Note: All lyrics are taken from here.
I’ve read from others about how the gods or spirits or whomever can play around with the shuffle features on various iPods and radio lists. I’ve never had this happen to me before. That isn’t because I didn’t want it to happen in so much as I didn’t have a place to go and listen to music. (I am really not that technologically advanced. My laptop is from 2008.) If I wanted to listen to music, I tended to just YouTube it and watch the videos or have songs that I selected playing in the background. Today, though, I finally downloaded the Pandora app for my new tablet and let it go to town. I ended up choosing a Shinedown station to listen to and went about my business. Now, really, if you know Shinedown then the song that I’m getting ready to discuss isn’t going to be so shocking in the fact that it came up. The happenstance here is the fact that prior and after this particular song, numerous songs reminding me of my ex-husband in some capacity or another – their having come out when we first got together or having been ballads to discuss our relationship in some form or another – kept coming on. The one that threw me for a loop was Always by Saliva.
I remember when this song came out. I believe I had just moved into the ex-husband’s apartment. I was jobless. I was trying to find something that I could do, but I wasn’t actually trying. I would sit at home and stew while he and his best friend went off to work all day. I believe it was the height of fall when the song came out, or at least it was when I liked it best. I can remember having the song stuck in my head on a fairly regular basis, or just letting it blast from the speakers with the windows wide open while I let in the beautiful fresh breath of chill breezes in the middle of autumn. I can remember the smell of the leaves as they frolicked across the sidewalk and I can remember the intense feelings this song arose in me. And what makes it all the more bittersweet is that if I had been paying attention to my instincts, which I never did a single lick of while we were together anyway, I could have possibly stopped the horrible horror of our relationship.
Unfortunately, when you end up in a relationship where shit is fated and tends to repeat over and over again in various lives, you may not really have much of a choice about how shit plays out. Maybe if I had just been more aware… but while I’m sitting here and writing this whole, “maybe if,” I can’t help but remind myself that just because people can see the future doesn’t mean that they can change it. In some cases, it can be truly and willfully fated – there is no way to change the events. There are ways to influence and connive and blunt the sharpness of it all, but you have to be really gifted, me thinks, to get that going. And back then, I was little more than a child. I had all the gifts of a baby realizing that those things that flail around in front of me are actually body parts attached to me. (If you’ve never had children or been around children who discover their hands or feet for the first time, you are missing out on a truly magical and amusing time.) There was no way I could actually achieve the goal of blunting anything, much less escaping from the havoc of replaying the same old shit in a different life.
I hear a voice say, “don’t be so blind.”
It’s telling me all these things
That you would probably hide
Am I your one and only desire?
Am I the reason you breathe?
Or am I the reason you cry?
Often, you will hear me discuss our relationship as “bad in general.” This isn’t actually the case. Most of the time, I say this to explain that things were just never very good between the two of us. There were a lot of fights and a lot of anger. I can remember some of our fights getting so explosive that we would destroy one another’s things since neither one of us would attack the other. Yes, it was that bad. But when I think about the relationship and I go on about how horrible things are, I tend to give other things the injustice. It wasn’t all bad.
Recently, I was talking with the Sister about her past relationship with a certain someone. She told me that she’s begun shadow work to remove that kind of shit from her. She was approaching her primary goddess, Aphrodite, and asked to help heal all the hate from that relationship. Whatever ended up happening, the moral of the story is that a goddess told her that everything wasn’t all bad. Everything wasn’t all tears and pain. She had to mourn the one to mourn the other, I believe is what she was told precisely. The second she said that to me, I started having my version of a panic attack. (And if she reads this, she’ll claim I was not having a panic attack, but I was. I was.)
I talk about my relationship with my ex-husband in the form of absolutes. It was absolutely this and it was absolutely that. Unfortunately, when we talk about things in absolutes, we forget that reality is actually shades of gray. My relationship with my ex-husband was gray scale like everything else. Perhaps it had more darker shading than some other relationships I have been in and have ended in the past, but it was still done in shades of gray.
I just can’t live without you
I love you, I hate you
I can’t get around you
I breathe you, I taste you
I can’t live without you
He took me horse back riding on the beach. He took me to a really expensive inn to “get away” for the weekend. We were only in the next town over, but it was still really romantic (in principle). He had no problem explaining things like the Golden Ratio to me over and over again, knowing that I never fully understood what it was he was talking to me about but trying nonetheless. (If he hadn’t succumbed to financial and outside pressures, he would have been a math major. He wrote a mathematical theory in high school.) He came and “rescued” BFTX and I when two males followed us from bar to bar to bar on our girl’s night out. He never commented on the relationship I had with my mother, whether it was negative or otherwise. He pushed me to write all the time. He let me watch television and never complained when I was watching my City Confidential marathons. He didn’t make fun of me when I told him I kind of liked to watch InuYasha on Adult Swim late at night. He bought me my Jasmine.
