The Moments

The moment I chose you:
I was walking home from my stop on the DC metro’s red line, about halfway home and in the middle of the cross walk at Newton and 12th St NE. I was scared and excited all at once and said under my breath, “fuck it, I am going for it.” Even in that moment, I knew that it would turn out to be either one of the grandest adventures of my life or quite possibly my biggest mistake. Looking back now, I know it was both. And I do not regret jumping into that great risk -in the end, both the intoxicating joys and the incomprehensible pains, were worth the risk. I knew I would love him with everything I had, as deeply as I could, for as long as I could.

The moment I knew something was terribly wrong:
Years later, when I saw them driving together in the traffic lane opposite me, him and her, without me, knowing truly he saw her as just a friend, and did not mean any harm to me, I still knew in my heart he was choosing everyone/anyone else over me. I knew in that moment, I couldn’t have him wholly. The moment I asked him to choose me over her/them and he said it would cost me everything, I knew what that meant, but I didn’t want to. I held on, refused to let go. I looked for solutions, excuses, answers, anything to make sense of it and make worth the risk I took in that DC crosswalk.

The moment I gave up on that dream:
I tried everything I could. I screwed up and inflicted wounds onto his precious soul that I did not know was capable of. I prayed many hours, alone and with others, seeking guidance, making suggestions, demands, and ultimatums for what I thought would bring healing. In the end, the moment came when I saw the absence of the ring I had so lovingly and hopefully placed on his left hand. In that moment, I felt in my soul that all was lost. It did not matter the dreams and futures I had envisioned, nor the risk I had taken on and was still willing to endure. He was gone and I had no choice in this time.

The moment I fought for myself:
No matter what you say, it was not a mistake. I knew what I was choosing and the risks that came with it, though I did not quite fully understand them at that time (and who really does?). I will now fight to regain my footing and then my wings. I loved, loved well, loved harder than I knew I could. I fought without a Plan B -some may say that was foolish, and maybe for someone else it would be. But when I love, I go all in, giving everything and holding nothing back. So now I will find my compass and move forward, despite the whispers of failure that feel as if they are closing in. As the lyrics of LaLa Land’s Audition Song go, “Here’s to the ones who dream / Foolish, as they may seem / Here’s to the hearts that ache / Here’s to the mess we make.”

Things Lost, Things Unwanted

How many things did I lose trying to win you?
-Romantic movies, walnuts in banana bread, afternoons in art galleries.
How many things did you lose trying to win me?
-Spontaneous adventures, relationships with females, horse backriding?

Did we even know we were giving those things up?  Or did we do it willingly, knowing the other person was worth it, at least for a while?  When did they not become worth it?

When did you begin to lose yourself?
You asked me to find somewhere else to stay, but I planted my roots deeper.
You asked me for a “year break” to find yourself, but I searched harder.

Despite my tantrums, you began taking your time, your activities, your friendships back long before I did.

I was so lost, so wrapped up in trying to be “us,” avoid upsetting you, that I didn’t even know I was saying no to so much that I wanted.
I was trying to say yes to you and to us.  I thought that was what you wanted.  I thought it was what I wanted.

And it was what I wanted.  I was willing to give up everything, my whole self, for us, for the us I wanted it.  Maybe that’s exactly what you didn’t want.

I will now choose to be thankful for the things you didn’t want.  Even if I didn’t have a choice.

Missed Love

I turned my head when you tried to kiss me, and your lips never found a landing place.
You would ask why, and I would respond truthfully that I didn’t know you were even trying to kiss me. It wasn’t on my radar that that was something you would even do.  I was trying to make dinner or put away the groceries.  Kissing was not on my mind.  But you didn’t believe me.  You walked away, silent for the next hour, leaving me alone with my thoughts in the kitchen, knowing I had missed an opportunity to be loved and it was my fault.

You were telling jokes around the campfire.  You looked so good in the glow.  I came over and tried to sit on your lap, but you asked me to move, preferring to be able to drink your beer without spilling, preferring to enjoy the fire without my bones jutting into your quadriceps.  I obliged and went to find another seat, the only one open, too far away to even hold your hand, which was not offered anyway.  I knew I should have respected your desire to talk and enjoy yourself.  Maybe if I had kissed you a little harder to let you know how much I wanted to be near you, but I didn’t and so I will have to try harder to love you next time.

