How does one recover from a failed marriage? Is it easier for him to walk away and start over? Do thoughts of every bad thing I ever did, every mistake I ever made or every time I stood up for myself, nest inside his mind; as a source of protection from what he is really feeling? Is he angry because this time, I’m not distraught, crying profusely, begging him to try and make it work? Is he angry because my answer is to just walk away instead?
And am I hurting inside? There’s no doubt to the pain and sadness I feel within my heart, my head. We’ve come to the conclusion that we are two different people, with two different agendas. I can’t speak for him, but what I wanted was not what he became, or, according to him, what he always was. I no longer want to to be the “party of one” while my husband sits at home. How many excuses can one person make for someone?
Was it wrong to want someone who thought I was so beautiful in his eyes that maybe he’d surprise me every once in a while by taking me out on a date? Was it wrong to want to try different things, like moving away from the boring city we live in, to try and find our favorite interests? And was it wrong to want him to look at the bright side on certain things, to try something different to help him meet new people?
Is this what you call trying to change someone?
I admit, I don’t like being miserable. I don’t want to complain about everyone and everything; constantly. I have fought with depression for a long period of my life. I still fight with it from time to time now. I don’t want to yell at the person in the car who cuts me off or be hurt because my best friend no longer communicates with me. So how do I compete with that? I feel like a candle in a castle without any electricity. The darkness, in the end, will consume the light. The light will eventually give in.
He said I was moody all the time. I don’t think I was ever moody, or that moody of a person before (and if I was, then I hope someone points it out). And he’s right. I’ve been moody quite a bit since we’ve been together. Speaking as a person who wears her heart on her sleeve, I’d call that moodiness a reaction from the complaining and negativity I’ve tried to block. How do I recover after being knocked down? When my opinion doesn’t mean much if it doesn’t agree with his? When I can’t even explain myself that well, as I was never a great public speaker. Everything sounds so much better in my head, or on paper. How was I supposed to bounce back from being shot down while trying to share my feelings? In the end, it would have been better had I just kept quiet like a good little girl. Okay, so this is me venting. Sorry about that.
Like I said, I was far from perfect. I fought for what I thought was right. I stood up for myself. I said what bothered me. I wasn’t going to be the housewife with no opinion. The good wife who cleaned and cooked and did as she was told.
Someone on the sidelines once said I never used to be negative. And she was right. I had a great hopeful outlook on life. I still do. But in this world, misery always wins. I get angrier quicker, I get defensive, I’m quick to assume and I’ve become stubborn about my opinions. I wasn’t always right, and even though that’s difficult to swallow, I accepted it.
But I’ve always accepted the wrongs and working on a way to change things.
I even went back to church. It’s apparent, if my life is going to change, it’s going to be through God. This change, it is far from easy, especially when those who don’t want me to succeed know who I’m leaning on. Building this relationship with God was the most important relationship in my life. How else was I going to learn to love my husband who surrounds himself in misery? How was I going to change my behaviors in order to be an example of God’s love? Instead, I failed God as well as my marriage.
I let my marriage come before God.
When my husband became bothered that I went to church or that I spent time on the couch, next to him, reading my bible, we had an argument. He even admitted to being jealous of God because I gave God my attention. I couldn’t explain it. I couldn’t get the words out right, how it was a good thing I was building this relationship with God; learning to love myself. In the end, it still bothered him. So I did the dumbest thing. I stopped going to church. Stopped reading my bible so much, thinking he would come back to me. That we would enjoy each other again. How selfish of me. I turned my back on the one who would never leave me. Look where it has gotten me. Now that I’m trying to rebuild this relationship with God, while trying to hold together a marriage with paste, I’m called a hypocrite when we argue. Or worse when I get mad at a terrible driver. It’s as if he expected me to be perfect because I was going to church. Why do so many people think this way? We are still sinners, still imperfect, still unworthy of God’s love. He has become judgmental in these situations. I’ve never judged his wrong doings. I’ve always wanted him to learn and grow from them so they don’t happen again; feeding on whatever is torturing him.
