Tag Archives: Alone

Exist.

“On a scale from one to ten, how bad is it?”

I’ve been watching a lot of Grey’s Anatomy lately. In the show, emergency cases often come into the hospital and the doctors have to figure out how to save the person. Sometimes, those emergencies involved a foreign object going through a person. One time it was a pole someone had been impaled on. Another time it was a big tree branch. These cases are difficult because you can’t just pull the foreign object out, unless you want the patient to bleed to death. Usually, the pole or tree or whatever is holding all of the blood and organs in place, so if you just rip it back out of them, they’ll bleed out.

Lately, I’ve been feeling like watching tv is the foreign object that’s keeping me from bleeding out.

When I’m watching a tv show, I’m distracted. I’m wrapped up in someone else’s life. Lately, when I turn off the tv, sadness overwhelms me. It’s like the silence that follows is too quiet. My mind no longer has something to focus on. And I get really sad. I bleed out. I’d rather just keep watching tv. Unfortunately, I have responsibilities and people to hide my feelings from, so I can’t just stay curled up on the couch all day watching Grey’s Anatomy.

On one of the latest episodes I’ve watched, one of the main characters hasn’t been doing extremely well, and for some very good reasons. Her boyfriend comes and sees she’s having a hard time and simply asks, “On a scale of one to ten, how bad is it?”

On a scale from one to ten, it’s about a seven right now. Maybe a six. Which is better than yesterday. Worse than the day before. Much better from the day before that.

I’m just existing right now. I don’t think I ever thought I’d be a person who just existed. I just won’t pull the tree out. It’ll keep the bleeding under control.

-Melissa

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Helpless.

“How dare you.

There was a tragedy placed before me and those were the three words that rang through my mind. They were at the very forefront, refusing to be ignored.

“How dare you.”

I filled in the silence that followed:

“How dare you be so selfish. How dare you be so wrapped up in your own damn mind that, even as this story is being shared with you, you can’t push away your pain. How dare you be holding back tears because of your ‘pain’ when there are so many people in this world who are going through SO MUCH WORSE things than you. You are being selfish. You need to get outside yourself. You need to be there for the people around you. You are so consumed with the fact that no one has reached out to you that you’ve stopped reaching out to others. You’ve isolated yourself. You can barely handle other people’s pain because you can’t handle your own. How dare you. You are supposed to be able to carry other people burdens. Why can’t you put yours aside for a moment? Why can’t you get out of your own head? You should be taking care of people- loving people. Isn’t that what you do? You haven’t been doing that lately. You don’t even care about the people around you. You’re being selfish, only caring about yourself. How dare you. This is not how you are supposed to act. You need to snap out of this. It’s ridiculous. You need to get up. You need to do something. All you want is for someone to see you and, yet, you keep to yourself. You want people to ask how you are and then lie when they do. How dare you. How dare you get so wrapped up in your own problems like this. You are supposed to be better than this. What you are dealing with is nothing- NOTHING- compared to other peoples pain. How dare you. How dare you. How dare you.

I had no words to fight back and other peoples pain layered itself on my own and tears came to my eyes and weight came to my arms and my hands shook and my breath fought against me and I tried to think of ways I could help and my mind swirled and I wondered if there was anything that could be done and sadness hit me again and again and again until I fell. Helpless.

-Melissa

Letter.

To the fixers:

Maybe you don’t know what else to do, so you give a suggestion. Maybe my problem seems easy to you. Maybe you can’t relate. Maybe you see an easy solution and you can’t imagine why I haven’t seen it. Maybe I have. Maybe it’s not as easy as you suggest. Maybe I can’t do what you can do. Maybe your solution is just a step in the right direction, but that same solution is surrounded by obstacles in my life. Maybe I don’t need a solution. Maybe I don’t need you to fix this. Maybe you want to help and you want to take control and fix this. Breathe. Just take a breath and be here with me. This can’t be fixed so easily.

To the challengers:

I see my flaws. I know there are many things I need to change. I’m probably more aware of them than you are. You challenge me to have perspective. You challenge me to think in different ways. You challenge me to think passed this. I can do those things. And nothing you are saying is wrong. But you’re invalidating what I’m feeling. I’m in a vulnerable place and you’re telling me, “Hey. I know what you’re feeling. But stop feeling that. Because you haven’t thought about it in this way. You just need some perspective.” I am allowed to feel what I’m feeling. You make me feel like I’m bad because I’m feeling this way. Just stop. Just hear me. Empathize with me.

