What if I can't do it? What if I'm just not cut from the fabric of "tough enough?"
I know I'm not supposed to say that, but I'm a realist, I'm looking at a lion calling it a lion, not a house cat. I'm thinking .... Get up right now, pack a bag of your favorite clothes and herbs, and walk. Dont forget some cash, and definitly bring the credit card, but only for emergency.
You see, this isn't really an emergency. I mean, a part of me says it is for sure, and I'm trying my best to give her every ounce of care and protection, but she's still on high alert afraid of being attacked in a dark alleyway from behind. And you know, i really cant blame her. She got attacked. It was violent and sudden, and ever since then, she has eyes in the back of her head, on guard and alert even in sleep. Some days I let her rule my house, sneaking around with the shades down, investigating the slightest sound, hating the attacker inside my house.
Other days, like this morning, I'm more sensible. More interested in the rest of my life, then the moment of disbelief when she throws the dish towel on the floor again, and waits for response from the crowd. More interested in my friends than her morning tirade of aggression and loud hateful words flung at her gentle dad. More interested in what I might study than helping her.
And I really tried. I mean, I really really tried to make this work. I sat through hours of family meetings where the hate grew thick, I had to stand up for myslef at every turn, and everyone left feeling more angry, more defeated, more alone, more worried about the future of our life together as a family. I hung in there for endless nights of non violent communication that almost always turned violent after I'd get caught in some weird sci-fi movie monsters head and end up believing her outrageous stories of who I am and what I had done. Her manipulation skills, finer than any adult I had come across, with the possible exception of her mother.
I, more interested in myself, than the seductive story of the the other woman moved right into my house.
The other woman thing...... You know, the one who circles around your man for a few months, maybe years, marking him, his truck, his home, slowly but definitly, until one day you wake up and she's taken over the passenger seat next to him and your sitting in the back, trying to hear their conversation.?
You know, the one who seems harmless enough because of work or sport that they share and its good he has friends and does things with people other than you....it's good you can trust him that much when he goes on a camping trip with friends for the weekend..... Friends including her. It's good right?
Erin was definitly my first. My first love. My first sex. My first motorcycle ride. My first senior boyfriend ,( i was a freshman) and my first time a girlfriend slips in and becomes the other woman.
I'm not sure she even meant to,....at least that's what I came to tell myself, 20 years later. He's a heart specialist now, a surgeon, a doctor. He Knew he would become a doctor long before I met him. He was always sure , clear on his path. Which is part of why I trusted him so much. Trusted him more than my body. Trusted him more than my tightly closed vagina that repeatedly said no, no,I'm not ready. But you know when it's time...? When it needs to be time because even his mother has sat down with you and told you it's time, kind of time?
It was simply time if I wanted to keep him. And I did. He was the one. He was exciting and dangerous, took me over jumps that I thought I could never land.
And you know, the truth is, I didn't land after she moved in.... Not for a lot of years. Not somewhere inside my steady heart that skipped beats whenever I would think about him and her. Whenever I would wonder what it was that she did better than me......what she had that I didn't.
And don't we know that game is only a one way street riddled with grenades and holes to fall into , at every step. That question is one that should just be erased from the question bank. That question only leading in the wrong direction.
And the wrong direction was Erin. Though he would resurface years later when he had finally worn out that cool factor, when I had finally begun to let him go. And doesn't it happened like that? I'm finally done picturing us meeting up In a bar somewhere, rekindling that old flame, remembering the love, and heading home together forever.... Just when I've let it slip down the old memory tunnel where I don't climb in to flip through the pictures.... Just then, he appears. He picks me up at the airport because my mom is sick, because he lives right there, because he wants something. We dine and wine and massage and kissing turns into his bed naked penis again surprising me and I don't want him the way I thought I always did. I just don't. The trauma from my 15 year old body has not erased and I can not let him enter.
We kiss and hug and sleep and promise to stay in touch. He offers me riddlin and zanax and a few other small pills... In case I need help along the way. I smile and smush them in my pocket, knowing they will get forgotten into the laundry, washed into the system, to be left again in some photo album that I will drop down the tunnel, that I will not climb in to look at.