Crater

Every so often, I can hear the earth thud when my words drop, and I just stare at the crater that they’ve left. This was confirmed for me when Argo wrote to me (a relatively long time ago) that she could hear the sonic boom from my last post. Those are the entries that frighten me the most, the ones where even my better angels fear to tread. There are days when I battle nausea just to get the words out, because I know I have to put them on paper, damn the consequences… because if I don’t, I will continue to be the same person I always was, not remembering how I felt in the moment because there is no record of it.

I have said many times, Fanagans, that this blog is not for you. It is for me, and you are invited.

You see my imperfections as extremely loud and incredibly close as I do, but there is something else I must explain. My writing life lags behind my actual life. I have trouble describing an experience as it is happening. I need clarity from the passage of time to even bring words to emotions. Falling in love with Argo’s words while I was still married to Dana is absolutely the worst thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life. I accept that I was the cause, and saying “happened to me” is a misnomer. I am only talking about the consequences here, and not the pawns I moved. Dana was my best friend. How could I betray her like that? And yet, I did. I own it. It was a mistake. A big one, the fallout is massive as I pick up the pieces and try to arrange them into a different mosaic.

Moving to Silver Spring is the best thing I could have done, because my friends live in either DC or on the Virginia side. I am an hour away from any one of them, forced to sit in my silence as I recover from the mess I’ve made.

Every day looks the same now. I send out resumes for big jobs and little ones, because even working at Safeway requires an online application. Usually, if the job is for a store, I will go and meet the manager before I submit the application so that he/she will remember my name when the online app comes across. However, I have not gotten many bites. I am extraordinarily overqualified on paper to bag groceries, but how do you explain to the manager that’s exactly what you want? To be lost in repetition, because that’s really all you can handle right now, and you’ll be good at it, because muscle memory will take over rather than having to get lost in my head.

I would do anything not to get lost in my head for eight full hours a day.

I take my Kindle everywhere I go, because public transportation takes a long time, no matter where you’re going. Right now, I am lost in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, the Voyager novel specifically. I wish I could say that I get lost in the story, but there are too many parallels for me to ignore my own life as I read. I do not want to spoil anything for people who are just now getting into the series thanks to the TV show (Starz), but my take on it is that once I got past the betrayal of one love for another in Outlander, there’s another one later on in the series that smacks of home, too.

Home.

What a foreign concept now.

In my head, home is still with Dana on some days, because it was so stable. We had a passionate relationship for many years, right up until it wasn’t. We broke up the minute we got to Houston, because she betrayed me. Flat out. I won’t say why, but I will say that the fissure it caused was enough that when we got back together, I forgave her, but I didn’t forget. Our relationship limped along under its own weight because I wanted to heal and move on from the damage that was done, but I couldn’t. It was too much, too fast… and I would like to believe that she knew it. I would like to believe that betrayal was her way of saying “I want out,” but not telling me directly. I was angry… so angry that I told her to leave- go back to Virginia if she wanted. She had enough of her own resources to do whatever she wanted, and I do not know how or why we worked it out, because it happened so fast. It will take years to untangle that knot in my head.

Truth be told, we were exhausted. Both of us in our own way. I’d been through a tempest in the realization that I’d been emotionally abused as a teenager and still wasn’t over it. It slayed me. I talked about it over and over and over while ignoring that it was isolating her. I was folding into myself, and the only one I would let in was Argo. I told her straight out that I was writing to her because I thought Dana had already been given her fair share, and a fresh set of eyes/ears on the problem was necessary. I was leaning on Argo because Dana was beginning to tell me with her actions that I was too much to handle, and later said those words out loud.

I reeled at those words, because in terms of “too much to handle,” I have not cornered the market. Dana and I are equal in terms of the emotional problems we have, but I will talk about them. Dana will not, even to me, and in a relationship, that is everything. Everything. She wanted to break up because she was happy in her bubble, and I was exploding mine.

And please keep in mind two things- I am not writing about Dana’s reality. I am writing about my reaction to her. Her story is not mine to tell, I can only tell you what I was feeling. She told me a couple of weeks ago to stop writing lies about her on my blog. I told her that if she thought I was writing lies to get her own blog. This is not her place to vent.

It is mine.

