9 months

I often wonder why it is that I don't simply ask for what I need. Why I don't drop to my knees and turn my heart inside out like a sleeve, pressing palms together, looking you in the face. "Please," I might ask, "I need for you to love me more. I need to be touched gently. I need space to cry, room to grieve, open air to share without judgement. You're all I have - do you understand that? I need you, dear one. Please, see me. Please, I need for you to love me more."

Maybe it's you. Maybe I'm afraid of what you might say. Or, maybe it's me. Maybe I don't know what to ask for in the first place. Maybe I'm afraid that turning myself inside out and exposing all the tender skin beneath the walls I've built will be impossible to reverse. Maybe I'm afraid that it won't help, and then I'll just be balancing on skinned knees, fleshy wound and bare bone exposed without healing. 

This is the hardest thing I've ever done. Not motherhood, exactly, but the surrender it takes to say to you, my husband, my love, "I need help. I'm hurting. I'm needing. I'm fragile. Please, just for a while, I need you to carry me."

I feel like I should be strong. That I should swallow back the churning salted sea in my throat and reinforce my walls with mortar and stone because that's what strong people do. It seems that I'm surrounded on all sides by beings of light who are terrified by the darkness between their ribs. They tuck away from the things that hurt and tell others that they'll be okay, that they just need to be strong, that they should just look on the bright side.

But I used to scrape clean these tender spaces with hungry fingers like the middle of a melon. I used to feel everything so completely, because these are the places where the great stories live. These are the places that taste sweet to the lips, that turn to honey on my tongue, that hurt to touch and are pleasurable to touch and that I've forgotten to touch in months and months.

And suddenly, the vulnerability terrifies me. Suddenly, nothing feels comfortable anymore. I'm pouring plaster over the walls when I should be allowing you to knock them down. 

I'm trying. I'm doing my best. I know that we have enough love moving between us to save me. I know that the vulnerability is what will save us all.