I often think about how I felt about 13-15 years ago, and compare it to how I feel now. To say the least, I feel like that person doesn’t exist anymore, and I can’t comprehend how it might feel to be so “light” as I was back then. All things were in place: My father picked me up on Saturday’s for our weekly tradition of going to lunch (he, myself, and my brother). Thursdays was lunch with mom and my brother, and I was just considering quitting my job to start my business with my brother. I was engaged to be married, had just bought my first house, and we’d just gotten our second dog. I mowed the lawn to our little house, I read the Harry Potter books on my enclosed back porch while it rained. We went on walks and explored the neighborhood together (me, her, the two dogs, a group I considered my family). I remember on a Wednesday I was sitting outside at a nearby bookstore, and I thought, wow, I feel truly happy. My career had been growing, the prospect of becoming a business owner was exciting, and things were simply moving forward just as I’d hoped they could with marriage to who I thought to be the love of my life on the horizon.

Now all of those things are gone. My two dogs died, my father died, and my wife had an affair and abruptly ended the marriage all in the span of a year. A typical day for me consists of waking up around 10am at best, dragging myself to the medicine cabinet to take my meds, and waiting for my stimulant to take effect. This gets me through until around 2pm, when the daily depression and anxiety kick in like clockwork. The stimulant wears off, I get fatigued and sad, and my thoughts gaze into the past, taunting me with how it used to be, how a life promised to me had been torn away with such violence that I feel gutted and dismembered.

At night I used to enjoy my hobbies: video games on my custom built PC, a new hobby of board games, playing piano. Now, I can’t seem to understand how I enjoyed any of those things, and they feel meaningless. Worse, they feel like a relic from this past life, a life where I was still alive inside and able to enjoy such things. Now, I’m lucky to enjoy a movie or show on Netflix. I lay on my couch most of the evening, and typically fall asleep there before dragging myself back to bed to start the process over.

Inside, I feel empty, save for a deep existential sadness paired with anxiety so bad that I border on panic attacks on a nearly daily basis. I cry a lot, typically once a day, and long for my father and friends and family to all be together. Since I started my business all those years ago (something I’m still not sure was the right move, despite my success) I slowly became more isolated, and now, after covid and all of my losses, I feel desperately alone. When I cry, I wail. I scream and I punch at the air, and yet no one is there to hear. I sit in coffee shops alone and stare at the other people going about normal lives in seemingly happy relationships. I see families and their children. All of these things remind me of my loss, the loss of things I never had, and the loss of the most important things I thought I had. The love of another, the love of my life, so I thought, and the cruelest person I’ve ever met. I’m face with thew loss of self-confidence, of feeling the comfort of knowing someone loved me.

You see, this is one of the biggest wounds inflicted. I thought she truly cared. We seemed to be fine, and we didn’t have a typical downward spiral of arguing. We went on vacations, we went on walks and held hands, we went and got ice cream together and watched movies nearly up until the very day she told me she wanted to separate. Now I’m left with a fear that I’ll never truly know if someone loves me. Even if I feel it, how can I believe it when I felt it from someone who could turn of their love like a breaker switch. Instantly dead, gone, buried, and moving on to another.

They tell me I’ll move on, and I know I will. I understand more about how and when things turned south in my marriage now that I’ve stepped away, and I know that my own feeling of love was most likely a deranged form of attachment, of Stockholm syndrome and true institutionalism. Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t, and such. I believe over time I’ll understand the true gradations of my relationship with this person more and more. However, I don’t think I’ll truly heal to the point where I can trust my own feelings when I suspect someone has fallen in love with me. I’ll hear the words, I’ll see the actions that show their love as being strong and genuine. And yet, I’ve seen that all before, nearly moments before I was dealt the most vicious wound of my life. How can I ever believe with a wound that feels as if it will bleed forever?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *