Not too long ago I watched Blue Valentine, a brilliant film directed by Derek Cianfrance, staring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. If you haven’t seen it you should. Not your typical love story, it’s about a couple who are breaking up. Williams is the wife who’s over it and Gosling, the husband who doesn’t realize she’s over it until it’s too late. Brilliant on so many levels – cinematography, story, direction and acting.
At one point, the couple are drunk in a cheesy motel and Ryan’s character is trying once again to be intimate with his wife. She’s drunk so she gives in (sometimes it’s easier than the constant avoidance) but he stops and says, “I don’t want your body. I want you.”
This line struck a chord inside me. It haunts me, pretty much daily since I saw it. And I’ve realized that kind of intimacy scares me a bit. Who am I kidding, it scares me a lot.
That kind of adult relationship, deeply intimate, late nights talking in the dark, secrets shared and nothing hidden either emotionally or physically is what I long for. But with it comes a vulnerability. You’re vulnerable because you are being truly open with another person, on so many different levels. I crave that ability to show the naked truth but I hide from it too because putting yourself out like that means you can hurt so much more. And hurting like that now doesn’t just effect me, it effects my daughter Davis.
I once slept though 6-months of my life to deal with a breakup from a man I thought might have been my soul mate. Maybe a bit of an exaggeration but not far from the truth. There’s no part of me that wants to hurt like that again because I’m afraid if I hurt like that Davis is going to hurt too… or I won’t be able to give as much of myself to Davis as she deserves because I’m dealing with the hurt. Call me crazy but this is the dialogue that goes on in my head…. all the time.
There’s also the issue of getting to that point of uninhibited intensity that sends my heart into a frightened pounding. While I dream of having that kind of adult intimacy again, it’s been years since I’ve been there and you don’t just start at that point. It’s slowly cultivated, built in stages and nourished with hours of really getting to know each other. If there was a way I could skip all those awkward getting-to-know you moments I would. But you can’t.
Before I had Davis this stage was exciting. Now it’s terrifying and really I can’t tell you why. Perhaps it’s because my heart has been broken in ways that might never truly be mended. (As I write that, sitting in a café, tears start coming down my face and I’m sure the waitress is trying to figure out why I’m typing frantically and crying at the same time.) Baby Daddy really did crush my heart in a way he might never truly understand. We only spent a short time together, but if I’m going to be honest, I had fallen for him so hard, so completely. I hadn’t fallen for anyone in years like that. He seemed perfect. Sweet, funny and we had so many things in common. It was a magical time of in London and I enjoyed every minute I spent with him. When I left for Canada I planned on returning to visit and in my heart I knew there was a part of me that was falling in love.
After I found out I was pregnant and told him he seemed to be supportive of my decision and said he wanted to know his child. It seemed like everything would be good – then my sweet angel came into the world and everything changed.
Baby Daddy found out about the birth of his first child on Facebook. I couldn’t control that and never anticipated that happening. The downfall of social networking is they take on a life of their own when something wonderful happens. I also didn’t think of calling him to tell him I was going into labour. I mean, our arrangement was made, we checked in every once in a while and I planned on letting him know when Baby Davis and I got home. And let’s be honest, when you’re water breaks there’s other things on your mind. I know it must have been shocking for him but he also must realize that he wasn’t the first thing on my mind.
Four days after the best thing in the world happened to me, I got home to find an email from Baby Daddy saying he wanted nothing to do with his child. He felt he couldn’t be a father to her and removed me from Facebook. Requesting not to see any pictures and to only be contacted in an emergency he wished us luck. And with that email my heart broke in a way that I think will never be mended. Ever.
Here he was telling me that he didn’t want to know this most wonderful being that we had created. I was so in love with Davis Grace Sophia that I couldn’t comprehend why he would feel that way. My hormones were out of whack, I hadn’t slept more than an hour at a time in 5 days and this is what I was presented with. The shattering of my heart still echoes through my soul. It’s also an unfortunate truth that I can’t shelter Davis from.
Over the next few months I did convince him to be open, and he occasionally sent emails asking how things were. But now it’s been a year and we’ve heard nothing. And as much as I try to pretend it doesn’t matter, it does. Especially when Davis asks where her Daddy is and then says, “My Daddy lives far away. I’ll never see him again.” (The other day at the babysitters she told the other kids, “My daddy lives in a land, far, far away.” Perhaps in her head he exists in the land of fairy tales.) How she thinks this at two I don’t know. But everyday there’s still a part of my heart that hurts because of the whole situation.
Perhaps this is why I crave an adult relationship but am frightened to death by it. How many heartbreaks can a heart withstand in one lifetime? Davis deserves all of my heart now and I can’t take any chances with it.
And to be honest, at the end of the day while I might crave this kind of love and intimacy, in no way do I need it. I can live off the memory… and movies.