Broken

Posted on | July 19, 2016 | 2 Comments

This is something I’ve been working on intermittently for almost 4 years. I could never really figure out exactly what to say. The story itself doesn’t belong to me, only the way I’ve experienced the consequences. That story I can tell because it is mine. This is a part of it.

In the late summer of 2012 Our family experienced a traumatic and heartbreaking betrayal, but we are all safe and sound. In all the ways that matter, we have been able to move on. But as anyone who’s experienced trauma will know, it never really stops. This writing was prompted by a simple, mundane, occurrence. 

 

That moment right before everything literally crashes down all around you and shatters on the floor? I truly could feel it all falling. It was like everything turned slow motion, just how people say.  And all I could think to do was turn my back and crouch down, in some small hope of protecting myself and the life inside of me (a life you will never know, thank God) from the pile of frames cascading toward me, and just let all of the wood and glass and memories shatter on the floor.

When it finally stopped and I started turning things over carefully, soon I even started to wonder if I had just imagined the sound of the glass breaking. It had seemed louder than anything I could imagine. I got deeper and deeper into the pile of unbroken frames and unblemished photos, trying to find the one I went in there for in the first place. The one that needed to be out of my house as soon as possible. I kept searching with no success, but I just stood in that closet and kept digging.

I knew I would find it.

Why didn’t that happen with you? I still ask this of myself, even now. Why didn’t we see this coming? How did not one person in your life have that moment of foreboding? How is it possible that it’s STILL unimaginable?

The sense of betrayal we are left with is palpable. My anger toward you is so deep that while it was still a physical possibility, I truly feared for the day I might meet you in public. In my strongest, best, most compassionate moments I imagined myself somehow marshaling the strength to turn and walk away from you with no words spoken.  But I’m not usually that strong of a person, and I hoped it would never happen.

I thought for weeks that the hardest part was not knowing what the truth really was. What had and hadn’t happened. But then we learned enough to know that the rest was irrelevant. Enough to know that it’s not that it doesn’t matter, it’s just that whatever else we may learn in the future wouldn’t have changed our actions. It’s even hard to imagine it changing our feelings toward you, beyond adding a drop or two into the  overflowing bucket of wretched anger and sorrow.

I do have days when I am somehow more compassionate. When I try to somehow imagine what it must have been like to struggle alone, as you must have done for so long. But then I remember that you didn’t have to do that and you knew that and you made the choice to continue alone.

You had no right.

 

We were friends. We thought we were TRUE friends. We loved you. We TRUSTED you. We trusted you on a level I don’t even have words for. And you allowed that to happen when you knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you were unworthy. Beyond unsuitable. That if we knew 1/10 of the truth that we could never. You robbed us of our rights as parents to make sure our child was safe.

Of course that has to be part of the reason why. You must have been certain we would all abandon you and so you never trusted us enough to let us try to help you. Whatever your logic, your reasoning, you never gave any of us the opportunity to learn the truth and then to choose not to turn away. Our choices were taken away. By you. Again.

The questions we were forced to ask ourselves over those first months were excruciating. The fallout we experience daily even now (almost 3 years later) like deciding who to trust (hardly anyone) and who to remain suspicious of for our own preservation (almost everyone, though probably none of them deserve it) will probably never end. This will never end. Not just for you. For any of us.

I will forever hate you for making this a part of our reality. No matter how far I might come along a road of forgiveness and compassion, that will never, ever change. No matter that we even sometimes miss you an think of memories with you fondly, that will never, ever change. I don’t even want it to. Because those memories are lies. That person never existed. But this is still a part of our lives, and I hate you for that.

The reality, I am trying to accept, is that we were never really friends. You were never who we thought you were. We never meant anything real to you at all.

The second I turned the frame over and saw your face I just couldn’t stop laughing. Then I couldn’t stop crying.  Then I couldn’t stop thinking.

I am so very tired of thinking about you.

Pure Joy

Posted on | March 15, 2013 | 7 Comments

Fireplace Update – Love This House

Posted on | March 5, 2013 | 6 Comments

We’re in that awkward yet familiar to millions situation of living in a house we don’t exactly adore, yet finding ourselves unable to afford to move. We bought at the top of the market and while we’re so fortunate to still be able to afford our home, we can’t get what we owe on it in the current market, let alone anything resembling what we paid for it. I was talking to some friends about this last week, and Miranda’s awesome DIH (that’s Do It Herself) on her bathroom inspired me to finally put this post together.

Our house isn’t perfect, but it’s safe. And sound. It’s in a good neighborhood, close to family and friends. It has quirks we don’t love (I could write an entire post about the world’s most asinine hallway design award that this house surely has coming to it. We think drunken lab mice designed it.) and with three humans, 2 cats and a large dog it’s not exactly what I’d call spacious. But it’s ours, and it’s affordable and it’s time we start “fixing” what we can.

When we bought this house almost 7 years ago (!!!) we did some things right away. Most importantly we gutted the kitchen and replaced the cabinets, sink and countertops almost immediately, but we also painted several rooms. In fact the only room that still has the “original” paint is our master bathroom (we’re not talking about that room. We can talk about that room $5,000 from now. Otherwise known as never.)

But there’s one thing I never had the nerve to paint. “They” tell you not to. It’s not good for resale.

(Did you hear that? I know I know, it was loud and distracting! It was the tens of thousands of dollars that we’re underwater on this house laughing hysterically at “them” and their opinions on “resale value”.)

The fireplace! I have never liked it! I am not a bricky brick inside kind of person! I never have been! But “them”! And “their” professional opinions!! OH THE CONFLICT!!

Eventually I decided it was time. I’m not leaving this place anytime soon and man oh man was I sick of looking at that thing.

I Pinterested my way to a plan and decided to whitewash it. I primarily used the tutorial from The Yellow Cape Cod, and it really was as easy as they made it sound. My mom came over one Saturday and while she started out helping me, it quickly became apparent that this could easily be a one woman job, so she ditched me to play with the kid.

The mantel is the same as what we had before (You can see it in this post) but after painting the fireplace I painted the mantel black. It looks about a billion times better.

I can’t get over how much I love this one update. It took about 4 hours, plus an extra hour for painting the mantel and it completely changes the look of the room. More importantly it changes how we feel about it.

I’ve got a lot more updates planned for this house. Next up is the master bedroom.! There will be more paint, primarily because that’s affordable and makes a big impact. It’s also something I can do myself. I’m also working hard to get stuff out of this house that we don’t use. And by use I mean USE. If it’s doesn’t serve a serious purpose around here, it can get the hell out. I’ve got a not insignificant problem with hanging onto things like clothing and furniture that I just know will be perfect someday. But it’s time to face the fact that someday isn’t today, and the walls of this house aren’t moving. And frankly, staring at that armoire I’ve been lugging around for 12 years is not helping my attitude.

I know lots of folks are in a similar position, working hard to fall back in love with what we thought would be our starter homes or even investment properties.

I for one, am hopeful about our prospects.

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