In my little ditty about myself, I mentioned that I felt my other sacred space was ransacked. I have this blog on there still but there is so much that I wanted to say about it that I felt I couldn’t.
So there I was at Home. Where I know every road, every nook and cranny. Where memories flood every space in my mind. There were good and bad. I tried to focus on the good, and not the ones that taught me what good really is; but you know how it is. It’s a flood of recognition, not a trickle. Everything you saw from that vantage point comes back to your mind, and I happened to see a lot from there. Almost everything. This was where the principal had pulled me into her office to discuss how she feared that my boyfriend was abusive. I had laughed it off and told her we were just playing. This was where I gave up on Mike. Well, where I thought I he gave up on me. He came into my school to tell me that he was leaving and not coming back. I remember collapsing and weeping. My best friend picked me up and carried me to the bathroom, so everyone wouldn’t be staring at me. I just laid in her lap and cried and cried. This was where I had unwittingly told the entire freshman class that I was a bitchy slut basically. (Though I really wasn’t.) This was where I found my journal with letters to Mike after I’d dropped it on my senior trip. I had humiliated myself there over and over. I could’ve stripped naked and revealed less of myself.
Even though I have tougher memories, those ones are the most potent because they have everything to do with me. Not other people and me, just me. Those are the ones that are the hardest to re-feel. I saw everything. It was all right in front of me, but my husband was by my side. I don’t know how much he guessed at my thoughts, and I wouldn’t dare to ask. The truth is I wouldn’t want to allude to them at all -the memories- for fear that he hadn’t noticed and should happen to ask. I would answer Him I know it, but that doesn’t mean I want to. I know they were public memories, but I like to think that everyone but me has forgotten. I know it’s not true though. Mrs. G, the principal, confirmed that for me.
There I stood in the spot where I thought my life changed, and it did. There I stood in the spot where I thought myself capable of dying of a broken heart. But I wasn’t alone. And truth be told that’s why it took me four years to drag myself back there. It wasn’t because I was busy, though I was. It wasn’t because I thought I was better than that, though I say that’s it. It was simply because I couldn’t face those memories alone.
So then as I was thinking all this through, I realized; I was the soul. Yes, that’s what came to my mind. I was the soul back then. I was a doormat. I felt with every fiber of my being. I fought within myself. I fought for full control of my mind, and I was unembarrassed by the overwhelming pain I felt at weak ties and sorrow and goodbyes I thought myself completely incapable of saying. I wasn’t just myself. I was possessed and it didn’t matter that it didn’t make any sense even to me. I was driven by something else entirely. I was completely incapacitated by my love for Mike. I was never alone because he always spoke to me and followed me every where I went. And I thought he could read my mind.
We were on our way home, working through the last two days. A viewing, a funeral, and a visit, and I sat there thinking of the visit. In truth, saying goodbye to Gram Russell was easier than saying goodbye to the woman who helped me through the hardest times in my life. Though it wasn’t her funeral, it felt as if I was sure I’d never see her again. I said what I needed to say though, and I have no regrets. I’m glad I faced those memories completely. It was necessary. This time I left not at war, but just with me and him- his hand in mine.