Thursday, July 27, 2006

This, too, shall pass.

Thank you Jim. Your words mean a lot to me. I know that this too will pass, I just wish it would pass more quickly. Today is a better day. My heart is not so heavy and I can see hope. I am not crying today, yet I do still feel anxiety from time to time. I am clear headed, so now is a great time to write down the logical side of this break-up so I can refer back to it on the bad days, as bad days have a way of popping in from time to time.

It is a list of the pros and cons of Dale.

I miss him.
I don’t miss him as much as I missed me when I was with him.
I really miss climbing.
I can find another climbing partner, and probably one who won’t expect me to help him/her put up new routes.
I love him.
I loved what he made me believe he was. That person doesn’t not exist. That person lived only in my mind. Who am I kidding? I didn’t love him, I lusted for him. There is a difference. I could already see things that I knew would bother me in the worst ways once I grew used to him. And love has to be a two way street. How can I love someone who doesn’t love me for me. As long as I “behaved myself” I was wonderful. But as soon as I “acted up” I bummed him out and he didn’t know how much more “we” could take.
I am lonely without him.
I would have been lonely without hope if I had stayed with him and married him.
He could be so kind and generous to me.
He could be cruel and hateful. It would have become so much worse as time went on. No addict can avoid causing pain to the most important people in their lives. And oh, did he have a mean streak.
He was a warm lover.
When he could love me. And he was also a little on the boring side.
I loved his friends.
He hated my son.
I really miss climbing.
I already said that. Hey, there are other climbers around here. Find them.
I don’t want to lose the conditioning that was happening with my body.
Then don’t. Get out there and move. You know how to do this.

Ok, so there aren’t any good reasons to miss this relationship. Right now, I can’t even think of one reason why I should even miss him. It must be another brain thing - you know - caught in a feedback loop. So let’s reboot.

Why should I be relieved? So many reasons - many already mentioned. And I will have time to finish my paintings, and start some new ones. I can watch my favorite tv shows. I can start my novel now. And now, thanks to Dale, I know what happens that puts Beth on that ledge, and I will have some good ideas for getter her off of it.

I have my life back. I have me back. I am alone again, but that’s not new. If I am going to find someone to spend my life with I have to actually live my life. So I will live it. Which means I will continue to put myself out there and make mistakes. Some will be small, but some will be huge, and will hurt like hell. But I will make them and I will learn from them.

Eventually, I will get it right.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


There are moments when I can scarcely breath. My heart pounds out an attack, then retreats, leaving me cold and ruined. I force breath deep into my lungs, probing for proof of life, then the air leaves me in utter anguish.

Oh the tears - how they strive to drown me in my sorrow. My grief wraps around my neck and strangles my hope. For that is what I mourn for, my hope. It was snatched from my bosom in one sure and callus blow. I wander aimlessly through the forests of desperation, calling to the one for guidance.

No answers come to me now. I stumble and fall. Then I drag myself to my feet, only to stumble and fall again. My skin bleeds, my muscles cramp, but they are no match for the desperate ache I suffer.

All that is left is the echo of emptiness, an absolute loneliness that feels so familiar. I bid my heart to resume beating. I beg for solace from the hurt. I pray for a reprieve from the darkness.

Time, they say, is the cure. Time and again I have waited. Time and again, I have trusted a hope for naught. Time and again, time betrays me.

Where is my gratitude? Where is the joy I once knew? Where is my hope? I long for them so.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The guru was always inside.

I didn’t need to climb the mountain to find my way. All of the answers were already there for me, waiting for me to see them. They were there from the very beginning, red, and waving brightly, desperately warning me of my own weakness. I didn’t want to see them.

“I didn’t want to know more, I would be disappointed if you were different than my mind made you out to be.” That’s what I wrote of our first date. But you are different. You are and addict, and alcohol is your only love.

Did you tell me that in the beginning? You told me your mother accused you of being alcoholic, but then qualified it by saying she doesn’t drink, and thinks everyone who does is an alcoholic. You hid your illness from me for a while, long enough to lure me in. I can’t help it, I do love you, but I won’t be a part of this anymore.

Yes, you told me you smoke marijuana, and even got in a tangle with the law. I don’t have any moral objections to marijuana, I don’t feel it is any more harmful than alcohol or cigarettes. You promised to keep it completely away from me, but you couldn’t keep that promise, could you? You are addicted to that too.

How many times do I have to see this illness before I can finally recognize it in the beginning? My mother, my father, my grandfather, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, my ex-husband. To be honest, I can only think of a handful of people in my family who are not addicted to alcohol or some other drug. I have seen this all of my life, been hurt repeatedly by it, and still I stick my head in the sand and refuse to acknowledge it. So much wishful thinking. I deserve this heartache.

I should have shielded my children from you. I really thought that your behavior towards my son would change once you got to know him and understood autism better. Silly me. This weekend I saw you treat your brother with the same contempt I saw you treat Zach with, and I knew better. The pain festered, and once again I hid it away and tried to ignore it. All of the things you lectured Zach and me about rattled in my head. You hypocrite! Zach has never treated me or anyone else as disrespectfully as you treat your brother and mother with. He is a better man than you are, even at his age. He doesn’t need to change. And neither do I.

