The holidays always make me think of you; I suppose they do, because Christmas was the last time a saw you, what feels like 100 years ago. It was the last time I would talk to you. It was the last time I would pick up a phone call from you, when you still bothered to call, when you still had my phone number.
I dream of you sometimes, I can still grasps the wisps of a memory. I dream of being at your funeral, I can see myself, standing in the back, the same person, just about 20 years older. I stand in the back, because I feel strange being there, I am a stranger.
Quite possibly the only people who would know who I am are also gone, and the others, well the others don’t want me there to begin with. The others hate me, I’m sure. It makes it easier, I’m sure, for them to sleep if I am the horrible one, not you. I will not deny them the luxury of hating me. I’m not horrible. I had to save myself. You couldn’t. You couldn’t even save yourself.
What I do not know is why they were never good enough for you. I spent too much time trying to be perfect for someone who, ironically, was so tragically broken. Someone else broke you, long before I came around. Someone left you less than capable of being a real person. I was lucky enough to get away from you, before I was irreparably as broken as you. I had to break the cycle. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I damaged another human being in the same way you damaged me.
The damage has seeped into my soul. It has infected every relationship I’ve ever had. It has made me emotionally handicapped, and often alone. It is the lump in my throat I can never swallow. It is the dream that makes me jump up, gasping for air. It is the voice in my head, sabotaging any chance of a healthy relationship. It is my overwhelming fear of getting married or having children. It is why I collect the broken, damaged, and the hurt. They are like me, and I have an excuse not to get close. It is the hesitation to let ANYONE into my heart.
This is you. I’m trying to quarantine the pain, the sharp edges, because I don’t want to cut anyone else. I blame you for this. I blame you for this burden. I blame you for robbing someone else of the beauty and love I have to give.
I know I am 32 years old. I know my happiness and health is my responsibility. I know others have overcome far greater pain and trauma. I am trying. Sometimes, I am succeeding. Weeks, and maybe even months go by, and I am happy. I don’t think of you. I date. I pretend for a while that maybe I can finally try with someone, try and not fail. I almost believe them when they tell me they love me. I almost don’t think why? I can almost see myself as they do. Strong, smart, independent, loyal, enough, more than enough.
I hope you think of me too. I hope you dream of me. I want you to see me. I want you to feel what I feel, and know, you lost me.