How did I get here?

Okay, so now that I am recovering the old me – the writer, the dancer, the lover, the tease, the person who loved to entertain and be the center of attention, the consummate Leo – I have also rediscovered my passion. Just when I had made plans to throw in the relationship towel and become a man-eater again (Lord knows I was not going to try that “love” or “til death do we part” nonsense again), fate would have me call an old friend to console him after the passing of his mother. I knew that I could offer some support, especially since I was in his shoes nearly ten years ago. The loss feels as fresh as if it happened yesterday.

So we talked and emailed and dismissing any previous intimacies, I kept it strictly platonic. And I thought he did too. Then in conversation, the subject arose of my recent separation. To my surprise it was as if he had been holding back the Nile ever flowing deep within his heart and it at that moment overflowed.  The subject then changed to the desire and love that he had been holding for me over the past decade and his words were undeniably honest and sincere.  And I thought – So what am I supposed to do with this? This was not in the plan. Then I remembered what a friend and gifted Medium told me almost a year ago when I was contemplating the separation. After she told me that it was in the cards so to speak, she also told me that I would not be lonely. There was someone waiting in the wings, hoping for the chance to love and be with me. I laughed at the thought of even wanting a man anywhere in the vicinity of my being after the pain and heartbreak of a lonely marriage! And look who’s laughing now. The wing man is here and coming at me full force and I don’t know what to do.

I summon the lyrics from Deborah Cox’s “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here” and I am feeling it word for word.

So I placed my heart under lock and key to take some time and take care of me. But I turn around and you’re standing here. How did you get here? Nobody’s supposed to be here. I tried that love thing for the last time. “

After hours of intimate conversations and staggered meetings (I wouldn’t dare call them dates), heart revealing texts and constant sanity checks with my friends, I gave in. It had been over a year since I had felt lips on my skin or hands around my waist. And if I was going to take this leap back into intimacy, then who better than someone I had known for twenty years. I trusted this man. I could feel safe and vulnerable at the same time. My heart did that jump when I saw him and his arms felt as warm as a blanket and a cup of cocoa after hours of being out in the cold.  I had deep feelings for him that had been suppressed for decades and they were relentless. I felt like a school girl waiting anxiously for the next phone call or text. Waiting for the good night phone call and the deep voice telling me to sleep tight. Who is this person who has taken over my mind and body? What are my friends and family going to think? Isn’t it too soon after the separation? (Hell, who are they to judge? I am the only one who knows that other than living under the same roof, my husband and I have been separated for years..).  My head said “you’re crazy”, and my heart said “I am falling head over heels for this man..” He told me we would take it slow and that he would catch me and never let me fall. So I leapt.

And I’m still falling…


Facing the fear

Kids at the beach
A Day at the beach

I can’t tell you how good it feels to sit and write. I have been riding this rollercoaster called life hard for the past month and a half and for now, the ride has stopped and I have a chance to sit still. No rocky bumps, no feeling of my heart falling to the bottom of my feet, no nausea and no loss of breath.

On my 45th Birthday, my husband gave me the gift of peace. After the year and half of couples counseling, the bargaining and the anxiety, anger and tears and passive aggressive behavior, he agreed to pack his things and leave. I chose to spend a few days at the shore with the kids. I used every last penny I had saved and booked two days at the Trump Taj Mahal, rented a car and met my best friend for life at the shore. I needed to separate myself and my children from the disease that had affected our lives for too many years. I knew as I was driving away that I had made a decision that would change my life and my children’s lives forever. Did I do the right thing? Was I being selfish? Was I ruining my children’s lives forever? Would they hate me for protecting them from a world and a future that they were oblivious to? Or did they know exactly what I was doing and were thankful? I wouldn’t have the answer to any of these questions anytime soon. I had to step out on faith and sit with the inner knowing that I was doing the right thing for myself and my children. I was feeling so may emotions at once. Sadness, pain, sorrow, peace, freedom, joy, confusion and fear. And my kids didn’t have a clue.

The joy in their eyes when they saw the gold, gaudy rooftops of the Taj Mahal and the six-foot chandeliers, the rainbow colors lighting the escalator and the bells and lights of the slot machines. It was their first time in Atlantic City and I wanted it to be a memory that would hopefully dull the pain that awaited them at home. The empty living room and the heartbreak of knowing that Daddy doesn’t live here anymore.

The most difficult thing I’ve had to do since burying my mother, was telling my kids why the furniture was missing and why Dad wouldn’t be living with us anymore. My husband chose to leave the fun part to me. Wiping away their tears and rebuilding the comfort and safety of our home. And through the financial stress, support hearings and full-time parenting, I regret nothing. I am so thankful for the love and support of my family and friends who have held me up when I felt like I couldn’t stand any longer.

I didn’t think I would ever be able to step out on faith and insist on a life of peace and joy. I take things one day at a time and I thank God for the little things. I am thankful every day that we have a roof over our heads, and food to eat. I am thankful that my children sleep peacefully at night and that I have a monopoly on peace and quiet when they do. And I am thankful that I am free to feel my feelings and sit in the peace and quiet and write.

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