Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I Thought I Knew How To Love

Kimberly Says

I thought I knew how to love.

Until I met Dmytry.

We are moving in together on January 13, 2011.

Until then, we are mostly doing the long-distance thing with phones and computers and the like.

There are pros and cons to this set up.

The cons:
                Hm, these should be fairly obvious. My phone isn’t a good kisser.
                My computer, while able to keep me warm at night if left on, isn’t very fun to cuddle with.
                And neither of these devices has once taken out the trash.

The pros:

Moving right along then…
I don’t take this step lightly. Not with three little girls.

Sometimes I think I won’t be able to breathe until he gets here. And I know. I need him. I love him. More than I ever imagined possible.

If we could hop in a pickup truck I would easily run away with him, taking a black dress, a purse, and two red shoes that aren’t mine (like my writer friend Tom and his wife did with their impulsive life-long love.)

Instead, he is hopping on an airplane, freshly updated passport in hand, clothes in suitcase. Probably no dress or borrowed red shoes. Just saying. But still. He will leave all he knows for a new country and a new life with me and my kids.

He is half Ukrainian, half Russian and spent half his life in Canada. He will spend the rest of his life with me. Likely mostly in America.

And I am scared senseless.

But not for the reasons you might think.

I’m scared about underwear.

Yes, you heard me right. Underwear.

Here’s the thing.

I do not own any black lace underwear. I might own some blue lace. Maybe. If I dig deep in my closet. But mostly, (and this is probably more information then you EVER wanted to know about me EVER) I own comfy cotton types.

So what does this have to do with the price of tea in China?


But. Regarding Dmytry. Well. I’m terrified that he is secretly expecting something like Malibu Barbie meets Career Barbie and Homemaker Barbie all rolled into one.

Because, here’s the truth. I am not always beautiful and sexy. *GASP* I know. There’s shock and wild applause for my humility. But seriously, I have moments of looking like total shit. And I harbor this fear, deep in me, that somehow, if he really sees all my flaws every day and night, he will find me lacking. And he will leave. And my heart will be crushed forever.

Now, this is a stupid fear. Namely because he knows I’m none of these things.

He knows for instance that:

*I hardly wear make-up.
*I have only a passing acquaintance with Patience.
*I am neurotic and insecure in wild intervals.
*My eyes look like I’ve been in a boxing match when I cry all night.
*I love chocolate and would eat it with almost anything.
*I mostly wear comfy clothes and cotton underwear that aren’t inherently sexy.
*I have given birth to three children via C-Section and my body reflects the war wounds of these battles.

He knows a lot more too. But you get the idea. He’s not expecting this idea I have of his idea in my head. If that wasn’t too convoluted to follow.

He knows it’s crazy here. That Cheerios get ground into the floor and dirty laundry gets piled in the corner for some “when I have time” moment in the future.

He knows me. My life. My kids.

And I’m trying to figure out where this fear comes from.

Is it his age? He is young. He has never lived with a woman. Will I scare the hell out of him our first week of 24/7 cohabitation?

But shame on me for underestimating him. For making him some shallow playboy looking for a cocktail waitress in lace and silk.

I do him, and myself, a disservice by harboring these fears and feeding them. By limiting his capacity to love and accept me as I am.

Because really, I am not loving and accepting me as I am.

I thought I knew how to love.

Until I met Dmytry.

Because loving someone means accepting their love in return. It means believing in that love. And seeing yourself as they see you. I have failed at this. I love Dmytry with my entire being. But I have not opened myself completely to his love.

Fear prevents us from feeling and giving real love.

Honey, I am sorry. I am sorry I doubt you and your love. I am sorry I let these fears hurt us both. Thank you for loving me and having patience enough for us both.

Dmytry Says 

So, I missed class today convincing Kimberly that I loved her.

Did I succeed? I don't know.

She fears that which I understand and hate. She fears that, when I move there, she will not be what I expect.

And she's right.

Because I know, absolutely know, that she is more beautiful and brilliant than I can imagine.

And I'm tired of it. Tired of this perception that I'm in love with a vision instead of reality.

I'm in love with Kimberly. 
No matter what she wears or what mood she's in. I'm in love with her.

