Rambles, feelings, power ballads 

Ugh. I don’t even know where or how to start. I haven’t written in so long and there have been so many things I’ve wanted to say, but life, ya know…

Music. I guess I’ll start with music. I love listening to music that makes me really feel something. It’s why I prefer older stuff and country and angry rock and ballads. So on a recent meander through YouTube, I discovered a play list for Now That’s What I Call Music – Power Ballads and I happily immersed myself in it. And then I hit Lady Antebellum’s Need You Now. And OMG! I swore to heaven I wouldn’t dedicate any more space to my ex, but apparently it’s been a reflective time…

Ok, rewind. This song is way newer than the end of that particular relationship (and I sure as fuck don’t ever just need him now), but drunk dial songs always remind me of him on a very visceral level. I don’t know why. I’ve never drunk dialed anyone. I sure as hell never drunk dialed HIM. The only explanation I can come up with is that I have never been as close to self destruction as I was with him and those songs somehow have a self destructive vibe to me.

Sooooo…. Tuesday, hubby goes to do some off season training and I tag along and obviously spend the entire training session dragging my 24 week pregnant ass (I’m huge, it’s hot and muggy) after a super busy energetic 2 year old, across 2 soccer fields… After all this, I tell hubby we’re going to Checkers, because I want something.

I have a smart husband so he complied and off we went straight to the snack aisle. Lindt is on special. You’re welcome… And as he’s contemplating Monster energy drinks, my ex’s wife walks to the fridge next to him. No biggie, we’ve been practicing pretending not to see each other for, like, 10 years.

BUT then I turn to look at something slightly back in the aisle and there’s my ex. Totally normal to shop with your wife. Except that everything inside me wanted to grab my family and run. I wanted to physically reabsorb my little girl, wrap myself around my two babies and get OUT. And I needed to figure that out. Luckily, my husband is of the sort who lets me talk such things through with him and here’s what we came up with.

When X and I broke up, it was extremely ugly. The crying, the stalking, the begging, accusing, questioning, excusing, insulting, screaming, threatening… It was just ugly. And despite the fact that in our relationship, he was the aggressor, in our break up, I was the one less hurt. By walking away, by forcing him to look at himself, by exposing years of bad shit, I hurt him. Badly. I avoid him, because I don’t want to deal with his shit. He avoids me, because I hurt and exposed him and he hates me for it. And that’s fine. It’s ok. I was complicit in that and I can literally stand before the hatred that emanates from him and not be bothered.

My family, though, had no part in any of that. To be clear, he never raised a hand to me and I do not, for even a millisecond, think he would hurt my kids. But I can’t stand for them to be exposed to even the cast off of the ugliness and hatred that ignites the air when we’re in proximity to each other. I want nothing more than to protect them from that. Life will be ugly enough when the time comes around for them. They’ll have their own versions of bad blood, I refuse to have them exposed to mine.

And that brings me to my last thought. I have two recurring nightmares. I don’t know what the normal number for recurring nightmares is, but that’s my number. The first is fairly common to women in long term relationships. It’s the one where you catch your partner cheating. Where you wake up so mad at him that you want to snip off his nuts as he sleeps oblivious beside you and the more peaceful he seems, the madder you become until the anger chemicals finally subside and he turns over to cuddle you in that way that is unique to the two of you, even in his sleep and things slowly even out in your head, or you do punch him and he wakes up confused and in pain. Whichever.

The other is that somehow, there’s never clarity here, we split and I end up back with my ex. I always spend the entire dream desperately trying to figure out how to get out of that relationship again with minimal damage and how to fix things with my husband. I always feel like a part of my soul has been ripped out and trod on and I always wake up sobbing and distraught. My subconscious’s idea of showing me the what-if of matters doesn’t amuse me. It takes me hours to settle and after, I’m always (extra) grateful for the path my life took in the end. I’m relieved to find the right man next to me, my cats taking over my bed, to hear our daughter breathe nearby and our dog “talking” in her sleep downstairs. I take a moment to drink in the rightness of my reality, to calm my own breathing and then I semi wake my husband, whisper “bad dream” to him and curl into his arms as he whispers “Ag, no. I’m sorry” into my hair and slowly life becomes ok again.

I’m not sure how my dream really fits in with the rest, but since I had it recently, along with a few other pregnancy induced nightmares, and I really don’t want to spend another post talking about a dude I stopped dating more than 10 years ago, I thought I’d dump it in here and be done with it.


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