"We are led to those who help us the most. I'm not sure if they change us for the better but I do know when we meet these people, they change us forever." I put this in quotes because I'm not sure if it's something I read or perhaps heard in a song lyric. Maybe I dreamed it or mixed part of a quote with a song lyric with some degree of original thought, hell - admittedly, I don't know. I do know I've been staring at these words for a few weeks now, internally debating between the right and left hemispheres of my brain. The emotional side in a battle with the logical side, the angry hurt woman against the "ain't gonna take no shit from no one anymore" chick. How can words, simple words linked together in a quasi-inspirational way, screw with me like this?
To begin, I took exception with the notion of being led to those who help us the most. Are we really led to people? And if we are led to them, is it because they are specifically charged with the divine mission of helping our sorry asses? I mean, aren't we placed here to fall into the paths of other souls we can inspire? I know the obvious answer, when you help others - you help yourself, true; yet, the conundrum here, the part that is fucking with me are those two words at the end of the first sentence, "the most". Is there really such a thing as a mutually beneficial relationship? Who is helping whom, the most?
In contrast, I actually delight in the second sentence. Especially the part about how they, these illusive people we are allegedly drawn to on our journey, may not actually change us for the better. Cynical, calloused, bitchy Zen Mama (yes, an oxymoron) realizes I've allowed some negative influences into my life over the years, most often in the name of love, or rather, in the name of foolish, impetuous infatuation or sexual gratification or financial insecurity or plain old lack of fucking sense the good Lord gave me.
But the esoteric, romantic, spiritually enlightened Zen Mama (chant with me: nam-myoho-renge-kyo) is still fighting to surface above the trough of swine slop I've been wallowing in for the past two months. I know he changed me forever but for God's sake, did he have to implode my belief system, causing me to question the instincts it took thirty years and three marriages (one didn't count) to finely hone? How is it possible to give yourself fully to a man for sixteen months, to spend copious hours studying him, exploring his nuances and nature, questioning his past, present and future, his intellect, values, parenting style, priorities, career and yes, even checking background and references and end up not have a clue who the fuck he was? We waited over a year to bring our kids together. How long must one wait before one can say they know this person was sent to you to change you forever, for light or lesson, future or fury? A year, two years? I was the Queen of Cautious. He was the Knight of Darkness, lurking in the shadows until I handed over my last precious commodity, the hearts, faith and trust of my children.
It was then, and only then I saw the dark side of the moon that had previously shone so brightly on my life. We are all damaged in our own unique way. We all carry baggage, issues, sensitive buttons, personality flaws, triggers, various levels of tolerance and patience. Funny thing is, what I saw during that lunar eclipse was worse than anything I had ever experienced. And this from a woman who has seen more than her fair share of ugly. I was attracted mostly to his brilliance, speaking four languages, rising to the top of his industry and standing out as a person with a one of a kind mind. Now I realize he used that same brilliance against me to perpetrate his deceptions, keeping his disturbing mental proclivities cloaked for one year and four months.
As with all endings, you find yourself looking back to see if there were signs you missed, perhaps subtle oversights or those that were colossal, nearly impassable flashing red stop lights. Yet, I cannot find any, not one precursor to what was yet to come. No foreshadowing of my fate, and that is where he changed me, not for the better, but forever indeed.
Coming back to that first sentence, we are drawn to those who help us the most. Maybe what I needed was a healthy dose of wake the fuck up, force fed down my throat until I gagged, spit it back in his face, then had to be restrained while he numbed the rest of my senses, pinched my nose, blindfolded me, shut off my hearing with repetitive stirrings of Enigma and shot the elixir directly into my veins until I sprang awake, gasping for air while proclaiming, son of a mother fucking bitch. The only way to embrace change is to stay focused on the prize. And guess what, I am the prize.