these three men

Eight years ago I suffered one of the greatest humiliations of my entire life (to date). It set off the longest, darkest period that I had ever experienced. It was excruciating.

There were three men who played important parts in the tipping point that night:

  1. the one who caused it
  2. the one who unwittingly set the stage
  3. the one who witnessed it

Really wouldn’t want to have been any of them, but any of them would have been better than being me that night.

This is the same night that I often refer to as “the night my friends had to scrape me off the rocks.”

I haven’t really talked to any of them since then. Once, since that night, I ran into the witness.

I was still mortified.

And suddenly, today, they are all back in my life. Just spoke with one on the phone, the second left me a voicemail today, and number three is my new neighbor.

Hmmmm.

 

My conversation with Apple support

“Hi there, I am trying to retrieve a number that I deleted off my phone.”

“Did you accidentally delete the number?”

“Sort of. It was a boy’s number and I put it in my contacts, then deleted it, then he sent me a text and then I deleted the text and the number again.

and now, of course I want to talk to him and I can’t find his number. So can you either help me with the number or give me some relationship advice?”

“Sorry. Boys can be stupid.”

And, thank god, we couldn’t retrieve the number. If I deleted it, it was probably a really good idea.

At least from a self-preservation standpoint.

 

Utah (again)

I had a hankering. I was really uncomfortable in my skin, in my town, in my head, all week. Anxiety, tears, overwhelm.

So, like I do, I headed west. Last time it was so soothing, so grounding, so perfect. Obviously I expected the same this go ’round. It’s why I went. I was teetering here; I assumed that when I got there, the wobbling would end and I could stand up straight again.

It didn’t happen quite as quickly as I had hoped. I mentally fidgeted on the drive, down at the river, hiking up the wash. I went back to my room late in the afternoon and tried to nap – I just needed to shut my brain off for a little while – but the sleep was restless, like when you drink caffeine too late in the day.

I sat under the stars in the hot tub. I took Elvis for a short walk around town. By 6pm I was in my room for good.

Vivid and unsettling dreams. Not nightmares, but I had enough anxiety running that my sleep was definitely restless.

Today, I still couldn’t relax. So out for another walk with the dog. I found a bench, on a hill, overlooking the tamarisk and the river. The red cliffs towered over me.

I watched Elvis play in the sand watched him chew on a piece of juniper bark. He was content. He was more relaxed than I have ever seen my anxiety ridden little man. And that’s when I felt the first tingle of having my feet land on the ground.

FINALLY.

As I sat there, the sun finally began to warm up the air and the very first singular bird songs quietly began. I had to pause and listen to make sure that’s what I was hearing.

And then, a lone raven.

And it hit me: I am a wild creature. I am not a pet. I am not livestock.

I am a raven, not a chicken.

I am a singular creature of the desert, not of a herd, or a flock, or colony. I’m not happy to simply enjoy the green grass of my surroundings.

My range needs to encompass vast areas of wild country. As much as I appreciate the beauty of the ranches and farms around here, it’s not expansive enough for me.

And it’s much too tame.

I’ve been living with, and as if I am, livestock.

It’s a beautiful lifestyle – admirable – fulfilling – rigorous – satisfying.

But, it’s not me like I thought it might be.

I am of a different breed.

And I lose track of that and then my life goes all cattywumpus.

Note to self: be a raven.

what works for me in “doing the work”

Friends who are willing to call me out on my bullshit, unapologetically.

People who have known me intimately enough to know my “patterns” and point them out to me, reminding me, gently or not so gently, that I’m doing it again.

Someone who loves me enough to hold me accountable, expects integrity from me, and is always willing to toss a different perspective into the mix.

People who have seen me, not people who only know me through what I have told them – what I have let them see.

Folks that will first let me vent, even irrationally, to let me know they care enough to listen to me being my worst.

And the people who show up with love and forgiveness, not judgment, over and over and over.

I have surrounded myself with people like this and am grateful for it.

Right now, I’m on high speed – every single conversation with one of these people, in the last couple of days, but especially today, has basically rocked my world.

And each world-rocking brings a small bit of peace – a perspective, a phrase, an experience, laughter, that eases my anxiety and reminds me that I am just one in seven billion.

I am being pushed through my own bullshit and at the same time, supported so solidly.

Who is this person?

All of my life, albeit intermittently, he has been there: as a friend, as a lover, as an ex-boyfriend, playmate, breaker of my heart, and one of those people with whom 15 years of no contact makes no difference.

Obviously it’s some sort of karmic relationship – that much I know is true. He vanishes and then somehow, magically appears when I find myself single.

He does not read my blog and we are in touch with zero mutual friends. It’s an intuitive move on his part.

And here he is.

Again.

We had a real relationship years ago. He ended it (for understandable reasons), and I moved away.

We regrouped a few times, sort of…

Basically we had a handful of opportunities over the years to sleep together. It was when we lived far apart and happened to be in the same place at the same time. It never went anywhere. I finally started saying no because each time, my heartstrings got tugged.

And then, eventually I’d say yes again.

Why oh why, you might ask…

I don’t know what it is about him – soulmate, twin flame, karmic nightmare, but the pull is so unbelievably strong that I just can’t quit him.

Then, I was in a relationship with MXB and even speaking to this man felt like a betrayal, so I didn’t.

Determined to not go there again, I’ve not responded to his most recent attempts to connect. Finally, the other night I answered the phone.

Two hours later I hung up saying to myself, “Oh shit.”

I hear my own voice change – it sounds intimate. Parts of me that I have been gripping, come loose, feel free.

I feel understood – not in just a feelings sort of way, but in a very basic “I know you” way. Laughing with him is like settling into my ginormous recliner to watch the sunset.

In the years between conversations, I forget the ease, the humor, the love.

And I guess that’s what ropes me in again, time after time.

Now, I am currently not roped in, but will I be?

I want to say that I won’t go there again, but chances are, I will.

Certain of my friends will call me and lecture me – and I will absorb every word – they will be right – and wise –  and yet, there’s a really good chance that I won’t listen to any of them.

And it’s not because I am desperate or lonely or even horny. It’s because it’s him