The Blanket

I’m feeling sentimental today so ‘the blanket’ gets its own post. I love that god damn blanket. I still sleep with (both of them) when I’m feeling lonely and missing [L] (because yes I still love him, and miss him very very much at times)

I made a blanket our first year together. I crocheted it out of this marbled blue, super fuzzy, chunky, blanket yarn. It was a huge blanket. It took over $80 of yarn and 15+ hours of work from start to finish. [L] was not a small guy and he slept with it most nights. It covered him completely at 6’1 from head to toe and was proportionally wide. It was soooo cushy, folding it up even makes for a nice pillow. He loved this blanket. Through all of the breakups and all of the heartbreak he begged for this blanket every time. He wanted it, for whatever reason it was just a very sentimental blanket to both of us. I think for me it was definitely a gift of love, with all the time and effort I put into it and it reminded me of the happy times. I gave him the first blanket before any of the abuse started.

Everytime we broke up he would want the blanket I wouldn’t want to give it to him (because F that mother F’er he doesn’t get something I put so much time and effort into that’s not fair) but mostly it was an attachment item of his that I just never wanted to give up. I gave him the first (of 2 blankets) back in 2017.

I doubt he would ever connect these like I did but the night he broke the first blanket was the first night he broke my heart. We were in Colorado, I had BEGGED him not to take the blanket with him but he was adamant he wanted it and I BEGGED him to be careful with it. A road trip just isn’t the best place or a handmade blanket, but it was fairly sturdy so whatever I didn’t push it too much. That night we got drunk with his friend that we were staying with in Colorado and he tore it while being drunk and wrestling around with his buddy, they pulled on it and it ripped, there was no fixing the hole I tied it off well and kept it from unraveling but the damage was done. I could always see where it was torn and where the weak point was.

That night, also when he was drunk was the first time he called me a whore, a slut, a skank and told me I was lucky to have him, no one else wanted me. I told him if he ever talked to me that way again I would never speak to him again and he threatened to leave me in Colorado. HAH (I stayed another 2+ years through far worse than this but that was the first time he had cut me down like that and hurt me) Our relationship just like the blanket was never the same after that night. I tried to be brave and I even flirted with the bartender at the bowling alley that night, just to show [L] I could, he bought me drinks and asked me if I needed somewhere to stay the night. I played a brave face but I was terrified. I was surrounded by his friends, in a town I knew no one states away from home, with no way to get home, and he was threatening to leave me there. Just like the blanket I could never undo that initial hurt, and he now knew where my weak point was. He knew he could hurt me, he knew he had the power and I was at his mercy that night I had no choice but to put up with his words or be abandoned in a very scary situation, and that’s where it all started to unravel. The following years were all about knotting back together the frayed ends of our relationship as much as I could for as long as I could to try and pretend it wasn’t as broken as it really was. I still wonder if we hadn’t been in a strange town and I hadn’t been so powerless that night when he first verbally abused me if I would have stayed….. Would I have spent years knotting together a relationship? I truly can’t say.

Anyways, that was the first blanket. The second came after May of 2019….. By then the original blanket had holes the size of basketballs in it. Holes I had tied together and fixed with bits of yarn but once a crocheted blanket starts to unravel there is no fixing it completely (correct me if I’m wrong). I never found a way to weave it perfectly back together, one stitch seamlessly going into the next one row on top of another, I always felt a little like Frankenstein (yes the Doctor) trying to piece it back together. I still have the original blanket though, It’s in a box, I pull it out sometimes to cuddle it. But like our relationship it’s just not fit for this world anymore. It’s too fragile and broken so it usually stays in the box.

So, Back to May of 2019. [L] was sitting in Jail at this point. Felony assault with a weapon (there’s a whole separate post about this night) and I was healing from severe mental and physical trauma, and a broken heart. I looked at the blanket and decided I could start new, I could have a do-over. I started to remake this blanket, stronger this time the same stitch just slightly tweaked, It had vertical ribbing to help prevent the stretching and breaking that happened with the last blanket. This new blanket was therapeutic for me, It was calming a steady 4 count of stitches repeated over and over. The progress was slow. This blanket was the same size as the last but I tried (and ultimately failed) to make it narrower than the last, it actually turned out wider, like I said I was pretty concussed and the yarn was curling in on itself until there was enough bulk and weight behind it for it to lie flat. However, the goal was to make it narrower, I didn’t want him to be able to fit two people under it. I knew we were at the end, or I thought it was going to be the end at that point *spoiler alert-it wasn’t* so I wanted him to have a reminder of something he could hold and love but I didn’t want him to be able to share it with another girl. Petty I know, even in my healing and letting go I couldn’t imagine him sharing what was a labor of my love with someone else.

So this second blanket is beautiful, It’s perfect, it’s even better than the original– and Good God I did not know how sentimentally attached to these f***ing blankets I was until after I started writing, hence why they became a separate post– but they represent what things really were like vs how I wished they were, the relationship I had deluded myself into thinking I was in vs the real ugly reality of my home life. How I wanted it to be, how I hoped I/we could heal and be even better and stronger and more beautifully in love than before and the truth.

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