I fell in love with a man who broke my brain and my heart. It’s been years since and I still wonder about it. There’s a part of me that believes there’s some future where he and I will be we again. There’s another part that thinks that part is the crazy part. Where is the line between mental health and mental illness? Is it a hard line, or more like soft slopes as I teeter in and out of sanity like a buoy in choppy water? To the left is the good me, and the right is the wrong me. Is it even wrong? I’ve never felt the way I felt in those days, but those days were tainted with a brokenness that I tell myself is fixed now. But is it? Does the very fact that I still ponder these things indicate that I’m just as broken now as I was then? What is broken? I do all the things I’m supposed to do, I’m functional for the most part, yet I feel akin to a rusted out car left on the front yard. Cinderblocks of what I should do support the non existent tires of what I can do. Move forward. Move on. No, I find myself stuck in a yesterday that I am not even sure was real or not. When you can genuinely say that, “I’m not sure if I even really knew him, or if I knew the version he wanted me to, so that I could feel the way he wanted me to feel.” I say that could be growth and awareness, but if that’s the case, why even revisit the times that may or may not have been real?
I’ve thought long and hard that misery comes when we place vs. where or could be. The state of the world highlights the madness I feel inside. This perpetual black and white arguing that could be a nuanced grey, or maybe one day a beautifully balanced rainbow. Nothing is ever black and white, nothing is ever vs. because on some level, we need the opposition to grow. That divine friction that fuels the fires of the phoenix’s transformation. The call of the caterpillar to transform within the chrysalis. It’s that opposition that helps us learn, but I find myself circling the drain of the same questions and ruminations that change nothing. I don’t feel changed. I feel the same as I was, just more lost than ever.
There was a time I believed he and I were meant to be together, that we could change the world together. But, I also believed I was Mary Magdalene, Isis, and many other archetypes too. It was the psychotic break that made all the poison in me seep out into the real world like a broken vessel of pain. So again, the line is as blurred as a watercolor where sanity and insanity are just the blues of the sky or maybe the hues of a sunset. I thought maybe this is all the fodder of transmutation. That somehow I could channel this into something new. Something beautiful. So far, all I’ve done is allow it to eat me inside like a cancer. It lays dormant most times, but other times I find myself in it’s jaws helpless.
I know my words are pretty, but my actions leave much to be desired. Maybe within all this is a Lamborghini waiting to emerge, but I’m still the junker in the front yard. Action is the great separator between thoughts and change. Perhaps I could tear this all apart and build something new, and perhaps these are the fledgling stages of what is to come. He opened a door in me, a door that led to writing again. I hadn’t written in years before him, and then suddenly a fire was lit inside of me where the worlds flowed out and time stood still and I remembered that I used to be alive in here. There was a whole world of curiosity and wonder. But without him, the fire has grown cold and the curiosity and wonder has given way back to rumination and misery. It’s worse this time because I feel this old version standing off to the side watching and wondering when she can come play. I wait for the door to open and inspiration to come back, but when you tell someone you’re busy all the time, eventually they don’t ask to play anymore.
So here I sit, as a supplicant begging for the time when it all made sense and the minutes bled into a nothing because all that there was was flowing and writing. No me, no nonsense, no nothing. There was just an awakening sense that i am more than I believe I am, and I could do great things if I just stopped trying. If I just opened the door and let it come. I felt that way with him too, if I could just get out of my own way, we’d be happy. If I stopped thinking, stopped fighting, stopped playing out old pain on a new body. I felt as though he could read every facet of me like it was typed on my skin. That he knew and understood me better than myself. The hopeful part of me thought it was love, and the cynical part of me thought he used it to play me like a fiddle.
This is poison seeping through my finger tips, and I haven’t even alluded to the worst of it. The constant attempts to make it better, the constant diminution of myself to please him. I was like a toddler who wanted a lollipop and his feelings rarely mattered in my obsession. It is obsession, isn’t it? That’s what I tell myself. I’m no different than that guy that killed John Lennon to impress Jodie Foster. Some kind of broken doll with a broken mind seeking the very child that broke me so we could play again. Is it his fault or mine? Why not both? Maybe the combination was disastrous in the start, but I crave his arms like an addict craves the injection. The blissful sensation of all being right even if I know it was all wrong. I wouldn’t have these questions if it were good, but I would not be where I am if it were all bad.