You woke me up. Small and fast thrusts into my back body. Desperate hands pulling me close.  I was tired, but opened anyway.  I didn’t respond, just lay there.  You noted I wasn’t in the state you were hoping, so grabbed that pretty bottle of liquid on the nightstand and tried again. So tired, I don’t even know if you got what you wanted.  I lay there hoping you would, wanting to go back to sleep, but knowing that I had disappointed you. Sometimes I didn’t even care that you would be sad the next morning, that I made you feel rejected in the middle of the night.  I often wondered why I didn’t feel the excitement too.



I thought

I thought you teased me because you thought I was cute.

I thought you taught me how to do things because you wanted me to grow.
I thought the razzing was flirting.
I thought the lack of support was you giving me space to be independent.
I thought the silence was because you were finding your thoughts.
I thought the refusal to compromise was because of standards.
I thought the refusal to stop working was because of a desire to serve.
I thought the constant get-togethers were because you wanted us to be part of community.
I thought the escape into reading was because you wanted to learn.
I thought the late nights without me were because I am a morning person, not a night owl.
I thought your desire to appear unified was because you wanted to actually be a unified team.
I thought your sensitivity to my teasing was because I was out of line.
I thought the lack of roses, gifts, and time were because manly men didn’t do those things.

I still think the disappearances were due to panic attacks.
I still think your biases are rooted in a deep insecurity.
I still think your perfection comes from a fear of abandonment.
I still think your refusal to rest is because you’re afraid of losing your value.
I still think your refusal to seek help comes from a fear of not being enough.
I still think your inability to love me comes from an inability to love yourself.

One Night Mistake

Did I do this to you?

I felt so lonely.  I felt ignored.  I felt jilted because you did not value my virginity as I had.  I felt looked-over.  I felt like I had missed out, like I was missing out.  I wanted your attention, your affection, your smile and laugh, your gifts, your thoughts, your words.  I desperately waited for the ping of your messages or emails.  I didn’t even let myself hope for the ring of a video call, like the other girls did.  I wasn’t that deluded.  You were busy saving the world.  Who was I to hope for a video call?

Instead, I listened to that last voicemail from you, every night, as I fell asleep, alone, in our bed.

Except one night.  One lonely, regrettable, but cathartic night.  He was nice, said I needed a break from the crazy, said he would take me out.  I went.  And I did it.  What I thought I never would.  But you know what?  I cut him off.  The next morning.  Never again.  And I told you as soon as I could.  I begged for forgiveness.  I knew I had done wrong.  I knew I deserved horrible things.  But you said you forgave me.  You said you would move forward and not hold it against me.  You never brought it up again.

But I always wondered, were you the manipulator, the insecure, the deceiver, before I did that?  Or did my sins lead you to that place?  Did I cause your cruelty?  Did I drive you to shutdown with my one night mistake?  I thought honesty would help.  But maybe I drove you to a place of darkness you would have never found if you had never met me, if I had never provoked you.

I did ask you for help.  Once.  I was afraid that one night was going to happen long before it did.  But you said you couldn’t.  Understandably, you had a lot going on, a lot to focus on, a lot more than your lonely wife at home.  But really, how would you have helped, so far from me?  Maybe if I had listened to you and pulled myself together, I wouldn’t be able to ask myself if I caused you to be so cold.

The Victim

You never meant to hurt me.

You are so strong.  That’s why I chose you.
I can see the man in you.  You want to be the best, for yourself and for those you love.
You want to protect and provide for as many as you possibly can, to help them avoid as much pain as possible.

You are a hard worker.  That’s why I chose you.
You excel at everything you do.  You are the best, you make sure of that.
You will not fail.  I know you stayed up late at night worrying.  I was never worried.

But you are broken.  That’s why I wanted you to find healing.
Every action you take is a monumental effort to ignore your wounds long enough for them to scar over.

But I kept ripping them open, breaking bones, hoping they would set correctly this time.  Perhaps I am the cruel one?