A Hole Right Through the Middle of My Life

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I’ve just had my green card stamped.

There’s a tiny, small hole, right in the bottom left corner of the card, invalidating its status, marking me as a non-resident of this foreign country.

A hole right through my identity.

Perhaps it wouldn’t have been so bad if the immigration officer hadn’t uttered those last words as I wheeled my lone suitcase past him:

“So long.”

I couldn’t stop the tears from welling up in my eyes. Continue reading

Twin Letters: Peace

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Next weekend, I will be there to celebrate our anniversary in person, for the first time in the history of our relationship.

I can’t tell you how special that moment will be to me. I imagine you’ve got something grand planned. I imagine that you will have a repeat of some of the things we’ve done in the past; memories I hold dearly and cherish the thought of, but could do with some rearranging of the context in which they’ve occurred. For both our sakes.

As I write this, it’s T minus 3 days and counting, and then I’ll be in your arms again. This time, for forever. Imagine the sweet solitude of that first night, when we’ll wrap ourselves in each other’s arms and slip into a silent slumber. It may be the first time I have a peaceful, dreamless sleep in a long while.

And then we will awake and partake in our favorite tradition – dining at Waffle House. I’ll get chocolate chips and you’ll drink five glasses of lemonade. We won’t know who pays until the time comes. I have a sneaking suspicion that it might be me.

There’s a contentment that settles over my heart when I think about my future life with you. I imagine myself cooking dinner in the kitchen while you relax and shake of a hard day’s work. I can see myself, barefoot and pregnant – an image touted by some as the ultimate endorsement of the patriarchy – directing you on how to set up our little one’s bassinet next to our bedside. I feel the warmth of dozens of Christmases wrapping us on a cold winter’s night.

I see a love that grows deeper as we grow apart and together, separately yet undeniably intertwined. And each year we will ask ourselves, Would we still have gotten married, if we’d met each other today, as we are now? And the answer will always, irrevocably, be yes.

I feel content with you in a way I have not felt before. I trust you more than myself, to the ends of time. Whatever fear that swells in my chest, you cast it aside in a few simple words. Forever, and always, and eternity. In this life and the next. I have found you again already. I will always be with you.

I can’t help the stupid smile that spreads across my sappy lips. The same lips that will kiss you at the airport midnight this Friday.

I can’t wait to see you, love, and I cannot wait to see what this life of ours holds.

 

Prompt [2 of 2]: Compose a love letter to your object of feet-chill. Celebrate all of the reasons you fell in love with him/her/it in the first place. List everything positive you can think of, and nothing negative. Now write a missive. Vent all of your worries about the situation, and try to make a case against moving forward. I’ll bet you can’t come up with a single true deal-breaker, but giving your worries some air will feel good.
Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/beyondblue/2009/07/4-ways-to-get-past-cold-feet-o.html#wEoF4ryyAoKJ8Lhz.99

Twin Letters: Worries

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I’m worried you won’t want me there.

I’m worried you’ll see me as a parasitic invasion into your private life. Your personal space. Turning up the heater, hogging your favorite side of the bed, blasting mind-numbing TV shows for hours on end for no reason other than to have some sound going on in the house.

Calling you out on every girl you talk to. Asking you where you’re going and who you’re hanging out with. Begging you to do something other than play video games with your friends all night long.

Burning the house down because I left the stove on in the kitchen. Leaving my panties on the floor, hanging off the dresser hooks. A pile of dirty laundry sitting underneath the window sill, just waiting to be done. Morning breath and the sticky sweat of hours of nightmarish slumber.

Who would want that, right.

I’m worried you won’t want this imperfect me. It’s been a struggle keeping it up as long as we have for as many miles apart as we are. We came up with a workable system. Something that the two of us hammered out over the course of the past two years. Expectations we’ve set up so that the two of us can feel secure in our partnership, in our union.

Not all of that is going to work anymore, once we’re in close quarters. Things that ran smoothly for us when we were six thousand miles apart break and collapse as soon as we’re six inches away from each other. And what are we going to erect in their place?

