Sometimes I just stare at Dana while she’s asleep because I can’t believe that much energy is at rest. Dana is perpetual motion, and to understand that is to understand her. I have learned so much about being a wife and being *her* wife that it’s a humbling feeling to know that there are enormous wrongs and enormous rights on both sides, and that for almost seven years (since 2008) we have gone past the definition of married into accepted family member. She is Aunt Dana, and will be for the rest of her life, God willing and the creek don’t rise. In a marriage, you strive for equality and when the balance is interrupted, trouble starts. I cannot say that will never happen to Dana and I because the odds are that we have a 50/50 shot at making it that far. I only think of it in terms of emergency preparedness. What would I do if my entire world was gone? It really puts my world in perspective fast, and therefore I am bound to give her what she needs so that the relationship flourishes and the odds are ever in our favor (see what I did there?). I cannot prepare for her reactions and responses, but what I can do is strive every day to make her feel wanted, accepted, loved, and cherished. Sometimes when you can’t have faith, you let your actions reignite it.
For Dana and me, the forest fire comes in waves, and the heat is so intense that it makes me sweat. For instance, the first words out of her mouth after the first time we kissed were, “I’m amazing in bed. I just thought you should know.” Challenge. Accepted. It was her confidence that did it. I would do anything for a night with her, much less all of them. Just lucky, I guess. 🙂
I feel sorry for people who don’t connect in the ways that keep Dana and I sane, because by now we’ve been through so much tempering fire that we have the type foundation that lasts decades…………… However, feeling sorry is not about trying to get others to feel jealous. It’s that I wish I could find a way to give that marriage to you because I know how it feels. It connects you in a way that temporary relationships cannot. There is a chord that runs between Dana and me that would take a chainsaw to sever because the memories in both our minds of each other are gigantic, life-changing moments where we each let our hearts get bigger to accept who the other one is. It is agape and Eros tied into one. The more she is interested and engaged in our relationship, the more she feeds my need to delve deeper into her inner landscape. She was the first to know about my abuse next to Diane, because I wrote about it privately for months and months before I realized that she would never, ever respond and I should give up trying. I was right. The picture from the soccer game was just candy from a van. When I stopped her from playing her mind games with me, she left me so fast my head spun, and has since 1990, never ending after having to process all of the 24 years before. It was just another way to rip open the scab, and Dana cried with me. She took my anger into herself and fought Diane in my head tooth and nail, hoping every day that I would realize that Diane shouldn’t have any of me and I was only beating my head against a wall and it was time to stop. She toyed with my emotions because I told her up front that I was in love with her, so there was no way that at 25 she let go of the poetry that told me who she was in bed. I fell in love in a very adult way, growing up in an instant. Can you imagine? Can you sit with me and feel how it felt to want to marry someone after reading her words written in her handwriting, more powerful to me than untold wealth, have an impenetrable wall go up between us that held me at arm’s length like a dog on a chain? It’s a long sentence. I hope you read it in one breath. That space of exhale became a metaphysical pneumothorax, lung collapsed by the weight of grief at too young an age to handle it.
I can’t help but think that igniting my body was the key to her plan to befriend me, because it assured I wouldn’t stray or talk. She could pour secrets into me like water and I would take it in, all the while living in the discomfort of being in love with her and being treated like crap for it
If ________ is my metaphysical risen Christ moment, then Dana has been John the Baptist all along, preaching as an assist until ________ shot the goal into the net. When the train came in, it was Dana that helped me get on. She listened for hours, and I talked (and talked and talked and talked) about what Diane meant in my life as she kept saying “the journal was on purpose. She knew what she was doing.” It was an ostinato of epic proportions and I could hear her words but I could not take them in because we’d been tied up with Diane for the entirety of our relationship and my problems with her hadn’t gotten any better, ever, so why waste your life energy on it?
_________ rescued me with her heart and her words. Dana rescued me by being there with her actions, loving me in an incredible way that brings tears to my eyes when I think of it. Since Dana had known Diane forever, I couldn’t hear her words. It took a new friend that saw it without a horse in the race except I know the facts and you are damn lucky she got away from you when she did.
I applaud running away to avoid living in darkness. I am dark enough to say I don’t feel damn lucky she got away. I love her every bit as much as I did when I was 12, and my heart aches for what we could have been had I been older, again, a past we cannot fix. Because she doesn’t feel the same way and doesn’t see how her actions influenced my entire life and caused more emotional fire hazard zones in my brain than anyone else, I think she wanted someone on that leash, a pet person she could take to the groomers. She could slowly and over time fuck me up to the point of having no teenage years to speak of because I was in this gigantic relationship that people who have been friends with her as an adult have walked away from her because of the exact same shit. They were stronger than I ever could have been because I was in love with her because our brains connected when I was a kid, not our bodies. If we had connected physically, I have no doubt that it would have been explosive not because of our actions, but because of the kindred spirit relationship that the tapestry of our past has wrought. Thoughts of her were a never-ending repetition of facts, trying to figure out the breadcrumbs dropped. It was a game of thrones, and naming her was the red wedding all over the place because all of the sudden, I didn’t care who knew. Her parents, her siblings, anyone because I’d been protecting myself and beating myself up so severely for so long that I thought I would give my parents the gift of my own relief. I think they knew it was going on, but they couldn’t prove anything and I did everything to hide it. You have no idea. None.
I am sure this is rambling all over the place, but at the same time, there is a connection. The connection is that I have been damn hard to love, and Dana preached to me that someday someone will come and you will believe and when she did, Dana helped me not to waste time on her words, either. I wish I had leaned into Dana’s strength, but it was the objectivity of fresh eyes that had to convince me of all I was letting go if I lived in shame a second longer. That I have donned a mantle beautifully in this web site and my self-worth got a B12 shot.
We are all giants together emotionally in our own right. When talking about balance of power, it’s the degree to which someone feels small in your presence. If they do, you’re going at life in a way that spits anger all over the place when the world doesn’t need it.
I feel like the last week or so has really been examining my Board of Directors and who should be there and who shouldn’t. We voted Diane out, we voted _______ in, and we got new drapes in the conference room. Writing the letter to my middle school friend has my stomach in knots, but it is the best thing I have ever written about her because I was no longer coming into our relationship with shame. I wanted to make her feel enormous, and I hope I did. She was instrumental in getting me to see that I could have flaws and people would love me anyway, based on actions alone.
I am not running in fear of any of my tornadoes, because now that I’ve been through them, I am in OZ.