There’s a line in a song I’ve heard recently – ‘if the world was ending, you’d come over right?’ I did not expect the immediate tears that stung my eyes as I listened to this song. There is someone who I immediately think about, but I know the answer if I would ask him. My world has had a few downturns over the years that felt like endings, and he didn’t come over. Right now, the world outside is ending and beginning again, and he is not coming over. I shouldn’t want him to, honestly, but there it is.
I have been feeling quite sad lately. I’ve been motivated to do my part and start some necessary conversations where I live about a lot of the country’s problems. But I can’t lie and say that I still don’t feel like a piece of me is missing. I never truly had that piece though, or rather, I had the connection and love, but it was hidden away from the world and wasn’t allowed to see the light. I was tired of living two lives – forced to live two lives – where I had this internal world that felt loved and supported, but also fiercely judged and found wanting, and this external world where that internal world did not exist and I was coasting. Ultimately, though, I did not feel like I existed to someone who was a pillar of my world. Yes, I stood up for myself and said what was needed – I need this or we can’t be together. I was then left alone … and even with the world ending, he isn’t coming.
Instead, I am trying to fill the void left in various ways, focused on growing and putting love into that void – love of art, love of words, love of family, love of humanity, love to heal wounds, etc. Sometimes I think that I can fill up almost all of it, but there is always that little stubborn piece that says, you can’t fill this part because it’s only meant to be filled by him. And when that hits, the work unravels for a bit until I have the strength to rebuild again. And again.
At the end of it all, I know there is another world that he never left and loves – I was never allowed in. I was jealous; it seemed that I didn’t like it. It still hurts a bit if I think about it. But it was never that I didn’t like that world. Instead, it was that I so wanted to be a part of that world, invited in, allowed to participate and celebrate and love and be able to put down the fear of abandonment and just enjoy life and love. I never got that chance. I was never allowed in – instead I was found wanting and kept at arm’s length. I can still hear a voice – his voice – reminding me that I’m not allowed in. Like I did not even exist – there or anywhere – I did not exist.
That is the part I struggle with the most – I didn’t exist. I still do not exist and maybe I never really did. Not where I felt I belonged.
It’s easier to bury the feelings of shame, guilt, frustration, insecurity, abandonment, etc. when you pretend they don’t exist. It doesn’t always work though – I have put up barriers so it’s not in my face every day, but it’s still there. When someone is a part of your life for so long, those in your life ask about him, casually brought up in conversation, and now even brought up in my career. I’ve found I can’t heal in isolation and part of that healing is living and dealing with the almost constant reminders of him. I do not have the ability to act like he does not exist, but I wouldn’t want to anyway. He was real to me, he was real in my life, and the love for him was real and immense. He was part of my family – loved and accepted. I was angry at times, sad at times, still am, but always for love and fighting for that love to have room to grow.
I’m not sure what my future holds. I’m not sure I want to know. But I do know that I deserve to exist to someone. I deserve love and laughter. I deserve respect. I deserve to be allowed in.
So, I keep moving forward, knowing that he exists, knowing that I do not. And knowing that even with the world ending, he will not come over.