Love & Passion /Hope & Regrete

Love and passion…. for me I can’t imagine one without the other.  I think of myself as a fairly passionate person. Love for me comes along with much passion.  My love and passion can be for many things including my children, family, things I like to do, places I like to go or vacation and especially my husband.

From the first moment I saw my husband walking home from his bus stop I have felt a passion for him that made me feel weak. A few weeks later I met him at McDonalds where I was applying for a job (he was already working there). His blue eyes and blonde hair made me feel weak in the knees and every time he would talk to me I would get butterfly’s in my stomach and stumble over my words.

When he finally did call me to ask me out, I put him on hold and screamed out loud because I was SO excited. I would have done absolutely anything he wanted me to do because I was head over heals in love with him, and I did. We dated for about a year and a half. It was not a blissful time. I was terribly insecure and I spent my time trying to make him happy and make sure he stayed with me. Mean while we were both very stupid with birth control (or I should say lack there of) and very sexually active with one another.

I was 17 years old and I had been feeling very ill for quite some time so I made a doctors appointment, Matt ( my husband, then boyfriend) drove me there. The possibility of being pregnant honestly was not even a thought in my mind. It was now a reality!

Matt had enlisted in the Navy the year before and was set to go to boot camp upon graduation that June. We now planned to marry in August when he returned from boot camp. However, as he was entering at what they call the moment of truth, they discovered that he had an unwed dependent and he was discharged and sent to 9th division for several weeks. This experience changed him in a negative way for quite sometime and added to the difficulty of the first few years of our marriage.

The first few years….

Very very hard! Hard to live through and hard to even remember and talk about really.

In part because of what was done to me but in large part because of what I myself did. It is funny…you think that you could never do certain things but it never happens over night. In my case it was little by little, step by step, I made what I was doing ok because it felt good and I told myself that I had not felt good in a long time. It is lies like that, that get you into trouble, BIG trouble!

My husband didn’t really love me at the beginning and to be honest he didn’t like me much either. That was really hard for me. I was young and very insecure and loved him with all my heart and wanted nothing more than a fairy tale marriage( to which there is no such thing). I wanted to be wanted and desired.

We had a tiny little one bedroom apartment and Matt was a manager at McDonalds. I also worked there up until the very end of my pregnancy. I split my time between work and our apartment trying to set up a small area for our baby. Things were not great between the two of us. Matt never seemed to want to be home. He always wanted to be out with his friends and never wanted me to come along. He would come home late and sleep on the couch. At some point he started talking about a divorce. I told him that I would not give him one because I did not believe in divorce so he would have to live apart from me in order to be awarded one by the state. I remember that he would look away when I would get undressed because he said I looked like a bug with a huge body and little arms and legs. I had found out that he was having an affair with a girl at work but it didn’t really hit home until he came home one day and he got undressed to get a shower and I was trying to talk to him and I saw scratch marks all over his back.

I pushed him into the shower and just cried. He just reiterated that he just wanted a divorce and closed  the bathroom door.

Very alone.. Is how I felt!

The night of my baby shower my brothers found out that Matt was cheating on me and they all jumped in a truck and came after him. It was a big blow up and I ended up warning him so he could get away before he got beat up. With all of that commotion, our land lady felt that we would not be a “good fit” any more and asked us to leave.  Matt’s parents then said we could move in with them for a while if Matt agreed to work on the marriage and end the relationship with the girl from work. He agreed but between the two of us he told me he did not love me. We would have sex  at times but it was painfully obvious that there was no passion, I was just a means to an end.

During this time I began a secret affair with someone. This person made me feel wanted and desired. I had rarely ever in my life felt sexy and attractive and it was very hard to resist such a temptation. He also listened and seemed to understand me, so I had an emotional attraction as well, this was a bad combination. I was young and stupid and I will say again terribly insecure. This person was also quite a bit older than me, so I looked up to him.  I had much passion to give and I needed someone to give it to. (No one knew about this affair until at least 15 years later.)

Within a year or so of living at Matt’s parents house I got a very familiar ‘gut’ feeling  and found that he was trying to begin a relationship with another girl at work.

Something broke in me at that point. I feel like apart of me died that day. I became a very angry person for a long time after that. I almost feel like I was determined to make life pay.

I decided I wanted to leave him and I didn’t care about anything anymore. I grabbed ahold of the first guy that paid any attention to me( he was just a kid, I guess so was I really, he was just more so). I had an affair with him and when he asked me to run away with him I realized how crazy I was being and ended the relationship. But to show how very ridiculous this whole thing was, I remember going to my orthodontist (where  I had recently gotten my braces off) and the hygienist that had worked on me for the last 2 years or so started yelling at me and and calling me all sorts of names.  Apparently the ‘boy’ I had been seeing was her nephew and she wanted me to know that she knew I was married and she thought what I was doing was awful. I ran out without finishing my appointment and never went back. I deserved it, I was using this kid and it was not fair to him or her for that matter. I was hurting and handling it in all the wrong ways. I in turn was hurting all of them and my reputation.

