A Night of Anguish and Demons
I sit here tonight in solitude. In an overly silent house that’s deafening. In a bed curled up with myself; but that’s made for two. Except for me, it’s empty. There’s music playing softly; the light hum of city traffic behind me. And tonight; I’m lonely. I don’t get lonely often, honestly. Even when I was married to Kellan I spent most of my time alone. He was seldom here physically and even when he was, he was absent emotionally. I suppose I should be use to the silence by now; but I don’t know that I ever will be. It speaks louder to me than any words ever spoken have. It tells me all you won’t say.
It’s so silly the things I notice that I didn’t before. The laundry is less. I dirty less dishes. I always have enough hot water for showers.
But the silence….it’s so….loud. It invades my thoughts, my brain, my soul. My world. The world I thought I knew. That’s no longer the world I live in.
Sometimes I feel like I walk alone, merely another body in a sea of people. I don’t get noticed too often. I’m pretty plain. I don’t stand out. I keep my mouth quiet and my intentions pure. On most days, I’m so unassuming that you likely wouldn’t notice me. And if you did, you wouldn’t see me. Few people see me.
But if you do notice me, you should know inside this body lies a hurricane. There’s so much more to me that what you “see”.
Don’t kiss me if you’re afraid of thunder; my life is a storm.
I realize that sounds over the top dramatic. But it really is how I feel. I am a thousand different people in this tiny frame, and every person pulls out a different side of me. Only those I trust with my heart do I let in. But, I promise you, if I let you in…I’m worth it. I’m loyal, I’m honest, I’m a great listener and confidante. I’m an amazing friend and will go to war with you on the front lines. And if you should find your way into my heart; make yourself at home here. You don’t have to be scared. I promise you the purest love there is, whether we are friends or lovers. Just don’t ask me for me. I don’t know if anyone would want me in my darkest hour, and I can’t protect you from those. Some days, most days, I can’t even protect myself.
Reading this edit, I laugh quietly under my breath. It sounds much like a romance ad on some macabre site. Far from it. It really does tie into my illness, I assure you.
You see, but you don’t see, that on nights like tonight my mind wanders back to my years spent with previous friends and lovers throughout my illness. And I can count on one hand the people that are still with me.
Everything changes. Everyone leaves. The only pieces I have left of them are memories, and not even the good ones.
When you live with a chronic illness, you don’t expect people to stay with you. You hope they will, but you never expect them to. You forget about the nights when you went dancing, or the movies you saw. You forget the stories you shared and laughing until you couldn’t breathe. You remember the unkind words, the abrupt goodbyes, and the goodbyes that were never said. You become those words.
Miserable. Pill addict. Attention Whore. Lazy. Fat. Worthless. The cause of unhappiness. Unavailable. Detached. Selfish. Careless. Time consuming. A burden.
The worst part? Even though you never expect these people to stay, you never see this coming. Why? Because when you live with a chronic illness, sometimes, the only thing you have left is hope. And so you hold onto that four letter word like your life depends on it- because sometimes it does. Some days, when you’re in pain and your cheeks are tearstained, it’s literally all you have. So you hope.
And you learn what a dangerous thing hope is.
Like a child who loses its grip on it’s shiny new yellow balloon, you watch things slip away from you. Your friends. Your family. Your lovers. Your health. And you try to fight the tears each time….but like that child, you’re inevitably on the floor feeling shattered and defeated. Because, yet again, you hoped, and were proven that sometimes hope is just a four letter word with no sustenance.
And when one person leaves, you tie yourself to another balloon. You tell yourself you’ll hold on tighter this time. You’ll be better. Your knot won’t be so loose. You won’t lose this one. And then what happens…
You can repeat this process as many times as you like, but it ends up with the same result. One day, you stop looking at balloons with the wide-eyed wonder you once did. You don’t need them to be happy. They’re not worth keeping anyway; they float away or lose their air. It’s probably best not to get one since you’ve lost so many before.
Removing the mask…
Enough with the metaphors. People are like balloons. When you have a chronic illness, people get tired of putting up with you. You become a burden; something they have to take care of. And I don’t mean bring you chicken soup for a cold. They have to help you out of bed, after surgery, when you hurt too bad to drive to the ER at 3 am. When you’re sad and you just want someone to listen. We always need something. And we’re a lot to take care of. I know this because I take care of myself daily. I don’t really ask for help. And I will tell you why.
I blame myself for pushing others away. For being a “miserable detached burden”. I mean, that’s what I was taught I was by the people that loved me. So that’s what I must be, right?
Kellan. I really hate to put the blame on him; but my disdain for him really grows on nights like tonight. I remember being so sick, asking for help, and him not being there. No empathy and certainly no sympathy. Doctors, countless doctors, and no hand to hold. Nights in the bathroom crying in pain, alone. Empty houses after surgery.
You learn how to be alone.
I don’t want to be alone. I want someone to notice me. I want someone to see me. I want to let someone into my heart and know that they don’t want protection from my dark days. That their demons can play with mine. And that I don’t always have to be perfect for them. That when I’m not perfect, I’m still beautiful and worth all their good intentions.
When you’re alone, and you reach out, you find solace in the oddest of places. Blogging your feelings. Silly conversations with your best friend that make you laugh when you feel like you’re going to fall apart. Late night bubble baths when your pain is unmanageable. The snow when it’s glistening and pure. The slow hum of the city traffic behind you. Reading random quotes and poems from afar that make your heart remember how to feel. But you still don’t tell them you hurt. You don’t make it about you because that’s selfish.
My inner endo girl cries as I write this. I’ve lost so many people that I’m scared to hold onto you, even when I want to. I’ve lost people that were suppose to be there for life. I keep up walls, I don’t let many in. I could love you beyond comprehensible verbiage and I would stay silent because it’s all I know to do.
My endo girl screams in silence. She pleads out to those she loves and cares for. She says, between sobs, that she’ll try to be better. She’ll try to not be sick so much. She’ll try to need less. She’ll try. Just don’t go. Don’t be another balloon that she loses her grip on.
Once…just once…I need the balloon string to be weighted. Don’t go. Stay. Just once….stay.
Please. I need you to stay.
I promise I’m worth it, if you’ll just stay long enough to find out.