The Good Ones

“You’ll know him when you see him by the way he looks at me. You’d say he hung the moon, I’d say he hung the galaxy….A love me like he should one. Like he wrote the book one. The kind you find when you don’t even look one. Anybody can be good once, but he’s good all the time. He’s one of the good ones, and he’s all mine…We should all find us one. They’re out there, minus one.”

I truly believe Adam and I were made for each other. I could never find another Adam. God knows, there ain’t a replacement for me, either! I’m sure I’m one of a kind, for good or bad.

When I’ve talked with friends, about men, I often tell them, “Do you think Adam came out the box like this?!” It takes a lot of time, work, devotion, and love, to get there. Adam and I are certainly not perfection! When my friends complain that they haven’t found their “Adam”, though, I have to take the time to explain, this don’t happen overnight. We know each other, inside and out. Through trial and error, we’ve learned what works, and what doesn’t. We’re still learning about each other. I think that’s what commitment and marriage is. Promising to continue loving, supporting, and learning about one another. When people talk about marriage being work, they’re not kidding! It isn’t always easy. It’s not always glamorous. Sometimes, you look at your spouse and say to yourself, what the hell is wrong with him/her?! Occasionally, a new revelation, about your partner, shakes you. You wonder if you really even know them? I know I’ve done this to Adam. Learning something monumental, about someone’s past, does not mean they’re not the same person, standing in front of you. I’ve had times, when I’ve told Adam about some part of my past, and I’ve been so afraid that he might look at me differently. Would I be “damaged”, as far as he’s concerned? The truth is, he learns about things, and he understands so much more about the why of it all. He knows me better. He sees that innocence in me, that has been tainted by someone’s cruelty, and then he figures out how to help me handle that shit. I’ve grown so much, because of my husband’s love and support. I’ve shared secrets, with him, that I told myself would stay locked away forever. I’ve discovered, I can open up. He doesn’t judge me. I’m never “too much”.

Most of my life, I pretended. I needed everyone to know me, and see someone who wasn’t damaged. I let everyone believe that my privileged childhood was everything they imagined. To look at the smiling happy faces we wore, and never doubt that it was real. Adam didn’t know who my mother truly was, until the last 3-4 years. Despite my best efforts, the truth came out. Through a mixture of my mother’s brutal words and actions, and my own opening up and sharing my history, Adam and Jackie have learned a lot. It isn’t easy to admit that you’re damaged. It’s hard to explain that the image I had portrayed, for so long, was mostly a fabrication. I’d made my childhood into what I’d wished it had been. I’d painted my mother into someone she never was. I lied. Not out of malice. It was both for self preservation, and to protect my mother. I was deeply bothered at the thought of someone seeing her for who I knew she could be. I so desperately wanted to believe the perfect family I’d described myself growing up in, was real. I think I almost had convinced myself that it was, in fact, real. Her secrets, my secrets, would’ve died with me, having never been unearthed, had she chosen a different path. Had my mother only continued to be the pretend one who everyone else saw, I’d have never told on her. That’s the truth.

For better or for worse, I’ve exposed myself to Adam, and to Jackie. I’ve admitted the things I kept to myself, for so long. There’s more. It’s amazing how many pages of my story there are to read. There are chapters, most of which I’ve shared. There are still some pages I’ve skipped over. I imagine that, with time, my entire story will be known to the people I trust the most. I’m just not the kind of book you can read without the help of someone transcribing it. A mixture of exhaustion, frustration, pain, and trust, are how I’m able to read them my story. The fact that I have people who are willing to stick around for it, that’s what makes me sure I matter. I know I could never have been who I am today, without the love of people like my husband and my best friend. I pray that everyone reading this now, has someone in their life, who they trust to share their story with.

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