I’m feeling some need to bring you, my dear readers, up-to-date on my life. I have received so many kind notes, emails and comments, and I feel truly blessed by the kindness of strangers, and those not so strange, alike. I am humbled by it, to be truthful.
I know most of you that followed K&P are now aware of the tragedy that befell our little triad last year. And some of you have seen as I’ve stumbled forward, one halting step at a time, into a new life. It was not the one I had chosen, and I can also say that it wasn’t the one that I wanted, although “wanting” is a moving target. Does wanting this life now mean that I’m glad I don’t have the other? Does being happy now mean I’m happy without W? I don’t think so, but I still struggle with these feelings and seeming contradictions.
As I move forward in this new life of mine, I’ve done (and am continuing to do) a lot of reflecting on my relationship with W. Not in the way that I had done in the recent past, with a bitter, choking hold, desperate not to forget, desperate not to lose what I had left of him; desperate to find exactly that again; and knowing, even as I did so, that I was destined to fail, to hurt and to never heal.
And to never find anyone that made me feel like W had.
This last was – and is – true. For a long time I was crushed by the weight of that. I loved others, I played with others, I submitted myself to V – and reveled in it – but a part of me held onto the past with a grip so tight that what I did have couldn’t wriggle its way in, except in tiny pieces.
Then I had something of a meltdown this past weekend. I’m still processing that, but the end result was that I somehow turned a corner and pushed past that place where I was stuck. And as ugly and difficult as that storm was, I believe what came up in it contributed significantly to pushing me past that place, to finding peace with the past, to truly understanding, perhaps for the first time, what others have meant by “No, your life will never be what it was – but it will be wonderful again. It will be different, but it will be good.” I couldn’t see how that could be so; I couldn’t imagine that I would ever be satisfied by – or desire – feeling any other way than the way W had made me feel. I couldn’t contemplate any life that could live up to the life that we had just begun building together; couldn’t imagine wanting any other life. This life was a consolation life, lived only because I wasn’t brave enough to end it.
Yes, I thought about that many times, and more seriously than I had ever done in the past, except when I attempted it when I was young. I’d like to say that thoughts of my daughter and of Adam kept me from doing anything foolish, but I know it was cowardliness – and I’m glad for it. Because this is my life, this is the one I have been given – and I WANT to live it. I love my life, and the wonderful people I have in it, and I realize that what I have now, is, in some ways, a gift from W. I used to think every day was a gift, and I opened it anew with surprise and gratitude every morning. Once again, I am beginning to feel that.
I talked to Adam at length last night about this, about turning that corner, and he understood far better than I thought he had, all that I had been going through. He knew how tightly I had been holding onto the past, and was waiting – and hoping – for the day that I would come out of that. “Remember the past, but don’t live in it,” he said. “We have a wonderful life. I know it’s not the one you had envisioned, but it’s the one you have. Don’t squander the joy and love you have for the past.” It made my heart ache, seeing the tension in his face ease as we talked, and the hope in his eyes as I told him how I was feeling. “I’ve been waiting for you to come out of this. I knew you had to in your own time, in your own way, but I also worried that maybe you wouldn’t. Your grief had swallowed you whole, then only spit out bits of you, the parts that let you love and play, but not the parts that let you hope, or believe that life would be good again.”
For the first time, even as I face the coming month with trepidation about my ability to face it, I can feel myself embracing that, and truly leaving the past where it belongs. I feel myself valuing what I have simply on its own merits, without the constant comparison in my head. No, no one will make me feel what W did – I’ll feel what I feel for them. It’s different, but that’s not a bad thing – it’s even a good thing. What V and I share is different, but as precious and deep as anything I’ve felt in the past. Just as what I feel for Adam is different than what I felt for W. And the life that I have…I’m finally ready to live it, to really live it, not just exist in it.
Ugh – this has gotten long, and I haven’t even told you anything about my new life, about the people in it, about being loved and owned by V – because yes, there is that.
“That.” A small word for such a monumental thing. For something that fills and shapes my world in a way I never dreamed of, until now. Does this mean that I felt any less for W? No…it just means that this is different, and wildly, unimaginably wonderful, just as what I shared with W was. New and different and amazing.
But that story will have to wait for another time.