My Memos To The Void
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I fell in love with someone. He worked with me and i thought he was cute and funny.
It was a flurry of quick glances, giggles, flushed cheeks, butterflies, and going home to tell my roommates about all the "action" that happened at work. Granted, that action was usually a small conversation or simple standard interaction, but to infatuation it was a huge deal.
We finally started hanging out, started talking, i grew more and more attached to him and as our friendship grew my feelings for him did as well. I then made a mistake, I talked to my roommate and she devised a plan, perhaps we watched too much Gossip Girl together, but we schemed and I went along with it.
We decided to all drink together, to see if he would open up about his feelings. Plan in place, we invited him over. Lo-and-behold, in a drunken state, he decided to tell me how he felt, and placed a drunken kiss on my lips.
I felt awful already, and kept asking him, as he held on to me, if he was going to be okay with it all in the morning, he kept insisting he was fine and that he would be okay if i was, we fell asleep together on the futon. He woke up the next morning, moved to the other couch after a groggy "i'll be right back" but stayed on the couch. Time passed and he finally spoke up "man, i don't remember anything from last night at all."
My heart stopped for a moment, all of a sudden the shame-voice crept into my head "he didn't want you at all, he was just drunk and is embarrassed of you. You can never let him know what happened, you'll have to get a new job and move and avoid him."
I tried to ignore the obviously irrational voice and move on "oh, yeah well. that happens... you... don't remember... anything?"He shook his head no, and started going on about how he had to go running with his friend, i escorted him out and sat down on the couch, the sunlight illuminated the room beautifully. It was an ironic contrast to my heart and mind, i already had tears in my eyes. My roommate walked out all smiles expecting good news, saw my face, and stalled. I explained what happened, teary-eyed, because i thought there was no way he'd meant what he had said that night.
Eventually i called my friend because i was scared to work with him later that day, i didnt want to face him with my deep feelings and his rejection of me. She agreed to meet me for coffee. I explained the situation to her, and being as lovely as she is, she had advice for me.
See, shame tries to make life harder than it needs to be, and in this case it was fear-rooted. I didn't want to be rejected, rejection hearts and i was afraid of it and ashamed that i had let the night go how it had. Her answer to the situation was so simple: Communicate.
Often life is about facing our fears, and letting go of the shame that holds us down.
I sent him a text explaining what had happened, feeling rather brave in the moment. Time went by and my anxiety grew worse as work got closer and closer, eventually i got ready for work, walked in, and started my shift with him nowhere in sight. I was all nerves, i tried to pretend like i was enjoying work and feeling awesome but i felt absolutely sick.
He finally came to work, we were busy and all he said to me was "hey I'm sorry, I just got your text"
(that's all i heard)
One terrible shift later i sat at home and texted him asking if he had any actual feelings for me. He responded after what felt like and eternity, saying that because of the circumstances he'd have to take some time to figure out how he felt. He still wanted to be friends and keep going on as normal until he did, i happy obliged.
A week went by, in which i hung out with him as much as possible, I thought he forgot, i texted again, he told me he needed more time. A few weeks later he was watching netflix with me, on the other couch, and he finally said, quietly "I just wanted you to know. I have been thinking about it and i have feelings for you." I couldnt think, my world flip-flopped just like my heart did in that moment, all i said was "oh. sweet, thanks"
Then it was a blur of infatuation for three months, then i got paranoid, sadly, my longest relationships end around six months in. I started demanding more time, questioning how much he cared, wondering if he was going to end it all around every turn. I was insecure and it showed and made me a very unpleasant person to date. He delt with it with as much grace as he could but eventually it became too much, on that six month mark we took a break while i went to England. I spent the whole 9 hour plane ride listening to Eden, which is quite possibly the worst thing to listen to after a big fight, i cried for half the plane ride. When i finally got home, he picked me up.
He was as amazing as ever, i remember the sun setting and looking over at him in the golden light and thinking "this is it. this is my future. everything i could ever ask for"
There is something about him, he is beautiful, not in a feminine way just, looking at him is addicting almost, not even that anyone would necessarily stop in the streets to gaze upon him (though i know i would). His eyes were always pools of blues, greys, golds, silvers and greens. They were the stormy sea, or the stars when they first start appearing on the horizon still silvery. It was hard to tell what he was thinking, I've only ever seen tears in his eyes once. It hurt. Those tears weren't for me. I'm not sure they ever will be.
I started thinking about if i truly could build a life with him.
Eight months in to this relationship, it was work, things werent perfect anymore and i started noticing pet peeves, i had left my job for another one that i thought was a better opportunity. In reality, i was running. I was afraid of failing, i felt like i failed enough as it was, and the job was about to get harder. My new job, i hated it. I was never good enough, i never did things up to the standards my boss wanted, and it started to get to me. I started having anxiety attacks before work, i started flaking out, i failed to show up to shifts and i puked and called in as many times as humanly possible. until they had enough, i was fired.
