It didn’t feel like the “other shoe” dropped today, it felt like the whole pair.
I’ve been doing so well. So well, in fact, that last night I had the conscious thought that I like myself, I’m happy, I’m even happy single, I’m not afraid of the future, and I’m actually not afraid at all. It was bizarre.
Then I went to teach a workshop today. On my break (10 minutes) I got a voice mail in which a teenager I mentor who’s in serious trouble cursed me out, an email from my ex-boyfriend telling me he’s dating someone, and a message from a friend that basically informed me that another friend was excluding me from the evening’s activities. Then I had to go back and teach for two more hours. I made it through the class and cried all the way home.
The kid who’s in trouble – it’s not surprising at all that he did this. He feels out of control and angry and self-destructive and he’s trying to push everyone away. That makes sense. And yesterday I would have said, quite calmly, that there was a good chance that something just like this would happen. But it devastated me. I love this kid. I’ve known him since he was 8 (he’s 14) and I’ve seen the shit that life (and his family) has thrown at him. I would do anything I could to help him, but he won’t let me, and apparently I’m safe enough to release anger on.
The ex-boyfriend – it’s been over a year and a half since we broke up. I fell like this shouldn’t bother me. But he was my best friend. And I still miss him, even though I know he is not good for me, at least right now. Somehow I can’t convince my heart that he’s not good for me, even though I know it quite well in my head. Also, he’s found someone and I haven’t. So all of a sudden, I’m afraid of the future again. I’m afraid of being alone. Last night I wasn’t – how did it change so fast! All of a sudden, I’m afraid I’ll never find anyone, I’ll be alone for the rest of my life, I’ll be old and senile and have no one to take care of me – I’m terrified.
I don’t want to still miss him this much. He’s the one I wanted to call with all this stuff. He’s the one who is still my automatic first call – except I stop myself. I have a lot of friends, but today, there was no one. Everyone I tried was busy – family, time with husband, out with friends, etc. There’s no one who I come first with. That really is the heart of it. When we were dating – and even during periods after – I came first for someone. If there was an earthquake, I would have been the first one he looked for. Now there’s no one. I have very very good friends who are like family, but I’m not first. I might be a high second, but their own family would come first. That has always been something that is hard for me. I want to come first in someone’s life. And don’t say I come first for God because that doesn’t count, since everyone comes first for God.
And the friends. We are in our thirties! And there are two people (a couple) who are mad at me about something that is unclear, petty, and that they won’t talk to me about. I’ve actually been trying pretty hard to be patient and not tell them that I think they’re immature idiots. But they’ve now progressed to pretending I don’t exist. That doesn’t work for me. I’ve spent too much of my life wishing I didn’t exist and trying not to exist.
It’s a reminder that I have a really hard time remembering my feelings. When I feel good, it’s hard to (and I don’t want to) remember the bottomless despair that can slam into me. When I feel bad, I really truly do not believe that I have ever or will ever be all right again. While I know in my head that God hasn’t totally abandoned me, I sure do believe it in my heart. Today, all three things happened within ten minutes. Or rather, I found out about all three things in my ten minute break when I was teaching.
It seems cruel. Literally twelve hours before I was crying on the way home, I felt better than I have basically in my whole life. I felt free from fear – at least the horrible crippling fear. I felt like hopeless despair wasn’t going to swallow me whole again. And while it could be much, much worse, I don’t want this feeling. Not even a little. I don’t want to feel like God is waiting to smack me down if I get content.