Her perceptions are never going to line up with mine. Never. That’s why we broke up. We weren’t seeing eye to eye on anything, and instead of opening up to each other, we destroyed the relationship instead. I look at the way Jaime and Claire interact in Outlander, and know that I am ready to have someone that will bare their soul to me without reservation. I am not interested in a relationship with someone who cannot reflect on themselves. I am also not interested in being in relationship with someone who views me as scary, which was Dana’s excuse for all the reasons she kept things from me.

The reality is that yes, I am scary sometimes, because I can almost guarantee that in letters and conversations I can go deeper than you. I have a dark passenger, Dexter-like in its intensity and execution. Not many people can handle it, and I am tired of interacting with those people.

It’s not that I won’t. I am just tired. Exhausted, even.

People who are not in touch with themselves force me to hide a lot of who I am, because I know that they aren’t ready or willing to hear me where I am… to love me for all my drive and passion and not make me force it down.

In terms of deep friendship and romance, Dana and Argo were both the wrong choice at the wrong time. I say it was the wrong time, because perhaps later in life this will not be so; they both walk with thick armor, intense but not emotionally so. Their upbringing was the classic WASP stuff and deny. To talk about issues rather than pretend they don’t exist is as foreign to them as language immersion in Klingon.

The difference between Dana and Argo is that when I began writing, I struck a chord with Argo. I do not know what went through Dana’s head, because she didn’t really talk about it until we were leaving each other behind. I cannot speak to it. With Argo, she latched on to my words and told me so. That they gave her strength because I could be open in a way that she could not. It was an enormous compliment, just enormous. Those compliments carried me through the darkest time in my life so far, because it wasn’t just that one.

I have said before that she is not a God person. When I told her I was starting a church, she said she thought it was awesome and that she didn’t believe in God, but she did believe in me.

When she hurt, I prayed, and she said she thought of me as her “pinch hitter.”

My self-esteem grew, and so did the fissure with Dana… not because of my feelings for Argo as much as not knowing how to relate to the person I was becoming. In retrospect, I think I knew Dana was pulling away, and even though it wasn’t right, I leaned toward Argo to heal from it.

Because even though Argo wasn’t a lesbian and wasn’t in love with me, she loved my words… and I loved her for it. At that time in my life, it wasn’t so much needing external validation. I wasn’t looking to her for that. She was the one that kept up the attaboys when I was willing to throw down on this web site. As I led, she followed. As I told her, “your words are balm.” Lip balm. She was the Dr Pepper Bonnie Bell Lip Smacker of Stories That Are All True.

And as I wore this lip balm, my words got stronger. I revealed a lot about myself that I couldn’t talk about out loud, but somehow had no problem releasing quietly over the Internet and letting people react on their own. I learned that this was how I needed to get through life. I needed to work on my own shit and let people have their reactions away from me, because their reactions were not mine to own.

My actions were mine to own.

I have learned so much about who I am by reading this web site in retrospect, giving myself time to heal from the “sonic boom” and reading with compassion for the person that I was… because then I have enough separation from the damage that I’ve caused to read as if these stories happened to someone else. As a perfectionist, I would never berate someone else the way I thrash myself in my own mind.

There are no words that would adequately express my sorrow over the way I’ve treated my family and my friends, but I hope these words will help. Behind my enormous ego, I am just a fourteen year old girl, development arrested and trying to cover for it. So if you’ve ever thought my actions were childish, you’re right. I am just now learning how to adult.

If you have been abused in your life, sexually or otherwise, that statement may resonate with you. In the hundreds of abuse survivors I’ve physically met and talked to over the Internet, it seems as if we are all arrested at the age we were when the abuse occurred, and if we’re older than that, we’re all covering for it. We’re all learning how to adult far past the age when it should have occurred naturally… not because we are malicious, but because we are unprepared.

There have been times in my life that I have lied pathologically to escape punishment to avoid further emotional abuse… not to hurt anyone, but to put up a shield between me and the rest of the world… emotionally holding my arm over my face and saying “please don’t hurt me anymore.” Nothing should ever be able to penetrate my cave, because it is not safe out there… or at least, that has been my reaction to everything until now. It took lowering the boom on myself to really see what was wrong.

Because if you can’t see it, it’s not there.

It’s in the crater, the one you can choose to explore if you are brave enough to hike downward, not knowing where the strength lies in pulling yourself back up. The thing is, though, as you work through your own issues, you discover your own worth, and that is the earth that fills in the hole under you so all of the sudden, you are back on level ground.

Amen.

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