I just can’t take anymore
This life of solitude
I guess that I’m out the door
And now I’m done with you
One of the things that we, as humans, do is make everything in terms of black-and-white sketches. We look to our past with a single, narrowed viewpoint. I think we do this to save ourselves the humiliation of choices gone wrong. I think we also do this because we want to absolve ourselves of any guilt in any negative situations. I’d like to say that I was guilt-free when it came to what happened in my marriage. This isn’t the case. I haven’t quite reconciled myself as the person my ex-husband probably views me as and comments on now. (If he comments at all.)
I tend to still remark that I was “quite young” at the time. This is an able excuse – we hear it all the time when eighteen-year-olds get married and then end up divorcing a short time later. It’s not just that. We forget that these people, and myself included here, had raging emotions at the time. They were a confused muddle. I remember what it was like just shotgunning my wedding in less than a day. (We actually had to get a special dispensation to get married because, standard, you’re supposed to wait three days from the second you sign up for the license to the day you get marred in case there are any “regrets.” Unless the SO is in the military.) I was confused and excited and nervous and scared and worried and sad and angry and happy and thrilled. How do you pick apart those threads at any age? Even today, I have a hard time separating out what emotions are raging inside of me at any given moment. And while I wasn’t exactly eighteen when we got married, I was still young and new and childlike in my naïveté. I was pretty aware that I was probably making a mistake, but it was mine to make.
A lesson learned, I suppose, and a little too learned. I see myself as keeping quite the distance from marriage for a good deal longer than I tend to realize. In fact, I don’t really see myself as getting remarried again, even though technically, TH and I are engaged and have been for years.
I feel like you don’t want me around
I guess I’ll pack all my things
I guess I’ll see you around
It’s all been bottled up until now
As I walk out your door
All I can hear is the sound
On so many different occasions, I told him it was over. I can clearly remember saying this to him half a dozen times during the nearly six years we were together. In the grand scheme of things, six years isn’t too long. But at least once a year, I talked about ending it and he always talked me out of it. I often wonder if it was like that in the other lives that we were living together. I often wonder if I tried to leave but it just never ended up working out the way it was supposed to. I’m not saying that my ex-husband is conniving, in so much as he knew how to push the right buttons to get what he wanted. While I do admit that I had as much failing in all of this as he did, I can say that while I’m manipulative, I paled in comparison to my ex. He just always knew the right thing to say. I can clearly remember the one time when I thought I would get away just about scot-free. He was up north, visiting his family and I was down in Texas. And I could feel the relief at the thought of being able to end it and just mail him back his things, piece meal.
Obviously, that didn’t happen. (We got married not long after this episode, so…)
I left my head around your heart
Why would you tear my world apart?
Always, always, always, always
Sometimes, I sit up and I look around, trying to figure out what it was that kept me with him. In those moments, I look around for a clear indicator at what it was that was keeping me holed up in the tiny box I wanted to place myself in. Let’s be completely clear here: I was in a box. It was a bit of his design and a bit of mine, but I was in there. I often wonder if it was just a comfort zone thing. I was terrified of being on my own and I still am. I am serial monogamous in my relationships. I jump from relationship to relationship, but they are always long term. So, I occasionally decide that it was just fear of the unknown that inhibiting me. In other cases, I just decide that I was being young and silly. And in other moments, I decide he was a master manipulator. I probably won’t ever be able to clearly figure out what it was that kept us together…
…except that I tend to get stopped up when I remember we’ve danced this dance in so many different lives together.
And how many of those lives ended with me running for my life?
When I remember how many lives we’ve played this game, I tend to think that it’s all just the lessons I harp on about. I know people are probably tired of hearing all that drivel, but it feels like the gods’ honest truth. I feel like I had no choice. I had to keep repeating it over and over again until I figured out where it was going wrong. It’s not so much the why here that is the most important aspect. While I would love to know what it was that kept attracting us to one another in various lives, it’s really just background noise. It’s not worth the time and energy to put into the why. We, humans, spend all of our time trying to figure out the why about things that we tend not to realize how much energy we put into the question. It’s not worth all those spoons, as evidenced by how draining the experience of pondering why can be.
The only thing I want to know is when I’ll realize the ultimate lesson: that it’s officially over. In the mean time, shadow work… here I come.
I just can’t take anymore
This life of solitude
I pick myself off the floor
And now I’m done with you