Pushmi-Pullyu, Part 3

Which way is this exotic beast heading? Both ways, you say? Neither way? I think you're right.

Will Lorna How does Lorna How will Lorna sort out her muddled thoughts and feelings about her life?

Meeting Haley’s Comet (HC)—the boyfriend formerly known as Super Nova—for just 5 minutes effected me in these ways:

  1. I felt alive. My heart ker-thumped like a washer with an off-balanced load of 20 XXL flannel shirts.
  2. I felt giddy. I was transported back to someone else’s life—someone with perpetual great hair, no bra-bulges, and who could belt out a show tune a Capella.
  3. I felt noticed.  HC recognized me! I was someone special; I just didn’t know who.
  4. I felt confused. I was a married mother of one great son. I loved them and they needed me, if only for my awesome bread-baking talent.
  5. I felt immediately for my Divine Journal and began writing like my life depended on it. Because it did.

I tend to purse my lips when I concentrate rather than loll my tongue out. Other than that, this is a good rendition of how focused I was on journaling.

Knowing that anything I wrote in my journal was as confidential as what was whispered between a hit-man and the woman who hired him, I wrote with wild ramblings about HC (past, present and, sigh cleansing breath, future) and my mind-numbing , spirit-crushing guilt over anything HC-related. I had my own “Pushmi-Pullyu” beastie inside me. I’d never felt so deliciously distraught.

In a moment of Divine Inspiration, I stopped writing so feverishly, believing that the fiery writing was making me hotter than I already was. If I stopped obsessing dwelling visualizing us kissing  thinking about HC so much, maybe I could focus on the deeper issue: what was missing in my marriage/life that made escaping from it seem so appealing neat to write about? So I Divinely journaled about that, which led me right back to HC. I saw a pattern developing, so I closed the journal and began reading more about finding my inner Divine Self. I needed wanted hoped I was more Divine than a guilty compulsive journal writer obsessively not thinking about my former boyfriend. The Divine Books, I was sure, held my answers.

These should keep me distracted, er, busy for a while. If I don't find the answers I seek, I'll be back.

Lucky for me the administration at my college was treating the faculty like crap. Newly tenured, I was immune from the former policy of firing nontenured faculty the current president disliked for their political views or hair styles. When I decided to take an active, public role to fight for a fair and equitable contract, Chuck was 100% behind me. That man loved taking on a good cause; and he was a brilliant chess-player. He could see the game the administration was playing and advised the faculty, through me, how to stop being on the defense and start playing offence. I was the articulate, intelligent, sweet-heart voice of the faculty; Chuck was behind the scenes, coaching me. Together, we made an incredible team when we were working toward a common goal.

Mr. and Dr. Incredible, only we were rarely seen in our fancy-pants outfits so as not to forewarn our opponents.

HC faded into the background. I had a partner who cared about me—the professional part of me—but me, nonetheless. Chuck was proud that I was quoted in the newspaper, wrote erudite letters to the Editor, and even inspired a few editorials. I was proud of me when he was proud of me. His business was also increasingly successful. A new feature to his success—bonuses and profits—made a few vacations and home improvements possible. I felt like we were on the same train, hooked together, and headed toward the same destination—a lifetime together.

I didn't say we were speeding along or it was all easy going...just that we were together.

I received a yearly birthday email from HC and he received one from me. I loved and hated those emails. Sometimes, the emails were simple catch-me-ups. On occasion, conversations developed until it seemed like we were standing on the edge of some rickety bridge that wasn’t safe to even think about crossing. We had something special, something elemental, between us and I didn’t want HC out of my life. He went away once and came back. What were the odds? But HC had a family and so did I. We missed our chance to be together. My internal “Pushmi-Pullyu” was hard at work not picking one direction.

If it’s true that everyone has one “the one that got away,” HC was that one for me. Chuck knew as much. We talked early in our marriage about old flames. I told him about HC. He told me about a girl he never quite got over: HB (Chuck was Her Boss). But HB never came back into Chuck’s life (that I knew of).

So we kept our cherished distance. I wrote about my Divine Conflict in my Divine Journal and not in emails to HC.

I'll stay on my side and, HC, you stay on yours. There's no such thing as meeting in the middle in this scenario.

Life was manageable placid good until 1994-ish when Chuck read my Divine Journal.

This seems to be a case of who betrayed whom. 

~ by Lorna's Voice on October 14, 2011.