The ultimate failure. And GOD the shame i felt. I panicked, I still had to pay rent, and gas, and groceries, and i had just let down several very important people in my life. Imagine having your big mistake publicly broadcast, then trying to turn to the only person you trusted to be there and love you through it, and getting anger instead. He had asked me what happened, i was embarrassed and i didnt know how to deal with his anger at that moment. I told him "yell at me later"
An argument ensued, he said he needed time to think, and suddenly i was alone. I wasn't physically alone but, without him talking to me i felt void. I felt scared. He had tried to help, and i wasn't help-able. I felt sick, i had pushed away one of the few people who had tried for me. Who had truly been on my team. he told me that if i didnt figure it out, within a week, he would leave.
He faded away, didnt leave, but just wasnt fully there. I remember staying up late crying, praying for things to work out.
I found a job within 4 days, started therapy, got on medicaid, and finally got a doctors appointment, as if proving myself to be worthy. I was proud of myself, definitely, but everything i did was a gigantic question mark.
"Am I worth love yet?"
Even in writing this, i guess i never really realized that, until seeing it in front of me like that.
I guess I was. I moved during that period, and things were amazing for three months. Then I made a huge mistake. I had gotten drunk with a male coworker.
We were all at a party, in a group, and everyone else started going to bed. It's hard to say this, I have never been blackout drunk, i still think I wasnt fully blackout drunk just... missing pieces. What i can remember is laying on the ground, I guess i was dizzy, and he came to lie down with me. I remember being repeatedly asked if i wanted to move to a room with him, I'm guessing i said no because he kept asking. I remember somehow ending up in a room, so i guess eventually i relented. I remember him talking about having a condom "in case" and i remember what im assuming was right after, sitting on the edge of a bed, numb.
I drove drunk that night, I've done that once before, when everyone at a party was doing cocaine. I didn't care, at the time, what happened. It was a dark, horrible, gross moment. I stood in the shower the next morning, and scrubbed my skin red. I felt disgusting.
Not only had i done something I would've never done sober, and even single I'd regret that kind of behavior... but I had dome something that i knew would hurt my love. I had put myself and others in danger that night, and put my job at risk. Most of all i betrayed trust. I cant, and wont, hide behind being drunk, it was abhorrent behavior, and again, shame-bearing.
I destroyed myself that night.
When i told him, he didnt yell, he didnt hit me, he didnt cuss at me, his eyes held no fury, I cried and he only showed love. I WANTED him to yell, i wanted to be hit, cussed at, i wanted what i deserved, but he withheld. I didnt deserve it.
Mercy was worse than any physical punishment I could've ever received. He really loved me.
I moved again, running from that mistake, still controlled by that shame of that night. I didn't get hate from him, so I gave it to myself. I quit my job, moved, started over, thinking it would heal everything. But it couldnt heal what was in my heart.
I look at myself and dont see worth. I wonder if i ever really did. I want to, god, i really do, but its hard to know myself and think i am worthy. I am still a question mark, asking if i am worth love, trying to strive, and work, and sweat, and cry, and bend over backwards, and walk on eggshells; maybe I will be worth love one day. Maybe if i try my damnedest. If im skinnier, if im funnier, if im sexier, if im smarter, if i try hard enough. I started living in disordered thought. I started living by the rules of shame, "be better" constantly repeating inside my head. I made it hard for anyone to love me, maybe i was punishing myself.
Eventually he broke up with me. And i remember as soon as i heard the reluctant "we should talk" my world flip-flopped all over again, instead of my heart jumping with the immense joy that hope gives, i swear to god i heard a crack.
suddenly it was all out of control. Like my mind, screaming at me so I couldnt hear anything else. "told you you weren't good enough! you didn't try hard enough! you were never loved! you were always a pity case!" I tried. I begged to talk about it and work everything out but he refused, and he walked away.
He took the air with him.
He took my senses. He took everything i thought i knew. I dont remember all that much, I know i had picked myself up off the ground in the parking lot, started screaming, pounding my fists against my car, there are dents in it still. I locked my keys inside, and suddenly realized that he was the only person I had relied on in so long I had no idea who else to call. I left a voice message, im sure i sounded insane. Long story short, things ended up with me in the car, i refused to ride to the hospital in an ambulance, they advised me against driving, I sat for a good few hours. I smoked a whole brand-new pack of cigarettes right then, i didnt care, and if he didnt then nothing would stop me from destroying myself.
I finally finished my last cigarette. Nothing left to distract me, i called a mental hospital. I explained to them that i was scared to go home because i thought i wouldnt be safe with myself, i didnt know what else to do. i started driving that way, my friend texted me. I never went to the mental hospital, i talked to her instead.
