Part 4: June 2003 Amsterdam Journal- The End

It’s been almost 13 years since I’ve read/seen/thought of those words I wrote- or even thought of that person, except in painful twitches here and again- or when he’s contacted me to show off his lovely children… but that’s only happened a few times years ago. I understand his pride, they’re gorgeous kids. He finally got his dream come true.

I recently ran into the Instagram of his wife, the girl who came after me, and I find myself reliving my nightmares and pain all over again, whenever she posts a sad post. I feel joy when she posts nice things, too. 

By the grace of God go I.

My children have, mostly, grown and gone- and returned home again as men. I now have a toddler daughter that the Universe somehow saw fit to entrust to me.

I also have a sweet man who loves me and never lays a hand on me, to boot.

I’ve encountered a host of health issues, two small strokes, a pregnancy at 45, my mother’s dementia and my father’s old-age tremors. 

I went from being an unabashed smoker and meat eater to a vegan (and back again to Omnivore and so on) who vapes.

I am no longer this fucked-up, long-winded girl from these journals- omg, what a MESS I was!!! 

(well, yeah, I’m still long-winded… I lied)

I am GLAD that I left that life and chose happiness. Maybe it wasn’t in the most glamorous or traditional way, but I am so relieved to re-read this shit and realize “I MADE IT! I’m HERE!!! I’M NOT STUCK!!”

Life feels so much more now. 

My skin finally fits my soul.

My perception of Love is no longer ‘lover-centric’. 

It just IS.

Life is an amazing journey, even the icky bits.

 

June 2003

I woke to a gray morning, the sounds of rain assailing my ears beyond the window. I thought it was 7:48 am, but it was an hour earlier when I checked my computer. I have only slept for a few hours, somehow I feel like I have slept for days. My eyes are crusty from all the tears I shed in the night, the outpouring of emotions I could not handle yet again. The darkness is the worst. It keeps me awake and taunts me with my own thoughts of despair.

I found myself on the phone last night, talking to the boys, to the girl, to anyone who would listen. I could not sleep in the bedroom, just like I could not look at his hands during dinner yesterday without shaking and wanting to vomit.

Over the past year and a half, I have gazed upon his elegant fingers at countless restaurant tables; I have spent hours marveling at their refined softness, the absolute gentle grace that the nervous tapping of his digits produce while we have sat and discussed food and wines and people. I loved his hands most of all, that and his dinner companionship. I learned so much of life and refinement sitting watching the subtle movements of his hands while we talked over countless restaurant meals. He was my fairy prince come to life, every companion I wished to have…almost. At least at dinner, he was always my dream.

It came as a shock last night when I realized those same hands had wounded and hurt me, that they were no longer sacred nor gentle. They were weapons, horrible scarring things. I lost my innocence in a split second, my idealism, my dreams. I remembered the horror of not being safe. I, locked in HIS apartment, with no electricity after he had maliciously cut it off…popping pills and smoking hash to numb the fright and pain I felt. I was at a loss last night, fighting back the bile that wanted to come out. My stomach did its acrobatic flip flops and I try as I did, nothing could take away the vision of his hands assaulting me, his anger, his hatred, his violence, his threats to kill me.

The phone just rang, jolting me out of my thoughts yet again. I slept on the sofa last night, away from his body and the anger I can still imagine even this morning coming from it. I heard him rise a half hour ago, undoubtedly my typing woke him. My suspicions of anger were confirmed when I heard the click of his door after the toilet was flushed. He detests sleeping in a closed room, this is his act of defiance, of self preservation or whatnot. Of something. The violence between us looms like a huge beast, hovering so close to the surface that even his intermittent guilt cannot kill it, nor can my unforgiving and very real paranoia smooth the surface anymore. I can’t pretend it away, I cannot let it go, I cannot do anything constructive. I asked him to call someone for help, a psychologist, and he did not. I think he knows this is the end, too. The last squeeze of juice from a nearly dry and overripe fruit.

My stuff still lies on the living room floor. It screams out to be packed away. I know the solution to this conundrum, I know what must be done and what will be avoided. I feel the ties breaking, though they never truly will. I will walk out this door one day in the near future and never return. I will force myself to move on and wish him well in his life. I will go back to my safe life and little children. I will not see this place, this country again. I came to him a woman and feel like a little girl running away from home yet again. I am good at running away, it is the only method of preservation I know.

The door will click behind me, one last time. Always I knew, without a doubt, that I would return to the safety of our refuge, to the unreality of our love and the imaginary life we shared. I dreamt of babies and marriage in this house, when I already had those things waiting for me in Michigan. I dreamt of growing old and loving him and all the silly things little girls dream of. I acted and thought darker thoughts, thoughts of illicit abandon, of pain and pleasure so intertwined that I could taste his blood in my soul. I have always returned, but this time it will be the last. I will shut the door to this imaginary life and love of mine and return to the real one the waits so patiently for me. I must do this, before it is too late…before I wake up one day and realize my children are grown and gone, my husband has left me and I am dying alone.

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