Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Working through it all, little by little

We were in the car, talking. Ranger had taken my face in his hands and was sweetly telling me how he feels about me. A love from the depths of his soul. More than list itself. I started to cry.

"What's wrong?" he said.

"I have to ask you something," I said. "But I hate to spoil the moment. I just need an answer to this."

"What's that?"

"If you feel so much for me...if you feel it so deeply...how could you turn to someone else?"

He was quiet for a moment. I'd caught him off-guard.

"I need to know that," I said. "To understand how this isn't going to happen again, like you promise."

"I've actually thought about this a lot," he said, finally. "How I could have done this to you. I think it comes from guilt I was feeling. I mean, there you were, hurting. I couldn't do anything about that. You could barely make it back and forth from the bathroom...and you know what I was thinking? I was thinking how beautiful you are to me and how I wanted to wrap you up in my arms and show you how much I love you."

He paused. "You're hurting, and I just kept thinking of how much I wanted to make love to you. I felt so selfish."

"Why didn't you tell me that?" I asked. "You know I want to hear what you think. I don't judge the things you say and feel like that."

He paused again. "The thing is, I think of you like that all the time. I fantasize about you all the time." He looked at me, finally. "But I don't want to share all of that and have you think that's all I want. I don't want you to think I look at you as just a sexual thing."

"I've just kept all that in," he said. "I didn't want you to feel disrespected. I think the guilt I had pushed me over the edge. I had to express this stuff somehow, and you were in pain. So, she came on to me, and I let some of those feelings for you get transferred."

"So, you actually have feelings for her?"

"No! No, not anymore. It wasn't real, you know? It was you I wanted and not that. I let myself get confused. Never again. No one can be like you, in any way. You're amazing to me, in all that you do. I'm not willing to risk losing that, ever again. There's no one like you. I do love you so much, and nothing is worth losing you."

He paused again and said quietly. "I told her that. I told her she's not worth it. She's not worth risking losing you."

That actually says a lot. He had to have known that saying such a thing might be hurtful. He doesn't like hurting anyone's feelings. It must have been some conversation to push him to say that to her.

"My heart can't belong to anyone but you," he said. "And I intend on spending the rest of my life proving that to you. I want you to believe in me again, to believe in us again."

"I want to," I said, but the tears were coming again. "I just don't know how to compete with a 23-year-old. How do I know you won't get confused again?"

He was holding my face again, wiping the tears off my cheeks. "I'll be sure of that. You'll know that I'm focused on you. Always. There is no comparison. No competition. No one is like you. Sometimes, I just like watching you do anything. You have a grace to you, the way you carry yourself. I've thought that since the day we met."

I wanted to make something clear. "You're telling me a lot of things I didn't know you thought," I said. "Why are you holding back from me?"

"It's what I've learned to do," he said. "Before you, I had to be careful what I shared. My ex-wife thought that everything I said had an ulterior motive. She didn't like her body, so she didn't want to hear any sexual thoughts I had. So, I've been scared that I'd make you feel that's all I wanted and all I saw in you."

"Honey, you can say all of those things to me," I said. "I enjoy knowing all your thoughts about me. If you say the sexual and the non-sexual, and then we know it's balanced. Right?"

"So, you don't mind hearing all my little fantasies?"

I laughed. "Uhm...no. I'm the one who wanted to read erotic literature with you, remember?"

He laughed. "Oh, yeah. I forgot that. I just need to express some emotions physically. That's ok?"

It is. And he hasn't held back since. I have to say, the man has a colorful imagination. But so do I. So that works out.

Friday, December 25, 2009

'Tis the season

I can't drive yet, so I've really relied on Ranger to do the driving for me. This has allowed us some time alone, away from my three-ring-circus household. It's hard to go through what I'm going through...what we're going through...when every wall at home has ears. My niece is a nosy child, so that doesn't help.

