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She Writes Aug 16
I bared my soul
You told me
Slow down

You were right

Red lights flashed
Caution signs in my eyes
I know I need you too much
George Anthony May 2016
i never wanted to kiss her lips,
just hold her hand
maybe kiss her cheeks because she suited a gentler kind of treatment
something softer and more delicate, quiet;
quieter than the constant raging storms inside my stomach,
inside my mind
(never my heart)

those plump lips
she bit them raw when nervous, and they swelled
blossomed ruby as she looked at me
like she knew this wouldn't last
her eyes remained doughy and mellow
when i met her gaze.

my smile stung as it stretched the lines left by winter's bite
and split them open once more.
she brushed the blood beads away with her fingertips
with a touch so reverent that, for a moment, i thought
maybe she felt as though she were touching rosary beads instead,
and i held my breath to stop myself from chasing her
touch, and pressing her down into the mattress

unholy, chasing pleasure.
both agnostic, but she was much more pure than i;
chivalries always in mind, i wanted to preserve that.
there's always been something inside me
that presses down the animalistic urges with
a conscience caught on consideration and something akin to courtly love-
i wanted to woo her before i pursued her

but i never got further than pressing my lips to her forehead,
wrapping an arm around her shoulders.
i laced my fingers with hers but avoided tying any knots.
i am not a man to be bound,
too free-spirit, too restless, too claustrophobic;
a few months in and i was choking on the ghost of a future;
she kissed me first and i suffocated on the phantom of her hopes for us:
a future that didn't yet exist,
and i didn't want it to.
i never kissed her; i never let her kiss me again.

we tangled fingers over the duvet
the television a background noise to our unsteady breaths,
shallower
than my love for her
i enjoyed her quiet affection like one might enjoy curling into a blanket when cold and ill.
i wanted her smiles, i wanted to fill her memories with goodness
so that she never need feel hopeless, like all men are the same
so that she had something to smile about when she looked back on us;
once the bitterness of our breakup had left her mouth-
whenever that eventual end would be-
she could savour the taste of our sweet, slow-burn, love affair
and be reminded that not all love is true love, but nor is all love heart breaking

i broke her heart anyway.

nobody ever taught me how cruel kindness could be.
Our Backgrounds before we met...

I'm an only child born in Montana in 1983, from a divided home. Parents divorced at seven, Mom was unstable and unfaithful. Dad obtained custody of me and we moved to Oregon Coast to live with my Grandma. I had unhealthy visits and relationship with Mom thereafter. My Grandma died at 12 and at 13 my Dad remarried an alcoholic woman, I had a strained relationship with them until adulthood when she stopped drinking. I had exposure to trauma; alcoholism, mental illness, verbal abuse and juvenile troubles. I rebelled by using drugs in my late teens and early twenties, I lived on my own for a few years after high school but had little direction.

My bride is the eldest with two little brothers, parents stayed in same area of Portland during childhood with lots of family support and her parents stayed married. They had Christian values but some anger and anxiety issues at home. She was sexually assaulted at 17 and never had good closure with this. She told me her parents didn't provide her enough help with things like this growing up. Status quo was the backbone of the family dynamic, challenging emotions were discouraged. She rebelled by being reckless with herself, financially and sexually. She decided to join the Navy at 19. She lived alone briefly, but mostly with Grandparents & Parents before our marriage.

I loved how we both grew up reading Archie comics. No other girl I had ever met had that in common with me. I think we wanted a surreal like the one in Riverdale.

2002

She and I were 19 when we first met in my home town on the Coast at an arcade. We became friends and secretly liked each other. I was too nervous to ever make a move on her. We traveled together, she stayed with me, we used drugs together and drank at times. One night she drank too much and had *** with a guy I knew at a party. I was devastated by this. She was Navy bound and I didn't see a real future for us. The next morning she left and I didn't talk to her again for two years. I figured she would be gone with the Navy soon and that she must not have been interested in a relationship with me despite our time we spen together.

2003

I was depressed about this rejection. I dated an older woman who was interested in me but was no substitute. I eventually moved to the Portland area to work and live. I still had few plans and was lonely in or out of the few relationships I attempted. I never found someone that I felt safe with or had a true connection, let alone true love. She ended up not following through with the Navy and continued working her way up in her job at the call center. She attended community college and dated a few guys. She dated one guy for a couple of years who was not a good match for her but stayed with him off and on despite issues. His family was wealthy and treated her well. He slept around on her as did she. At one point he gave her an STD. She also had an ongoing affair with a married man in the military that she went to high school with. He had a child and a wife with mental health issues. She was still hurting a lot at times and not always doing well.

