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The Path: Updates, Journey & History

The Writer's Corner - The Breach, Chapter - 14

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 14,  Book Content & Chapter Links (1-12) or Chapter 13 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



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Part One


First: Know Thyself


      “What The Hell Happened To Me?”



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CHAPTER 14


Does Real Love Find A Way To Color Outside Our Boxes?



The next time I saw my Boyfriend was months later at another gathering at our house for his visiting parents and younger brother. He had sailed in from Los Angeles with his

new girlfriend, an actress recently appearing in a hit movie. She generously ordered pizza for everyone and dazzled us with her presence. He mostly seemed like his old self, with his confident swagger in full motion. My girlfriend and her husband, Brother 2, were also in attendance. It was one of those usual family gatherings where everyone met, mingled, and caught up with the latest news.


We were all so happy to see my Boyfriend doing well. The fact that he had a new girlfriend made it even better. He had moved on; there could be peace amongst the brothers once again. Brother 1 and I had become an accepted unit in the family reality, with their mom commenting to me when we were briefly alone, "I've never seen him happier. Thank you for caring for my son." Of course, I beamed. I finally had gotten something right for a change.


After that haunting night when my Boyfriend stopped by for the last time, my Boyfriend's Brother and I sought refuge in each other and this costly and hard-won relationship. After that night, it was as if we had to prove to ourselves and everyone else that our relationship was worth the collateral damage it had caused. No matter what, we had to make it work. My Boyfriend's pain had cast an uneasy shadow that lingered over the relationship and was a constant reminder, like a ghost, of the premature death and loss of our own.


I was breathless at thinking of being under the same roof with him again. And frankly, so was everyone else. No one knew what to expect, and we felt we were all taking a big chance to bank on the power of the family collective, especially the parents, to keep everyone in line. It turned out all the worry was for naught. As a bonus, my Boyfriend and I discovered we shared a new electric post-breakup undercurrent with a flirty vibe that allowed us to acknowledge and somewhat relieve the pain of our loss.


While everyone was chatting somewhere else, he, his mom, and I sat together at the dining room table. He was regaling us with his sailing adventures on the trip there, and both his mom and I––neither one planning on getting on a sailboat, let alone sailing anywhere, anytime soon––were delighted to live vicariously through his experiences. At one point, his mom excused herself and left us alone. I guess she trusted that we would be okay without her present.


He continued talking, and I listened, asking questions here and there. I felt warm all over, basking in the energy of his ease and laughter. All that animus, blame, pain, and guilt was gone between us. This new, yet old, place was familiar to us when we were at the height of our courtship and getting along seamlessly. Like two peas in a pod, we bantered back and forth in our playful tete-te-tete.


Without a prompt, we immediately began reducing our sentences to verbal shorthand, which no one but us would understand because of the hidden references we both had stored in our relationship dictionary. For that time––gratefully, it seemed longer than it was––everyone else disappeared. It was just the two of us in our world together. So, this is how we were and would remain so. Together forever, yet always apart. Over time, everyone, family, friends, and partners, got used to it. We rarely crossed lines or went too far to disturb our other relationships' peace and agreed-upon boundaries. One thing was for sure: the love between us would never die.


I want to end this part about my Boyfriend and me by introducing the woman who would become his wife and the mother of his children. I vividly remember meeting her for the first time. Not surprisingly, she was attractive, captivating, tall, and leggy, with blonde hair flowing down her back. She had a similar air to his, one of privilege, entitlement, and good breeding. They were a match made in his heaven; he knew he had finally struck gold.


I was intrigued and curious about who she was as a person and a woman. Her husband-to-be was someone special to me, and I had an invested interest in how, when meeting her in the first throes of their courtship, she would navigate their relationship and come out on the winning end. I didn't know when first meeting her that they would wind up wed, but after learning more about her and watching them together, I knew she was the one. Wisely, she was as curious about me as I was about her. She had been around during my relationship drama with my Boyfriend, and I'm sure she watched it closely. She came into their liaison well prepared for how she would show up.


For example, I mentioned earlier that my Boyfriend had a motorcycle. One night, he rode it over to the duplex to hang out, and when we decided that we wanted to get Chinese takeout, he asked me to ride with him to pick it up. I had ridden on a motorcycle only once before and was not too impressed by the experience. My body did the opposite of what one is supposed to. First, I sat rigid as a board to ward off my fear of crashing. Such a posture became a problem on curves and turns when you have to lean into the movement instead of pulling the opposite, which is dangerous. I protested going on the ride with him but to no avail.


Later, I realized two things about this episode and other seemingly random incidents in our relationship. They all involved my Boyfriend attempting to get me to try things that he liked or felt attached to, like sailing and motorcycling or having tea and dim sum at a popular Chinese restaurant on Sunday mornings. The first two struck deep notes of fear inside me; the latter was too pretentious for my nature.


I still needed to get my driver's license. Determined to control our movement and freedom, my father forbade bicycles and cars––both of which I had to learn to navigate as an adult. Also, my mother took us to swimming classes when we were young, but we got no further than tadpoles in our lessons. I now understand why swimming, dance classes, and other activities ended abruptly without explanation. It meant my parents were going through a split, and our housing situation would change. We no longer lived in the same neighborhood where these activities were available.


I remember being so sad when they ended. I couldn't drive or swim, and my Boyfriend hung out and thrived in the land of my limitations. Plus, I was not a fan of dim sum and pleasant chit-chat on Sunday mornings. For me, it was family time: hanging out with my best friend and roommate, playing with my son, going to the park with the boys, and generally being chill.