Christmas shopping has been our excuse for escaping the madness. Going from one madness to another. But it did give me a good moment of laughter that I sorely needed.

It was in the bathroom at Walmart. The place was insane with little children. I let those people go first. Not because I was being particularly generous; I just didn't want the little ones on the loose peeking under the bathroom door at me.

The circus left, and the place quieted a bit. Enter a woman with a baby, headed to the changing table. She was singing to the tune of "O Christmas Tree." Not surprising -- I had the tune stuck in my head because of a holiday display they had that played this song over and over.

So, she was belting it out, singing to the baby. Her words to the tune were:

"O smelly butt! Oh smelly butt! Whatever are they feeding you!"

It still cracks me up. Get your holiday cheer where you can find it!

On a side note, Ranger did something interesting for me for Christmas. First, he gave me something very thoughtful and useful. I tend to have very cold feet. So, he gave me something to help, "for those times when I'm not there to warm them for you," he said. Microwaveable booties. Oh yes! No more frozen toes.

Then, he gave me the sweetest card. It said so much that we've said to each other. In it was a note. He's bought a URL for me to start making and selling bra purses online. He has programmed all of the storefront functionality for me. All I have to do is make them, take pictures, and put them on the site. An unusual gift, but one I think was thoughtful.

Peace and joy, everyone!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Promises and proof

Ranger called me when he woke up this morning. Fridays have been our "date night," so we talked about what to do and when. And he thanked me for the millionth time for an early Christmas gift.

I gave him a standing heater. Sounds a little utilitarian, right? But you have to realize that the house he lives in has one heat source. A woodburning stove. He's keeping his door closed and locked now, though, so that the woman who has been involved in our troubles will stay away. So, he doesn't get as much heat in his room.

During the warmest part of the day, his room is 42 degrees. When he wakes in the morning, he can see his breath in the air. Despite the hurt I'm experiencing, I couldn't stand to see him suffering like that. And the sentiment meant the world to him.

And we talked about us.

See, I have questions, concerns, thoughts. He's open to them, which is different. With Old BF's infidelity, if I had something to say after the initial argument, he got furious with me. Ranger doesn't. He knows I'm trying to work through this and how I think. He also knows I'm not trying to beat him up with my questions. There's just things I need to understand.

One of the things we talked about yesterday was pretty intense. That message I saw had sentiments and scenarios in it that I thought were just for me, from him. I thought he thought of only me in those ways and in those "fantasies." I'm having a lot of trouble understanding how all of that became so...."fill in the blank." And I feel like just another blank now.

"When you touch me now," I said. "How do I know it's how you want to touch just me? When you say it's good to lay with me, how do I know it's how you feel with me? Or could it be just anyone?" I was crying, as I do a lot lately.

"It was all so special to me," I added. "And it wasn't."

"It was," he said.

"Then how could it be given to anyone else?"

"I know it feels that way. I just ask that you give me time to show you, prove it to you. Let me have a chance to undo this. Please?"

Our conversation this morning was not as intense as that. However, about 10 minutes after we hung up, he called back.

"I've been getting ready to get my work done here," he said. "But my thoughts are so on you. I can't stop thinking about something since yesterday. And I have to tell you...."

His voice was breaking. I could hear the tears behind it. He paused to compose himself. Then, he said, through the tears:

"Baby, I want to be everything to you. I want to fulfill everything for you. And only for you. You are so beautiful. Inside and out. You are so wonderful to me. You are everything I've ever dreamed of, and I want to be everything you've ever dreamed of. I don't ever want you to hurt again. I will never, ever do anything to cause you pain again. I will never, ever do anything to risk you and what we have again. It's not worth it. YOU mean too much to me. Just give me time to show you and prove it to you. I swear I will."

Now, we're both in tears.

I need our date night tonight. I need to look in his eyes and see in them what's behind these words. He says that no one has ever looked at him with the love that are in my eyes when I look at him. I need to see and feel that again, too.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Since then....

