Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Therapy (because I don't know where else to share it)

"Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation." Graham Greene
As Marc approaches 18, he asks more questions....questions I'd rather avoid. He's always been curious about his biological father - he has great memories of Roy. I've been rather proud of the way I've handled it. Answering appropriately for Marc's age, giving respect to Marc's relationship with my ex-husband, and so on and so forth. I think I've done alright. And of course, I've known the day would come when he'd ask me to help him find Roy. I've braced myself for it. Prepared myself for it. Determined how I'd handle it when it happened. 

And here it is. The day has come and I'm not ready. Marc wants to find Roy in the next year and I'm torn in pieces. 

On one hand, I thank God Marc and I have the kind of relationship that he's asked me to be part of the search and be there with him. I thank God that I'll be there to manage what is sure to be a very emotional reunion. 

Then on the other hand, I've kept that wound wrapped up tightly with no air to breathe. That bandage has remained on that wound for the past 18 years. It's been buried so deep that I don't even think of it...it's just a part of me. It's the annoying little irritation that starts once in a while - I make myself busy and forget it exists. I'd even tell you it's all healed up. 

Then when Marc came to me, it became painfully clear....It's still there - oozing, festering, broken. 

And it has nothing to do with Marc - but has everything to do with me.

Let's go back 18 years and I'll tell you a story I haven't shared ever before (at least not in its entirety). 

I had left small town Oregon for Albuquerque, attending college, working, and of course, partying. I remember the first time I saw Roy across the room. He was drinking a beer and smiling at me. He caught me off guard. I remember panicking as he walked toward me. Is he really headed straight for me? 

He walked up and told me I was out of place here. That I should go back to mom and dad's house. I called him an a$$hole and left him standing there as I went to find my friends. I avoided him the rest of the night but was always aware he was there. Two nights later at yet another party he arrived with my best friend. She had bragged on this guy that she was dating and I was surprised to find it was him. She begged me to go to dinner with them. I scowled at him throughout our meal, hating him, despising him. He was a smart a$$. He was cocky.  He thought he was "all that." He was the guy who had never given me the time of day, the one that made me feel ugly, dumb, and unworthy. I felt stupid, naive, and slow-witted around him. No guy had ever made me feel so off kilter and so much like a bumbling idiot. 

I hated him and yet, he's all I could think about which frustrated me more. 

Two weeks later, I arrived at a party to find him there. I'd had just enough to drink that my wall was down. He walked over to me and I found myself laughing, flirting, and enjoying his company. He was playful. Dangerous. Hot! 

Truth be told, I was enjoying the way he looked. I was used to country boys and he was definitely NOT. Dark, brooding, tattooed, motorcycle-riding, muscled bad boy and I wanted him. A few shots of tequila, take my inhibitions away and we left the party together. I'll spare you the details here but the result was one pregnant, scared girl. 

Of course, for the first few weeks I had no idea I'd be a momma in nine months. I just knew that I really liked this guy. We spent every waking minute together. He was fun, witty, and damn good-looking. He made
I snapped this picture one of our first nights together
me think, he made me laugh, he made me feel. Riding his motorcycle, holding his arm as we walked in the club and everyone knew we were together, laying in his arms....it was right and wrong all at the same time. He was a bad boy, I was a good girl (or not so much after all). 

Three weeks later, a blood test confirmed that Roy and I would be parents. He suggested he be the one to tell my dad. My heart soared - he was facing this with me instead of running away. 

Roy and I were married shortly after that. He was a good dad and a loving husband. 

He was so good to Marc. Patient, gentle, kind and would do anything for him. He loved Marc so much and worried non-stop about Marc's future and whether he was worthy.
 But then, he'd have an off day. The stress would get to him and he'd disappear. A day would go by with just a phone call and then he'd be back. He'd start using and then drop it again.

He didn't know how to be a dad. Or a husband. His own mom had passed from a heroin overdose. His life spent in foster homes and later as a runaway and later in prison and/or jail.

He struggled with the desire to be a great dad and the ability to hold it together and make it happen.

He was gentle with me. Kind hearted. Made me laugh. Ours was a passionate love too and he made me enjoy life. We could really talk, about anything, anywhere, any time. 

Yes, I was the stereotypical woman...I thought I could change him.

He was my best friend and I could forgive him drinking and driving, quitting jobs, being in and out of jail. Using. 

I couldn't forgive betrayal. 

I remember with extreme clarity the sound my heart made as it broke. 

I remember distinctly the pain as my heart ripped from my chest.  

I remember panicking as I fell into the realization that I wasn't enough. 

I wasn't enough to hold him. I wasn't pretty enough, smart enough, and most importantly, strong enough. 

It wasn't long and we were divorced. I loved Roy with everything in me and we were no more. 

I did what I do best....lifted that rug and swept it under. Built the wall and fortified it like a pro. Slapped a bandage on it and carried on. Drove away and didn't look back. Found someone who was his EXACT opposite, got married, had Nate, got divorced again. 

Now before you think I'm reminiscing...I do not want Roy back. This is not one of those "the bad memories fade over time yadda yadda bs"

No part of me wants to go back to that life. One thing I've learned is that love is never enough. I loved him, I think in his weird, messed up, dysfunctional way - he loved me.

I know without a doubt that he loved Marc with all his heart.

He made poor decisions, he couldn't stay clean, and I don't want that around my kids. He loved Marc enough to finally just leave. 

I made the right decision to protect us and keep Marc from growing up just like Roy. 

I did the right thing by leaving and I have no regrets.

But the pain is here and it's real and it's raw. 

It leaves me wondering why 18 years later it makes me cry.


Because I never dealt with it.
Because I'd rather believe it wasn't love.
Because I put up walls that prevent me from ever falling that hard ever again.
Because I've created ways to keep from being that vulnerable ever again.
Because I can't let myself open up again.
Because I ran from it. 

Because it still hurts that I wasn't enough.
Because I still struggle with my own self-worth.

Because he's making the same dumb choices.
Because I'll have to face him.
Because I worry about Marc.

Because our story makes me sounds like a stupid girl.
Because I'm embarrassed to say it hurts.
Because I feel like a fool.
Because you the reader will misunderstand my whole point of this blog.

Because he gave me Marc.
Because I feel guilty that I'm happy.
Because I feel guilty I'm in a good place.

Because this weekend I found him in the place I was afraid to look for fear he'd be there. 

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