the post mortem phase

so 5 days on, the ex and i are in the post-mortem phase.
he comes over and we make morning coffee and stand in the kitchen holding each other and crying. and we talk about what went wrong and how we still love each other, but that we realize that we were flogging the proverbial dead horse.
and he’s done me the cruel kindness of putting into words what i had started to perceive over the last few months. he loves me still, but he fell out of love with me. and i felt it. i slowly started feeling less attractive, because i don’t think i was attractive to him anymore. i felt him beginning to make less and less of an effort. i felt him looking at me with different eyes. and we drifted apart. and yes we do still love each other, but hearing him put into words what were merely  inchoate perceptions before, makes it so much easier to let go. because it’s not enough otherwise. though i’d hate to think that all along we were simply making do.
i wrote this poem about someone else, but it feels appropriate again now.

ebb tide   11.22.03

thoughts of you plague me

like a low grade fever

i cannot shake.

i awake to find you

creeping at the edge of consciousness,

whereas for you,

i am a task you’ve taken on,

then grown weary of

and i see you pulling back

like the tide rolling out,

ebbing with ennui.

i need to look into your eyes

and see myself reflected there,

magnificently magnified,

but i can not deny that

that’s not what i see

and it’s just not enough for me.

part of me feels a little like a failure because how could i let someone who loved me enough to follow me across an ocean, fall out of love with me? but a tango takes two. i’m willing to own my part, but i know that it was both of us who screwed up the choreography and to thoroughly mix my metaphors, let the ship run aground. and i’m letting go. i’m scared of living alone in this 3-bedroom house, with a swimming pool and a garden and 2 big dogs which are now all solely my responsibility, but there’s also a simplicity about knowing that if i don’t do something, it’s not going to get done. so i do it. yesterday, i cleaned the dog-hair out of my car, i scrubbed the algae which has been accumulating forever out of the pool, i vacuumed and cleaned and organized, because now it’s all up to me. and there’s a lot more to do. and i’ll do it.
i got proactive and started taking a sleeping pill in order to get some rest. and night before last when i woke at 3a.m. to a massive thunderstorm (yes, i’ve not missed the fact that it’s been raining non-stop since we ended), the following poem came to me. i typed it out on my iphone, then turned over and went back to sleep.
Bounce  nov 8.08
I have the resilience of rubber.
Been bounced so many times,
Yet refusing to break.
I tend to forget that sometimes
When I’m vulnerable.
What seem
Like cracks start to show,
But the truth is,
I’ll rebound.
Throw me up against the wall
And I might fall,
But I’m going to
Bounce.
and instead of curling up into a little ball, i stretched out and took up the entire bed. because i could. it doesn’t change the fact that i’m sad, that  i’m hurting, that there are going to be a lot more tears, but i’m not going to wallow. even at the moment that l told me he was moving out and i felt that excruciating hole open in my chest, i felt my world both contract and expand, though i see the capacity for expansion as so much bigger.
last night, seeing that i was suddenly without a partner for the nando’s 21st birthday celebration i’d alread rsvp’d for, i called up a friend and got him to be my +1 for the night. and i bumped into my good friend K, also an actor on a very popular soap. i’ve known him since i was 15 and we’ve always said we were twins, and it was so reassuring to look into his face and see the love for me reflected there. and it was such fantastic validation to have him take me in his arms, look me in the eye and sincerely remind that i was beautiful and vital and make me vow not to forget that. and i won’t.
once again, i’m on the bound, and i’m going to bounce.
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the morning after…

it’s the morning after the night before. my first of many nights alone in the house, knowing that this time he’s not coming back. the first day of the rest of my life.

and i’m so sad.

i was wise enough yesterday to call my good friend deon for some support. we went to another friend’s birthday party over at claire johnston of mango groove’s house, while l was moving his stuff out. everyone was wonderfully supportive and didn’t mind me crying when i needed and claire and i connected like we’ve known each other forever. and i drank enough punch to knock out a horse, though it didn’t stop me from waking at 2 and wandering the house for the rest of the night. just like the night before.

