Maybe she’s anxious. Maybe she’s depressed. Maybe she’s bipolar, or obsessive compulsive, or manic-depressive, or any other number of things. Maybe you’ll love her and maybe she’ll love you back. For a while, the rush of endorphins from the brush of your hand against hers, and the ruffling sound of your hair against her pillow might be enough to make it seem as though she’ll never have another morning where she cannot drag herself out of bed.
Another afternoon crying in the bathroom.
Another night in the ER.
It will seem too good to be true and you’ll fall so in love with what you think she’s becoming because of you. You, this magic eraser of a person, will have wiped away this flaw inside her brain and body with the majesty that is your love.
You – you who does not understand her at all.
You will hear her, if she knows herself yet, say,
“I have anxiety.”
“I am manic depressive.”
“Sometimes I feel so crazy inside my own head I am unable to remember to breath.”
“Quirks,” your love-drowned mind will think. “Quirks I can wade through.”
Because you will see her as a drowning girl. A girl at the top of a tower. A girl to be rescued.
And you will never see that you can’t save her.
Maybe she will try to smother the signs and symptoms out of herself, hiding them from you to keep you. She will begin to notice, whether she realizes it or not, that you cannot see this side of her. That you will not see it. That if you do see it you will leave. She will work privately with herself, and hide it from you. You will never really know her, possibly resenting the tired look under her eyes as she tries to love you, never knowing the long nights she spends trying to be better for you, and trying to understand why she can’t love herself.
Eventually you will be overwhelmed with this illness. It will overcome you, your love for this person. This will happen because you didn’t even know it was there because you were unwilling to acknowledge how real it actually was. Real problems need real help, and while love is real, it is not a solution. It could not absolve her from the darkness in her mind, or the weight in her heart.
Like a ship going out to sea you will watch her grow smaller in the distance. And even if she calls to you, you will distance yourself too, maybe knowing somewhere in your mind you are unable to reach her because you were never helping in the first place.
When you walk away with your ringing reasons of, “You didn’t try like I did,” and, “You never listened to what I needed,” keep in mind you thought you could save her, and when you couldn’t you ignored what was gnawing at her most deeply and left her to drown.