Thursday, April 06, 2006

Time for me to start believing in the lie

An amazing thing happened today, people--I thought of something to blog about AND I actually have the motivation to do it. What cycle is the moon in today????

Last night J. and I had a "serious discussion" about the state of our relationship, the fact that I don't enjoy being a mother much, etc. The usual shit. It was rocky for awhile but then we regrouped and recommitted to trying--mostly because neither one of us can imagine saying goodbye to the other's sense of humor. I don't know if that's enough to hang a marriage on, but we're going to try for awhile longer.

Anyway, today I was emailing J. and this came out as if from nowhere:

"I was thinking today that it's too bad that all of our meaty discussions have to be so....sad. I think I long for real discussion with you, but when we do that, we naturally go toward all of our problems. Maybe we should just try faking it for awhile and make a special effort to have real discussions about all the great things we love about each other. Even if we have to lie, maybe we'll start believing it after awhile :-) After all, what is love but a big lie to ourselves? I mean really, we tell ourselves that this one person is the best person in the world, right....but of course they aren't. They're just a normal person like anyone else, but we've chosen to believe that they are the best person ever. Hmmm. Pretty deep, huh?"

Is love just a big lie we tell ourselves...and believe? It sounds cynical, I know, but it actually makes sense to me and comforts me in a way, because if so, maybe I can start to believe it again. Maybe I can choose to believe again.

There was a time, long ago in our relationship, when I just discarded like candy wrappers the things about Jason that irritated me. Not that we ever got along like two peas in a pod or anything, but I could toss aside the fact that he wasn't romantic, because I chose to believe that he loved me anyway, just couldn't show it. I could toss away the fact that he was interested in a bunch of stuff that I wasn't, like kung fu movies and video games, because there was enough other stuff that we did enjoy doing together, including but not limited to going to movies and dances and making out and oral sex and picking blackberries on his parents' "forty" and kissing the sweetness off each other's lips. I could toss aside our differences because our similarities--similarities of values, of what we wanted for our future, of what we found funny and what we found sad--meshed very well.

Now, after 19 years together, it seems the whole thing has turned upside down, and that now we both are hanging on to what we hate about each other and are tossing away the pieces, the ever-smaller pieces, of what we love about each other. To use a pretty boring metaphor, it's like we are feeding and watering the weeds and neglecting the flowers. And you know what? We're choosing to do that. Nobody is forcing us to neglect the flowers. We just are.

J. and I might talk about divorce, and often I feel like I really mean it when I say I think that's what we should do. But the fact is--and maybe this is the same for every couple that ends up getting divorced--that I don't want to get divorced. I want to feel the love again that we used to share. And while I don't know exactly how, from a practical standpoint anyway, to get divorced, I have absolutely no idea how to feel something again that seems more and more inaccessible, and I think J. feels the same.

And now we have a child, a child I am having trouble dealing with, trouble loving the way I want to love my child, trouble adjusting to what our lives are now. As much as I hate to say this, Bubba's presence in our lives has pushed us further apart rather than closer together. Not because of Bubba, but because of the fact that I can't be the mother I want to be or that J. wants me to be or that Bubba deserves, and J. resents me for that, and I feel guilty about that, doubly guilty because of all the promises I made myself and god and whoever else after Hope died, and I resent J. for wanting more of me than I can give and not understanding that I'm not just "being selfish" as he said last night but that sometimes I'm on the very edge of just driving myself to the hospital, seriously. My "anxiety issues," as I call them, are not just an excuse for me to leave the house or leave the situation or basically ignore my son when I can get away with it--they are real, and at times, crippling. It feels unfixable because I've been working on it for years and I take pills and what the hell else is there?

So here I sit at work--a boring job I can hardly stand but have to because it pays the bills and pays for daycare and gives me a living if I do have to go it on my own. And tonight I will go home to a house where my husband and I can't figure out how to love each other, and where my husband and child will cling to one another because that's where they each find the most happiness in their lives. And I will sit on the porch and smoke and take my clonazepam and wait for the bedtime crying to end and wonder how I'm going to change it all.