While you were talking my thoughts roamed into the list, picking apart what to do and when to do it and not worrying where I fit in because I never did.
While you were sleeping, I ate while I watched you snore and I cried silently and sometimes I wrote in a journal I tried to hide from you.
While you drove me to the bar and waited in the car for my fun to end, I couldn’t see your paranoid control and fear that I would find another person in the drinks with old friends I never wanted to date but I knew it would be my last night with friends at a bar.
While you were running away for weekends of paintball or deep sea fishing or concert tours, I was being Mom to our kids and asking my parents for help with groceries.
While you said we couldn’t afford to pay the debts in my name, I managed to pay them without your consent or assistance.
While you were ignoring me, I was escaping into teenage paranormal romance books, because these books didn’t have a sex life to be jealous of.
While you were flirting with the waitresses in front of me, I was afraid to look at other men because of the reaction you might have had.
While I was birthing babies, you were kind enough to let the laundry wait for me.
While you were battling food poisoning, I came home from the hospital to make my own dinner after the birth of our firstborn which set the tone and my practice for the other pregnancies.
While you were losing weight and excited to go on adventures, I was willing to walk through Sea World a couple of weeks after our last child and years later Legoland with a c-section scar less than a month old.
While you had lost the weight of a person and insisted on amusement parks, I tried to ease the sensory needs of our autistic children.
While you wanted the fame on stage, you didn’t see that we were putting you first and sat uncomfortably in your shadows and darkness.
While you were our leader, I took up the rear to make sure we didn’t lose children on adventures because it never occurred to you that we couldn’t keep up.
While your words said later for nearly a week and I was stumbling in the dark to do our laundry, I made the choice to step on a ladder and change the bulb myself at 5 months gestation.
While I was on bedrest and you made yourself look like a hero, you forgot to mention the help our surrogate couples hired so you wouldn’t have to pick up my slack.
While you were working, I had phone calls and follow ups and exhaustion from lack of sleep because sleep came in the morning when you were gone and I had peace.
While you were getting drunk I was sober and moming and driving and urging you into bed.
While you were raging and breaking cabinet doors, I was raging right back in my mind, afraid to move because of where your rage might have turned.
While you were locking yourself in the bathroom with a knife I was irritated because I knew you wanted my audience, but you didn’t care that our kids could see it too.
While you were driving home and not excited to see me and the weight I waited to rest on your shoulders, I was excited because you could see the children destroy all I had done in their artful undoing and I really wasn’t sleeping all day – just most of it.
While you were punching cracks into the windshield on the freeway, I wondered how this came from a game of punch buggy.
While you walked through the door, we were happy to see you but we missed the puppy joy mark that was the bar you were setting and you thought we didn’t care because we were only matching the joy you showed us in coming home.
While you were hungry and forgetting your wallet or keys or running out of gas on the freeway, I paused my day to rescue you for a moment to be with you and be the hero I hoped you would be to me.
While you ignored my suggestions, I found I could feed them to others and you would actually hear them.
While you complained about money I hid in my Amazon account, I found you were hiding so much more and convinced myself it was your right but guilt and shame plagued my sins against you.
While you were gambling, our son nearly died and the fault was mine because I am his mom even though that tub was filled on your watch and the destruction in the house was a mess you sat in while I took two kids to the grocery store and battled the budget you gave me alongside their wants.
While you had a girlfriend online, I had baby blues that nearly ended our eldest son’s life.
While you joked about my being on my phone during our dates, you were tagging me on yours.
While you wanted to snuggle and just be with me, the house wouldn’t run itself. I had to get up and be a wife and mom while you lounged in bed and couldn’t hear me not asking for your help.
While you watched television, I was escaping into books right next to you because not being present while next to you was my idea of bliss. I loved watching Legolas, but couldn’t see the point in memorizing a trilogy when there were books filled with new worlds to discover.
While you were trying to impress her and found her so amazing, I was secure that our marriage would survive because in my selfishness I saw my happiness and couldn’t see you didn’t have any in yours.
While you were waiting outside a concert to drive home an artist that wouldn’t even get you into the show, I was being awarded at an Honor’s Convocation.
While you were making financial choices I didn’t agree with or believe in, I was borrowing from my parents who now trust me on business accounts for emergencies as long as me doesn’t include you.
While you were trying your best to not be my husband I was trying harder to be your wife.
While your Christian rap ministry took you on tour, I was home with our children, wondering why you couldn’t be that man on the streets in your own home.
While you wanted me to be a wife and only a wife, I fought you each semester and quarter to be more so we could have more, never imagining my new identity would be the one thing you couldn’t take and that you would try to destroy all else.
While you were buying three touch screen computers and a WiiU for Christmas, I was giving our sons a welfare Christmas from the Dollar Tree, and they were giving me gratitude and love.
While family and friends pointed out what I couldn’t stop seeing, I defended your actions and managed to make them my fault.
While you were working to provide for our needs, I was shopping as therapy for the home I wanted us to build.
While you were figuring out our finances, I was planning on retail therapy in the grocery store.
While you hated my friends, I avoided them for you but you still spent the night out with friends who kept bringing strippers to the house that you spent the night at.
While you shattered who we were, I’ve been picking up the pieces I want, and smashing to dust the parts meant to die while I find the ways in which to fall together.