Matt and I did end up staying together and continued to work on our marriage but things were very messy between the two of us for a long time. Matt actually came after me when I left him and begged me to come back. I remember that it was one of the first times I had ever felt like he really wanted me. He was actually chasing me rather than me chasing him!

All of these very bad decisions ultimately lead to me hurting many people, primarily my husband! I regret all that I did with all of my heart! I am not proud of any of it!

Where does this leave us, I am not sure.

We have now been married for 23 years. We have shared some really awful, terribly painful years but we have also shared many wonderful years.

In the last few years my husband has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It has definitely not made life any easier. He can be very unpredictable at times and I feel like I spend a lot of time crying and telling myself that he is not quite himself right now. The thing that is absolutely the most difficult is that his medications makes it so that he does not really have any desire for sex anymore and it is impossible to complete the act. For a passionate person such as myself this is rather devastating. I feel like a part of me has died once again.

I think part of what makes this so hard is that I am reminded of a lot of the same rejected feelings from the beginning of our marriage. I feel unwanted! I feel like there has been something severed between us. When we made love I felt such a connection like we were literally one. It was such an emotional thing between us. Now I just feel so empty. I just feel so lonely again. Being intimate now is empty and emotionless. He is awkward.

Passion, Love & Hope

I have channeled my passion into my husband for many years.  I love my husband and he loves me. Love takes many forms and I think that I am learning that I at times had an image of what I thought our love should look like and tried to create that, if that makes sense. I need to find out what our love really looks like. Passion can be much of the same, and I am in the process of finding out where my passions lye. And there is where I find hope.

 

 

 

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The Night My Mother Died

     The phone rang around 12 am, I wiped the sleep from my eyes ”hello” I said. A voice on the phone said ”Danielle…she’s…gone.” Time literally felt like it was standing still, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t breath! My brother was the voice on the phone and he was informing me that our mother had just passed. At that moment, I drove over to my childhood home with tears streaming down my face to meet my three older brothers and my younger sister. During that drive, I began to feel angry with God for taking my mother from me, “I still need her!” I yelled out loud to God. I was only 28 years old and I had three very young children who adored her and needed their grandmother! When I arrived, I felt sick to my stomach. As I walked to the room where she was lying, I remembered all the times I had walked down that hall to see her and imagined the big smile that she would greet me with when I would arrive. Instead, I was greeted with her still and lifeless body. She appeared so strange to me, like she wasn’t my mother anymore. The body before me was like a shell left behind and I felt as if she was looking down on all of us at that moment. I could feel her all around us for only a few moments and then she was gone. For a while we stood around staring at her. The room smelled of the sterilized hospital equipment that had taken up residence as well as the very familiar scent of Boost (The only thing we able to get my mom to eat was a vitamin drink called Boost… I will never forget the smell!). I leaned over to touch her and her skin felt cold; my warm and comfortable mother who had always smelled of soap and lotion was now an algid feeling mannequin.

     At this point, the coroner arrived to take my mother’s body to the funeral home. I stood outside in the humid June morning air and watched as they wheeled her out tucked inside a body bag; the tears streamed down my face once more. “This can’t be happening!” I kept saying out loud. It was as though I was in some bad movie or watching someone else’s life fall apart and everyone was moving in slow motion! I had the most horrible and sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I had a mix of emotions at that moment, part of me wanted to rip my mother’s body off the gurney to keep them from taking her away from me and the other part wanted to run away from that scary shell of a body and hide and cry for hours, neither of which I did. As the hearse pulled away with my mother’s lifeless body my siblings and I sat separately throughout the house amid the deafening silence. It was a strange experience because I am one of five siblings and our house was always alive with noise and commotion of one sort or another growing up. All of us, except my younger sister, had moved out going our separate ways. Then my mom’s cancer took a turn for the worse and all of us practically moved back in for about two weeks before she died. The house was once again alive with commotion…until this abhorrent morning.

Meanwhile, arrangements were made, her last outfit had been chosen, in what felt like a fog and numbness of emotion at this point. Shortly after that my mother’s body arrived at the church and I remember seeing all of the make-up that had been applied by the funeral home and thinking that she would have been disgusted having never worn make-up a day in her life. Then my father, brothers, sister and myself all stood in a line next to my mother’s body as people streamed by. It felt like a movie where now, everything was moving lightning fast.