2004

She reached out to me via email after two years of no contact. We emailed back and forth a couple times over the next few months. We talked about meeting up. We spoke on the phone and eventually met up in Portland. We had an amazing night getting to know each other again and work past the confusion of our earlier days of friendship. I realized that she did in fact like me before but since I was timid and trying to be proper and take things slowly she didn't understand my motives. She apologized for her actions at the party as well. She claimed she was in a really messed up place and was making bad choices at that time. Getting our feelings out in the open was good and she appreciated my attitude towards being slow to make moves on her when we first met. I was worried about falling for her based on our history but eventually I was determined to give it a shot. We soon after starting dating and being intimate. Our love was extremely powerful and beyond all others we had both experienced. She broke ties with other suitors and shortly after we talked about marriage and started planning a wedding for the next year.

Remember when we first held hands? We were so shaky and you were quivering on my couch as I had my arm around you. We felt so safe with each other. We could finally be ourselves and do what our hearts desired. We knew we were on to something new and so amazing. We were so patient with each other as we navigated our new love and emotional thresholds.

Remember when we saw Matisyahu in concert together. That was a once in a lifetime experience and a life-changing moment for us. I feel it set the tone for things to come in our future.

Remember how creative my proposal to you was, in the Arcade where we first met? I hid the ring in a prize container from one of those claw machines. Pretending I got the ring from inside reaching into the machine on one knee I was so nervous and wasn't sure if I could pull it off before you caught on. You looked so shocked and surprised. I was so excited you said yes! We took pictures in the photo machine and had burgers afterwards, I'd do all of it all over again just to see your face in that moment.

2005

We found an apartment for us in Portland. I moved in while she was still living back with her parents until the wedding. She had to change her number because the married man she was previously involved with kept calling her about changing her mind about marriage and continuing their relationship. She was offered a job in Denver and we decided to move away together after our sandy wedding in Cannon Beach. I still had a very hard time and was embarrassed with my past history with her. Many of my friends knew what had happened at 19 and how much it hurt me but I was so crazy about her I think I tried to pretend it didn't happen or that it was not a big deal because we were younger. We got married and moved to Colorado soon after. We made friends at a church, I became more active as a Christian and really loved being married. We were very involved in keeping spirituality in our marriage. I began to notice her poor financial decisions and practices more. This caused conflict but we always tried to communicate and work on things.

Remember when we went down to my folks for New Year's in 2005? We sipped tea in my Datsun as we drove to the coast over the snowy mountain pass. We told them of our engagement. We were all so blissful and excited. We never knew what was to come. We didn't even know about the opportunity in Denver yet. Our story is amazing!

Remember when I wanted to come see you in Portland and the roads were iced over? I left my car at a park and ride before I caused a wreck. I took the light rail across town then rode a bus to the Mall. The bus to your house was not running because it wasn't safe so I walked the rest of the 4 Miles sometimes having to crawl on my hands and knees to make it up hills in the ice and then I finally made it only to just spend a couple hours with you and fall asleep on your parents couch. You Dad drove us back the next morning to my car so I could get to work. It was all worth it just to see you for that little extra time. I would do anything for you.

Remember when you were interviewing for the new position in Denver? I drove all over Portland trying to find you little toy cars to help you with your illustration about how a team is like a car having all four wheels and how they work together to accomplish a goal. I was so proud of you for giving it your all and succeeding at earning that position. Now that I think of it, that car analogy applies to our family and us. I need you and the boys and we all need each other to be better and keep on track and be a team. I am so motivated by you and our boys. I lose my way without you and I want to be your reflection and motivation as you have been for me. I truly think we bring out the best in each other when we are together.

Remember when we were given tickets to see Fiona Apple? That was so spontaneous and a great way to kick off our time in Denver together. We always used to watch our same movies over and over again. Like the Friends DVDs and White Christmas every winter break and The Wedding Singer. We walked everywhere and lived simply. "I wanna be the guy, who grows old with you"

Remember in our first Denver apartment when we took baths together in our claw foot tub in the big bathroom? We put a board over the top and played cards. I liked playing Uno with you in bed too. You were so funny being slightly color blind and in the dark, you would always mix up your greens and blues. We played Uno in Breckenridge too at the cool bed and breakfast in the fall.

2006

We had continued fun and adventure in our new home of Denver. She was doing well as a trainer for the bank and I started working in health foods. We went camping in New Mexico a couple times with friends and we both took individual trips to Oregon as well as one together for her uncle's wedding. We had marital spats on occasion but always bounced back. The issues we had seemed like part of a normal marriage and were far better than what I had grown up around. I realized that marriage was a lot of work but I was up for the task. She occasionally became aggressive throwing things at me or breaking things during conflict.  I believed I was the problem and tried to change for her in many ways. With two incomes we still had trouble making our bills at times. She had debts that I never knew about that started to catch up with us but I took care of getting them settled and we paid off her car and traded it for an older Volvo Wagon that we both loved, I even had it repainted her favorite color for a birthday gift. Overall things seemed like they were progressing in a positive way.

