Summer Spiral

I was getting used to living with Quinn and Shellie both, all three of us together. My experience of this unique three part dynamic was getting better, as I tuned in to True Love and importance.

And then, it was getting worse. And worse. And worse.

I hated the place we were living. Hated it from the start, but had chosen to “make the best of it”. I had made some small changes to the space itself that helped make it tolerable. But I was overwhelmed by all that I did not like about it. The odd colored wall to wall carpet that was everywhere, even in my bathroom. The country-kitsch- patchwork-deco wall that dominated the kitchen. The absence of lights everywhere. The obscure pathways into and around the house. The piles and piles of unorganized, long accumulated stuff that literally filled every room of the house but the kitchen. The heat, the humidity, the MOSQUITOES.

I was still judging Shellie a lot, looking for all the ways that she clearly did not deserve to be loved, all the ways that I was better than her. Although I had made the decision to love her, and to embrace her, I was really challenged at this. I was scraping for things to like about her, clinging dearly for any small amount of genuine appreciation that I felt. Even with that, I was sometimes utterly repulsed by certain aspects of her personality and behavior.

And I especially hated how I felt about what I had thought was True Love, and was now seeming like a fiction of my imagination, and a huge mistake. I had left a life I really enjoyed in a place I LOVED, for this. Living in what seemed like a cross between episodes of  “Hoarders” and “Sister Wives” in all the worst ways.

I was in major decline. A constant rampage of negative thoughts and feelings flooded my waking experience, and also kept me from sleeping. I would jolt awake after almost having fallen asleep, with the wonder about where Quinn was and what he might be doing. I was incessantly thinking about Quinn and Shellie, and how the way they shared and interacted with one another essentially voided the love that I had thought Quinn and I shared. I was afraid that at any minute, Quinn would dramatically shift, and stop loving me altogether, and be totally in love with Shellie, and that my life would then suck forever.

Of course it is easy to see when we are in connection that our fears are irrational and baseless. Yet when we are disconnected, they seem so reasonable and real. I was in major disconnection, with no light in sight, mired in misery.

There was an aspect of me that hoped that at a certain point of my feeling bad enough, Quinn would look at me and say, “Okay baby, this clearly isn’t working for you. You are the most important person in my life. What is important to you is important to me. We can do anything we want. Let’s go somewhere else and live just you and me”.

This was not to be. One day when he came back to our bedroom from a private session with Shellie, I told him plainly that it made me feel  really bad that he had left me alone to go be with her, intimately. His reply was simply “That’s fine, but I am not going to let that stop me from feeling good”. And that was his stance. Nothing I could say or do or feel was going to stop him from doing whatever he wanted, whatever he felt like doing, whatever he enjoyed. Nothing.

I couldn’t fathom how he could “love” me and have such little regard for my feelings. Here I was, the most vulnerable I have allowed myself to be since childhood- hopelessly in love, pregnant, in a new home, at the mercy of my lover. And he had no compassion, no inclination to restrain or restrict himself in the slightest for my sake. He was utterly unfazed by my heartache.

Each week we went to his parents house for a day. His mother showered us with delectable foods and treats, and his father, a highly skilled massage therapist, gave me my weekly massage. Usually, we went alone, without Shellie. She had come along a few times, but was slightly less than welcome since Barb had never really liked or approved of her former best friend hooking up with her son. So these weekly visits had become for a time a little Shellie-vacation for me. A time when Quinn and I were adored and appreciated as the loving couple we were, without anyone vying for Quinn’s attentions.

But my anxiety and hurt was overwhelming me to the point where not even this haven was enough to make me feel good and safe and in love. I felt sad and lonely. As we drove back home from one visit, I was numb with depression, speechless and without expression. Quinn showed genuine concern for what seemed like the first time. He said, “Baby, are you okay? I mean, I know you are okay, but are you okay?”.

I replied that I was, and I was not. And, really I was not. I could talk about it if he wanted, but I could only share if he were really willing to listen. I was not able to withstand any of his usual “sword of truth,” telling me sharply how it was all my own responsibility that I felt the way I did, and demanding that I see the light or that I deserved to continue suffering. He agreed to be gentle with me, and to listen.

Yet I really had nothing to say. I had given up on the hope that he would ever love me the way it seemed he once had, just a few short months ago. I had relinquished any claim to happiness with him as my lover. I had abandoned the fantasies of us loving one another so much that even without promised we kept ourselves solely for one another. I was left with nothing but depression and despair.

Overwhelmed by the complete shattering of the idea of this great Love that I had believed was mine and Quinn’s love, I cried hard and long. I was heartbroken, the worst I had ever experienced, by a lot. And lying in bed sobbing, the knife in my bleeding heart was twisted by the feeling that even though Quinn was there with me, ready to hold me, available to love me, I did not feel safe with him. I could not be consoled by him. I could not let him embrace me because I knew it would only make more apparent and more painful the void I felt between us.

