Separation Anxiety

“I pick you as a stoic…you’re saying you don’t have much pain, but I’m pretty sure your toe is broken.” So said the doctor when I went to see her with a bruised,  swollen and sore toe, the result of an unexpected, brief but violent liaison with the base of the sofa.

She was right – X-rays show it’s broken and another joint in my foot has ligament damage – it’s going to take weeks to heal fully.

She also has me pegged; she’s totally right about me being stoic. I have a really high pain threshold…I can handle just about anything. I’ve had doctors and surgeons tell me so before.

Emotionally I’m the same…when the going gets tough I cope, I make the most of, the best of, get on with it, cope, cope, cope…and then all of a sudden I hit the wall.

I hit the wall a couple of weeks ago with this visa process. Living in limbo with no settled home or work, living half here half there, all while separated from my man, again.

Remarkably, despite living about as far away from each other as is possible on Planet Earth (Australia & East Coast USA) we have managed to spend six of the past 18 months together, spend nearly $15,000 on airfares and travel, and rack up around 170,000 air miles between us!

That’s what love does to you.

But then recently we found ourselves out of both money and frequent flyer miles, apart, and still waiting on the outcome of our petition to the US government lodged on New Year’s Eve 2012.

I had done everything I could, and it still wasn’t happening. So I ran out of puff. All I felt like doing was crying and I went into a dark place. I don’t think it was a complete accident when I kicked the base of the sofa and broke my toe. Clumsiness and pain allowed me to stop, cry and finally melt into the hardness of it all.

It’s hard to be away from the man I love, hard to be labeled an alien in USA’s eyes; guilty until proven innocent. Hard not knowing exactly when I can be there, nor when we can, in fact, get married. We can’t even set a date.

Frankly it’s hard not being in control.

That’s what really freaks me out. I like having an element of control. And this is where my learning comes in; the challenge of accepting what is and letting go of control. Because I can hatch a thousand possible plans about how it all might come together, but actually it’s not over to me. It’s in the lap of the gods, at the whim of the universe, the angels and the US Department of Homeland Security.

My broken toe seems to be a physical manifestation of where I’m at inside – according to Louise Hay something to do with fear, uncertainty, insecurity and stubbornness.

Rather fitting as I sit here in my friend’s place where I sleep on couch cushions in the study, with half my clothes here, half of them there, my cat with a foster mum, no car, taking on only short-term work so I can be free to leave as soon as I can.

And it’s hard.

Not because I don’t like it in Melbourne where I’ve lived for nearly 12 years, not even  because I have a great desire to live in the USA. Simply because I must be with my man, the one I have finally found.

My anxiety comes from both the lack of control and my stubbornness in thinking I should have any. My sadness comes simply from the absence of my man.

We still share conversations and sweet nothings. We tolerate pixelated Skype images of each other, send photos and videos and share what we can of each other’s days.

So we have sight and sound, but I miss the other senses. Sometimes when we speak, I just want to touch, inhale the smell of him, feel him close and not talk. Technology makes communication possible, but it doesn’t replace the tactile, sensual need for physical closeness that is such a big part of being with someone.

For the longest time, my man has said, “I long for you, and I’m grateful to feel that longing.” I’ve resisted this, thinking if he keeps sending that message to the Universe he’ll get more of what he’s grateful for…the longing.

But I get what he means. It is wonderful to feel so strongly for each other, so sure of each other.

And to put my stoic nature aside for a moment, it also sucks! After 18 months of back and forth, the novelty factor of this long-distance thing has gone.

Right now, all I feel is the ache of his absence, and the wide gap between now, and then.

STOP PRESS – we have finally heard from US Immigration…more on that in the next post.

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