Life and Randomness

trigger

It’s been a hard couple of weeks in the news. I know so many women who are having to turn away, and sometimes I do as well. It feels like the same message is taking different forms and swirling, swirling in the universe for me to grab hold and bring it to the light for a better look.

I unloaded to my friend last weekend about some personal battles I’m having in my own head and heart and some hardships she is facing, and she mentioned that Pema Chodron quote, Nothing goes away until it has taught us what we need to learn. And look at us, here in 2018, still having public conversations about who is to blame for someone taking advantage of a woman’s body, her trust, the essence of who she is.

Look at me in 2018, at nearly 38 years old, still wondering if I am to blame for my own heartaches. It is all the same thing.

Do you know how many times a day I say either aloud or in my own head that I am sorry about something? Or that I should have done better? Or that I should have some kind of future-vision where I could see something coming before it gets here and read through someone’s false exterior like an x-ray? Or any other number of questions I use to dig through emotional labor like a shovel through gravel in the wreckage left behind by a man in one form or another. Always in a soft space where I am looking for the kindest way to respond, looking for the silver lining, trying to put pieces together in a way that fits. But sometimes none of it fits. None of it. You just have to leave it there untouched and unanswered.  I guess I’m saying tonight that it feels heavy and I’m tired of my own softness.

I am trying so hard, so so hard, to believe that there are men in this world who are kind and real and honest and mature and can do hard things. But I have been proven wrong so many times that I am losing faith, friend. Losing it fast.

And even as I type this, I think don’t post this because clearly someone who has repeated heartbreak with the same scenario playing on repeat like a broken record is at the root of her own pain somehow.  But can you see what that is? Again looking for a way that I am to blame for someone else’s dishonesty.

I had a night this weekend where I was alone in the darkness trying to sleep, and it felt like such deja vu that was so long ago buried in my body that I forgot what it even felt like until it bubbled to the surface again. I was right back to a place I’d rather forget and it felt unwarranted but real, so incredibly real – that voice in my head and my gut, that heaviness and quiver. I talked myself out of it for days and days, telling myself it was trauma buried somewhere and resurfacing unnecessarily and I shouldn’t listen to it – to my own blood and bones and frame and gut that knew what it knew without reason. I was telling myself it was wrong.

But the body never lies does it? My wiser self is always in there somewhere saying can you hear me? knock knock. Until louder and louder it goes. And even then sometimes I blame my own self and call it a misdirection. But she is right every time, my body. Every time she speaks to me, I need to listen. Nothing goes away until it has taught us what we need to learn.

I asked that same friend tonight on the phone – through a few tears and a lot of her refrains of I know, I know – how many times a heart can take a beating before it just closes for business. Tonight I feel as though I am at my limit. In my own life, when I watch the news, when I look at a string of days behind me that I would rather forget or at least be able to write over again.  When I think about doing this again and again, I want to give up and just harden it and close the doors for a while.

But I know that my heart is a muscle the size of my fist and it somehow keeps beating again and again. Yours does too.  Nothing goes away until it has taught us what we need to learnNothing goes away until it has taught us what we need to learn. I’m letting these words flow over me tonight like water, letting them slide and sink in the dark as I fall asleep. I don’t feel the deja vu anymore at all – no shakes and no quivers and no tightness in my center. All I can feel now is the quiet rush of my own self here again, the same as she ever was. Sore but not broken.

Today I drove home from work in the late afternoon light. My drive is long but mostly rural and beautiful and winding. I was exhausted from work and the questions tumbling in my head the last few days. And I remembered the day I moved from my old house – my married home – when I was coming out of a season of my body screaming at me for months and months before I listened. My friend, a fellow single mom halfway across the world raising her girls alone, sent me a song as a moving soundtrack. This played on repeat for me for nearly half of that day as I packed the last few boxes and swept the dust from the corners of the empty rooms in that house that felt like a haunted museum.

I flippantly put that same song on today as I rounded a curve, and I turned it loud as I drove toward the sunset to a quiet and empty house of my own waiting for me.

I didn’t expect it, but my chin quivered when she began the second verse – And I’ve been a fool and I’ve been blind. I can never leave the past behind. I can see no way, I can see no way .I’m always dragging that horse around. Then the tears came with my favorite line – I am done with my graceless heart. So tonight I’m gonna cut it out and then restart. A long and winding road with the music loud and the tears flowing will get you where you need to be. Every time.

