Friday, October 29, 2010

The call

The nurse is making small talk as we walk back to the exam room, but I am not listening. We stop at the scale, she weighs me, she flips through the chart as we make our way down the hall, and she begins to ask a question but stops mid-sentence and—I am waiting for this—hesitates a moment while she is comparing my weight to what it was when I was in just four weeks earlier. She wonders aloud if she wrote it down correctly and I say yes, she did. She asks if I’ve been under a lot of stress and I realize she hasn’t read my chart, or perhaps they don’t write those kinds of details down in the notes, I don’t know.

When the doctor comes in he nods and listens and suggests something for the anxiety and to help me sleep. He is kind, he is concerned, but we both know that what I need isn’t a medical intervention. He asks again whether I have family in the area and if I’ve been hooked up with any social services. No and yes.

As I walk through the parking lot of the medical plaza, prescription in hand, a cool wind blows across the prairie, a welcome shift from the late summer heat. It’s the same sky, the same hospital across the street I’ve driven by a hundred times, the world hasn’t changed on the outside. It's my own world that is unrecognizable.

I now have a restraining order on behalf of my children. I now have an estranged husband who is under criminal investigation. All that was once certain has dissolved.

I am still raw from the day at the courthouse. When the police urged me to get a restraining order, they agreed to release enough information on his case to make sure it was granted. They passed the information to my lawyer, who in turn passed it to me.

I sat and listened as she relayed to me the breadth and details of what she had learned. She didn’t parse her words, wanting me to know everything. I struggled to take it all in, my sense of reality and my soft-spun illusions collapsing one upon the other. When she was done I wept and my friend held me close for a long time in the cold and windowless courthouse witness room.

For two days I lay in bed and did nothing. People called me and texted me, but I had no words for them.


*  *  *  *

There was a brief time, after the assault, when I was nostalgic for when it was all just a divorce. Back then I had a plan worked out, a structure in place. Then I had to rejigger it to fit the new reality of violence into the plan. I figured we could keep the settlement we had worked out and that my children would still have their father in their lives. When I found out about the criminal investigation, and as I realized everything was disintegrating, there was an even briefer time that I was nostalgic for when it was merely divorce and domestic violence.

But now. Now I have accepted that the whole structure has collapsed. I will start afresh. Build something new.

Some days I catch my reflection in the mirror and I am surprised. I am not used to the new lean lines of my figure or the tiredness in my eyes. But beneath this, there is something else. Beneath the exhaustion, there is an electric pulse that wasn’t there before and I know that despite how far and how fast I have fallen, that I will be okay. The impact from this fall will not break me apart, but rather it is breaking me open. This is not a death, but a birthing, and as this slow-churning plunge draws to a close it is time for me to come out from under the shadow of my half-self and begin a new life.

My life.

A funny thing happens when you lose so much. You also lose your inhibitions and your illusions and your fear of falling and you are left with nothing but the white hot center of your truth. As I stand here in the ashes of what was and consider the empty landscape before me, I am at peace with the ambiguity of my future, and yet there are two things I know with a rock solid certainty.

One, that I love my children like the oceans deep and I would do anything, give up everything to protect their innocence and the sanctity of their gentle souls.

And two, that I want to go home. The call is clear and distinct. After so very many years the hour hand has spun around the dial enough times and I am waiting only for the minutes to pass. I feel the unmistakable pull of her time-worn shores and I know, quite simply, it is time to go home.



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37 comments:

  1. Ohhh babe, we're waiting for you with open arms!

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  2. *HUGS* I don't have words...I just want you to know that I'm here, and thinking of you, and rooting for you, and sending positive energy your way!

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  3. As always your writing draws me in and takes me on your journey.

    We're waiting for you. Hugs and love. x

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  4. And home is waiting for you with loving arms and a soft place to fall. xx

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  5. Your writing is so raw and haunting, I hate to read it. It makes me hurt for you and your children, but I can't stop, it's just so moving. I love how you look at this time in your life as a rebirth. I hope you get home soon.

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  6. I wish you safe, I wish you well, I wish you happiness.

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  7. Once again you have written so well about the heartbreak in your life, the heartbreak that is virtually the same to the one I experienced. It is wonderful to read your own realisation that you will be OK, that this is a rebirth. Took me a very long time to come to that truth. It will probably be a long road, Kristin, but you are well on your way...

    Hugs and love to you...

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  8. This post has given me chills. You are so very strong. Home is where you need to be. I hope you make it there soon.

