I bet you can’t even tell me that much…

There was a night, years ago now, two-thirty in the morning or thereabouts, when I felt the darkest I’ve felt.  I reached out and was told in effect that my sadness and wanting death weren’t true, that my loneliness and feelings of being abandoned were wrong.

I still don’t know how I got through that night by myself, because I certainly got no fucking help from the person who was supposed to love and to cherish, for better and worse. Whatever his reasons for his reactions, the fact still remained: he told me I didn’t need the hospital and I let him tell me, rather than listen to what was in my own head, which was– you are not loved, you should end this right now (you should go to the hospital.)  I was right.  I wasn’t loved.  And I should have ended it sooner.  (Just not the way I thought.)

A yearsome later, I left, because fuck anyone telling me that my need to take all the pills in my medicine chest because I didn’t feel loved wasn’t real, wasn’t deserving of immediate fucking attention.  And fuck anyone who told me my feelings were wrong because they didn’t have those particular feelings.  Because of course everyone’s psychic, and entitled to tell other people what it is they’re supposed to think, supposed to feel.  Instead of maybe– listening.  Shocking concept, I know.

It’s two years plus, now, and I’ve had ups and downs, better and worse parts, but none quite so bad, and the answer to the question of why should I stay if I’m going to have to be the only one taking care of me, anyway is again– no, fuck you, I’ll do it myself, and I have.  The answer to do I honor my feelings, no matter what someone else says is Yes.  I may even have it tattooed.

It’s two years plus, now, and one of the people who work for me in a job I probably would have been told I wasn’t up to handling (my feelings might get in the way, didn’t I recall I’d flunked out of law practice and why, oh why, hadn’t I told him (btw, CRAZY at the time, it gets in the way, skip the reading, much, did you?)) had a breakdown of their own at work.  I handled it, and I handled it well.  I let them have as much agency as they could.  I listened.  We hung out in more privacy than I thought the workplace would have afforded until the people they’d chosen and asked for came to help them. I didn’t do the thing that was panicked and shove them in an ER, which probably no one would have done– but still, better than letting them go home, on their own, and even moreso, no one knew my history, they just knew I’d know what to do. Because I am competent. And I do know what to do– in general, all-purpose ways. I am a sensible, well-trusted person.

Those asked-for people came to help them, after I’d called and explained.  They’re going to be fine, to come back to work soon, and the family– oh, they’re pleased and surprised that we’re able to be so commonsense about it.  Because yes.  Crazy happens.  So does everything else in this life.  We accept that and make room, because we all have to live and work with each other, and for the bits of crazy, the other things we bring to the day far outweigh the occasional break.

It’s two years plus, now, and it feels raw like that dark night again because I can do it all by myself, but I shouldn’t have had to, and fuck you.  That hurts.  It hurts that I still feel like my crazy wasn’t worth it to you, that it was too scary and you were too selfish to ever bother to learn what it felt like in anyone’s head but your own.  It hurts that you didn’t trust me or you enough to listen to what I had to say.  And that you didn’t trust either of us to believe that you could ever be wrong.  It hurts that sometime in the year after I left, you told me that a friend had a breakdown– and you’d been the one to take them to the E.R. until they could be seen, so they weren’t alone.  I don’t know if that was supposed to be proof that you’d learned– to me, it feels like proof that you could only muster that energy when it wasn’t someone you needed to make your decisions for you– and when I became incapable, so did you.

It’s two years plus, now, and though that night I kept reaching for you, now– I’d shove you away as fast as I can, because I did the right thing walking away, I did the right thing in shoving through on my own, I did the right thing in helping my charge– and you.  You don’t know, and you’ll never be able to tell.  It’s not that you didn’t love me, or that I didn’t love you– but it wasn’t enough, and it wasn’t right, and if I should have done more?  So should you.

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2 thoughts on “I bet you can’t even tell me that much…

  1. Dawn

    The more you talk about your ex, the more I wish to hunt him down and do him serious damage. I don’t know much about things like bipolar or other mental diseases, but damn, if it were my spouse or my mother or child, I’d have my nose buried so far into the research, you’d have to ship me daylight. The very least he owed you (that little thing called a marriage ring and the accompanying vows) was listening to you, even if he didn’t understand it. And I know mental issues scare people because there aren’t a lot of outward physical signs (right?) and little that can be quantified as improvement or relapse (I’d be scared/worried/nervous myself in his situation), but I also know they aren’t the sufferer’s fault, they aren’t made up, and they aren’t catching. You didn’t des–no, HE didn’t deserve you and that’s flat.

    And you did good with your coworker (I read your tumblr, too). I hope you can lay some of the worst to rest someday (my husband may offer to help you with the bodies, but really, none of us look all that great in prison orange) and that your coworker is back at work soon knowing his/her support group is bigger by at least one other person who truly understands.

    Reply
  2. Robert

    I am just…I’m angry, honestly, at the thought that by his utter lack of compassion and human decency. I wonder, had you been a stranger in distress, would he have gotten you the help you wanted or would he have abandoned you as callously as he did that night? The imp of the perverse must have taken up residence in the vacancy that was his soul, and soulless he must be to have exhibited such depraved indifference to the one person he’d sworn to support and comfort for all time.

    I know my lovely wife is composing her own reply to this and I’m sure it is a tad more…settled, shall we say, than the following thought, and God knows what I’m about to write is as raw as my gut right now, but sweetheart? If I’d known then what I know now, I’d have flown to Boston, tracked your ass down and gotten you the help you needed, and once you were settled, Mister “I’m a Jedi Psychiatrist, ask me how!” would have a long talk with me and a Louisville Slugger – every now and then assholes need to learn the truth about kneecaps – it ain’t no fun dancing without ’em.

    There’s more, but I think given my current mindset it’s best I just email you. You are, as always, in our thoughts, our hearts, and in our prayers.

    Robert

    Reply

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