Lead and Mercury

“…Now there’s gravel in our voices / Glass is shattered from the fight / In this tug of war you’ll always win / Even when I’m right / ‘Cause you feed me fables from your hand / With violent words and empty threats / And it’s sick that all these battles are what keeps me satisfied…Try and touch me so I can scream at you not to touch me / Run out the room and I’ll follow you like a lost puppy / Baby, without you I’m nothing, I’m so lost, hug me / Then tell me how ugly I am, but that you’ll always love me / Then after that, shove me, in the aftermath of the / Destructive path that we’re on, two psychopaths but we / Know that no matter how many knives we put in each other’s backs / That we’ll have each other’s backs, ’cause we’re that lucky…”

I frantically blocked the front door of our Brooklyn apartment with my body, arms outstretched, as David placed his hands firmly around my waist, picking me up to move me so that he could run from the familiar conflict that had just ensued.  I pushed him off of me with what little adrenaline fueled strength that I had left in me after ten minutes of the back and forth, push and pull.  I couldn’t let him leave again – why couldn’t we just resolve this here and now, I would ask him and myself, my voice becoming that of a pathetic, desperate puppy.  David pulled and I pushed to the point of wrestling – we were like those two magnets that won’t connect, polar opposites in that hopeless moment.  When the door was no longer an option in his mind, he turned and ran for the bedroom window, I hysterically rushing after him.  He was opening the window to exit our fifth floor apartment via the fire escape as I physically intervened, grabbing his arm, sobbing, begging again, “Please don’t leave me…”

“…Guess that’s why they call it window pane…”

I think perhaps the saddest part about the above anecdote is that it’s not a singular tale of one specific fight.  That was a recurring event in our relationship that intensified each consecutive time even though our resolutions would consist of discussing how to avoid such madness.

“…Now I know we said things, did things that we didn’t mean / And we fall back into the same patterns, same routine / But your temper’s just as bad as mine is / You’re the same as me…”

After our cross-country move to Los Angeles, the altercations reached an all time frequency and intensity, an intensity that caused me to worry that pretty soon, there would be no lines left to cross within the ground rules of fighting.   Complaints from neighbors, the landlord offering to counsel us out of the kindness of his heart and fists through the dry wall – I feared we were one strike away from one or both of us ending up in handcuffs.

“…It’s so insane cause when it’s going good, it’s going great / I’m Superman with the wind at his back, she’s Lois Lane / But when it’s bad it’s awful, I feel so ashamed I snapped…”

One afternoon, last summer, I found myself furiously standing in front of David, tears soiling my cheeks, my hand balled in a fist, and him repeatedly calling me a “whore” with dangerous venom in his voice.  I was seeing red, envisioning my now white knuckles meeting his beautiful square jawline, though I fortunately resorted to feebly smacking him on his bare arm every time the unwarranted, insulting word escaped his mouth.  I’m not sure what ultimately stopped me from crossing that invisible line but the fear of him physically retaliating, in self-defense, was definitely a motivating force.  This shocking scene was preceded by David trying to drive away in the car we shared as I carelessly jumped in front of the moving vehicle in effort to prevent him from leaving.

“…So lost in the moments when you’re in them / It’s the rage that took over it controls you both / So they say you’re best to go your separate ways…”

Our numerous tug-of-wars were typically accompanied by violent screams, shrill cries, cursing and harmful, poisonous words – the kind of words that you could apologize for but that would most likely never be forgotten.  David on the verge of tossing the coffee table out of the window, I on the verge of a debilitating anxiety attack, inanimate objects flying through the room, glass shattering, booze spilling, and empty threats – none of this compared to the stinging words, “I fucking hate you!”  I’ve always found that expression about sticks and stones and words never being able to hurt me odd because words pained me to the core when it came to my relationship with David.  Sometimes, it seemed like we were in a sick competition of who could say the most destructively heart-breaking thing to the other.

“…She fucking hates me and I love itYou ever love somebody so much you can barely breathe when you’re with ’em / You meet and neither one of you even know what hit ’em / Got that warm fuzzy feeling / Yeah, them chills you used to get ’em / Now you’re getting fucking sick of looking at ’em / You swore you’d never hit ’em; never do nothing to hurt ’em / Now you’re in each other’s face spewing venom in your words when you spit them…”

I once found myself on the living room floor, the wind knocked out of me after one of our customary wrestling matches resulted in me slipping backward, slamming my back into the wall.  Thankfully, this caused David to step out of his rage for a moment and assure that I was all right.  Oftentimes, he would leave even though, at times, our physical struggle would result in me accidentally hurting myself.  One night, I hurriedly leapt up from the guest bed during a shouting war and tripped, crashing to the ground and barely hitting my head on the wall.  I lay on the ground, crying while David nonchalantly stepped over me and out of the room, spatting with vicious hate in his voice, “You’re all right.”