I imagine he reads my words and it resonates and one day I’ll see him on my phone again. That I’ll be ready for the next step of us. But what does ready mean? What was I missing in the first place? Why can’t our pronouns, bodies, and minds come together into we? But do I even really want that? I read this inspirational things, what you seek is seeking you, so is there a version of reality that he feels this way too? The Mary Kay version of spirituality gives me a false hope and a false promise that if I could just ___, I would manifest the blah blah blah. Or is the truth a harsh mistress, a slap in teh face of he barely even remembers you. And that pain stings like the tears that I wish wouldn’t come. I try to control my thoughts and keep them in the present tense where he and I are two strangers on opposite sides of the country. Where we are a yesterday and I am today. I remind myself that if he wanted me in his life, he would be in mine. I say all the right things, I do all the right things, but his love or lack thereof has become a tapeworm in my mind. My broken heart is like eating glass, and I feel the shards poking me underneath. Where it should hurt, it just reminds me of the constant state of what is, and what is is not him in my life. And what is is a question mark between my ribcage. A beat upon beat of was it even real? Was it even so? Was it ever? I answer with it’s irrelevant but that calms things down like a mother telling a child maybe. It just delays the inevitable, and the inevitable are days lost to love letters that don’t get written, arms that don’t enfold my aching heart, and words that never come.
Some days I imagine he comes back. Most days I cannot accept the end, and I find that I am stuck in the ellipses of us, a waiting period until the time is right. That our incongruence was simply a matter of time where all the things that felt right will once again click into place and all the things that were wrong will simply fall away. As if beneath the exterior of that busted out car is mere washes away from pristine. The worst part is I don’t know if that’s nonsense, and somedays it is that belief alone that motivates me to find myself. Because that’s the truth. I lost myself in his eyes, and I’ve yet to find my way out. It’s been years and years, and still I am in the labyrinth. I am the seeker, the minotaur, and I suppose deep deep down, I pray to be my own Ariadne too. I swear this writing is the very ribbon I seek, but my ego tells me it’s just more nonsense, pipe dreams, and of course, insanity.
But insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. What is the definition of doing the same thing over and over again hoping to get the same results? The results being – maybe not his return, but mine. I miss all the parts that have been tucked away and lost in the game of life. Where I got tucked on a shelf and everyone else became more important even though my head only speaks in first person and I process everything in the guise of how it makes me feel. Like a narcissistic leading lady, star of the show, it’s all about me in here. All the things I say about him, what if the last thing he wants is for me to think about him? To talk to him? What if we damaged he? I think on these things, but always in the first person. I hope to have a spiritual awakening some days purely so I can drop the stories of my ego and transcend this stupid rat race and just be fucking content for once. He lit something in me, he started a hunt, but the hunt now is less about him and more about finding peace again.
There’s a blind hope, a belief maybe that somehow I could write us back to life. That my imagination and my words could be a defibrillator on the corpse of the failure that was. Maybe if I can open that door again, there’s a tomorrow and there’s an us. What if the very thing keeping us apart is my clinging to the memory of goodbye? What if I could open the door and bring us back to life? Beyond that, maybe if I could get it out of my system, I can find a future where it doesn’t matter either way? They say the truth is stranger than fiction, and the truth is that my writing has power. Granted, I was psychotic at the time, but it seems the very stories I concocted came to life before my eyes. If nothing else, maybe I could write the poison out, and maybe this grip, this hold, this cancer would abate and I could see clearly once again? That’s what it is, isn’t it? A glaucoma of the heart. But this could be my surgery, removing away the blinders that kept me bound into what if, and write what is to be?
It can’t be madness if it’s fiction, in all my fictions there are tomorrows that don’t exist, and yet somehow they do, because I have grasped the intangible and translated it to font. And maybe what seems so impossible today could be possible with time and cleared vision. Or maybe, I can exorcise the demon, remove the crazy and find a sanity of contentment in what is today. Either way, it’s better to have started this missive than to think about it.
At least that’s what I think today.