Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Old Papers

I have been feeling low all day today. I woke up tired and with a sore throat, more evidence of having missed my allergy pills yesterday. I had gained more weight over the weekend. I felt irritated with myself, with what I have to work with in my life, with my career, and just cranky feeling. I got my work day going, calling into the daily status meeting. The rest of the day was filled with random problems and meetings. I called an end to it after trying to make progress with an installation and running into missing libraries.

In the mid-afternoon I had a surprise call. My friend, SS phoned to say she was going to be in my neighborhood and could she pop by so we could meet her new baby, Ezra. I got to spend 20 minutes holding her very active, 3 month-old boy while we caught up a little. It was just nice to sit with the baby, occasionally holding his feet and appreciating how small he is. I felt my mind considering what it might be like if this were CK's baby.

I had planned to go to the pool and try and get a good work out. I just felt apathetic and tired. I finally decided to stay home and deal with some boxes AM had brought in over the weekend. We're down to the last of them from the garage and I thought that maybe dealing with them would improve my mood. I quickly got sorted out making piles for recycling, donating, and trash.

It was in the second box I found the first letter from MM. Handwritten, loving, sexy and acknowledging the importance of our relationship. I sat there with it, uncertain what to do for a moment. Some instinct to continue to save this scrap of paper despite the fact it made my heart ache a little. I tossed it into the recycling bin.

The third box contained journal entries written onto pagers of a paper planner. A copy of the certificate from my first marriage. Page after page listing CDs purchased from OM, impersonating me, by the now defunct CD Warehouse. Strange to look at the marks I put next to CDs I knew were mine. Stranger still looking at my name on the signature line in OM's handwriting. Additional pages of bank statements showing unauthorized withdrawals and forged checks. I sat with them a little before feeding them into the recycling bin feeling the old memories churning. The echoes of emotions, betrayal and violation, rising up to the top.

Then came another letter from MM. This one done on a computer and printed out. More words of love. Promises that we would work on things, try to find a way through and words expressing how much I meant to her. Reading them I was also able to see some of the warnings that I would get over the time we were together. Her noting that no one could ever expect to really satisfy her now reads with an understanding of how I played an assigned part in her life.

It isn't as if I miss our relationship at all. It isn't fair to compare them truly, they are so different, but the depth of connection between CK and I is so much more than what MM and I shared. I feel so much a part of CK's life, that I am a wanted and included part. Her family knows about me whereas MM made effort to make sure her far distant parents couldn't possibly find out about her relationship with me. Just felt the hurt of the way she ended, or rather, let me figure out the relationship had ended. Rereading what she told me made me be able to clearly see and feel the sense of having been abandoned by her.

By the time I'd gotten through all the boxes I was feeling depressed, fat and my back hurt me. I had been feeling anxious after writing CK and telling her about the baby, thinking of a day when it would be our family. I felt such a rush of vulnerability in telling her, in revealing the way I think of a future together. In putting words to it, sharing it, I have a fear that I've said too much.

I'm trying to be compassionate with the depression I feel tonight. I know there is part of it that is rooted in irritation at feeling the sadness and unfairness of my childhood. I want to get past all of that and not keep having things bring it up. Yet it just keeps coming up, all the emotions I was told were inappropriate or I hid for fear of being yelled at, shamed. Some days it just feels like it is too much effort to do anything but try and be present for it.

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