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The Path: Updates, Journey & History

The Writer's Corner - The Breach, Chapter - 13

Image: Patrick Fore


(Please note: The continuous blog post containing all the chapters has grown too long for my blog to save and publish. So, I will be uploading individual chapters moving forward.


You can skip to Chapter 13 or the Book Content & Chapter Links (1-12) if you've read the post).

 

The Writer's Corner is an exciting new writing space I created to share chapters of my books in progress. I decided to post these on my website because of my need to continue my journey with these projects and edit, work, and re-work them for publication.


Including them in my scheduled work reality assures that they will start getting the much-needed attention they deserve and will satisfy my need to move forward with them.


So, why post them here if the reason and goal are personal?


Well, the thing about my writing and what I choose to write about is that it will always be about Love––which is the purpose of my work and how I connect with the world. I write to learn, first and foremost, and to teach. In doing so, I uncover more profound discoveries into what I know to upgrade my growth. Also, I want to explore and share the new things that only come to light once I write about them.


For example, in the book I'm starting with, entitled 'The Breach,' I write about my need to take a close look at––in an attempt to understand––the history of my romantic and love relationships. My experience of that aspect of my life has always been tumultuous, confusing, and deeply unsatisfying. I could barely grasp the meaning or purpose intimate relationships should play in my life.


Yes, I know what they appeared to be and do for other people, but that outcome never happened to me. Nothing sustainable, nothing lasting, just a series of dramatic occurrences that left my heart bruised, battered, and confused. And trust me, in all cases, I gave as little (or bad) as I got.


This book is not me looking at myself through the powerless lens of victimhood; on the contrary, my sole intention for undertaking this walk down the memory lane of my love life is to search and take responsibility for how I showed up and what I did in reaction to my injury to steer, even guide, the relationship to its inevitable demise.


On The Path, in recent months, we have done extensive and intensive work on the relationship reality and how to grow new roots and build healthy, balanced relationships in Love. This written clean-up expedition ensured that I cleared away all the leftover and hidden debris from my past to free myself from anything that would hold me back or keep me tethered to my old relationship injury.


Needless to say, as it is with any creative endeavor that requires self-exploration, I learned a great deal more than I knew about myself, my partners, and the nature of the internal wiring and familial and generational injury that guaranteed and delivered my failure to succeed in my relationships, as if on cue. It was a battle I would never win and a war waged by circumstances over which I had little to no control.


I hope that sharing my experience will lighten up some of the dark corners of your own. I find it always helpful when we can see that we are not alone. There is always someone who can commiserate with empathetic assurance, "Damn, I've been there.I know what you mean!"


What you'll be reading is my first edit of the book. However, I am the only one who has to work here; nothing is expected of you except to read, reflect, and comment if you choose.


Thank you for inspiring me to dive in and get on with my book-writing journey!


With Love,


Melana ~




 









The Breach


When Love, Relationship & Childhood Sexual Abuse Collide



Melana Plains












© 2023 Melana Plains 

All Rights Reserved



_________



Part One


First: Know Thyself


      “What The Hell Happened To Me?”


_________



CHAPTER 13


Can A Frozen Heart Shatter And Bleed For Love?



Over the following year, Brother 1 and I would face several life-altering tests that determinedly threatened to shake us out of our carefully constructed bubble. In the first month of living together, he and his housemate decided to have another one of their infamous potlucks and invite over assorted friends and family to welcome my roommate, me, and our children into the fold.


It was a sunny Sunday afternoon, perfect weather for eating, drinking, and mingling outside. All the invitees brought a variety of vegetarian dishes ranging from delicious to interesting. Brother 1 grilled chicken and burgers for those eating meat. More kids came with their parents to hang out, and the backyard was bustling with little rugrats running to and fro, giggling, and in general, being boisterous and having fun. The mood was easy and mellow, with people in pairs of twos and groups of three or more chatting amiably.


