Can’t breathe

I am in Rome this weekend for one of my nephews’ wedding. It was lovely, they are a beautiful, loving, kind and sweet couple, that loves each other so much you can taste it. I was very emotional during the wedding, partly because he is the first to get married of that generation in our family but also because looking at them on such a beautiful day, all I did was wish so hard for them to make it, because the Ex and I were like that too, yet here we are. And I hate how sad and cynical and jaded I’ve become. 

This weekend the ex is away on a meditation retreat. So he sends me a picture of them preparing a bed of hot coals and of his feet after he walked on them. And I stopped breathing. That’s how panicked I was. And then I got angry, so fucking angry I could have murdered him. But I tried to rein it in, because I’m no longer technically responsible for him, although I am anyway since he’s the father of my children and I feel the need to “protect” him, for them. The anger I felt was the same as when he jumped out of a plane without telling me, or went bungee jumping. 

I panic and can’t breath. Because every time he does something stupid, like jump out of airplanes or off bridges or walk on hot coals (which is just as risky, since his immune system is suppressed), or like when he texts while driving on the highway, I want to grab him and yell at him that for the love of God he’s hanging on to life by a thread already, he’s survived leukemia three times already, he no longer has his nine lives, why is he tempting fate.

I know, it’s his life. I understand that after all he’s gone through he needs to do these things. I understand. But I can’t breathe. I wish he would be grateful for the life he has, instead of constantly seeking the thrill. I wish he held his life in more esteem, he cared more. It’s his life. Not mine, not really. But it still hurts me, it still sends me into a panic. Worrying about his health and his well-being has become such a huge part of my life that it’s hard now to let go. But I have to find the way. I have to stop worrying about him so much, keeping him alive is no longer my job. I have to let go, but I don’t know how. What I do know is that I hate this feeling. I stop breathing, it almost feels like my heart stops beating, I feel a pain above my sternum, and then I get so angry, just so, so angry. It’s a response to stress, I get it, but it can’t be good for me.

Worrying about him is no longer my job, my job now is taking care of myself. And I don’t want to feel like this anymore, I don’t want to get so tense and stressed that I can’t breathe and the only way for me to ease the pain in my heart and my sternum is to cry, in frustration. I want to be happy, to smile, to laugh, to have fun, and not worry so much. It’ll be hard, I’ll need help, but that is what I’m striving for and I know I’ll get there sooner or later. Because I want to breathe.

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