locked away in a deep deep place inside

I finally decided to say out loud that it happened, that I was raped, that this was done to me and I was tired of pretending it was somehow his right and my fault

Speaking our truth gives others the courage to do that same

No means no