...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

'what's the things they never showed you'

There's a church I pass on my way to and from work that I'm quite fond of. It's old and remote and you know immediately that it's a place that struggles to maintain itself, but does, and quite well. Every time I pass it, I wish I had a camera with me to capture the things I see around it. Flowers in the spring. Hand lettered signs advertising bake sales and chicken dinners. Congregants selling fresh corn from the back of trucks. Cats sleeping on the concrete stoop. Never more have I wished I had my camera than yesterday when I noticed two red balloons, bound together and tethered by ribbon in the branches of a tall, bare tree.

I thought about those balloons all day while I was at work, vowing to stop on my way home and capture them, even if it meant using my crappy cell phone camera to do so. I thought it would be a great photo, even if only I saw it. The more I thought about those balloons, though, the more I thought how very much they represent the state of my marriage right now. My husband and I are like two balloons stuck in the spindly branches of a barren tree. There's still a little life in each of us, but we're stuck in something that, while not quite dead, looks like it from the outside.

The thing about balloons is you never know quite when they're going to wither away to nothing and become garbage or when they might explode from the pressure exerted upon it. Right now, I feel like both aspects of such a balloon. I want to rage and scream and explode while at the same time bide my time until I simply wither up and become a wrinkled shell of what I once was, which was full of life and joy and possibility.

It's exhausting pretending to be happy all the time. I'm exhausted all the time. I'm too tired to cry. I'm too tired to scream. I'm too tired to talk. I spend 8 to 10 hours a day attempting to convince people - friends, family, strangers - that I am so very fine, absolutely wonderful, how are you? - that I can't be anything else when I get behind my own doors and left alone with my thoughts. My body aches from holding itself up. My hands ache after uncurling them from the fists I've realized they're in. My mind never seems to shut down because it's filled with thoughts and words I want to scream.

The other thing about balloons, I thought, is one of the pair stuck in that tree could break free and float away, miles and miles and miles away from the other. I'm not sure yet if my husband and I are like those balloons, and, like I said, I'm just too damn tired, too damn over-emotional to think about it, so for now, right now and for so long before now, we're stuck. Tied together, bound by knots, and stuck. Just like the balloons trapped in the branches of a tree in the church yard.


To everyone who has read, commented, or sent me an email - thank you. Also, I'm sorry for not yet getting back to any of you. It's that exhausting thing. That pretending I'm OK thing. I'm still going to try, but until then, I just want to say thank you.


Anonymous Mandy G. said...

Thinking about you. I wish I could do more to help.

Friday, December 02, 2011 1:19:00 AM  
Blogger Bijoux said...

I'm so sorry. XO

Friday, December 02, 2011 5:49:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa @ Lisa Moves said...

I'm sorry, I wish I could say or do something that would make you feel better.

Friday, December 02, 2011 8:06:00 AM  
Blogger Craig said...


If my poor little e-friendship can help, I hope it does. . . a lot. . .

Friday, December 02, 2011 8:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Cat said...

I only know you through this blog. I don't even know your real name. I do know that over the billions of years we have both been blogging, I have enjoyed our online friendship. Knowing you are going through this is heartbreaking and I wish I could do more to help than just comment and say, "I'm here. I'm listening."

That being said, this post was really beautiful and brought a tear to my eye.

And you know, I'm here. I'm listening.

Friday, December 02, 2011 9:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful image, those balloons. I am like that. I see something that might mean nothing to anyone else and realize that to me, it means everything.

Music does this to me. A scene from a movie will do this to me. Seeing people in Walmart does this to me. Believe it or not. We are the type who like life to mean something, for things to grab us and shake us, and we don't get it when things don't mean much to those around us. How can they maintain?! How can they just not see it?!

I am there with you.

Sometimes, holding on is all we can manage . . .

Friday, December 02, 2011 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Bekah said...

I wish I could do something more, but I want you to know Im here too. Im thinking about you.

Friday, December 02, 2011 1:08:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

just wishing you as much peace as is possible....

Friday, December 02, 2011 2:33:00 PM  
Blogger lime said...

find a safe place where you no longer have to pretend you are fine. you need that. it will help preserve your sanity. it is exhausting to always be pretending. truly it is. you need the release valve of a safe place. i pray that person/place becomes very apparent very soon.

Friday, December 02, 2011 3:22:00 PM  
Blogger Bex said...

If I lived near you (and I'm pretty sure south texas is really far away from you) I would bring you a pot roast and a pie. Because that's my typical response to all the messes life throws at us. So please accept the thought ... it counts. :-)

Friday, December 02, 2011 5:50:00 PM  
Blogger Sailor said...

I hate that, for you, the exhaustion becomes almost like an entity that needs fighting all by itself... I hope and pray that you'll find a place as lime says, to let yourself be free of the pretending...for what it's worth, I'll tell you that being a "rock" for too long, is deadly.

Sending {Hugs} and as always you're in my prayers & thoughts.

Friday, December 02, 2011 9:07:00 PM  
Blogger Chrissy said...

You're breaking my heart! I don't expect you to remember me, but I used to comment every now and then a few years back when I had my own blog. You've always been on my Google reader though and I always read every time you post. I have a sister that lives close to where you live and I'd love to send her your way to give you a big old hug from me! I've been where you are! Not happy, but not ready to give up, and trying to hide it from the world! I hate that you are going through this! Sending lots of hugs!! ~Chrissy

Friday, December 02, 2011 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger Logical Libby said...

You're okay. You don't know it right now, but you are. You always will be. Always.

Sunday, December 04, 2011 7:47:00 PM  
Blogger TheLab said...

I've been praying for you these last few weeks. I'm so sorry you're going through this gut-wrenching time. GUT WRENCHING.

My prayer has been that you two WIN. That you beat down everything out there, beat it silly. As hard as it is, as sickening a process... And that you win. That Team "A Different Kind of Girl & Her Husband" beat the world together. The world sucks. It wants to tear us down and tear down everything that starts out good. Screw the world. I pray for you two to win.

Monday, December 05, 2011 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Craig said...

What Leslie said. . .

Monday, December 05, 2011 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger Prairie Wanderer said...

Hey, I'm a long time lurker who started reading you through Digger's Reality and Redemption site. I'm so sorry, because it sounds like what's happening to you is almost the same as what's happened to me.

I bet there's a friend. One you can be yourself around and talk to about anything. They may already know something's up with you. Lean on him/her. Lean on all your friends right now. Even if you're the type who never ask anyone for anything, let them be your friends and help shoulder your terrible burden right now. And no matter what, you will be okay.

I'm so sorry...

Tuesday, December 06, 2011 5:18:00 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

This literally brought a tear to my eye...for you and for me. You put into words for your situation exactly what describes mine as well.
Hugs and good hopes to you!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011 12:06:00 AM  
Blogger Bee said...

FADKOG, it has been my experience that to be the exploding balloon is the best way to go. You get to purge your anger and then you'll be left exhausted but you would not believe the sense of relief that comes after.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011 1:50:00 PM  
Blogger the weirdgirl said...

I'm so sorry, my dear. If it would help even a little I am available to flirt with on Facebook. I am also available for yelling at, breaking up with, or virtual counseling. Sometimes a surrogate is needed to get through all the "I'm fine, thanks". Big hugs.

Saturday, December 17, 2011 5:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Pam said...

Going through something like this, under any circumstances, sucks ass. Going through it with two kids during the holiday season adds exponents to that. I hope you can find someone to lean on, to vent to. Someone who will lift you up when you don't feel able to lift yourself up. You deserve that much. You don't know me from Adam, but you've been in my thoughts and prayers often.

Monday, December 19, 2011 12:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Karen said...

It gets better. It will. I promise. I can't guarantee that it won't get worse before it gets better, but it will get better. Take one step at a time, one day at a time, one hour at a time if you have to. Someday you'll look up and realize that you're in a better place, either with him or without him, and life does go on.

It sucks, yes. But it won't be like this forever. I can promise you that.

Monday, December 19, 2011 6:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Karen said...

p.s. And none of this is your fault. You didn't cause it. You weren't a bad wife, bad mom or bad person. He made this choice. Him. Not because of you or anything else you did or didn't do. Men always say "well, if you'd done so and so...I wouldn't have done this." No. His choice. On him, totally. He could have spoken up about what needs he felt weren't being met. Instead he made a conscious choice to step outside acceptable behavior for a married person. Doesn't mean it's not unforgiveable; it means that it is not acceptable and will tear a marriage apart. As you well know. Do NOT blame yourself.

Monday, December 19, 2011 6:48:00 PM  
Blogger TheLab said...

Thinking about you. Praying for your struggles, the pain, and that you two ultimately beat the world.

Thursday, December 22, 2011 3:39:00 PM  
Blogger NeuroticLover said...

I hope things work out, one way or the other, soon. I think we all know, whether in a small or big way, what it is to pretend to be something we're not. And it is VERY exhausting. Keep your head up, and know that, even when you don't feel like it, there are people around that care. Even if it's all these faceless people in blogland. We are your friends, and we are hear to 'listen' when you need us to. Your in my thoughts and prayers!

Monday, January 02, 2012 3:00:00 PM  

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