Saturday, November 5, 2016

It's Like Falling

Oh man.  It's weird being back in this space.  Doesn't hardly feel like my own anymore.

It was when the rain season came.  That second typhoon season in Okinawa.  It just did me in. Dan was in Hong Kong I think.  Typhoon season in Okinawa means that it rains daily for a couple months. But not just rain.  Torrential downpours.  Wind advisories.  Staying indoors all day every day.

It's so easy to fall apart and I did during that second typhoon of my second year in Okinawa.  The electricity went out for a few days, so the AC was dead.  It was something like 90 degrees, 2000% humidity.  The boys were asleep.  I sat in the front room watching my Nissan Cube vibrating up and down in the storm, afraid that if I turned away it would flip over.  I was willing it not to. For hours I sat there watching it.  My skin was crawling.  I thought about walking outside. I imagined walking into the sea.  I imagined jumping off a building.  I imagined being dead.

Instead I left.  I took the boys and left.   I had so much resentment towards Dan by then.  It crept up on me.  The frequent moves, the isolation, the difficulty finding employment or continuing my education... I was subconsciously heaping blame upon him for a lot of things, many of which were out of his control.  So for the next year Dan and I communicated through lawyers and stiff emails about child support.  I got an apartment in my hometown.  I got a job. Through it all he remained so infuriatingly civil.  The audacity of his love for me was appalling.

By then I knew I'd made this monumental mistake, but I was so loyal to it.  So determined to see it through.  I stood at the top of a building shouting HEY I'M REALLY GONNA DO THIS.  I'M REALLY GONNA JUMP!

That's what it felt like.  Like falling.  And only one person seemed to care and I hated him for it.  You've made a fuss.  People are watching.  You're flailing and screaming and causing a scene and at some point you have to suck it up and die already. You jumped!!  No one pushed you! Why all the ruckus?!

This is hard to write.  This is hard to think about.  I hate thinking about that year.  Those days were

I still hate myself a lot of the time.  Not as much as I did then, but a fair amount.  Like if I were in the hospital a doctor would come in and say, "Great news, loser.  Your self loathing has dropped from 80% to 30%."  I've never prescribed to the notion that everything happens for a reason, nor am I grateful for that year because it led me to where I am (which is a wonderful place despite the somber tone of this post).  No.  I would do a million things differently.  I would take it all back if I could.

It's funny though.  I threw myself off a building. (Made a bunch of huge mistakes/ hurt people I love/ messed my life up for a while.  Not sure how clear this metaphor is anymore.) I made a big show of it.  But I didn't die.  I hit the ground and it was embarrassing.  People watched me falling and had expectations and I'm still here.  How humiliating, right?? But humiliation is mighty humbling and I needed it.

This is where I tell you what I learned

It took that year to realize that I can't trust myself sometimes.  I'm prone to selfishness, vanity and self-sabotage.  As a result I have to question my motives a lot.  I have to question other people's motives.  Which is probably why I don't let many people into my life anymore. It's just easier.  Dan and I bought a farm in the middle of nowhere Southern California.  We just celebrated our twelfth anniversary.   I'm clingy now.  I cling to him, cling to my family, cling to this life I've managed to salvage despite myself.

Falling is scary.  It feels good to have both feet on the ground.