Brother 1 and I were wearing one of our plaid shirt ensembles, and I remember feeling very 'couply' that day. He pulled me into the hostessing role alongside him, and we made the rounds, checking in on everyone to ensure everything was going smoothly.

I don't know exactly when he arrived, but I remember looking up for no reason and seeing my boyfriend enter the gate. He caught my eye and stared at me.


I nudged Brother 1 and said quietly, "Your brother just arrived. Did you invite him?"


"Of course not. I would have told you if I had done," Brother 1 mumbled back, and we both, in tandem, started walking in my boyfriend's direction.

My boyfriend didn't look happy, and seeing him put me immediately on edge. I still had not figured out how to deal with him. It was almost as if I didn't know how to talk to him now that we had ended things. The words had dried up and died with the relationship.


"Well, don't you two look like twins?" my boyfriend remarked caustically, rapidly delivering the words in his following sentences like well-aimed bullets.


"I heard that the two of you had moved in together; that was quick, don't you think? I overheard our other brother talking about your potluck to someone. Since I didn't get an invite, I thought I'd show up and see the happy couple for myself. Well played, brother, well played."


A wild look in his eyes accompanied all of what he said as they darted back and forth between his Brother's face and mine. He was unhinged, a state I had never seen him in. It was the look of someone out of control who knew they couldn't reel themselves in and wouldn't if they could–knowing neither could anyone else.


Brother 1 and I had no chance to respond to him. Once he finished speaking, he pushed in between us and strode further into the backyard towards Brother 2 and his wife. He walked deliberately and with a purpose, exuding an air of confrontation. Whatever he was about to say to his other brother would likely be in the same energy he lashed out at us.


My Boyfriend's presence quickly turned the once mellow mood of the afternoon into a tense uncertainty. I would guess that most people there knew him personally, and those who did not certainly knew him in passing. The brothers traveled in the same circles for the most part. And none of them, I don't believe, had ever seen my Boyfriend in the state he was in that afternoon. Not to make it all about me, in the least, but one thing was sure: if it weren't for me, none of this would be happening––and everyone there knew it. Some looked over at Brother 1 and me with questions and concerns in their eyes; the rest, I knew, were subconsciously staring like deer in headlights without settling their eyes on us.


Brother 1 and I must have appeared as helpless as we felt. My Boyfriend was a walking tinderbox, and we were the matches that could light him on fire. The last thing my Boyfriend wanted or would do any good was for us to try to explain, manage, or handle him. If I had been in a different place or had been a different person, I may have been able to reach him. But my betrayal of him cut a wound so deep in his heart that my very presence, let alone my words, made him bleed more. He wouldn't say what he wanted and appeared not to care what anyone thought. He was hurting so bad and was in so much pain that nothing else seemed to matter but that.


I was standing there peering into him while my mind tried to imagine and understand that his feelings for me were causing all this inner chaos. Beyond liking and being attracted to me, my heart could not comprehend what else he might be feeling. The depth that he was experiencing was something I had never felt before and did not understand. If someone had explained it to me in words, I would have gotten it, but I still wouldn't have been able to feel it. My boyfriend was correct; there was clearly something wrong with me.


Although I knew how to say the words "I love you, I didn't know what they meant because I didn't know what love was or what it felt like to love or be loved. At age 10, love felt urgent and vital, and I longed for and missed having it only by my sense of its absence. I instinctively knew that I had to find it and, if I didn't, I would be in trouble. And now, because I never had the chance to discover it and its meaning when I was young, I was in the middle of the worst trouble ever. My love––or at least an understanding of its impact––was the only thing that could fix what was happening. And, it was nowhere inside of me to be found.


Brother 2 and a close friend of my Boyfriend's stood on either side of him, talking and gesturing. They seemed to be consoling him and firmly suggesting it would be best for him if he left. I could see Brother 2 checking my boyfriend's pockets as if looking for his car keys while talking and listening to what he had to say. My Boyfriend was highly agitated, running his hands through his hair, seeming to try to get a hold of himself.