He’ll never see it that way.
So during this last argument I admitted that I hadn’t been happy for some time. And at some point, I even agreed that we should move on in order to get back to how we used to be, before getting married. We can each find our happiness again. But it became another argument. I thought that would’ve made him breathe easier. Not having to worry about resenting me later on in the years. If this wasn’t the answer he was looking for and he doesn’t want to make some changes, then I’m left confused.
So here we are. Me, making a trip to Goodwill to unload more of the things that weren’t me. Dresses I bought while hinting that I’d wear them on a date. Shoes that were meant to please the eye. (Here I go again, changing in order to make things work). Us, walking around the apartment in silence. Me, with knots in my stomach, no appetite and a sadness in my heart. He, communicating through text messages when I’m in the next room. I don’t know what he is feeling or what he thinks.
All I know is that life is too short for misery.
So as I write this, alone, in our bedroom, I don’t know the future. Whatever it ends up being, I’m going to take it in both hands; learning from it and building up what was torn down. I’m a mess. I like to think I’m a beautiful disaster of a mess. But I can still be rebuilt. I can still get up off my feet and continue on. I failed at keeping a marriage. But I don’t have to fail at life. God has this wonderful purpose for it. I just have to keep reading the blue prints.
Thanks for reading and allowing me the ability to get it off my chest.
Someone once told me “you’re a giver. You give and give but I never see you get any of it in return.” And they were right. I used to believe that it didn’t matter if there was nothing in return, as long as I kept giving. After all, there was an abundance to give. There still is. As time went on, I thought about this comment. I thought about the deeper meaning, the whys, the explanations and it hit me. Always giving doesn’t make me a happier person. It makes me a loving person. A person who sacrifices; no questions asked. In the end, though, when I get nothing in return, it leaves me empty; unimportant, as if I was only there when needed and afterwards, easily discarded.
I will never stop giving. I was born to love and to give my all in everything I do. The only difference, is to know when I’m being used. To know when it’s time to stop. To walk away from someone who sucks the life out of my gift. And there are plenty out there who enjoy doing just that.
It’s a work in progress, but life is too short for misery. Life’s too short for a lot of things.
And that got me wondering. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we give and put up with everything else? Why do we shut up and not speak our mind when another person is angry and takes control of the conversation? Why do we give up our dreams so that another can fulfill theirs? Why do we sacrifice our happiness so that those who are miserable can have someone like them? Why do we put everyone else before ourselves?
I used to think sacrifice was a part of life. Our grandparents sacrificed for a better lifestyle. Our parents sacrificed so we could have pretty things and college educations. Friends sacrifice their time in order to be there for someone who will never listen. A spouse sacrifices their life in order to give the other all they can; no matter the cost. Others sacrifice in order for their children to have a better life. In the end, who really has the better life?
Someone once told me that it cost nothing to be nice. To be courteous, to be patient or friendlier. I wish that person had looked in the mirror when it was being said. Words are free and never ending. But to fulfill them, well, it comes with a hefty price tag. In other words, for some, it’s easier said than done.
It has taken me many years to learn to love myself. How silly, I know, especially when I tell others that’s where it all begins. It was easier to give my all to everyone; hoping they would feel the same and return it in a different and beautiful way. I was full of love, full of life and ready to share it with whomever. But I didn’t love myself. Perhaps that’s why I felt it wasn’t important when it wasn’t reciprocated. It was my sacrifice, my role in this life.
But I was wrong.
I was created for more than giving and never having anything in return. I was created to love and to be loved. I was created to forgive and be forgiven. I was created to be understanding and to be understood. I was created for dreaming and acting on those dreams. A bonus would be to have a supporter by my side. I was created to enjoy this life I’ve been given. A bonus would be to have someone enjoy the sunrise and sunset, the new day and the adventure; with me.
