…This isn’t a note I wish to write so. very much. In fact my friend Daniel calls me on the phone and try’s to tell me to hang on. not hang myself; tries to talk through my gibberish and calm me or see if he can talk me into calling the therapist . he knows I am lost. Lost like the poem I wrote. I was about twelve then. I wrote a simple poem and ,memorized it. decided that when I grew up? I was going to put it in my senior year book like the big kids did. I was proud of it. The words just popped into my head… scribbled it on a worn thin paper. ‘maybe I’ll show mom’. I think I nearly ran from the bus stop with my books in hands. the fall weather was crisp, bright. not a clod in the sky yet the wind howled like a mad man and it bit my face that cold air. Late fall can do that. November can attest to snow and ice drizzling itself on tress and house frames. I ran. Ran to beat the wind. I use to make bets to myself. “Who could out run who?” I nearly always won. Determined that the wind wouldn’t slow me down. my cheeks burned from the cold and a branch of a maple snapped as I passed walking as quickly as I could to my block; to my moms house. I decided to tuck the paper with the poem into a safer place. It was simply squished in my pocket. crumpled and folded in quarters. I took it out of my pocket. even took my glove off with my mouth so I could grab its edges better. “I’ll put it in my heavy history book”. And that one thought. That one deed turned things a very different way- I watched in horror as my crumpled quartered paper slipped from my hand onto the winds back and fly effortlessly away from me fast and furious. I dropped all my books. I ran after it till as children do…realize it was forever gone. I began to feel the choke in my throat. the tears welling in my eyes. my anger; cursing myself. I hated me. Never forgave myself for that. So, no matter how eloquent a word, or interesting a perspective I can have as a writer… I know a hard lesson is this; losing the the things; persons we love most is the deepest cuts of all. It’s like losing a part of yourself. And without wanting to; or volunteering for it or needing to. The piece of ourselves like tapestries woven of places people things that effect us or we effect or both. losing the things we love or care for most is losing the best parts of that fabric.
I think many writers detest their own in adequacies and inefficient way of expressing themselves;clearly, securely and profoundly. I for one am very poor at this presently. I think on Michael and I think… “my life is a heap of garbage”. Without Michael? I wish to say to the world..leave me alone and I don’t want to be anymore; not exists. Drop me off on a cold barren planet. Because that is what life feels like anyway without Mike. :
Therapist: ” He’s in pain Maddy. Do you think Mikes having difficulty witnessing your pain perhaps?” Maddy: ” I don’t know. I don’t know anything anymore” Therapist: “why do you think mike says he doesn’t love you; the way he said he had?” Maddy: “I don’t know. I don’t know anything… maybe he’s scared?” Therapist: “Maybe’. Maddy: “too much pressure to love me or try and make a relationship work?” Therapist: ” Maybe mike needs a little space. He’s under pressure from his job you say. And from himself; and he’s still confused. Maybe he needs the chance to realize things. Maddy: “things?” Therapist: many things. Admitting to yourself things is a tuff thing. Including that you hurt someone you care and love. If Pain hurts. Addicts don’t want pain. If being with someone causes pain or if you witness pain…you may feel that pain of which you don’t want to feel. Addicts needs to be able replace pain. Remember the cycles?”
I contemplate the session. I think of Michaels warm smile. His disarming look. His steely blue eyes that so captivated me. I begin to moan and cry . my eyelids look like soggy taco shells bloated from being boiled in water. I grab his sweatshirt and pull it tightly around me. I begin my usual nightly tirade at cursing God and then telling him he doesn’t exist. That if he did he would make Michael better; help him. Give him courage; If he cared would wipe it all from my mind. Or better yet just let me fall asleep and not wake up. The tirade continues for about the better part of an hour till I dangle the rope in my hand and place it above my strung curtains “no one less they were looking up would know a hang man noose up there”. I smile with the warped knowingness of cynicism.
