Monthly Archives: November 2014

Prison Pals

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, which got me thinking about people I’ve met, people I appreciate. Friendships forged out of a common ground can be interesting, comforting, unexpected. I’ve always had a difficult time getting really close to people and still to this day do. I shut down easily, I don`t let people in. I like to put on my best Starbucks smile and hide everything going on behind my eyes for self preservation purposes. I`m there right now, today, with my Starbucks smile. Pretending. Grinning and bearing it beautifully. But there are some people I get to have my daily meltdowns with and these women are ones that know what my life is like, they listen, reply thoughtfully, feel my pain and make me laugh so hard by joking about what is not funny in order to make it all feel OK.

When someone knows the struggle, you relate, and you relate quick. Relating doesn’t always result in friendship, though, and I`ve met prison acquaintances, who have come and gone from my life which I`m okay with. Prison(the physical place as well as support groups) isn`t exactly a place where you go to pick up lifelong friends . You talk, you vent, you feel like you belong and then a couple of beautiful flowers stick out among the rest. I have a couple of women in my life right now, prison wives/girlfriends, who I talk to almost daily, who have embraced my madness and I have embraced theirs. The raw truth we let out with each other, the laughs through the tears, the motion sickness from this rollercoaster we share, is something I am incredibly grateful for.

One of these women, someone so vastly different from me yet the same, I met through a support group years and years ago and we have just recently started to get close and I feel so open with her, so free from judgment. Just exchanging messages with her through the week feels like having coffee with an oldest and dearest friend. We are honest with each other when I feel like we cannot even be honest with ourselves. Taking a chance to reach out and take our connection to the next level is one of the best things I could have done and I am so glad that I did. I truly enjoy and cherish our bond and I hope to connect in person sometime soon.Thank you, friend. You know who you are.

The other woman is someone I met 9 months ago and I did not think we would become as good of friends as we now are. I interacted with her before a visit and she stalked(lovingly) me on Facebook. I was cautious at first, as I am with all visitors seeking to connect outside of the prison walls, and had my reservations. We had a rocky start to our friendship because mostly I don`t trust people and I didn`t want to let anyone in but we have moved passed that and I honestly cannot imagine my life without this woman. We message almost daily even though she is in another country, which in a way makes communication convenient before and after work sometimes. We have a common ground of our men being in prison but we have moved beyond that and into some serious friendship territory. I can be my messy self with her and she gives me a good mix of tough love and comfort.

So, thank you to my prison pals, my warrior women, my beautiful bonds. Your strength, laughter, and loyal nature get me through my days.

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Destructing and Rebuilding

As much as I do not like destruction while it is happening, I am always, ALWAYS grateful for it after. I seem to come out the other side, feeling like a straight up BOSS. Destruction and instability is exactly what happened to my marriage not too long ago and I seriously thought things might fall apart(just a small thought, but in the midst of madness it was amplified). You know when things move fast and slow at the same time and you can just see things being blown to bits right in front of you(figuratively speaking, of course)? That is sort of what it felt like when I thought things were going to end between my husband and I(again, it wasn’t really going to end but I was having a dramatic time). The world seemed to be centered right in the middle of some tornado that was spinning around me. Luckily, I was able to regroup and get my thoughts in order enough to figure it all out before flying away somewhere into oblivion.

Every couple hits rough patches. This is just part of the package. I will admit, though, that adding in minimal contact, prison visiting, and the lack of a shared life on the outside presents expert challenge levels in a marriage. There are times when I  just STOP and I think to myself, “I cannot do this”, and I am hit by a sea of anxiety, loneliness, and straight up start to have a meltdown about it all. Those moments are fleeting, though. So what happens when your sea of anxiety, loneliness, and straight up meltdowns try to drown you? Well, you do stupid things. You do human things, actually, and you love these stupid, human, wonderful things because they make you feel normal in a situation that is not normal. These stupid, human, love/hate things you do are your air and sometimes you just need to breathe.