By this time, Brother 1 and I had walked away from the gate where my Boyfriend had entered. We lingered awhile watching, transfixed on my Boyfriend, and then realized we needed to start clearing, stacking plates on the table, and preparing to pack the remaining leftover food. It was busy work that spoke of normalcy, and, hopefully, a pending crisis abated.


As I finished that thought, my Boyfriend, Brother 2, and his good friend started walking away towards the gate to leave. As I watched them pass by, my Boyfriend jerked his head around and looked at me with such deep sadness. A hurt he wanted, pleaded, with me to see; something only I could understand about what was between us. For some reason, something profound within me stirred, and I suddenly felt a sharp, twisting pain-–his pain––and, with eyes, blinking back my tears, showed him it was there inside of me, too. It was so overwhelming that I staggered a step or two forward. If my feet had worked at that moment, and Brother 1 hadn't held on to my arm to steady me, I would have run straight into my Boyfriend's arms as fast as I could

.

For a split second, everyone froze. Like a snapshot capturing time, the truth was there for everyone to see. My boyfriend and I suddenly, simultaneously, became aware that what we had been together was being torn apart by random events that had taken over our story. And, regardless of what we now knew, at this moment, they were already reshaping the future of our lives. With Brother 2 and his friend urgently pushing him forward and Brother 1 protectively pulling me back, the verdict had been handed down. It was over now, and it was too late to go back. The dye had been cast.


Later that evening, after all the guests had left for their respective homes, the household settled down as we put the children to bed. Brother 1 had gone out to run an errand and would return shortly. My best friend was hanging out with the other housemate, discussing random, uneventful things. Nobody spoke about what had happened earlier; there wasn't anything left to say. I was quiet, restless, and lost in thought. I didn't want to be there or anywhere, not even in my skin. All I could think of was 'the moment' I realized what was happening. It's an odd, sinking feeling, a delayed awareness or reaction to an event you allowed to occur without openly acknowledging the reality of its existence or what it might become later down the road.

Remember when it seemed like such a good, sensible idea for my roommate and me––instead of looking for a new place of our own––to move in with Brother 1? It would have been a different scenario if we'd all been friends, but that was not the case. Buried right beneath the surface of 'the good idea' was an unexplored one with unknown ramifications for the two people and their budding relationship buried with it. So many assumptions about the future had no basis in reality. And many lives would be impacted by how it all played out.


Well, here it was, the first presentation of the relationship situation between Brother 1 and me, scooped up with 'the good idea,' now breaking away and rising to the surface like a floating piece of debris from a newly discovered wreckage. The dye had been cast. Whatever I saw or felt now didn't matter; it was too late. We––not me, my Boyfriend, or Brother 1––could go back and undo all the damage we had done.

Whether my Boyfriend and I would have still broken up, which was probable and very likely, we never got to walk out our story together; it and we were unfinished and would always remain so. I felt like throwing up, but I hated throwing up with a passion, so I knew I wouldn't. Instead, I would remain suspended in a state of unanimated nausea, which befit the circumstances I was in.


Trust me when I say this: there are no accidents. Why do I say that now? When I decided to allow my son's father to move in with me just because it was happening, it wasn't just a bad idea, as previously mentioned; there was another reason why that decision was eerily similar to what I was facing now.


There was another man, a relationship of the heart, with six years of history and still a fixture in the story of my life when I met my son's father. If I could liken the feel and sometimes even the walk of it to anyone, it would be my Boyfriend. The feelings carried the same weight, magnitude, and impact. The only difference was that we were never together like my Boyfriend and I. But, still, there was a tangible, always brewing something between us. And, no matter who I was actively involved with, my heart remained captivated by it.


