We have touched each other more since declaring divorce than in our entire marriage, it seems. We are still in this house together, and as such we are each other's only comfort some times. I feel like I got so much of my grieving out of the way in the weeks before and the first few weeks after we had the talk that he is having to catch up a bit. We are still here, together, breaking each other's hearts every day and then trying to touch away the pain at night. He wants to know why we didn't do more when we were trying to keep our relationship together. My answer is that I'm not a big fan of being trapped in someone's arms, and he never came to bed anyway.
The first night was the most intense. I was startled and caught off guard. He wrapped his arms around me and and stroked my hair and my arms with such intensity I wondered if maybe he had decided that the only answer to all this was to snap my neck. It felt that foreign to me. I didn't really think he would, but it felt like a possibility. But soon the tears flowed from my eyes too, as I know these touches were numbered. I knew I had to memorize the smell of his neck, the texture of his thumbs, and the patterns of his breathing. He wept as he traced the scars on my wrists; the evidence of so much desperation. Someday all this would feel so distant. Would I remember what it was like? Confusion set in, as I knew I felt so much love for this man. I questioned everything we were going through. How could it be right if this felt so good. But through my tears I reminded myself that these moments we were having were not representative of real life. That they came too late. That if he had shown me this need for me sooner we wouldn't be here right now, and that I had begged and pleaded for such attentions. I begged and pleaded for simple eye contact and a good morning as he started his day. I lay in bed at night for 11 years wishing I had married someone who wanted to come to bed with me. Who would want to sit on the couch with me and share tickles and snuggles. Who would want to hold my hand, and convey more feeling than obligation. Someone who could be my best friend. The person who cared about my day. Who asked because he wanted to know about my day, not because in some fight I had begged him to acknowledge my existance. Someone who would not greet the kids and dogs each time he passed and act as if I did not exist.
I think he very literally went for at least a year without ever even saying my name. Calling out to me. Why would he ever do that? And these memories assured me that despite all this pain, despite how good it felt to hold each other, we would never be ok together. We could never be healthy together. And so we wept, and squeezed each other, traced cheekbones and hands and whiskers. And eventually we slept, on wet pillows, and woke with sad and tired eyes. But each day it feels a little less. A little better. A little closer. The heartbreak doesn't go away, it just finds itself a more permanent fit in the spaces of my heart and mind. A corner to hang out that is not so blinding. Now I wonder if maybe I didn't chase his affections away as I remember that having someones arms around me for more than a short time begins to make me feel like a prisoner. Or maybe that's just something that goes away when you are with the right person. As each minute passes my need to escape feels like a vibration that grows. Like Flash when he holds his hand against a piece of glass and vibrates so hard and fast that the glass shatters. My mind vibrates harder and harder against its confines until in my mind I burst out, and in reality I move and end the moment by hurting his feelings.
This is right. This is what needs to happen. I need to be free, and he needs someone who doesn't actually need him. This is right. This is what needs to happen.