Saturday, May 19, 2012

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Tug of War…

I sit and wait for my two boys to go to sleep.  I hold up in my room and he holds up in his.  It’s a standoff to nowhere.  We wait for the other to blink I guess.  My heart hurts to be with my children, yet I sit in my room.  When he is around the tension is too great to leave it.  The silence is palpable.  I want to take the boys with me to visit my friend.  He, of course, forbids it.  When did I get to be so afraid of this man I loved for 15 years?  When did that start?
Maybe when I began to realize that his agreement was the key to having my children. That he has a lot of power over me still.
My friend says to me in angry moments, “he’s not your daddy.  You don’t need his permission.”
When it comes to my children, I do need his permission -- especially in this conservative, small, southern city.  If I want to have a chance at joint custody, I do.  My boys are divided.  My youngest wants to go visit and spend the night.  My oldest says he doesn’t want a step-mother.  My shrink says these are age appropriate responses.
Life right now feels like powerless chaos.  I am the rope in the tug of war.  I just made myself the helpless victim.  That is not good.  The truth is, if I were to tell myself the truth, I started it, and I can finish it.  When I got sober, I prayed for self-knowledge (and nobody said God doesn’t have a sense of humor).  I wanted to get at the source of my awkward, uncomfortable core.  I wanted to know why, the big “Why” of me.   I have uncovered a lot of things.  I think my higher power revealed my sexuality to me when I was ready.  I am a slow learner.
If I am the rope, I am the rope that tied around this man whose dreams were appealing.  He was kind and gentle and seemed reasonable, and I didn’t distrust him like I did all the other men I have known.  He had damage from his own life.  Our damage was very compatible.  If I am the rope, I intertwined with his strands, and we strengthen each other in some ways, strangled each other in different ways.   I think the choking got to be more unbearable than the strength could hold.  I am not innocent and neither is he.  We are both perpetrators and victims of our own making.  It’s time to cut the rope and let the strands spin and fray and fall where they may.
There are two ends in a tug of war.  The other end is held by two loving and wounded hands -- hands that are strong but give way when she needs to wipe away tears.  Hands that have pushed back a lot of anger and fear and down-right terror.  I know some of what those hands have felt.  I also know there are experiences I can’t ever know.  That’s the way life works as I understand it. Those are the hands that tug toward the future, but they have to let go of the rope.
If this blog is to be of any worth, it has to be written in truth.  This is the truth as I have understood it.  I can’t be the rope anymore.  I can’t allow those hands to pick me up off the floor anymore.  If I am to join my hands with hers someday in marriage, I can’t be the rope.  I have to transform myself and pick myself up.  I need to know what it feels like to be this new me in the world.  I have to walk in that new world.  I am a lesbian. – not a Lesbian – because that is not all that I am.  I have to know how that weaves my life anew.  I have to be a partner -- not a victim or a weakling or a ward that needs care.  I need to stand equal with my hands in hers and hers in mine.   That is really the only way to do this.
This is a bleak one – this entry.  I have no celebrations or triumphs to report.  I am at an emotional bottom.  I know that I have many limitations and many challenges to overcome.  I have to let go of the fear.  I have to let go of the illusion of being controlled or even being in control.  I can choose.  Right now I keep telling myself to take it slow.  I have to be in relationship with my children.  I have to let go of the past and forgive and ask forgiveness.  I have to look at the future with blurred vision.  I cannot know what is around the corner.  I cannot hold so tightly to the dream of the future that I crush it.  I cannot break those hands that have so lovingly held me.  One day at a time is a good motto in this situation as well as many others.  So today, it is going to be about today.  And all I can handle is the right now.
Posted by Layla Proudfoot at Friday, January 28, 2011 2 comments
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