I haven't slept well for a few days. For awhile, I considered using the pain medications for numbing more than my incisions. That's not healthy, though.

Initially, it was a long, ugly phone call. I was shaking so badly I could hardly talk. My brain buzzed.

The message had been addressed to one of Ranger's roommates. A 23-year-old incredibly messed-up mother of two toddlers. The week before my surgery, this same woman had stopped me and told me she asked her pastor to prayer for me, that all would go well. "I know how much Ranger cares for you," she said. To my face.

Ranger gave me a very flimsy explanation. His story was that she had made a pass at him the previous night, but he'd refused her. This made her feel bad, so he wrote the message to make her feel better.

Okay. So, dear Diary, scroll down and read that message again. Does this explanation make sense? No. It does not.

"It's just my fantasies," he said later. That doesn't quite cut it either. You don't tell someone you hope they enjoyed you, in your own fantasy.

Repeatedly, I picked apart the message and pointed out how this didn't make sense. Over and over, he said, "I don't know what to tell you when you won't believe me."

Ranger and I have dozens of discussions about what it's like to have a partner cheat on you. I find myself facing my own advice. The question has been, what do you do when you know you aren't getting the whole story? Well, you assume the worst and decide if you can deal with that.

I'm trying to. I really am. All those old wounds that Ranger helped me heal have just been ripped open again. By him.

"You promised," I cried to him. "You promised I'd never have to feel this way again. That I was enough...more than enough...for you. You know how I've hurt. How can you be the one to hurt me like that again?"

I've lost track of how many times I've said that now. I've lost track of how many times he's apologized. For several days, I couldn't escape the words from that note. They drifted through my mind constantly, torturing me.

"All that you promised was mine, and mine alone," I said. "You've given it to someone else. The things you've said to me, they aren't mine anymore. They're words. Just words. For anyone. I'm not you're 'Beautiful'; anyone is."

He disputes this vehemently. His feelings for me have not changed. The next day, he pulled this roommate aside and told her nothing could ever exist between them. He told her "distance" was best. Do not even call, IM, or text.

He left out emailing.

I was with him when he got notice of a new email through his phone. It was her, through her cell phone. I happened to be looking at his phone when it came in.

"What's that?" my Spidey-sense tingling.

He stared for a moment. He clicked and read the message. All it said was that one of the other roommates had beaten a video game they'd been playing. "It's her," he said.

This happened eight days after the initial incident. We've been trying to work on this during that time. He's not only handed me access to all of his email accounts and his phone, but set his email to forward all new messages to me automatically, so nothing can be deleted and hidden. He's been very intense on trying to re-convince me that it's a mistake that will never happen again, that I'm his world, that he'll never risk losing me again.

But back to the emailing. This made me crumble. As I've been telling him for the last week, I'm not on sure footing anymore. It's up to him whether I find that footing again with him or not. And I have to see if I'll ever trust him again.

As I watched, he replied, saying, "Please do not email me."

In tears again, I told him that she obviously did not get the message. And I can't help but wonder why. I told him so. "If I hadn't been looking when that came in, maybe you would have ignored it. And it would have just continued."

Apparently, he went home and told her point-blank to stop emailing. He didn't know what part of "distance" she didn't understand, but he put a block on her number and address on his email server. And he said it to her in front of the roommate she's sleeping with now.

Oh yeah, that. Right after Ranger told her to scram, she turned her attention to another roommate, and is now apparently sleeping with him. She made Ranger feel irrelevant. He put everything on the line for that.

It's been an intense week-plus. Lots of tears. I don't like to cry, and I find myself breaking down in public, when I'm with Ranger. I'm not allowed to drive yet, so he's been driving me around to get my Christmas shopping done. We need the time together away from my insane, over-stuffed house, so we have the privacy we need to hash this thing out.

What's going to happen? I just don't know. He's desperate to reassure me that he means all the promises and that we can fix this. But there's a "trust hole" between us now. I don't know how to heal that.

