The Phone Call

My eyes jolted open to the jarring buzz of the alarm clock.  The first thought to pop into my cobwebbed head was The Phone Call.  Today was the day, and I’d been dreading it for weeks.  I swallowed the lump in my throat and rolled out of bed.

But thoughts of The Phone Call got lost in the morning fire drill of waking, dressing, feeding, and driving, taking care of everyone’s needs before my own, like every other mother.

As I went about the duties of the day, the kids, the house, and the job, The Phone Call would occasionally crop into my thoughts, splitting them like a scythe, and then settling in the pit of my stomach, a cold stone formed of the fragments.

I would push threats of The Phone Call away, but it relentlessly reappeared like a bright, orange roadblock, demanding to be observed.

A quiet moment finally surfaced, and I could no longer run from the confrontation.

“Make The Phone Call,” the devil over my right shoulder jabbed.
“Save Your Sanity,” the angel over my left shoulder pleaded.

I shut my eyes and plugged my ears against the voices.

Why was I even considering this dance again?  The pattern has been repeating itself since the beginning of time, of our time, rather, with me crawling back on my hands and knees to try and “fix” things, even though I’m not the one who is broken.

And the tenuous balance in my emotional resources bank account isn’t enough to cover this withdrawal today. 

The pinch of a migraine began to scratch its way across my right eye. 

There were people expecting me to do it.  Telling me this is the day to do it, that I needed to be the bigger person.  Just pretend like nothing’s wrong.  Just get on speaking terms, as if that will be a magic plateau where we can all coexist peacefully.

Selfish requests aimed to alleviate their own perceived suffering of the awkward silence.

But to me it’s not awkward.

It is an answer to prayer to be out from under the daily barrage of picking and belittling designed to control, manipulate, and oppress.

Sleepless nights I've passed, searching for an answer in the ticking of the clock.  I’ve sought counsel.  I’ve given it all a great amount of thought, and this is now where I find myself.

Relief.  Release.  Freedom.

From the dysfunctional dance of decades gone by.

No Phone Call for me today.

Smiling to myself, I inhaled the sweet scent of my son's bed-head, hugging him tight as he raced one of his toy cars up my leg.

I need to stay in the Light.

Comments

  1. You made the right choice. I have a similar phone call to make, and I 'm dreading it.

    I like how you just hint at who the recipient is instead of giving all of the details.

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    1. I'm sure everyone has a phone call like this they need to make...

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  2. This was so powerful. The pacing was perfect. Well-done!

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  3. you wait until your ready. doesn't sound like it's going to be an easy call to make.

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  4. You know what? Sometimes you need to bail out of a dysfunctional relationship and just keep your sanity. Why keep going back if someone is just going to belittle you? Sounds like you made the right decision.

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    1. Yes, turn the other cheek is not working for me anymore :)

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  5. I really enjoyed your writing here and how you built up a sort of suspense and concern in the beginning, and then just eluded to what the phonecall actually was. It wasn't what I expected, but a no less difficult one to make.

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  6. I loved reading this, and actually kept going back and reading it again, thinking I missed the part where you mentioned who you were calling. It is so much more powerful that you just hint to it, rather than coming right out and saying it. Who among us hasn't had these moments of dread before making (or not making) that kind of call?

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    1. Thanks, Sam. I feel like this is a situation most everyone can relate to!

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  7. Yes to all of this. You nailed that feeling of having to be the bigger person by making the contact, even though you are not the one broken. It takes much strength to walk away from the perceived "right thing to do." Bravo to you for being able to make that choice. Doesn't matter the "who." I think everyone has had their own "who" to call. This was incredibly well written.

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  8. Oh dear, that's tough. But it sounds like you're already on the high road, or at least in the merge lane, anyways. :)

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  9. Oh, how I relate. I love the mystery of who you're calling, because I can insert myself in there and say, me too. Very well written.

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  10. I love the line about the migraine. Love the ending. Beautiful.

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  11. Every time I see someone mention migraines, I feel an instant connection with them as a fellow sufferer. This was beautiful.

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  12. I really enjoyed reading this piece - suspense and then slow dissolving of it. Some great phrases and right pacing in there!

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  13. Sometimes I get mad at people who are vague-you know, like those people that write cryptic Facebook status updates. But in this case, I felt like by not naming names and not being specific, you allow other people to be able to relate to your situation. Well done.

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  14. So well written. Perfect that you only revealed so much about the phone call.

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  15. I love how by keeping the subject secret, we all can insert our own version, as we all have had that dreaded call to make. Well done.

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  16. I'm happy you didn't tell us the issue because then I can imagine my very own, which I have. The line that struck with me was "And the tenuous balance in my emotional resources bank account". I undertsand the pressure from others to make tha proverbial call. Sometimes you just don't have it in you. I need to live in the Light too and the darkness needs to stay away.

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  17. Wow. It so gracefully, intricately unwrapped as I read it. What a pleasure to read, although a hard thing to write I'm sure! Well done! Glad you skipped the call. I pass over things all the time in favor of my sanity....and OY to the migraines.....

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  18. Your words create such powerful images - I felt your angst over the phone call, and I found myself relieved when you didn't make it.

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