Tag Archives: Personal

Cycles – Another 4th of July

The Fourth of July was one of those holidays I liked when I was young, as most American children do I suppose. As a child, the summer holiday meant cook-outs, family gatherings (which, growing up in Maryland meant ‘crab-feast’), and fireworks, of course. I was given the full course of propaganda growing up, and for most of my elementary school education drank the ‘ain’t we great’ kool-aid. It wasn’t about until I entered middle school that l began to see more of the real world, but the enjoyment of the celebration itself remained. I enjoyed going through the ritual of seeing the live fireworks displays, and later shared that experience with my children. We would go to see the yearly displays wherever we lived at the time, and on one occasion got to see them out in the desert on what was perhaps their most enjoyable childhood vacation.
The holiday took on another aspect when I met Kali, who happened to have that day as her birthday. The celebration was a birthday celebration for both, and for those years it was almost always a joyful event. The fireworks would be the close of a full day of birthday shenanigans or other joyous activity, and were perhaps some of the best holidays since my childhood.
This all changed when I met Michelle. Every holiday, every otherwise joyful occasion, takes on a different tone in a narcissistic relationship, as does almost every other aspect of life. During that time, the holiday changed into a day of loss and longing. During this time and to the present, I have missed more of the celebrations than I have attended, and it has come to represent the darkest times and moments of a relationship that almost ended my life, and will continue to affect me on a physical level for the remainder of my days. Since meeting the now-ex, events in my life began to form a pattern, a cycle of crisis that repeats every number of years. I’ve noticed some OCD tendencies in myself, enough to where such patterns stand out, and this is one of those periods. Instead of going out to see the fireworks or going to see family, I’ll be packing in preparation to move. I don’t see this as a crisis in this case, however, but as a natural event in the process of healing, which can be a long and difficult process for survivors of abuse. It is difficult, to be sure, as like in other similar times the timing is in conjunction with other pressing matters simultaneously, but without the emotional drain and other negative factors involved with a narcissist in the picture, I can face it with a much different perspective. So, instead of it being negative, it has now become a period of intense forward mobility. A lot is going to happen over the course of this summer, including the completion of the longest, strangest thing I’ve ever written, and once done, there will be nowhere to go but up.
And maybe next year, I’ll have a reason to go see the fireworks.

~Namaste

A Sad Loss

I received word that my first wife, and mother of my first two children, passed away at approximately 1 a.m. this morning. I have yet to process this, but it has affected me, and I believe it will for quite some time to come. I do know that for me, it marks the end of yet another era, another chapter of my life. Yet more of my past is now locked forever in history, and my world has become smaller with her passing.
I met Gina when I was still in high school, and she was my girlfriend from my sophomore year onward. We had our share of misadventures, as many of that age did at the time, and memories of those times come out of the dark now at odd hours to remind me of just how long I’ve been on this road. We got married pretty much right out of school, for different reasons, I suppose, although both of us being young and stupid counted for a lot of what happened after.
Yes, things went wrong. It was my relationship that blew my portfolio review for MICA, where I had pretty much been scheduled to receive a full scholarship, and this changed my life to an extreme degree. There was a great deal of misery and strife, also because we were young and stupid, and I became a work horse, doing whatever I could to support my wife and children. I hated most of these jobs, hated life a great deal of the time, to be honest, and although I grew to know our relationship was in trouble, I continued to hold onto hope until the very end. Things were made worse by my grandmother, who did not hold my wife or her family in any regard, and made things harder for us because of it.
This was made even worse after we divorced, using whatever means she could to cause more tension between us, and still being young and stupid, I did nothing to make things easier. It took another ten years for us to reconcile our past, and to begin treating each other civilly. We had done what was necessary for the children in the meantime, but it was never friendly. I resented my treatment, and it took years for me to understand how we had both been manipulated by our caregivers, and the truth behind what had happened to us. It was then that I could finally forgive her for the things she had done, and let go of my anger. In the end, we ended up creating two beautiful children together, and I came to understand that some things…are not about us; they are about greater things.
Yet, despite all the bad things that happened, all the things she may have done against me in our marriage, I know she never took pleasure in it. Anything we did, we did for reasons inspired by our youth and inexperience, for our own protection, or doing what we thought we needed to do. Neither of us ever set out to set up the other, or deliberately cause them pain for our pleasure or benefit. In short, my first wife had some flaws, as do we all, but she was not a narcissistic monster like the one that nearly killed me several years ago. She did not deserve the cancer that ravaged her for four years, did not deserve the pain and fear it brings, nor did her children or husband, all of whom are decent people who do their best to make their way in the world without hurting others. Gina never had what could be called an easy life, and I think she deserved much more happiness than what she received. I can only hope that now, after fighting a battle against that dark and insidious opponent, that she will finally know happiness and peace.
Farewell and Godspeed, Gina. Rest now, and take joy in knowing your children, all of them, love you and will miss you.
As will I.