Sunday, August 18, 2013


dear SLT,

well, the truth is, i have somehow, against many odds, found love again.  i met someone articulate, kind and loving.  smart and funny.  considerate and generous of heart and spirit and even generous and giving with material things.  someone who is forgiving and accepting.  liberal and respectful.  someone with a heart the size of texas.  the last year has been quite an adventure with this new love.  i admit i tested boundaries a lot, i vetted him.  i actually researched his criminal background to be sure it was clear.  i made him take HIV and STD tests and show me the results.  yeah, well, thinking practically, and yet he did everything with grace and patience.  He even wanted to do those things.  And I made him meet almost everyone I know (he has, pretty much, except for my people who live 3000 miles away).

so why am i suddenly scared shitless?  it comes and goes, i'll be tooling along, perfectly serene, confident, loving, happy, and then i'm on the brink of tears, suddenly terrified.  waiting for the door to slam in my face, or the floor to shatter beneath my feet.  it's crazy talk, he has done nothing to worry me.  the few disagreements we've had, we've talked it out, and even if we don't agree, we are respectful and usually end the discussions in laughter.  his past has had tragedy, too, and i think that's another level where we connect.  so why am i freaking the f*** out?

i know this will sound stupid so i'll just say it:  i feel like i don't deserve this.  i feel like there is something wrong with me.  i say and write and advise others to believe in the good in people, to believe that good can come back into your life somehow, if only you keep your heart open and forgiving.  but why do i have so much trouble living it?  why can't i feel normal and happy unless i'm dealing with some f***ed up trauma?

i think part of it is that we accept the love we think we deserve.  (and i talk about making all this progress getting out of an abusive marriage, but have i really?)  and i think that i can only accept love that comes with pain, because all my life i learned that love comes with pain.  so i'm looking around everywhere, in the nooks and crannies, for the pain, and when i can't find it, i'm terrified.

so tell me, anyone out there, who has survived an abusive marriage, does this terror abate...?

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