Here’s to cutting it out. Every last graceless piece of me that blames myself for someone else’s actions. It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back, sure. But the heaviest horse I carry, the one that hangs on my back like some never ending shadow is that command I have absorbed that tells me that it is my job to clean up any mess left and make neat, beautiful piles from the wreckage.

Tonight, I’m not sweeping anything. I am letting it be. Shaking it out and out and out again until all that is left is who I am underneath the heartache – solid and true. Grace upon grace upon grace. I believe every story my body tells me, every true and right thing she whispers. And I believe yours, too.

 

 

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21 thoughts on “trigger”

  1. I have been following your blog for a couple of years – this was the single most beautiful piece I have read. Real and wrenching and healing for me – I wept – I know that pain. Thank you for sharing your heart .

    1. Thank you so much, Kate. Brutal days make for beautiful writing, it seems. This one came right out in one long unfolding. I’m glad it resonated with you. ❤

  2. This beauty along with others came from that pain because you have the eyes to see it and the talent of writing it. Thank you for sharing. Those paragraphs about the song on the winding road, that line about cleaning the empty museum, and really all of this is beautiful, my friend.

  3. “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
    Maya Angelou
    Time to listen to your inner self. I’m going seeing that’s what you have learned.

  4. “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
    Maya Angelou
    Time to listen to your inner self. I’m guessing seeing that’s what you have learned.

  5. “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
    Maya Angelou
    Time to listen to your inner self. I’m guessing that’s what you have learned.
    Oh how I hate auto correct!

  6. There are men in this world who are kind and real and honest and mature and can do hard things. My husband of 23 years is one of those men. So is my brother in law. So is my best friend’s husband. I know many, many wonderful husbands. My single girlfriends state the same thoughts you do. I tell them not to give up hope. Some paths just take longer than others. Don’t give up hope. Don’t let bitterness or despair overwhelm you. Your time will come.

    1. Thank you for this, Jen. I do believe in my heart of hearts that they exist, and somehow I have always thought that there will be another chapter for me eventually. I worry that good men are in short supply though, these days. I also know that the bar gets a little higher for me every time that I find myself disappointed. My time will come, I know. But sometimes it really is hard to keep the faith.

  7. Hi Katie! I’m not speaking from experience as I’m only 23 and never had a relationship before (strict parents) but I do believe in my heart that your true half is out there for you. You will find him in the most unexpected time and place. You may not find him now or years from now but he is there. I’ve been following your blogs since last year because I’m in awe of the way you articulate your emotions. Remember that every person enters your life for a reason and those who leave will leave a lasting lesson for you to learn from. I’m not going to lie by saying that reading your divorce and the aftermath of it instilled this fear in me that I will never be enough for someone to stay with me till death do us apart. I realized that I can’t be consumed with this fear because people do leave us at some form in our life either by death or betrayal. That’s life. I want you to enjoy this beautiful journey of self discovery until you find the man of your dreams beautiful! Much love 🙂

  8. Hi Katie! I’m not speaking from experience as I’m only 23 and never had a relationship before (strict parents) but I do believe in my heart that your true half is out there for you. You will find him in the most unexpected time and place. You may not find him now or years from now but he is there. I’ve been following your blog since last year because I’m in awe of the way you articulate your emotions. Remember that every person enters your life for a reason and those who leave will also leave a lasting lesson for you to learn from. I’m not going to lie by saying that reading your divorce and the aftermath of it instilled this fear in me that I will never be enough for someone to stay with me till death do us apart. It still baffles me how easy it is for some people to throw away years of relationship, the memories, the promises for another. I realized that I can’t be consumed with this fear because people do leave us at some form in our life either by death or betrayal. That’s life. I want you to enjoy this beautiful journey of self discovery until you find the man of your dreams beautiful! Much love 🙂

  9. Katie, I just discovered your blog and love it. Your voice….. Your thoughts…I can close my eyes and live them as I’m going through it myself. Keep the faith…. Be encouraged… You are loved. Ben

  10. He’s out there, the time may just not be right for reasons unknown right now. Hang in there and enjoy yourself and your kids for now. Sending hugs from Long Island.

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