Michael hardly ever calls. Calls when he wants. I hold back my calls now to give him room. Yet wait to hear from him-" If he would only return the call" It matters not what I'm doing or feeling or this pain I'm in. I am not witness to his world this week. The partner of an addict; the would be partner, the once partner ; has such uncertainty in their lives,seemingly insurmountable at times. Michael wants to pick me up from the hospital when they remove this tumor in my pelvis. I tell him not to bother. I don't want to feel like luggage on a sidewalk dropped off. I need to see him more Before the operation. To keep positive; find hope; courage. I scarcely muster a smile these days-
My depression leaves me stunned. curled up in fetal positions staring into the air at the walls for , I venture some two hours. I cannot move save to change a slight position. I drag myself in mornings to work. consult with clients write letters of testimonials waxing positive attributes of a company; its products. The day ends, and again I drive alone I the car. But I wear sunglasses. even when it rains. My eyes so swollen I think to lay two ice packs compressed on my face and a pillow over them to insolate; a rope tied round the pillows to keep in place to bring the swollen sad sacked appearance to some acceptable normal human features. I lay like this for some three hours.
Still debating if I should dare go to a model shoot in the city. I decide to drop the model shoot. I'm not into it anyway. Surly it will show on a camera lens. Hate High fashion shoots anyway. I am unmoved; unmotivated and reach for Mikes picture. grasping the hard cool plastic frame that holds the face of the man I love and care for but who seemingly has pushed me into some corner of his mind. I grip the plastic seams closer; bringing the picture to my chest; peeking out of the ice tray I have made surrounding my upper neck and face. The tears come too easily. And I fight them; think of the selfishness it must take within a humans mind to drop another human from theirs-a person who knows so much of you; your good your bad; your ugly...what it takes to pretend their pain will disappear or go away or you never cared or loved them in the first place.
I make a call. My desperate attempt to not take the rope dangling from my curtains in the living room and fancy what could be done with it. I fight off the urge to do this and grab a letter; a note from my friend John. Giving me a small window of opportunity my foot has a crap. I realize my potassium is very low. Orange juice. Mike always brings and drinks orange juice” I squeeze my foot in the opposite direction to rid of the cramp.
Then I make my call. To the meadows. Ironically the therapist is a guy named “Mike”. He tells me I’m panicked and depressed. That I need to be patient and hold on. That Mike is still confused and scared. His stress may not allow for much and thus why he may be pushing me away. That He probably does care and love me but its causing him pain to do so. This I argue wit. I cannot understand it. I am hurt and dismayed. Mike the therapist tells me I “need to take care of myself.” I tell him, truthfully I worry about Michael. I keep having nightmares when and If I do sleep. I keep waking hearing Mike cry and me trying to find him where he is..only hearing him. Its a ghoulish dream that scares my whole body into shaking. “I cant find him and he’s scared; needs someone to help him”.
The studio is dark save one light. I beg the phone to ring with Mikes voice. “God if you have any pity on this woman, I want to see him before the hospital”. The television dimly lights the room with the basketball courts yearly playoff games. My words are lost in the the background fading into the commentator take on the Phoenix Suns game. I realize Its late. Michaels arms I feel so safe in not around me. “I hate hospitals. I hate Dr’s and nurses” I realize I am shaking like a child completely abandoned. I am to go into this cold place on a metal slab; let someone cut through my body.. And no relatives no friends. No Michael to wake to when ; if I awake. “I hope I don’t” . The child in me. Abandoned by the person who said would never abandon me… Michael. I am lost …so completely lost- MJ-
We met for the first time in 6 weeks this past Sunday. I’m scared. Because he thinks he needs possibly to abandon us and I’m totally lost what to do. I keep praying; keep hoping. I keep telling the therapist I want Mike to just be Mike. Not shut me out. Not give us up. Sometimes he tells me he loves me. then says he doesn’t love me as much as I love him or as strongly as he did. Then says, “ he still in a fog.”
I do try to have faith. But I am scared. I don’t want to lose him. He’s a good man. Its not ALL of Mike this one thing. I’m Scared others are pushing him from me by saying I may be a “bad” reminder of his anger, guilt shame ; of the kink he did to me. I don’t know. I know I love him. Wish he’d take me to his mixed meetings. He lives in Stamford CT.
