I just wanted to crawl into my bed, in my tiny cold room, at 7am and fall asleep and wake up and realize that it never happened. Realize that it was some sick, twisted nightmare my subconscious had concocted to ward me away from my impending danger, my own fatal ignorance. There was no possible way that it could have been true. That kind of thing didn’t happen to people like me. I’m young, and educated (moreso than the average American, anyway). I don’t reside in a trailer park, in Kentucky somewhere. I’m not on welfare (yet). The numbers just didn’t add up. And they had to add up for this to be anything other than some cold nightmare. But I knew I would awaken, sometime in the late afternoon on this terrible Saturday, and find the shiny gold sheriff’s badge stickers left behind by the cops, as a sort of empathetic parting gift I suppose. I knew I would find my eyes puffy and my cheeks streaked black from crying. And most saddening of all, I knew I would find the little tender swell on the side of my temple, still throbbing with pain, complaining of abuse the night before. The physical pain was annoying, the emotional immeasurable. The screaming that carried on after he had struck me frightened me more than the actual hit. I just remember screaming, at the top of my lungs, for several minutes straight. The streetlights all blurred into one beautifully tragic mosaic and I sat screaming, hands tight on the steering wheel, foot smashed hard on the gas. I needed to get him away from me, and the car offered that little bit of control. I drove him all the way to his car, because that was the polite thing to do of course, and only after he had turned the corner in his car and left my sight did I realize how badly I was shaking. I could barely keep my foot on the brake, and my left hand began to go numb. I started to feel sorry for myself and considered how pathetic a girl I must be to put myself in situations such as this. and then the crying began. And it wouldn’t stop. And I knew it wouldn’t stop for awhile, a long time. Would it ever stop, I wondered. After all of the therapy I had undergone, how far would this set me back. As much as I knew I should hate him, I felt pity most of all. I wondered if the cops had found their way to his place yet. I wondered if his wrists had found their way into cuffs. I felt bad for probably having disturbed his parents’ sleep with this nonsense. I felt bad for ruining their image of him, for bringing undeserving chaos into their lives. I felt bad for keeping my amazing friends and sisters awake all night to “be there for me.” Most of all I felt bad for myself, for feeling bad for all of these things, all of these things that should be insignificant compared to the emotional trauma I would have to deal with. It made me angry to realize how neglectful I had been to myself and my feelings. After being “battered” by an ex-boyfriend, I was still more concerned over my best friend’s hurt feelings over a comment this ex-boyfriend made earlier in the night, or with all of my friends’ disturbed sleep. I still wanted to make sure that everyone else was okay, that they were entertained by cracking a joke, or that they were not too tired to drive home. I felt tense waiting for the cops to file the report because I was worried they would all grow impatient with me. I looked to my big sis and realized that she would never apologize for keeping people up late after something this drastic happened to her and it made me envy her assertiveness. Maybe my unassertiveness was what got me into this mess to begin with. Maybe it was my spontaneous, unexpected assertiveness. I wasn’t sure what the cause was, but I had an uneasy feeling that it had something to do with me. It had to be my fault. If I had refused his invitation to go out from the beginning this wouldn’t have happened. If I hadn’t invited my best guy friend, this wouldn’t have happened. If I hadn’t chosen to ride in the car alone with him, this wouldn’t have happened. If I would have used better judgment, and more assertiveness, and less ignorance, and better planning, and less lying, none of this would have ever happened.
"The one good- the only good- thing about depression is that it always ends."
-Irvin Yalom, Love’s Executioner
"How disquieting to realize that reality is illusion, at best a democratization of perception based on participant consensus."
