I am at work.
I am getting through the day on Xanax. Yervant & I have decided to part ways. I am numbing myself. Losing another person I love is excruciating. I am heavily medicating.
Don't worry. No one would ever know this. That’s how good at putting on a show I am. I may appear stressed or slightly sad, not like I am using. Sadness is usually a hard no in my book. Appearing sad to people, particularly my children is avoided at all costs. Sentimental, when appropriate. The facade that began to crumble around the time Matthew was born had taught me not to completely shut it down. The truth is, after Matthew was born, this flawless skill of shutting that shit down was malfunctioning. It didn't work every time I invoked it.
The only way to make it through some of my darkest days was self medicating. The only people who knew were Yervant & my coworkers with desks immediately next to mine. I had zero shame popping a Xanax after Yervant would leave the room. My coworkers knew that if I was to continue functioning that day, the pill popping was a must. They never judged me. I think they felt sorry for me. They all wanted Yervant & I back together. Everyone could see we loved each other. A lot. We were both despondent at work. He had even asked for a mixture of some of the pills I would carry around.
We were hurting.
But now, my door was open.
I open Facebook to take my mind off the absolute irritation of a new chauvinistic coworker that Yervant doesn’t bother straightening out, because he is enjoying seeing me get ruffled. I had certainly done a number on this poor guy. My crazy emotional scars from Matthew's dad had reared their ugly head on someone who didn’t deserve it. Trauma that had nothing to do with him. Trauma that had been locked away for a couple years & because I wouldn't dream of directing all of it at the person who had inflicted it. The feeling that I would get hit by a bus if I did so, always stopped an unleashing of all of my raw emotion onto Him.
Yervant took it all.
And he loved me anyway, hard.
I still left.
I had broken this man.
Yervant is not the first man who has gotten a taste of this. I do this with every man that makes me feel anything. Men are strange. It usually wraps them around my finger. The flipside of the crazy is enough to keep them all coming back for more. Another strong skill set I have.
Anyhow, this new hire was doing a splendid job of bugging the fuck out of me. He behaved like I was his personal assistant.
Learn how to use a fucking computer you douche. No, I am not typing jack shit for you.
Yervant really enjoyed watching me belittled by this pig he had hired. I started to half ass the job I loved, my drive to please Yervant out the window. I was messy. Heavily medicated. Freshly heartbroken. Contemplating quitting. Far from perfect.
And, at that very moment, Facebooking in the middle of the day on the clock.
Because fuck them.
A message is in my Inbox. He messaged me.
I imagine it feels like when you get struck by lightning.
I was electrified.
But after exchanging a few messages, even the 3 Xanax couldn’t hold in the flood. I broke down at my desk in front of my coworkers. Goy, Rose & Rachel all looked over with concern.
They had never seen me cry.
It was unlike me. I explained it was Matthew's dad. They all had heard about him. I left the office.
He is very private to me.
It felt wrong messaging him in front of others. Like a secret I didn’t want the world to know. It was to be held close. It didn’t help that the dam had broken either. Crying in front of others smashes the capable, happy exterior I like to paint.
Although I was clearly falling apart, I stepped out to breathe & finish messaging with him.
Packets flying over the internet full of everything my soul wanted to say.
Things I didn’t need to bother putting in black & white. Things he already knew.
That it was him. It was always him.
He tells me things I have always known, but he expresses them.
All the things I had wondered, or in moments doubted, were true.
We do not do this.
For some reason, we do not express these things aloud. They are clear as day when we are together.
Hmmm. Maybe that's why.
The Universe did a lot of the talking for us too.
She did not stay quiet when we were together. She got louder. Whether she spoke up while we sat watching the trailers for a movie & I whispered a song line in his ear, the next moment, the trailer is playing the same freaking song (not anything popular in the moment, an oldie). Or when I am unpacking from my fresh move to Huntington Beach, He had suggested we watch Alias. I had never seen it. I am bitching about how I can't find my vintage Alice in Wonderland book & I have unpacked all my book boxes. Guess what Sydney is doing in her next breath? She is upset because she doesn't know where her first edition Alice in Wonderland book is. These things would always go unmentioned, not a word about them. It felt strange to point them out. An unspoken understanding of what was happening when were together, hung in the air.
Some are too bizarre to share here, or are very private moments & it doesn't feel appropriate, but you get the idea.
I have a million of these. A freaking virtual library in my brain of them.
That's hard to walk away from.
We begin to navigate a long distance relationship via frequent video messaging, texts, calls & a visit in my hometown so he can meet his son.
I am weary of how to broach the subject with Matthew.
Matthew had looked to my ex husband as his "dad". He is an ever present pillar & wonderful father.
At the same time, to have these 2 souls meet is one of my greatest wishes.
Matthew's father & I spend an evening together at an Airbnb next to the sea in my hometown.
It was lovely to be with him again.
When Matthew is dropped off to us, we head to the beach.
As of this writing, I have lost all of the photos from this time. My phone has mysteriously not backed up this swath of time.
It is a void.
From the moment I leave from SoCal to meet him in my hometown, until the day we break up, nothing. Not a single photo I took in this timeframe remains. Everything else, safe & sound. This time period is a black hole to my phone.
The next morning after our trip to the beach & another evening in our seaside AirBnB, I look to Matthew's dad for advice on how to deliver the news to Matthew that he is his father. I have spent wayyy too much time overthinking this moment & I am not sure how to do it.
He tells me to "Keep it simple. He's a kid".
I was pleasantly surprised at this complete 180 he had done. He was eager to tell Matthew.
He is right. I deliver the news simply.
"Hey Matthew, we wanted to tell you something. He is your dad!"
Matthew's eyes meet ours.