My Boyfriend's new girlfriend had her strategy for showing up for the same tests. She went out and bought her own motorcycle with lessons to go with it. The first time Brother 1 and I went on a double date with them, they took his bike. I remember being on the freeway, Brother 1 and I driving behind my Boyfriend and his new girlfriend, both attired in matching leather jackets, as they sat astride his motorcycle.


There she was, leaning into all the curves (like she had learned), holding on tight to his waist with her arms, her blonde hair blowing recklessly in the wind. It was like a scene from a movie, and I thought, "Wow! So, this is how you do it!" She was so brave! I was such a coward and no match for her aptitude and finesse. When he and his friends saw her riding her motorcycle around town, her value as a future partner for him rose, both in his and their eyes. She was a match for him.


As couples, we went on several more dates together, always at their prompting. Brother 1 and I were not quite sure why they kept asking to go out with us, except that we were good company and all seemed to enjoy our outings together. I was always up for hanging with them because it allowed me to see his girlfriend in action. It was a luxury to spend time with your ex and his new lady, be okay with it, and enjoy yourself. Mind you, she and I were always aware of our positions with each other; we would never choose each other as friends.


However, we realized that we were in mutually enviable positions as girlfriends to these Brothers, and having that in common allied us somewhat. She was, in her way, as curious about me as I was about her. Though my Boyfriend and I had put away our flirtatious interactions when she came into his life, our deep connection still silently ruminated beneath the surface of our interactions. She seemed to respect that it was there and understood that it was not a threat to her or them.


One evening, they invited us over for dinner after they moved in together. On the next outing, we joined them on my Boyfriend's sailboat. In both instances, I learned something new about her. She had a domestic side; she liked to cook and was interested in growing organic greens and vegetables. My Boyfriend was delighted to find that her interests and dreams aligned with his own, which made it easy for him to want to build a life with her. That's something they had that we didn't and probably never would: a vision of what their life could be together.


It was a powerful realization for me to see what was so obviously missing in my relationship toolkit. I could never plan any future with a man because I could never see it. Gratefully, Brother 1 didn't seem to mind that we didn't have one. We built our lives together as we walked it, without needing to make plans too far ahead. He had been married and wasn't ready to do it again; I never wanted to do it. So, for the time being, we were okay with each other.


After sailing, when we returned the boat to the harbor, my Boyfriend's girlfriend and I chatted. Earlier in the day, I witnessed an interaction between her and my Boyfriend that surprised me and, yet, felt all too familiar. It took me aback because he used to do something with me that I had thought she would never have to deal with. It was how he could sometimes be cold, indifferent, or even cruel. I don't know why I imagined them immune since we all repeat our behavior patterns.


I thought they were too perfectly united for that behavior to slip or fit in. But it did. My Boyfriend's girlfriend didn't like it––and quickly let him know. In other words, she shut it down. I thought to myself, so that's how you do it. Unlike her, at those times, I would engage in edgy, challenging banter with him, which fueled his behavior and unnecessarily dragged the whole thing out. However, she let him know in one move that she was displeased and was not having it, which ended the episode. He seemed to remember himself and shift gears into a more neutral place until he worked out what was bothering him. She did not have to suffer his process or his bad mood. This girl had game––boy game––and I had none. Procuring and learning how to ride a motorcycle, cooking for him, shutting down his misplaced injury––and still, there was more to come.


Later that evening, we returned to their place before Brother 1, and I headed home. The Brothers were off discussing business stuff while my Boyfriend's girlfriend and I hung out in the kitchen, cleaning up and making tea and coffee. It was then she confided in me that she was pregnant; she and my Boyfriend were going to have a baby. I was shocked but happy for them. Another 'couldn't see it coming event' happening. Once she shared that bit of confidential news and saw how warmly I received it, she seemed open to confiding more, which was good because there were a few things I was curious about.


Did she still ride her motorcycle? She quickly waved her hand dismissively, saying, "No way. I sold that thing." And, with that revelation, she got me again. All at once, I saw the wheels that had turned, which made her purchase it in the first place. The motorcycle, the lessons, and being seen riding around town were all done for the benefit of my Boyfriend and to feather her cap with yet another reason why he should choose and keep her. She did it to impress and win him over. Me of, not little game, but no game, was impressively floored. When I first heard it, I believed that the motorcycle business was another thing they had in common. But it was just the illusion of that commonality she created to weave a story about how aligned and well-suited they were.


She offered up several other tidbits, like not being overly fond of boats and sailing but, again, enduring what was his passion to show her support and solidarity for his dreams. My Boyfriend's girlfriend knew that this was the person, the man, that she wanted to be with, and she set about making sure that she got him. I had never intentionally set out to do anything of that nature before. My biggest play for a relationship was always about being loved and proving that a man loved me when and if I knew he did. Again, achieving that singular goal was always my end game. My relationship reality was like a vinyl record on a turntable when the needle gets stuck in one place and never finishes the song. And, to this day, that needle has remained stuck in the same place.


That is what prompted me to write this book. In telling my story and, perhaps, helping others find where their relationship needles got stuck because of childhood injury, pain, and abuse, I could finally lift the arm of the record player, remove the record, look closely to discover where the dust, smudges, and scratches were, wipe it down with a fine cloth, put the record back on just a tad beyond the last scratch and finally play the rest of my relationship song to the end. To see how, in healing my heart and the breach that left it broken and torn, I could finally learn, through loving myself, how to share my whole heart and give it a role in guiding my relationship with the person I love.


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