Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Crippled Cells

What's a broken heart? Really! We can't LOVE with our heart, the organ that beats in our chest. We just can't. Our mind sends a signal to all the cells in our body that says that we love THAT MAN! Yep, he's the man that I want to love forever. So all the cells in the body are injected with seratonin, the happy chemical, upon sight of object of your affection. Then when that STOPS happening. When the sight of HIM makes you sick to your stomach and the brain stops producing seratonin then maybe it's time to let him go. Then future "heart breaks" can be called a MANGLED brain OR CRIPPLED cells instead of a broken heart. A broken heart never really happens. It's just NOT possible.

A couple of days ago, I had a need to purge. The result was Heart : Broken. Here is the continuation!


* * * * *
Quick review: It was his 39th birthday and I had a whole day planned out. He flipped it on me by telling me he wanted a divorce. We went to the arcade anyway. I was sad. I was hurt. I was a crying mess. Then I got upset. I got pissed.
I was ANGRY. I couldn't believe that after six years, three months and ten days of marriage, this man was DONE. Out of six years, three months and ten days of marriage... he managed to...
  • Miss four Holiday seasons together (Christmas and New Years, four times in a row) - He always went running home for the holidays. I was working in retail and I could never get off work. The holiday season was our busiest time. Instead of staying, he LEFT me.
  • Four wedding anniversaries together - He was in New Mexico with his family... our wedding anniversary was January 4th... so home for the holidays meant he'd be AWAY from me even on our anniversary.
  • My birthday was just another day. I can't remember one single gift from him. Come to think of it, I hadn't received any Christmas gifts from him either. Even though I ALWAYS sent him a card for Christmas. How's that? I had to send my husband a card, not cuz he was away on business but because he'd rather be with his mother and sisters on Christmas.
  • Two years before he decided he wanted to divorce me, we got separated. I was a nun all those months waiting on him; just hoping he'd get it together.
Well, those were the things that I thought of in my rage. I'm talking the kind of rage we seen on Waiting To Exhale.... "get yo shit, get yo shit AND GET OUT!!!" Bernadine filled that car with EVERYTHING she could and set it on fire. That's the anger I was feeling. Hind sight being 20/20, I was wayyyy too cordial to him. Even though I destroyed a whole bunch of stuff, I still loved him with every fiber in my body and couldn't set it all on fire. On the real, I packed his stuff neatly in boxes and set it in the living room, against the wall, all together, ready for him to send off. I made life so easy for him.

There was never a challenge for him. I wish I was that woman again. The woman that loved with complete abandon. Instead, I've become this woman with a whole bunch of "crippled cells" and a whole lot of reservations in my second attempt at true LOVE.

So he's gone. I call my boss and call in sick for the next couple of days. There was no way I'd be able to keep a straight face at work. I was the supervisor in the office and I knew I wouldn't fulfill my duties. The very next day, I went to a womans shelter and volunteered my time. The best way to forget your worries is to serve someone less fortunate than yourself. You will see that no matter how hard you think life is, there is someone that suffers even greater than you. I had so much to be grateful for even though my cells were being crippled and my mind was being mangled.... me heart broken and just getting totally stomped on... I still had it better than a whole bunch of folks.
When I returned to work, I didn't have much to catch up on. My staff was sooo well trained that they functioned EXCELLENTLY with or without me. Of course this made it easy for me to be promoted! But that's another story. In the days following the announcement of my divorce, I headed straight to the bar or the liquor store. It seemed that the only thing that could contain my sorrows was the bottle. Heineken, Steinlager, Bud Light, Tequila Sunrise, it didn't matter, they were all worthy company.
On many occasions prior to the signing of divorce papers, he'd call me. The calls were usually the same every single time.
"What are you doing?" he'd say.
"Nothing. What do you want?"
He'd reply, "I just called to check on you, to see how you're doing."
"Why? Why do you want to know? Why do you care?" and then I'd start crying.
And being the man that he is, he'd say, "Don't start that crying mess. I'm not tryna hear that. Do you think this is easy for me?"
"What did I do wrong? Tell me how I can make it better. Can't we try again? I'll move wherever you want me to. Just tell me how you need me to love you. I want to be that woman!" I was pitiful. And of course by this time, I'm a complete wreck and I can't catch my breath.
"Look, don't cry. This is hard enough as it is."
"Where did I go wrong? Why don't you love me anymore?" I'd beg him to answer.
"It's not you. It's me. You're a good woman. I just can't be with you anymore."
Those conversations usually left me breathless, shaking and in tears. I hated it. I hated him for coming back to me after two years of being separated to try and work it out only to leave me again. I hated myself for allowing him to do it to me. Hindsight being 20/20, I'm glad he left me. I just didn't have the guts to do it. I thought I loved him and was being a good woman by being ever faithful. What I was, was WEAK! I had allowed this man to dictate my life. Is that was love is?

