He Listens

Summoning every ounce of courage she has, she reminds him he’s forgotten. Trying so hard to hide the disappointment, the rejected feeling bubbling up inside, and attempting, unsuccessfully, to control the tears that threaten to trip her release valve, she speaks. Hugging her briefly after offering a few short words, ones which felt unsure and confusing, his face registering disappointment, he turns to leave the room.

Frozen. She’s completely frozen, standing in the middle of the bathroom floor, bare and exposed. It’s not because her body is unclothed, it’s because her mind is in a free fall, plummeting like a broken elevator screeching down the shaft with no emergency halt. There’s no air. Someone has squeezed it all out of her lungs in tight fists and won’t let go. She’s still, because she knows as soon as she moves, she’s going to the feel the crumble. But her knees can no longer bear her weight. The salty wetness is already streaking down her cheeks and over her lips, her chest is struggling to heave, her sobs are beginning to echo against the beige walls. The tiny room feels so vast and she needs to fold into her smallness. Yet, she cannot allow herself to crumble, to give in to the need and the hurt.

Stepping into the bath, she lowers herself into its warm embrace, but it’s of no comfort. In fact, it’s radiance is just a reminder of the embrace she truly needs. The one which just turned away from her and left the room. Rising from the depth of her, her cries take her breath away, her voice a slow, guttural song of pain and hurt, pulling at the chord of core pain and hurt in her which has existed for as long as she can remember.

Why?, her mind is repeating, Why? Why would you leave? Why am I not enough? Or am I just too much? Why, oh why, would you walk away when I need you so much, right now? How could you do that? It must be me. But this me needs you. I need you. Please, don’t walk away. Please come back. Please. Don’t you know how much I need you? How could you not know? I need you.

I need you to never walk away.

Pulling herself from the bath, she slips on her robe, still slightly wet, and walks down the stairs to him. Lying her head in his lap, arms locked around him, she let’s go and she crumbles as he pets her hair. She needs and she hurts. When she’s exhausted herself, she kneels facing him, and she offers him her bare, true self. The one who needs him, desperately, the one who must tell him how much it hurts when he forgets to follow through, the one who needs him to never walk away. He deserves her truth.

And he listens.

Crazy Train

Bright sun spreading warmth
Through square glass, beckoning
The life in which I belong
An arms length away, quickly passing by
The weight of worry and distrust
Filling one train car, then another
Chugging, toxic smoke and charging wheels
Spinning at 100 mph
Locked on this one way track
To nowhere

I need to hear the screeching sound
Of metal against metal
The grinding halt
Of self destruction
I need to tell the conductor
I want off this crazy train
“Stop this train, please,” I shout,
Hoping he’ll hear me, I’m stuck
But those deafening words echo
In my own ears

For I’m the conductor of my crazy train
I’m the architect of this track to nowhere
He is window after window on each side
Making vision clearer
Shining a never-ending light
On the life in which I belong
Outside these caste walls
Waiting patiently for me to join him
Heading somewhere, everywhere
Going home

I’ll be right there

Teamwork

A few years ago, when I first realized I needed to do something drastic in order to feel better about myself, one thing I did was join a walking club. I was seriously overweight and this club became just what I needed, providing motivation, friendship and goals. I walked, then ran my way through 12 half-marathons and lost almost all the weight I ever gained. Yesterday, I signed up for one of the most challenging trail runs I will have ever done. I’ve done some shorter trail runs like Warrior Dash many times, which was fun and I’ve done Pretty Muddy on a ski slope, but that was kinda foo-foo if you ask me. Bubbles? In a race? And you call that an obstacle? I paid $70 for that. Never again. This one is longer and on a treacherous course with ridiculous elevation. I’m actually a little worried, you should see the disclaimer! But, I love a challenge and I’m just shy of my goal, so this is just what I need, something to strive for in the next few months.
By fall, my goal is to complete another half-marathon. I need a goal to work toward that is just mine, independent of all the other stuff going on in our lives. We even added it to the rules, it was his idea. We also find that it’s healthy and important that we make time for one another to move or exercise without the other. We love spending time together, but we need to be alone sometimes. I do some of my best thinking listening to my iPod, logging in the miles, alone.
Biking is my husband’s meditation and thinking time and I always make sure my schedule allows for his rides. Not long ago, he was recovering from another surgery and needed motivation (this was his 12th corrective surgery after a college sporting accident). Sometimes, he’s an overachiever in this area, and he decided to strive to participate in a charity race…180 miles in two days. After a surgery. So, I supported his recovery and made sure my schedule put him on that bike whenever he needed to train for many months. One of my proudest moments was watching him cross that finish line. I’ll never forget it.
This all means so much to me because back then, when I first started all this, he believed in me even when I did not. He arranged his schedule around my exercise, made it a priority and has supported me the entire time. It’s taken a while, but I believe in myself now too. I know I can set a goal, work hard and find success in the trying. And no matter how many more surgeries my husband needs, he’ll always be perfect and whole and everything I’ll ever need. I’ll always support his goals and he knows I believe in him too. He believes in himself. We make a good team.