Feelings – it’s all feelings. Brightly glowing feelings. Everything is beautiful. Then a waver in her voice, a wandering in her gaze. Refusal to believe. Explanations. Excuses. She surely couldn’t be. Our love would forbid it.
They grow. Suspicions, they grow, they burrow into the mind. Why did she
deceive? Why did she lie? Surely, she cannot be. Denial. I refuse to believe what they say about her. She wouldn’t. She couldn’t.
But it’s true. Shame. The shame of not knowing what everyone else knew. The shame of not being enough for her. To pour out all my love. To bare my heart to the inevitable. Then she comes. “If you love me, you’ll let me.” “I’ll be yours – in the morning.” “I know you love me too much to leave me.”
Numbness. Numbness beyond pain. Numbness beyond thought. Numbness beyond reason. Only numbness. Wandering of the soul. Colors gone, brightness dimmed. Swelling in the throat. Cannot speak. Cannot breathe. Then a sensation, deep in the chest. An ache. A shocking ache that begins in the heart and radiates from the chest. Limbs begin to tingle. Head begins to swim. To look deep inside and find enough breath to say “Leave, and don’t come back.” Words that tear out the heart as they leave the mouth.
To dream. To dream things are ok. Then to awake to relive the reality that they’re not. A crippling of the mind. Too painful to sleep. Collapse from exhaustion. Then dreams. Dreams. Dreams. Awake only to cry again.
Try to make it stop. Food and water become bland. Stop eating. Stop drinking. For one day, then another, then another, then another, then another, then another. Dying isn’t so bad. Anything is better than this. Nothing to lose. Steel, flesh. Cutting. Cutting the pain away. Pouring it out. Free me from this torment.
Then tears, but not my own. The woman who bore me. Hiding in her room. Crying when she doesn’t know I see. She’s afraid. She doesn’t know what to do. She gives me the ring my father gave her in love. It’s all she knows to do. And she cries. Heartbreak. I’m not killing myself. I’m killing her. I cannot do this. I mustn’t. Why does she hurt when I hurt? Why do I affect her like this? It cannot be love. Love is only pain. How am I to sever her connection to me? That would kill her as well. What to do. To look deep inside. To find someone – something – that is strong enough. There he is. Not quite man, not quite monster. This ‘Harlequin’ is strong enough to do what needs doing. He will be me when the time comes.
This morning, I’ll just get up. A bite of food. A sip of water. Stomach cramps. Convulsions. Must keep it down. Just for today. Respond to people talking to me. I don’t want to. Uninterested. Unimportant. But I’ll humor them. Just for today. Tomorrow is now today. I’ll do the same as yesterday. Now to face her. To face them. To face the shame. I can do this. I can do this…
This is a very abbreviated stream of thought presentation of an experience I once lived. I still have not entirely recovered. I may never. But it has helped make the man I am today. For better or worse, it’s a part of me. I cannot allow it to ever happen again, and I will never impose it on another. It isn’t good or evil. As difficult as it may have been, it just is. That’s the way of things.