Tuesday, December 16, 2008

our misfortunes may become us (part 10)

i have severe abandonment issues. in all relationships, i only see an end. i spend so much time nervously waiting for the phone to stop ringing, for the door to close on me, for something to happen that will tear the people i love from me. i have severe abandonment issues.

as a child, the people i loved either left or left me in the hands of people who would hurt me. i watched my grandfather beat the shit out of my grandmother. i watched a family of alcoholics drink themselves into rages and tear each other apart. i was molested, for years, by other family members who were supposed to be looking after me. i learned not to trust that people would take care of me. i learned not to trust. and i learned that the people you love will either leave you or hurt you. or you'll watch them hurt themselves, helplessly. it's not now what i believe, but it's how i've been conditioned. and so i have severe abandonment issues. and these issues, this fear, has caused me to inadvertently live a very isolated life. in a crowded room, in the arms of a lover, in the eyes of my parents, i feel alone. i fear departure. i panic of loss. i try so hard to hold on, but always feel so powerless.

i don't remember much between ryan's departure from me, and my departure from san francisco. it was as though i became a ghost that day; the day he left. i'd finally found someone i believed would stay. someone i believed i could hang onto. and then he was gone. he was gone. gone. and suddenly, i was nothing more than a ghost. each day just blurred into the next. every action and inaction seemed pointless, seemed moot. it was like each day existed only because it had to. i floated through the walls and my words were merely exhalations. i was alone.

and then i ran away to portland. to escape the traces of him and who we were. to escape the traces of who i was. and perhaps, just maybe, to exist as i had felt: alone. to get lost where i knew no one, where no one knew me. to lose myself in foreign faces and places. to lose myself in a lack of history. to lose myself.

instead, though, i built myself a home. a life. a new history. i tried to date, but no one ever measured up to him. no one was ever enough. and then i got hiv. and everything changed. or, merely, returned to how it had been before i left california. i felt alone and isolated and barely there. i was losing more and more of myself every day. i was withering away into bottles and bed sheets and brittle bones. i stopped eating. i stopped answering the phone. i drank myself dizzy, night after night. i was becoming a ghost. again.

and then i lost my job. and then my boyfriend. and then i just lost it. i totally lost it. i had stopped coming up for air. i had stopped coming up at all. each day existed only because it had to. insomnia set in and got so bad i could no longer distinguish my dreams from reality. there were days i laid in bed and did nothing but fantasize about blowing my brains out. sometimes those were the good days, too. paranoia overcame me. and i became completely distorted by it, by the dreams, by the booze. and the scariest part about it was i could walk outside, with a smile on my face, and hang out like everything was peachy-fucking-keen. you'd never know. they'd never know.

and then i broke. i called colette and simply said, "i've been thinking bad thoughts. i've been thinking about dying. i'm not all right. i'm not okay."

she was out a week later. and i started to feel safe again. and i started to eat again. and i started to see straight again. and i started to let go. of all the rage. of all the pain. of all the fear. i did my best. for a while, at least.

eventually i started to erode to it, again. i began to push the people who cared about me away. so they couldn't leave me. so they couldn't hurt me. so i could be in control of something. so i wouldn't feel so powerless to loss. it's fucked up. it's totally fucked up. but my heart was so broken, i could make no more room for cracks or tears. i could make no more room for love. i needed permanence. and permanence seemed so impossible to come by. nothing and no one is permanent.


and then i met a boy. and he sure did seem to love me. and i thought he was great. he was great. and i thought, no one will ever be ryan. i will never love anyone like i did ryan. so someone great will always have to be enough. and even in that shitty paradox i had prefixed, i needed to hold onto him. i needed permanence. i needed a normal, easy, simple life. i needed a simple life so badly. i needed something new to live for. i needed soething new to experience; something new to help me forget. i needed this to work. i needed it to work.

so after a month and a half, i asked him to marry me. and he said yes. and within a month, he was all moved in. and the life i painted for myself would surely begin with this little step. i was prepared to settle for consistency. i was prepared to contently settle in whatever promised to be simple and routine. i needed some stability. so i created it out of fear and heartache and necessity. because i have severe abandonment issues.

and then i left for asia...