We got married. It was perfect and amazing and everything I dreamed about. Our good friend officiated the ceremony and our family was all there. The kids were all involved and our family feels complete. I am so so grateful to the mother of my step-kids for trusting me in her children's lives. I love my in-laws and new sisters, cousins, neices and nephews. It is right. It is good.
Then Chicago and IOCDF convention filled me with so many ideas and passion and encouragement and determination to make a difference for the OCD community around me. The people are fantastic. The ideas are exciting and I can't wait to keep working together to make a difference for those people who still are trapped in their illnesses. It gets better. It gets fantastic.
And then life was all "Hey guess what...KICK IN THE VAGINA!" Fuck. I've been struggling. I know rationally that it is just circumstances. It's life that I must get used to. It's inconveniences like the air conditioner going out and the truck breaking down. It's changes in the landscape of my normal. It's realizing that another woman...THAT woman...is spending time with my kids that I don't get to. It's being sad that she gets to watch them grow and change and have fun and that because of her, half of my time with them is gone. I want her to appreciate every second she gets that I don't get. It's that I want them to love her and I know she loves them which makes me happy but also very confused. It's that I want the best for her and I thank her for taking care of my babies but I don't think she will ever truly understand the pain it causes me. And its the fact that I still have to be OK with that. Because it is reality. And I'm trying. God I am trying. The two people that betrayed and lied and belittled and emotionally raped me and destroyed any chance of true trust I ever had and even affected my current relationship with my amazing husband because I will never be able to fully open that hardened and burned and damaged part of me to him and they who crushed me worse than I ever thought possible get to spend 50% of their time with my kids and I miss them. And I don't think they will ever understand how badly they hurt me. But it's also that I truly want the best for her because my kids love her and that is enough for me. And she gave me the opportunity to rise from the ashes. And that is enough for me. That is a gift to me.
So in the last several days as I lay crying and cursing and trying to get my pain under control and regaining my drive and determination, I recall our wedding and our vows. As we sit together, my husband and I, and he doesn't tell me that it all gets better and that it eventually stops hurtuing; he doesn't patronize my emotional journey but instead he stands with me as I travel it. He knows that i must feel the hurt so that I can feel the triumph and he stands right next to me as I fight. He tells me that he won't let me quit. He doesn't try to take away the hurt and confusion because he knows that it makes me stronger and better and that it gives me the ability to empathize with others like me. It gives me the chance to forgive. I have to feel it so that I can rise above it as a better person. And he knows that. And he is wiser and more patient than me. And he is that way becasuse he went through his own journey.
All that to say, I want to share with you the vows I wrote to him on our wedding day. He wrote his to me as well and they were perfect and touching and I will remember them always. But those are his to share. This is what I promised to him:
I remember the first time I met you. I had no intention of meeting anyone. But you have incredible persistence. And an unbelievable ability to catch me off guard and make me entirely surprised at myself. In a good way, I mean.
And still today and every day you catch me off guard by doing exactly the opposite of what I expect. In a good way, I mean. I expect frustration and I get patience. Limitless patience. I expect anger and I get laughter. I expect ramen noodles and you give me amazing penne with garlic Alfredo and all the colors of bell peppers which, do in fact taste different. And then you clean the kitchen.I expect you to run. And that you do. But you run in the opposite direction of my expectation. I prepare myself for you to run away and I even push you to run away because I expect that. And you run. You run right to me. And you hold on. You run to me and you encourage me and inspire me and challenge me and run right beside me. Never ahead and never behind. Right beside me through the mud and hay and cargo nets and ice baths. Right beside me as my partner. An equal. I never expected that.
So, I love you because you make me desire to be better. To do better. To stop settling and keep growing. And you make me want to do this for you, but more importantly you make me want to do it for me. I promise to keep growing and I promise to do my best to encourage you and stay right beside you as a partner.I promise to love you even when we are broke or when we are rich and famous.
I promise to love you and be your best friend when we are young and healthy and super sexy until we are old and saggy and we know that we see still ourselves as sexy even though everyone thinks we are old and saggy.
I promise to dance with you even when I step on your feet and trip over your boots. I promise to learn how to do laundry the correct way or at least try. I promise to always sit by the lake or by the fire or on the porch and drink beer and watch the sun go down. And when we are old and saggy we will drink coffee and watch the sun come up. Because old people like to get up super early and do that kind of thing.I promise to love you when things are good and when things are not so good. I promise to be there when things get broken and when they get fixed.
I promise to laugh at your jokes. Even the not super funny ones that I don’t understand.Mostly I promise to try. I’ll keep trying for you every day. Until we don’t have any more days. Thank you for being you. I love you.
So I've been having some shit days this last week. But I promise to try and turn it around. Because I have so much good to be thankful for. And I will turn it around and I will keep trying until I don't have any more days. Because the time I do have is short. And I plan to soak up every minute.