There's a defense mechanism I that kicks in whenever I am in your presence. When you are not around, I work hard at fighting those yearning thoughts, feelings without words, jumbled into oppositional convolutions of love and loathing. When I think about you I think about two things that are hard to admit to myself: that you are the man I deeply love, but also the man that has deeply hurt me. I suppose it would be easier to tell myself that I stand indifferent at the thought of you, but I have never been good at lying to myself. My hope has been to rid myself of all emotional investments of you, and perhaps this is the instinctual defense that kicks in, while deep down, the war's smoke and casualties rumble within my unconscious, soon to come pouring into the front of my reluctant mind.
The man I love. Lets put aside the pain for a moment to let the truth of this thought exist. There's an unavoidable feeling of concern for you, a nurturing type of concern. I don't know the immensity of the pain you carry that would keep you distant from our son, but in my moments of pure joy with him, at times, there's a seeping in of sorrow because you're not there to share the experience with us, and he cannot partake in the same joy with you. There are also those short, warm memories of affection that blow into my solitary, quiet moments - the rare caresses, my hand in yours, the scent of your fleshy lips as they approach mine. Quickly though, even as I write this, the warm feeling turns into a raging fire of anger. Anger for your inability, or rather, the neglect of your persistence to love.
The memory of realizing your infidelity quickly obliterates the warmth, and the violent waters of pain hurricane into the back of my eyes. I push the ocean back into my sinuses. I can't hide the feelings from myself, but I have to hide them from others. No need to let others remind me that my mind has been lost in the dissonant music of dancing emotions. I begin to wonder if you were ever as present as I was, as dedicated. Were you always mistrustful? Had I just not seen it? Had you always been lying to me, even about the smallest things, only because you were afraid to let the skeletons out? Were you so afraid to let it rip through a small telling of truth, that you had to seal yourself up from me, or what you believed to be a predator? How many times have you lied? How many times did you sleep with her, kiss her, and touch her - every second justifying your deceit. How else could you justify your actions but to turn me into the monster, your enemy, a black hole, as you would say? You had me hidden beneath a mask, and kept the key inside the piece of your heart that withheld your invitation.
I was suffocating. No attempt to save us could be seen through that hardening mask, and it became synonymous with my face each time you saw me trying to love you. It became clearer over time that you would never see who I was again- the kisses became more distant before they disappeared. Your hands would no longer find themselves in the private corners of my body, where I had tucked in my love. Each morning that I woke up without you beside me was a terrifying reminder that one day I would have to accept the loss of you, although I couldn't yet.
I thought that my love would outweigh your fears, your faults, your fallacies - how typically female of me. And perhaps after a number of failed attempts, I thought, that this is where we were headed. I would continue to fight against this image of me you kept trying to create, conceptualize, and deepen in your mind. I did not want to live in a war. And so to end it, I had to surrender, and accept that my love cannot overcome your pain, no matter how true and authentic it might me. There lit a spark in me that would have blown my mind to pieces if I had not tamed it. I had seen myself in the far future torn, and weathered in my attempts to love, and all attempts taken for granted. I had seen myself broken into someone I am not - a disbeliever in love. I had to salvage what had made me most human. I understand now that love can only reach its fullest potential if it is nurtured by those who share it. A single person's love alone cannot incite another's. A person must be ready and willing to take part in the journey. And perhaps one cannot know if his or her lover is ready to love until they dive into the sun.