Walls, to keep each other out? Walls, borne out of fear and worry and anxiety and – maybe even – regret? It was hard crafting these workarounds in the first place. We’ve forgotten the blood and tears that went into their formation. We emerge now, with a system in place, with something that works, and we forget how hard it was to come so far in the first place.

And now we’re thrust right back at the beginning, to start a whole new kind of relationship, to finally get to know one another in that way we’ve been missing for so long. But how many new workarounds will we need to create? How much more blood and tears need to be shed before we find a new system? Is our bond strong – and flexible – enough, to be molded in this way? Torn and shredded and folded and stuffed into a new pattern, like a puzzle piece that doesn’t quite fit but you make it do so, because you have to?

It would be easier if it were just like water, flowing easily to fit itself to whatever container it’s poured into. But that’s not how it is. It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be hard. And I’m deathly afraid that we’re not going to make it out the other side.

 

Prompt [1 of 2]: Compose a love letter to your object of feet-chill. Celebrate all of the reasons you fell in love with him/her/it in the first place. List everything positive you can think of, and nothing negative. Now write a missive. Vent all of your worries about the situation, and try to make a case against moving forward. I’ll bet you can’t come up with a single true deal-breaker, but giving your worries some air will feel good.
Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/beyondblue/2009/07/4-ways-to-get-past-cold-feet-o.html#wEoF4ryyAoKJ8Lhz.99

I was doing so good. [TW: SI/SH]

Self-hatred

Copyright JanMika, used under license from bigstockphoto.com

[TRIGGER WARNING for discussions of suicide and self-harm.]

I cut myself.

Four for the punishment, and four for the pain.

I’m surprised I’d gone this long without doing it. I thought I was legitimately getting better. Now I know it’s just that nothing has stressed me out to the point of needing to do it.

But tonight something did. Continue reading

Life As I Knew It

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Copyright Flynt, used under license from bigstockphoto.com

In six days, my life as I know it will be forever changed.

Today I walked for two hours in the freezing rain, lugging a suitcase filled with a heavy box to the post office to be shipped home. I paid two hundred of my last remaining dollars to ensure that they arrived safely on my fiance’s doorstep.

And, next week, I’ll be following along with them.

I am absolutely afraid. Continue reading

I’m Going To Be Financially Dependent On My Fiance

Young caucasian woman with empty wallet - broke
Copyright B-D-S, used under license from bigstockphoto.com

I’ve been feeling this vague anxiety ever since I made the decision to come home.

But I didn’t reconcile the fear I’ve had about getting married and the fights I’ve been having with TM until just tonight.

Previously, I’d thought that I was worried about getting married because we were “too young.” At 23 years of age, that didn’t seem to make sense to me, but it was the only explanation I’d had for why I was feeling so anxious.

Meanwhile, TM and I are constantly fighting over whether or not I should work, when to get a job, how much money I should try to bring home with me, how much of an “allowance” I’m going to get, what we should be spending vs. saving, and on and on and on.

Tonight the light bulb finally went off in my head.

I wasn’t scared of getting married too young.

I was scared of being financially dependent on my spouse. Continue reading

Taking a Break

I don’t even know what to say here. My brain is kind of in a fog.

Let’s just say, keeping things as vague as possible, things have been pretty bad lately, and every day they seem to just keep on getting worse.

Stupid little fights over who solved a math problem the quickest.

Someone staring at a video on screen instead of the webcam.

Calling everything off because a mistake was made and someone didn’t want to admit it.

I didn’t know that taking the next step forward was going to be accompanied by such a huge step back.

Things have never been this bad. Not for a while, at least. And it’s frustrating because the things causing these fights are not within our control. This is the by-product of other stress-related incidents that we can’t do much about. And so we take it out on each other. Continue reading

The Accumulation of My Years

Gather all the years of your life, the bright and the bruised.

– Patricia Lynn Reilly, Imagine a Woman in Love with Herself

The Bright

Year One. My first birthday. I am in a white dress at a block party celebrating my first year of life. Mother tells me to this day that everyone came to the party. I don’t remember it, but it nevertheless holds a special place in my heart.

Year Three. Continue reading