Remember when we saw Midnight in concert in Boulder? That was the peak of our hippy days. We were alive with pleasure in our diets and practices living in a time and place like no other. I want to be like that with you again. Reggae is our music. We have much in common.

2007

We really fell into our roles in our marriage and the community; church and culture, friends etc. Things seemed very balanced and appropriate for us at that time and that age (24-25). We had separate bank accounts and jobs. I had money in savings. We started the process of buying a house so we could invest in something. She became pregnant shortly after. I embraced the challenge with positive energy but we were both in for a big change. We started having more fights. I didn't have many friends and would write to old friends via social media just so I could to catch up and tell them things were going great with being married to make myself feel better than I actually did. She hated the dawn of social media and also felt isolated I'm sure. She felt I should be doing more for her and I didn't know how to do what she needed but I failed to ask a lot of the time. After one argument, she left the house. My instinct told me to look at ******* and ******* as a retaliation. I had not done this much once we were married because she always met my needs but when things were difficult between us I felt more emotionally isolated. She walked in and realized what I had been doing. She was very upset, and because she was pregnant, thought I was not attracted to her. The truth is I found her even more beautiful and in fact when I looked at ******* I tried to look at women I found less attractive than her so that I feel good about what I have. I mostly fantasized about how these women were more submissive than her. That is the part I needed to feel good about and feel better about myself with because I felt very dominated and controlled. She has never forgiven me for this and I will never stop feeling sorry to her for my brokenness. During one particular argument that year she was getting close to being violent towards me again and I pushed her away on the chest with my fingertips. She got very mad and said I hurt her. I immediately felt terrible and apologized. I never let something like that happen again. I have always avoided violence towards others especially women and of course her.

2008

Our eldest son was born at the beginning of the year, it was a traumatic birth for everyone. We wanted a natural birth with a midwife but we were transferred to a hospital and she ended up having an emergency C-section, nothing went as planned. We had a really hard time coping with the emotions of this experience. A lot of buried feelings and trauma from both of us started coming out. We moved a month later into our new home outside of town. No more walking or biking to places, we had to drive everywhere. This house was next to our friends from church. We thought this would make us feel less isolated but we didn’t really have the community with them that we had hoped for. They were upset that they didn't have a child of their own yet and being around us might have been hard for them. My wife stopped working and stayed home with our son. All these changes made for a very difficult time. I did my best to support them but this was the first time we shared a bank account and needed to follow a budget more than ever before. We had no debt at the beginning of the year with money in savings but then the hospital bills put us down about $7,000 and rising with new home and moving expenses and baby needs. My job could barely keep up. She and I had a hard time adjusting. We could not afford to travel home to Oregon and visit family as much and we felt more and more isolated. She started showing me more signs of instability, locking herself in the bathroom with kitchen knives and scraping her legs which continued off and on for years to come. Talks of divorce and suicide threats seemed to happen more than before. I felt responsible and tried to fix her ever changing issues with me.

Remember when your ******* were full and swollen with milk. It is so beautiful the way you could feed our babies. I want you in every way, our bodies belong to each other. I am here for you and our shared pleasure. Our bodies belong to each other. I love it when you tell me you are mine in the heat of passion.

2009

I tried to promote within my company but was not selected, they were cutting budgets and employment all around me. I felt worried about our future. I had always thought the military might be a good opportunity and could move us closer to family back home. My father-in-law encouraged me to look into the Coast Guard. I felt this would be a good way to get moved closer to Oregon.  I ended up joining the Navy because we found out we were pregnant again with our second son and that was the only way I could join a military branch. She worked off and on as a nanny and later in the year at a coffee house working nights. We barely spent time together and when we did it was a lot of hard conversations or arguments with making up intimately in the middle of the night between times of caring for the baby. She once scratched my neck with her fingernails during an argument. People I worked with noticed. It was a hard time and we knew change was on the horizon with jobs and moving. We did visit Oregon that summer though and had a great vacation at the beach with a borrowed 4x4 and staying at a hotel and picnicking out of a cooler as well as going to her brothers wedding. I was 26 and about to join the Navy to provide better for my family at all costs sacrificing myself for their benefit because I would have rather died than look like I didn't try my best for them.

Remember when our babies would kick and move around in your belly? I loved laying by you and feeling your tummy. I would hum to the baby and hear them move and squirm. I loved giving our boys baths when they were babies too. We had our little bundles of our love, wrapped in a towel in our hands, so tiny and vulnerable. I miss those days and want to remember them with you.

