Sunday, June 22, 2014

Surge of Memories

"When will it stop hurting?"
"When will I get over this?"
"I don't know...."
"I just want you to know that no one will ever add up to us."

I didn't know what to say to those aching words popping up on my screen.
It would have been six years that we were together and even now I feel the heaviness inside of me.
I was seventeen going on eighteen that summer and my first love had dumped me.
That summer I was working for a landscaping and on this particular 97 degree July day it was a particularly stubborn set of bushes coming out at a gas station.
There he was, walking up to me.
"You look like you could use a bottle of water."
Blushing under the clear sky, shyly taking it from him, a nervous thanks coming out.
A few days later he came back to the job site to ask me for my number.
He would later lament that he should never had bought me a water when we'd get into another fight.
He thought I was older, while he was twenty-three.
I can't believe it sometimes. he was the age I am now. At the time he was mysterious, cute, and we seemed to have some things in  common.
His personality was dark, carrying a lot of sadness.
But mine could provide enough sunshine for the both of us.

I watched it crumble and I didn't care because I was so unhappy, but the minute I thought it was going to, I clung to it with all my might.
"If you're so unhappy, go!" he'd say, but when I finally did, he got on his knees to beg me to stay.
I didn't expect the tears because it's been a year since we were together and even longer since we functioned well as a couple anyway.
It was just so heavy...
Remembering the night I understood for the first time that I was seeing a drug addict.
Laying in his bed on his side, becoming unresponsive from a drug overdose,
Only to wake up and vomit into a bowl by his bed.
I was seventeen, naive, and scared.
The police came to hospitals with an overdose patient, didn't they?
Jumping into the car, I rushed to Walmart and bought some soup and anti-nausea medicine because somehow a cocaine overdose had to be like the stomach flu.
Begging him to drink the water, making soup and trying to hide the medicine in it.
He ended up having to pour it out because I put too much in.
Laying naked in the tub with the spray of the shower on him,
I, standing vigilant from the counter.
He loved water, loved a hot bath or a hot shower. Soothed him.
He would later tell me that I had saved him from a few overdoses.
I hated that bed of his with the thin, red blanket in the creepy old house.
Curled around him as he shook, so thin.
Scared. Praying to God that he wouldn't die.
I swear to this day that something dark lived in that house, the darkness feeling heavy and oppressive.
I hated his Chuckie doll that he claimed was a collector's item and the people that would come to his house that he would collect money from for selling them weed.
He swore too much and we couldn't view the world the same but somehow he grew on me.

We loved to eat Chinese by his big fish tank and would play Call of Duty late into the night.
I look back now and can't believe all that happened with us.
I see the time he was high and I was home for the weekend, bored, and he took me to the gas station to try my first scratch tickets.
I picture that winter before he was arrested and ache.
So many things that should have been taken back but you can't because time doesn't stop.
I wish I had done so many things differently, or maybe had left earlier, but I loved him.
No one else seemed to see the good in him but I did.
I saw the good and the hurt and I tried to run with it, far away.
I think of the times he would make me hot coco and we'd watch movies or play video games, cuddled with our dogs.
I think of how he hated that I would watch the Food Network before bed and how I hated that he would fall asleep early and wake me up before 9.
Always with a cup of coffee and a kiss in hand.
There were the summer camping trips and after work trips to the lake.
The time we woke up at six in the morning and walked to the other side of the island on the lake with birds quietly standing to gawk at us, then in a flurry of wings, flying up around us.
It was beautiful.
Dates to the Japanese restaurant and surprise sundresses because he knew I loved them.
The times we would buy different bottles of wine to try and would save the corks, maybe marking the tops with a black "X" if we felt especially lustful after having a few glasses.
Rides on his motorcycle, late night rides to get snacks, and late nights waiting for him to come home in the end.
Fights that ended in tears and words I wish I could take back.

