Of transitions and transformations


This time of year is challenging for me. It’s been that way for the past 3 years. The transition from summer to fall brings up a lot of demons from my past. Each year, it gets a little easier. The pain isn’t quite as intense, the memories not as strong, the anxiety and fear not as crippling.

It was this time of year 3 years ago that I decided my life had to change. Something was going to give and I didn’t want it to be me. I moved into my first apartment and lived on my own for the first time around this season. I stopped drinking for the first time. It was this time of year I started to see my life as it really was, not as I wanted it to be. It was this time of year I got fired for the first time in my life. It was this time of year I honestly, genuinely considered taking my own life. I was standing in my kitchen with a knife in my hand thinking “I could just cut my wrists and end it all right now”. That thought shook me to my core. I picked up my phone and stared at it for a good 5 minutes before I made a call. I called Boy.

There was a bit of build up to that point. I had started dating Boy’s roommate in late August. I moved in September and asked him to help. He said talk to Boy. I had to get new furniture and asked him to help me transport it. He said talk to Boy. My sink didn’t work. He said talk to Boy. I had seen him in passing, obviously, because he lived in the same house. When we met, he was dating someone else. He dumped her about a month before his roommate dumped me. We had our first meaningful conversation on a Sunday night in early October. There had been a bit of an impromptu barbecue at their house. His roommate went to bed in a snit and we stayed up talking. We talked until 3 in the morning about everything. I was still in a lot of pain with no alcohol at my disposal. But I was honest with him. I spilled my heart out to what amounted to a total stranger. And he did the same.

It was the next night that I hit my absolute bottom. I called him, he picked up, and it took everything I had to ask him to come over. He drove out to see me at 10 at night on a Monday. He stayed with me until I was able to be on my own. I was still at the point where I couldn’t cry. It took energy I didn’t have. He held me, talked to me, and didn’t take advantage of me. It was the moment he told me no that changed everything. It gave me faith that not all guys were assholes. I had just been picking them up to that point. He promised me that everything would be okay. I chose to believe him. The next day, I was fired from a job I’d only had for 4 months. He was the first one I called. I practically lived with them for the next week. He was always there for me. He was the one who asked me if I’d been raped. I said yes. Shortly thereafter, I started trauma therapy. It’s still hard to put into words. I still get tears in my eyes when I write it down. In the end, I know it’s better to lay it out than keep it in. Clearly that plan didn’t work.

Maybe this year, it’ll pass early. The pain will be gone by the time all these anniversaries roll around. They’ll pass without a second thought. I’m trying to let myself feel the pain. I’m trying not to push it to the side and hope it goes away. It’s uncomfortable and the complete opposite of what I’ve done before. It’s tiring. It makes me cranky. It makes me unpredictable. I know, deep down, it’s what I need to do to heal. What Will did to me sucks, but I can’t change the past. I can change how I handle now. I’ll probably have a few missteps. That’s part of being human and learning something new. It’s not about how you fall. It’s about how you get back up. That’s what determines what kind of person you are. If there’s one thing that’s been consistent the past 3 years, I’ve always gotten back up. It might take a minute, but I will do it. Some days getting out of bed is a challenge. Other days, I hop right out, get on with my day, and nothing is wrong. Slowly but surely, the pain will pass.


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