Tuesday, September 27, 2011

And Then You Realize You Never Changed At All

It was February 14, 2008 when Mr. First explained over the phone and through our tears that maybe it'd be best for me if we ended the relationship. That I needed to focus on myself for a while so I could feel better and find happiness - even if it meant alongside someone else someday. That it was tearing him apart that no matter how hard he tried, I just couldn't smile anymore. When the phone call ended, I felt like my whole world had just fallen to pieces beneath me. I wanted the bed to close in on me and swallow me whole, I couldn't sink deep enough into it.

Slowly but eventually the spinning stopped, I regained some sense of balance, and then I met A.

That night three years ago replayed in my head as I sat sobbing on A.'s floor at two in the morning, my mind slowly spiraling out of control. It was as if my boyfriends secretly get the same script upon meeting me, to read from once things inevitably get stormy.

"I don't know how else I can help you," he whispered in the dark. "I'd hoped you'd be the one, too."

Last night I not only cried out of pity and for the self-hatred that surges uncontrollably within me, but I also cried for A., for letting us fall in love when it feels like I'm still so far from being fine. I cried from the realization that no matter how much time has passed or how much distance is between the previous relationship and this one, at the end of the night, I'm still me, this same mess I've grown into. The floorboards were unforgiving as I doubled over, shaking my head, refusing to believe that I was here again. All these years and here again.

I might not be a child growing up under the ignorant wrath of tough love anymore, but even though I'm an adult, with a life all her own, and surrounded by people who love her, I still devalue and see myself as I did back then: jittery and paranoid, unsure and made overly sensitive from decades of intense emotions. One little criticism from someone who matters to me, someone for whom I have this need to please in order to feel worthy, and it creates a wound so sick it quickly metastasizes through my brain.

No one can know how it feels to be inside my head, but it tore my heart to see how I was slowly breaking his. I can't blame A. if he couldn't stick around as I fought through my self-destruction, I told him, but God how it hurt when I saw just how close to the edge we really were. All I could do was hold onto him with all I had, scared that if I let him go now he'd fly away, too. So we sat there on the floor, forehead-to-forehead, the room still too dark to see each other's eyes.

"I can't do this anymore," I told his silhouette. "I feel crazy. It hurts...I feel terrible."

We talked about the need for progress, turning to professional help again, and how I have to love myself more than I do now. When we ran out of words to say to each other, we went to bed, exhausted, and with my hand firmly grasping his.

"I need to know there's a light at the end of this tunnel," he said this morning. "I need you to stop hating yourself. I need you to stop hurting yourself. No excuses or falling because it's easy."

"I thought you were done last night..." I said.

"I thought so, too, but you're worth it so please tell me what it is I can do to help you. I want to believe that you can fight through this. I'm going to be wishing really, really hard."

Image: flickr.com


  1. *Hugs*

    Sigh. The smartest of people find their mental maze to be nearly impossible to find the exit to... and to escape.

    Your mind can be your biggest asset - and your biggest drawback.

    Somehow you have to find a way to let yourself be free - no one else can do it - your mind will not "hear them".

    But I don't know how - I've never succeeded myself.

  2. You. Woman. Should call. In fact, we just might set up a nightly session from 10-10:30 your time. I'm dead serious.

    Life is too damn short to be stuck in something that you can push out of your way. Just shove it, girl, and kick it in the ass. It's just LIFE...that's all it is. And we're only given one. It's a simple, beautiful thing to be part of....

    Join me. :)

  3. Oh, honey. I have been there, done that, had my heart broken, and wondered the same thing, "did every guy in my area get an e-mail from the ex?!?"

    I can't tell you what to do or how to do it. Everyone is different. Therapy? Done it. Anxiety Meds? Yep, did those, too. Time away? Yes. Self reflection? Uh huh. Girl, I've done it. I get it. I know how it feels.

    I'm still a work in progress.
    I'm not perfect or "healed".
    But I'm with someone--like you are--who accepts me for me, faults and all. God love him.

    Continue to talk.
    Continue to work through it.
    You'll make it. :)

  4. I can't help with adbice here, but I wanted to offer some hugs...

    *Hugs, hugs, hugs, hugs, hugs*

    ... And also say that I'm glad that A is willing to try and see you through it. I hope you can get through this without suffering the heartache you had to suffer before.

  5. *big, big hugs*

    you are beautiful and worthy of love, my friend. take it easy.

  6. That is a tell-tale sign that things are good. You drag the bad out into the middle of the room, you address it, you beat it to death, cry over it, and then wake up the next morning seeing you made it through the night together. I was perusing your old posts and found your Bob Marley poem with the photo of the man in the bed. Look it over again I would suggest to you.

    No couple is perfect all the time. If you weathered this storm I definitely think you can weather the rest as well.

    My husband and I had a very similar 1 hour "Let's break up, this isn't working out, did we just break up? Are we crazy? This is too good not to fight for." kind of moment during our courtship. Seven years now into our marriage, I thank God every day that we didn't let it go back then.

    Hang in there mama. I'm pulling for both of you - separately and together.

    My best, Lynn

  7. Wow. I know I'm a little late here, but I'm thinking of you!


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