I think about the past, how I can hardly relate to a certain version of myself. When I was around 25yo, everything was moving in the right direction. I essentially felt just as I had as a kid, despite minor stress starting to encroach from my career and other typical growing pains as I entered adulthood. I felt clean, and light, and unbroken. My career was just taking off, I was winning awards for my work and getting published, and I found myself in what I thought was the perfect relationship, what would become my future marriage. These early years of perfection, of growth, of newness. 2 puppies that would become my best friends, the thought of children. My family was healthy and intact, with traditions fully in place and weekly get togethers commonplace.

Now my life is broken. My family is scattered, my father has died, and we no longer get together like we used to. Weekly lunches have been replaced with a few get togethers per year around major holidays, and only with those who remain. That girl is gone, my dogs are gone, the job long lost and replaced by a lonely self-employment. No children, no life to focus on other than my own. And then there’s the new addition, the dark, crippling mass that is my trauma. It’s a force, or presence, that I simply can’t seem to escape. I’ve tried medication, I’ve tried therapy, I’ve tried getting out more with friends. I’ve tried dating. Nothing works, nothing fixes the fact that I am fully, and always will be, in a state of post trauma. Sure, things will improve, at least I hope so, but I will never be that person that I was before my world collapsed. So much loss, but so many wounds aimed at a person that simply can’t handle them, a person that is far too sensitive for this world.

I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m lost. Those are the only feelings I feel, because even in healing, I can never go back. I can’t raise the dead, nor can I undo the wounds dealt to me by someone I thought was the love of my life. I have no choice other than to move on, to forget, to accept, and I can’t seem to do it. I don’t have the strength. Potential love is tarnished by my anger, a perfectly fine person that deserves the best, but has this shell of a person. I try so hard to overcome, but I’m simply not strong enough, and I find myself submitting, I find myself wanting to throw in the towel, to retreat and protect myself. Where there once existed motivation, a need to improve myself, to grow, now exists a rotten, writhing mass of self-loathing, of fatigue, of dull eyes that peer through walls as if looking for answers. Only those eyes aren’t looking for anything. They’re simply looking inward, wondering how it all went wrong, wondering how much more I can take before I truly break.

That 25yo isn’t here anymore. He tried so hard, but was outmatched by a vampiric personality, one that truly broke his spirit. Stabbed him when he was pulling out life’s other knives. The death blow.

And yet I push forward. I try to work, try to return to my old ways of success, but its not happening. I smile, and people seem to think I should be over it by now (it’s been nearly a year), but the wound is just as fresh as ever. I’ve exhausted every means to cope, and now I’m faced with a reality that I can’t possibly make sense of. Having plans doesn’t make sense. Ambition doesn’t make sense. making money doesn’t make sense. I’ve done it all, and it all meant nothing. I’ve woken up in the face of trauma only to see that it all felt like a grand lie, and here I am, putting on that smile (of you can call it that) and trying to project myself as a survivor, as someone who has rolled with the punches. But I haven’t.

I see the world from the outside now, and none of you make sense to me anymore. My own “self”, that previous self, makes no sense anymore. I am lost, and that Me you knew is gone, and always will be. You may not know it when you see me. My eyes may appear brighter on some days, but it’s an act. I am broken, and the world has won. I am consumed, devoured, discarded.

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