I’m still struggling with how to express what happened after the first few weeks. It’s been very difficult to use language to paint a picture in a fair and thoughtful way without just writing a stream of consciousness mess. I’m also not looking forward to sharing this part of my survivor’s journey. I’ll get there. Just give me some time.
I’ve been listening to Some Nights by Fun constantly over the past week. It’s a beautiful album that touches a lot on loss of a loved one (to break up in this case) and dealing with that loss. Every song resonates with me in some way, especially Carry On and One Foot.
I arrived home from Dublin yesterday afternoon just in time to watch T play soccer in driving rain. When we got back to the house I found it was a total wreck. The kids hadn’t cleaned after themselves and I was so disappointed I told the little ones to clean and locked myself in my room. Then K showed up. When I asked her to clean she pushed back saying she had done more than the other two.
Me: We’re a team, we need to work together.
K: But I do so much and you never recognize it.
Me: You all need to clean until it’s done.
K: Fine. I guess I’ll just keep doing everything.
There was some more back and forth.
And I just lost it. Totally lost it on all three of them. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t deal with the attitudes, the push back, the way they felt so entitled. Don’t they know what I’m going through?
Because it’s not like they’re dealing with the same stuff. So dumb. So shameful.
I went back into my room and slammed the door. I crashed onto the bed, furious at them and at myself. I fell into a fitful sleep, maybe 30 minutes. I awoke to E telling me they had finished. It was an admittedly halfway job, but I didn’t care anymore. It was time to apologize. I handed out the presents I bought in Ireland and we went out for Chinese. My fortune read ‘Your wish is about to come true’.
Before finally falling asleep I thought about the last week alone in Ireland and how I had acted when I got back. I thought about some changes I needed to make. I thought about what kind of parent I wanted to be. I told Christine how upset I was with her and then asked the question I have asked so many times.
Why? Why would you do this to me? It’s just so fucking unfair.
Then I fell asleep.
My phone read 6am when I woke. I had some renewed purpose and committed to a few things. First, it was time to stop drinking at home. I’d started breaking my rules over the previous months and was to the point where I was drinking to feel anything more than loss. I felt terrible every morning. I was in a bad mood all the time and I was constantly exhausted. It might even be time to stop drinking. We’ll see how it goes.
Next, I went to church. There’s a whole background with me and church a lot of people reading this don’t know. I might touch on it later, but short story is I hadn’t attended regularly for a long time. When I got there the parking lot was full and I walked in about 10 minutes late after finally finding a spot in the back 40.
They were playing a song with the line ‘Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God’. This is the hardest thing about the whole church thing for me right now. Basically, WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU, GOD?
Faith has been very hard for me in general for a long time, and now this. I’m not finding any comfort. Nothing is getting better. Why would a loving God let something like this happen?
The pastor got up and started talking. They were doing a drive for money. Of course they were. I was getting ready to leave when they started talking about what they were going to do with the money. 100% of it was going to local, secular non-profits.
I had just been talking with someone whose opinion on the subject of church I respect very much. We had chatted about what the perfect one would look like. Two things we discussed related to money included open books and really giving, through works and cash, to the community. This place checked both boxes. I gave some money to the fund and told myself I’d come back next time I’m not traveling on Sunday.
Following church I went on another ‘saying goodbye’ pilgrimage, this time to a trail along the Cedar River we had walked together. On that day we wore our Norway waterproof clothing to test them out in the rain before our trip. My pants had failed the test, rain leaking into my pockets and drenching my underwear, making it look like I had wet myself. She laughed so hard at this.
We talked about a lot of things on our walk, her getting treatment when we return, spending more quality time with the kids, taking them on the same trail as a family activity. I thought about how none of those things happened and never would. I told her I missed her and that I wanted her there with me. I told her I wished I was holding her hand. And then for just a moment it felt like she was there and we were doing just that. I cried a lot. I said goodbye.
It was time for lunch so I stopped at Taco Time and ordered the same thing we always ordered, a taco salad with chicken. I wondered how many people have cried over a taco salad at Taco Time and laughed through my tears at the ridiculousness of the question.
K was working that day and T and E didn’t want to join me on my adventures, but I promised them a 1pm return to watch the Seahawks and Sounders. It was time to head home. We sat on the couch and watched both teams lose. Just another Sunday in rainy Seattle.
And then I had to do the final thing I’d put on my list for the day. I had to hang our family pictures.
I mentioned in another post I’d bought a new house to escape Christine. She was everywhere in the last place and I couldn’t handle seeing her around every corner. Since moving to the new home I’ve put off hanging our portraits. I didn’t want to see them. I didn’t want to see her. It was more reminder that she was gone forever and I’m without her. That I’m totally and completely alone.
So today I took some nails and a hammer and hung the pictures. I was teary eyed and sniffling the entire time, but I got through it.
And she’s finally part of our new home.