The worst part was I coudlnt paint him into a horrible monster. My past relationships were abusive, manipulative, they did things that hurt me deeply, and held things againt me. but my love? he was always kind, he cared, he loved, he granted mercy, he smiled at me, and gave me kisses on the forehead, he held me when i cried, he made me feel like maybe i wasn't worthless. until the end, where even his love didnt help me not feel worthless. I was convinced, no amount of selfless care, love, or compassion could've changed my mind. But that wasnt his fault, and he still handled my lack of self-love with grace. He was always amazing. He will never stop being amazing.
I stayed with her that night, I laid in her guest room, the last time i looked at the clock it was 4 am. i woke up at 6. I tried to go to church, maybe God would have the answers, I sat outside listening to them play worship, I couldn't pretend i was okay going in. I got on tinder and tried to distract myself, i went on a date, but couldnt get into it. His eyes didnt shine the same, they didnt crinkle when he smiled, he didnt make dumb puns, or talk about nerdy games. I left feeling deflated. I spent three hours that afternoon trying to get strength to go into the mental hospital. When i finally did they told me they didnt admit anyone til mondays. night grew nearer, i had spent the majority of my day driving, trying not to think, but when the sun went down i had to face going home alone, to the bed we had spent many nights in, and hold the stuffed animal he had bought for me, and try to scare away dreams of him. I couldnt do it.
The next big shame. I arranged a hookup, hoping maybe he'd hold me the way my love did. maybe I was just afraid of being alone and not of losing him. I hoped.
I got there, we hooked up, the whole time i choked back tears. I wasnt being touched in love, I couldnt look him in the eyes, he didnt kiss the way my love did, he didnt ask if what he was doing was okay, he didnt ask how i was after, i was just an object. Immediately after he packed me into the car and sent me on the way. I couldnt handle it.
I tried to turn on worship, again thinking maybe God somehow would love me. But all i could think of was how dirty i was, how disgusting my heart was, my soul was a mess, I could never stand in front of a beautiful and perfect God and expect love.
I screamed, I screamed bloody murder, going 110 down the interstate, I screamed so loud, so mournfully, that i scared myself for a moment. My throat was tearing to shreds, I kept screaming even as my voice would cut out, nothing would shut the thoughts out of my head. I gripped the steering wheel as hard as i could and thought about what would happen, where would actually kill me and what would simply hurt me, I thought about if i wanted to die or if i wanted to feel the pain, I couldnt decide, but I scared myself because if i broke my car and survived... I'd be in debt, with no car, stuck. I would've worried my mom. I gritted my teeth, shaking, forcing myself to slow down and drive along the road.
I got home. I went up to my room. There it was, the bed we used to share. The stuffed animal I loved that he had gotten for me. I laid down, everyone else was asleep. the house was so quiet. I sat in my bed, worn out. I watched time go by, minute by minute, and just thought. It was as if i was being haunted, everything i saw reminded me of him, even my pet peeves were missed. I couldnt fix the sheet on my bed, i used to yell at him to do it all the time because it annoyed me so much. Now i just stared at it, it was as if it was unhinged from the corner of the bed just to be unruly, just to hurt me.
I used to shake my legs, and say i was dancing, he soon would say "are you dancing?" jokingly, with a cute half smile. He used to catch me looking at his eyes "what colour are they right now?"
I couldnt stop my thoughts. still.
I couldnt stop remembering.
again, i broke. I sobbed into my pillow, feeling guilty for going on a date, for sleeping with someone, for even attempting to even think about anyone else when he was the one i loved so deeply. The only person who cared when i cried? Him. In the middle of the night, the only one who would understand and listen, but i couldnt call him.
We had a long talk the next day, he had reached his own breaking point and decided to try and talk things out, and we did. We got back together after what felt like three days of living hell.
Things were good, we had date nights, watched tv together, laid in the grass and laughed together, we had what i like to call movie moments. Those iconic moments where everything felt so right, and beautiful, and things felt different. I stopped questioning. I moved again, to my final home, and he visited every weekend. It was october, time for my birthday, he had gotten us tickets to a concert for it and I was beyond excited to go with him.
The concert was fantastic, I remember every detail, he hugged my waist and kissed me gently the whole time, singing along with me, smiles were plastered on our faces as if permanent.
The concert ended, we were fully aware that we were the sickening couple, always holding hands, always touching, as close as they could be, his coat draped over my shoulders. We were aware, but we didn't give a damn, as we ran down the street and bought fries at a burger stand and a milkshake to split, it felt like we were the only two people in the whole world, the only people who mattered at that time.. We drove home and the endless hours of the night melted away far to quickly as we shared the time together.
I had prayed for a relationship like this. My whole life. Someone who would just be happy to laugh with me, go to movies, see concerts, grab fast food and still somehow find it being romantic.
