Here I am, this soul that lives inside a sack of meat, blood, flesh and bones. A floating brain that drifts and wanders through life. What am I? Who am I? Will I ever really know?
I’m beyond somber today. Today is a day of reflection, a day of loneliness and confusion. A day to remember that all things end.
This day one year ago, is when I finally landed back on the west coast from the east coast.
I sit here in almost disbelief, wondering how the time went by so fast. And yet in the moments that suffocated me so, they felt like an eternity.
How do I look someone in the eye and tell them I’m doing just fine? How do I tell them while trying my hardest not to choke on my tears that one year ago today I was finally free? That it took me 4 days to drive nearly 2,000 miles away to my salvation? How do I tell someone that even though I’m healing, my heart is still breaking? As if I was human, to feel these things… To be understood. And yet, I feel alone in these thoughts and feelings that drown me.
Surrounded by these four walls now, I’m doing my best to keep my mind focused on typing these words, and carefully wiping my tears away that fall on the keyboard.
I’ve survived so much, there’s no denying that. But throughout this last year, it’s been me running away from the feelings that I thought I had left behind in Philadelphia. The very feelings that pushed me and my belongings out of the front door on. The feelings that encompassed me, stared me down like a hungry wolf, captured me and tried to kill me… Those feelings followed me home. And in the name of “progress,” I’ve done my best to ignore those feelings because they held me down, they were feelings I needed to leave behind in order to heal. But you can’t run from your problems, they always follow you, no matter where you go.
I thought that shaking them off and pretending I left them behind, it would become real and I would have healed and forgotten them. When I woke up this morning, I thought it would be another day. I tried to pretend.
I sat in therapy today, talking about how dull and boring my life has become. Then I mentioned something that happened before Christmas. I learned something about K. I learned a mutual friend moved in with him late last year, and I only just found out through that friends Instagram Story. I played it and there was a white cat. A white cat I could never forget, a face I could recognize over a hundred other white cats. I suddenly drowned in a sea of confusion, hurt, and anger. I don’t know why I felt so strongly about this. My therapist wondered the same, and so we began slowly unraveling it. But by the time I mentioned this, it was nearing the end of our session. And as I answered her, the tears began to pool inside my eyes… Something that hasn’t happened in sometime. And in this moment, I realized I had, in fact, been repressing THOSE feelings I thought I left behind. I haven’t.
I’ve been trying to fill the void that is my life with things, people, distractions- anything to avoid thinking of him and the train wreck of a relationship we had together. I told myself time and time again, “You have healed because you are not in Philly anymore. You’re all better now. There isn’t anything wrong. There is no reason to feel pain. It’s over.” So obviously that’s a chapter closed, right? It’s in the past, therefore it is useless to reflect back on and think and linger on it too long. There’s no use to look back. He’s gone, it’s all gone. It doesn’t exist anymore.
God, I wanted to believe it so hard that it would just be over.
But here I am. Staring into these white walls, as if K is going to appear from the wall and look me dead in the eye and tell me how fucked up I am, and what I did was so fucked up, and how could I be so cruel to leave him alone when he just loved me so fucking much. And I’ll be sitting there, overwhelmed and confused and choking on my words that he’s already twisted because the truth wasn’t good enough.
All I did was love you… But you still wanted me lower, until I had nothing else but you. Just like you did. You had no one but me. You said, not for the first time, “Please don’t leave. Everyone left me. Don’t be like them, please… I love you. Are you really gonna let this be the end of us? Are we really over? Just tell me it’s over and you don’t love me anymore…”
And even though part of me wanted to surrender again for the hundredth time, I knew this time was finally different. Because I knew that love wasn’t enough. It never was enough. I was never enough, as badly as I wanted to be. He wanted something more, so he tore inside me in search of something that would appease him. But I laid torn and empty, my broken pieces lying on the floor as he left me there.
If I stayed, nothing would change. And I finally saw through the pain, the turmoil, the trauma. I had to leave. I had to save myself. But I never thought if he saved himself after I left. I couldn’t bear to think about it… I can’t bear to think of it now. The tears are coming again.
What if I was just so easy to brush off? Just like an insect on a windshield? What if all the effort and love I poured out of myself into what we were was for nothing? What if it’s just me suffering, dying over and over, trying to heal this sick part of me that refuses to mend? And he’s there, living just another day as if I never existed, and it’s genuine? What if he’s genuinely okay?
It’s not fair when I think about it. It’s not fair that he gets let off so easily. It’s not fair that all my suffering was felt in vain and he has washed his hands clean. It’s not fair that I’m in this well of emotion, and I can’t seem to scale these stone walls into the sunlight. I gave him my all, and for all I know, this was nothing to him and he doesn’t feel a goddamn thing anymore.
But it’s none of my business anymore. His journey of moving on and healing doesn’t concern me, as does mine not concern him. But I lie awake and wonder why I’m still choking on these feelings.
I don’t want to admit it to anyones face. Because I know I will crumple over the very things I’ve been trying to forget. I’ll stumble over my thoughts and words, too confused to be comprehendible. This isn’t something everyone experiences, so how could I ever articulate the wave of emotions I have felt and still feel?
But my heart is still breaking, and I can’t deny that the the Amy from the past is still in there––lying alone in bed, wishing K would come and comfort her fix her from the mess they’ve created––waiting to slap a bandaid on the wound that would never heal, and continue our day as if this was just normal. It became normal. The pain was unescapable. I guess we ran out of bandaids after some time.
I’ve become a statistic. And a year later, I’m aware of the remorse a victim feels for their abuser; longing to reach out and tell them they’ve made a terrible mistake, that their love will always prevail, and they’ll be reunited and they’ll be so much better than before, and that it’ll never happen again… But it always happens again.
A year later, and I’m now wondering if the pain will ever fade away. I’m wondering if it’s going to be like this forever, if my wounds will ever heal and these emotions will leave me alone.
The bridge of sanity in my mind is collapsing again. A heavy fog has taken over, and my eyes are empty. My heart… it has been left for dead to those ghosty wolves of the past.
Another year has gone by without you, and I’m still a little broken.
But I won’t admit this to you.