Will you wait for me
even in the rain
will you hold my head up
even when the pain is near
will you close my eyes
if I should want to rest
I see images
they’re all about
the light gets darker
would you lie for me
if it meant that I would live
would you hide me well
when all my fears creep in
would you accept each sacrifice
I so willingly give
is very high
I’m really trying
are you happy
with this life I live
are you angry
because I can’t wake up
are you afraid
of losing me all over again
splits in two
I know the road
I must choose
it’s the hardest thing
I’ve had to do
be proud of yourself
another night has come and gone
I’m still here
still trying to hold on
you’ve succeeded again
to help me fight the good fight
if I could I would
keep you for the rest of my life
We were born
in a time of drugs
Van Halen, The Circle Jerks, disco
and of course,
oldies and the wanting of hippie love.
We just missed the war
but gained the title
“lower” middle class.
Mexican-American mothers on welfare
Mexican-American fathers in an out of our lives
raised on papas and frijoles
and generic cereal.
We were poor and didn’t even know it.
Enjoying free lunch at school and summer programs
how were we to understand what poor meant
When we were too busy enjoying ourselves?
What was in store for us?
The eighties contributed widely
to our dreams of romance, traveling
John Hughes, New Wave and Mtv
swept us off our feet.
While Sweet Valley high,
Lisa; bright and Dark
and Go ask Alice showed us what not to be.
And though our parents hardly approved
they couldn’t argue
for there was nothing to protest.
We didn’t treat our parents as the enemy
even under discipline and punishment.
We were children who were too busy
in exchange for a ticket out
headed for anywhere,
somewhere other than home.
We didn’t spend days in front of the t.v.
playing video games, watching endless
We had rules,
we respected those rules
we didn’t always like them
but they were there to stay.
When ‘Totally” and “Gross me out”
were commonly heard,
they didn’t sound ridiculous.
We read, we listened to music with a purpose
songs that didn’t dwell on one boring concept.
We believed in something
while using our imaginations,
Our imaginations that kept us going.
While all around us
violence was rebuilding,
The Middle East between
Iraq and Iran,
The Soviet-Afghan War
and Ethiopians starving and in need of life.
and then there was Ronald Reagan
disappointing, like our family knew he would be.
During later years
we grew up rebellious,
the outcast of a gang life-style
of yuppie do-gooders
of drugged out moms and dads,
left alone to our own devices.
We still made the most
of what little we had.
Still ate free lunch
hung out at after school programs
still clung to friendships
even though some of us
changed schools like we changed underwear.
how ‘Food Stamps’ became shameful
and ‘Low Income Housing’
Some of us delved into depression
and still we weren’t ungrateful.
We loved the things we received
the attention we craved
and belonging when we didn’t belong
Still, we had a book in our hand
a song in our hearts
and compassion and love
for life around us.
Blinded by a dream.
In the nineties we were insecure
acne, body weight and high school
and we were lambs lead to the slaughter
We tried, we lived as we believed
still dreaming of Mr. or Mrs. Right
still planning on living abroad
away from the labels and stereotypes
we were pushed up against the social wall
and we fought with all our love
all our dreams.
Some of us fell hard
into the abyss of Depression
of peer pressure, of belonging
and some of us didn’t make it.
Some of us became teen parents
drug addicts, gang members
Trying to find out where we belonged in this world.
Only a lucky few made it out unscathed.
By this time we knew
what it meant to be poor,
Mexican-American and non Anglo
behind the lines of success
and facing endless troubles at home.
We were failing; brave rebels
but we tried and that’s all we could do.
The lights are off. I am alone…at least I feel alone. This air is cold, this night; even colder. I used to dream of nights like this,
to keep me sane, to keep me going. Now they only seem to weaken my bones and my spirit. I have checked out once again. I thought I had overcome this drastic measure years ago and yet here I am; awakened by its prisoned walls and unwelcomed nights. I took a step into the hallway, thinking I was making the right choice. Yet here I am in shambles and torn to pieces. This is the constant mirror I look into forever more.