“…Just gonna stand there and watch me burn / But that’s alright because I like the way it hurts / Just gonna stand there and hear me cry / But that’s alright because I love the way you lie…”

Most of what I have shared in this blog thus far, aside from a few painfully difficult memories, has been for lack of better words easy to communicate through words but this next part probably takes the cake for the most challenging to admit.  Ashamedly, about three years ago, when David and I were just boyfriend and girlfriend, our fight became so heated and out of control.  Overcome by the maddening belief that David wasn’t hearing a single word that was coming out of my mouth, I deliberately hurt myself, throwing my head as hard as I could into the bedroom wall, all to possess his attention.  I disturbingly lost my speech and my balance for a couple of minutes afterward and I definitely got his attention, to say the least.  The fact that I was knowingly capable of such self-inflicted harm was downright terrifying in and of itself.  I can’t imagine ever stooping to such a low again and as I mull over the gruesome details, I feel like I’m speaking of a past life or someone else’s life entirely.  David’s vindictive propensity paired with my irrational anger was revealing itself as a recipe for disaster long before we ever wed.

“…It wasn’t you, baby it was me / Maybe our relationship isn’t as crazy as it seems / Maybe that’s what happens when a tornado meets a volcano / All I know is I love you too much to walk away though…”

In retrospect, I wish I would of let David walk away as often as he wished.  The truth is, I knew I didn’t want a lifetime with a boy who ran every time the going got rough and rationally, I knew I deserved better but a lot of the detrimental occurrences could have been avoided had I just let him go.  Walking away from each other, ultimately, was the best possible thing we ever did for each other and I am fairly certain that David would agree.  Sadly, one of the ways I knew our marriage was reaching its expiration was when the fighting was mild, almost nonexistent, when I didn’t even find myself making an effort to exert the energy.  Unfortunately, I fear he views my walking away more as my giving up on him when the truth is more like the ancient adage:  If you love someone, let him go.

“…You don’t get another chance / Life is no Nintendo game…Next time?  There won’t be no next time…”

As I described when beginning my blogs about David, our relationship’s demise was a complicated weave of gross amounts of grey area.  Its end cannot be attributed to a single factor and the fighting is definitely a large piece of the intricate puzzle.

When I heard Skylar Grey’s, Rihanna’s and Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie” parts 1 and 2 for the first time, I deniably related as that was one hard pill I was unwilling to swallow at the time.  I distraughtly held on tight to that fucking blindfold of love.   Today, I don’t think it’s just a “good song,” it’s something that I’m strangely familiar with.  I use the word strangely because on a calendar, it wasn’t that long ago, but emotionally, that life thankfully seems so far behind me now.  The woman I’ve become and the way I conduct myself today makes me feel like a reincarnated creation from a life of mass dysfunction.  I suppose this is called maturation and learning from one’s mistakes – It’s just difficult to believe that I took part in such toxicity and masochism.  Nonetheless, I am grateful for all of life’s experiences, dysfunctional or not.

“…So maybe I’m a masochist / I try to run but I don’t wanna ever leave / ‘Til the walls are goin’ up / In smoke with all our memories…”

Naturally, I spend a great deal of time analyzing these extremes – how two people can be madly, crazily, passionately in love and the next minute aggressively inflict such hatefulness, repeatedly damaging the psyche of a once healthy relationship.  Never in any of my previous relationships had the fighting reached such a destructive level.  It was definitely an addiction, a disastrous one that was like combining Lead with Mercury.  Some elements, like personalities, are not meant to unite as their union produces unfavorable effects.

“….As long as the wrong feels right it’s like I’m in flight / High off her love, drunk from her hate / It’s like I’m huffing paint and I love her the more I suffer, I suffocate / And right before I’m about to drown, she resuscitates me…”

It took me awhile to fully accept and understand that love and hate run parallel – Though two extremities on opposite sides of the spectrum, it is humanly possible to feel both for the same person at the same time.  It’s still a bit of a mind fuck, but if we can love each other as much as we do, we have the unfortunate ability to hate each other with equally as much power.  At times, it’s still as simple as hating him because I love him so much.

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4 thoughts on “Lead and Mercury

  1. Sadly I can relate to you in the events you described. I to was in a love/hate world for 12 years. You loose yourself in all the craziness and it is hard to move forward always looking for the next shoe to drop when you try to move forward. It took me 12 years and 2 children to realize this was a sick game and I was a part of it to. To scream, holler, push and shoves all to end up exhausted and usually making up by making love. It was a circle not a circle of life but circle of death. I am glad you got out . You are still young and beautiful and have a number of things going for you. I know this just through your writings. It’s so strange when I look back now and to think that was suppose to be love. It’s not.
    Take care Joan

  2. Yes, Joan – I always described it as being a hamster on its wheel, spinning in circles but inevitably, getting nowhere. Thank you for reading and for sharing. It’s always nice to be reminded that someone relates.

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