I failed to go to a wedding last weekend and have been floundering in a morass of guilt and relief ever since. It was a wedding for a woman I adore, and though we have never been particularly close I am pretty sure, in my less insecure moments, that this adoration is mutual. But I had been dreading the wedding all summer.
My own partner is several thousand miles away finding himself, and while the summer has in some ways been very good to me, it has also been very difficult. And then this late summer wedding weekend began to get complicated, with trains to catch and uncertain places to sleep and rides not as forthcoming as originally hoped.
I had lunch a few days before the wedding with a dear sweet friend about whom I've written before. This time she brought me a little organza bag filled with a couple ginger candies, a worry stone, and two klonopin. And it struck me, in those days leading up to my abrupt failure, that perhaps it wouldn't be so horrible to bail on something that had me so tied up in knots as to be craving a klonopin or two.
And so I didn't go, and instead caught MetroNorth up to Cold Spring and spent a few hours with my Cindy, my grounding, my home away from home.
This morning I finally allowed myself to look at some pictures from the wedding on Facebook, and of course there was the ex-boyfriend and his lovely wife. It's been awhile since I've seen pictures of him, let alone him in the flesh, and I was taken aback at the way my heart clenched up, the way my breath caught in my throat. But of course there it was, the underlying reason behind my last-minute wedding freak-out.
I've been working hard these last eight months to find an inner peace, and I am beginning now, after a winter and a spring and a summer of trials, to feel it within reach. I couldn't let an uninvited run-in with a man I spent five years in a twisting spiral of mutual drama and abuse upend this thing, this feeling, that I so want.
And yet, upon seeing these pictures of him this morning, my heart seized and raced and I felt so unbelievably angry with myself for still reacting this way. And so I decided to sit, to find my breath in the silence of my home, alone, surrounded by some of the many things I love, by some of the beautiful things I have made.
And strangely, magically, in the middle of my fifteen minutes of meditation (specifically focusing, this morning, on the words of forgiveness*), I felt a warmth -- for my partner three thousand miles away, for that former partner in all his beauty and intelligence and rage, for my lost self, the angry hurtful woman I so often was with him -- that I had not expected, and a calmness spreading outward and quieting my racing brain.
Later, in the warmth of this early September afternoon, my mother and I were chatting and I told her about the pictures and my shame at this still physical, visceral response. She, ever the calm and supportive one, just chuckled and said something to the effect that we can't always help what the body does, how the body responds, and she knows and I know better.
And it was nice, so nice, though I won't dwell on it any more than that. It was nice, and I am grateful for it, and though I still feel badly about missing my friend's wedding, I am hoping that she will find it in her heart to forgive me. (I've already got something gorgeous planned for her wedding present. Maybe that will help...)