Am I a fool for seeing if this can be worked out? Maybe. It wouldn't be the first time...but I've given lesser men second chances.

All I really know is this, as I've told him through many tears - I can't survive another blow like this. And I can't live a life of wondering. He's promised profusely to prove to his worth, his undying love, to me. To see how raw my pain is causes him great pain. To see me so sad hurts him. And it should, I told him.

I'm working on this a day at a time right now. We are. I'm being very open about my thoughts, pain, and doubts. And he's letting me, and listening.

We'll see. For now, I'm just so sad over promises broken...and a broken heart.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Unexpected pain

I've taken some time to make this post. The event is over a week old, but this is the first I've been able to write about it, both physically and emotionally.

Ranger has watched over me beautifully. He stayed at the hospital, even when his sleeping accommodations were terribly uncomfortable. He comes to sit with me each day at home. We watch TV together, talk, have lunch and dinner. He hangs out with Daughter and I when she gets home from school, too. If I need anything, I mean anything, he's the one getting it for me and helping me move around. See, my room is upstairs. Once I climbed those stairs when I got home, we knew I'd be there for a few days before I'd be able to brave the stairs again.

On December 7th ("...a day that will live in infamy..."), he was getting ready to leave my house, to finish some work at home. It was starting to snow outside.

"I wish I could take you up the road by my house, to a quiet place up there, where we can see the whole valley. And we could climb in the back and cuddle up, and enjoy the snow coming down. And each other." Maybe when I'm better.

I stood by him and we held each other, saying goodbye. Our normal banter when parting goes like this:

"I love you," I say.

"I love you, too," he says.

"For always?"

"For always," he says. "And in all ways."

I added something this time. "Only for me?"

He smiled. "Only for you."

And off he went. When he got home, he wrote this message:

"ok... so the dreams... first one was minutes after I fell asleep. I drempt that you came back into my room... wearing a big towel. You closed the door and said I put this on, because I think you are finally someone that can truely appricate me in this... and dropped the towel... and you were wearing what I think is your camo lingere. I woke back up looking for you!!!

"Second dream was I was taking you somewhere... store or something. We rushed through the errand, and then drove up the road... up into the snow and storm... until we were socked into the clouds. We got in the back of my suv and made mad passionate love until snow covered all of the windows

"I hope you enjoyed me as much as I enjoyed you. It was so nice to be with you, you sexy beautiful thang!"

That's something else, eh? The kind of thoughts and feelings every girl wants her man to think, feel, and express to her. Wowee!

But there's one little problem.

I don't own camo lingerie.

This message was not written to me.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Getting back on my feet

I'm back! Ouch. Sorta.

Surgery went as planned, on November 24th. I didn't get really nervous until about 10 minutes before, while talking to the anesthesiologist. He looked at me and said, "Are you anxious?" I admitted it. He gave me something wonderful to chill me out, through my IV.

Here's how the thing is supposed to go. The doctor makes a small incision on one side, to get at my spine from the side. He takes a long, thin instrument and carves out the middle of what's left of my disc. He inserts a little mesh bag filled with bone material in it, coated with a substance that encourages bone growth, so that it all fuses together. He then makes a small incision over my spine and inserts screws in the facet joints, to keep that level of my spine from moving.

The only hitch was that my disc degeneration was worse than expected. Initially, the doctor could not get the instrument into the space between my vertebrae. It was too narrow, being bone-on-bone in some places. He maneuvered enough to get in there, though, and the surgery went well after that.

I'm just getting to the point of being able to use my laptop. Apparently, it's a day my boss has been waiting for. A couple of days after my surgery, my pal Cathy was in a meeting with him, when a question that I'd usually answer came up.

"Can we just prop Blogget up and ask her this one?" she joked.

"I'm just about ready to do that," he said. He's been the one fielding the questions that usually go to me.

I'm not telling him I can use the computer just yet.