I’ve spoken to other partners on line; other addicts; therapist. They seem to think since mike’s dominating kink play/ acting out with me was not a long term thing;( I had no idea he was a sex Addict. He didn’t tell me. I was an “unknowing enabler” the therapist said); that if we work together on ourselves and with each other, we can embrace a real genuine intimate relationship; I don’t know if Mike believes it though; I think he might consider trying sometimes then other times not.
I can’t imagine all your pain. All mikes pain. I try. As a writer I close my eyes; imagine. I think it must feel like falling in an abyss; though some deep, dark hole. Now, he may lose his job too he says. He never answers my calls anymore.
I don’t want to put too much pressure on him, yet I’m worried he will lose sight of a future in us. We’ve been together almost 6 months. He’s a great guy. I guess this past Sunday, he expected me, to throw him out. Curse him. Hate him. He finally came to see me.
If he only new how seemingly girlish; nervous I was to see him. New sun dress, a big Maddy smile, wanted to see him smile too. Not ready I guess. But hate Mike? I can’t; I don’t. I love him; I care. Want to see him healthy; happy, smiling.
God knows, an addict punishes themselves a thousand times more then anyone could. Like a purgatory it must be. I’ve never been a quick to judge person. Mike says I’m too sweet. Too good. Too much courage. I’ve no clue why. Its him with courage. He says he’s not as strong as me. But I’m sure a strong Mikes in there. Waiting to come out.
Johns blog was encouraging. Inspiring. Thank you John. Really- My name is Maddy or MJ- I would never have imagined myself writing such a note. A letter. Yet, here I am. It was but a little over four weeks ago that my partner (I’ll call him Michael) broke news to me about his addiction. It was like a primal scream. I suppose;a shock at first. Then denial. We’d been together over 5 1/2 months. So after reality set in I needed to uncover many things.
I’m a actress and writer, consultant in my everyday life. This was not as easy a task as I thought. One can write about what one observes; make commentary on theories…but, my own personal hell; Michaels hell was different. To hear his suffering was difficult.
I suppose some might say I was crazy to love such a man. To find empathy; to feel compassion. After all he acted out with others; hurt me, our relationship. Made me “unknowing enabler” with some kink play. How ever someone would ask can I love such a man? How could I stay with him? Want him? care for him? Be intimate with such a man?
Lord knows I cried; still do as he goes through his first 60 days of recovery. I pray a lot. (*That’s pretty funny for an existentialist to pray.) I keep hoping my prayers aren’t just floating out there… endlessly like bubbles waiting for a good wind to burst them.
I wrote poems; letters during that first two weeks. They seem to be the only way I could communicate effortless pain in my heart. Still, all along, I never stopped loving Mike; was angry; felt hurt, used; humiliated, bewildered; depressed. But never could I look past the one thing that stood out the most- he was human. As such, not perfect. He was as I told him when I met him, “Your perfectly imperfect, Mike. We all are”… And I could not “alter” that love in my heart to try and ” hate” this man I loved.
This man, Mike who sails boats; takes others on a tennis court;wings them effortlessly; this man who mentors two children with compassion and love; this man who volunteers for his community; keeping others calm while he saves lives ; this man who enjoys movies,shows, music, ski’s and driving. The very same man takes me to a basketball game,or simply reaches cross a restaurant table for two squeezing my hand;smiling as he asks the waiter for “two forks for desert, please…this lady will have nothing less your most decadent chocolate cake”. The same man who gently brushed my hair and held me close in winters cold as we strolled the walks of Stamford during Christmas. I was suppose to stop loving this man for this horrible behavior that was one aspect of him.
I couldn’t. It never crossed my mind to tell you the truth. I sought out every group, every article I could read. Called and e-mailed sponsors, groups. Took myself to a therapist. Then, decided as General Grant did during the civil war to entrench myself. I would become the immovable rock. That silly bird always on the windowsill . I spoke to other partners; sponsors; studied and read articles as if I was reading the New York times. Mike would try to “reject me”…find excuses to avoid me. He called himself a “low life” “grub” “coward’. The man I loved hated himself. Found no redeeming qualities. How could I ever help in the process of his healing? His looking into a mirror and seeing the man I saw- A more whole person. Not simply this one deviant part of him that could be put on a shelf. I admire his courage. all addicts courage. For to me? It seems it takes so much energy sometimes. Enormous will power; and depth of a person to admit “the ugly in ourselves” ;facing down our demons in hopes of betterment, restoration, peace, deliverance and progress for recovery.
