Are We In The Clear Yet? Part Two.

Back in February when I was still working, both my co-workers Lacy and McKenzie had urged me to download Taylor Swift’s 1989.

This did not sound like a thing I  wanted to do.

“I’m telling you – it’s amazing. Perfect running music,” McKenzie had said with reverence.

Lacy had nodded in agreement. “It will change your life.”

“Fine,” I’d said. I downloaded and listened to it once.

“Not for me,” I’d declared the next day.

They both looked at me and shook their heads sadly as if to say, “She just doesn’t get it.”

But after my Mother passed away, I found myself listening to it a lot.

This was because there wasn’t much music in my life that didn’t come emotionally charged. I couldn’t listen to Pop because it was too cheerful and anyone who was happy caused me to be resentful. I couldn’t listen to Classical because that was her favorite and it would unleash a wave of memories that would wash over me in a painful tsunami. Any sort of music associated with my Writing Playlists sent me over the edge because the thought of working on the blog gutted me, as then I’d think about how I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to write again without getting the follow up emails from my Mom saying how much she loved the most recent post and what was Lux’s real name again?

1989 was the only album that was able to keep me company without causing me to think. And because I did not want to ever think, I ended up listening to it all the time.

One song in particular, “Out of the Woods” was the one I listened to the most. It has nothing to do with grief, but everything to do with desperate urgency, which was how my life had begun to feel saturated with everyday. The lyrics started to swirl in my mind over and over.

Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods?
Are we in the clear yet?
Are we in the clear yet?
Are we in the clear yet?
In the clear yet?

And as my life and relationship started to further and further disintegrate,  I would hear those questions in my head constantly and found my answer started to consistently be:


One night, after a particularly hellish day – My Boyfriend and I had been in an epic text-fight all afternoon – he arrived home after band practice and I was seething. That kind of seething that makes your head pound and your vision blurry.

I could hear him enter the livingroom where I was seated at my desk. “Hello,” he said. I  I couldn’t even lift my eyes from my computer to look at him because I was pretty sure if I saw his face I would, well, I’m not sure what I would do.

I heard him sigh and close the front door behind him. Then he made his way to our bedroom. That’s when I sprang into action.

I raced into our room. “What the fuck?!” I asked, moving in his direction. “What the fuck is wrong with you?!”

He put his things down and stood in the middle of the room as I laid into my verbal assault. I yelled at him awhile about what I thought was his egregious offense towards me.

He didn’t respond.

“After all I’ve been through, now you pull this shit on me?!”

And then he yelled something back  but I don’t remember what it was because I wasn’t listening.

My eyes narrowed and I clenched my hands into tight fists. I stalked towards him. “You don’t understand what I’m feeling! You don’t understand what I’m going through! If you did, you wouldn’t be acting like this!”

“I do understand, Tracey!”

“No. You. Don’t,” I said and got right up into his face. I pointed at his chest. “You haven’t lost a parent. You. Don’t. Understand,” I spat. “YOU CAN’T.”

And then his face fell and he suddenly looked weary. “You’re right. I don’t understand.” His voice lowered. “But I am trying to.”

The fury was still coursing through my veins and even his admittance couldn’t ebb it. I snatched The Cat off the bed and stomped out, slamming the door behind me.

That’s right, I took The Cat. I sure showed him.


After I got her settled on the couch, I went to the kitchen. I was churning with blazing anger at this point and my hands trembled as I pulled the set of his favorite pint glasses out of the cabinet and placed them on the table.

Then I opened the garbage can and starting throwing them in with all my might.

After the second one exploded into a hail of shards, My Boyfriend appeared in the doorway. “TRACEY! What are you doing?!”

I didn’t look at him and walked calmly back to the table. I grabbed the third glass.  I pulled my arm back and flung it into the garbage. This one only cracked, which made me even angrier.

I grabbed the last glass, walked up to the can and hurled it in with every bit of emotion I had. It shattered so hard, pieces of glass shot up into the air and then showered all over the floor.

I turned to My Boyfriend, who was standing there with a mixed expression of shock and bewilderment. My chest was rising and falling quickly from the exertion and my fury. I felt I would not be able to ever catch my breath.

Then I ran out the back door and collapsed on a patio chair. I put my head in my hands.

And then I sobbed.

I sobbed because I missed my Mom so, so much.

I sobbed because my relationship was failing.

And I sobbed because I was pretty sure I was losing my goddamn mind.

Are we out of the woods yet?



13 thoughts on “Are We In The Clear Yet? Part Two.”

  1. Ah, hell. You sure know how to vent, girl! I can’t but think things turned out better than they’re headed…but this certainly conveys where you were. 😦 xo

    1. Thank you, Bob. I was really terrified of the responses I would get from posting this but I’ve been really touched at how supportive people have been. Thank you again.

  2. Well, I just want to say…. ONE – I think the fact that you kept all of this to yourself while going through it shows that you NEVER plan to leave this relationship….because by keeping the problems to yourself, you were actually protecting The Boyfriend and your relationship. So bravo to that. TWO – I love The Boyfriend for trying to understand. THREE – to The Boyfriend, my guess is, Tracey loves you too much to LET you understand….I’m sure she wouldn’t want you to go through it….even though we all do eventually. FINALLY – I’m sorry but I sorta love the part of you breaking the glasses…I can’t articulate why but it just felt like a very honest and raw moment that we have all wanted to have at one point or another. lol. Love you Tracey. No one can say they understand what you are going through but I get the gist. 😉

    1. Thank you so much SP! I am actually going to respond privately to this but one of the things I’ve learned from doing this blog (and from some friends 😉 ) is that – unless you really know what you want to do with a relationship, it might not be in your best interest to share the specifics of your troubles. I know, from being on the other side, it can be very, very hard for friends to get back on board if your air all your dirty details and then change your mind and decide to move forward again. If you are too good at recounting the bad things, people are going to believe it!!

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