Not too long after my son's father moved in, I was invited to a party where this man of my heart would be present. We both attended this yearly birthday event, so I was excited by the prospect of seeing him. Expecting nothing but always enjoying hanging out in his presence, there was no need to feel guilty about going after my son's father became a fixture in my life, and no disappointment about this relationship that never went anywhere anyway. It was a safe outing that wouldn't rock anyone's boat. Except that when you think you can rely on things staying the same, which is a significant factor you're depending on for success, things will inevitably pick that exact time to change without a snippet of warning.


The party was a birthday celebration for a child connected to both of us through family and friendship, and it was, as usual, loads of fun and merriment. As the early evening rolled around and most of us prepared to leave, he approached me. Now, mind you, we were both a part of a close circle of friends and relatives, who all had other circles that we were not acquainted with. He and I never hung out in any other circles but this one.


"Hey, would you like to join me and some friends for drinks? I thought you might like to come along."


Of all the times in our years-long history, he would choose now to present me with the opportunity to spend a 'different,' more personal time with him in his inner circle of friends. My son's father, who had gone to spend time with his other children, would be home now. There was no way I could accept the invitation without crossing a line. Not because I was aware of any unspoken intentions this man might have but because of what I might do, given the opening to become closer to him. I knew I couldn't trust myself to hold any line, and there was no way my son's father, who knew I had feelings for this man and was very possessive of me, would not have become seriously jealous. Despite every fiber of my being screaming yes, I had to say no and thank you. Perhaps another time.This man of my heart was not innocent or unaware of what he asked of me. He knew.


"That's too bad. Yeah, maybe we could do it another time, he said with disappointment in his voice and an assessing look.


I can't imagine what he said to himself to take the leap and ask me to join him. It was far from casual; nothing was ever 'casual' between us. And that was the big issue for us. Whatever we were or had been to each other, the roots were so deep that neither of us had ever successfully found the seedlings growing above ground––if they were even there.


The man of my heart had recently seen me with my son's father at a concert and heard more about him afterward. This man had my heart on lock-down, and he knew that, too. So, who was this guy (my son's father) to me that I would turn him down? I walked away from him into the night to return home to my son's father––leaving the man I yearned to be with for the man who wanted to be with me. My heart ached with dread and disappointment. I desperately wanted to know what was on the other side of that invitation for the two of us. Since my life with my son's father moved on, and with it, years would pass before I finally would learn what was in the heart of the man who once held mine.


It was getting late, and I expected Brother 1 to return at any moment, so when the doorknob rattled and then a knock, I thought it was him. My housemates had gone to their respective rooms to retire as I did. Thinking that he had forgotten his key or something similar, I quickly left our room to let him in. It was the backdoor leading out to the yard, and it had a glass panel on the top half, covered by curtains. Seeing through them as I walked towards the door, I stopped in disbelief. It was my Boyfriend who was standing on the other side.


When he saw me, he commanded loudly, "Open up the door!"


At the sound of the knocking followed by his booming voice, my best friend and our housemate appeared in the dining room and stood staring. I felt myself go numb inside as I walked over and opened the door. My Boyfriend quickly stepped inside, artfully easing his way around me, mindful of not pushing me in his eagerness to gain access.


"You can't stay here. You have to come home with me."


The look in his eyes held the same sadness as earlier, but now desperate with determination, and the sound in his voice broke through my numbness. Once again, I felt him and us and the depths of our shared despair. I touched his arm and said his name. I wanted him to feel my presence and see that I knew what this was now, and it was happening to me, too. Still, knowing all that we knew now, it was too late for us.

"Please, he said, just go get your things and your son so we can go."


I stood there, my eyes filling with tears, my hand holding his arm, my head shaking, no.


"I can't go with you, you know that."


"No, I don't. You can; you have to. We can't end like this." His voice was louder and more insistent, though not threatening to me.


But my housemate heard it differently.


"You should go. Your brother will be home any minute, and you need to go before he gets here, and things take a very wrong turn, he said."


