I go to the shower, looking for solace, for peace.
Hot steamy water pours over my head,
mixing with salty tears that cascade across my cheeks
and drop into the white fiberglass rectangle at my feet.
Bright yellow pee shoots into the tub
and suddenly I see a trail of red blood slither down my inner thigh
like a snake winding it's way from my core.
Symbolically, it is my heart,
the tip sliced open by a past I'm trying to leave behind
but one that a small town,
won't let me forget.
The internal pain leaves me bleeding,
unseen and unheard,
in the lonely pool
of utter sadness.
I cry for eight days straight.
My toes are blistered from the miles I put on old tennis shoes.
There is a bottle in the trashcan outside and I'm relieved it is not in my room anymore, impressed at my resolve to be better than that, but shaking inside because the thought was there.
Eric returned today, "expecting to find you, only to find not you".
I wanted desperately to come across as carefree and busy. I rehearsed a few lines to throw him off course and figured if I could avoid him long enough, I'd get beyond the days he was gone and function normally again. I'm no actress. Eric knew, in a moment, that I was lost and running. He just didn't know why.
"Are you going to yell at me?" He was not the cause, but the event exasperated the situation and once again I thought it to death. I'm still not sure if there is an answer we can come up with that stops the madness in my brain while keeping the love between us. Some days I think, most days I think, I should make his life easier and push him away.
A mind reader, Eric told me that my pattern when I get triggered or thrown, is to dump everything in my life (good, bad or otherwise) and bolt. He thought I'd gotten better, moved beyond it. Perhaps today is the day we are both disappointed.
My fear eventually spoke out, my best friend finally home, and I took the time to share with him the darkest side of my mind, the one even I was shocked to discover. When Eric left on his trip, I was strong, supportive and solid; we kissed goodbye in a parking lot and he surprised me with a bag of bunny m-n-m's. My confidence didn't last long. A day, maybe two.
I want to shut my brain down so I don't feel anymore and can just live like everyone else. Eric said he'd spank me today, but not for the reason I think. I told him, he couldn't hit me hard enough to make the pain go away. What a sorrowful statement. "Not for a reset, honey. I'm mad at you for allowing people who don't matter to take away who you are." Who am I? Somebody tell me, please.
I draw my strength from feeling loved. I thrive on collaboration and teamwork. I get in the grove; working on projects, building relationships - and I fly when I can be creative with my lover. During those times, I absolutely know I'm powerful and pretty and smart.
It never lasts very long though and then I hit a bump and suddenly it is a physical problem with the adrenaline and anxiety mixing in my veins to the point I can't see beyond the pain that incapacitates my ability to think anything but RUN. I shed everything to flee, weightless and unencumbered, to fight the painful words in my head and the helpless feelings of desperation in my body. Any sense of rejection, and fight or flight kicks in. I'm not a fighter. I am, Eric will attest, a flight risk.
"Why don't you do what makes you happy?"
The question is so simple and yet so hard for me to answer. "Things" don't make me happy. If I feel unloved, I can be doing the greatest thing in the world and won't enjoy it. When I feel loved, I can be at the bottom of deepest darkest most miserable cave and I'll still see the light and be willing to do anything to reach it.
Do what makes me happy... I don't even know what that is anymore.