I miss…

I miss your hands, the way your wrapped your fingers in mine. I miss hooking my arm into yours as we walk down the street. I miss our long chats at dinner every night, talking about everything under the sun. I miss your excitement when we solidified a travel plan. I miss your “bon dia” texts every morning, without fail, when you arrived at work, and all the long spontaneous outbursts of love and commitment you would send over text as the feelings grabbed you.

You told me often that you thought your heart would burst with love and happiness. I miss your gaze as we sat across from each other at a table, stood in the sea together with our arms around each other, sat on a bench or the sand somewhere, lay side by side.  You would hold my eyes with yours and look so deeply into them. You once said you could see my soul, who I really am through my eyes. I gave them to you, I let you in.

I miss that connection, miss how we didn’t even have to say a word to know what the other was thinking. I miss surprising you with notes or meals left in the fridge or little purchases of favorite things or a chore done for you. I miss your deep gratitude at every surprise. I miss your surprises for me, you made such efforts to arrange surprise excursions- I loved all of them.

I miss how you were always singing and making up funny lyrics to popular songs, or just humming a tune to whatever activity we were doing. I miss teaching each other about our respective popular culture, like the time I showed you where the Sanford and Son tune you were singing originally came from, even though you heard it on the Simpsons. I miss your clever responses and super quick wit. I miss your desire to make others laugh, to feel good, to feel loved.

I miss our  slow and steady approach to our future together, I miss how the ideas crept into our daily life, and how we both welcomed them like lovely pets when they arrived. Like the time shopping in Bauhuas when I commented on a gorgeous bathtub. I said, “I want to have one of those in the house we will have together some day.” And you turned to me and smiled so big. And from then on we spoke of “our house.” And then we started to look for it. We had just gone to see the first one 4 days before you died.

I miss our conversations. We never ran out of things to say.  Every conversation opened more doors and more possibilities and created more and deeper connections between us and between the world and us (or US as you would emphasize.) I miss your excitement over US and how you admired me, because I so admired you -your drive, your mind, your love of life and your love for your friends and family.

Being together was enough. I miss how we didn’t have to do anything to be content and enjoy our time. But we also delighted in doing things together, new and old. We couldn’t wait to experience new things together. Watching you in situations I had not experienced with you yet was always a gift, because they showed me new parts of you and it was always wonderful. You were so resourceful. You loved my practicality and I loved your decisiveness.

I miss looking at you when you didn’t know I was. I miss observing how you carried yourself in different situations, the way your voice and posture changed, which language you chose to speak, if you squared your shoulders or relaxed them. If you spoke softly or directly. I miss catching you looking at me. I miss the butterflies I would still get in my stomach when I saw you after being away. I miss you telling me about your butterflies too. I miss you asking me to repeat something just so you could watch my lips form the words again. I miss you interrupting me to tell me you loved me.

I miss you.

I miss you.

I miss you.

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You are worth it

This pain. The waves of it that wrack me at night until I can no longer take a breath and my body shakes. That makes my knees buckle. That stops my tongue in my mouth and the thoughts in my head. That makes a future seem impossible. That feels like it will kill me. That I thought would actually kill me, and maybe almost did.

You were worth every single moment of it.

 

 

Where

It hurts to breathe. I can barely put one foot in front of the other, and then when I do, I ask: to what end? Where will this take me?

The answer is unbearable: it will take me the only direction there is. Further from where I want to be. Further from my life with him. Further from the future we had planned. Further from the dreams we were forming together with so much joy and excitement.  Further from the happiest time in my life.

Every night, when we climbed into bed and held each other, one of us asked, “What’s this?”  and the other answered “This is the best part of my life.” These steps are taking me further from the best part of my life.

I have no signs of him. I beg for them every day. I am looking for him. He is not here.

How

Albert.

I have so many of your beautiful words…You sent me so many messages expressing your love and intentions. You said that you were mine completely, you asked me to open my arms and heart to you and that in return you would give me all of you. You thanked me for letting you into my life.

Once, early this year, we looked at all the messages we sent to each other over the first two months we were together. You had tears in your eyes as we finished…It was so incredible to experience you. You were so proud of me and I of you, it was an honor to be loved by you so deeply.

I just cannot reconcile this, that you left. You weren’t supposed to go. You called me your woman, your life partner, your love, your life. I can’t bear that this is it. I can’t face tomorrow, next week, the rest of my life…

How do I do this without you?

Please, not again

How can life, the universe, be so unjust?