To the uncomfortable:

You asked me why I was crying. So I told you. So you made a face that said you understood. Then you looked away. And you looked back and talked about something else. You tried to make me laugh. You ignored what I said. I know you’re not comfortable. I know you don’t want to help me carry this burden. Then please don’t ask. If you can’t handle it, please don’t ask me why I have tears in my eyes. Please don’t ask me how I’m doing. Because watching you see my pain and then ignore it? That’s something I can’t handle. So if you want to engage in my pain with me, then please do. But if you don’t want to–if you can’t– then leave me alone.

To the distracted:

You heard me. You not only heard me, but you said all the right things. You are the closest I’ve gotten to feeling a bit of relief from the sadness inside of me. You have gotten my hopes up that maybe, just maybe, I’m not alone. But you are busy. And the hours and the days and the weeks pass by and you seem to forget everything I said to you. When you see me, sometimes I can see you still remember, but you’re hurried. You have to move on to your next task, your next meeting. You say we’ll connect again soon as you pass by. Or you are so busy and distracted that you never follow through. In any way. You don’t even ask how I’m doing. Either be one thing or the other. Either be my friend, or don’t. But do not get my hopes up.

To the listeners:

Where are you?

-Melissa

Professor.

The sky is turning black and the page is blank.

My eyes locked on the darkening window as soft voices drifted in from the open door.

Can you accept something and still be sad?

Ah, yes. Wow, that just connected to far too many parts of my life.

You see, professor, I can’t finish my paper. I can barely lift my hands, let alone a pencil. You see, professor, my head leans against the back of the couch and it’s hard to lift it again. You see, professor, I’m finding it hard to concentrate.

No, professor, I am not tired. Yes, I’ve been getting enough sleep. Yes, I’ve been paying attention (when I can) in class. Yes, you will get your paper on time. No, professor, it will not be my best work. And you see, professor, I can’t care.

You see, professor, this classroom becomes too small. I feel suffocated by the lack of…I don’t know– life? in this classroom. You see, professor, my classmates keep talking about how challenge needs to be paired with support. But you see, professor, they’ve forgotten to pair support with challenge. Professor, their challenges weigh down on me and I fight to not grow bitter against them. Because, you see, professor, they don’t see into my life. They don’t see my loneliness or these days (and days) when I’m unbearably sad. You see, professor, I’m not really close to them. They forget about me. They don’t ask me how I am. And you see, professor, that makes the loneliness so much stronger.

But professor, you don’t see.

And I’ve accepted that this is the way it is for a while. For a while, I will struggle to breathe. I will passively drown. But I wonder if I’ll ever swim again.

I used to be so good at swimming.

Don’t worry, professor. I’ll finish your paper. I’ll make something up. You’ll get it in time.

-Melissa

Missing you.

So… I still miss you.

That shouldn’t surprise me anymore. But it’s been a long time since I’ve had a conversation with you. It’s been a long time since you’ve looked me in the eye… Even longer since it wasn’t followed by quickly looking away when you realized I was looking back. Goodness, it’s been years since I’ve heard your laugh. Years. But I still miss you.

I never want to stop. So maybe that’s why I haven’t. But I never expected that it would still be this strong. That the pain would still be so real.

Then again, I never expected that, by now, we wouldn’t have become friends again. I never thought your silence would last this long. I always thought our reunion was just around the corner.

Now, part of me wonders if I was delusional.

But, when I was at my worst, those delusions gave me hope. And God used that horrible experience to teach me what hope was. And I’m forever grateful for that.

But that was years ago too. It’s been so long. And there’s a very large part of me that thinks if you and I tried to be friends again today, it wouldn’t even work. Because too much time has past. There’s been too much space, and my pain has completely filled it. And your walls have successfully kept me out. And, though I’m sure you’ve changed, I’m not sure you could even remove a single stone from one of the walls.

And that’s the other thing. Missing you is mixed with worry for you. Because I worry you’ve kept everyone else out. I worry you’re alone and lonely. I worry you’re in pain and too afraid to let anyone see the utter goodness you hold inside of you. I just… I worry.