Even Megan wasn’t really good enough in your eyes. Her spirituality, her goals, somehow were not in line with what you thought they should be. Not good enough. Was anything about me good enough? You expect everyone else to change to fit into your world. How is your life Dale? How happy have your convictions made you? How many people have actually decided that what you thought was best for them was really what was best for them?

I was reminded this week that I tend to alter my behavior in order to fit in. I commonly put myself aside to be accepted. I did that again with you, I am ashamed to say it, but it is true. That was what I spent so much time crying about. Not anymore. I deserve to be loved and accepted for who and what I am. I am a kind, sincere, compassionate woman who only wants to find someone who is kind, sincere, and compassionate.

I hate who I was when I was with you. I was afraid to express my opinion, my feelings, because you were so quick to put me in my place. I am not a coward, my family and friends have reminded me of this repeatedly over this week, and I will not give in to you any more.

I’m sorry you feel you invested too much into this relationship. You bought me some things, poly pro pants and hiking boots, that I cannot pay you for right now. You can keep them for what it’s worth. At least you didn’t buy the tickets to Hawaii. I don’t know what to say about the money to get added onto the cruise. I didn’t ask for any of it, you spent the money because it was what you wanted.

I’m not sorry, though. I wanted this relationship to be permanent. I gave it my best shot. I wanted to be the best friend, climbing partner and lover you wanted. I wanted a best friend too. But you couldn’t be that for me. When I needed compassion and comforting, all you gave me was guilt. Crying because I feel pain is not irrational. Staying with a man who causes me pain would be irrational.

I’m moving on now. You should too. You should face your demons and do something real about your addictions. I want the best for you, I really do love you and I will miss you.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Lost on Cache Peak

Seven Vultures
Pretty Purple Pine Buds
I made it to the top!
Cache Peak

Lost. I feel lost. I guess that is what happens when one goes so fast for so long without stopping to look at the journey’s path or the current moment of existence. Filling life with strenuous, non-stop activities is a great way to shut out the voices inside.

I climbed a mountain this past week! This should have been a great spiritual exercise, and would have been but for the sheer exhaustion I was already feeling before I even started the journey! I can’t say I was fully involved. I wish I could say I had a lot of fun. I wish I could say I feel stronger and better for it. All I feel is tired, sore and lost.

This will pass. I need to make myself revert back to the stone ages, when people wrote their thoughts on paper. Writing helps so much in processing the events and storing them in the places they should be. It calms me in ways I cannot express. How cool would it be to have a lap top to take with me?
Another wish to put in my box.

Tuesday we hiked out to Bracksiecks pillar to climb with Steph and Dottie. It was a pleasant sort of morning, hot, but not too hot. Steph and Dottie were already tired from the previous day’s activities. I was already tired from the previous two weeks of activity. As we walked, we passed a section of fence where seven vultures were perched. We all commented on how unusual this was, but none of us wanted to articulate how ominous.

The day was fun, but there was such a cloud hanging over us. It was Stephs last day here, and she was feeling kind of gloomy. We had a 4th of July party at the tipi. We got rained on a lot, but Dale had brought salmon and steaks and they were fabulous. We said our goodbyes.

Next morning Dale and I set out on our journey. The weather was gloomy and hot. I was already soaked before we even got to North Park. My mood was dismal at best. It turned to irate when I fell into the creek. Then we started to climb a hill in the rain, which turned my mood furious. My legs were burning, my feet ached with every step.
We stopped and set up camp long before Dale intended. Poor guy interpreted my mood as hatred toward him and his feelings were really hurt. When his feelings get hurt he gets quiet, which feeds into my insecurities becoming a horribly vicious cycle. I told him I would attempt the ascent the next day, and I did.

I made it too! It was tough going, no trails to walk on meant stepping over/on all forms of flora and fauna. I hate “bushwhacking”! I hate it! I hate it! I hate it! I don’t hate Dale, which is what he thought, I HATE BUSHWHACKING!

But if I had been in a better place emotionally and spiritually, the true object of my hate could just as easily been seen as a challenge to be met and surmounted. I caused so much suffering with my own attitude that I really don’t like the mirrors in my house today! I mean, what am I, 12 years old or something? NOT!

Well, what can I say. I have another opportunity to prove my worth, and I intend to do better. And now that I really know that I do have the power to hurt Dale, I intend to never again use it! As a matter of fact I intend to make this up to him as best I can.

It feels so strange to actually have the power to hurt another human being (aside from my children). I think I shouldn’t just assume that I don’t. I think I may actually hurt people I care about without ever knowing it because they don’t say anything, and I’ve assumed I don’t matter enough to them to hurt them.

I must find my place in this world, and accept me in it! Or at least act like an adult.

So off I go this weekend to the Sawtooth Mountains. When I get back, I will be found!