I come in and drop my bags. We arrived. 2 cats and our little lady for a month long excursion in the city. Neither of us is really seeking to complete this, however, it has to be done. I come with low expectations-as lowering my expectations was a strategy I used to sustain what is left of a 20-year long relationship. Lower and lower expectations went to find a level which was feasible to hold a semblance of balance.
I find myself tidying up the place while the baby is out my teen- our teen, actually, but mostly “my” day to day teen over the last 17 years. My day to day baby-as in the youngest vs immature- day to day youngest child.
I pick up clothing spilling out of bags and luggage. I place dirty dishes in the sink in prep for the dishwasher. I toss a load into the washing machine-set boneless chicken in the fridge to defrost for dinner. Log onto my computer to work from home; I cannot help but to bring my multi tasking habits with me. I sure meant to, however, I know an argument will ensue if I do not appear to be above the high expectations still expected of me as a mom, a partner, a house guest. An Apple living in an Oranges home for the next 4 weeks.
Sitting underneath the lamp at a side table located adjacent to the 50” screen flat screen is a book I have used a resource to building healthy relationships, “5 Love Languages”. Quizzically, I review the book -is it real? I am considering this because my partner clearly is missing the point of the book to know one’s own love language in an effort to leverage that strength-that language- to actively engage in a meaningful manner with your partner.
Acts of service
Words of affirmation
My #1 is Quality Time and #5 is Receiving Gifts. The exact opposite of my partner; per the book this combination is the hardest because the 2 people need to travel the farthest to get to a place of balance.
My possession of this knowledge has permitted me to give a pragmatic method to build strategies to have a semi-viable relationship.
Naïve at the time.
The book is not meant to be read alone; the challenges do not go away if only one person is the sole owner of the premise behind the 5 love languages.
My partnership has taken me to the point of desiccation where I have limited trust or reliability in this person. Where I now see this person and expect so little of him that a sur name and this last baby is what we share.
I have often thought that Gary Chapman needs to write a book titled, ‘Now that you are mature enough to be in a relationship- and have broken it-what can you do to get to center.’ Or a book called, ‘Were you ever at a center?’, because I suspect that is where I am at now; a desiccated Apple partnered with a plump Orange w/ hints of Apple undertones.
Music: “We All Try” by Hendersin
It went from bad days
to bad weeks
until it was years of melancholy
dark patches of guilt and regret
all night long crying
and hating every morning
not having the energy
i lacked the energy
to love myself
to love living
i felt shame
i felt fear
i felt anger
i didn’t feel like living
it was circling around me
it became the only best friend of mine
it knew me so well
it became my companion
it was depression.
Photo Credit: Lanaya
I wiped my face off.
I was ashamed
of the salty words
that ran down my cheek.
I remember every detail,
the whole twenty-four hours.
I was just waiting for you.
My over-worked mind
began to run away
from me again.
I was trembling.
When I relaxed a little,
the fear actually crept closer.
I heard dead leaves whistle,
And then, I knew
what must be done.
I made the choice–
I decided to be happy
to be there for myself.
It seems like the correct time to share the poem that reconnected me with my passion. “Writing for the Calm” propelled me back into writing; it enabled me to own up to all that makes me, me. The energy I describe has the ability to cripple me, yes, but I have learned to embrace it, be proud of it, use it–the piece of me that I am finally comfortable with. Sometimes, I need a reminder that I am power if I just believe that I am. After all, I write to know I exist outside my own mind…
I’ve always had an unexplainable,
Unnamed mass of energy inside,
Much like a tightly drawn bow,
A jostled can of Coke,
Or an eerily tranquil evening,
When the air suggests that everything
And nothing exists at once.
This has led to my greatest victories,
And the most paralyzing defeats.
I couldn’t accomplish anything without it,
Yet it has coerced me into villainous situations:
The contradiction of my life.
Anything to curb the position of this anxiety.
I can even say it’s easy to gravitate
Towards beautiful destruction.
And so, I grip the pen and feel the paper.
Yes. I want others to admire my work.
Yes. I love manipulating language.
Yes. Our stories must be told–preserved–
So they survive the abstract notion of time.
Why I write though, is so I can take a true,
Satisfying, uninhibited breath.
In the aftermath of a group of pen strokes,
I free the air I wasn’t even aware I held inside.
I write for the calm.
I write to know I exist outside my own mind.
[Thanks to those who help me find my calm when it goes missing.]