And you would tell me to stop. And you would say you were fine. And you would say that you like living just the way you are.

And I would be able to see through your lies just as clearly as you saw through mine.

I don’t know why you did what you did. It doesn’t make sense, Tyler. You and I had a friendship that most will never understand. Didn’t you realize that? Didn’t you see how well we understood each other? Didn’t you feel the comfort that came from our friendship? Didn’t you know that I would love you, literally no matter what you did? Didn’t I tell you that on more than one occasion? Didn’t you promise you’d never leave?

And was all of that what scared you and sent you running?

We’re less than two months away from it being four years. This is why I’m convinced that, though there may be stages of grief, grief never actually ends. Because, if it did, would there still be tears in my eyes? If it did, would my heart still ache at the thought of you?

I love you, best friend. Haven’t I proven you can’t change that?

Missing you.

-Melissa

Dear.

Dear Future Husband,

I feel a stupid writing this. It was acceptable when I was sixteen, but now it just seems pathetic. Even more pathetic because I still don’t know who you are yet. But I need an outlet, so here we are.

I want you. I don’t need you. But I want you to come to me. I know I am fine without you. I know we haven’t found each other yet for a reason. I trust God in that. I know His timing is best. And I truly want what He wants from me, whatever He thinks is best. It’s been proven time and again that His will is much better than mine and I will happily follow His plan. And I will be patient.

But lately it’s been hard. Really hard. 

And I don’t know what to do. Love is everywhere. In the books I read, the tv I watch. And when I think I could just cut those things out of my life, I realize the amount of couples around me. There is no way to escape this.

Every man I meet, I wonder for a moment if he could be you. Just for a moment (most of the time). Do you know how distracting that is? And I don’t know how to stop.

It’s not that I want anything bad. I just want someone to live life with. I want someone’s hand to hold. I want someone to come home to. I want someone to read in bed with. I want someone to take dancing lessons with me. I want someone to offer comfort and safety and security. I want someone to care for. I want someone to depend on.

There are people in my life that have some of those qualities or who can offer some of those thing, but truthfully, I want them all, and more, from you. 

I just wish so badly I didn’t want it so much. 

Part of me can’t believe I haven’t found you yet. I didn’t think it would take this long. And I didn’t know it would be this painful. The worst part is that I just think it will get worse with age. 

So, wherever you are, know that I am longing for you. I’m longing for your presence in my life. And truly hope you’re not having as hard of a time as I am. If you are, I’m so very and truly sorry.

I know we haven’t met, but I miss you. You’re wonderful. 

your love, 

Melissa

Two.

I do much better in the daylight.

But it was dark. And cold. All the curtains were drawn so that no one could see in. It was meant to keep them out. But I was kept in. And I was very aware of my heartbeat.

Calm down. You’re fine.

I was fine. I’m fine. I. am. fine. My breath though… it was more shallow than normal. My heart rate was speeding up.

Would you stop? You’re fine. 

Yes, I had to stop. But my head felt funny. I couldn’t think straight. Why couldn’t I breathe like a normal person? Why could I feel my heartbeat so clearly? Am I okay? What should I do? I can’t sit hear anymore. Pacing. No stop. I’m fine. Am I safe here? I can’t stand anymore. Sitting. The floor.

For goodness sake. You’re fine. You know you’re fine. You’re being dramatic. Just breathe.

Just breathe… I can’t! I can’t get enough air. Why is my breath so shallow? Aren’t I breathing? My chest hurts. Should I… call someone? Text someone? What would I even sa–

No! You are fine. You are in control. You do not need to get a hold of anyone. No one would be able to do anything anyway. And you know that it’s no big deal! You’re working yourself up for nothing! It’s all in your head. You are fine! Pull yourself together. Why are you so dramatic?! Just breathe like a normal person!

How do I calm down? I want something… comforting. Something warm.

Tea.

Tea… Tea. Do I have tea? Why didn’t I bring tea! Why didn’t I bring enough of anything?! I’m supposed to be more prepared than this!

Your backpack. Are there still some tea bags in your backpack?

Backpack…. Yes! There’s tea. Lemon.

Good. Go make it and calm down.

Calm down.

Calm down.

-Melissa