I needed this.
So far, I’ve finished THE NEW REVELATIONS, by Neale Donald Walsch, one of the few Conversations with God books I hadn’t yet read. That series speaks to me on a soul level, and my soul needs nourishment just lately.
I’m starting Camilla Lackberg’s THE GIRL IN THE WOODS, and plan to spend most of tomorrow reading.
On Sunday, Dad took me to see Annie Palamar, his best friend's widow, whirlwind of the Britt Nursing Station and an all-around powerhouse of a human being. Her sons Brett and Robert were there. It’s been many many years since I’ve seen either younger Palamar, and we hit it off like no time had passed.
Today we went to Sudbury, and Dad and Heather treated me to a birthday lunch two days early. Of course, I didn’t know it was a birthday lunch until the gang of waitresses appeared and put a giant horned hat on me. Dad immediately complimented my rack and told me how horny I was. Yeah, I come by the puns honestly, folks.
Amazing lunch, though. Of the chain restaurants, Montana’s is one of the few I find has maintained excellent value for money. And it was just a side Ceasar, but it was seriously one of the best I have ever had.
I’m beginning the healing process. I have a long, long way to go and I have no doubt there’ll be setbacks, but I am extremely appreciative of all those who have stepped forward to comfort me. People I know for a fact were (are?) disgusted with what so many insist on calling a “lifestyle” have been nothing but supportive. This is humbling. KATHY has been helping me heal, which really does make up for some of the pain of divergence. To me, this is what you do. If you decide you’re better off without someone than with them, for the sake of the love you have shared, you have an obligation (as I see it) to help them be better off without you as well.It sure beats acrimony.
I have been chided. One person seemed to suggest I was oversharing for everyone’s entertainment. Well, first off, if you find heartbreak entertaining, you may wish to consult a psychiatrist. As to the oversharing…It’s true that I could have left those last three blogs private, or perhaps shared them privately among a limited group,
Here’s the thing. Sharing my emotions, raw as they are, offers you a window into my brain. I find that many men struggle expressing the things I have expressed lately and I think it’s good for everyone to see some of us can, and do. It’s not entertainment: it’s my deepest spiritual principle expressed. SHARED PAIN IS LESSENED. (And shared joy increases.) I believe that sharing the joys of Kathy and I allowed people to see her as a person I love, not as a side piece of meat. Sharing the pain, I hope, further drives that home. As one of my Facebook friends I have yet to meet perceptively said, “It hurts because it mattered”. She changed the tense to the present upon reflection and I further extended it into the future. This may be hard for some people to grasp, but Kathy not only matters to me still; she always will.
One of the most attractive things about Kathy Morris is her authenticity. Like me, she despises phoniness and she doesn’t care about surfaces. But there’s one way in which she was glaringly INauthentic when I met her: she was not living her best life. She was living other people’s wishes, hopes and dreams. I helped her break free of that…and her eventual refusal to live MY wishes, hopes, and dreams should thus be seen as a victory for both of us.
I do mean this, even if I can’t yet hold it at the top of my mind all the time. The first present I ever got Kathy was a butterfly necklace, to symbolize the transformation I could see was birthing in her. That transformation is ongoing and the nature of my support must now change: I still want to see her fly.
The last blog was about the questions and answers. This one is about gathering.
The reason I can’t always keep my head clear and calm just yet, all I just wrote notwithstanding, is that divergence deals a real blow to self-confidence.
Eva is responsible for most of my self-esteem: Kathy took that and added confidence. Everyone has remarked on it. I’m more comfortable in social settings than I ever have been. I make friends a thousand times more easily than I used to. Unless I’m in a huge crowd, I feel like there’s a place for me. Sometimes, I even feel like a real man, despite the fact that real men can drive cars and do handyman things. There are other, personal ways Kathy has helped me as well.
Kathy’s divergence threatened to undo all that for me. But she and others have reminded me that the gifts she gave me weren’t on loan, and I don’t NEED Kathy by my side to use them, now or ever. Again, not a lesson that sticks just yet, but I’m working on it.
Eva’s not up here, but if she were, she would be comforting me in a way that only she can: one part loving exasperation to ninety nine parts unadulterated compassion. My dad asked me how I balanced the two relationships, and I told him it was a challenge. The truth is I will do better next time. I did let Kathy take over too much of my world and I pressed myself too much into hers. It wasn’t a conscious thing, any of it. I got carried away. Which is no excuse. (For God's sake, Kathy, and I know you're reading this....if you blame yourself for this I swear I'll haunt your ghost. Eva doesn't blame you for my falling in love with you either, so rest easy on that, okay?)
I can feel Eva next to me here, calmly telling me it’s okay, that she loves me very much. I love her very much as well.
I fell in love with her with the same giddy speed I did with Kathy seventeen years later—if not even faster. How many couples do you know who buy a bed on date two and move in together on date three? How many couples do you know that start wedding planning on that third date, having decided a date earlier that this is forever?
From the very beginning, the love I had for Eva was…”adult”. I was a very young 26 when I met her, and our relationship was instantly the most “grown-up” I had ever had. It was the love of best friends. Mark would say we must have been close in at least one previous life, and I’d have to agree with him. From the beginning, not sparks but coals.
Eva has been my rock, and I have been hers. Mark knows this, so does Kathy. None of this changed in the last three years, either, even if I suddenly discovered a literally overwhelming passion for fire than I never even suspected I had. She has given me untold treasure over the past two decades, Eva has. I have grown so much under her wing. I am infinitely calmer, infinitely more understanding, and infinitely more loving than I’d have ever been without her.
Gifts. Gifts from Eva, from Kathy, from Mark, even. Gifts from my friends, those of long standing and short standing and those I’ve yet to fully cherish. The inestimable gift of acceptance for who I am and even, most unexpectedly, how I live and love. I…am…blessed beyond my deserving and honestly beyond my understanding, sometimes.
I haven’t been knocked down at all. I have been lifted up. I will take some time, and then I will find another to share my love with. It’s the best thing to do with the love I have been given.