Monday is the worst day.
Monday is marriage counseling day. Monday, my husband and I go into another world. It feels decades removed from where we live today. The smell is musty like a morgue for dead marriages. Maybe some has survived, but I can’t get a comforting sense there’s been a lot of success in the room with opposing chairs.
My husband sits quietly. Reserved.
If I had a hammer, I’d use it to break through his thick skin. To break through his belief in who we are and what we’ve done to each other. I’d break down every wall separating us.
Maybe you know this, maybe you don’t, I have had to build walls out of protection since I was a little girl. I’m experienced with making sure my walls are high and the mortar is slathered thickly in between the cement bricks. I’ve used my own blood to build my walls.
They’re built to protect me from the pain and hurt, from all I’ve ever known from men.
I don’t want to know anymore hurt. The dead horse hanging in our living room, the one we keep beating to death, is this:
I’VE BEEN HURT ENOUGH.
People will say I am brave, strong, and resilient. I hate the resilience the most. It means after I’ve taken another painful blow, I’m allowed to fall to the floor for only a little while. But I have to get back up. I have to set my shoulders high and straight, and keep walking like the hurt never mattered.
It does matter. All this hurt matters.
The hurt happening in our home, in our town, and in the world; It matters to me. I don’t want to be betrayed and told I’m nothing anymore. I don’t want to hear how I can’t write and my gift is a curse. I don’t want to go to the store and have to watch over my shoulders because addicts are waiting for their chance to snatch a purse, grab their quick high. I defensively drive with a death grip on my steering wheel because I don’t know which car couldn’t wait to get their fix and decided to drive, with fentanyl laced heroin coursing through their veins. Passing out at any moment. Plowing down anything and everything they never saw coming. Eyes wide shut. I don’t want to see pictures of children being gassed to death because leaders are too cowardly to back off. They value land and pride more than innocent human life.
Nothing I say reaches you.
My words are white noise in this home.
I don’t matter.
I don’t even care anymore whether I matter, or to whom I may hold some sort of significance to in a life. I really don’t care. My life will still go on. It always has. I’ve tried too many times to shut my eyes for good, they open. Somehow, my eyes always open again.
When they’re open, I want you to know what I see:
There is this beautiful, unending gorgeous world before us. We only have to choose to open our eyes, our hearts, and our hands and grasp what is before us. To tear down the walls standing in the way and to be open to forgiveness and love. To not let hate overwhelm our heads.
TO BE DECENT HUMAN BEINGS.
Love. Honor. Cherish.
Not only in a marriage, but in humanity as a whole. We are all one. Living, breathing the same air, our blood flows red. Each of us has insecurities and fear and pain. No matter the color of our skin or the background we’ve came from or our religion, all of our tears taste like warm saltwater flowing down every cheek.
Are we not exhausted yet?
You and me?
The world in general?
The revelation is it doesn’t have to be this way. Not here. Not in our home. Not in our town. Not in the world. Grab a hand, hold it. Let a wife climb securely on your lap, stroke her hair, and vow to never break her heart again. Together, go into your town and make some kind of difference. Let the weak know they have strength in them, they need to find it within themselves. Unite and go into the world and stop what we can, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.
Little changes lead to big differences.
I’m ready to change. Not for a man. Never for a man again.
I’m ready to become something different, because I want to see the better in the place that I live; in my home and in my town. To become better. I’m capable of becoming better. We each are capable of striving to be better versions than who we are today.
My mama used to say, and I’ve read the verse several times in Hebrews, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”
In our homes, in our own towns, in the world are forces greater than we can imagine. There’s still good, pure, golden light fighting to win against the negativity and the darkness.
There is still hope.
Each of us needs to grasp a threadbare string of that hope. Hang on tight.
Don’t let go. Make it stronger.