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WHAT? Somebody Please Pinch Me?

By Dharma ~

I recently found myself thrust into the unnatural habitat of the xtian jungle. And unfortunately I was privy to a cult ritual commonly carried out by so many of the xtian tribes. First, allow me to give a little back story. I will try to keep it tasteful. And I sincerely apologize for any confusion I may cause by starting somewhere in the middle, but at the beginning of the end.

I sat in my chair hugging my knees to my chest and trying to watch one of my favorite evening shows. From the corner of my eye I could see him lying on the couch with one hand down his lounging pants. This had become the routine. Every evening he would lie on the couch and scratch all things below his waistline, while pretending not to read the steady stream of texts on his cell phone. Every now and again, he would glance in my direction to see if I was looking and then he would run his fingers under his nose and continue texting. Occasionally he would make a random comment about the current scene on the television to try and cover up the fact that he was not really watching the show. So many times I fought down the urge to shove his cell phone up his … well; you can guess where I wanted it to be. Yes, at this point, I really wanted to see him text from there.

I sighed. But I had been sighing a lot these days. This was not the man I had married. Who was this person? Who was this strange devolved creature that inhabited the same space as me, and had inhabited it for the last fifteen years?

Only one month ago I had come downstairs at midnight to find him having sex with his female ‘friend’ on our couch; in my home, on a couch that I chosen. They were so engrossed in their activity that they did not see me. His ‘friend’ was a psychologist with unresolved daddy issues of sexual abuse. Ironic isn’t it? Of course they had spent all day drinking. And the marijuana she had apparently brought with her played a part in dulling their perception. But for this, at least, I was oddly grateful as I stood there frozen on the staircase. I was dumbfounded. My hands and feet went numb. My chest seemed to shrink three sizes and threatened to crush my lungs. I could hear each rapid heartbeat crashing violently against my eardrums as I turned and went back upstairs. I pushed the bedroom door closed; I pushed our bedroom door closed.

The next morning, I poured myself a cup of coffee. I’ve no idea how long I stood there staring through the kitchen window at the neighbor’s bird feeder. These neighbors are very sweet people. They told me they had chosen to put the birdfeeder in that location just for me, because I so enjoyed watching the birds. Around ten, he came downstairs and went straight to the couch. I watch his face as he spotted the patches of dried goo on the cobalt blue throw. His eyes widened and he snatched up the soft, fuzzy, warm throw that I always used on the couch and took it upstairs. I swallowed hard, but the lump in my throat refused to budge. So, I set about sterilizing the kitchen; the kitchen they had been in together just before I discovered that it had truly fallen apart. I closed my eyes and tried to take what comfort I could from the warmth of my morning coffee. He came back downstairs and turned on the television. Later, I went upstairs to do the laundry. My soft, fuzzy, warm, (now goo-covered) cobalt blue throw that he had given to me for Christmas was sitting in the laundry basket staring sadly back at me. Right next to it laid a pair of shorts and briefs also spattered with dried goo.

I desperately needed to talk to someone, but family was out of the question. Most of my family members were Xtians and I only heard from them when a gift-receiving occasion rolled around. And besides, it was much too humiliating a thing to tell a family member anyway. So, a week later, when my friend and neighbor asked me how I was doing, I broke down from the internalized stress and blurted out that I would be getting a divorce. After her surprised look faded she expressed her sympathy. Then she insisted on praying for me, right then and right there. After her regurgitated prayer, her face took on a very serious expression and she took my hand. Adultery or not, she told me, in the eyes of the almighty lord you and your husband are bound together forever. So, as I stood there in pain, she told me that in the loving eyes of the lord I needed to do whatever I could to MAKE my marriage work.

WHAT???

