Just because I am full of Hope and new Habits and dreams and crock pot recipes doesn’t mean I have turned my back on my demons.
But last night I laid one to rest.
Perhaps other people’s husbands say just the right thing and it is poetic and full of “sweethearts” and “I love yous” broken up only by tender moments.
But when I need support. True support. I don’t need coddling. I just need someone to shoot it straight.
“I will not even entertain this conversation” he said.
Always mannerly, even in an argument. He managed to tell me to shut the fuck up in such a way that he eased my fears. I hate that he can do that. Even while I am simultaneously loving it - it pisses me off.
When you write about your insides and you don’t seem to edit much out there is an assumption that you put it all out there. Maybe some people do but I don’t. Not out of a desire for privacy or an intent to be misleading. I just can’t write until I’ve figured it out. And then it is an after the fact admission instead of a real time confession. But the writing it all down. It helps me to keep the same fears from cropping up time and again. Once the demons that I wrestle with in my head have names they don’t scare me anymore.
Last night in the middle of an argument (the details of which are both private and irrelevant as I have a knack for deviating from the original discussion) I realized I wasn’t making sense. I was pushing MQD away out of fear. So I summoned the courage to be brave for just one minute.
Deep breath and spill it. If something happened to me and Mike, to our marriage, I’d lose everything. He would get Lucy half the time. And Emily, too, if I did right by her. And I’d be lost. Without a home, a job or my children.
As always once I said it out loud it lost a lot of its power. But it was what he said that assuaged it altogether.
He could have asked me what my problem was or been hurt that I’d be suggesting now of all times that our marriage would fail. Instead he just said he refused to entertain this conversation.
“Ok.” And I could feel the weight lift. “I guess it is just as much a waste of time as making a plan for if aliens land in the backyard.” I smiled.
And even though I’d been yelling at him and being all kinds of hysterical for the last half an hour he smiled too. “No, that would actually be more worthwhile.”
What reason do I have for being afraid? Are there problems in my new marriage I haven’t addressed? No. None.
It’s just me. And February. My divorce from Emily’s dad was final in a February. I saw the date pass in the calendar recently and I thought about the nail in our coffin. And for a moment I forgot the truth and I began to think that it was all me. And my love for Emily. That I couldn’t be a wife and a mother and our divide began when Em was born. That it was all me that had failed. And the Insecurity Dragon (the only demon with a name that I fear I will never slay) reared its head and went to work on my heart.
Several days later and I am in my kitchen crying. Preparing my heart for the day when my marriage crumbles again because I pour my heart in to being a mother and I don’t know how to be a wife at all.
Only this time I do know how. I stopped yelling. And I stopped crying. And I said “I am afraid” and I asked for help. That is four impossibly hard things if you’re keeping track.
He stood and took the baby from my arms and jiggled her on one shoulder. With his other arm wrapped around me, there was stereo crying in his ears.
It’s funny. The things I repeat in my head. The moments in my marriage that become touchstones for when I require strength or faith. I’m adding “I will not entertain this conversation” to the pile with what MQD said the day I went in to labor.
Early in the day not long after he came home from work I was pacing in the kitchen when it hit me. Today would be the day I’d realize a dream. My unmedicated birth. And then I started to question if I’d have the strength, no the courage, to follow through. He must have seen the fear start to take root and he stopped me. “You’re a bad ass Kelly. You just can’t be too much of a pussy today to be a bad ass. “
I love that he said “today.” Because you can’t be expected to be a bad ass everyday. And sometimes all it takes to be a bad ass is to just not act like such a pussy.
I’m working on it. Being brave is not so impossibly hard.
In December of 2008 I thought MQD was a kid and I was all Grown Up. I couldn't have been more wrong.
For MQD – Because one day I will be Grown Up. And it will knock your socks off. Thank you for being so patient. I love you. More today than I have in all our days. At least until the aliens land. xo