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  9. (((hugs))) Got the kettle on and the scones ready for you xxx

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  10. Stength my sweet, strength. You can get through this. There is a reason babies are born screaming, the birthing is hard on them too.

    xxx

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  11. There's no place like home. :-)

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  12. So beautifully expressed, as always Kristin. Cling tight to your white hot center of truth and take the first steps back to 'home'. x

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  13. That white hot truth - the feeling that you are invincible, immortal almost, as if nothing ever again will touch you as deeply as this experience - that right there is the birth of your true calling. Other overlays may come back in and numb it, but you've seen it now, you've been introduced. I am so excited for you! You are blessed. Truly.

    Wowie-wow. I had never read your "Home" post about Australia. It will be my pleasure to be one of the many so honoured to greet you on your true home soil xoxox

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  14. I know the GOFA who would, I believe,completely and totally agree with you about losing fear and re-birthing. If Australia is where you feel your soul is at home, then here you should be. We'll all be waiting to help you set up and settle in, whichever little town or big city you choose. X

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  15. The call to return home should never be ignored... it's where we feel safest and therefore the best place to deal with pain and hurt and fear. Sending all good thoughts your way.

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  16. really tough times for sure - hang in there and make sure you take that prescription

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  17. had a server error - so might post this twice :-( be sure to take your prescription - these are really tough times you are going through - hang in there

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  18. Sending you hugs and hugs and hugs. You are incredible.

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  19. Now you're free to go home, this is wonderful! Lots of love and hugs xxx

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  20. I wish i could put in something for you as well Kristin. i just hope that you raise enough to go back home. All the best. I am sure that you would be alright soon. xo

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  21. Sounds like the perfect place for your rebirth. How blessed you are to have found a place that feels right where you're surrounded by wonderful friends.

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  22. Hugs and prayers and thoughts are with you and your kids. Sending strength and courage your way and admiring your ability to get it out in writing and processing this terrible time. Take care of yourself.

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  23. It IS true. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. You write so beautifully; we all are feeling your pain. I hope you reach your goal and that you can get back "home" again.

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  24. The classic monomyth of the Hero's Journey is referenced now in more than literary ways: it is also used to refer to the journey(s) that we each take in our lives, often on a psychological and spiritual level. It is a journey from the Known to the Unknown and back again--but changed, Transformed, a Return that is with a deep Gift both for self and one's community, whatever (and wherever) that is.

    The first step in that Journey? It's titled The Call.

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  25. Through it all, there is only one thing that kept me going..... You are not to blame, you are not responsible for anyone else's actions except your own............... we all have to live with our own choices......... he will have to live with his.......... alone, hold on to your friends, it is them that will get you through, and your experience has been an inspiration to us all.........

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  26. Yes, you will arrive through this journey safely, changed, but different; stronger, wise, with enormous empathy for others. Which I know you already were, but it will be even more pronounced now, and I suspect you will be more comfortable with it. Come back safely my love, you have a lot of support for you here in Australia, and lots of love and admiration. And I think being half a world away from the man and the past will be the best thing for you. I'm glad you're writing throughout this, because it will be part of your recovery. xo

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  27. Beautiful beautiful Kristen - I've only just read about what has happened and my heart is breaking for you. I feel so remiss not having come over here earlier - I haven't been on twitter for ages either.
    You are amazing for being able to write like this (ie. brilliantly)in the thick of such a horrendous time. Just amazing.
    God, I wish there was something I could say that would make a difference to you right now.
    Come home soon. Come home.
    xoxo

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  28. Chin up, gorgeous girl. *hug*

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  29. Thank you, as ever, for your support. I don't like writing these darker pieces, but this is where I'm at and writing honestly about it helps me through. xo

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  30. Perhaps it is time to come home. We'll be waiting to welcome you. Safe journey.

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  31. You're coming home to Australia?
    Wonderful!
    You'll have so many friends to help you.
    You're coming to stay right? Not just to visit?
    I'm so happy for you.

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  32. @ River, March is a visit, but eventually I'd like to find a way to live there, yes. xx

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  33. You have such a way with your words that just pulls me in. I have no inkling of what it is like to be in your shoes, but your writing has given me a glimpse into what you've been through - so vividly. I pray for you now, as I write this, that you will come out stronger on the other side. Having read through all the other comments, I am astounded by the love that surrounds you even from miles away. I am happy that you have a home and a hope to cling to. Always, there is hope. Blessings to you Kristin, of peace, and love and grace.

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  34. I felt beautiful hope and a new (maybe not comfortable) perspective in your post. You see, you are still there - you have not been destroyed.

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  35. Amen Kristy. There is still hope, and strength, and love in that post, despite everything. A new chapter is opening my love.

    M2M

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  36. Wow - just found your blog and your incredible story. What an amazingly strong person you are.

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