I go to morning service at ERUUF. Arriving late, I don’t see my friends so I sit alone and it is brutal. Afterward my friends hold me while I cry and they try to reassure me. One of them tells me she knows I love him and that she’s sorry, but that shutting me out is an asshole thing to do and that I’m better off without someone who’s proving to be an asshole. She validates my grief and tells me that this loss is creating space for someone who is capable of treating me with the care I deserve. I cry a lot. Ultimately, we all leave and I go back to my new home alone. I’m seriously distraught not to be having post-service brunch with Kevin*, so I don’t want to eat at all. I make myself have a protein bar.
The afternoon is a cruel, yawning void of loneliness. I’m much too tired for a walk, I can’t focus to read or work. My deltoids are spasming, which hasn’t happened since the aftermath of my car accident so that can’t be a good sign. I’m frantic with missing him and I keep bursting into tears and panicking about how much pain I’m in.
I want someone, anyone to help me because I’m so miserable I can’t see straight. I scroll through recent texts, worrying that I’ve burdened all my friends too much. They’ve all heard the story, they’ve all seen me cry, and I’m afraid to lean on anyone. I’ll scare them, and then they won’t want to be around me anymore. I’m afraid. I could call my therapist, but she deserves to have a life. I’m not actually suicidal, simply unbearably sad. I’m an adult; I should be able to handle my feelings. I accumulate a large pile of snotty tissues handling my feelings like an adult.
I write. I need a witness to my unbearably painful life, so I write and write. I cry and write some more. I pass hours that way. Eventually the sky turns dark, and then I edit. I eat another protein bar for dinner. I don’t want to eat, but I do. Eventually I go to bed.
I dream that I am walking past rows of men seated on benches in a gray locker room. As I pass, one man makes a lewd comment and puts his hands on me. I tell him loudly to keep his fucking mouth shut and his fucking hands to himself, my voice sharp with anger–and then I punch him in the face, hard. As I walk swiftly away I see that Kevin* was standing in the corner watching me, concerned. Now he’s rushing to meet me at the end of the row. I reach out for him and fall into his arms, relieved, sighing in his ear “Sweetheart, I missed you.”
He pulls back and looks at me sadly, gravely, saying “Laura, don’t call me that anymore.” There is a loud bang from behind him; he’s been shot in the back. As he falls to the floor I drop to my knees with him, screaming. I wake myself up shrieking in my sleep and lie there shaking, frightened and horrified. As I wonder why in hell I would dream such a thing it strikes me that everything I felt in the dream was familiar–the sense of shock and sudden loss, the pain, the terror. That’s what I’ve been living with.
I try to go back to sleep but I’m terrorized by the nightmare and my sense of loss. He feels as far from me as though he were dead, and it’s unbearable. In the middle of the night, I want to call him just to hear his voice and know he’s okay. I curl into a ball and wail; I can’t call him. He doesn’t want to talk to me. I’m too tired to do anything and too upset to sleep so I lay there and tell myself at least I’m resting. I need rest. I repeatedly begin to drift off and then get agitated again. I lay in bed, hand over my pounding heart, waiting for morning.
When the alarm sounds I’m relieved that the night is over and resentful to have slept so poorly. I spend all day weepy, agitated, longing to hear his voice. I talk myself out of calling him at least ten times. I’m embarrassed by this particular anxiety and too afraid to burden my friends. At the end of the day when I am alone and inconsolable, I break down and call my therapist for relief.