    At any rate, many years have now passed (she died in 2007). I still feel the pain of her passing but what was once an unbearable pain that I thought would never go away, is now a low dull ache for times and memories gone bye. I still have set backs but healing is definitely happening, one step at a time. Along the way my brothers and I have become very close and my mother would be thrilled. I have learned that time really can heal all wounds; some things just take a little longer than others, and you need to be ready and willing to accept the healing.

Crazy Aunt

My mother was a triplet and within them she was an identical twin with my Aunt Carole. I never really knew my Aunt Carole. When we were growing up she lived out in Washington state and only ever visited once, that I can remember, and that was when I was around 10. Aunt June (the other triplet) would often travel out to Washington to check on her and talk to Carole’s many doctors because she had many different “illnesses” and mental issues. Aunt June was just generally concerned for her well being and wanted to make sure Carole had a place to live and food to eat, things like that. The problem was that Carole would always tell all of her “friends” and the people around her terrible lies about my Aunt and the whole family and they would all be horribly mean to June the whole time she was there. But, June would go anyway because she was more concerned about her being on the street and no one knowing than how she might treat her.

My mother was always too afraid to go with my Aunt June on these visits because of how Carole would treat June. My mother would also say that her and my Aunt Carole could not stand being in the same room together. She would call Carole from time to time to update her about things going on in her life but she always told me that it hurt her that Carole never asked her about any of it first (kids, cancer, life in general). My mom always had to volunteer the information and she felt Carole was selfish.

Fast forward to June of 2005. My mother is very sick and in the last stages of cancer (breast, bone, blood, lung, all over at this point). Carole decides to come see her, we have not seen her in about 20 years. At the end my mother was having more and more bouts of memory loss that would last longer and longer. Sometimes she would know who I was and sometimes she would call me “Junie” (My Aunt June). Before Carole got there my mother talked about seeing her and the fact that she was not even sure that she wanted to see her at this point. She reiterated the fact that they had problems being in the same room together for too long. By the time Carole got there my mother didn’t know who she was. I still to this day wonder however, if my mother ‘did’ know and just pretended because she did not want to face her or talk to her. It is fine either way with me.

Carole only seemed to be there for the shock factor anyway. She made the comment that all these people had come to see the long lost twin sister. My siblings and I said ” No, they are ALL here to see our dying mother!” That is when we decided we did not really care for our Aunt Carole. My mother was very thin from the cancer and Carole did look quite a bit like my mother when she was well. Many people that had not seen my mother in a while that had come to see her before she died had mistaken Carole for my Mother. It seemed to just tickle Carole every time this happened and disturbed my siblings and I. She did not seem at all concerned for my mother and really was very disruptive in the grieving process, as well as creepily tried to take over taking care of certain tasks for my father so we asked her to go home. My mother died a week later on June 27.

Her death has brought all of my three brothers and sister closer together in many ways. We were all together when she died ( I was at home right when she died but drove there in record time when my brother called). It was a very surreal moment from what I can remember. It was so very quiet. I felt like I could feel her presence in the room above all of us for a few moments and then it was gone and the room felt cold. I remember the coroner coming to get her and feeling like everything was moving in slow motion, it felt like I was in a movie and I was watching myself. I wrote a paper about that night and how it felt for an english class, I will try to include it here.

I don’t know how it happened and I don’t know that I really care but right after Carole went home she and my dad started talking on the phone. The next thing we knew a few weeks later my dad flew out to Washington state to see her and then without telling any of us (or inviting us for that matter) he married her out there. He brought her back here soon after and she promptly began to root herself into my mothers old life.

Mom

My mother died 12 years ago on June 27 2005. She had cancer for many years and her body and lungs finally succumbed to the chemo and the cancer that was equally ravaging her body.

You could say that I was very close to my mother. We saw each other pretty much every day and spoke to each other several times a day. I think it is more accurate though to say that she was reliant on me. I loved her with all my heart don’t get me wrong. It was just hard to tell who was the mother and who was the daughter at times. I had three small children at the time ages 10, 5, and 4. She would call me and ask me to go pick her up a cappuccino and bring it over to her. I know that she was just just lonely and wanted mine and the kids company but it was hard for her to understand at times how much I had to do at my own house. As well as how difficult it was to get two young boys in and out of a car especially to buy coffee. Although, I do long for a trip such as that now. I have not forgotten how difficult it was or how much she drove me crazy but I do really miss her in general.

I feel good about how I remember my mother. I feel that I am able to be real in my memory of her. I don’t feel guilty for being angry about certain things that she did. I still loved her but she made me angry sometimes. I think that is freeing in someways. Some people seem to think that if you remember or talk about the “bad” things you are being disrespectful in some way to that person. I disagree! If I died today, I would want my kids, or people in general,  to remember and talk about the good and the bad. It can be very therapeutic.