Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Hero

By Jan M. Smith 2008
(written 6 mos after a confession but before reconciliation and knowledge of my husband’s sexual addiction, for which he is in therapy)

I wish that I could make him a hero
A man who could make this thing right
Who could save my heart and pull me
From the pain that threatens to destroy my life

Not a hero in tights that flies in the air
Nor one who can bend steel with his hands
Not a hero that can send beams of fire
To annihilate his enemies as they stand

No, a hero who would take me in his arms
And tell me he always loved only me
A hero who would say sex with me was magic
Was breathtaking, second to none, it was complete

When I express my fears of his leaving
When I am sure he has made contact with her
He would make sure I understand it would never happen
How could anyone replace me now that he was clear?

I wish I could make him a hero
Instead of a deaf mute
Who sits and listens when I share my pain
That I am not good enough, I am sure he will go again.

That he would stop me in mid sentence
And tell me again, no matter how many times
That not one of those people were worth it or good enough
That I was always the jewel in his crown.

Not only just stop me in mid sentence
But turn me and look in my eyes
And say this to me with conviction
And love and compassion and pride.

Instead, he just says nothing
When I say something that implies I am not as good
Instead he just pats my hand
Like a puppy or as a good friend would

As I think about this past year
And all the pain and sorrow we have had
It occurs to me that it may have been much less
If a hero had come forth, a Sir Galahad

I think the hero that may have been spent too much time
Trying to make himself look better and hide
To try to focus on what he did to his bride
He forgot what his words did to me, only what they did to him

He internalized his pain at his sin and told parts
He made the other party look bad so he did not
He left me bleeding at each corner as he wiped off his leg
He forgot to be a hero and say the right things

And as time has passed so has his guilt
It is way too easy to see
He is now regaining his sense of self
And that is why he gets so mad when I am not me

That is why he fights back and calls me names
He is ready now to take up the fight
He is feeling that he has paid his dues
And I know that it is only a matter of time

Because he could never be a hero
He could never lie when it was needed by my soul
He only lied when he wanted to deceive me
So that he could keep a woman on the side, on the dole

Or he could lie when he wanted to make it look better for him
This double life that he lived
He was content to make his lovers look worse
So that he somehow could look whiter with less sin.

How can I heal if I stay in the marriage?
I am sick enough to need him to affirm
That they now no longer matter
That I am more than them, they were just germs

That they were just a sickness, to make him feel hot
Hollow humans with no morals or souls
They were diversions so he did not have to look at himself
But on my heart they took such a toll

But he wants to believe they were important
That they weren’t just carnal shit
He wants to not see himself as an asshole
So he doesn’t save me, he saves himself

It leaves me comparing myself, I feel less
I cannot get my feet on solid ground.
He is my only true lover, I know no other
I cannot compare and say what I am

I could go out and share myself with another
Any sorry man would say I am the best
I hold men in such contempt for their egos
And also the women who hurt their sisters, the tramps

But here I am at the last leg of my life
With so much information that I never knew
And I feel so inept and so useless
And afraid, I really do not know what to do

My body is a patchwork, a quilt of where breasts used to be
My body cannot compare to the others
Who were a decade younger than me
I feel done in, alone still, and angry inside

So, I wish I could make him a hero
I have tried to tell him how
I have told him to not just listen when I talk
But to correct me and uplift me, not take me down

To not do that he is confirming all that I am saying
He is saying that the others were better in bed
I am no comparison to them when I take him in my mouth
I am no comparison to another who he has had

And as I watch myself slowly going away
As I watch myself leaving each day
And my heart is broken and my mind bends back
Inside I am screaming stay, stay.

I needed a hero, you needed to tell me
I have told you this time and again
Others have told you as well, you knew what to do
Then you make my fears valid with your sin

As you are becoming bigger
I feel I am becoming small
And fear we will cease to be
And then need no hero at all

The difference now is we are older
The difference now is that I am not well
But even with that ahead I can leave you
I can run away, I can leave and not tell

I can still find myself a new life
One where games aren’t to be played
I can live alone until I am ok
And I can wait for the future day

Right now you are bigger than life for me
Right now you consume my air
Right now you have broken my heart
Right now full of woes and cares

But, I think that I can do it alone
And I think that if you want to be free
Keep avoiding being a hero
And find out if you really want me

Because sometimes you have to be your own hero
And I am afraid I may have to be one for me
I may have to save myself from you
Because I need to not need you, you see

I hope when you read this you get what I say
I hope that you understand what my tears leave out
What the anger and the rage do not get over to you
What is causing my withdrawal today

I cannot go inside to live, inside myself again
I did that for years to avoid making a scene
Being afraid to lose you was all a joke and in vain
I never had you, I was wrong, but not again

If “easy” is what you want
That woman who will change to suit your needs
You had better get to moving and looking elsewhere
Because that woman, she is not me.

If that is what you want in your soul.
I am not that person and can never be
I am sick of it, fearing it and trying to ignore it
So if the hero needs to go, go on and find “she”

I fear you are a shallow man and your needs follow suit
You cannot help it, it is who you are and I never knew
I need more than that and I am lonely and blue
And darling most of all, I am through

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