I saw your light onceMy run this morning was cold because of more than just the weather. Temperature-wise it was almost perfect. Cool enough to keep my sweat cold but warm enough to strip down to a t-shirt three kilometres in and I could take my jacket off and tie it securely around my waist which gives me a slight wobble when I run and gave Lochlan pause to assume it meant I was open and ready to talk.
Did you see mine?
But not all things will pass away
You turned your light off
So I turned mine away from your sadness,
Away from the nothing that you feel for me
If I wanted to talk about Ben's drinking problem I would just talk about it instead of writing about it and then logging off, closing the browser window and walking away from it so I can see if he needs anything, pretending that it doesn't bother me when he retreats into himself, as if his pain is that much greater that he can't crawl out of himself long enough to let me help him. I want to help him, I just never know what to do because nothing works and so I just hover on the fringe of his life like a bumblebee around a garden full of wild flowers.
Loch flew out yesterday because in the brief span between the total blackout and brief, tentative sobriety Ben asked me to stop. Just stop everything. Stop letting everyone run our lives, stop letting them interfere, stop taking medications that barely work and therapies that merely spread the pain around, keeping it in the forefront and just let us be. Let us be in love, let us learn how to be happy, let us just do family things and smile more and not let the ghosts win. Not let the past be the Most Important Thing.
But then he would slip again and the snarl would return and he no longer wanted to talk or do anything except disappear and pour more liquid on his flames to try and make it stop hurting so much.
He was angry that I told people. Because I need help with this. I've never been married to an alcoholic before. I've never been married to Ben before. When we were friends, I could never understand how he made himself so easily loved and hated all at the same time. When we got married I expect that to change and it didn't.
I spent last evening following him around and watching as he turned all of our friends away. While he tried to lock down our lives even though at this point we're forced to play them out to a group vote based on the choices we've made, based on my needs to not isolate myself from more objective sources that I trust. As fast as he could turn them away, I would call them and reassure them that I was humoring his outbursts, that we are okay, and someday we might be more than okay but for today just please, please keep the peace and stay away from him so that he doesn't hurt you.
He had a few kind words for the kids, but they know and they look at me as if I make choices that will ruin their lives because they're old enough to pass judgement and they're old enough to know a total breakdown in willpower when they see it. The fragments of broken promises all over the floor was a dead giveaway.
And so I used my hearing loss as a convenient excuse not to talk to Lochlan while we ran, but just to churn the distance under my legs until I could turn despair into determination and Loch didn't have to do any convincing anyway.
I had an appointment booked this morning for therapy and I just got home from it. Just now.
It was watching Ben that convinced me not to stop. It was so much like looking in a mirror that I have no choice but to keep going forward, keep letting people in who can help me, keep going to therapy and keep taking medications that make me shake and have nightmares because for god's sake, I don't want anyone to ever look at me like I looked at him last evening. Maybe they already do and that's why I had to break one promise to keep a million others.
I was really hoping he was stronger so I don't have to be so hard. Or so cold, maybe.