Ramblings of a Cathy
Nobody Knows Like the Nose
Steven encouraged me in 2013 to go with him to therapy.
At the time I was done with him. I wanted nothing to do with him. And at the time I had come to this drug induced realization that the Universe itself was telling me that he brought nothing but pain to my life.
But I went.
I remember struggling into the small cozy therapist's room, on my crutches at the time, and sitting on the couch. The therapist was a middle aged Cuban guy who sat on a big regal looking couch in front of the beige comfortable big one we sat on. He just stared at us, kind of haughtily. Since he had already seen Steven a few times, he knew that he just needed to ask micro questions and allow Steven to ventilate.
I vaguely listened as Steven spoke verbosely about us, and our shared trauma, and our relationship. A lot of the same things. However, I was in and out of my head as he spoke. Vacantly I looked around the office, and ultimately at the therapist.
The therapist had been looking at me though. That brought me to attention.
After Steve stopped the therapist paused warmly and then asked, "What do you want?"
I became guarded, but had already planned on what to say. I breathed and sternly said "I don't want to be together anymore, and I feel like he's having a hard time seeing that."
I said it and only dimly felt the surge of emotions come up inside of me: Calm for the fact that I was finally voicing what I wanted, fear that this would cause Steven to spiral.
And also confusion at the silence that fell over the room. Peripherally I noticed that Steven didn't move or express. It's obvious to me now why he hadn't. He had heard me throw that in his face countless times before. This no longer hurt him.
The therapist kind of looked at me quizzically. Then immediately nodded and waited. He gestured at me and us. "So, why are you sitting so close to him?"
It only took a beat to feel it, my fingers resting on Steve's knee. The fact that our legs and arms pressed together, sitting close in the middle of the 4 seater plush couch we rested on.
Steve interjected about something, but I was floored. I just sat there, thoughts racing. And while they talked I breathed and thought it to myself, "Fuck..."
There was a period of time, from 2012 to 2014, when my life was in shambles.
I had been with Steven for about 2 or 3 years when I became pregnant with Alex. At first it was delightful, because I was pregnant and had achieved a huge life goal of mine. I was going to give him the name that I had dreamed of giving a child since I was young, A.J. - Alexander Jason. I imagined that he would have the greenest eyes - like his daddy - a Dominican nose, and that I would hold him through the generational anxiety that flows through everyone in my family.
After a while of being pregnant, it became too real. As my body began to change it became more and more real that I would be Steven's wife, a mother to his child, and that I would lose that frivolous feeling of pseudofreedom. I began to hate myself, to rebel against standards, to feel dislike for Steven. I was miserable, became negligent of my body, and I would break up with Steven continually. I even went to my sister's wedding with an old friend instead of Steven, which completely broke my mother to see - me being pregnant and denying my baby's father.
In my darkest times, I would wish that the baby would just go away. I even went to the abortion clinic once to consult on ways to get rid of him. Couldn't do it.
But then, as if I had manifested it from the Universe - or from some dark force - my "wish" came true on September 19, 2013.
It was one night when I was meant to go to a wedding in New Orleans for my cousin. It was supposed to be me and my sisters. However, we showed up to the airport and my little sister, Caroline, hadn't had the right documentation to board the flight. So, the trip was a bust. But, since we still had the surge of adventure going through our bones, we decided to take an impulsive trip to Halloween Horror Nights. We drove back to the house in Miami. I automatically called Steven and told him of the trip. He was elated. Ecstatic to make it work between us.
The plan was to drive up separately to Orlando. Steven and I piled into his Honda Accord and drove up. The drive was nice and cozy. Steve let me play whatever songs I wanted as he drove. We blasted music and just talked... we had reached Fort Pierce when the last thing I remember was that it was raining. Kanye West's Yeezus album was playing when I reached back to grab something from the back seat, and that is the last thing I remember before waking up days later in Longwood Medical Center.
I couldn't walk for 3 months. I also had to be told about the time I groaned from induced contractions and then screamed when they took the body of my baby away beside my twin sister in the middle of redneck Florida. The worst moments were the fits of depression that I would slip into. The only times I felt like myself was when they had me on fentanyl drops in the hospital. The day they took away the medication I remember just experiencing the colors around me fading away. I remember thinking, this is my life now.
However, when I was discharged, I remember laying down in my bed - between the times my mother would slip in and out to take care of me - staring at the ceiling, tears just dropping on their own on the pillow. I went from feeling the guilt/shame/hopelessness every minute of the day like a large heavy rock on my chest, to just ruminating on ways I could kill myself without traumatizing my family that badly.
I initially told him to get lost at the hospital. But then we texted... then called... and then he would come to see me. Despite the threats from some family members, my physical and mental injuries, and the obvious fact that I had been speaking with my ex, he kept coming back. That Halloween we bought cheap halloween costumes and he dragged my wheelchair around a popular riverside celebration. It was freezing (for Florida) and our costume was accidently sacrilegious - i was a nun in a wheelchair and he was the grim reaper, lol. After a while he had to lug my wheelchair in the middle of skimpy partygoers, while having to hold his fake weapon, in the FREEZING cold, offending some people.
When we decided to go home he got into bed with me, under 3 covers, and let me lay on his chest as he dozed off... his breathing slowing into the little twitches that he makes when he's fast asleep. I let myself breathe him in - his body smelling like unwashed clothes, his homey Steve smell, and lightly his soap - and rest on his warm soft chest. I still remember this moment, and I didnt know why until now.
We still sit pretty close on couches. :)