I can’t describe the feeling I get when I see her. Its worse than when I hear her voice, or listen to your voice speak her name, but not as bad as the images that pop into my head when I think about your past.
She was part of it, a very large part of it.
That feeling in the pit of my stomach, the one that ties my body in knots and has my mind swirling with just about every emotion you can name, that belongs to her. She has power of me that I can’t control. After 6 years, the feeling still remains. Every week, I feel my pulse spike, my mind caught up in a past that I can not control. A life that I was not part of, yet it still controls every part of mine.
She was your first. She shared all of the experiences that I wish I had. I see pictures of memories everywhere. Her name plastered on your grandmothers wall with a phone number that just wont stop staring at me. There are pictures everywhere. Prom, weddings, vacations, bringing home your first child. I hear memories of vacations, and schools and events that I was a part of, yet there are no pictures. Even after 6 years, my first born child and I still have no place on those very same walls that she adorns.
I remember what your face looked like going through the academy. I remember how red and swollen your eyes were for the following three days after you got pepper sprayed, or how you spent most of your time trying to avoid your room mate while skyping for hours. I remember when you went to Vegas, and how the beach looked at your sisters wedding. I held your daughter when she was 3 days old. I have watched the little girl grow up just as much as everyone else has, yet no one will speak of it. This woman attended everything I couldn’t, her hold on your family stronger than it was on you as time passed by.
I can’t blame her, as a matter of fact for a long time I felt sorry for her. Sorry that I fell in love with someone she had. Sorry that I had let a friendship turn into feelings I couldn’t control. Sorry that I stepped in when your feelings for her checked out. I tried to make up for it by hiding in the background at functions, and not stepping on toes when it came to your daughter. I said sorry for everything and suffocated in the presence of her surrounding me constantly even when she wasn’t physically present.
I see her in my step-daughters face. I see the way she has spoken about me in her presence. I can feel the hate, and the anger and the power of her holding a grudge every time that precious 6 year old walks in our door and doesn’t acknowledge my existence. In my own house, I am for a moment the odd one out. I will never get the respect that she has gotten in your world.
Jealous of the memories she holds, and the power she possesses with you and your family? Sure. Angered by the way she has portrayed me to the little girl that i am trying to help raise? Absolutely. Horrified that she is a constant reminder that marriages, and true love isn’t guaranteed? Of course.
But I am also grateful.
Grateful that she taught you how to love. Grateful that she was weak enough to let you go, and showed you that loving a strong woman is a good thing. I am grateful that she has shown me what it is like to remain humble when everyone around me disregards my feelings. I am grateful that she gave you a girl, a beautiful little girl to love and to hold on to when the boys get too rough. I am grateful that she has given my son a friend. Grateful that she has become your past, and I am your future. I am forever grateful that she has made me strong enough to handle a life I never imagined.
So yes, I get this feeling. I get this feeling because I can not imagine how I am going to get through this life with her having a hold on everyone. She is not someone I can ignore, she will never be.
Because I am human, I will always get this feeling. I will suffocate at the sound of her name, and roll my eyes when I hear her voice. Because of my undying love for you, I will sit and listen to stories about her life. I will listen to how she is a queen in your daughters eyes, holding in my emotions when I am not preferred. I will drive the miles, and answer the phone, and open the door. I will allow the pictures and the discussion and the changing of schedules.
Always, with these knots.