I’ve hesitated writing this entry but I value honesty and I enjoy being a voice for women(and men)who are maybe in my situation and find themselves at some rather tricky crossroads. Which path do I take? Do I take the left or the right road? Or the center? Do I just venture down one road for a little while and then turn back if I don`t like it? Can I turn back? Yes I can. I can do anything I want and I do and I did. I`m one half of a partnership, and a wonderful partnership at that, but sometimes in this life I have to make choices on my own.

I’ve spoken freely about my involvement with others outside of my marriage and I`m not ashamed. I`m just not. Until you walk in someone’s shoes, you have no idea what their life and their struggle is like. I have been met with mostly positive, supportive, yet smart advice from a few friends who know all the details of my “extracurricular” activities(I call it this and my husband laughs). I always disclose, first and foremost, that my husband knows everything about me, my life, how I spend my time and is fully supportive of whatever I want on any given day, to an extent. I say to an extent because bringing a third wheel into a marriage of two, no matter the situation, is going to get messy and ultimately someone is going to get hurt, things are going to be said that shouldn`t be said, thoughts are going to cross the mind that are dark and shitty and you’re going to want to run away. But I didn`t run. I face whatever mess I`ve created, we’ve created, with fresh eyes and a chance to start new.

I was involved with someone completely wrong for me, on and off, for almost 2 years. Not continuously, not very serious at first, but like all things that are taboo, you want more. You think “maybe just a little bit, but not too much” and then that becomes not enough and you want more. Well, that is exactly what happened to me, and through it all my husband and I would talk it all out, he would give me advice, I would try to be his wife and his best friend at the same time, seeking his love and approval at the same time for whatever I was doing. Well, what I knew would always happen, happened. I became too involved, feelings got messy, I felt distanced from my husband, and on top of it all: this person I became involved with completely crushed me, so unapologetically, and it shook my entire world. I knew I didn`t want to be with this person long term, as I`ve always known that I have a fierce loyalty to my husband, but I wanted this person to care, to love me, to miss me when I left. This didn`t happen. This isn`t some fairytale and sometimes the physical and emotional needs are not intertwined. Ouch.

After the ultimate dissolution of my casual affair, I bucked up, leaned on friends for support, and decided that although I needed that momentary madness in my life, that I needed to devote my time and energy to my husband. During all this he remained supportive and loving and I hurt him by neglecting him. I was so wrapped up in my own selfish bubble, thinking that I was owed some sort of break for having committed to this marriage for so long and being so completely broken by it at times. I was wrong. I was completely wrong and I can openly admit that. So, the repair began and I am grateful for the bond my husband and I share, a truly unbreakable bond. Come hell or high water, we stand hand in hand.

 

 

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An anniversary dream

I married my love 5 years ago today. It seems like just yesterday, yet it seems like so much more than 5 years ago between the effort to find myself out here in this world alone and the effort to keep my marriage flowing smoothly despite the dreary forecast. I would lying if I said I was happy today, if I said I had my emotions in check and everything is fine. Everything is not fine and that feeling is compounded by being sick, tired, and stressed out over the lack of communication with my husband and cleaning up personal messes in my life that I’ve created. The bright part of my day today is that I had a dream of my husband last night, which almost never happens. Somewhere between the cold medicine and the constant play of Lana Del Rey, my brain found him in the dark and brought him to me while I slept, giving my hope a little push in a very dark hour.

I feel like we’re on a brink right now. We have been pushed down, have had our faith kicked into a million pieces, but we always get up. I have never known such a display of love, of strength, of sheer determination than I do in my husband and in myself with his guidance. He always tells me everything is going to be okay and I hold onto that with everything that I am. It’s okay to fall apart. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to fuck everything up, seemingly beyond repair, because in this marriage I know that everything will be okay. There is no obstacle too great, no distance too far, no amount of time too long that will separate us.

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