Just as if on cue, Brother 1's key was turning in the front door lock. We could hear the door open and close and his footsteps coming down the hall to the dining room. The second he entered, he saw my Boyfriend. Whatever quiet disposition Brother 1 had held, thus far, with his Brother was gone. He did not attempt to hide his anger.


"What the hell are you doing here?"


"I came to get her and her son and take them home with me where they belong."


"Like hell you are! Go home and don't return here until you get your head straight. Your relationship is over. It's time you started figuring out how to accept that fact."


"You're the one whose head needs straightening out. Or, have you so conveniently forgotten that she was my girlfriend? Mine. You are the interloper. You are the one who needs to step away. Yes, we were having problems. And, because of you moving right into the middle of them, we never had a chance to figure shit out. You are the one out of line," my boyfriend countered.


"It isn't just about you and me; it never was. You seem to forget that she had a voice and a choice to make. She chose me, not you. Me!"


"She was hurt and confused and chose you when she was unclear. But I can see it in her eyes now like I did this afternoon when I was leaving. She regrets that choice she made. She knows what we are to each other. If you try to stay with her, she'll always be thinking about me and us and what could have been. I don't want to live in that hell. I need her to come back with me now."


My Boyfriend turned to me and repeated it. "I need you to come back with me now. Give us a chance, please."


Again, I shook my head, no. That 'no' boiled down to one thing: I was too afraid to say, 'yes.' I was too scared to risk leaving the safety I felt with Brother 1. I was unwilling to uproot my son again just when he was starting to feel safe in this new environment. I was still nursing the wounds of my Boyfriend's earlier rejection of me, and I couldn't trust that when he 'had me,' he wouldn't turn around, change his mind, and do it again. The sadness we shared when I looked into his eyes was the sadness of what was over––not of what could be.


Brother 1 was heading towards the back door near where my Boyfriend stood to confront the situation further and force him to leave. By the look of exasperation and rage on his face, it was clear that he had had enough. I attempted to intervene with a plea.


"Please, if you care about me like you said, please listen. We can't do this now; it's too late. You won't forgive me, and I'll never trust you again. We would keep hurting each other. We love each other, but we're no good together. I'm so sorry; I am truly so sorry."

My boyfriend didn't want to hear what I was saying. He looked at me blankly. Now, it was his turn to shake his head, no. He saw his brother heading towards him and firmly shook my hand from his arm, then turned to face his Brother head-on. Quickly, our housemate hurried after Brother 1, reached both of them just in time, and pushed himself between them.


"No, guys, you do not want to do this. Neither one of you is thinking clearly."

With one hand on both their chests, he said to my Boyfriend,


"Man, we've always been cool with each other. I don't want any trouble here. Just go now. It's not the time or place to be doing this. Sleep on it. Call tomorrow if there's still something you have to say. You don't want to fight your Brother over this. For Christ's sake, he's your Brother!"


He turned to Brother 1 and, with a firm hand placed squarely in the middle of his chest and looking at him directly in the eyes, said, "Back off, okay? You're not going to do this."


They had known each other for a long time and shared the house for several years. They were the kind of friends who could sit around the dining room table amiably drinking coffee, beer, or wine without saying a word to each other. Peacefully together, each lost in their thoughts. A quiet type, my housemate wasn't the sort who you'd expect to rise to this kind of challenge. But you could tell by what and how he spoke this was important to him. Though he was not as close to my Boyfriend, he cared about him, too. Protecting the Brothers from each other so they could have time and space to remember what they meant to each other was worth standing up for.


My boyfriend looked at me as if what I had said earlier was now registering with him. I had said that it was too late. It was over between us, and he needed to go. His shoulders slumped in pain, grief, and defeat. I hoped he would remember–and never forget–that I also said I loved him.

Defeated and broken, with bowed head, he slowly turned and silently walked out through the backdoor.



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