Nine days after the announcement that he wanted to divorce me, we were signing papers. He still had my house key so I told him that I'd meet him at the apartment. I didn't contest the divorce so I hadn't retained a lawyer so we didn't need to sign with any lawyers present.

As soon as I walked into the house, I could feel him there. I could smell his scent. I convinced myself that the only way to get through this was to be a pillar of strength. I didn't want to cry. I didn't want to beg. I just wanted to sign the papers and for him to leave. I walked into the house, headed straight for the stereo and pressed play. Wouldn't you know it, the song playing was Lifetime by Maxwell. If you get a chance, go read the lyrics. This was my life!

He was sitting on my bed sipping a 40-ounce of Colt45. Very little was said and really, there was no use in prolonging the moment. We went into the kitchen and there, on the counter, was the divorce contract. I read through it. We had NOTHING together. No real estate. No children. No bank accounts. No bills. NOTHING. All we had was a marriage certificate and a trail of hurt that pointed to that man being in my life. The only error on the paperwork was his social security number. Even in our final days of marriage, I still had to clean up after him. I pointed to the error and he noted it. I tried stalling in hopes that in a few minutes he'd change his mind but it was becoming apparent that signing these papers was inevitable.

I was strong through the entire process until we got to the last page. The last signature. As I put my pen to the paper, the tears welled up in my eyes, the burning in my stomach began and then I lost it. He was standing across me on the other side of the counter. I just stared at him after I signed it. He stared back at me. If he read the story behind my eyes then he saw how much I still loved him yet there was only silence standing between us.

All the good things that happened, since the first time we laid eyes on each other, flashed through my mind. Our first kiss. His first love letter to me. Our first date. The first time we made love. The first time he said I love you. The nights we dreamed together about marriage and kids. The day he proposed marriage. The times he was there when I was in court helping to prosecute the man who raped me. The day we got married. Our first place together. Our wild dates as husband and wife. ALL.THE.LOVE.

The flood of emotion was overwhelming and I'm sure he was flashing through a wealth of memories as well. I was so sad in that moment. I wanted to tear up all the junk I just signed but he had to be the one to do it. The alternative ending had to be his choice. We just stared at each other through all of the flashbacks. And I knew. I knew that this TRULY was our ending. There would be no alternative.
I put the paperwork back in the envelope that it came in and I walked up to him. We hugged. I put my head on his chest, as I've always done. Tears streaming down both of our faces. His arms around me in a loving embrace. He tried to kiss me but I turned my head. (Where did he get the nuts to even try?)

"I'll ALWAYS love you," he said. "We'll always be friends."

Then we let go of each other and he walked out the door. That was the last time I seen that man.
Here I am, nearly two and a half years later and those events still bring tears to my eyes. I don't regret having had to experience those "crippled cells" because it makes me who I am today. I do, however, hold him responsible for stealing my ability to love with COMPLETE ABANDON.

7 comments:

Aziza said...

*Whew* That was an interesting yet sad story. I guess some of us blogreaders can identify with some of the pain. I'm glad that I blogrolled this blog.

Sista K said...

Oh my goodness, Neena....I too am a member of the Crippled Cells and Mangled brains sisterhood...though not quite in the same way...I absolutely felt your pain in every line..that was poignant and heart wrenching to read....

Victorious Sis said...

Definitely deep stuff. Unfortunately too many of us are singing the same song and because of that end up crippling the cells of others or completely being emotionally stingy to our current partners. Its really sad how we can let a man alter our souls like this, but our resiliance is what makes us strong, black women who continue to heal and grow. Just keep healing and growing through your writing... I hope to find my healing outlet soon. I wish I had the strength to tell my story the same way.

Chele said...

I pray for a swift and total healing for you. That will happen when you let it.

You are still giving your ex control over your life, even after he is long gone. It's affecting you to the core of your being.

My divorce was painful, but I was resolved to go thru with it. Marrying him was my mistake, and divorcing him was the only way to fix it. Blessedly, we are actually friends now, like we never were before or after we got married.

Don't make your husband pay for what your ex has done. If he loves you with total abandon, he deserves the same in return.

((((((((NEENA)))))))))))

ShellyP said...

I have to agree with Chele. I was going to say something similar. By holding back you're depriving your husband and yourself the full happiness that you both deserve.

Exhale_Whew said...

Stay strong Sister Girl!!!! Thank you for sharing your story...rest assured it will help the rest of us in this journey called life. I myself will try to be more aware of the signs.

IWA (e - va) said...

Thanks for that post.... Im currently trying to deal with my own skeletons, but have been doing it very poorly... thanks for the perspective.....but does the hurt ever go away? Is that when the forgiveness part comes in and takes over?