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Angel Arms

a true story of love after death

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Relationship

Late Night Confession

                   ~Chapter 7~

I hadn’t slept in the same room as my husband for months… maybe over a couple of years. The official excuse was because of his Earth-shaking snoring, but of course there was much more to it than that. I wanted to keep away from him and his negative vibe. I wanted to avoid conflict and his complaining. I wanted peace.  

I also cherished the time alone I had to read, get on-line, write, and some nights if I was really lucky I would get the chance to talk to my best friend Erika who lives across the country in LA. Without any risk of conflict I could discuss my fears, share my dreams, and confess my innermost thoughts  with someone who accepts me for who I am and who truly loves me unconditionally. 

Erika and I truly have no secrets. I confide to her not only the regarding the dysfunctional dramas in my life but also about the pleasant little happenings in my life. One of those “little happenings” was my sincere appreciation of Brad as a human being. I told her of his intelligence,  his low key vibe, his humor and that he was an architect, the very profession my oldest son is aspiring to be. I think I may have emphasized to her that I didn’t like him in that way (romantically), although maybe I just kept saying that to myself!😉

One such night as I was sitting in bed upstairs, alone in the dark, I was sharing the details with Erika about another one of the toxically cyclical fights I was having with my husband. Exasperated I said “It’s a good thing that there isn’t such a thing as a personality transplant because I would switch out Len for that guy Brad’s in a heartbeat!” We chuckled and she continued to give me the cyclical advise and support that got me through those dark times in hopes of a brighter day and the end of the heartache my marriage was bringing to me. 

Honestly, I felt a little guilty later at that thought. Somehow it felt like I was being disloyal to my husband, but I was just kidding… or was I? Regardless, I wasn’t saying I wanted to be with Brad only that I wished my husband was more like him… that’s not the same thing, right? 

Well my admiration of Brad was now blatantly out into my conscious mind, no longer hidden within. Confession: I wished my husband was like Brad or at least like the most precious part of him… the part that was inside.  Actually, I wished he was exactly like him in his personality and intelligence. This confession to myself in the dark made me realize that I was unhappy with much more than just my husband’s behavior, but with who he appeared to be. 

Forced Whisper

~Chapter 6~

Brad spoke in a whisper for most of the time we spent together face-to-face. The theory was that during his shoulder surgery one of his vocal cords became nerve damaged when they put the tube down his throat and it stopped working. Talking with only one vocal cord forced him to communicate with more effort. He spoke with a lot of expression and at times I wondered if he was forcing it too much.

Brad said that it was affecting him at work. It really did seem to bother him. It was affecting his communication with his coworkers and his ability to present himself optimally in meetings. Over time I could tell it was getting old.

I was pretty worried about him too. The doctors assured him over time it would likely come back, however it was without a guarantee. His mother (a retired speech pathologist) wasn’t overly concerned either, so I just hoped in time, for him, that it would return.

Looking back I wonder if the hushed dynamic forced me to listen more closely to his words. Perhaps it made me focus more closely and pay increased attention to his body language.  Yet, I believe I would have listened intently to what he was saying no matter his voices clarity and volume.

The differences between Brad’s quiet (albeit involuntary) voice and laid-back personality drastically contrasted the man who I was communicating with (or trying to) within my own home.

At home my husband typical verbal tome was loud and aggressive. He was uptight and hostile. Many things would annoyed him, offend him, frustrate him and he would go on and on it seemed about these (often little) things. I confidentially shared with my best friend Erika how I wished personality transplants were possible. I’d have quickly switched out my hubby’s for Brad’s in a heartbeat!

I know that sounds so bad! It really wasn’t like that, I swear! I was wishing for the qualities Brad possessed, it wasn’t that I wanted to cheat on him. It is not like I wished Brad would have whispered sweet nothings in my ear! Oh, my! Not at all! I wasn’t fantasizing about Brad… just truly appreciating him.

Being around Brad seemed so easy. I felt accepted, appreciated, relaxed and hopeful… and I am sure most everyone who shared time with him felt the same. I hardly think I was unique.

In great contrast, being around my husband was extremely hard. He was almost always grumpy, aloof, and angry. This often left me feeling rejected, taken for granted, and fearful. The difference between the two seemed to be colossal. I was becoming more and more aware of the contrast between the two. I also was becoming more and more aware how different my husband was from me, and not just because of his communication style.

As a natural optimist, I often focus on the good with my thoughts and my words. I enjoy relaxed conversations about art and culture. I enjoy exploring new places, cuisine and ideas. I want to share life with someone who actually enjoys it. I bravely began to think more about of the type of man I craved to grow old with, someone like Brad.  The contrast between the two of them became increasingly clear. It forced me to realize that something needed to change.

