Almost all hurt that can be cured by the written word. I wish I knew why.
A week ago, I miscarried the twins I was carrying. For one blissful week, I had his babies in me. I love my husband. I mean, I LOVE…my husband. He is the air I breathe. My strength to stand. He is my be-all, end-all. My alpha and omega. My omega. My Isaac. We met when we were children. We fell in love with when we were twelve and we’ve been there ever since. When he was near, breathing was easier, nothing was ever wrong, and a warm peace just settled in me. Every day at school, I would arrive twenty minutes before him and I would look for him and wait. He’d walk off the bus and we’d burst into smiles. Instantly, existing became easier. I would walk with him to his class. I’d sit with him until the bell rang, and sadly, I would depart to my own class.
We never touched, never hugged, never kissed, never dated. We simply just were.
In our senior year, being apart from him was unbearable. Being beside him was where I belonged. I got sun stroke and he brought me water. He was so angry with himself for not realizing how long I had been out in the sun that his hands shook. He would not leave my side. It’s like, he was there always the inhale of my exhale. We simply can not be apart.
I hated summer when I wouldn’t see him. And when we graduated and September returned, but not school an overwhelming darkness came down on me. I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think. I needed him. I went mad with need. I spent the next three months urging a mutual friend to pass on a message. She kept forgetting. I didn’t. That following January, he called and just like that my breathe came back to me.
Believe me when I tell you, at this point, I still had no idea I had loved him all this time. Loving him is so natural, at first, I didn’t even know it was there. He knew and he gave me the space I needed to discover it on my own. We spent summer of ’99 together. We talked gardened together. We played together. We planned a family and named our children that summer. We were 19 and I knew I would marry him.
He left for college and we talked on the phone nearly every day. We wrote letters and recorded tapes for each other. Every week we mailed back pages and pages. We never talked about love. It was always just there. I signed my letters with “love” and he signed his as “yours.” When he left, I gave him all out letters for safe keeping. I started a journal where I poured my heart out…and then…I lost him.
It was the year that AIM and instant messaging launched. A girl who desired him broke into his account, and, posing as him, ripped my heart out. She told me all the things they did together.
“Why would you tell me this?”
If it were true, he never would have told me. He was kind and gentle. He knew I loved him. He didn’t have a cruel bone in his body.
“Because I want you to leave and you don’t get it.”
“Is that what you want?”
“Okay.” I was his slave, his servant, his moon and stars, and, if he wanted, the dirt under his feet. I deleted his number, closed my AIM account and walked away. I spent three months toggling between weeping and a state of numbness. I replayed that conversation in my mind so many times. Something was wrong. It just didn’t sound like him. Was it him? I realized, after three months, it wasn’t him. I don’t know how, but it wasn’t him.
I found his number and called him. No answer. I left him countless voice messages. I wrote him letters. All came back “return to sender.” Many simply went unanswered.
That first year, I called and wrote every day. By the second year, I was calling and writing every month. Then only once every three months, then four. I couldn’t find him.
I called him every now and then out of the blue when things got real bad and I needed to try again.
I married. Had children. “He has to know!” I tried again.
I felt like a hand had clamped down on my throat and was slowly squeezing the life from me. My perfect love who wasn’t, inside me he beset, his lustrous stone of diamond gold that does not suffer rest. A heavy weight settled into my chest and there it would stay taking my life from me, slowly killing me. At once, all music in my life ended.
Seven years gone and I felt as if I had just lost him. I was still just waiting and looking. I dreamed I would look up one day and he’d be there. I would find him one day…I hoped every day of my life.
By year eight, the pain on the inside was seeping. I remember one summer day, just falling to the floor screaming. In hindsight, in all I’ve lived through, that pain hurt the most. I couldn’t stand. The diamond gold has squeezed the last breathe from me. I was crippled. I knew it wasn’t him who spoke those words that day. I knew it. But I couldn’t find him. My heart bled. I remember looking up from the floor, desperate to relieve the pain. I pushed myself up, and reached for a pen. That day, I began to write.
It helped. I can’t believe how much it helped. I poured my pain into the pen and, somehow, oh, someone please tell me how, the pain eased somewhat. I wrote, and I wouldn’t stop.
The year was 2008. It was November. I listened to my nagging brother and finally signed onto Facebook. Within 24 hours, I received a message.
“Hello,” from my Isaac.
It was like, looking up after ten years from beneath a rock that had me pinned to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, and just like that there was sunlight.
What to say…what to say…What to say that I won’t scare him away.
“How are you?”
It’s all I really wanted to know.
“Why did you leave?”
The flood wall that was holding me together burst. It wasn’t him. I knew it. I was right. Had it been, he never would have asked me that.
“What do you remember about that day?” I asked.
“I remember it all.” I had played it over in my head for ten years. “You had been talking with me on AIM. You had introduced me to that girl. And then, your words changed. You started telling me about the sex you had with her.”
“I remember,” he wrote. “It wasn’t me.”
“You told me how much you wanted me gone, but I wasn’t getting the hint.”
“It wasn’t me!”
I could hear the desperation in those words. As if he could undo ten years with those words. As if he was willing those words into our past and insert them into my last conversation with him.
“It wasn’t me!”
I believe in red threads. If you had an Isaac, you would believe in them too. His heart is bound to mine through time. Our red thread is made of mithril.
When I found my Isaac again, we were battle worn. We saw the ghosts of the children we had been, but a shadow had descended over us. That girl had told him that I told her I was married and to tell him I don’t want to be friends anymore. She then manipulated and lied him to her bed. He had been as broken and breathless as I for ten years. Hurt like that hardens you and you forget to live. You forget love. All that remains is that pain that forever pulls at you.