I'm sorry, I didn't know what else to do. I just wanted to be happy...
I love you. I still love you. You're forever in my heart.
I don't know when it will stop hurting because every now and then I ache too.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fear as a Temporary

It sounds sort of melodramatic to think about the temporary nature of this life.
I don't know if it was never ending pay out for various bills,
Standing in the grocery store aisle with my hand on my hips foregoing the Captain Crunch and wine for $0.78 cans of tuna and plain Greek yogurt to go with my value bag of apples,
Or the fact that I would rather stay home to watch Netflix with my hair in some form of crappy ponytail sans makeup and expectations than go out
But it's already June again and I can't help but realize that we have but a blink, just like they said.
I suppose that's silly because being 23 means that the sky is the limit.
Or $30 at the grocery store.
Or 1:30 AM because I'm tired and I need to get up by 9:30 to make sure I make it to the gym and still get chores around the house done before work.
Or the amount of bullshit ('scuse me) you're willing to put up with from the people in your daily life.
It's not a bad thing to lay in bed at night thinking about how you can be a better person because we all can improve a little bit.
It's not bad to be broke for a little while because it teaches you to be ingenious, grateful, not ready to settle, and to share with the people you love.
It's not bad to be busy because it teaches you to revel in the quiet moments and make the most of everything in between.
I don't have any zen knowledge that anyone else hasn't found already but it's strange to be here, to be at the point where nothing is terrible.
For once, I'm out of the fire.
Sometimes I get angry because I'm paying for the aftermath of several difficult experiences now.
I stopped wanting to be tough and hide my emotions and pretend I was okay because that's not functional in the real world.
As soon as you stop feeling fat post eating disorder and stop hating yourself post sexusl abuse you're left with these sticky feelings like shame and anger.
Because normal isn't an exact science but healthy is.
I'm constantly confronted with the realization that I live my life based on fear.
Fear of failure.
Fear of rejection.
Fear of being vulnerable.
Fear I won't be good at something.

I'm looking out the car window because I'm terrible at looking at someone when they show me who I am.
"You tell me why you're special."
"You're my boyfriend! You should know!"
"See? You don't even think you are."
"What if you shoot me down? I don't want you to ruin it by disagreeing with me."
"You never gave me the chance! Maybe I do think you're the best but you never even gave me the chance. That's your problem. You always live in fear. I'm so sick of you being that way. You know what you want but you're never assertive enough in any area of your life."
We settled the argument soon after.
I wanted to cry because he was right.
He's always right.
He told me that I need to stop making choices based on the worry that the relationship is going to fail, like anything I do is going to fail or it will.
All my life that's what I did.
That's when I realized.

Frustrated incident after frustrated incident I ask myself where my voice is?
Why did I let that person take advantage of me?
Why didn't I just say what I meant?
Why did I apologize after I stood up for myself?
Why wasn't I more confident?
Why does he still want to be with me if I'm not the confident and independent woman I should be yet?

When I said I was paying for the mistakes I meant literally, that is, if I want to get help.
If not, I have to just experiment with counseling techniques as I learn them in class because I'm already paying to learn to be a counselor.
I just wish I could afford to see one...
How do you fix your poor attachment learned in early childhood by the relationship with your parents?
How do you break through the glass ceiling and be more confident and have better self-esteem post emotional and sexual abuse?
How do you put aside deep seeded shame?
How do you push the limit?
Or maybe it just doesn't exist.
(Yes, I went Mean Girls reference. :D)

There's an awful lot of people with terrible backgrounds walking around being successful.
There's plenty of people having good relationships, healthy ones even, post trauma.
Not all of us are debilitated by it, maybe just distrustful when you see a female name on the text screen as you walk by.
Maybe just insecure because he think that girl doing power cleans over there has great thighs.
Maybe hurt when he goes to see a friend and doesn't offer to take you or introduce you.
Maybe just needy sometimes.
Maybe just jealous other times.
But you can still carry out your life and can still be intimate, even though being truly intimate and vulnerable is a learning experience similar to that of a giraffe trying to walk on stilt legs.
But hey, the giraffe always learns to walk eventually.

Life is temporary and some people are better at it than others but no matter what, try.
Maybe there's nothing magic about leaving the grocery stuff with five bags of stuff for only $30.
Maybe there's no magic about not being insecure about your relationship or body for once.
Maybe there's no magic about getting a good breakfast, working out, eating a good lunch, then making it to your job.
I think there could be.
If you're surviving and you're trying to thrive then I think there is magic.
We don't have a lot of time.
I don't want to waste it being afraid.