Even with all that, I still had never gotten flowers. It seems silly to fixate on, but after both my roommates had gotten flowers from their boyfriends of way less than a year, i couldnt stop wishing maybe someone would find me worth them. He kept telling me that he was saving them, for a really big and important gesture. My mind always went to 'proposal'
"I had a bad day at work" My voice cracked over the phone, he comforted, I somehow hoped to find some. none.
Time passed and I found myself in a conversation with my friend Josiah, talking about how good God was, how he was hoping to get married, but its so hard to find good christian people out there...
I had prayed.
and I heard the voice in my heart, softly, gently, whispering.
You can't go on like this. You know this isn't it.
I was in denial. This perfect and beautiful relationship we worked so hard on? It couldn't end, no, I have free will and i fully intend on using it.
two days before my birthday (And a few after the concert) he calls me, he tells me he has to go out of town for work. He left the morning after my birthday.
I resolved to be okay with it, to use it for growth, i threw myself into work and pretended like I wasn't missing him.
I had hoped he would get me flowers for my birthday, I asked for them, or when he got back in a month, neither happened.
I was always missing him, and I had so many bad days where he got phone calls from my broken 'I've just been crying' voice. Work was awful, he was my main sounding board, but i was trying to grow more independent. Sometimes that was hard, sometimes I only wanted, ever, to be held.
When we first started dating I had anxiety attacks often, after one particular
one I remember saying "I love being in your arms.... it makes me feel... you know... safe, happy.... and loved"
He was always a deeply feeling person "alright, lets remember that, any time you are ever in my arms... you are safe, happy, and loved."
From that night on, any time I was depressed, sick, or had anxiety, he would "make me a sushi" (curl me into a blanket burrito) and wrap me in his arms, repeatedly telling me the words I had originally spoken to him. They still have a special place deep within my heart.
He came back for good, a few good weeks passed, Christmas was coming up and my mother had bought him a gift, I knew he would love it. I was excited to see him right after christmas, to finally kiss his beautiful face, and share stories of my family and listen to him gush about his.
And finally, three days after christmas, it snapped. I had been hearing the nagging voice louder and louder, I knew it had to happen... sobbing, I called him, he was so sweet, he was helping me calm down, and breathe, and was very obviously concerned... which made my guilt worse.
This was attempt number one.
I called back 20 minutes later, he kept asking what was going on... "My only guess as to why youre so upset and dont want to tell me.... is you might be pregnant.... ?"
My heart was getting more heavy with every sweet, loving, kind, and unsuspecting word he said. I was blindsiding him, he more expected me to propose than to break his heart... I have never found anything harder to do than to force myself to talk about the subject at hand in that moment.
I told him we needed to talk about religion. See, every time I had talked to anyone about God, I felt a pain in my heart, knowing that I'd rather love a man than the God I said i served...
I tried to see if we could compromise, if somehow I could avoid losing him...
But he was too stubborn, he wouldn't let me lose an important part of myself such as religion.
He said he wouldn't be associated with the emotional abuse of me keeping my religion from him because i didn't want to hurt him or make him uncomfortable.
I knew it wouldn't change, i knew once i had said it that i had made the choice real, solid, and unmovable.
I haven't stopped loving him. He came over to get his gift, and stayed over to hold me again. He handed me my stuffed animal, that i cherished for well over a year.
In another "movie moment" (this one beyond indescribably sad) he said
"Any time you hold him, rather than being held by me, know you are, and always will be.... safe, happy, and loved"
I sobbed so hard, and then I realized he, himself, was sobbing.
remember how I said i had never seen my love cry? How i never thought even his teary eyes would be for me?
This time he sobbed, his heart was being shattered, and it made it worse for me. Now i wanted to fix it, now i really wanted that change that we both knew we couldn't have.
He loved me.
He loves me.
I love him.
We still love each other.
Sometimes... Sometimes, in our small perspectives, it seems love won't win.
In all honesty, it feels as if it won't. It feels as if I will hurt forever, but, maybe in a year I will be back writing an even greater love story, perhaps this same one, after some careful character development.
I will not be able to tell you now, because this is the careful, painful, and raw ending of this narrative...
As for now....I don't really actually remember how long its been, but I know there were things that needed fixed, signs i ignored, and I should grow up and try to move forward instead of letting myself be held back by hurt.
I need someone who, like my love, will take care of me when I'm sick, give me forehead kisses, bring me surprise smoothies at work... but also will pray with me, grow my relationship with God, and maybe, just once, bring me flowers.
As for now I will hope, and believe that love finds a way, somehow it perseveres, somehow it wins, even in endings, even in pain, even in darkness, and especially when you don't see it coming.
I am not a question mark, I am an answer.
I deserve good things, I deserve flowers.
And maybe I'll find a new love, maybe an old one, but I will find love.