Writing About Not Writing

A sense of relaxation comes over me while I look out the window at the freshly fallen snow. The forest beyond the edge harbors life I’ve never seen but only heard of. Sia belts out Fire Meet Gasoline lyrics in the background. My mind is on NaNoWriMo and him.

Every year I get excited about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The anticipation of participating with other writers worldwide is worth a smile. It is an inclusive activity. It is filled with others writing out their dreams, ideas, and hopes all at the same time as me.

Saturday’s used to be all about Saturday Morning Cartoons. But, today I spent it at the office. I am not at all complaining. The work I do benefit the lives of humans and animals alike. Today, I met a group of like-minded students eager to do the same. The experience they’ll gain coupled with their personal goals and endeavors will set a positive tone for their careers.

Just like with humans, there are animals I’ll never reach. There are eyes out there, connected to minds, that process who or what I am and want nothing to do with me. It used to hurt my feelings – intensely. Now? I take a deep breath, blink my eyes, and treat them with kindness.

At home, I foster two kittens. One kitten enjoys my company. The other kitten would rather I leave the room. I get the shoulder, head turn, ears down, squinted eyes and sometimes a hiss or two. All I can do is breathe easy, stay calm, and go through the motions of feeding, watering, cleaning to keep him safe and alive. The purpose of fostering a cat or dog is to give them an opportunity to experience life at home before life in their forever homes.

My mind will never stop going to the parallel of fostering children. The goals are the same: provide a safe and stable home environment complete with typical home experiences while a home is found that will take them on for the rest of their lives. I find it sad the need exists for both, but, am thankful to do what I can for domestic animals. Fostering a child is much much more difficult to get into. I asked once.

// Photo was taken and edited by me using several photo apps: #Pixlr #Prisma #Snapseed

 

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Why I Didn’t

There’s crying, and there’s sobbing.

I sobbed, last year, after listening to this TED Talk by Leslie Morgan Steiner. It was May or maybe June/July when I sat alone at home again, without him. For months I’d been desperately trying to find my way back to a time when I trusted him. A time when I felt happiness by his side. I couldn’t find it, and his insistence on dismissing the gravity of what happened between us didn’t help. It didn’t alleviate pain, or the nightmares, or the sudden moments of fear at his light touch or quick movements.

Out of sight, out of mind, appeared to be his way of coping with the knowledge of his actions. He frequently changed the landscape of his reality to accommodate his need to control circumstances around him. This gave him the illusion of safety.

He furnished our apartment. Filled the cupboards, pantry, paid all the bills, bought my textbooks, and outfitted my foster dog.  I confused his contributions to our life living together as a demonstration of love and commitment. It was guilt.

From the outside looking in, listening to and witnessing countless attempts on his part to talk himself into a state of calm and collected self, of assurance and strength, and purpose, I saw the cracks in his carefully curated facade grow and spider out around him.

My only recourse of saving him from himself and my life in the process was to dive head first into talk therapy. I didn’t shy away from the pain. I didn’t hold back on the details. I wanted all of it to be laid out at our feet so we could look at it carefully. Together. I planted my feet into the ground and said forever and always. I prepared for a long, painful, lengthy growth spurt between us.

This is why I didn’t leave him the first time. This is why I didn’t leave him the second time. But, throughout, he kept leaving me. He kept packing a bag and driving away in search of distractions and escape the weight of his violence towards me. And I consistently found myself alone. Grieving the loss of trust and connection. Growing and healing my wounds without him.

Now, after a third incident, we are separated. No communication. No sight. Nothing but city attornies and a pending court proceeding. A protection order is not abstract. It is tangible in that there is something invisible between us now. Something thick and impenetrable.

Another bubble.

// Why domestic violence victims don’t leave

Resigned, a poem

I would choose to be the one he favors over me.
The one he keeps going back to.
The one he refuses to let go.
Even after promising to do so. 
She meets a need I can’t. 
Even after we kiss and they don’t.
She still holds something of his that I don’t.

Screenshot 2017-06-20 at 11.52.00 PM