Posted by: Marie | July 7, 2014

(950) Lessons in renegotiation – Part 6 of 7

Post #950
[Private journal entry written near bedtime on Saturday, September 1, 2012 – continued from previous post]

We backtracked one exit on the Interstate and then we headed north on Highway 283. We were both lost in our thoughts as we meandered across the open plains . . . neither of us said much.

I decided it was a good time to move the conversation towards topics that would allow me to feel more connected with Melodie . . . I mean, we were both in thoughtful moods and she had tired of the comedy radio station . . .

I started by updating her on some the more significant events that have occurred in my healing journey during the past two years. I really don’t share much of that stuff on the phone because the phone connection is usually not good . . . either because I’m in my bedroom suite in the basement or because she is in someplace where the phone signal is weak . . . and a sensitive conversation does not fair well when one or the other of us is always saying, “Wait, say that again, you faded out for a minute . . . ”

And, often one of us is in a public forum or around other people where a sensitive and personal conversation would not be appropriate . . .

And, I don’t share much over the phone because every time I start to tell her something meaningful, if the story takes more than a minute or two to tell, she will interrupt me with her own story. I’m not willing to fight for her attention . . . just like I’m not willing to fight for the attention of my biological siblings.

I think the fact that we were in the same physical location made today’s conversation easier . . . she didn’t interrupt. In fact, she listened carefully and she asked thoughtful questions. She empathized.

I told her that I’m doing better than I was two years ago (which is when I last gave her a meaningful update), but that I still fight depression periodically . . . I still sometimes wish I weren’t alive. She responded that she knows that I struggle with depression and with wanting to live, but she wanted to make sure that I knew she loves me regardless. I told her I did know that.

I told her that I am doing MUCH better now than I was a decade ago when I lost my career and my financial assets . . . back then, I was fairly certain I was not going to survive those hard times.

She asked me if I remembered telling her about my depressive and suicidal tendencies on one of our trips 20 years ago, in the early 1990’s. I didn’t remember . . .

She said that, because of my telling her that 20 years ago, she had been extremely concerned about me during the very dark time a decade ago. She said that she fully expected to get a phone call telling her that I had committed suicide. She had pretty much accepted the fact that that was going to happen, and she felt helpless to stop it.

I was not aware that she had been carrying that weight . . . I tried to not let on how difficult that time was for me because I didn’t want people to worry more than absolutely necessary. I guess she knows me too well to fall for that.

She then asked a question . . .

“If you ever get to the point where you really are planning to kill yourself, you’d call me, right?”

“Well, no. If I’m going to kill myself, I’m not going to announce it, and I’m not going for help, I’ll just do it. I hope you know that there would be nothing you could do to help me in that case. If I’m in so much emotional pain that I’m planning to kill myself, then it means that I’m done fighting. I already have help . . . and I have great resources. If they can’t help me, I can’t be helped.

“It’s fully possible that, at some point, I won’t be able to tolerate it anymore and I may actually kill myself. That’s a very real possibility. If that ever happens, please know that there was nothing you could have done . . . if there were anything that could be done, it would have already happened . . . I already have the resources to make it happen. If they can’t help me, no one can.”

“Yeah, I know that. I just felt like I needed to put that out there . . . I needed to make sure that you know you could call me.”

“Yes, I know I could call you . . . and I appreciate that very much.”

“I know you wouldn’t call me, though, if you were really serious about killing yourself.”

“Yeah, you’re right.”

And that was about the extent of the conversation. But, it was enough for me to feel a bit more connected with her. I really needed that conversation.

I’m still very aware of the fact we are in very different places in our person development and growth. But, I at least found a way to connect with her in a meaningful way.

Our conversation then switched to lighter topics . . . it was light and friendly . . .

Kansas

Along about this point in time (a little after 7:35pm), I started looking for Highway 136 . . . I thought that was the highway I needed to turn east onto in order to get to Stamford . . .

Both Melodie and I saw the signs for Highway 89, but I insisted it was Highway 136 we needed . . . Melodie looked at the map and then decided she didn’t know for sure where we were . . . I insisted we needed to just go a little further . . . I was very sure Highway 136 would be coming along any minute . . . she believed me . . .

Well, I was wrong. My mental map failed me. I should have turned onto Highway 89, which would have merged with Highway 136. So, we ended up detouring north a bit, which added 22 miles (35 km) and 25 minutes to the drive . . .

Bless her heart, Melodie didn’t rub it in.

We got to the little town of Stamford at 8:15pm, 15 minutes before sunset. The brightness of the landscape was just beginning to dim. We knew we had to keep moving . . . we still had to find the cemetery, which was out in the country . . . there are no street lights out there . . . and street signs are either very tiny or are missing all together . . .

Fortunately, when we dropped south onto Highway 89 just outside of Stamford, we discovered that the country road we needed was the road on which we were already traveling south. We simply had to cross Highway 89 and continue southward. Of course, once we crossed Highway 89, the road was no longer a paved highway, it became a gravel country road . . .

We turned on the GPS unit and trusted it to lead us to the cemetery . . . it appeared we were about 5 miles (8 km) away from the cemetery . . . I was driving about 20 mph (32 kmph) because I didn’t want the gravel to kick up and pit their car’s paint . . . they’ve only had this car for two months and it is in pristine condition . . . and Melodie’s husband is VERY particular about their cars . . .

[Continued in the next post . . . ]

(021)


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