the irony, the ambiguity and ambivalence is that while i’m mourning the end of what was meant to be forever, i know we had come to an impossible impasse. while we both wanted the same thing, we got lost in our own heads and never made it happen together. and then there are certain things which are non-negotiable for me and others which are non-negotiable for him. there’ve been times when i’ve been ready to walk away, times when all i’ve wanted to do was leave, but we stuck it out and now i feel hopelessly mired. it is so much harder to let go.

but still, it’s 4 years worth crying over, so i’m giving it it’s due and grieving. though i’ll be ok. i’ve been through much worse and come out the other side. so i’m not running away. i’m feeling what i’m feeling and honoring that. i’m owning it.

and i know that everything’s going to  be alright. the slogan for the last week was “change”, wasn’t it? well, a change has come. and without a struggle, the chrysalis cannot become the butterfly.

at least lack of sleep has always brought out the poet in me.

watching love walk away     nov8.08

we sit
on the sofa.

side by side,
yet worlds apart.

your words sink inside me
like stones.
we’re in  a ship descending
into a sea of regret,
while on the horizon lie
tomorrows that never will be.
my tears will not stop
and so the waves overwhelm.

the ship starts breaking apart .
reality threatens to drown us both,
as clinging to flotsam
we float,
a part of each other
no more.
no longer us,
now just you and me.
we’re both still mouthing
“i love you”
and
“i’m sorry”,
but the distance between us deepens.

despite our best intentions,
despite everything we’ve tried,
on the shore, far off,
in the distance,

we  can see love.

and it is walking away.
(pic removed)

A wake  Nov 9, 08

I am holding a vigil
For us
A wake for what was
I am staying up these long nights
Sleepless
My eyes wide
My heart hollow

There’s part of me
hopes that you are sleepless too
But the better part
hopes you are sleeping sound
And resting in peace.

breaking up is hard to do

Contingency Planning

 

 

the milk’s been spilt,

the horse been flogged,

the ship has sunk

got home from work yesterday at the end of a week that was and my partner of 4 years, the one who gave up his life in l.a. and followed me 10 000 miles,  sat me down to tell me he was moving out today. 

talk about a sucker-punch. 

though why i’d be surprised, i don’t know, seeing that we have both been miserable for a really long time. in the 4 years we’ve been together, we’ve split up and got back together at least that many times. it’s not like we haven’t tried. it’s not that there’s no more love. that’s the irony. he is just so much braver than i. because i don’t know if would have had the courage to do it – and it needed to be done. i have a history of staying too long. the frog not realizing that the water is starting to boil…

i just really don’t know if i know how to have a relationship with anyone. it’s not something one gets taught when you’re growing up and most of the examples we’re given, are nightmares we spend our lives repeating.

how can it be that i am equal parts sad and relieved? you’d think i’d have no more tears left, but that’s not the case. 

so. the milk is spilt and even though it was turning sour,  i am crying…

addendum: what is it about election week? my last relationship ended exactly 4 years ago this week – in fact, on election tuesday…

life-guard

so it seems the lifeguard must have heard the S.O.S. the little boat, battered as it is, is back afloat. it’s still in very shallow water, but at least it’s off the bottom, the holes and sails hastily patched. the destination is by no means sure and this time we’d better steer it right because this boat will not withstand another grounding. 

let’s hope the course is true. though to quote mr shakespeare,”the course of true love never did run smooth.”

running aground…


… that’s what the little boat which is my almost 4-year relationship, is doing. it’s run aground a number of times before, but we always got it back afloat. this time though it seems battered beyond repair. i don’t know if it’s the winds of circumstance which wrecked the sails, or if it’s we who’ve kicked holes in the hull. 

i don’t know if it’s been broken all along, or if we broke it. 

it sucks. and i’m sad.

we’re not waving. we’re drowning.

(written sunday morning)