-Irvin D. Yalom in Love’s Executioner
I felt so guilty for letting you go to the bathroom to throw up. The alcohol was clouding me and I didn’t even realize that that was probably what you were doing until he pointed out how long you had been gone. And then it hit me and I remembered your blog posts of late and the unlikely chocolate chip pancakes and the weight loss. How could I be so oblivious, so stupid? I immediately shoved him out of my way to rush to save you from Ed. I wasn’t exactly sure how I might go about doing that, but I figured the alcohol could take care of that. But before I could even get out of the booth, you were coming back and I was feeling the most peculiar form of guilt. I know that it’s not my responsibility, and I know that there’s probably little that I could do. But fuck if I’m not going to try. It was all too familiar to me, and it made me sick. I’ve even thrown up at Blueberry Hill for Christ’s sake. I know that feeling. The feeling of when Ed creeps up, in public. And you have to be so quiet while you puke up your guts because god forbid anyone hears you. And you have to be quick about it or else people will notice. And you have to wipe away the tears from your cheeks and the bile from your hands and go back out into the world like nothing happened, like everything is fine and you enjoyed your pancakes, just like everyone else, right? Yeah, I know the feeling. And it kills me to see you or anyone else feel it too. So, when he was gone and we were in the car alone, I knew I had to ask you about it, to try to help you. But the alcohol took over again and nothing came out right and I felt even more unhelpful than before. So, I’ve decided to blog about it, partly because I love writing about this stuff because I hope that it helps someone eventually, and partly because I knew that you would read it and I hope that I can help you too. What I really wanted to say in the car was this: this could quickly ruin your life if you let it. Ed is in control and he’s in the business of making people miserable, so you need to listen to yourself and know the difference between your own voice and his. It’s scary and it hurts but you’re not alone. I just want you to know that I’m here for you, and I’m willing to try to help in any way that you would let me.
to be your own lullaby.
I wanted to call you so bad. I wanted to dump all of my grief and sadness on you, so I wouldn’t have to deal with it myself. But I knew I had to. And I did. And it felt awful, but necessary. Why must so many necessary things be at the same time awful? It all came flooding at once. Him and you and grad school and him again. His words were the key to my flood gate and there was no stopping. I was failure, and heartbreak, and a love lost all in a single breath. Nothing could stop it. I’m certain I blacked out for a moment. My brain couldn’t take anymore and than it faded away. Too many necessary things. Everything demanded of me what I couldn’t give and it hurt. It was all too much to be bottled up in my car. 4:36pm. I had to go. Back to reality. As if it was anymore forgiving than I had left it.
That moment when you realize how empty your life would be without EDM.
You know that feeling of trying to run in a dream? You try so hard and it’s so frustrating because it doesn’t feel like you’re going anywhere? Yeah, that’s how I feel.
I don’t need you. I don’t need you. I don’t need you. I stared at the little orange bottle and all the little pills it held. Pills that I have had to take nearly every day for the past three weeks. Because nearly every day for the past three weeks we have had those damnable math presentations. And today was the last day. And maybe I didn’t need to be medicated for them. Maybe I could try it on my own. Sober. I didn’t need them. But maybe I did. I stuffed them in my bag. Just in case, I told myself.
"So, your coming to my class today?" he asked. I swallowed and looked at the schedule.
"Yep," I said but, Damn you, was what I thought. Damn him for reminding me. I didn’t need to think about that for another two hours. But suddenly I realized that that was all I would think about for the next two hours. Ridiculous, I thought. I’ve done this a million times. It’s just the same. Just the same. A million times. I got butterflies like I used to. It will be fine, I tried to soothe myself.
It’s not fine. My hands were shaking and fidgety. I tried to distract myself with a book, with oatmeal, with internet. Nothing could break through it. I took a breath and felt my heart. Ridiculous, I thought, so stupid. But that didn’t scare it away either.
I could barely see through the tears when I pulled the bottle out of my bag. I looked at the clock and there was enough time. Enough time for it to kick in, enough time to be a failure. I looked up at the ceiling to prevent the tears from falling. I was at work. No time for this, only time to let the pill fall out of the bottle and into my hand and into my mouth and up to my brain because I obviously can’t handle this on my own. I can’t handle anything on my own. And I wondered if I ever would.
Anonymous asked: Are you still with Jeff? Do you love him?
I’m no longer with him. But I love him still. I think I will for awhile.
"There is an infinite difference between falling in love and standing in love."
Irvin D. Yalom, Love’s Executioner
Eating two carrots doesn’t take away the cookie that you just ate. I need to stop thinking like a binge eater. I need to stop over-correcting my life. At some point you just have to stop and start good from there. Nothing you do from now on will ever take away the mistakes that you made in the past.
My black and white is showing again.
Maybe there was something implicitly wrong with me. I mean, what kind of person can’t find a single friend in a group of 80 girls? Who finds a way to push away every single person who even showed the slightest bit of caring? I was beginning to imagine that perhaps, in fact, it wasn’t them after all. It was me. Maybe I was the poison in my own life, the poison that they all learned to avoid. Everyone except me.
I know that it wasn’t intentional at all, but when you texted me, I was at my lowest point in the day. And it just fixed it. Just like that. Fixed.
Ya know that moment when it drops and you look at someone and you know they feel it too and you just start jumping together so harmoniously that it’s like you aren’t even moving, but the world is. Yeah. That.