23 Responses to “Pushmi-Pullyu, Part 3”

  1. That’s a very rich tale.I suppose we all have ‘one that got away’ and sadly some have one’s who they wish had got away

  2. You got that right. I didn’t know if I was coming or going–probably a bit of both. 😉

  3. A classic battle between the heart and the mind going on here. And I’m sure paradoxically, a small part of the heart nods in agreement with the mind about the madness of it all, and a small part of the mind nods in agreement to the heart, allowing HC to remain in the picture. Pushmi-Pullyu has some stress fractures about each half…

  4. The good news is that everything turned out beautifully! It just took a long while and one heck of a wild ride… 😉

  5. “Deliciously distraught” Ugh…been there! Heat rose in my chest as I read this, Lorna. I just KNEW I’d be finding that last sentence! *Turning 16 once more, I go to #4 saying, ‘OMIGOD, this is sick’ – knowing I’ve paid Lorna the highest of high compliments in today’s verbiage!*

  6. Same story, different character, huh? I hope as I reveal what happened, you’ll find something that will provide you with your own inner guidance.

  7. Well-articulated!

  8. Yeah, me too. Talk to me about your concerns, don’t hunt for my private journal and read my private thoughts–and at, that, only some of them. There was a lot in that journal about how much I loved Chuck and wanted him to pay more attention to me so HC wouldn’t be so alluring. It was mostly about my guilt over how conflicted I felt and how elated I was when things seemingly went well between us. He “forgot” or skipped over those parts…

  9. Laff, I can’t help but twist the end–the end is always twisting in my life! 😉

  10. Gosh, the lengths people go to to avoid talking to each other about their problems! I’m so sorry for you that you had to go through that. People tend to focus on the person who is writing/talking about doubting her feelings and NOT focusing on the person who violated her privacy. In my mind, there’s no justification for reading a private journal or eavesdropping/taping a private conversation. But often that is seen as justifiable behavior to “save” the marriage. Inconceivable!

  11. I, too, believe there are no such thing as accidents. I never thought he would read my journal. I moved it from obscure place to place. I just never buried it in my underwear drawer (where he never would have ventured!). I was relieved that things were in the open and we dealt with the fundamental issue, no matter how it happened. My courage was buried and definitely had to be coaxed out. 😉

  12. That’s because it was a riveting time. 😉 Any other posts on your site that you think wouldn’t scare the beegebers out of me?

  13. Thanks so much, Christine!

  14. You always leave me wanting more!

    The thing I enjoy most about your writing, is your honesty. You’re such an intrepid writer! I love this.

  15. A very riveting read this one
    Lorna and how wicked too 🙂

    Do have a lovely weekend and be good 🙂

    Androgoth Xx

  16. Well .. you know what they say, ” There are no mistakes … etc.” Perhaps, the sub-conscious Lorna was looking for someone else to do what she could not. No shame in that … it is hard to hurt someone you once loved even at the expense of your own happiness.
    SSSoooo … he found it. And … you were exposed. Naked as the Emperor (you know which one – right ??)
    I fear that the reason you wanted him to find it was because the brave hidden Lorna was beginning to recognize that she needed the warmth of a man’s tender arms to help her feel less alone. We all need some love.
    Hugs and Toodles,

  17. I kept a journal too–which my husband found and read and then became insecure when he saw references to my unhappiness in the relationship. He also taped a telephone conversation between me and one of my sisters when I was sharing with her my doubts about his sanity. He refused to hand it over when I confronted him.

    By this time, I had one foot out the door…

  18. Oooh so juicy. I love the way you “metaphor” your musings and the twist in the end. You are one articulate crazy chick.

  19. I love that he was so supportive of you against the administration. I literally had an open-mouthed ‘haaa’ (like surprised breath, lol) moment when I read that he read your journal. Bad Chuck!

  20. Rut roh!

  21. Oh NO, I hear the soundtrack to your story, Dun-Dun-Dun on bass, followed by eery violin. Your past is my present. Last year I re-connected with my ‘one that got away’ (who has never married) and something has woken up in me that I can not put back to sleep. Not the feelings for him, but like you said, the feeling of being alive and noticed again. I realized I don’t have to be a passenger, or worse just waiting at the station, I can drive the train. I just don’t know where it is going.

  22. Makes perfect sense. But in my life, the thing that makes sense isn’t the thing that usually happens… 😉

  23. Oops… Maybe you should have committed your thoughts to memory instead of pen & paper. But it’s over & done with & you can’t go back.

    I don’t know what comes next in your story, but my theory is ‘the one that got away’ is usually not as wonderful as we remember them. If we had stayed with the ‘one that got away,’ the one we, in reality, stayed with would now be the ‘one that got away.’
    Mmm. Did that make sense?

Silence can be just what the doctor ordered. You know I'm a doctor, right?

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