My sister asked how I was doing last night. It is already hard to describe how I’m doing without describing what Will is doing, and that makes me sad. I find myself wrapped so tightly around his axles that it is hard to describe how I am doing, what I am feeling.
I read somewhere that some co-dependent people describe what they thought another person was feeling when asked. For example, when asked “How are you?” the co-dependent may answer, “Well, my son is feeling ambivalent about being suspended from school and my husband thinks I don’t love him. I’m trying to turn them around.”
Doesn’t answer “how are you?” at all.
So, last night when my sister asked me how I was, I caught myself launching into the drama that is “us” – Will and me. When I stopped myself, I realized that I’m living in fragments.
Near the beginning of Will’s deployment, I visited a counselor who told me to live the “good” moments , enjoy them. Without appreciating the good, it all seems like a continuous strand of bad.
Since Will has been home, there have been good moments. I have felt them, loved them. The problem is that when they come to an end, I cannot allow myself to “pretend” the good moments are going to continue.
You know how some people have a wonderful night with their loved ones and wake up in the morning still happy and confident that those good feelings will carry through the morning? Their loved one, who also had a good time, is also confident that the two of them can ride the wave of good feeling for some time. Afterglow, with or without the sex.
Well, around here, I cannot allow myself the luxury of afterglow.
After a joyful moment, a joyful hour, there is something that marks its end. Whether Will falls asleep, I go to cook dinner, his dad comes in the house…whatever common thing it is, there is something that marks the end.
I cannot afford to assume that the goodness will continue. When I go to cook dinner, I can take a minute to relish in the previous moment, think that something good may have happened, BUT if I assume the next time I see Will’s face that he will be glad to see me, smiling at me, hugging me, … well, I cannot assume those things.
It is just as likely that when I see him again he will be scowling at me. Angry with me for something he saw while walking into the kitchen. Unsettled or unhappy about the conversation we’d had moments before.
If I allow myself to live with an afterglow, his scathing remarks will come as a surprise. Throw me off my rocker. Shock me.
I must live in the fragments of life. There is no flow. It’s stop and go.
I do not think this is how god wants me to live, how my sister wants me to live, nor how I want to live. This is no way to live.