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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Eyes Wide Shut and Divorce through the Rearview

I know how it feels to live with your eyes wide shut.  To live with the silent incessant fear that if you really opened them to the reality that surrounded you- you might find yourself drowning in it.

I understand now how one stays.  How even during the pain, the lies, and the heartache one finds calm in the violence. Like a fish caught from a fresh flowing stream to be tossed out on the shore left with its rainbow scales to turn brown and crispy under the heat of the sun you lay gasping- wide eyes fixed on the lively rushing of the river moving past and away.   

We are watching/waiting to catch a glimse- a glimmer of who he once masqueraded as being so that once again we might be saved.  But like the shimmering changes of a river that person is an illusion. We make excuses, we offer up food,  our time, our bodies in order to satiate their ravenous spirits but it is never enough.  They always want more.

I remember when things really started falling apart I played the Indigo Girls, "Ghost" on repeat. It's funny how you get fixated on such things when every thing else is so out of control.  At the time I didn't understand why I felt such an affinity to the song.  It calmed me and made me feel okay.  Last week when I went with a friend to the Indigo Girls concert, they sang it, and it was the first time I had allowed myself to hear it in 5 years. It was such a shock to all of my senses that immediately tears sprung to my eyes and I felt myself recoiling to that place and time where old specters still haunt...
I can still see him like it was yesterday, as my foot like led collapsed onto the gas and the car squeeled away from the curb. He seemed on fire- a demon all sharp teeth and wild eyes spewing venom and acid from his lips.  A nightmare incarnate.  The worst of all kinds of monsters under the bed that I as a child, could never have even fathom existed, and I wondered in that moment how I ever held his hand. How, instead of cowering in a closet, I could have ever laid with him side by side and felt any sense of real safety.

If it had not been for the pounding of my heart beating in my head and the sweat that spread to pools beneath my tensed shoulders I would have thought myself already gone.  Given myself up to the ashen pyre that he threatened to drag me down into-

His hell.

I remember thinking that perhaps  I was already dead.  My hands were cold.  So, so, cold like ice frozen to the steering wheel. A dead woman driving like a bat out of hell with her eyes barely able to open from living under a decade of shit.  The rigor of what felt like lifetimes settling into joints much too young to be feeling so much pain. 

Then a tiny voice from the backseat like a shot in the dark bringing me back into reality, "Mommy, is everything alright?" and in that instant, like a hit of adrenaline to my heart, my mind and body started functioning together.  

Keep your course.  Know your destination.  Everything is going to be alright.

The shrill rings of my cell phone matched the shivers that convulsed through my body and I made those simple promises with myself. Keep your course.  Know your destination.  Everything is going to be alright.  But even as I saw his personage through the rear view getting smaller- his presence, distorted, was there in and all around me.  His voice screaming daggers through the air with eminent  threats of harm from the black speaker clasped between my now sweating palms.

I couldn't breathe and I found myself growing weak.

Sensing weakness he cut of his cries and soothed his words with feigned remorse and love.  What he didn't realize is that I had already crossed over.  With the veil lifted from my eyes I saw that this love only killed me inside.

He was the Prince of Darkness who, under a guise, had snuck into my room when I was just a child  and clipped my wings with hollowed words of love and protection he could only profess to know. I was my only salvation.  Feeling his sickness seeping through the cracks of this cocoon I had built up around myself and my precious cargo I knew better than to stop and give in.  Stopping meant only death by consumption. 

Keep your course.  Know your destination.  Everything is going to be alright.  

I know what it's like to emerge on the other side with eyes wide open.  To cheat the death of ones soul.  To live knowing that this life is your own.  I know what it's like to see the light at the end of the tunnel-  and it is beautiful.


  1. Girl, you are beautiful and strong, and those tears at the concert must have felt so full circle to you. I am so glad that you are on the other side-this side...happy.

    (ps: yeah Indigo Girls!!! best time I've had in AGES!)

  2. I'm so grateful that I had that experience with you, Annie. Looking back, there isn't another person that I could've imagined understanding fully what it meant to me. Thank you for holding my hand figuratively and literally at a time when I didn't even know I needed it. Truly a treasured moment in life that I will always remember.

  3. Oh my gosh, I had no idea. Thank you for sharing your heart. The more I know it, the more I love it. You are a strong woman and an inspiration. XOXO

  4. Thanks, Laurel. I've been missing hearing your beautiful voice in the blogging world!