I don’t know how, but I know when. Everything changed for me, and not in a good way. I had almost one year of a life I thought unimaginable…then it slipped away, taking a piece of me with it. Hollow. Like a part of my essence, my soul had dimmed to nothingness, vanished. And I don’t know how to get it back.
As stated in previous blogs, I struggled with a darkness that pulled me into romanticizing death as the only one who could want me. From an early age I began believing that my own father didn’t even want me, much less any other man. Add to this my struggles with weight and the gnawing, agonizing belief that I was completely unattractive…I began to accept that I would never be loved by another. Not that I couldn’t fall in love. I was actually capable of feeling so deeply that I could drown in it. No, it would never be returned.
Then he happened. My high school boyfriend. Tall, broad shoulders, extremely good-looking, creative and spiritual. More amazing, he seemed to like me. I more than liked him. For the first time in life, at the age of eighteen, I kissed someone and there was such an electric charge that I felt it all over, my knees buckling. I had never experienced anything like it. And it was with HIM. A totally HOT football player. And me. A nerdy, unattractive, overweight, gracefully-challeneged nobody. He kissed ME. How in this world could this be happening? Why would someone so hot want to touch ME? Be with ME? Kiss ME? Could it be that what I had thought before was an illusion? Men really could find me attractive and want to be with me?
I felt like all of my hopes and dreams had come true. I had hit the jackpot! I never thought I would ever connect on an emotional and physical level with a guy, much less someone who should have been dating the head cheerleader. Someone so awesomely attractive that I would be the last person he would look at. But it was real. We were together. And for that one year, I came out of the darkness…at least part of it.
I cannot begin to describe the depth of love I had for him. Words just seem so inadequate, like no description could do it justice. I was in so deep, that when he was away, I physically ached. There was a heaviness in my chest, a pressure, making it hard to breathe. There was one time he went to visit family up north. I wouldn’t be seeing him for a while, and in those days, we wrote letters. I read those letters over and over again. I didn’t want to be around anyone else. All I wanted was him and me together again. A piece of me was up north, and I actually grieved. The only solace I could find was looking up at the night sky, gazing at the moon, and knowing that the same stars were twinkling down upon him.
When he returned, all was as it should be again. When I was with him, the rest of the world fell away, and there was just us. Public displays of affection were common, because we just weren’t conscious that anyone else existed on the same heavenly plane where we were floating in each others’ arms. At least, that’s the way it was for me.
I opened up to him more than I had ever done with anyone. I laid myself bare in front of him, confident in the fact that I had finally found someone who would accept me unconditionally. There WAS someone other than death. All the lies I had believed growing up were just that, lies. I felt so comfortable in this – that my prayers had finally been answered – that I shared a secret with him. Something that I had thought that I would never tell another soul. I was absolutely certain that it was safe with him. After I told him, he dumped me.
I don’t know how it happened, why it happened. How could it be? I felt like someone had punched me in the chest and was trying to remove my spine through the front of my body. It was all a LIE. I knew it. There were no illusions, except with him. All those things I grew up thinking about myself, they were true. He didn’t really want me. He didn’t really love me. He could never accept me the way that I am…no one could…I’m destined to be alone because it’s exactly as I feared. When people see the real me, they will run…just like he did.
I lost a part of myself that day. An aspect of my spirit died. I even stopped writing the hundreds of pages of poetry that had been my only outlet and comfort. No passion for life. No passion for death. Just nothingness.
For the past twenty years I have tried to get the passion back. To feel that deeply for something – to feel the way I did with him, or even as deeply as I did when embracing the darkness. But it’s gone. I don’t know how to revive that part of myself. So I go on living, doing what I think I have to do…just existing, taking the joy where I can get it. It has never been enough. Not enough to get me out of bed in the morning or keep me from having nightmares at night.
I never knew that unconditional acceptance again until I had my daughter. That’s all I’ve got. But I’m trying. I want to bring the passion back. It’s hard getting over the belief that it’s just gone, never to return. But I’m going to try. It will be painful, and I’m not confident that I’ll succeed. But I have to hope. The pain will be better than this nothingness, blankness…no color…no sound…just gone.
I miss my spark.