I had one of the happiest years of my life. I gave thanks regularly to the universe, god, whatever, for the lessons I went through last year that brought me to the place where I was able to be vulnerable and experience true love and a relationship that challenged me and was so full of happiness every single day. With someone who I admired and who, quite frankly, amazed me with his maturity and ability to love me so deeply and without restraints. I’ve never even heard of anyone experiencing what I experienced with him.

Albert Aran Selvaggio always had the right words to say, was never defensive, showed me I could trust him completely–whom I did trust completely–and who I loved in a way I never thought was possible. I was able to experience a relationship that surprised and delighted me every single day we were together.

My love, my partner, my man cared for and protected me. There was nothing more I could ever want. He told me every day that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. And he was with me for the rest of his life. It was just far too short.

 

 

It’s not about me anymore

Today is the 9th anniversary of JM’s death.

I’m not going to post on Facebook to remind people of this date like I have in the past. I felt a kind of duty to remind others before, but it definitely was a duty that I wanted. I wanted to be the one to say, ‘hey, don’t ever forget him, don’t forget what happened today.’ I knew others missed him and would appreciate it, yes. But I also made it about me – I reminded people how I suffered, how I was changed, how I will always be changed.

But what kind of message is that? There is no good in that message. It’s selfish. ‘Don’t forget what happened to me on this day’ was my message. I want my message to be positive and worthwhile. My experience needs to be worth something.

Maybe I couldn’t see it before, I couldn’t let go of the pain of my experience, of the thing that made me feel different than my peers. I didn’t want to. I carried it as a shield – It allowed me to hold some parts of myself as untouchable. And it also blinded me from the message I now know is the only one I want to send on this day:

Try to remember, every day, to love your people more openly, more freely, even more fiercely than you think you can. Stretch yourself. And then tell them and show them, and continue to do so. Not because you have nothing to lose, quite the opposite. Anyone and anything can be lost at any moment. You don’t want to regret not loving as much as you could.

So do the work you need to do to get to the place where you can give and receive love. Where it doesn’t send you running. Take risks and reach out. Tolerate being uncomfortable expressing yourself if you aren’t used to doing that.

It’s good to remember that love, for however long or short a time, is worth it.

 

A new chapter

I don’t know what it means now that I have gone through this. All I know is things are very different for me.

I am happier than I have ever been. I feel like I am no longer doomed to repeat myself, acting out the same long term relationship patterns I have always repeated. I am making new discoveries about my relationships with my parents, my friends, my love interests–even strangers–every week. I surprise myself constantly with the ability to make new choices and to choose new behavior (and find the tools for creating new behavior) that steers me into new directions, and away from things I have struggled with my whole life.

And, of course, the relationship front has changed. For the better, obviously. Just as soon as I was no longer able to access certain deep seated pain (I was still trying every day), along came someone who, at first, I thought was another “no”. By the end of the first date we had plans to see each other again but I still thought, “this probably isn’t going anywhere”. By the third or fourth date, when it was clear he really liked me, I remember thinking to myself “I am going to break this man’s heart”.

Until I went away for 5 days and realized that I was missing this person. What a very different start to a relationship than I have ever experienced before. And that was only the beginning. Every single thing about the start of this relationship has been different. I tried to be the “old me”, tried to keep him at arms length but I found I did not want to. Nor was I blinded by infatuation. Because before, it was one or the other – there was no in between.

Now I’m experiencing an “in between” that I can only describe as…healthy. He is emotionally healthy. He is available and present and not self involved. He made it (unintentionally) evident very early on that he sees me, sees the person I would normally hide.

I am honest with him regarding what I am thinking. Sometimes I try to hold things back, but it doesn’t last. maybe a day. Then I have to speak my truth. Sometimes this scares me but his reaction is always the same: don’t hold anything back.

I am cautiously testing how else I have changed and keep discovering new areas that I would never have guessed would be connected. Small things that sound trivial but boil down to being more open to change and fretting less about what people think of me. I’m not sure how this works or is connected, but it’s real.

I’m trying to continue with these healing therapies but find I am not getting so much out of them anymore because I am no longer in pain. So I am shifting to actually looking for areas that need “shifting” in my life, like my relationship with my family and with new friends and people. I am sure I will face more challenges, but I think I’ll be more able to deal with them.

I still feel strange disclosing what exactly the tool is that I discovered (well, I found a few but one worked very quickly) so I will refrain from sounding like a patchouli wielding hippie for the moment. (Though If anyone is going through significant pain, message me and we’ll have a conversation.)