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The Birthday Dance - Friday, Dec. 20, 2019
Friday, Jan. 18, 2019 @ 12:48 am
In a dream, I am walking along a chalked balance beam, my feet strong and curled to hold onto the dry wood. Thick mats below. The twang of someone flipping between the uneven bars.
This is me, right now, emotionally. At times, I walk a steady course, committed to figuring out how to enter back into love. And then later, I drop a toe off the side of the beam and contemplate leaping headlong into the abyss of being alone. I waver back and forth between these two states with terrifying force. Stay. Go. Stay. Go.
Be grateful for what you have, I chastise myself.
It's clear that it's a lost cause, another voice says.
You've already made trespasses, says my moral compass.
I am reading back in my diary to remind myself about how we fell in love. How things were at the beginning.
It was great. I forgot how magical it was. But I also see now the foreshadowing of things to come. I found the exact time when everything changed. August 30, 2007:
"I don't feel as though we are truly in love. Maybe it always sort of ends up like this. We still hold hands sometimes, but it isn't really that warm. He gets mad at me for not sweeping the floor, for leaving the shoe closet messy, for not wanting to drink wine on a weeknight. He says I never want to do anything fun. He says I am indecisive, that he always has to make the plans."
And then two months later, our first huge blowout on November 3, 2007:
"He has failed to love me when I need to be loved the most.
This is one of the most terrifying moments of my life."
I'm sitting up in bed here in the attic, way past my bedtime. I'm horrified to realize that I've been stuck in the same disappointing place for eleven years. My face is hot, and my body is shaking. NOTHING HAS CHANGED. Hundereds of dollars of counselling. Years of emotional struggle. I have been trying to be better for him and hoping for things to change since 2007?? I read what I wrote then and see that it should have ended then.
And then I am back on the balance beam trying to convince myself that he loves me and that I'm giving up a good thing, and that I fell apart when I was alone.
We have been sleeping in separate bedrooms for over a year.
This is the slowest burn, the most agonizing crossroads.
I don't know if it's possible for us to become intimately connected again.
What's strange is that I'm really happy lately, but only when I'm doing things without him. I'm possibly the happiest that I've ever been in my life. I don't know how I can be feeling joy and agony at the same time.
Back on the balance beam, I will get up in the morning and say a forced Good Morning to him, and we will carry on like roommates. This is what I have done every day for as long as I can recall.
I look down off the side. The mats are gone, and in their place is a black abyss.
If I jump off into that, there's no telling what will happen, where I will go. Who am I now, anyhow? Who am I without him?