At One First Blow Did Shiver It As Glass

28 Responses

  1. furiousBall says:

    I finally learned at 39 that all of these travesties are 100% completely necessary so we don't treat the real rewards in our lives like poop.

    That's a quote from Cyndi Lauper's She Bop, not really, but still.

  2. unmitigated me says:

    This is so foreign to me, as I married the first person I ever dated more than twice. Poetically written, as always!

  3. Erin says:

    Darn you! Why must you always make me THINK? 😉

    That was wonderfully written.

  4. Jazz says:

    I love when you do the memoir thing. I wish I had it in me to do the same.

  5. Jeni says:

    Been there, done that. Okay, that's the simplistic answer because I have yet I haven't done the things you did -only some of them. Daughter here is in the near-to-the-end phase of the relationship with the lovely (NOT) SIL and he has turned into a bigger cling-on than ever before! So in a vicarious way, I am reliving parts of my life from the break-up and divorce from my ex-husband to the break-up with the guy to whom I was engaged to be wed -for about 4 months -after a 2.5 year relationship. It is amazing how well one can function -yes, eat sleep and breathe -in peace -once we take care of these little interruptions in our lives, isn't it? It took me a long, long time -well over 50 years -to learn to just like myself and now I work on loving me for who I am and I tell my daughter there is, there can be, a peaceful existence alone forever if need be or until you meet someone who understands the need for individual space, understands personal responsibility without being told what it is and who accepts another, warts and all.
    And aren't you happy too that you found yourself as well as the groom and the two of you made such beautiful children in the process as well as creating a real family, in the best sense of that word?!!!
    I know I'm glad you found those things cause otherwise, would you still be able to write the great stuff you do if your mind and body were still all clogged up and bogged down with that other junk!

  6. Deborah says:

    You wrote so searingly of your own inability to breathe that I could hardly do so either. Such parallels, you have no idea.

    This is the kind of wide-open, honest writing that gets a reader in a choke-hold and won't let go. At first I wondered if it was a story – even wanted it to be a story so that I could stop flinching for you. My mind kept veering back and forth between the life you have described so often and this other one, this precedent to the right and true one.

    Jocelyn, you are powerful in your writing and your introspection. It's stunning. My breath is still shallow.

  7. Green Girl in Wisconsin says:

    What a muddle–not your writing, but the entire experience of loving but it not being right and how your brain can subconsciously create the circumstances to start pulling away.
    It was easy to read this knowing you got your happy ending!

  8. Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings says:

    I just remembered to breathe again at the end of this. I was holding my breath from the beauty of it all.

    Um…when is your book coming out again?

  9. SQT says:

    In a way bad relationships are a universal experience aren't they? I can read this and immediately recall the feelings I had as I was trying to pull away from that same, suffocating feeling — and the relief that comes with it. It's so grueling at the time, but a worthy experience nonetheless. At least I knew what to avoid going forward…

  10. phd in yogurtry says:

    This is beautiful. And this really spoke to me: honest loneliness as preferable to agonized togetherness.

    I had been in one of those. I might have ended it much sooner, years sooner, had I recited that line to myself a few hundred times.

    And yes, when you find the magic words to help your children avoid longterm relationship angst, pass them along, will ya?

  11. Pearl says:

    Holy shit, I just about burst into tears. And I still might. I'm going through something quite similar, right now. I can't stand it.


  12. Jenn @ Juggling Life says:

    This really makes me admire you and also my daughter–who broke up with her boyfriend of 7 years about a year ago and moved to Chicago for graduate school.

    I love him dearly, but she knew what was right for her.

  13. Midlife Jobhunter says:

    "Tossed out there at 8am." My eyes settled on those words after I read every word of this piece. What is it about ourselves that we sometimes try to make things work, that never will? How brave you are, how smart you are. How I want to say so much more about this, but am so glad you sent him down the road. I like the part on how when you don't know where someone is, you have broken with them. Making me think.

  14. ds says:

    Honest loneliness. Liked that part. Beautifully rendered, as always, Jocelyn. Thank you for sharing. I think I can breathe now…

  15. alwaysinthebackrow says:

    Wow! That was painful to read. Then it was relief for you. Just as you must have experienced it, but in a few minutes rather than all of those years.
    Thanks for sharing something so personal in such a real way.

  16. Becky Cazares says:

    Wow. I can't decide if your book should be fiction or non-. I'm thinking fiction, as long as you base it on real-life agonies like this one, and the funner stuff in other posts. But then we wouldn't know if it was real or not or made up or life experienced… Guess you'll have to make the call on that one.

    I married for the first time at 44. Never dated seriously prior to that. I tell my divorced friends that I was just lucky to skip over the first marriage stuff because I have no doubt that, given the opportunity, I'd have screwed up the first one, too. And would have thrown all my energy into trying to make work what clearly wasn't going to. Gosh, you put it so well.

  17. christopher says:

    Very powerful reflection. So vividly as you felt it…you also told it.

    I'm glad you listened to your gut.

    And I feel like I get so much back just by reading your posts.

  18. Pam says:

    "…something inside of me reborn". After a particularly agonizing breakup with first husband, when I hung up the phone while at my parent's place after telling him I'd decided not to move back together after all,I felt just like that. "And damn me if she didn't start eating again" I overheard my Dad saying to an aquaintance afterwards. Great piece of writing Jocelyn!

  19. C says:

    Fantastic post – wow … I feel as though I can relate and had to hold my breath through some of that. WOW.

  20. kmkat says:

    Heart-wrenching. But a happy ending.

  21. secret agent woman says:

    The clarity of hindsight is startling at times. And your gut always knows. And yet, and yet.

  22. Patois says:

    I am not really shocked by how much your life before Groom mirrors my own. (Tho' you are far more articulate about that life than I have ever been. Or, perhaps, will ever be. That "love" of mine was 18 years my senior.)

  23. heartinsanfrancisco says:

    Shockingly low self-esteem fueled far too many of my relationships than I can remember. It's incomprehensible to me now. Being alone is infinitely preferable to being with the wrong person. I have also learned to listen to my intuition because it is the only force of nature which exists exclusively to protect me — it has no vested interest. It can always be trusted.

    I'm very glad that you finally found the partner who is perfect for you!

  24. yinyang says:

    This ranks up there as one of your best pieces, Jocelyn.

    I wonder, though, WTF goes on inside a person's mind to say “I don’t think I love you” after six years together. But maybe it's better that I don't know.

  25. lime says:

    An acceptance of honest loneliness as preferable to agonized togetherness

    a very poetic rendering of a single mom pal's favorite line, "better to be single than wish i were."

    it is enlightening to me, knowing how well paired you and groomeo are, to have a glimpse at the path you walked before meeting him. thank you for your openness.

  26. tattytiara says:

    That was amazingly lucid. None of that could have been easy to put into words. Well done.

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