I miss my friend. I miss having someone to text. I miss right now, supervising the hot pink Barbie driving duo, having someone to converse with. Or someone to text if they aren’t here.
I miss having someone to share my day with; the big things and little things. Triumphs, failures, frustrations, and laughter.
It’s almost time to go inside and put kids to sleep. I haven’t eaten and I have zero appetite. I don’t look forward to the quiet that is overwhelming. The irony that I wish for silence often with four very loud children isn’t lost on me. When I have it, it feels so loud. Although I often feel touched out and just want space, this silence falls and I find myself wanting to touch someone. I want be on the couch holding a hand, propping my feet on a lap. The absent-minded stroking of a thumb on the back of my hand or neck.
There are times I feel like I’ve finally broken out of a dense fog. It was so thick that I struggled to make sense of the shapes my eyes found. Words were muffled and my skin felt frozen by the white swirls. Suddenly, I feel like I’ve stumbled into a sunny meadow. Everything is too much. The light attacks my eyes. I’m overwhelmed by the sounds of wind, birds, animals, and people shouting. Sweat forms on my skin, droplets sliding down towards the earth and blazing a trail of fire along the nerves.
Hiding isn’t an option; as far as I can see shelter is now where to be found. For a brief moment, the fog seems like home. I want to race back into the mist, letting it embrace me like a college friend who just moved into my city. Instead of an embrace, I sway in the breeze. I squeeze my eyes shut, trying to block out all the pain. It doesn’t work. When shrouded by the fog, I didn’t realize how numb I had become. Now, emotions break over me like waves smashing against a rocky out cliff. I can’t stop them. They rush at me so fast, so frequently, it seems that I can barely breathe before bracing myself against another onslaught.
I feel like I’ve entered this odd phase of mourning in regards to my separation. Earlier this week, I realized that I miss my friend. I miss the person that I used to text all day. The person who I could share the kids’ hilarious thoughts, complain about them fighting over air, and the person who I could count down the minutes until bedtime. I miss the person who I could share my worries and anxieties with. The person who would tell me it was going to be okay. I want to have someone to share memes with or to message Timehop memories. For over eight years, I had a person that shared these moments with me. Even if I was upset at him, I could still save a meme and send it to him and break the tension. I had someone who came home and made it so I wasn’t the only adult in the house. I could tag myself out and let someone else soothe a fussy toddler while I hid in a bath full of hot water.
These emotions are more confusing when I remind myself that things weren’t always sunshine and rainbows. There were days I didn’t want to talk to him. There were days I wish that he would stay at work for another hour. The good and bad intertwine and make the already murky pool of feelings even more stirred up and the bottom impossible to glimpse. For the past week, things have been increasingly tense and awkward. It feels like weeks have passed when it has barely been seven days. I haven’t been at my best and have allowed pointed jabs and unnecessary comments to slip past my better judgement. Even acknowledging these mistakes brings a wave of chaos. Am I sorry for the words I chose? Honestly? No, I’m not. I’m human. A living, breathing person who is angry and hurt. I’m angry for so many reasons, at so many different variables that it feels it would take hours to list them. The hurt, which has surprised me, caught me off guard.
From March 2018 until the end of April in 2019, I was caught in a swirling vortex of mists that blanketed my thoughts, my emotions, and my ability to process everything that was happening around me. For months, I listened to people praise me for “handling it so well.” The praise felt hollow then. Handling it well? Why wouldn’t I be handling it well? Look at me! I’m evolved enough to handle this separation, his new girlfriend, and my children’s emotional pain with dignified class and an unshakable grace. Actions that bothered me were easily vented to close friends, acknowledged, then pushed out of my mind. I never expected them to come roaring back, demanding to be examined again, screaming for an autopsy to determine what I really felt then, what I have to feel now, and what the hell to expect in the future.
Anger is easier. If I’m angry, then it doesn’t hurt. If I focus my anger, sharpening it like a sword, I can pretend that the fuel behind my rage is how easily he moved on, replaced me, and started his new life. With the fire dancing around me, it is easy to make pointed jabs, roll my eyes, and ignore everything. If I continue to feed the flames, find new reasons to be angry, the hurt doesn’t appear. It’s when I exhaust myself from attempting this bonfire to end all bonfires that the hurt creeps in. My brain quietly makes connections and slides them to my conscious as if on an assembly line. Oh, you think you’re mad because you’re picturing him snuggled up with her enjoying a romantic evening for two? Nope. You’re hurt because you realize how out of sync things became. When it’s easier to think, easier to feel, anger isn’t the first emotion. I find that I miss the simple intimacy that comes from being married for a number of years. I miss having someone to share those things with, someone to end the day with.
Doubt creeps in and I begin to fear that I’m creating this perfect image in my mind that isn’t real. It stings to realize that part of the problem was yourself. I can’t pretend that I don’t deserve my fair share of blame. I also know that I can’t go back in time and change things. I can’t fast forward to the future to see what lies ahead and strategize. I can only feel the waves of emotion that threaten to knock me down. I am allowing myself to be angry. I am allowing myself to be sad. I am allowing myself to miss my friend. I wish I knew that simply experiencing the emotions will be enough. I wish I could skip ahead a few months and be able to judge how I’m handling myself. I’d like to see if the easy, carefree, and fun relationship between us has returned. I want to know if we ever get on the same page again or if we are doomed to constantly be out of sync.
Lately, I’ve been tempted to just find someone new. Find a new person to text all hours of the day or night and allow them to become my friend. Does that make them a crutch? Does it make me a user? If only I could find the answers to these questions in the back of my life’s manual.