it's been a long time. hasn't it.
it's been very strange, this last year, amount of time, whatever it is. and i'm breathing heavy. i'm so tired.
please believe me, i'm trying.
but i think i should stop for a while. or at least change direction. in the past, way back, before the great midwest awakening, it was eyes shut, full speed ahead. i didn't care about anything, the world was a violent shade of yellow and red. and it hurt. and i loved it. why did i love it? here i shake my head and try not to remember. but i tore myself out of that, poured bleach over my attempt at roots. i thought i could get on my fucking feet and walk like a person. that i could breathe air and smile and talk, i told myself i would try to be a functioning individual and accomplish some shit.
i wish i could say i made it. but i didn't. i went to work, got promoted, and quit. i went to school, won a few awards, got good grades, and quit. i found a soul mate, a strange frustrated man with beautiful haunting eyes, and this summer, i quit that too. some of this has resolved and returned, but let's go through this.
this summer. this summer was so hard. it was the peak of my ability to walk away from things i do not think i can handle. it was me making decisions for myself and proving that this is why i cannot have nice things. the thing is i was, as i always have been, aware that i had no fucking idea what i was doing. here's me, grand idiot, waving at the things i was so sure i wanted, waving as they burn in a field and i'm pressing the gas on a weak transmission.
the winter semester ended, work picked up, he drifted away from me. i tried to figure it out, i spent so much time trying to find a solid solution. all i wanted was to be happy for an actual stretch of time. something consistent. but my choices are strange, i fall in love with things that don't seem equipped for such feelings. i wanted my partner to talk to me, but i couldn't find him. i couldn't seem to convince him that we wanted the same life, that he just had to be patient with me so we could back to the same path and then we could walk together. it was the darkest time in our relationship- this year, after so much quiet. i thought maybe i had earned something. and it blew up in my face. i was reminded that trust is a farce, and that people are mean and hesitant. i don't even know what i wanted, i'm fucking crazy, haven't we established this? screaming internally, constantly, barely standing, but i had thought i was doing better. was i really so wrong? i did it to myself of course. that seemed to be the only conclusion. it doesn't matter that you love someone, they only ever remember when you hurt them. except me. and i am, again, and idiot. but i learned. it was a harsh but resounding lesson. and my heart is less open now, but better protected. and maybe that means it was all worth it. maybe.
somehow, i got through the spring semester. i was proud of myself. i had completed a whole year of college. i thought it was so important, i thought there was potential there. i looked into his face and searched for love and warmth. but i couldn't see through the fog.
so i moved out.
my chest ached so heavily i was sure i would just stop. the first night was brutal, and i knew it would get worse. i took sleeping pills to avoid my evenings. small, intense white pills from my last bloody episode. they kicked hard, but it was worth it after the first few nights of deep cycle crying. i sat in a cute apartment in council bluffs and burned incense. i tried to laugh with my sweet roommates, but i was fuzzy and disconnected, out of focus. i made bread, i cut myself, i wandered into the bathroom to look at my face. i smoked a lot of weed and i went to work. and people told me that it was great that i was closer! hey now we can get drinks. but i just smiled and nodded and clocked out and went to bed at noon. the friends i thought i had, the people i thought i wanted, were cascading disappointments. i befriended a youth pastor from a small town in an attempt to make new friends, he seemed safe, nice. but on the night of a work event he pushed himself on me and told me it was ok to fuck a man of the cloth. the girls joked about it when i told them, i felt a sick guilt even though i had done nothing wrong. i saw people in a new light, more importantly i saw what i meant to them. did i deserve this? i felt so angry i couldn't pull myself together and just be normal. and i wanted out.
one day, i talked to a nice man on the phone in my truck on the street in front of the apartment. he had a slow, gentle voice, i don't even remember his name. it was gorgeous outside, and early enough that our road was clear and quiet. he asked me what i liked to do and we talked about baking and art for a while. i told him i was tired and he said he could hear it. he told me it was going to be ok. i had called the hotline before, but it had been years. i had clocked out at work only an hour before. i did not want to do this anymore, i couldn't handle this. i missed my partner so deeply, i hurt all over with a deep aching that seemed to penetrate every pore. i was angry with humans, i was just so tired of my own bullshit, i just needed everything to stop before my brain broke apart all the way. how do you tell your friends and family this? how do you express that you're being eaten alive with sadness and grief that you can't seem to process like a normal fucking person. why can't i fucking process this?! the man on the phone listened patiently while i cried in waves. he told me i was stronger than i gave myself credit for. when the call ended a few minutes later, i felt better. i was sad, but not despairing. i was still in love, and that yearning was gentle and warm and unlike the cold sharp pain of nothing so i let it wash over me as i crawled into bed. i was alive, and i wanted to stay that way.
things got better after that. i felt comforted that there were people out there that cared enough to talk to a strange sobbing girl on a phone for over an hour. i felt amazing in the kitchen and in the moments at work where everything just came together. i started seeing these things and they sparkled. weed was a saving grace, and i started going for runs in the back streets of Council Bluffs, which were beautiful and brick laden, sweeping hills and colors. he let me come visit him on the weekends. i was just so grateful that i didn't mind the hesitance in his affection, the arms length. there is a vision of a life in front of me that 10 years ago i would have never thought was possible. i will do whatever i can to get us there.
so much happened in so little time. but i am in our house again. he doesn't say he loves me, but that's ok. my eyes are open. i know what i deserve, i know how difficult i must be. i feel safe here, i'm working on everything, i'm trying. i say that over and over again. i'm trying. i can do this.
i used to say that into the faces of those around me.
now i say it over and over again to myself.
i can do this.