2010

The Navy recruiters would only take me if we rented out our home and had her stay with family during boot camp and training. We moved to a furnished apartment in Denver and put our things in storage. She was 5 months pregnant and our eldest was two. I shortly after was let go from my job. Our second son was born in April. I got a contract with the Navy at the last minute but didn't leave until August. We sold our beloved vehicles and lived off retirement funds for six months and moved down to Florida where her parents had just moved out of the blue for work, to stay with them until I left for boot camp. I applied for temporary work in Florida at a dozen places but had no luck in my three months there. I took care of our eldest a lot while she took care of the new baby. Being in Florida was a culture shock for us but we had our moments of romance and made the best of it. Eventually I left for boot camp in August. It was really hard and sad to be gone. She stayed in Florida and came to visit me with the baby at boot camp graduation in October. I then went to Connecticut for five months of training. It was also hard but at least I could call home every day and be in the same time zone. I visited Florida during the winter break and saw my boys and her. We went to Disney world and had a great time on her parents. We also made a romantic home movie I could enjoy while away from her. I flew back to Connecticut and tried to make the best of things. My roommate was very abusive of substances and I resisted the temptation for a long time but the threat of being submarine service bound and missing my family pushed me to drinking every weekend and getting messed up to escape before I left.

Remember when we drove to Key Largo, Florida and stopped at that crazy bird wildlife center. I remember our oldest was so amazed hearing a bird say hello back to us. It was so foreign and fun there. I am glad we all shared that experience together.

Remember our trip to the citrus grove in Florida? That was such a great day with our family. I always look back on that with really fond sentiment. I had that song “Home” stuck in my head. I felt like I was in a beautiful family music video with you guys.

2011

I finished Submarine Training and got orders back to the northwest. The plan was all coming together. I arrived first and bought a car and got our items moved from storage in Denver to our townhouse rental in Washington. She and the boys joined me a month later. I didn't report to my Sub for another month as they were at sea. She became pregnant again with our third son right after arriving. We had just bought a small car and were not planning on another child. Towards the end of the year I was working a lot and having a really hard time, being bullied and treated poorly at work plus our financial situation was still very difficult. Adjusting to the military was hard among younger men being 28. I dreaded each day in that environment but I tried to endure it for my family. I went to sea for a couple months at the end of the year stopping in Hawaii and California. During this time She reached out to her ex married affair partner after six years of no contact. She didn't tell me until later. She said she needed closure with him, we were not in counseling yet but she decided this was appropriate. I flew home early from sea and wanted to surprise her. The stress and trauma of this quick transition home after being to sea for the first time (which was also traumatic) made me want to drink and get messed up before flying. I arrived home and surprised her but I seemed off to her which I was but didn’t explain why, I have never done that since. I got to be home for two months almost work free while we celebrated the holidays and prepared for the new baby to be born. She started getting more involved with a church and building a community for us which was great. Our financial struggles almost led us to foreclosure of our home back in Colorado but by the grace of *** we got it sold with a short sale just in time.

Remember when I came back from Hawaii and brought you a beaded necklace and you wore it ***** with your big beautiful pregnant goddess belly and we made passionate hippy love together? I want to grow out my beard again and spend the rest of my life making hippy love with you.

2012

Our third son was born in January. It was a very positive birth experience and much less stressful than the other two. Shortly after I flew out to finish the other half of the deployment I had missed. I really focused on being positive and spiritually connected by reading my Bible at sea which was helpful. I called her when I arrived in Japan halfway through being gone. She was upset because she tested positive for an STD while trying to get on birth control. I became suspicious of her yet she was suspicious of me. We both got tested again and I was clean, she told me she had a false positive after all. This put a big strain on our trust, especially being so far away. This forced us to be honest with each other about some things such as her contact with her ex lover and my use of substances. We were both very upset until I returned home and we could start some counseling to work through things. Forgiveness seemed to be difficult for us. It brought up hurts of the past when we were 19. She also had severe postpartum depression that became worse after each birth. I was still having a hard time with work and the submarine environment. Our church friends tried to counsel us but it was not the most helpful. My submarine was scheduled for extended repairs and not going to sea for three years, I would be transferred before the end of that period. I used this time to bond with her and my boys. I wanted to get better involved in our community and do volunteer work and side jobs to earn extra money. Our boys were all given diagnosis's for autism which begun to fill our lives with appointments and challenges for years to come but we were a good team in dealing with all of it. It gave us something to work together on but took our focus away from working on our own personal issues and relationship with each other as much as we should have.

I loved being with you when our youngest was born and we had the hippy music playing on repeat. You were so primal and inspiring. That was my favorite birth, what do you think?

