“I’m ready to give up. I mean, I think maybe I’ve been ready to give up for a long time. It’s just a compulsion of some weird sort. Why did I even try in the first place? It’s just history repeating itself!”
“I don’t know.” My friend sat across the square wooden table at our favorite restaurant to visit and have ‘girl talk.’ She shook her head slowly and continued, “I’m pretty sure it’s just because you are wishing for something better than what you’ve known for a while and when those emotions were elicited you were just shocked.”
“You know we’ve talked about how your heart has hardened with regard to men. Don’t get me wrong, I know you are still emotional in other ways and still a very caring person, but you have that frozen romantic side to the point that you haven’t cared about anyone for so long. You just don’t know how to handle it when someone gets in your head, even if it’s just for a few minutes.”
“You are right about me not knowing how to handle someone getting in my head; that’s for sure…”
“At least, in the way that you haven’t gotten figured out yet….And you know what else I think?”
“What?” At this point I really wasn’t certain what she was going to say.
“I think it’s also possible that this is your internal challenge master throwing a temper tantrum.”
I had to laugh a bit, although I’d wondered the same thing myself. Was it possible that I simply couldn’t let go only because there were unanswered questions still in my mind?
I responded, “Do you think it’s possible that maybe I actually don’t even care at all? Maybe I’m just going through some methodical motion of attempting to solve a puzzle and no matter what I do that unsolved mystery is just eating away at me to the point that I’ve reasoned it out to be something like a lost love?” Continuing I said…”Really, what would I even know of a lost love anyway? Am I really so reformed from the one who never truly could feel that deeply for anyone in a romantic way?”
“I’m not sure, but be careful not to put yourself down. You are one of the most compassionate and deeply caring people I know. If you have no capacity for being ‘in love’ with anyone it’s only because you have an internal wall inside of you that is so thick and scared of getting hurt. But don’t forget, you’ve been successfully hurt before; and when I say hurt; I mean really, really hurt bad.”
I winced for less than a quarter of a second when she reminded me of this. But the fact was also involved that he had been one of the ones who’d hurt me at that incredibly deep level.
“Do you think I’m trying to punish myself? What if this guy could hurt me as badly now as he did years ago?”
“You might be doing just that. Have you done your exercises yet that I told you to do in order to attempt to forgive yourself?”
“You can and this is exactly when you need to do them. If you are screwing around with fire here because you think you deserve to keep feeling pain, all you are doing is putting yourself and everyone you love at risk.”
My best friend continued, “Who is going to do everything you do if you lose your mind again? What if you don’t make it back this time?”
She took hold of my hand and squeezed, “I know there are new opportunities every day and that’s a beautiful and inspiring thing you always say, but don’t think that it isn’t true that sometimes people’s chances just run out. We are talking about a physiological condition here. If you fry your brain again and fall into shut down, it’s possible that something inside of there might get damaged beyond repair this time. It’s possible that you might never make it back and those heavy steel doors that went on lockdown those years ago; they might get welded shut, or a fire might start in your mental storage room and it could all turn to ash.”
I took a sip of my margarita and wondered as to how I can possibly know which possibility is true and which is false. I had so many mixed emotions.
The one thing that did keep pushing at my guy though was that I’m really coming to the end of my interest in pursuing this whole scenario.
“I think at this point that even if he swaps roles with me and starts the pursuit himself….I think I might just be done for real and have lost all interest in persevering or even in responding. What’s the point anyway?”
“The biggest problem I think, is that you don’t really know what the point is and that’s what has kept you from shutting that door completely. Did he ever accept any of the responsibility for the death?”
“No.” I responded shaking my head emphatically. “He’s never once been willing to acknowledge it at all. I really think he never will. After all, I’m the one who held her in my arms, watched her blood rolling down my skin. I’m the one who cannot pretend it wasn’t all real. He’ll never acknowledge any of it.”
“There’s your answer really. It doesn’t matter what else may or may not be true. The fact that he’s left you to bear 100% of that burden alone; that’s where you know that you need to bury his memory.”
She then stated what I really needed to hear, just as she had the gift for doing my entire life: “Bury his memory in the same plot that you buried her body in. When he left you to cope with that all on your own, that’s the one spot in history where he should have remained. Forgive yourself for shooting her. You thought she had a weapon. He told you she had a weapon and she was coming after you. When she ran up to you, you were ready for her only because he told you to be ready for her in exactly that way. Heck! He even gave you the gun and sent you to her! Put him where she is. Shut the door to that memory and throw away the key. You aren’t in denial about it. If he is, then he’s the one that will suffer the longest-term psychological damage. Do not let him drag you into the grave he dug for himself and has attempted to bury you in as well. Maybe he knew what he was doing. Maybe he didn’t. Either way, it’s time to start living!”