The dream was intense and vivid. The weight of his body. The smell of him and of the alcohol on his breath. Feel of him. It felt so real. I was panicked and terrified. I woke up sobbing and in a cold sweat.
My large bed was empty. No Davide. No Cliff. And that somehow made the pain so much worse. Usually at least Cliff is here to cuddle me.
I immediately turned on a hot shower and scrubbed my skin raw. I still felt him all over me. I sat on the floor of the shower. Hot water streaming all over me and I just let it out. I cried and cried and cried. Until all I felt was numb.
Afterwards, I turned on all of the lights. I couldn’t fall back asleep. Too scared I’d fall right back into the dream.
I hate waking up to an empty house like this. Hated how no matter how hard I scrubbed my skin- I still felt him. Hated how weak and broken those memories can make me feel.
Morning came too quickly and not soon enough, all at the same time.
When Davide came back home, he drunkenly stumbled loudly into the room, waking me from my few hours of sleep and it startled me. The smell of the alcohol on him, felt like a trigger.
When he kissed me hard, I felt nauseous. I never push him away, but I did right then. He searched my eyes, looking confused. I just felt completely shut off from him.
He thought I was mad that he didn’t come home the night before. Having to explain that wasn’t it… I just had a nightmare and didn’t want to be touched. He just didn’t understand. I could tell it hurt his feelings.
I’m still figuring out how to communicate with him when I’m in pain like this. It’s like my walls are up, and I have a hard time letting him in. I asked him to shower, and said we’d talk after.
I did my best to sort through my feelings. I just felt… so exasperated with myself. I love this man. Shouldn’t it be easier to tell him stuff like this? To open up and have all my walls down? Shouldn’t he be my safe space?
I was still in a sleepy daze, making us breakfast. He came up behind me and wrapped me up in his warm arms. I let him hold me and kiss my neck until I softened.
I explained the dream over breakfast. He just nodded. Pulling me close. Both of us not knowing what to say. Sometimes I just wish… I wasn’t so broken.
Gnawing questions about soulmates
There is this gnawing question in the back of my mind. Is Davide my soulmate? Is he my forever? I love him, so intensely. We have this incredible life together. The future I always wanted, right within grasp. He even wanted to start trying for kids, we have a plan for it all. He’s my family. I know I’m so happy with him…
But why can’t I tell him everything? I know I could… but this part of me, just holds back. I’m willing to put in the work. Willing to never give up on him. On Us. But then sometimes I wonder…. ‘What If’?
What if there is such a thing as soulmates? What if there is someone out there, that was made for me? What if there is someone that I can love like I’ve never been able to before? That he’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of. I have this incredible life… but am I choosing it because it’s safer? Because I know it’s a for sure thing. What if… I have a shot at an even better life? Is that even possible? Am I just this dreamer, always striving after more? Am I missing the perfection right under my nose? Or am I just going to get totally and completely wrecked either way?
The way he looks at me… like I’m his whole world… makes the guilt of these thoughts, eat me alive. He wraps me in his arms and makes me his in every way. But there is this one piece of my heart… will I ever be able to give it to him?
Aunt & Uncle give me a tough talk
My aunt and uncle insisted on making lunch plans with me, without Davide. They’re getting older and feel more like my mom and dad then they do like my aunt and uncle.
They say they love Davide, but have made it clear that even though they support me… they think I can do better and don’t think it’s too late for me to get out of it. Even so, they’ve never asked me not to bring him around before… so it’s an odd request.
I head over to their house and help them with errands.
I find out later the reason why they asked me not to bring Davide. They want to talk finances. They want to know how much Davide knows and if I’m protected. They strongly encouraged me to hide a good portion of the assets. I appreciate their opinion, and how fierce they are about protecting me.
At one point, my aunt hugs me tight and then asks “Are you happy?”, searching my face. I smile at her and nod yes. But I know she sees right through me. She always could cut right through my bullshit.
Between the lack of sleep, the nightmare that haunts me, and the questions that torment me, my smile is tight and not at all genuine.
I think about the question over and over again. Am I Happy? I know I am. I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time. The question I find myself struggling with is… could I be happier? Did I settle for good enough? Happy enough?
Over lunch I finally ask, “Do you believe in soulmates?” her and my uncle have been married over 55 years. This kicked off an hour long conversation about falling in love and the work involved in a relationship. I never get a clear answer.
Finally my aunt comes out and asks “Does he make you the best version of yourself?”
“He makes me really happy. I love him so so much. I love who I am with him. I just don’t know if I can say that he makes me THE BEST version of myself. Around him, I’m a REALLY GREAT version of myself. And I guess I’m trying to figure out… is it enough? I’m happy.”
I know our marriage is going to require a lot of hard work. But all marriages do. I’m not scared of that. I just keep asking myself… what if my soulmate is out there? At the same time… what if he isn’t? What if I give up an incredible love for… the dream of a soulmate?
My aunt nods. “I think he’s good for you Monica. You’re happier than I’ve seen you in a long time. He loves you so much. You’re his whole world. I just don’t know if he’s your whole world. I don’t know if that’s enough for you. Only you can answer if that’ll be enough.”
I don’t know how… but I leave even more confused.