I hate it here. I need you. You’re my rock. If you were still alive, I know we’d be on the phone right now. I’m so unhappy with everything except for my job and we’re the ones who always say that working is not what life is about. What do I do mama? I feel stuck like I’ve never felt stuck before. I long for my old life in LA with the desire to push through the homesickness and create a home for myself here, too. You always knew the way to explain things in a way that made me feel better. I miss you. Mom, why does the person that supposedly loves me more than anything in this world and cares for me more than anything in this world not think about me at crucial moments? Why does he continue to hurt me? Is he too selfish to ever understand? I love you.
It had been about seven months since I moved to Brooklyn from Los Angeles and the homesickness would sporadically rear its ugly little head – most notably during times when David and I were not all rainbows and butterflies. It was also just a little over two weeks since my mama had passed away so the heavy depression that ensued combined with the longing for my old life and the familiar surroundings of Los Angeles made for a very tumultuous environment, to say the least.
I have no recollection what it was on September 18, 2011 that prompted me to write such a thing to my mama about David, though I imagine it had something to do with him staying out at all hours of the morning instead of willingly coming home to me. I probably opened my mouth, in protest, thus causing a giant uproar that resulted in him leaving and shouting something about me being controlling followed by his seemingly preferred insult, “Go fuck yourself.” That’s just a guess, given the patterns that developed over the two or so years that we lived under the same roof.
David often and sadly confused my caring for control. I could never quite get him to recognize that I only cared and wanted what was best for him and us. Am I controlling? Yes, when it comes to my own life and believe me, I have stood in front of the mirror and questioned that one on many occasions. In other words, I have checked myself. That was one of my biggest issues in my relationship – I was often made to feel like I was doing something wrong or ill advised when I wasn’t and I was constantly second guessing and questioning myself. That’s not to say that I was never wrong. It was sincerely the truest definition of a mind fuck, at times. This, regrettably, caused me to feel as if I was consistently walking on eggshells within the confines of our relationship, sometimes even tiptoeing. I would frequently mention this unidealistic notion in our marriage counseling sessions.
I’ll never forget the day our therapist suggested that her goal was for us to learn how to be sensitive to one another’s needs and wants as opposed to walking on eggshells. I agreed and replied with, “I think it’s a very fine line but yes, I would like that, too.” David replied, blankly staring at the carpeted floor, “I think they’re the same thing.” In other words, he was insinuating that walking on eggshells was perfectly acceptable within a marriage.
That particular session was about two to three sessions shy of the last time we would ever attend marriage counseling on Saturday afternoons together. Who sees a marriage counselor in their first year of marriage anyhow?! Ugh – I’m obviously not judging anyone else but I couldn’t help but judge myself at times, often contemplating exactly what I just wrote: who fucking has to go to counseling in their first year of marriage?! It’s supposed to be the honeymoon phase! We were supposed to still be in love, to still want to jump eachother’s bones whenever the other would walk through the front door. We were also supposed to want to come home to the other person, though, and David spent a lot of his time “running away” when the going got tough or staying out all night, drinking, after work.
As I type all of this and relive these memories, I am so grateful for the non-dysfunctional place I am in right now, for the realization that I control my happiness. I am elated at the fact that I am sitting on my living room floor right now with my cats and I don’t have to worry that he’s going to walk through the front door, drunk and mean, that I’m going to be confronted with every derogatory name for a female in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. I don’t have the anxiety that if I even speak, I could say the wrong thing and potentially set him off into a blinding rage. I don’t have to lock my cats out of the bedroom anymore upon exiting the apartment. I don’t have to worry if I leave a glass of half drank coffee on the table all day that I’m going to get mildly scolded for it later. Most importantly, I don’t have to write letters to my deceased mother any longer about why the person who is supposed to love me more than anything in this world drops the ball at some of the most vital moments in my life. Sure, he was there for me sometimes but I read somewhere and couldn’t agree more “Don’t be someone’s down-time, spare time, part time or sometime. If they can’t be there for you all the time, then they’re not even worth your time.” I love myself all the time and that is truly all one needs to be free and happy in this life.
Tonight, my auntie informed me that my childhood home, my mama’s house, has been sold after 2+ years of being abandoned. When I say abandoned, I mean that it was another loss I had to face six months after her passing. In February of 2011, I had to hire a lawyer to remove my name from the “Transfer on Death” certificate and discontinue paying the mortgage. I had emotionally made a decision to hold on to the home after her untimely death, as it was the last tangible thing that I had of my immediate family – it was where all four of us, mom, dad, older brother and I, sat around a dinner table and had dinner together at one point in history. It was not about the material aspect of owning a home. I had daydreams of my children, one day, running around the beautiful gardens that my green thumbed mother worked so diligently to landscape every summer, of spending cozy weeks in the fall in front of the fireplace with David and having countless barbecues on the Oak shaded deck with new and old friends. Sadly, paying a home mortgage in Middle America and at the same time, rent in New York City just became impractical.
My auntie briefed me on the details of the changes at 6154 Melrose Lane in Shawnee Kansas. The wisteria I bought my mama, almost twenty years ago for her birthday, has been completely ridden from the back fence. My dad helped me pick it out, one of the handful of great memories I have of just my dad and I. A couple of the trees my mother planted by the front driveway have been removed and the side garden that laid underneath my bedroom windows has been completely cleared of a lilac bush she carefully planted among the myriad of eclectic wildflowers. Despite the sadness of it all, I am thankful that I do not rely on someone to bring me comfort any longer, that I do not have to fear that David will have an excuse as to why he simply cannot be here for me right now, thus casting a dark shadow over the necessary grieving process. I’m here for me and that is all that I need.