I felt very weak myself one evening. cried near all day not hearing from Mike. When they intervened. They took him to a place to help him recover I had no communication with him. I died a thousand deaths when he was gone. Like dajavue over and over each day waiting to hear from him. My boyfriend. The man I thought was like a rock was a rubber bobbling top in the seas rough waters. I had nightmares he was scared and I couldn’t help him. I realized for the first time, Mike never felt the true intimate knowledge of someone not abandoning him. He expected abandonment. He actually conceded that no one could ever love him and had said so in a letter to me. How could I express that my love for him was “unchanging”? I picked up one of my audition pieces. I needed to rehearse yet had no heart in it. I tried to recite out loud. Each time falling apart. It was /is my favorite sonnet by William Shakespeare, called “Loves Constancy” *(see below)
As Shakespeare said- “Love alters not when alteration it finds” These days- I work on making me more insightful; stronger; a better listener. And yes, I’m hoping Mike comes out of the shadows. Takes a few steps forward. One day at a time. I’m hoping that he knows that in all my pain, hurt. loneliness…that I look at his beautiful face in this smiling picture close to me on my nightstand, that I wrap his sweatshirt around me at night; hugging me as if laying in his arms, as if Mike himself held me.
I want Michael to know- my love for him is as solid as a rock; like Sigourney Weaver in in the movie “Alien”, ready to take up arms against impossible odds-like “David against Goliath”, or “Grant and the Potomac Army entrenched”, ready to do battle with any demons. Here I am, refusing to back down or falter. “I accept the things I cannot change; I change the things I can”. I’m just not perfect never have been. So, I really do pray for wisdom these days. I pray when Mike walks through my door he sees and accepts forgiveness and my love; tries to move forward together with our relationship. Moreover, I hope he sees that humans are always reaching to perfect. they do fall from grace. still they have an indomitable spirit that can help them grow and discover great things about themselves and others. Like I first said to Mike. “Your perfectly imperfect…we all are” Maddy J-
Love’s Constancy by William Shakespeare
"Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments. Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds. Or bends with the remover to remove: O,no! it is an ever-fixed mark That looks on tempests and is never shaken: It is the star to every wandering bark, Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken. Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks Within his bending sickle's compass come; Love alters not with his brief hours and week's, But bears it out even to the edge of doom. If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved."
May 29, 2007
Ever feel small? Or smaller then small? That’s how I feel. When the man you love, vest yourself in becomes cool; colder; distant. The feeling of my insides crumbling. Everything looks so stark. The world looks blank. I walk around smile only to keep the façade for others on the outside . I’m doing well. I’m holding up. Everyone says, ” concentrate on the operation your having it’s a major one. You need to feel good; stay positive” I know they mean well, but, I could care less about waking afterwards. My heart feels like I swallowed it.
Dinner with Mike. He looks better. A little more assured. Not totally confidant. Not completely in charge or out of the fog but more controlled or determined to be. I respect it. Am proud of him. Yet Miss him. Miss him not loving me. Not wanting to be with me as he always did, I’m scared without him. And know if Mike were there before/ after the operation. I would be more motivated. But I’m not. I feel so very alone without him.
Mike likes to think with all I’ve gone through in my life, I have courage. That Maddy is like “Brave heart.” Or liken to the character of “Ripley” in the movie “Alien”. Possibly I would have in school been, “Voted most likely to dare and risk everything to gain one single most important thing” (In real life I was voted “Class Non-conformist”).