2013

We had new years with both sides of our family in a snowy mountain setting in Oregon. It looked like it was going to be a great year until her Grandpa passed away suddenly. It ripped our entire family apart but especially her. He kept the family grounded and she was very close to him, he really loved all of us. She and I started going on dates again because we had Navy sponsored child care. It was the beginning of a really good thing for us. Tragically one night after a date we were dancing with the boys on the patio and I tried to pick her up and I lost my balance and fell on her, breaking her collar bone severely. She needed surgery and was very mad at me for years to come. She has a scar, a metal plate and numbness in her chest. We worked through it with our community from church but she still is very mad at me. I feel more terrible about this incident than she could ever know. I would lose a finger in place of that incident if I could. I continued having a really hard time in the Navy and I didn't want to stay in but She insisted our boys needed care only the Navy could offer. She also said she would divorce me if I ever left the Navy. I took this threat seriously even though she assured me later that she would never actually do that. Against my own convictions I reenlisted because I wanted to do the best thing for my family. We moved into base housing at the end of summer and didn’t go out to do things as much anymore. The house was nice but it ****** us in, we also had less community with people around our home. I started volunteering at church more and doing work with special needs people. I felt like I was doing good things and that I had purpose all around. I think she appreciated this about me.

Remember when we stayed a few hours at the Navy Motel for a date and took a long shower together? I massaged your clean and beautiful body on the big soft bed for a long time before we made passionate love like it was the first time. We made coffee in the room and hung out watching TV for a bit before returning to our home the same night to our sitter who was none the wiser of our quick mini vacation on base at the hotel.

2014

We started seeing a professional counselor together and individually. It became a regular event. I worked on myself and she worked on herself. I had a lot of issues with my Mom and eventually broke off communication with her for my own well-being and the betterment of my family. I got past a lot of the bad feelings I had. She worked on her traumatic experiences and our relationship dynamics. Just when things were going well I got a new boss who made things hard for me and others at work and I started messing up more. I got in trouble for messing up a job at work and was given strike one on my record. She lost respect for me as a provider but I tried to stay strong showing her that I would continue to do my best.

Remember when we had an appointment in Tacoma and we had a brunch date together afterwards? You looked so beautiful that day, took your picture and was so proud to have you as my earth mama having huevos rancheros and mimosas. Remember going to the Tacoma Art Museum seeing the Georgia O’Keefe exhibit, we have a great time together doing new things and feeding each other's interests. I love laughing with you too, sometimes we just bust up like nobody's around. I love the sound of your laughter. "Old Clifton Road, of course!!!" I love watching Portlandia with you, it is so funny to remember the funny place where we became close and be able to relate together.

2015

I kept working hard and being involved with family and appointments for my boys and her. I still maintained my volunteer work and part time side jobs. I got strike two with the Navy for messing up again... I had just gained orders to leave the sub for local shore duty. I could not get out of the extended repair situation soon enough. She was very disappointed in me and not so understanding. I worked through this situation with our counselor as did she. He always told her I am a good man and that I do a lot for her and the boys. It's true, I care more than anything about them, I make mistakes and I feel bad especially when they cause my family stress. I left for shore duty in April. It was a hard time adjusting to the new routine but eventually we seemed to make it work. That summer we took a trip to visit Texas where her parents had just moved from Florida. We spent a great night together for our 10th anniversary in a hotel in Texas and went dancing. We had a lot more time together as my work schedule was less. The more people we had in our home working with our kids on issues the less useful my input seemed. I was not included as much in making family decisions because they all seemed to happen while I was at work, despite my objections. We tried to get our budget under control but she still had anxiety discussing spending. She continued to struggle with depression and was put on medication because she had still been harming herself. She was put on Prozac daily and anti anxiety medication as needed. He family members were not very supportive of medication which upset her but I always tried to be supportive in seeking help and continued care for both of us.

I love getting away with you to Port Townsend, going to Sirens and feasting while looking at each other in the romantic lighting, talking about our dreams and hearing the music together.

2016

We had a busy routine of kids in school now and home school and preschool and appointments for all of us. She wanted to go to church less and less. I started drinking a couple beers at night almost every day. I tried to mask my stress from her mood swings. She decided not to go to church at all anymore and focused teaching the boys about Jewish traditions exclusively which was hard for me to adjust to and confusing for the boys. I loved her and wanted to be supportive. As usual I was submissive and removed myself from the Christian church and some friendships. I feel like we lost our community at that point. We searched for a good place to have a new community with Jewish people but it was like starting over. I felt like I converted to Christianity for her when we got together and now I had to convert again, either way I would have done it for her because I loved her that much. The kids were confused by this change. After trying and failing at many synagogues we finally found one that seemed right for us.

Remember when we went to see Wonder Woman in the theater? She was our Jewish superhero. What about Baby Driver or Palomena or the Imitation Game or 22 Jump Street or My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 or the Queen of Katwe or The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel or all the other great movies and not so great movies on or off base. I love taking you out. You are a great friend. I like eating out with you and talking, playing cards or games. I like making out with you in a car on the hills above town. Trying new and spontaneous things with you makes me feel young and in love, thank you for pushing me!

