Friday, March 11, 2011

Shelter from the Storm

This post took a while to write; it was painful and I was not really up to the task. I couldn't wrangle my language. Si is gone for the weekend, staying at his job. I am trying to recover my tranquility.



Please: shelter is what I need right now. I sing that Bob Dylan tune under my breath all day. In previous posts, I have described flying adjectives. Today, we look to Wile E. Coyote for inspiration. In this picture, you can see that the 80 pound adjective is dropping from above. The image I really wanted was the one of Wile E. Coyote walking along with the anvil on his head, all rumpled like an accordion. Remember that one? It was the perfect visual representation of my feelings. Must be copyrighted, though. In a previous post, I described peace, and a plan. Hmmm... Let's just say that Simon didn't get that memo.

Comparing myself to Wile E Coyote kind of sucks. For starters, he is (in my opinion) a second tier cartoon character. Everyone likes Bugs better. I like Foghorn Leghorn better ("I say! I say!") All Wile E. Coyote does is mindlessly pursue Roadrunner and get smashed up every single time. He is a victim, in a way. Or just an idiot. Now, I do have a spine. Anyone who knows me will attest to this. So where does it go when it comes to this relationship? Beats me. But that is one of the reasons that I'm finally done. I'm sick of feeling like Wile E. Coyote. Sitting cluelessly in a hole waiting for the anvil to drop is NOT who I want to be. I think we can all agree.

But I need shelter from the storm. This is hard, and I'm T-I-R-E-D. I would love to find safe harbor. Deciding to end a marriage means saying good-bye to a steady, warm embrace; someone to tell me that I am still the awesome person I was before this started; someone to meet me at the door (both literally and figuratively). I'm single now, so that kind of shelter is not for me.

I have no shelter, but I need to BE a shelter. That's the other hard part. Am I going to have the strength for that?

Sara is sleeping over at her friend's house, so just Nate was at home. After supper, I lured him onto my lap for a little while. Don't worry, Nate! No one looking! Nate wrapped his arms around my neck and we compared bony bits. He has the hardest head! He wins that one, hands down! Who has a meaner, sharper chin? Time for a chin fight. Who has the pointiest elbows? Nate inherited his small, sharp bones from me, so it's generally a pretty fair fight. We laughed; I kissed him on his less freckly spots. I told that kids when they were little that freckles come from my kisses. They still half believe it.

I sent Nate to get into his pajamas and leaned back in my chair. I'm not sure what triggered the adjective onslaught: it seems to have started with a phone call that I answered "tersely" earlier in the day? At any rate, as soon as Nate left the room, I had to jump into my foxhole. Let's add "stupid" and "ignorant" to my personal adjective list. I didn't respond at all. I scrooged up small in my chair and looked at the floor for a bit, but then I heard Nate's little voice keening in his room and hurried down there. He was curled up in a fetal position on his bed, sobbing, with snot bubbling out of his nose. Nate specializes in snot. He was scared of the shouting and worried that I was going to get hit, he said. "Dad is not going to hit me." I curled around him and buried my face between his shoulder blades.
"I can't stand the tension."
"I know. In a few more days, it'll be better. I'm going to live somewhere else for a week, but I'll come over or call every day. Then I'll come back home and Dad will go on his business trips."
"Is this the worst part?" (I told the kids that the worst would be over soon.)
"The conflict will get better, then it will go away. I promise."
"But what if Dad can't get the money to-" (Si thinks it's important to share all the potential financial problems with the kids, so they "know what they're facing".)
"Remember: what is the only thing you need to focus on?"
"I am safe."
"That's right. You are safe. Mom and Dad love you. Life is full of good, happy stuff. After this bad time is over, we'll feel good and happy again." (Jesus, I hope this is true.)
I looked around among the (TOO MANY) stuffed animals on his bed, found the sock monkey and tucked it under his chin. "Mom, if we move from here, can I take all my stuff with us?" "Yeah, sure. Except maybe the crayon shaving collection..."

I read from Harry Potter and tucked him in, then returned to the (blessedly) deserted kitchen. I'm not really cold, but I am shaking with emotional fatigue. My friend Liliana assured me today that, yes, I would find happiness again someday. When I am out in the world during the day, chatting with my friends, I feel a lot better. Here, in my own home?

Not a safe harbor. No shelter here.
I opened a checking account today. Every day I move this boulder a little further up the hill.

My heart is still at large, too, which doesn't help. I told my friend Diane that I would try not to write about that, so I won't elaborate too much. It is not getting any better, though. That much I will tell you. Today (what the hell is it about Fridays???) was so hard. The rim of the bathtub, where I perch to wince, to slump, to stare straight ahead, to yell my heartache into a folded towel? The fucking enamel is going to wear off. If you are going to be a shelter from your kids' storm, all your emotion has to be confined to the bathroom. Or the late-night commute.

I'm working on it: healing up. Once in a while, I wink at myself in the mirror and treat myself to my old, world-beating grin. Oh, yeah. THAT girl! She's FUN! SHE IS STILL ME. I'm still in pursuit of her. She deserves a chance. She deserves fewer anvils. She may be ignorant at times (the blind spots are plain to see..), but she is not stupid. She sure as hell could use some shelter. Wile E Coyote would order a "shelter from the storm" kit from Acme. I'll go on-line.

5 comments:

JY said...

*hugs*

The World According To Me said...

Give yourself time, time to heal, time to feel like yourself again, time for life to make sense again. And it will. Hugs from me too. x

Kate said...

@ Nikki: Y'know, that is the part that scares me the most: not the divorce as much as the heartache. Healing from a broken heart takes time. But it hurts SO MUCH in the meantime that I'm worried I'll come through the whole thing totally transformed. But not for the better.

CINNIBONBON said...

I cannot pretend to understand your pain-- but I know it must be intense -- however with that intensity you can overcome. I know you will and I know you believe it yourself too!! Don't rush-- your true splendid self will shine through soon enough.

Amrita said...

Oh Kate I am so sorry, was there domestic violence?