Caught between a paradise and a prison, in a web of lies, by lakeside, under a narcissists control, she was lonely, sad, carrying around a broken heart, wounded by life’s raw deal, that woman was an easy mark.
So, that decade ended last night.
That her, that once was has been changed, piece by piece. Facing her head on, finally began to see her for whom she was, why she came to be so sad, so lost, born out of betrayal and fear of the unknown, and of what lay inside, the spark, the passion, that had been hidden away.
Today, the future is no more certain, there is no crystal ball, yet following the rhymes of my hearts desire, rather than ruled by those fears.
Or, at the very least now I can say I try not to let them hold me back.
Many things were illusions. Whether it was beauty, or acceptance, or some notion of what I was supposed to want, or how I was supposed to be, I more or less ignored the things I truly desired, they seemed so far away.
She may be a mere shadow now, gone, exorcised, but she visits once in a while. She sits beside me in awe of whom I have become, what I’ve done, how I look, how I live. She knew all along, but she was scared, uncertain.
Funny how once you lose almost everything, how that tends to focus the mind.
Or, least that’s my experience, over, and over, and over.
This time it was different.
I made sure it was different.
Death is the great change maker, and Tim’s death was both a grief, and a relief, truth be told. I don’t know if I could have really left him, turned away from his lies and theft of the things I valued.
We, well I as Tim always seemed to think he was due something he had been denied, but living in such a way that I am somewhat ashamed of, taking advantage of people I really didn’t know – and didn’t know because Tim wanted it that way.
See, I learned that guilt for a narcissist is a weapon, used to get what they want, the best catch are those that wear their softness, their pain, right out there for all to see. I was easy prey.
Maybe in the beginning it was that way. Or maybe I’m being too harsh with Tim’s intentions, but I do know he loved me, or loved me as much as he could love anyone.
I mean, in the end I was all he really had. Sure, we had friends, he had “friends”, but he found out during cancer treatments how those who made him a part of their circle really only ever truly included him as their “back door guy”, nothing more.
All the backstage access in the city, the studios when they recorded, they included him because he could get something they wanted, and didn’t want to have to be seen getting themselves.
That’s all he ever was, least to them, really, in the end.
Anywho, when he died I spent the long cold winter isolated up at that cottage on a lake. Looking out the icy windows onto a winter wonderland, a paradise, a dream come true, knowing that in the spring I would again leave a garden that was never really mine, to start over, again, finally going back to that place where I grew up.
By my side though was my trusty Irish, named after that lake. Actually it would have been 10 years exactly tonight that she first came into my life.
She showed up at the window, her scared brown eyes encircled with icy golden fur, and I fell in love with her.
She had got lost in the blizzard that raged that night, and had shown up at a neighbours’ cottage up the way, and as permanent residents he thought we may know who she belonged to.
Well, as it turns out whom she belonged to couldn’t keep her, due to her son’s severe asthma, as he had been in and out of hospital all the previous month, and they determined it was due to her golden curly locks – that even now, almost a month or so since she is gone still tumbles out from under the bed, or the dresser.
I didn’t know at the time what lay ahead, but I am so thankful she got lost and found her way to me.
Frankly I don’t know, I am not sure how I would have coped without her by my side this last few years since Tim died, 6 years this last October.
Grief for Tim was a very complicated grief, not loving and missing him by my side. More damaged by the ride, the journey from there to here was not straightforward, not simple, not easy.
I think the biggest lesson over these last few years was that it wasn’t something I needed to have to be free, to be me, it was actually all these things I didn’t need, and that I learned was actually the key to the door to unlock all that I had hidden away inside.
To learn how to be me, I had to be alone, to learn to embrace solitude.
Once I started to remove things, to simplify, to quit dying my hair, to stop buying expensive so called “beauty” products, each promising a new and shiny me, but always fell short. I stopped caring about that stuff.
None of that stuff mattered, it didn’t change the inside, just the outside.
So I stopped looking for that ‘someone’ who was going to set me free, who was going to make it easier, instead I became The Hermit, and I took a look inside.
The next scary thing on the menu, was to quit my horrible no good very crappy job at the call centre, and even though I was thankful to have a job to pay for the roof over my head, my sanity was being tested and that place would have chiselled away at me until I was hollow, so I quit.
The best thing I ever did. Scary as hell, you know, to quit your job with just enough in the bank to pay the rent, the bills, and zippo, nada more. Destitute was I.
I didn’t care, god help me, I did not friggin’ care, I could not let even one more day go by at that place, not and keep my sanity, seriously.
Well, all’s well that ends well.
Now rather than sitting in some office chair listening to crybabies complain about their cheap business plans they get as a perk from work, I haul ass, walk 10,000 steps, regularly lift things that weigh half what I do, that hard slog is a mind soothing challenge for an extreme introvert.
Not to mention I get paid to work out.
Then, a couple of years ago I acquired a bike, and I began riding the 35 minutes to work, and that too is soothing, peaceful, like a moving meditation. It calms me, focus’ me, and takes me to new places I would never go on foot. Along all those paths that run along the river, I’ve explored, and am even beginning to plan a trip to Lake Erie, maybe this summer, to ride down and camp, you know? Just Pika and I, off on a new adventure.
Yes, and now there is Pika.
Her and Irish, for 3 short weeks, the old golden one, bestowing her doggy wisdom to this wee daemon ninja weasel, my fierce and fabulous little Chihuahua, currently curled up on my lap as I write this.
Everything is new for her, the trees, the grass, the leaves dancing in the wind, the muddy Coves, the open fields where she runs and bounces in delight, as she LOVES soccer fields, open and free of things to block her view.
She makes me smile, to laugh, mimicking her cute little bouncy walk, and I am lost in a fit of giggles.
Me being silly? UNHEARD of. I am NOT silly, I am serious, intellectually minded, but silly?
Oh, doth feels soooo good.
A decade ago I felt trapped, I felt unmoored, unable to breakaway from this man who had entrapped my spirit, my mind.
Today, I am not that person. She has been gone for some time.
I don’t lack things now, I have things I cherish, am grateful for, I have a wonderful little dog that makes me silly, I live in a good place, I have the things I need, and I am finally, at long last, going for those things that I most desire.
I believe. My faith is in the journey, the plugging away for what I want, for how I want to be, and how I want to live out the rest of my life. No more dragging around grief and sadness like it’s my only friend. No more searching for things I don’t really actually want. No more believing that I was missing something, or I was broken, or I was lacking.
And what next? What does the next decade have in store? Well, I guess we shall see.