2017

We finally had some money in savings and ended up planning a trip to visit her parents in Texas but it fell through due to lack of military flights. Instead we spent three nights away in a nice hotel resort as a family in February. Shortly after this she wanted to go back to school, then we bought a third vehicle so she could. Shortly after this she changed her mind about school and wanted to buy another house instead. I went along with it to please her and we practically killed ourselves trying to get the move accomplished with not much help or money. We had a good year over all. We got away for a romantic anniversary together in the summer. Just before the boys were going to start public school in the fall, her parents moved back to the area. She had anxiety with this and cut off contact with her parents and brothers for a while. Her Dad called me very upset and I tried to keep the peace until they reconciled. I was doing better with work and made up for lost progress as well as making arrangements to change jobs in the Navy to something more fitting. Since the boys started public school, I planned on leaving for Navy training in my new position after the beginning of the new year.

Remember when we took the boys on a last minute trip to The Anderson School in early 2017? We had three days of pure family time. Playing Battleship and other games in our room as a family, watching movies and eating at all the different restaurants and getting room service. Going swimming everyday in the foggy pool. I love our family and how we can have a great time together doing nothing but at the same time so much. That was so peaceful and relaxing. I want to keep doing things like that together as a family before our boys get too old.

Remember when we went to the Olympic Club for our anniversary last year and we stayed there for a night away? We drove the long way through the countryside talking about new music that you wanted to share with me and you made notes of it on my phone notepad. We brought our own cooler and picnic that included Session Lagers and chocolate. We checked in to our room and made noisy bohemian love on the edge of the creaky bed in our small European room inches from the door. Then we went to the theater downstairs and watched the late showing of that really interesting Sci-fi movie "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets". We took showers and slept sweetly together. We made love again in the morning before we had a delicious brunch outside on the patio. We took the long way home and drove around on new roads and found our way out of cell phone reception. We figured out the road less traveled to get back to our home. We loved being alone and away together, just one night means so much.

Remember going to the Forest Theater to see Tarzan with our boys? That was such a great time. I would love to get our boys into theater and go to see them someday. I want to keep our dreams and goals together alive and not lose opportunity and fall short by losing our partnership.

I loved going camping in Seabeck. Loading the truck with all our gear and getting away. Archer got sick from the cowboy caviar and I had to clean him up in the night. I was glad we had each other to be a team in our marriage in that situation as with all the other times.

2018

We had a lot less money than the year before, again buying a house took its toll on finances as did the boys school and after school activities. I stayed very involved taking the boys to appointments and sporting practice. We stopped going to synagogue but tried to practice Judaism at home as much as possible, which I was very supportive of and involved with. She was still depressed and talking about suicide at times. I encouraged her to get help as I always had. Eventually she was diagnosed as Bipolar 2 and manic depressive by a new provider. She started taking new medicine for this and was worried I would want to leave her. I assured her I would never leave her and that I always wanted to work on things with her and help her. I left for training in Mississippi February 8th. It was going to be hard but I thought it might be good to have some time apart from each other to miss one another and reflect on things as well as prepare for times when I would be away at sea. I got in trouble in Mississippi for giving junior personnel a ride and being negligent of people who might be underage and possibly drinking, this became strike three. I never thought this could happen. I became recommend for separation from the Navy shortly after and was stuck in Mississippi for six months instead of six weeks. She was supportive through most of it but seemed to fall into hopelessness. Money was spent by her that we didn't have without discussion. She quietly leased appliances and tires and purchased a vehicle as well as having a secret bank account and email address. I discovered through our insurance company that she wanted to leave our policy for divorce. I didn't know this and she had even told the boys she wanted a divorce before I even knew. I was caught off guard and confused. I kept trying to communicate and reason with her but she didn't want to talk. I refused to give up and wrote emails and a letter but it only seemed to push her away further. By the time I left Mississippi she had filed for divorce and a restraining order against me saying I was unstable and a threat. I couldn't return to my home. My whole life fell apart in just a couple months. I found out she had been talking to other men in the Navy and keeping more secrets. I assumed this was her way of taking control during a difficult situation. I really needed her support during this hard time of transition out of the military. I became homeless, jobless and without my family in a month. I pray to *** that given time things might change between us.

