unraveled

woven dancer

There are moments you feel like you have it all together.  The stars align.  The sky is blue.  The clouds are a perfect cotton candy pink and fluffy white scattered carelessly across the sky and the breeze breaths with you as the sun dances on your skin and you feel as if it is warming you all the way to the coldest, darkest places inside your soul.  That even the deep corners that you spent countless hours hiding and locking away, even those are touched by this perfect light and seem somewhat habitable.  There are moments… you’re wearing the perfect shade of lipstick and the softest sweater that matches perfectly to the clouds and your shoes.  You notice a small little thread, and you brush it aside.  Pull it gently between your fingers to watch it catch in the breeze and drift as a feather to the ground softly.  You close your eyes and tilt your head back to let the sun bathe your face, only to open them to see that tiny thread… still connected, still pulling, still revealing all you’d worked feverishly to hold together.
There are moments you feel like you have it all together.  And then there is the reality where you know you don’t.  And the even scarier notion that perhaps you never will.  That the only thing stronger than your desire to finally give up and break is your ability to hide.  Your ability to pretend.  Your ability to reinvent your smile when your teeth are crumbling, to hold your head up when your spine is shattered.  Your ability to weave that tiny thread that is now piled around your feet back into the smooth surface that hides your scars.  your bruises.  Your ability to shine.
but it’s only from the outside.
There is no warmth in the dungeons you’ve locked down deep inside.  There is no avenue for heat to radiate, or sun to filter in.  There is only emptiness.  That spreads and seeps into new places every time you close your eyes.  you are quite simply
unraveled.

 

I remember the first time I knew I was unraveling.  The first time I allowed myself the honesty of my situation.  The first time I said out loud “I’m not ok.  THIS is not ok. THIS is not normal.” It was a very brief moment.  and then I was right back to hiding.  To smiling.  To pretending.    I told myself for years he was just tired.  He was just stressed.  When this happens it’ll be better.  When we get our house, he’ll be happier.  When he gets this job, he’ll be happier.  When he gets that truck, or that 4 wheeler.  When we have money in savings.  If I clean the house more.  If we have sex more.  If he gets to go out with his friends more.  He wasn’t.  Not for long anyway.  He would get everything he wanted… and then want something else.  Including me.

I was supposed to take solace in him telling me they were like shiny new toys that he wanted to play with until he didn’t anymore and then he’d throw them away.  They were disposable.  They didn’t mean anything.  I was different.  I was his favorite.  The teddy bear that was worn out and had missing buttons, and even some of the seams were unraveled.  but he never got tired of me.  and he never would.  He didn’t want to throw me away.  He wanted to keep me.  Sometimes, he just needed to play with a different toy to know he still remembered how.   Or his other favorite analogy: “Just because I’m on a diet, doesn’t mean I can’t look at the menu. And My favorite meal is steak, but that doesn’t mean I want to eat it for every meal of the day for the rest of my life.  Me wanting something else to eat doesn’t have anything to do with my love for steak.”  Yes.  He literally said those things.  And now that I’m away from him, I realize how pathetic that is.  How absurd.  How disgusting.  But when I was wrapped in him, his simplistic explanations, his boyish, childish analogies, his straightforward unashamed approach made it difficult to even argue with him.  There were even times that I’d agree with him.  “you know what, maybe he’s right!  Maybe the idea of lifelong monogamy IS archaic and ridiculous.  It’s impossible to think that we will only be with each other for the rest of our lives, and actually have the ability to make each other happy.”  I would love to go back to 20 years ago me and shake some sense into that girl.  To say NO.  don’t settle.  This isn’t the best there is for you.  He’s right when he tells you over and over no one will ever love you like he does, and how big of a blessing it is that they won’t!!

 

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