So, this last week, I’m doing what hurts the most for me- hardly call Mike; hardly write him. And hardly see him. Its for me what feels the worse; What is most painful; What makes me feel empty, cold and unfeeling, like a zombie. I certainly at times feel like a zombie. I’m trying to follow another Sex Addicts advice; someone not unlike Mike and who knows about my relationship with Mike, “Let it go “give him breathing room”. I figure if he doesn’t know what I should try with Mike, who will? He’s been there. Though the feeling I am left with is empty. Like the feeling one gets after the family, friends have gathered to say goodbye to a dying loved one. Then the death. Everyone leaves. If the walls could speak what ever would they say? The room is quiet. They clean and bag the deceased. No noises. No machines or cries or gasps just quiet. That quiet silence. That empty room feeling. All the emotions gone. My own quiet. If my walls could speak? What would they say? Still, I cry by myself. Then try to distract myself sewing something. I thread the needle, begin to sew, then my mind naturally flows to thoughts of Mike , then stick myself with the sewing needle. “Ouch!” it wakens me from my mental stupor. “Hope my eyes wont give me away tomorrow”. As a part-time actress/ model. I take teabags, ice bags on each eye for two hours to bring swelling down even without crying. certainly it (smile) helped before an audition or shoot; ‘will it help when the world needs to look on this face tomorrow?”
At dinner, Tuesday night, Mike made his usual arguments , why he shouldn’t have a relationship with me presently. maybe ever! He’s decided after telling me for 5 ½ months that his professing to love me was wrong. He doesn’t. He needs time; space and to concentrate on his job; his daughters and getting himself better. I made my usual arguments agreeing with all he said and simply adding that I want to be part of his life; to try and build a “new relationship” To support him , see and hear from him sometimes. Not having Mike in my life feels like a death.
I might as well have put the white flag down. Mike still doesn’t believe in Mike. Still dislikes himself. Feels guilty, says bad things about himself. I myself feel guilty. No I don’t believe I could stop Mike from doing things. What I do believe is I wish I would have been available as a person so Mike could have confided in me Before it happened. Picked up on his signs, his cues, his hints. No. Mikes behavior acting out was Not my fault or responsibility, but I take responsibility that I as his partner didn’t “listen” very well. I still have dreams that Mike is screaming; crying hurt and someone has taken him and I’ve no clue how to find him. Save him. When he first went off to the Meadows a institute for recovery I had that dream every night I Did sleep which was not (LOL) every night. Sleep deprivation for me was a every day thing.
Now these days, Id like to be able to tell Mike, that, “No man is an Island.; No man is perfect no man hasn’t done something so hideous that he wish he could turn back time” No man should make himself invisible to the one who loves him most because as Mike says” I don’t deserve you”. I have. Told him, so many times it must all sound like a mantra. I believe in him. I love him. I care. There is no one else I want or even need. I want only to build; to try; So I can say I gave it all he gave it all. That effort was made with full hearts. He’s embarrassed. Scared. And I’m a reminder of the “bad things” he did. At least for now in his mind. Can Mike ever, ever see things different? I don’t know. The phone rang. It was Mike. Wanted to know how my day of pre-hospital testing went. I didn’t talk much. Kept it brief. Kept it less then matter of fact. Then he was gone. I sat here in tears. He only heard a matter of fact unemotional voice. Now Me? here? I’m blubber. Still trying to cut a deal with the powers above to give me my chance with Mike. Because with Mike? I know life can be good. If only Mike will see it-
So now I’m like a silent movie. No calling Mike, Less have to. I’m letting him initiate. Instead, I’m walking in the desert looking for water and a shaded tree. Turning round ,I see a pile of work I need to do; my writing for my book. Guess that’s what driving to the harbor tomorrow will help do for me. take an inch off my Long brown hair at the salon tomorrow maybe a train out East to visit my best friend Debra; go to ballys after the salon to workout for an hour.; then pray. I’m so lousy at praying. I never know what to say. So clumsy. I pray the Doctor wont scar me too badly to ruin my modeling career. I pray I can get my work done at home and meet my product consulting Quota; I pray my writing finds the middle of the book . then I see Mikes picture. So I say it out loud. .”and do you think you could make room for one more thing? I mean. It’s about Mike. I just am asking you to make him see the chance he throws away. Please. Life is so fleeting. I want my chance with Mike; so sue me. I love him.”. With my determined “Ripley like” attitude, I bolt my body to the desks Queen Anne chair; decide to commit to tackling my book. Sighing deeply, grabbing two ice bags I throw my head back to save these two swollen eye slots. “Please. just bring him back. just bring Mike back. Its really what I wanted to say. ” The ice bags leak or the tears are still coming one cat tell the difference.