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}

limbo

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//

standing on the edge of a precipice

looking all around me, trying to find my way

everything looks different again

this is another kind of hard

another kind of pain

a pain laced with freedom in its edges

it feels as though an unknown reality is beckoning me forward

telling me this is the way finally

the wall I was bearing against but yet it was always too high to climb

it was because it was unclimb-able no matter how hard I tried

all the beating, black and blue from all the trying

i finally saw the insanity of it all

the dust is beginning to settle

the fog is starting to dissipate

the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer and closer

i’m no longer on the opposite end of it all desperately seeking

now i’m at the end of the tunnel

i’ve left everything i once knew

or i found myself simply gone from it, like a curtain lifted at the end of a play

my reality became fiction

caught in the crossfire

here but not there

no longer standing

i jumped because i had no choice

i caught myself

now suspended

hanging on with all i have

waiting for the fingers to tire of their grip

to become just actually unable to keep holding on any longer

i am hanging here

but what is underneath me?

when i fall, because I will, what will there be?

i know i don’t belong where i have just come out of,

yet i don’t know what the darkness around me holds for me

what is there, who is there, what will it be like?

better, worse, different, all the above

will i survive the falling, the letting go

this in-between place of dangling between two lives

the no of i will not live there anymore

and the no i cannot yet go anywhere else place

the i know this isn’t real

but i don’t know what is real beyond here

the i know he isn’t real

but i don’t know who or what is

this experiential angst of a being caught between death and life

hanging in the balance of terror and freedom

between doubts given credence and the just not knowing

like a rat out of its cage for the very first time

terrified of the unknown, longing for the comfort of the bondage

the horror of what was, the horror of what is to come

the trepidity and bewilderment of a life lived in chains

and the fear and dread of then and now and what is up ahead

frozen in midair, hanging on for dear life

living in oblivion

learning to exist in a space of nothingness

nowhere to go back to and nowhere to run

haunted by a life that is over and scared to death of a life yet to live

when i let go what will happen?

 

 

wondering

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//

Extra strong afternoon coffee

Laying down even after the caffeine, I’m so tired I just can’t stand up anymore

Brain too busy to let sleep come, but this sideways rest is something good anyway

Incessant wondering of what this is all really for

Tickles of anxiety a constant companion

What will happen next, what is it I’m steeling  myself for, why do I live waiting for the  bottom to fall out

This apprehensive edge I stay on of wanting more, but depletion makes my progress forward slow and sluggish

I’m caught in a slow motion life that is passing me by furiously

Time won’t stop for me to catch up, to get my shit together once and for all

The searching is a hunger that drives me, yet somewhere deep down I sense it is right here and right now that the real life really is

Where did I ever get the idea that the best is out there somewhere else beyond me, if only I could get there and not be late

How can I convince myself that the soothing is in the present, with me, in me, all around, right fucking now

I sing sweet inner lullabies on the good days of beauty chasing

But today I’m fighting just to survive to another good day

These are the days when the tiredness almost takes me under, the days that despair pulls on my strings to try and cause an unraveling

How can I keep it all together

What is all this really for again?

Today the flowery language of love and hope isn’t cutting it

The bitter cannot find the sweet

I’m just here, wondering if it’s really okay to speak out loud the truth of today and how it feels to cry in the spaces between moments, to hide myself in the cracks of the hours

I’m peeking out and saying this right here, this is real too, that life sucks some days even with the good stuff still here, the heaviness takes over sometimes

The yin and the yang, they are forever trying to find balance

I wonder if I really will survive this when I know I ultimately won’t, yet maybe I will on some level, I want that to be true

How do I keep up a happy face for the little ones under my care, what is it I’m supposed to be telling them to look forward to again?

On days like today I seem to forget, yet maybe it is on these days that I’m truly remembering something else, the pieces of me that are still just as true but harder to reveal

These aren’t happy feel good letters strung together into words to bring a smile

This is me wondering what the hell I’m doing this for day after day after day

Is it for them, for him, for me, for a better world

I ask myself if I’m allowed to even be in this place, to talk about the holes in which I live and breathe

It isn’t all pretty, my eyes are burning and my head is hurting

My limbs are heavy and I feel I need to sleep a thousand years

But somehow, someway, I will keep going on until I can no longer, I will keep holding to the truth that I get to be here, and whatever today looks like or feels like, it is mine, and it’s okay to be here, and it is even good when it isn’t.

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