Honey, I'm sorry I can't make these fears go away. I'm sorry I'm not there to look into your eyes and say "I love you. Always. Just the way you are. Just the way you will be."

I'm sorry I can't make you feel like others have. I just hope that, when I'm finally there with you, holding you, that this will go away.

Because it’s not my love that's fake. It's this fear. It's this idea that when we are together things will collapse. That our relationship will crumble.

It won't.

Because, yes, love is hard. But that's why it's so hard to break. And your love shines like a diamond. I will never give it up.

Listen. Honey.

Every day I imagine being with you.

But I can't wait for the day I don't have to.


  1. Wow. Amazing. Sums up how i feel a lot kimberly.

  2. Thank you Georgina ;) It sucks to doubt though. I need to let that go. It hurts more to hurt him with my fear.

  3. Kimberly,

    Here's the thing. (And maybe this is something that gets *better* with age, so hang in there. ;) ) *Every* woman feels the same way. *Every* woman has bad habits up the wazoo. Some days, showering is optional. Hell, some days, brushing your teeth is optional. (Just wait 'til the first time you have stomach flu for days with him around. Talk about the ultimate in unsexy. Heh.) But that's life.

    So from a logical, practical, standing-way-back-and-looking-at-the-big-picture perspective - who's he going to leave you for? Some other woman with equally bad habits? :)

    *No one*, absolutely no one, is perfect. And sometimes finding the perfect person for you just means finding someone whose bad habits don't piss you off and vise versa. :)

    And yes, I'm saying this all somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but my point is that you're *not* in competition with some "ideal" woman out there because she doesn't exist. Either you're right for each other or you aren't. You both know what you feel inside. Trust that.

  4. Jami,

    You are sooo right. It's not like he's gonna pick up an ACTUAL Barbie at Toys-R-Us and leave me for her. Barring that he's gonna find cotton underwear and less-than-sexy days with every woman.

    And yes, we are right for each other. My own fears and insecurities are distractions from the truth that is Us. The truth of his unconditional love.

    If I know my love for him is unconditional and therefore not at all affected by bad hair days or sweat pants or vomit, then why can't I believe he can hold his love for me with the same commitment?

    Thank you for being a great friend and for reminding me of all this. ;)

  5. Kimberly, that you name your fear you can face it, you and Dmytry together. I hate to let Jami know but no, it doesn't get better with age, the fear takes on a gargantuan panic because you are afraid that you will run out of time to find someone who might love you just for you. Seems to me, amongst all the other things that make Dmytry great and that you love him for and all the things he loves you for, he also knows this about you, this fear and he has agreed to accept that it will come roaring back at the worst possible moments and he will have to convince you again and again. The great part is, he will, forever and that is pretty cool. By the way, does he have an older (much) brother. Just kidding, kind of.

  6. You both amaze me every time I read another post. Kimberly, I don't think I can tell you how to get over your fears, but I believe once he's there with you it'll help. You're facing a huge change, and even good stress is still stress. We look for ways out of that stressful place, hence, cold feet. Just the fact that you (if I remember correctly) fell in love before you met in person says a lot. It says that it's not about underwear or eyes or housekeeping skills, but what's inside. The rest is bonus.

  7. Yes, Julie, you're probably right about that.

    But I was thinking more about once you *have* found someone. At some point, you have to let this fear go because you see yourself aging: the wrinkles, the how-the-heck-did-I-get-a-thick-dark-hair-growing-THERE, the flabby arms, etc. If you're constantly measuring yourself against a perfect Barbie doll, you're going to drive yourself more and more crazy.

    Or... Or you can let it go. You can enjoy what you have and trust in the relationship you've built. Become each other's best friends and always look for ways to spoil each other. Those are the secrets to a happy relationship. ;)

  8. Julie: He has a younger brother ;) lol
    Gwen: Not so much cold feat as fear of being adequate. I think being in an abusive marriage for 8 years has left me with a lot of fear and trust issues, but Dmytry is so incredible he is helping me heal from all that. And yes, we fell in love with the real person, not the bodies :) but the bodies are good too hehe
    Jami: yes, I see what you are saying and it's true. And even just the process of writing this and talking about it has eased a lot of that fear.

    Dmytry: Yes, I do believe you. And your love.