The Missing.

The Missing appears without warning, completely uninvited, and ruins everything.  Ruins whole days, whole weeks.  It overtakes me.  It makes breathing difficult.  It makes moving on impossible.  Unthinkable.

The Missing doesn’t care about the enormous progress I’ve made lately with Cautionary Husband.  It demands to be felt.  It throws elbows at anything else that might be crowding it.  It takes up a lot of room.

The Missing slips into my bed while I sleep and is there with me when I’m awakened in the middle of the night by a violent storm.  As I listen to the loud thunder and strong winds, I at first worry that there could be a tornado, which is a natural reaction for me, since I grew up in Tornado Alley and live on the second floor of my apartment building.  I listen for sirens for a bit.  And then The Missing provides odd comfort in the fact that if there were a tornado in my city, Cautionary Lover would hear about it on the news and be worried about me.  The Missing lulls me irrationally back to unsettled sleep.

The Missing wakes me up later with “Another Lonely Day” by Ben Harper stuck in my head even though I haven’t listened to this song in about four years.  As I shower, I try to chalk it up to the rain and the Monday, but The Missing makes it very clear that neither of these is the full story.

The Missing makes me spend the morning reading old e-mails, even though I regret it immediately.  Because these e-mails make The Missing stronger.

The Missing calls out to me from the hotel at which CL and I consummated the affair.  It makes ignoring this building’s presence impossible as I walk down the street in the rain holding on to my umbrella.  I just wanted to get some goddamn Starbucks, and now I am in tears.

The Missing sits with me on the couch at Starbucks on my lunch hour.  I had planned on reading D.H. Lawrence’s Women in Love, but instead the news program about the Swine Flu catches my attention.  The Missing points out that my city is one of the few affected by this contagious, unpredictable disease and suggests that maybe CL is thinking of me, of the possible danger I am in.

The Missing turns me into an internet stalker.  And I HATE being an internet stalker.

The Missing lies to me, telling me that I am living the wrong life.

The Missing makes me feel as though I’m not a whole person without CL.  It makes CL into an aching phantom limb.  There is no way to heal the ache, because it’s not even real.  The appendage isn’t there.  It’s gone.

The Missing is nostalgia at its worst.  It forces memories upon me, CL’s words into my head, CL’s presence into my heart.

The Missing makes me inescapably, unbearably sad.

But I know that The Missing will pass.  It will go away again, not as quickly as it appeared, but gradually and surely.  And though I know that it will come back again, I also know that, when it does, it will be a little bit weaker than last time.



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8 responses to “The Missing.

  1. very well written. that would make an interesting short story.

  2. jen

    Wow, that was beautifully written and really touching! …5 minutes later and this is still all I’ve come up with! Sorry for the rubbish comment, but I’ve been dumbstruck! xx

  3. You are so right. As much as you try to ignore someone/something there is always something there to remind you. Something to make you miss him. And it does seem to come up from the middle of nowhere, right when you think you’re doing okay.

  4. Katie

    The Missing. It never goes away. You get further away from it, but it is always there. Are you having The Dreams?

  5. Spookagain

    “I can still feel you” by Collin Raye… Expresses that in song pretty perfectly. I’m lucky in that I’ve replaced computers multiple times and somewhere along the way, lost the e-mails.

  6. kindred spirit

    Poignant, well written, true, honest, and very you.

    I went through the exact same thing. But I don’t know how to tell you to ease the pain. Time helps. I doubted the reality of the most significant relationship of my life. Told myself the great feelings and experience, the sharing and unity, the oneness and connectedness was all in my head. That really messed me up. I also wrestled with my (mis)perception that her life was all together after she left me. That made dealing with it even more difficult because it made me feel as if her decision to leave me was right, and was right because her life being all perfect and everything proved it.

    Then I began to willingly accept that what we experienced and shared together was real – really real. Every bit of what we experienced was real, even though she may be denying it. Then I realized that her life was really in shambles, wrecked, hell. But she stuck with it.

    No one, not even she could take away what we had and what we shared. It was mine forever. My memories, forever, regardless of her changed position. Even her denial of us and refusal to talk with me could not take away what was, the truth of it, and the reality of it. I had it forever. And she had changed – significantly changed. I continued to remember her the way she was, but she was no longer that way.

    She had to change. It was the only way she could go back. She had to deny the significance of our relationship, sweep it under the rug. She had to be cold to it, to be angry. By doing so, she created a hell. She could not deal with it.

    I implore you to take a different approach. Fully embrace what you had. It is part of you, a very significant part of you. Lovingly accept it. Hold the memories. They are yours forever. You need to do this for you. Things may work out with CL, CH or someone else, but treasure your life and the joyous experiences you’ve had. They are part of you.

    Katie is right: “The Missing. It never goes away. You get further away from it, but it is always there.” Well said. The perspective changed for me over time. It went from missing my CL to missing the experiences we shared. Some of that occurred because of the changes my CL willingly made. Changes that were in congruent with who she was when we were together. Not that she’s wrong. She’s just very different.

    Spookagain, “I can still feel you.” Very apropos.

  7. Christiana

    What a timely post…I was just internet stalking. I don’t miss the stalkee in that I wish I was with him, I don’t know why I internet stalk. I rejoice when his relationships continue to fail, I should probably get my own Cautionary Therapist…

  8. DB

    I believe it’s going to get better.

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