I suddenly needed to make her see reason. I told her that it had stopped being my marriage two years ago when I had witnessed my husband, in a drunken haze, slobbering over my twenty-five year old mentally ill niece. I had tried to blame that atrocity on the fact that he had recently suffered a traumatic experience. He had, after all, just lost his younger brother to an accident on the job. His brother had been a dear, sweet thirty-two-year-old man about to become a father for the fourth time. But fate had other plans and he had been crushed to death in a machine just after lunch one day. So I took a psychological step back and tried to be understanding. I allowed my husband time to confess and explain this one slip-up. But he never did. I was stupid. I was scared. And that is when the ghosts of warped Xtian teachings past began to haunt me. Feelings of betrayal morphed into feelings of self loathing. I questioned my worth. Was I unlovable? My youth pastors would have been so proud of me.

At this point, I saw a ‘light’ go on in my friend’s eyes. Now, instead of listening to my story and being supportive, my good xtian ‘friend’ pounced upon this primo opportunity to witness to me. I was aghast at her pitiful attitude toward my husband’s repeated betrayal. She said Satan had brought about this devastating change in my life. And with god all things were possible, she preached. Yes, with god you can fix this and bring back the intimacy, she said.

WHAT????

If sex with me, six to nine times a week, had not been enough for him then what on earth was I supposed to do? If watching his football games every fall, picking up his dozens of empty beer cans every day and ignoring his constant flirting with other woman for fifteen years was not enough? Then what the hell did this woman think I was supposed to do? I had cooked, cleaned, cared for him when he got sick, tended to the yard, planted and harvested the herbs and vegetables and laughed at all his jokes. Where was I supposed to go from there?

And what if the proverbial shoe were on the other foot? Would she let her husband bang random women on her couch and then cater to his every whim? This poor misguided xtian woman then told me that god always had a plan. Sound familiar? She said that man was not at fault here, but it was the work of demonic possession. This simple-minded xtian woman was determined that my husband was not acting of his own accord. But he was, in fact, possessed by an evil spirit that caused him to lust after the loose and immoral women of the world. And she also informed me that it was not the fault of these women either, because they were also possessed.

WHAT??????

I wanted to snatch off her goofy god-goggles and let her see how absurd she was acting. Needless to say, we no longer speak to one another. Mainly because she began sending me videotaped ‘proof’ of demons being cast out. Of course this proof came from CBN and the 700 Club. Go figure, right? Holy monkey, some people should really be locked up for their own safety. Each time she sent me another e-mail I wanted to bolt over to her house, shake her and scream for her to wake up!

Well, it has been two months now since the divorce papers were filed, but it is not yet final. On the bright side, I did not ‘go god’. But rather I have spent my time wisely preparing to be single. Tomorrow I will be yet another year older and as I face this prospect, with no job, no skills to speak of, no children, and no one to turn to I will do my level best to ignore how terrified I truly am. It is unhealthy to keep stressful thing bottled up, so this rant is my release. Writing is therapeutic and it feels so good to get these poisonous thoughts out of my aching head and onto paper where they can be recycled into something useful. It was necessary to free myself of this burden, because although I did not think I could cry anymore I was wrong. After three double martinis last night I wandered out into the front yard around ten thirty to trim the hedges; seemed a good idea, eh? Somewhere deep down I desperately wanted Freddy Kruger to appear. At least that would have been a much more pleasant nightmare to deal with. Well soon I found myself on my hands and knees in the wet grass behind the shrubs, sobbing as quietly as I could.

What? Somebody please pinch me?

This person is not me. I do not even recognize the reflection I see in the mirror these days. I see a sad face with dull eyes and dark circles beneath them and I cannot believe it is me. Never have I been more alone. However, others have survived things far more horrid than this. So I will take the bits of wisdom found in the various catalogs I receive each month and I will ‘suck it up’, ‘rub some dirt on it’, ‘pull on my big girl panties’ and ‘slap on a little lipstick’. Then I will cash in my ticket for ‘The Little Engine that Could’, because THAT is how a godless person deals with the screwed up realities of life.


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