He taught me that love was real. He taught me that the movies and the love songs and intimate sonnets are not a bunch of bullshit for a party I was not invited to: they can be real. The lesson of it healed deep wounds and perhaps even saved my soul, once headed down a bitter lonely road of disenchantment. Being loved for the truth of who you are is a miracle. It is rain on a drought-stricken land.It is mystic, it is communion, it is sweet. It is all the things I knew I needed and I gave myself over to it completely. We are about to mark 3 years of deep love, of the most intimacy and compatibility with another human soul I have ever known or dreamed was possible.
It’s possible that right now he’s also teaching me that love is not enough. As I recall, there are a few themes through history along that vein as well.
Brokenness is a hideous thing. It warps and cracks and hides itself deeply. I recently read that diamonds have inner characteristics known as inclusions. Marks and cracks and cloudy spots that obscure clarity but also render a stone unique, like a fingerprint. Inclusions can only be seen under magnification but the effects of them still influence a perception of beauty, that kind of “feeling” or “knowing” one has when they declare something pleasing or not without quite understanding why it is. In order to know them, one has to look straight down into the diamond, spend time examining it from every angle, and use a lens that makes tiny aspects larger.
My diamond has cracks. He has broken places that I couldn’t see. He has wounds that obscure his clarity. He has reached a fissure he can not cross.
Two weeks ago he told me he is very sure he can not marry. He is sure he can not do it while there are children at home to parent. He is very sure he could not do it for at least 10 years, then 5. Then he said he is very sure he can not do it yet. By three days later he was very sure he wasn’t sure.
I listened while that hung in the air. I listened to the painful fear, the awful place that memory came from. The haunting he carries that new children will hurt him like his own have, like they cruelly continue to do. He was amazed I was not angry, that I did not cry and writhe and beg. He forgot, I guess, that I am not like his once-wife and am not prone to those kinds of selfish reactions. His phobia is not about me, there is nothing to be angry about.
After I listened we went on with our life as we know it: a happy family routine spread over two households and two respectful, loving people who will not coerce or force another into something they are not ready for. They have been beautiful days.
But I have carried those words heavily for these days, feeling the them trickle down into my own cracks, my own inclusions beneath the surface, like oily sludge instead of refreshingly pure water. It presents me with an impossible choice:
1) accept his words and leave the truest love I’ve known, tearing my children away from the truest father they have, and disrupting every single aspect of our tender new life. Or
2) accept being a long term companion without the security and benefits of a commitment, with all the implications of that choice and the necessary re-frame of my entire paradigm.
I can’t do it. Either of them. I have known great, great losses in my life, enough to have seen my own thresholds taken to the breaking point. It would be an exaggeration to say I shy away from pain: I flinch at it’s mere breath. Conversely, I also know how to carefully tread near it’s sleeping form, to creep past in silence, for an excruciatingly long amount of time.
I know how to hold on until it’s absolutely certain it’s not possible to continue.
What’s being born is that I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be facing this choice, let alone trying to creep past the pain of both options. I don’t want to form the blisters of holding on until I’m nearly broken again. What’s being born IS an anger, an anger that I thought life had healed past this, that I’d done the work to prevent it, that I’d surrounded myself enough with trustworthy, safe people that wouldn’t hurt me again by presenting me with inescapable corners.
I did, I have. I know that.
This is why brokeness is so hideous. And I don’t know if this is repairable or not. The crack feels like it’s widening more than healing. This first distance we’ve known has left such a mark. There has been no replacement of vision in the wake of such a declaration; I only feel a void. A future-less, open, boundless void. My compass is broken, there is no North.
I think I am only afraid. One day at a time is never very satisfying to those who held a vision. ODAAT is steps on a path, a trail that always leads somewhere. The destination was less important to me than the hand holding mine on the way. And now maybe there is neither.
Right now I grieve my loss of a vision. It was a new one, to replace the old one, which went so horribly awry. There really isn’t strength left right now to grieve anything else.