Before you read this, understand that this was written with all the anguish that some of my dreams can bring to me. When I woke in the dark hours of the morning and the dream was still fresh, my tears flowed and I knew that I'd not healed as much as I thought. Some of the words that had been spoken to me in anger still echoed in my head and brought back all the hurt that they'd cause when they were first flung at me. And, the pain from similar words that were written to me decades later.
I don't know exactly what "triggers" are, but this touches on suicide. If that will hurt your heart, please don't read any further. Also, if you do read it, read all the way to the end. There is Light.
At the beginning there was laughter, adventure, and so much love. So many new things to discover about the world and how we fit into it. You smiled at my awkwardness and held me when I cried. Your touch reminded me that I had someone beside me to help if I fell, but also nudged me to run on my own. We talked and enjoyed songs together sometimes late into the night. You introduced me to new ways of seeing the wonder of the universe and I knew that the love would always be there. That you would always be there. And I dreamed of the future.
In less than a decade things changed. The time we spent together was shorter and became strained. I began to change my Self in order to bring a smile to your face. I tried to ride out the dark moods you displayed and I struggled to understand. I worried and fretted that I was doing something wrong and that your coldness was a punishment or a way to get back at me. You pushed me away while holding onto another. You said that I wasn't enough and hinted that the other one made you happier. The tears I once shared with you, I now began to hide. The Light shining from my eyes dimmed without your noticing and I started to cover up the pain that your words and distance caused. Dreams invaded my sleep, dreams of losing you. I longed for the times when we first began. Those times that now seemed like nothing more than a whisper.
Occasionally you would seem your old self. There were brief moments of love and laughter. Times when I thought everything would be alright again. Times when I thought I could dream about the future again. But then the bitterness and anger would flare up and the accusing words would pelt me anew. You would poke at my scars until they were open wounds once again. You would point out how it was my fault. and not yours, that I was hurting so much. You would push me even further way and cut me down lower than I was before. You would shut me out, sometimes literally, then derisively tell me that I should have known better than to think I was supposed to be there in the first place.
Then there would be sunshine again and I would try to hold onto the hope that things would be alright. But I was afraid now. Afraid of the possible storm that would rise out of nowhere, the storm that destroyed the tender threads of hope. You once told me that if I walked out the door it would be like I never existed. Those words kept me in your life for years, because I was afraid that I'd lose what little light I had if I walked away. I was afraid that I wasn't strong enough to stand all by myself. My life was tinged with fear. Everything I did or said or thought or wished for, was all tinged with the feeling that everything was going to end in a black pit of emptiness.
On the morning that I sat on the edge of the bathtub filled with warm water, knowing that no one would be home for many hours, knowing that you'd be happier without me, knowing that I was nothing in this world, I cried. Only it wasn't crying, it was so much stronger than that. It was the deepest grief of knowing that I was about to cut off all chance of a future. I was about to eliminate all hope that things could be better. I think I cried for nearly an hour, blade in hand, water growing cold. Afterward I think I slept for a little bit for the sun was in a different position.
I felt hollow and empty and scoured of everything. But I stood up, drained the water, and cleaned up the room, leaving no trace that I'd been in there for so long. I washed my face and found my keys and walked out the front door so that I could breathe some fresh air.
I never took a bath in that tub again.
But I learned something that day. I did, in fact, have the strength to stand alone. I knew that I didn't deserve the pain you were putting me through. I started to think that it wasn't actually me who was to blame. Perhaps there was something unbalanced in you. I felt guilty for that. Guilty because you shouldn't think that about someone you love. I was so naive.
I made plans to leave. I was so afraid and so sure that I'd fail, but I knew that I couldn't stay. I knew that my Soul would die and I'd be nothing.
Now, nearly a quarter of a century later, I sit in my own house, alone but not, and I miss the times that were shared. I miss the times in the kitchen and in the garden and sitting in the living room, each of us doing our own thing, but together. I miss knowing that someone would always be there for me.
My mother had grown bitter and hateful in the later years of my childhood. I know that it wasn't me. I know that she only treated me the way she did because she was hurting about her own life. The shackles put on her, the ones she accepted so that her children could have some stability.
At this point, there is no hope for reconciliation, no hope for working it out. My mother died when I was twenty-three. Through the years that followed her death I held a lot of resentment toward her. How dare she die before we could make things right? How dare she leave me in this world alone? I thought that I had gotten past most of the crap and that I had forgiven her for that. And for the hurt-filled years. I know that most of the stories I share about her now are the good ones. But, now I wonder how much more I need to grow before this truly is behind me.
Even so, I know that I'm strong enough to face anything that crosses my path. I know that sometimes it takes more strength to stick around than it does to walk away. I know that there are blessings in each moment and each breath I take. In all the years between that morning in the bathroom and today, there has been only one time that I wish I'd finished the job. Each and every day other than that one, I have been really glad that I'm alive.
Because of this, I will keep doing my best to live my life to the fullest of my abilities.