He was the most beautiful person that I had ever met. He had the face of an angel and eyes that shined with love and trust. He scared me but something inside me let him in. I tried to hold off. My behavior, communication and actions all worked at holding him at bay, but my heart melted each day. The more it melted the more I became scared. The more I became scared the more I tried to regain control, which meant anger.
His family were awful, a controlling mother, a manipulative brother and an indifferent father, but he, like me, was the black sheep. I took myself out of my comfort zone and like the archetypal fool I leapt from the cliff edge into his life. As the months went by the little scared voice inside of me spoke up. My safety nets were gradually going and my fear crept back in. Bullets of anger came back. He never ducked and he never ran. He waited out each storm and once it was over he gave me even more love. People use terms like ‘fear of abandonment and rejection’ and ‘self-sabotage’ to excuse their running away from a perfectly good thing. I went down that path for a short while. It doesn’t work though when they don’t step into the shoes you have laid out for them. He had his own script and wasn’t about to adopt the role I had for him. He didn’t fit the cloak. He simply loved me. I left him after hitting him where it hurt, which was easy because he shared everything with me.
I wrote to my brother and told him about the break-up. When you tell people you make the story you have fabricated more tangible and validated He simply responded with a link to an article on ‘compassion’ by the Dalai Lama, which was an unusual thing for him to do, but I read it because if I had one surety in life, it was my brother’s love. The next day I broke. I cried for my family, for the man I loved, for all the people I had hurt in my life. I tried to salvage the relationship but it was too late, I had pushed him that far he had already started constructing walls of his own around his heart.
Have you ever wished you could take pain away from someone else and carry it for them? You can’t. I tried setting myself up in the line of fire, giving him opportunities to hurt me back, take control, express his anger, but it was still me trying to orchestrate and control the situation. You just have to sit back and watch them suffer something you inflicted. You can’t heal when you don’t feel you have a right to so I never cried for me. I sat at the proverbial death bed and waited it out.
I won’t say I did not relapse into my old ways on a few occasions, but once you see you can’t un-see so I was lost with none of my usual coping mechanisms. I dropped 15kgs in 3 months and stopped smiling. My friends were worried, my work mates confused. Where was the warrior they all knew? How do you explain to people that you were misleading them about who you were the whole time when you had even yourself fooled? How do you find value in the same things when they were props you used to survive? I couldn’t trust anything just yet. I didn’t even know where I was inside all of this. So I waited for the end.
You learn some interesting things during times like this: Who only associates with you when you live a lie; who exploits you in your most vulnerable moment, who thrives on your drama with greedy eagerness, who suddenly assumes a victim role to milk all the apologies you are handing out, and who jumps in to steer you down a path to validate your doubts of ever being strong enough to survive anything.
My beloved was a fake, a projection, but one of the biggest catalysts of change I was to ever experience.
Linkin Park – Waiting for the End
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