I feel that our love is not one to be cast away. Other people might not understand or agree but what we have truly is special. We may surely need some time and space to get counseling as well as reconfigure and repair our marriage but I don't feel like our relationship is irretrievably broken. She is so important to me and I know she is the love of my life and will always have my heart. I want to be her partner in love and life, watching our boys grow up and being there to support each other. Being that she is Bipolar I know she will need a lot of help and I am more than willing to assist her in making sure she is taking care of herself and not throwing herself into harm's way, ensuring she sticks with a plan we agree to for consistency. I care about her deeply and have much compassion for her. I don't believe she is thinking this through or thinking about the future. I really want to look at the long and short game with her, neither seem appealing to me if we progress. Things are not going to be easier. She will still have to face her problems and deal with me on a regular basis for the rest of our lives no matter what happens. She can believe her lawyer when they promise she'll get the moon and stars out of this in the end but they only see half of the story. Above all they want our money. It would have been good for her to face me in person and tell me she wanted to divorce and we could have started talking about it with a counselor to figure out how that could even work. Instead she chose to avoid as much responsibility for her actions as possible by doing everything in my absence as if I am not a real person. I had to find out about it from our insurance company and was last to know, even our boys knew before I did by almost a month.

Immediately after I hear the word divorce I look into her cell usage history and find she has a new military boyfriend that she talks to 20-30 times a day. She felt she owed me no explanation for this and it was none of my business. A mature person would have let me know about this months before and I would have seen it coming but there was no sign until it was seemingly too late. She strayed down a dark path and can’t turn back.

Her proposed parenting plan was cruel and had no thought put into it. Two hours a week with supervision, no holidays but father's day? She said she’s not trying to keep me from the kids but this is the exact opposite of what she’s saying with the paperwork she filed. She seems very mixed up and still you continues to make rash and sudden choices. Like a completely bogus restraining order against me that contradicts so many facts she has stated herself on record during my retention process. She was so bold as to want to change her identity and even put it in ink on the divorce paperwork as well to a whole new name. That is not the actions of a stable person. She has since changed her mind again on that just as quickly as everything else in her life. I can't trust that any decisions she is making right now are for the right reasons or that she is of sound mind. I have never seen her so conflicted and confused, grasping at straws and running scared from herself.

Using the legal system so carelessly and going back and forth makes me feel like she is not ready to be making big choices and changes for her and our family. It is very unfair that she can’t consider my feelings on things and what I wish for the boys as well. Very reckless behavior. She can’t anticipate that the day would come where she has to face me and talk to me like an adult. She wants to hide behind the legal system which only leaves much to be unresolved. Ghosting me is not really an option in a marriage of 13 years with children.

Having relationship conversations is too difficult for her at this time and she would rather avoid it and skip to divorce because she thinks that will somehow be easier. I suspect she knows she is making poor choices, possibly out of fear and **** for something new and less painful than the reality of things right now. Our marriage was nowhere close to divorce when I left. She was sad to see me leave and woke with me at 3:30 am to say goodbye, making me coffee and cookies to take with.

Our community and accountability seems to be gone due to the continued trend of isolation that she is drawn to. The *** fearing loving committed wife I thought I had is gone or trapped inside a terrified shell of herself. She cut me off from her family members and I can't discuss my concerns about her with them either. She only seems to have community with those who are not going to discourage her from divorce.

I understand we have had issues and struggles but we are no worse off than other couples during challenging times. I think that because we love each other so much it hurts more when things are hard. I can't accept or believe this is justified or the right choice based on the positive trend we were on before I left. This was the longest break we have ever had from each other and I think she needs someone to be there more for her no matter who it is. Time can heal all wounds and I hope that is true for our relationship.

She still refuses to tell me about why she wants a divorce or talk about anything beyond caring for the kids. I have fought the restraining and I can see my boys again but I am still not allowed to my home without her permission.

I have risen from the ashes in just a couple months. I rent a room from a nice couple from our old church and obtained a good paying job while I continue paying the household bills.

This is a really hard time, this difficult spell can be a tool to better us and our relationship too. I feel so much better about us and working on our marriage after going through what I have the last few months. I know we have our faults with each other but I won't let the lie of things being hopeless get in the way of what a great life we can have together through the continued work that I know a marriage is. I am dedicated and willing, I will carry you through the storm.

I want to experience more beautiful memories with you. We have so many more beautiful memories and dreams left to create. You will always be the most beautiful thing in the world to me, I love you and I am still in love with you and that will never change!
This is a timeline of the major events during my 13 year marriage. Amidst the reality, I injected all the lovely memories that refuse to leave my mind. I am appealing to her reasoning saying things are worth saving.
harlon rivers Jan 2017
...a diary of the falling dominoes chapter

invisibly dying from the inside out
no one is looking into unseen eyes
no one can hear a muted voice fading
no one is close enough to be near

the deafening thrums echo
anxieties’ racing heartbeat
within morphing flesh shell ,
gasping for new breath
in a hovering stale silence

from a distance
the broken mirror ricochets a subdued light ;
much closer the reflection reveals
someone I once knew by heart

now an unrecognizable mask
enshrouds a terminal emptiness
inconspicuous at a fleeting glance ,
impossible to discern what storms rage
from the inside out ,... unnoticed  

an uncontained wildfire
smoldering within,  lies in wait
for the imminent winds of change
to fan the flames into the final
eternal silent ashes

a poet reaches out demurely
offering a candid look
into the window
of the imperfect human soul

there is no poetry
met by indifference
just gathered unread words scribbled,

squandered time
dripped slowly on an empty page ;
moments turn into days
days turned into years

invisibly dying from the inside out
an unfinished life trickles out
like seeping blood evanescing
from a bottomless puncture
wounding ... penetrating the heart,
leaching out the slow death of a poet

for poetry is only words unless they touch someone ...

