Yesterday Christine (my priest) preached on the parable of the wheat and the weeds, and the rest of the congregation melted. Well, that’s a bit overstating it, but what I mean is that it felt like everyone else in the room was far away and only Christine’s voice was coming through… like, Christine is preaching in real time but the rest of the scene is in slo-mo. That’s because her sermon preached to the part of me that wrote “Slash and Burn.” In it, I described what it was like to be in an abusive relationship as a child with an adult, and when that I discovered that truth, at first I wanted to slash and burn all the parts of me that reminded me of her… just like trying to weed a wheat field and setting everything on fire. The question in the pericope is, “how do you get the weeds out of the field without destroying the wheat?” The answer is “you don’t.”
I have gotten many, many, many laughs to myself today as I’ve thought, “so is it wrong to call my abuser my weed? That way, at least I could fit her into a Zip-loc. Right now we’ve moved from a four-bedroom house in my head to roughly a 1 BR with Den. I’m not done healing, and I won’t for a very long time. That’s the thing with long relationships. The longer they are, the harder they are to get out of your system. We were in each other’s lives for something like a quarter of a century. I’m doing now what I should have done a long time ago, which is trying to resolve those issues so that I am not suckered into giving myself away so easily. She was my first love, and by the way, it still feels weird to call her that even though it’s true.
However, clinically, it makes a lot of sense. For my readers that actually know us, I didn’t meet the woman you did. I met the abused kid, and I tried to comfort and console that abused kid and I ended up falling in love with her over it. I didn’t fall in love with her because of some crazy childhood crush where there was no reciprocity. We became very close in a relatively short period of time and within three years or so of comforting the abused kid in her, I realized that all I wanted was to protect that kid for the rest of my life. My intentions were pure because I was so incredibly young. As she grew, she couldn’t relate to me as an equal anymore because her inner child grew up and I was still, well, I don’t know. Sixteen? Seventeen?
Maybe I’ve been looking at this situation the wrong way. Maybe because I was so much older emotionally than she was when we first met, she’s trying to live up to my standards when I’ve constantly been trying to live up to hers. It’s a nice thought, anyway. It comforts me to think that I might be right, because since I know for sure that I would burn up trying to get rid of our memories, I have to make peace with them.