“You are a train wreck!”
“I’m a train wreck?”
“Yes, a total train wreck and I know that.”
“Why, why am I a train wreck?”
“Because you can’t let go of Peter.”
I’m the fucking train wreck, I’m the train wreck? You… your ex-wife is a macadamia and you picked her, and you ALWAYS talk about her. The last sentence only got as far as my head, it never left my mouth because I didn’t want any hurt feelings. I sit quietly in the truck wondering if what he had said was true. Am I still a train wreck? Will I ever be normal? Will anyone ever see my as normal or am I destined to be “the young widow” for the rest of my days. He grabs my hand and kisses it, he thinks I am upset but really I am just lost in thought. We are headed to a faraway destination and I have two more hours in the car with him, so my decision is clear. Create a box and put his statement into it, open later. My plan falls apart about nine seconds after I create it. I want to talk to him but I fear my mouth will betray me and hurting him isn’t an option. When I was married I could crush Peter’s soul with one or two well crafted, cruel and just timely enough sentences. I no longer want to be that person so I stay quiet. Oh here we go, I’m talking about Peter again but could he hear it, if it was in my head? Could he read my face? We read each other’s faces so well that I knew the latter was true.
He starts asking me question after question, sensing that I am anywhere but here, in his truck. He’s right, the last thirty minutes of this ride have been me obsessing about if people are ever the same after trauma. Do we show our scars forever or do we get an amazing concealer from MAC and cover them? At what point does my inability to let Peter go, put a damper on my ability to move forward with another man? This man. I start to drift off into a spiral of “What if’s” all pointless but all very relevant to this particular spiral. The worst part of the shame spiral is that I am miles away from a cell tower, headed to a cabin in the middle of nowhere, so I can’t even reach Overstreet and her calming, logical words. I pray for ten minutes…but bargain it down to three minutes of cell service so I can type the word “spiraling” to Overstreet and have her respond with one or two words that will end this but my prayers weren’t answered and I must brave this spiral on my own.
We stop at a lookout point because he wants to show me all the things he loves about where he lives. We get out of the truck and he comes over to my side, he grabs me and kisses me. My mind panics, when our lips are together I can no longer remember what I was panicked about. I am now panicking because I can’t remember the first panic.
Dear God, I AM a train wreck. He grabs my hand and walks me over to a steep cliff, my hand start to sweat and he tells me it’s ok, he’s got me. I realize he does have me but more importantly, I have myself. I am no longer a scared fifteen-year-old that needs to be protected. I am also no longer the scared thirty-eight-year old that needs my husband to stand up for me. My scars are showing but so is my strength. In my head I start to sing that Alanis Morissette song about how she is sick but she’s pretty. As we stand above the vastness of where he lives, among the trees and cliffs, I turn and face him.
“I am a train wreck.”
“So am I.” he says.
He squeezes my hand as we stand together, silent. My last decision before I decide to stop making decisions is to accept my scars, show them to the world and try my best to avoid fancy concealer.