befallen to indifference is poetic death
by salted paper cuts ...

a muting suffocation
that hiddenly erodes away,
silencing the passion
of a musing soul
one unread word at a time ...


© harlon rivers ... all rights reserved
it is an enigma how poetry evolves in meaning over time ―
like a self-fulfilled prophecy, some become transformational, some become new beginnings or some become a finality of a metamorphosis of peaceful endings or deleted attempts at understanding the misunderstood...

... all to be determined and allowed to let be

― THE END  ―
Robert G Page Jul 2014
The Slow-Bullet
by rgpage

In the early days of  Viet Nam
the American draft was going strong.
Young men in their prime of life,
were forced and herded into world strife.

A generation of America’s best, were
then brought home and laid to rest.
Wall Street smiled, the money flowed
the “fat Cats” called it money owed.

In towns and cities big and small,
families waited, worried, and cried.
Groups appeared, dissention grew.
"Mothers grab your son’s and hide."

There were those who felt their duty strong,
to take the leap toward blood and strife
with McNamara herding them along.
Known to the grunts as “Mac the Knife.”

The madness grew to a global scale
with those that were for and those against.
In bombing, selective targets became the norm
keeping the rest of the world from harm.

With those who didn’t feel their duty strong,
a path to the north they took.
They packed what they could, burned their cards
and paused for one last look.

With this some parents felt relief,
while others felt the disgrace. Of  seeing
the grief so many went through after
having their futures erased.

The war took over 58,000 American lives;
men and women both, (before we flew away).
Wall Street got their wages for blood, with
broken lives in pain, many thousands more would pay.

With thousands more that were yet to be lost, after returning home.
Physically and mentally scarred, even those seeming
perfectly whole. Then saying good-by to the ones they loved
in their own special way. They stoically waited for the slow-bullet to come to finally take them away…



Suicide has taken 3 or 4 times the lives than the war took. My heart cries for every last one of them…Robert G. Page, Viet Nam Vet. ‘66-’67.
Sit back and relax
Feel the waves wash over your back
In the melting sun
Looking at the clouds reflecting all the pinks and blues
Over the blooming hill, echoing white noise of chirps and crickets

Listen to the trickling of the slow water over the smooth rocks
Feel a warm wind brush your face
With your eyes closed
Enjoying the radiating warmth
And the soothing crackling of a log fire

Or sit and admire the shimmering spray
Of a waterfall smoothly crashing into the water of a sky kissed lake
Sunlight dancing through the splashes
Rainbows jumping through every droplet

Listen to the pitter patter of the rain, against a tin roof
Inside a warm cabin
Drifting to sleep
Soon to wake to the song birds chorus
And the blissful sun

Bask in it
And relax
Too much, too fast.
Breathless at a stoplight.
change
fast
must
go
I HAVE NO TIME
schoolworkchoresrethingingeverythinginthemomentsthatIcanstil­lhear
Always with the rushing, barely feeling, barely knowing where I am.

Now there's nothing.
It's a break, slow and stale.
What do I do?
There are four or five ideas but none are pressing and I can't bring myself to move.
I try one thing,
then another.
No drive
meaning
purpose
feeling.
Not even my eyes can focus on anything.
Skipping, blinking, nothing.
Slow.

Give me back the whirlwind, or give me gravelike nothing.
Nothing is right.
I need power to feel and peace to fight or I am already dead.
Please.
I'm trusting You.
Please.
Thanks so much for reading, it means a lot.

Honestly, I'm not feeling much better for the moment.  Things were getting a bit slow this afternoon and the Gravelike paragraph applied for like two hours, but I pulled myself out of it and I'm okay now.  Let's see how long the feeling of well being lasts this time...
Shofi Ahmed May 2017
Art, a smile like the one
on the face of Mona Lisa.
Curved like the waxing moon
above the sea.
Light a flame before a face
yet to be seen.
What will it prevail,
will it show once for all
a slow tilt on the smiling lips
—a curve softly locks on
a rose from the sun,
or a shadow beneath the moon?
This is a poem from my book Zero and One available on Amazon.
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