Thursday, November 11, 2004

He Delivers a Letter, Part II

*warning - strong language ahead*

It wasn't as bad as I had imagined. He made some very good points, and did a great job of expressing his anger in a way that I could handle without a complete meltdown. Nothing in the letter was outrageous. It was all perfectly understandable, given the level of contact we have had over the last week.

It was evident, however, that he is harboring some misconceptions about my own mental and emotional state that I would like to correct as soon as possible. So I'll start off by correcting them here, and hopefully his work schedule will allow us to talk tonight so I can let him know personally what's going on in Andi-land.

It seems to me that you want to live like it never happened.

It's possible, I suppose, to return to the way of life I had before last week. But it's not an option. I drive down the road and I think, "Was it really a week ago? Why does it feel so unreal to me? Geez, that's dangerous. I'm glad folks are checking in on me to remind me how close I came to dying." I think, "What the hell was I thinking?" on a fairly regular basis. I think, "Oh my God, I'm so sorry. I'm so goddamned sorry. I'm so fucking glad to be alive right now."

The thought process stops right about there. At this point I don't think it's a good idea to dwell overmuch on what can't be changed. That doesn't mean I'm going to forget it - how could I forget it? Oh - yeah, the same way I chose to forget everything else that was wrong with my life until it all came crashing down at once. Let me just say that I am not forgetting this. "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

I am NOT going through this again. I am not going to put my family through this again. And I will not be fettered and contained by the decisions and actions of the past, which would certainly happen if I fail to be mindful of my mistake.

Husband has backed away to protect his own heart. Because of this, he doesn't know the changes I have made to prevent another suicide attempt. There, I've said it. In black and white. And this online journal is about as transparent as I can make my life - so that my family (read: those friends who have become my family) can call me on my shit when they see it happening.

But what does he want me to do - spend my time weeping and wailing and gnashing my teeth? I have to function. I have to work. I have to be a mother. I don't have time for those demonstrations right now. I did it enough last week - AND the week before. And the year before, to be perfectly honest. I'm sick of tears. I choose to change.

You should have asked for help. I don't think you are getting enough right now.

What would he know about it? What would he know about the conversations I have with my sisters and the constant care I am taking of myself and the constant efforts to get enough sleep and drink more water and less coffee and EAT, for Christ's sake? What would he know about the four-page cause-and-effect diagram I created and am still working on, to capture the Why's of what happened that night? What would he know about the hours I have spent de-cluttering and cleaning my environment so that it's not yet another source of stress for me?

He wouldn't, because I haven't told him. I haven't told him because somewhere deep in my soul I know that it wouldn't be enough to make everything all right in his own head. I know that it wouldn't be enough to make him forgive me.

That is partly my responsibility. The first time we tried to talk about it, I simply could not accept his anger, so instead of forcing me to deal with it then, he backed off completely and chose to write it in a letter. Which I appreciate.

But the tone of the previous paragraphs certainly indicates that I am harboring my own anger, doesn't it? Anyway. On to the next point. I'm rambling now - sorry.

As far as me talking with 3rd parties... like I said... Deal with it. You should do it more. Talk to your dad about it. Talk to Tammy. Don't you think they will ask about us? Are you going to lie?

I had originally told Brent, my counselor, that I would never tell my father about this. I have changed my mind, in part because of my husband's suggestion. I will tell him and Judy when I see them over Thanksgiving. But I think telling him over the phone that I tried to kill myself is simply cruel. At the very least I can tell him when he can see me face to face, make his own evaluation of my stability and sanity, and express his own anger and upset to me directly. Judy will probably want to slap me silly.

Despite my shame about the enormous mistake I made, I told Heather the day after it happened. I told Dr. Arcara on Thursday. I told Cos when she came into town on Friday night over mulled wine on the front porch. And I told Tammy on Monday morning. I have called in my cavalry. And when it comes to him telling third parties, my main concern is that they will never get to hear my version, my perspective. Which is one of the reasons why I sent the link to this journal to my mother-in-law. So that she has a way of checking in on me and her grand-child for herself. Mary, if you read this, feel free to send this link to Christie and Jimmy and whomever else you feel would want to know what's happening.

I'm not going to lie to his family anymore - about me, or about him. I'm not going to pretend everything's golden. I'm not going to pretend he's been there for me for the last year. I'm not going to try to protect him from their opinions. I did for a long time, and swallowing that much crap about killed me. And I'm not going to lie to my father and stepmother anymore either. A lot of it has to do with my fear of failing at yet another marriage. What would that say about me? I don't know, and for right now I'm not going to worry about it. That's an issue for a counseling session and I can only deal with so much in one day - and in one post.

I am aiming for complete transparency here, folks. No more secrets. No more sins of omission. No more half-truths. For my sake, and for my daughter's.

Some day I will post the story of what led up to That Night, and my account of the night itself. It's likely to be pretty incoherent - I wasn't exactly in my Right Mind, as I have said before. That doesn't excuse it, I know. But it might help in understanding how I could do something so selfish and heartbreaking.

He asked a really good question towards the end of his letter.

What do you suggest, expect, want, need, etc...?

I think I'll tackle that tomorrow. It's a pretty complicated question and it deserves a thoughtful response.

*deep breath*

Well. That's enough for today, I think. I have database puzzles to solve and a LOT of work to do. And damn - I'm still awfully glad to be alive.

peace and love.


Anonymous said...

WE have been angry. WE have felt betrayed. WE have been furious. WE find it insulting to the love we share with you, for you to have done that. That love and concern for you is where the intensity of the fury is rooted. WE have been through this before and were left holding the bag. That lack of concern feeds the fury. The fury is short lived; the damage may not be.

A crevass has been torn into the trust by these events. Until this day, I did not see any hope of crossing it. Now I do. I hope for time enough to lay down that crossing and walk it- both of you walk it.

I am here, as always.


Sam said...

!@#$ YAY!

i am SO glad that you have decided to create this place for yourself and for us, andi. thank you. i can see now that everything is going to be ok. sometimes (eventually) wonderful, maybe not always great, and maybe sometimes less than ok for a little while, but generally ok. and frankly, in my opinion, that's a good place to be. it's the only place to realistically expect to be.
i'm glad that you are both talking to whomever will listen, including each other and yourselves.

"at first i was afraid, i was petrified, just thinking i could never live without you by my side...."

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