And Time Marched On…

~Chapter Three~

As time marched on I grew, as many of us do. I developed much deeper interests in spirituality, human rights, writing/blogging and in spiritual/energy healing. My husband (of 19 years) had no interest in any of it, or better put: no interest in learning about what interested me.

He has never independently read my spiritual blog (NotJustABlonde.com). Okay, maybe he did once (no more) after I pointed it out. Truly, he has had little no interest in my interests, my gifts, my talents, who I was or what I was all about.

To many he seemed to be a good guy. Hard working, loyal and faithful. He was a solid presence in my life. I smugly thought I had this marriage thing down. No one is perfect. Everyone has to compromise, right ? I truly believed if I focused on the positives and worked through disagreements that everything would work out just fine. Except, it didn’t.

💖A

Tough Love 💔

~Chapter Two~

I cannot share this true tale without the backstory that prepares the reader for the things to come.

Who needs a miracle when all is well? A rainbow is at its sweetest after the rain. Well, raining it was… actually it was storming.

I got married years ago to a man I love. I met him in college and we began our long-lasting relationship right before graduation and were engaged just a few months later.

Looking back it all looks so quick and reckless, yet at the time it didn’t feel that way at all. Truly it felt meant to be.

Actually, I had known him for years after working with him and taking college classes with him even before we were accepted into the same therapy school.  I had casually befriended him for over four years before we even had our first official date.

I was the one who asked him to begin the journey of our over 20 year relationship… and once the door was opened he seemed to eagerly go along. He was handsome, loyal and complicated… what wasn’t there to love?

I will never forget the night, over a candlelit dinner when he shared his darkest secret with me: he was on an antidepressant. He struggled with depression. He braced himself for rejection, but I reached back with love and acceptance knowing that he was in no way defined by this mental illness.

I truly appreciated his honesty and vulnerability. I felt honored to have him share such a private thing with me. He seemed ashamed. I really didn’t understand how deep his depression was, nor how deep was his fear and shame. How could I without truly experiencing it myself?

I thought I knew what was ahead, and was not worried one bit. An optimist by nature I was sure once life became more stable and secure his mood would improve as well. After all, I myself had taken Prozac for a short time a few years before, and eventually got off of it as my coping skills and life improved. Therefore, I saw no red flags and felt no fears due to his confession.

Little did I know that his mood, depression and anxiety issues would become the center of my life. I wanted to be supportive so I adjusted my expectations of him. I consciously tried to accommodate his needs and was hopeful my unconditional love would improve his outlook and help make him happy.  After all, isn’t that what we are supposed to do in marriage and for those we love?

As the years passed, I gradually let go of my own preferences and became satisfied with going along with his.  We rarely entertained, minimized contact with my “annoying” family and had very few couple friends. We went to his preferred restaurants and mostly saw movies he wanted to see or those that I thought he might like. It didn’t FEEL controlling as he didn’t demand these things outright, yet if I attempted to choose otherwise his mood would sour and irritability would follow. It was easier I suppose to just let go.

I had my own friends. He rarely seemed to take any interest in who they were or what they were all about.  The was perhaps ONE acception of a friend of mine who lived in  our old neighborhood with a very nice, morally solid and easy-going husband.  Mostly, I would go out alone rationalizing “it’s just not his thing” or “I’m sure he’d be bored anyway”, never questioning why he wouldn’t go just to be with me.

The problem is, over time it just did not work. Being human myself I made “mistakes” as I juggled embracing my own happiness as I attempted to balance it with caring for him. He criticized and I analyzed how to fix things… both myself and him. I became tired, defeated and weary. Life and loving him was tough.
💖A

In the Beginning…

~Chapter One~

The story truly started many years before I came to know my angel. As I sit pondering where to begin, a memory twinkles in my mind.

Many years ago,  I lie in my bedroom. I was as a fresh-faced teenage girl around the age of 17.  Often as I went to bed, I turned off the lights, snuggled under the covers and prayed.

The room was dark except for the light from the moon. The top of my bedspread was firmly crinkled into my hands as I had pulled it up snugly under my chin. Fervently I  called out to God, speaking my request out loud: “Dear God, please. I want to see an angel.”

As the moon’s rays cast across the floor I heald my breath. I was scared as I believed that it might happen right then. My faith felt fragile and I thought that seeing an angel would solidify my faith making it easier to be obedient and believe. Yet, I fell asleep without seeing one. With hope, I imagined my request was floating up to Heaven’s ears.

On another night, not too far from the time I had prayed before, I sent God another plea, still not giving up on the last. That night I prayed to God for a Christian boyfriend. I would find some spiritual strength in a relationship! I was excited to see God bring him to me. Ask and you shall receive, right? Needless to say, I did not see an angel nor did a cute Christian guy show up to court me. “In God’s time I suppose,” I thought “if it even really works that way at all.”

If there ever was a forshadowing event in my life, this was it.

💖A

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