A Lifestyle blog based in Sonoma County, in the heart of Wine Country. Amber is an outspoken voice for local activism, local wine tourism, and more.

The Goodbye

We didn’t make it my love. I wish more than anything, that we could trade all those nights spent on my bed, staring at our phones, for nights of conversations that we never had. I wish I could wipe away the hot angry tears from your cheek, and you mine.

Remember the night we sat in your truck, at my Fountaingrove apartment listening to the radio, staring up at the stars? Or the time that we grossly misjudged camping season, and slept in the truck at the beach? Remember the spectacular sunrise, and the man who told us about the whales? These are some of my favorite memories with you.

I wanted conversations with you more than anything. But they never seemed to happen the way I had hoped, or the way we needed them to.

I remember last spring, how we drove past a patch of daisies that you found off the road, behind a gate (how did you see them?) by Lake Sonoma, and how you reversed on the road, and helped me climb over the gate in my dress - because you wanted a picture of me standing among them. I never felt more beautiful in all my life than I did that day.

I remember you FaceTiming me one weekend morning, children and dog all piled into bed with you, and how my heart swelled - it was everything I wanted: to be a part of something bigger. It didn’t have to be perfect. All I wanted was to be a part of it, and you let me. I am forever grateful.
I remember the tone of your voice as you helped me build my own shelves, and the smile you had as I used your electric drill. Just as I remember your face when I told you had a toothbrush and a drawer for you at my place.

I remember Christmas night sitting on your bed, exchanging presents. I thought you had given me a motion-sensored light for my front porch and I was so happy. I was concerned that my ceiling was too high - where were we going to find a ladder to install it? And what would we do when the batteries needed to be changed? You were so nervous; and I quickly learned why: there was no light. You had hidden diamonds inside instead.

Where did we go wrong, sweetheart?

A rhetorical question. We know. We know when the daisies died, and the stars began to fade. I know I had my walls. I know I had my previous injuries, and my hesitations. I know the essays didn’t help. I had hoped that if I had been honest with myself every step of the way, it would make room for progress; providing the ability to remove the rose-colored glasses and proceed forward in the most truthful way possible. But the truth hurts, and the half-truths hurt more. The words, the name calling, the things said in hurt and anger stung, and cut deep. My anxiety attacks became so frequent that I began to question my sanity, and I started to pull away from loved ones and friends, clinging to you, only to eventually start pushing you away too. And when the bargaining began, I knew I had lost the battle. “You’re so strong!” began to feel like a betrayal, rather than encouragement. How much more was my strength going to endure? How much more could I ask you endure?

There have been so many tears. I have cried rivers and oceans, leaving myself as an island, isolated with my thoughts and fear. You know why I am afraid. Please honor me in acknowledging that (at the least). The fluctuation between saccharine and bitter, and unsentimental accusatory moods have thrown me against a stern, unforgiving wall. I couldn’t keep my balance.

Love does not do this. Not the healthy kind, anyway. I cannot be left to wade through the tides of anger, seeking the sadness behind it. I cannot carry the burden of being responsible for tempers running unhinged.

This wasn’t my desire. This wasn’t the ‘clean break’ you thought I was seeking. Instead this is a messy, muddled, fucked up mire that I very much had hoped to avoid. I tore down so many metaphorical walls - we both did. I took deep breaths and dove into the deep end with you. I tread the waters with you. It was never about becoming what the other person needed...I think perhaps it was more about laying down expectations at each others feet, dismantling them piece by piece, and creating new, attainable truths of what we both needed to survive.

God how this hurts. How I already miss the simple, but equally grand pleasures that you brought me: wrapping my fingers around yours, watching your face bury in my pillows of feather and down. Tracing the outlines of your tattoos with my finger, watching you blow clouds of smoke into the sunshine, biting your arm when I wanted attention, and how we both laughed when you tried to pull off the “disappearing act”. How you danced with me, holding me close, even when there was no music. How you’d kiss me and playfully clutch your chest crying out “it’s too much!”. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for these happy memories. I cherish them.

You revealed parts of me that I didn’t know existed - opening my mind to possibilities that I hadn’t previously considered; like how perhaps maybe I do want a little child of my own, to have and to hold a head full of curls, and soft chubby cheeks to kiss. I had thought that you and I could have held on together forever, one silly, beautiful, mixed and matched patchworked family that somehow made it work.

I felt so strong in our beginning. So sure of myself, and my decisions. I believed myself confident and clear headed. Now I am in a fog. My instincts are and muddled and confused. I am forgetful, and tired all of the time. I question and second guess everything I do. I am struggling with anger that sits shallow beneath the surface of my day to day comings and goings. I am struggling with my own reflection, and the face looking back at me. I don’t know how I let things get this bad, or come this far. Surely the Amber at the beginning wouldn’t recognize the Amber I am today. I wrestle with that. What has happened, what has been asked of me, what has been placed before me in the name of love is not right. It is not justified.

I am so angry!! To be forced to walk away from the one that I love - from the one that loves me. This is not fair. It is not what I would have ever volunteered of myself, or asked of you, if my hand had not been forced. Love? Is this what love does? To us? To have our story end like this, when it should have ended in an entirely different way. How is that we both have overcome all that we have in life, to have us meet in the way that we did, to have it all end like this? I did not ask for this. I did not want this for us. No, I wanted forever.

The fluctuation between anger and sorrow and confusion is nothing unique, of course. I realize that. The resentment that has wrapped itself around my limbs and thoughts isn’t unique, either. But it isn’t easy. It isn’t any easier to bear.

I do not hate you - how could I? I am hurt, yes. I am angry and upset, and confused and untrusting, but I do not wish ill will or any damage to you. I will not speak badly of you - and I won’t allow it from others. I want happiness and joy for you. I want love and true and constant peace for you. You are a good man who is worthy of all the joys life has to offer. You are worthy. You are strong and resilient. You are loved beyond your wildest imagination, and you are deserving of that love. You deserve happiness. You deserve to feel the warmth of sunshine on your face, and the cool water from the river running between your toes. You deserve the radiant smiles from your children’s faces. The loyalty and companionship of your dog. You deserve respect and acknowledgement. You have not been abandoned - you are embraced, and you are so very loved.

I wish that a proper goodbye was possible. To sit with you, knowing that restitution on either side has been surrendered to a laying down of arms, succumbing to a reality that neither of us wanted. The cycle had to be broken, and neither of us are leaving whole. And I am so sorry for it. I’m sorry. 

© A•Mused

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A Mused Blog | A Northern California Sonoma County Blog