Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Not Waving But Drowning.

I just had a painful memory. They keep coming back to me, all these moments from the tender first year of my marriage.

I was in the bathroom, crying quietly. That was in what I like to think of as the "before time." I'd still try to cry quietly, like a good wife. I didn't want him to know I was upset. I didn't want him to know I was unhappy. I knew he was unhappy, and I didn't want to make it worse with my bothersome crying. (Now, though, I'll wail like a child, like a toddler in the grocery store, with the same persistence: HEAR ME! I'M HURTING! LISTEN! LOOK! EVERYONE!)

But it was the before time, and he was very tired. He was so often Very Tired. He'd been nodding on the bed for hours, and it was the only day we had together. I'd finagled my work schedule so that I could have Wednesday afternoons off, and those few hours of daylight that we had to spend together were precious to me. At this point, other than the Wednesday afternoons and evenings that I guarded with the jealousy of a mother bear, we rarely saw one another before midnight.

So I was sad that he was sleeping through our precious Wednesday. I was crying, in the bathroom, with the door closed. Suddenly he crashed through the door, with the hazy eyes and slurred speech that I now recognize as being deeply opiated, and asked me if I'd been calling for help. He said he'd heard me calling him, asking for help. And then he noticed I'd been crying.

And I felt this wash of affection: he'd thought I needed help. He was coming to help me because he thought I needed help. What a wonderful husband, to give help when it's needed! What a fabulous man I had, to rise from the bed when he was Very Tired, and to come to me!
I told him that no, I did not need help, and that he should go back to bed and sleep more if he was tired. And I went and lay next to him, in my own opiate-like love stupor, thinking of how lucky I was.

It takes so little to please us codependents. Look! My husband goes to work! He'll come and help me if I'm saying, "Help!" Wow! I'm so lucky to be in a relationship with a human!

I was thinking tonight of leaving, and I know I'm not ready. The physical withdrawal of his presence from me is unbearable, still. It's not done. The place inside me that is where my love resides is still pouring itself out at him. I don't know when it will be done. I don't know if it ever will be done...but I think it will, eventually. I can tell by the way I cry now. It's hollow. The sound is different. The tears feel hotter, less profuse.

It's funny, though, because I'm sure that a part of me was crying, loudly, for help from him.


Anonymous said...

Hang in there, as from my experience, things will get sorted out when you are ready, whatever your choices are, once you make them, the universe will open up and support you.

I know that feeling of not wanting to be alone. And look, 9 years later, I seem to be doing ok (well with a few bumps in the road, but don't we all).

Now I have to get the dogs out and get to rehab.

Alan said...

Wow, what a poignant part of your life.

Its good to hear the "other side". I spend so much time talking about being a recovering addict, that I lose touch with just what, exactly, I did to those around me.

Shifra said...

Baby, I know the physical pain and withdrawl that comes with leaving a man you love. I do, and it hurts, and you puke a lot, and your heart contracts, and you cant breathe right for a while. Then you walk around like a zombie for a few weeks and cry at the drop of a hat. Then life seems just plain shitty for a while and then slowly. You remember why you left and why its better for you this way. I dont want you to be in this situation with The Phantom of The Man You love. We all get old and ugly and his blue eyes wont be so blue anymore one day. While they are blue now they aren't looking back at you with the love and respect you deserve. I never wanted to say these things, I wanted your prince charming to be just that...