My grandmother, matriarch of my maternal line, sent me a private email in response to one (or perhaps several) of my recent posts. It was well meaning and brief. I started to type the following as a reply, but as tears welled up in my eyes I decided that I was probably writing more for myself than for her, so I did ctrl X and then opened a blog post in a new tab.
The message I ended up sending to her was a clipped, “Thanks.” with my email signature appended. I know she’ll read this at some point, mainly because she’s on my blog’s mailing list. It’s not that I didn’t want her to read the following words or that I think everyone in the world needed to be privy to a private conversation necessarily. I just thought maybe I was saying things to her that perhaps she didn’t necessarily deserve and perhaps I was talking not just to her, but to everyone I’ve recently interacted with.
So, To The Matriarch De Mi Familia Grande (And Others):
Mama keeps telling me to call you. I just couldn’t…
I know you all down there on Mars do love and care about me, and I know that prayers are your way of helping/coping with bad situations.
I know you’d probably say well-meaning things and attempt to comfort me; there’d be a lot of crying on my end if not also yours. I’d heard stories of other times other people went down this same road and how far they’ve come since. That’s what a lot of my internet acquaintances and few close friends have done in these past couple of months.
As hard as it is to be going through this, knowing that I’m just one in 52% of all American adults (or whatever the current stats are) doesn’t really help me cope. Knowing people are there for me is great, but the love I get from ancestral and descendant loved ones isn’t the same as the romantic love I thought I had and have now lost.
I always wanted my marriage to be like yours; I’ve heard that y’all had rough patches along the way, but you seem to have prevailed. Anyone can look at y’all and know you are in love. I don’t want to hear that y’all credit your God for that–I’m glad that that’s common ground y’all have but I know other couples wed as long as y’all have and still in love who don’t have that in their lives.
I guess I just needed or still need to mope about like I’m the only person in the world who has ever had to give up so much on someone else’s agenda, like I’m the only person in the entire universe who has ever had to go through the definitive ending of an eight year relationship.
I don’t want to think about all the lectures and foreboding words I’d heard in ’03, ’04, ’05, ’06, and ’07 when our relationship developed problems and I thought it was ended for good back then. I don’t want to think about how we built our marriage on a quicksand foundation or how fidelity had never been his strong point. I don’t want to ponder whether the good ever truly did outweigh the bad.
I wish I could fast forward through this stage and see the end game. I wish I could rewind to some magical point on the timeline where maybe a different decision might’ve yielded different results. I wish that divorce were as easy as getting married was (a retired Methodist minister in an empty courtroom with clerks as witnesses and Luna our only guest).
I would never trade my little girls for anything, never put them below anyone else on my priority list. Yet, I feel a strong sense of guilt for bringing them into a world that didn’t turn out like my American dream. I keep wanting to reacquire the “wealth” we had amassed. I feel a jealous rage every time I see a Facebook post bragging about how good el padre de mis hijas has it right now when he claims he cannot possibly spare a single dime to either send directly to them or buy things for them and send those things.
We’re not doing terribly. We have plenty of food in the pantry and fridge. We have clothing, shoes, socks. The girls have diapers and training pants. I purchase in bulk and/or stock up through sales/coupons. The girls have a new pediatrician and I can get a doctor of my own. The girls are in preschool/daycare. I am working hard on my MA. It’s not that we haven’t gained plenty of ground since being here…it’s just what we lost. Maybe it was all material possessions and imaginary circumstances–but it was our reality for so long it’s difficult to let go.
A Similar Email I Actually Sent To Another Acquaintance Today:
To put the following in context, the acquaintance had pointed out that we must sometimes settle for what we can get rather than getting what we want. The last sentence is in reference to a course we are taking together este semestre.
Very true. I suppose I’m merely well versed in the art of self pity in spite of evidence to the fact that there will always be those in similar or worse stations in life. Helping someone build a lifestyle that, although not precisely lavish, was nonetheless comfortable by comparison to whence you’d both come and then having said person evict you from that lifestyle is a hard pill to swallow. Not the worst possible scenario, of course.
One merely hopes things had turned out differently. I suppose pounding on the padded walls won’t get me out of the cell any quicker, but it feels deceptively more productive than lying there. I’m babbling and rambling and making myself seem less intelligent than my IQ would seem to indicate I suppose. I hope you are having a great week. I plan on posting the same academic thoughts I’d shared with you to Blackboard at some point this evening in the hopes of generating conversation with our colleagues (classmates, cohorts).
After my little copypasta routine and contextualizing statements in the previous parts of this post, I looked around to see that the younger of my offspring had finally fallen asleep in her bed (she’d been dancing before that). The older child is also snoring away–poor thing is ill today. In light of that, I will go check on the crockpot meal I am cooking and finish working on an essay I’ve due today.
Green Day–As my memory rests, but never forgets what I lost, wake me up when September ends.