I stood before them; naked and ashamed. Ashamed of who I had grown into and who I was meant to be. I left my earphones in and the soundtrack to my existence on so I could block all unnecessary accusations from my hearing. It is better this way; to imagine the worst and yet never hear it. I let these images haunt my dreams; for at least I can control these if I need to. I looked straight into the face of the one I put my trust in; the one I gave my blood and life to. The only one to look away at the table of judgment and ignorance. That’s right; they are ignorant in my eyes. My mother, my lovers before who took me for granted and now this. What did I expect; a likely story with a usual ending? May I be let off this stand and led away to darker corners and endless hallways of strays. I only write what I think and what I dream. The judge and jury of my dreams is what’s killing me.
Today I spent an eternity thinking of what was and where I should’ve been instead of drowning in my misery. I left the chains back in the old days and yet they still seem to follow me. Give me drink, give me peace, just make the bleeding stop. I only saved enough for one day. I must’ve confused today with forever. How could I have been so delusional? The time is wrong, the weather is off and I am on the wrong dock; looking for the right escape. I never pleaded to anything I wasn’t guilty of. I only lacked the intelligence when it came to emotions. I should’ve been cold; distant and greedy like all the others. I should’ve stayed at home and never listened to those movies. I should’ve kept my mouth shut and my eyes open. I should’ve known the future and stayed far away in the past. But I am just a human; like all the others, thinking there’s always a way out of the extreme. I forgot to read the instructions when I didn’t grasp the meaning. Here comes the judge and jury of my dreams.
I stare into this haunted house; full of skeletons, full of dark thoughts. I should’ve ran the other way but curiosity got the better of me. I stayed for the encore and left writhing in pain. I just couldn’t help myself. I like things this way. Dark and terrifying, wrong, twisted and heart wrenching when you least expect it. I was into it just like everyone else. But like everyone else, I never saw the ending. There’s no exit sign and I have to go all the way through. It’s my fault I catered to the uninhabited, the misfits who walk away without a care. Where is the end?
I stood on the cliff, ready to fall.
I tried very hard but hadn’t the gall.
To pick up my feet and let it all go,
so I did the next best thing by taking it slow.
Rubbing back and forth till nothing was left,
the ache in my wrist no longer bereft,
of the pain it endured as I clung to the stone,
that clung to the threads of my veins
and the bone.
It was easier to get closer than ever before,
without you having to look on,
without you having to beg for more.
Let’s face it, this was the only way,
just play my soundtrack every step of the way.
Louder than the waves that crash over me,
louder than the screams of those who left before me.
Let it play on when I’m cold as the night,
when I’m dreaming and sleeping with no end in sight.
Please; do this for me.
That was the worst place I’ve ever stepped into. May those souls be at peace. Whoever thought that reality would get to me? It wasn’t free, it wasn’t enough to leave me thinking. I was left without anything to cling to in the end. Here I stand; naked and ashamed but never the way you think. I have to walk away and not say a thing. I have to let go like a good girl and never think again.
What I like about today
There’s nothing to give, nothing to say
just aware in this bed,
that the dream has begun,
through the sound of your breath
as black curtains fight the sun
Let us be, I’ve waited all week,
to wake up on my own
to not have to think, about the clock
about the hour,
this is the moment I relinquish all desire
while watching you dream
The shower awaits
for yesterday’s mess,
the dirty dishes in the sink,
yes I left them again
my clothes on the floor,
my body beneath, your skin my relief
I’ll see you in an hour
when your slumber reveals,
the bright shiny you
from long ago years
I hope you dreamt only good things
that only end with me. (wink-wink)
Welcome to me…to this lifetime of weak metaphoric bones and 267 days of teary eyes. I warned you from the beginning, didn’t I? I brought forth my promise of commitment with my long list of conditions. Conditions such as aching for the baby sister who only had four hours of “why me?”, or the younger brother who thought killing himself was the better side to see. Conditions such as my loneliness which creeps in the night, and my fear of never waking up again once I turn out the light. You haven’t forgotten the best part, have you? You know, the part where the depths of my melancholy wash over me like tsunamis in the sky. This is me…this is we…and we haven’t had the promising chance to even try. In this life of mine, I chose to drift towards your life preserve, thinking you were the one who was going to save me. Some days I think I’m still at sea, dog paddling my way through life, with you always close by.
