One of my good friends from Con Law at University of Houston, Katrina, is moving to DC to go to American University. I couldn’t be happier if I tried. That class bonded us for life, as it did Lindsay, Jill, and me. Dr. Wall was fabulous, but his class was a bitch. He’ll tell you that up front. I shared my notes with Lindsay, Katrina, and Jill. The four of us were a study group and all did very well. I got 102 on the final, thanks to bonus points. Lindsay only got 100. 😛 However, overall, Lindsay got the higher grade, so let’s call it even.
I was also going to take Civil Liberties with Dr. Wall, but my girlfriend at the time was very, very possessive and didn’t want me to take the class because she thought I was in love with him. I cannot believe I listened to her, because it wasn’t just that. She didn’t want me going to night school because that meant I wouldn’t be at home with her. I also got an internship in DC writing national Sunday School curriculum that she didn’t support, and I listened to her then, too. She was afraid that the internship would lead to a full-time job and that I would never come back. Had I realized at the time how much she was holding me back with her jealousy, I would have ended the relationship a lot sooner. I mean, seriously. She didn’t want me to finish my college degree because it meant I wouldn’t be home at night two fucking days a week. Luckily, I came to my senses before we got married, and that was the end of that.
It was agony and ecstasy, that time in my life. I was doing well in school, my dad paid for my sister and me to get paralegal certificates and attended the class with us. We joked that we were Lanagan, Lanagan, Lanagan, and Schwartz….. Schwartz was the silent partner. My then-girlfriend hated that, too, because I was busy on Saturdays and Sundays. She eventually came around and gave me a Cross pen for my graduation from paralegal school, but her anxiety during the whole thing was monumental. One of my professors took an interest in me, and that tortured her as well.
When I went to the doctor, I told her that my doctor was cute and she asked me if I was going to run away with her. When I said no, she’s pregnant (indicating that she was happily settled), she said, “you’d run away with her and take another man’s child?” Ummmm, no. Sit down, freak show.
And then, when we were about to move to Portland, she said that she really needed me to finish my Bachelor’s degree because it would prove that I wasn’t such a flake. So, she didn’t want me to go to night school and she wanted me to finish my degree. How does that work? I am still bitter, but not at her. I’m bitter that I didn’t see the abuse happening because she was isolating me from everyone else I loved and all the things I wanted to do that fed me. I could have moved to DC so much sooner, and I didn’t because someone else told me not to. How did I let that happen? What was it within me that had me listening to someone that was actively trying to cut me off from my life just because she was jealous? I should have known something was up, and innately I did, but I didn’t do anything about it until we went on a house-hunting trip and got into a fight so hardcore that she started screaming “hit me! hit me!”
She left to go pack her shit and I realized that my house was more peaceful without her than it was with her. She realized the same thing, but needed to be the victim so she could go to her family and tell them that I’d broken it off…… even though it was taking her longer and longer and longer to leave Corpus Christi to come to Oregon. After six weeks, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. She wasn’t leaving. She just needed me to let her off the hook.
So I did.
Then I was able to take a deep, deep breath and get on with my life. Dana was my best friend, and I fell into her arms as if we’d never left each other, but there was something new. We found that we kissed well together, and did for seven glorious years. She probably wouldn’t say they were glorious, because we had difficult problems with communication and the same fights over and over. But to me, they were a tapestry, and to only focus on the bad is something I just can’t do.
There is nothing I could ever say that would apologize to Dana enough for how our relationship ended, because even though Argo was never competing with Dana in terms of romance, my attention was divided to a very large degree, and leaned toward Argo when it shouldn’t have, ever. I never should have created communication with someone else that was so private it was like we were lost in our own little world. Dana read everything coming in and going out, so it wasn’t like I was excluding her…. but she could see the energy we were passing in between us, and it was too close for her comfort. She didn’t like sharing me with anyone else, even though she said she was okay with it.
I gave too much of my heart to Argo, not even paying attention to what it was doing to Dana because I took her words at face value and didn’t really look into it. I was too drawn in by Argo’s presence, which is enormous, even in e-mail. She thinks bigger. Her mind is a chess board and she’s thinking 50 moves ahead of everyone else. It was like getting to sit at the cool kids’ table for the first time in my life.
And as my virtual world got better and better, my life on the ground crumbled because I wasn’t watching it wither. I was busy falling in love with words while direct action floated by me unrecognized. It reminded me of when Meagan left for college. My body was in America and my heart was in Canada. I waited by the computer and the mailbox for her letters, and when I didn’t, I was thinking about them. Living in the air and suffering on the ground. Carrying the emotions of the letters and not paying attention to what was going on around me.
I couldn’t help it. It’d been that way since I was a teenager, waiting for Diane’s letters before my mother could steal them. I had no compartmentalization, and apparently, still don’t…. as evidenced by my marriage crumbling as I waited for Argo to respond. Straight out, it was fucked up. I take responsibility for everything about it, because it wasn’t like it was a new problem, just a repeat of a pattern I’d had my whole life, and something I just realized needs to go to my therapist. Being single is the best thing for me if I’m going to live in this virtual world, because I cannot drag anyone else into it. It is mine, wholly, and I hope that I will get another pen pal as outstanding as Argo, because apparently writing letters is my jam.
When I am ready, there will be another partner, but I don’t see it yet. I am too wrapped up in letting go. My heart beats for Dana and Argo, and that hasn’t changed in two years and some change. I write about them to keep them alive in my memory, hoping that there is some combination of words that will touch their hearts in time. I do not have the ability to mend what I’ve broken as evidenced by their lack of response, but I do have the ability to make them live forever.
Maybe that’s part of the problem. Focusing on my inner world makes it where I can’t enjoy my outer one….. But what outer one? I invite my friends into my silence rather than putting myself out there, probably to my detriment but at the same time, unavoidable due to personality type. I am most happy at home with a book. I can’t remember the last time I watched TV, because I enjoy the silence of being lost in a novel. Every once in a while, it envelops me to the point where I forget about my problems, and for that I am grateful.
I feel more settled within myself, though. I have returned to the person that I was before. Before abuse, before girlfriends, before marriage. I am just me, with my tea and my books. There is a sense of calm that surrounds me that I’ve not felt in years.
Maybe all of this was breaking eggs to make an omelet, but I cannot think of it that way, yet. My heart still walks out of my body when I think of either Dana or Argo, and I send prayers of protection and safety constantly. Just because they aren’t physically here doesn’t mean they aren’t with me in spirit. Praying for their peace after the disaster I caused makes me feel better, even if they can’t hear it.
Maybe one day we’ll have a chance to hug it out, pull out our books, and all read together. One can dream, anyway………………………#prayingonthespaces