I felt I had to leave. I felt there was no other choice if I were to have any chance at love or happiness. And for a few moments, I felt perfectly clear in this. Yet, when I stopped crying and he asked me if I had come to come clarity, I fell back into a dull fear. I was too afraid to say what I had felt, and too afraid to leave him. I felt I had no where else to go, no where that I wanted to be. I rationalized that even though I didn’t really want to be there, it was still the best place for me, because at least it was the most free.

So I decided to take a little space from this place and from Quinn, let myself breathe a bit. I figured that I would have a better chance of sleeping  too, if I were not in our shared bed, either alone because Quinn was with Shellie, or wondering if I might wake up to find him amiss. I went to Barb’s house with an overnight bag packed, prepared to stay for a day or two.

She was as supportive as she was able. She wanted very much to help me to feel better, to have the life and the relationship I thought I wanted to have, the things that would “make” me happy. She also very much wanted Shellie out of Quinn’s life and made that very plain. Although I had felt like this was a problem that was mostly mine and partially min and Quinn’s, she emphasized in our conversation that the problem was essentially the Shellie factor, even announcing to her husband and other son “Inok is upset because she does not like living with Shellie”. They looked at me somewhat sympathetically and almost puzzled, as if wondering why I had chosen to move there with her in the first place.

After a time of anti-Shellie talk, I decided that it was not helping at all. It was part of the problem, but not the entire problem, and anyway, focusing on the problem is no way to find a solution. So I shifted my focus and asked Barb to help me get some momentum of positive thinking generated. She directed me to her computer where she pulled up some youtube videos of Byron Katie, a motivational speaker and philosopher of sorts who has a system of examining one’s beliefs to feel better.

This seemed to help immensely, yet really it was all because of the simple decision I made to feel better. I watched many videos and went to bed with a pen and paper to do some of the suggested videos and some free writing.

I realized that, amongst the many factors that were playing into my grief, the most devastating thing I had done to myself was to give up hope that I would ever have what I wanted. I had stopped allowing myself to even want what I wanted, a mode which was all too normal for me.

That night I mustered all the hope I had left in me and began to allow myself to believe that it was indeed possible I could have what I wanted to have, that I could feel how I wanted to feel. I started there, with the simple possibility, and worked my way up in thought and feeling.

“It is possible that the meanings I have attached to Quinn’s actions do not have the same meaning for him, and were not intended by him. It is possible that I am now already more loved than I know. It is possible that I can be in love and loved in return in the way that I truly desire.”

Up and up I went until I was really having some fun fantasizing about how awesome my life could be, how great I could feel. It felt SO good to embrace my desires! To acknowledge and declare that I loved myself, and that I deserved to feel as good as I possibly could. To realize that life was bringing me the fulfillment of all my desires, and that I had only to trust and allow them into my life.

I went back home the next day, thankful to be in a state of love for myself once again. I was open to seeing the ways that I was already loved and appreciated. I was hopeful that the love that meant so much to me would flourish once more. And most importantly, I was committed to feeling good. I was consciously holding space for myself to feel better and better, continually checking my thoughts and steering them towards ideas that felt good.

It was the low point of my adult life, and it had passed. I had pulled myself out of the darkness. Love came to me from the place where I had not been looking for it- within myself.

I had previously become so disconnected from feeling good, from my own well being, that I was even disallowing my hopes and wants for the future. So disappointed in the recent now of the unmet expectations and painful attachments I had brought into my relationship with Quinn, I had been projecting my dejected state into the future as well, even playing out an ever downward spiraling drama in my mind. I hit quite a low before wresting control of myself and choosing to feel better NOW, and that meant getting a grip(!) on my rampant mental energy, which had run amok, and was ruining my experience of life.

The choice was powerful and simple. Once made, everything shifted, because I decided it would. I remembered that my experience of life is an experience of my self, like feedback from the harmonic output of my being, resonating through time-space. I had been resonating unconsciously, and the feedback I had been getting was letting me know loud and clearly, that I needed to change my inner tune. So I did, very deliberately, change the tune I was playing in my mind as often as I could remember to check myself, lest I wreck myself.

Instead of thinking about how unloved or unappreciated I felt, how my dream true-love story was unraveling I would consciously tune into the possibility of being more loved and more cherished than ever before. I would imagine and fantasize about what that would feel like. I would consider how it was possible that I was already more loved and cherished than I knew. I would contemplate the infinite nature of the universe, and how everything that is, was and ever would happen was simultaneously existing in this very now, including the reality where I felt like a Goddess- loved, adored, connected and super empowered.

I was tuning in, consciously, to the possibility that all my hopes and dreams were already awaiting me, right here and now. Thankful for hope, I breathed again.

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“Love Ever True”

The Story of How Quinn, Shellie and I Came to Live In Love Together