I remember the first time you took hold of my hand when a fresh coat of grief washed upon me, and I let you in, without a moment’s hesitation. Was I being selfish, allowing you to see the real mirror image of my soul, my existence? Should I have let you stay away, without any explanation, any “Dear John” letter? You have lost several years that you’ll never get back. I can’t promise that you’ll be able to hang on to any more in the future. In the end, all I’ll have to give is the “I tried” line. In the end that is all it will ever be; a failed try. But know, I did try.
When I look at your silent peace, your heaven-sent release, if only in your sleep, I am happy for you. I think it is here, in my absence, that you truly find happiness. In the deep corners of your subconscious you are alive, ready to take on the reality of what could’ve been. It is in your inner solitude that I am most jealous. How can one be jealous of something that could never be reached? Be a part of? But it’s there, poking it’s angry saddened little head through the locked door of your mind. You lay there, angelic and weightless, not thinking of a thing. This is where the metaphoric hamster in your brain takes a breather, where the ocean meets dry land. You are calm and care-free. And I am jealous of everything I’ve just seen.
I live in a world where my hamster never sleeps, where fear loves to creep and the thought of drifting away and never returning becomes the welcome mat of anxiety at my minds’ front door. I never chose what was behind curtain number four. I only wanted #1 because it’s more than likely better odds. Who stole my life from me? Who wished eternal tears and hard twisting heart rhythms to lay at my feet? I’ve landed the bonus where I even cry in my sleep. Who wished this for me? How I long for the nights of sweet vivid dreams brought on by exhaustion of long hours counting sheep.
Regardless of the outcome, this is the reality. And even in my tantrums, I have learned to accept the hand dealt to me. I gave up on self-pity and self-destruction, and leaned more towards the spontaneous crying and itchy blanket called loneliness. This is me…this is we; the mirror looking back at the mess which becomes me. Nowadays, I tend to cry when you aren’t around. When the music is deep and therapeutic, when the movie strangles my heart with both hands; this is my relief. Do you get it? I’m giving you a break. I’m letting you off the hook, here’s a freebie on me. This is one thing you’ll never understand…that this me, it is not you. You can have the rest; like my playfulness and crazy nonsense. You get the loving ways and the part of my heart that beats for you. I’ve swallowed the key to the other room. Don’t ask for it back.
I didn’t grasp it the first time, you know, the uncomfortable feeling of what to do when I couldn’t stop crying and feeling so bleak. But you’re better off, and I know that now. This is something I must deal with without the company of awkward silences and uncomfortable movements. The darkness does eventually end, and the new sunrise becomes a welcome home sign; even if short-lived. I’m comfortable in this accepting skin. I take the good without taking it for granted while I take the bad at face value.
I live in the numbness of a never-ending dream where nothing pleasant happens in the end. I wait excitedly for the surprise gift of a wonderful day, whether in a song or the way you look at me, and I relish in the love that gives me a temporary fix. You have always been my drug of choice. The darkened clouds and bitter shadows; they will continue to live, just now I keep them in the deeper end. I’ve wanted you and all that you freely possess . My baggage was clear and will be till the end. I’ve wanted you and not the choice to keep on running. I just can’t get rid of the closet filled with sorrow and disappointing sentiment. Please remember to read your faithful contract. Look for the signature at the dotted line. Remember these images when it’s time for me to unravel all of my despair with the lights turned off and the music keeping the poison at bay. Remember there will always be better days.