He remained a committed bachelor. I was his love and only I will do or none. I filled my life with as much family as could, desperate to fill the hole in me. We had lived like this for ten years. It changes you.
I can’t describe the scars. There are just so many. When we found each other again, the life and breath returned to us. But it was came with fear and trauma. We were terrified to lose each other again. It’s so easy to do. We ran back to each other with all the love of our childhood. And we ran with our shadows weighted with chains. Part of me blamed him. Part of him blamed me.
“How could you not know it wasn’t me?”
“How could you believe I ever would have left you?”
“How could you trust her?”
“How could you leave?”
For me, the hell of believing he would ever hurt me like that lasted three months. For him, believing I would have hurt him like that lasted ten years. It was I who revealed how he and I had been played.
We shared friendship and our childhood. We shared that perfect summer. We both suffered through those ten years. And just like that, he and I were together. Married. Committed. Doing all we could to merge our lives so deeply into the other’s due to a desperation riddled with fear. We were so terrified to lose each other again that we leapt at each other and wound that read thread so tightly around the other that we were creating new scars and had no idea.
As children, what problems we had vanished when we were together. We did not talk about the father who tortured, beat him, and starved him. We did not talk about the rapes I endured or the brother who beat me. While together, we simply forgot all that. I had no idea that there had been any pain he suffered. He had no idea of the pain I had suffered. For the other, we only ever smiled and laughed. Now, as husband and wife, we shared it. We shared everything…and yet there was a wall we just couldn’t get through. Yes, he was my Isaac, but something wasn’t right. Something was very different. It was like the scars from our private ten-year war had formed an infection inside us and that infection had changed us.
A quote from Outlander – Voyager Book #3 by Diana Gabaldon best describes this moment in our lives. “We know each other now less than we did when we wed…Will ye take me and risk the man that I am, for the sake of the man ye knew?”
How I wish I had known those words in 2008. They would have done much to help our situation. I think…when he and I came back together, I think we both believed the other hadn’t changed. I knew my Isaac. My kind, gentle Isaac was still there. We knew, at the core of the other, that we were the same, but something new was there. We were changed, I came to learn this week. Changed by an addition that had been compounded with the old. Oh, we were still ourselves, but we had suffered through the same ten-year war. We were harder, colder, angrier, and we both understood the price of gullibility. We both understand the price of blind faith and trust. And we had both learned never to trust again. Not even each other.
It is 2019. Last November, we officially surpassed our ten year anniversary. He and I have officially been together longer than we have been apart. We had waited long enough. Those children we dreamed up as children…It was time.
This last August, he and I began Invitro fertility treatment. I had my tubes tied in 2007 and…FUCK! JUST ONE YEAR BEFORE I WOULD FIND HIM AGAIN! FUCK!
Okay, THAT hurts.
This August, we began the IVF process. Six months of preparation and $8,000 later, I was pregnant with twins by 10 January 2019.
Reader…Dear reader…Almost at once, I watched my Isaac return. The cold anger that accompanied his return vanished. It melted the cold steel around my heart too. For one week, I got to see the precious boy who I fell in love with so deeply twenty-five years ago. One week of pure bliss…and it was gone. I miscarried last week and we lost the twins.
I had his children inside of me and just like that, they’re gone. It’s devastating, but…losing them has done something to us that…I’m still trying to figure out. Hence this article.
In an instant, we became each other’s rock. We’re gentle with each other. We turn to each other. We trust. We take turns carrying the other through grief. Sometimes, we both just fall to the floor and weep. The weirdest thing…the thing I hadn’t noticed until now was even missing for ten years…is that we both tell jokes and laugh. Every time we talk, we take turns cracking jokes just to see the other laugh. We used to do this as children. We laugh, eager for the smallest excuse to laugh and our laughter encourages the next joke. We hold each other, touch. We’re more sensitive. We actively hunt for ways to ease the other’s pain. At the moment, my husband also has pneumonia, and his grandmother passed away three weeks ago. Yeah, I know. When it rains it…I don’t believe in that stuff. I believe that life happens good and bad. I believe when it rains, the sun will shine again. I believe that’s balance. Not karma, pessimism, or fate. It’s just balance. Ying to Yang. Good and bad. Sad and happy. Life and death. A balance.
I was talking to my husband yesterday and I saw him both as the boy I knew and loved and as the man I found ten years ago. I saw them both at the same time and realized, the man only learned how to wear an iron mask. He hadn’t changed. There was only something new to the boy I had loved and, finally, through our shared grief, I could see him.
Eating is the hard part. It reminds me of being pregnant and then reminds me that I am no longer. We’re re-starting the IVF treatment in February. I’m terrified more than ever as I’m flooded with more “what if’s” than I care to recall. Whoever those two little people may have been, no matter how short their little embryonic life was, they did a lot to restore and heal my love and I. Through shared private grief, we’ve found each other again.
We’ve named them Jeremiah and Hope. Something about giving them a name was important to me. I don’t know why I had to. I told my husband, the next ones will be called Luke and Leia until their birth because they will be our new hope. I had started to knit a blanket for Jeremiah and Hope…I haven’t been able to work on it since the miscarriage. I don’t know what to do with it. Destroy it? Finish it? Never touch it again? Continue it when next I’m pregnant? I thought about finishing it in a soft gray yarn. Finishing it in the happy blue, purple, and white stripes seems wrong. I think I will finish it in gray. Then I’m making a rainbow blanket. I love knitting the baby blankets.
I’ll be back to tell you how the second run of IVF treatments go, and I have a few articles to write (and finish) on how the first set of IVF treatments went though, I have no idea how I’m going to do that.
I’m walking away from Brain to Books and B2BCyCon. We’re closing our doors, but that’s for another article.
If you want to read more about Isaac and I, check out these links: