Drifting thoughts of a snowflake

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Lesson learned the hard way

It came to me about 4:30 this morning. I kept replaying scenes from this weekend, trying to figure out why I behaved the way I did over the last five days. I saw me sitting in a truck, trying like hell not to cry as we left Mexico. I saw myself yelling and packing my bags on Sunday night, and then giving up and trying to sleep on the tile floor. I saw myself adore someone who doesnÂ’t understand me, and I was embarrassed and ashamed of myself.

Then it hit me, a disconnected memory that helped me understand my actions.

I was sitting at my kitchen table on an early Sunday morning, when the hubby came into the room. He sat down at the little pine table. He's a big guy, about 6'2, and he put his head in is hands and looked down like frustrated child. Calmly, slowly, he said, "You know Amanda, I've never felt like you've loved me."

I was crushed and angry. I'd spent the last 4 or 5 years supporting him emotionally through his diagnosis and new life with MS, through job changes, and through family struggles. I'd wake him up on his birthday with donuts and chocolate milk. I'd help him dress when need help, due to his loss of agility or loss of fashion. I didn't care; I did whatever I could to make his life easier. In the end he tells me that he never felt loved. I didn't understand what he was saying to me at the time, and for the life of me I had never loved anyone more. How could I be such a failure? How could all this time have passed and he never know that I loved him when that was my daily intention? In the end he tells me it was because I never stopped long enough to hold his hand or touch his face. I did what I wanted to show him I loved him, not what he wanted or needed.

I realized last night what he was talking about. I tell Rojo I don't feel loved by him, but he can't understand me. It's not the big things; it's the million little things that happen. What can I say to him? I know you tell me you love me, but it's your actions. It's the way you don't put you hand on mine when ordering a drink, or the way you call other people to hang out with us when I'm right there wondering what's wrong with just hanging out with me. It's the way you pass out instead of playing with me. It's the way you look at the surf so intently and then look back at me reluctant and distracted. It's the way you didn't immediately come up and burry your head in my neck in order to smell me. It's the way I start to ask you a question in the middle of the night, and you get mad at me. It's that tone in your voice that says, "Not again woman, what is it you want this time?" It's all these little things.

I hear his friends when they tell me he loves me, but he doesn't come up and put his arms around me. I hear him tell me that he loves me, but he doesn't call me back or hold me when I cry. I hear him tell me how great his friends are, but I never hear from him how great he thinks I am.

I don't know what to do with this revelation. I loved someone and did these same things. I wish he had told me during year one and not year five. Maybe things would be different today; maybe I would have grown from it. Maybe I would have learned to love better.

All I know is that, despite my stubbornness I finally learned something. If you truly love someone you'll pay attention and make sure they're getting what they need from you, not just what you have left over to give them.

by body item ;


Blogger mona said...

amen. man, that's a bitch of a lesson to learn. but it is so goddamned true. hope your heart is fairing okay today.

11:39 AM

Blogger Amanda said...

Thanks! I am a little better today - just getting through the hard stuff, I suppose.

12:08 PM


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