This month is hard for me, although I don’t talk about it to much of anyone. There is too much to explain, too much that doesn’t make sense and I still struggle to find peace with it.
Right around the time I became an adult, I met a boy. It wasn’t a love interest, but it was love. For the short time we knew each other it was complicated. Mostly because of me and my problems, but back then he loved me despite of them. I couldn’t love me and couldn’t see myself the way he did.
We only knew each other for a short time in the scheme of life, but I knew every thing about him. There was much I tried to keep hidden about me.
I had begun dating Dan near the end and in the blink of an eye, he had me convinced of all that was bad for me. My job was bad, my friends were bad, my family was bad and my own thoughts/dreams/hopes were bad. I had been drowning in my problems for so long and he seemed strong enough to know better than I. He knew this boy and although I didn’t know it then, he was threatened by this boy. This boy who consumed me, made me laugh, challenged me and gave me the strength some days to just keep going. He was the best part of me.
My problems were brought glaringly to the surface and became something to beat me down with. My biggest problem in Dan’s eyes centered around this boy. Day by day, I was chipped away at. Little pieces that I thought were my truths were slammed against me, twisted and suddenly ugly when explained by Dan. I had lost my esteem a while back in a unlucky hand of forced fate, so I only had his version of my esteem to go by. I didn’t really fully believe them, but the nature of our relationship had already gotten to the point where it was clear I was a victim and likely always would be.
The signs of a fully blossoming abusive relationship were clearly taking focus and I was weak and worn. One night after a particularly venomous “therapy” session the immediate threat to Dan having full control was standing right beside me. I was weak, but this boy was weaker. I was battered, but he still believed in me. As I looked into his eyes for the last time, I pleaded that he understand I was trying to protect him. Protecting him from me, from Dan and from the demons of depression I still faced. I tried to look at it through his eyes and I knew it didn’t make sense and never would.
I let go of that boy’s hand and severed the relationship. I walked away from the first person who hadn’t judged me, forgave me automatically and loved me because of who I was to him.
Days, weeks, months and many long years there hasn’t been a day go by that I haven’t regretted that moment when I gave into someone stronger who swore it was for *my* best interests and I would thank him one day. Regardless of the abuse I faced for the next 12 years, it would never be equal to the abuse I dealt to myself for letting go.
I was told I was doing what was best. I acted as though it was probably best. I never once believed it was best. I quit talking about it all together, because I was told it would put me right back in depression or some kind of mental breakdown. I know now that talking about it would have given me strength and maybe things wouldn’t have gotten that far out of reach. I was scared to though when it had been forbidden.
Time goes on though and it takes what was once complicated and transforms it into impossible. I should have held to the one who comforted me rather than the one who wanted to conform me. I should have prayed about it. I should have sought counsel. I should have slept on it. I should have had a love strong enough that nobody could take it away from me. I should have believed in the power of God and not the power of man.
I methodically moved through my life and tried my best not to think about it. But the agony when something became too familiar and the devastation that crushes me when I question my deed never gives me a moment of peace.
I see this boy sometimes. He’s smiling, laughing, playing and living. He’s doing all that without me and I have to wonder if he would have done the same with me still in his life. Looking back on the last years of Dan’s mental illness and what our children had to endure, I wonder if perhaps this relationship has been spared the additional pain. I wonder if the pain was worth the price.
I have asked forgiveness in the only way that I can. Forgiveness from God. Forgiving myself. I pray that one day there is a healing of sorts. Maybe just a healing in my heart. Maybe it will always be a wound that reminds me of what letting go can actually do.
For right now I struggle. Especially in January when I remember his sweet voice and the most beautiful brown eyes I have ever seen. Although I wasn’t afforded many memories, I have kept them polished and treasured in my heart. My love for that boy will never fade until my own life fades.
…and frankly…it serves as a reminder that I hope others who have made choices that still haunt them, that it’s not over for you. While you still draw a breath, shaky and unstable as it might be, there is hope for healing from whatever in your past beat you down, betrayed you and made you lose the truth of who you are. No matter who or what might have taken something from you, there is One who is greater that can heal your loss.
For me it was the loss of the boy and the truth that was ours.
Categories: January Diary Entry
I want you to know that your words are helping in ways I don’t think you could have imagined. I share an office with a woman named Michele and I don’t think I have ever met anyone who has such a poor image of herself and her worthiness. She is in a loveless marriage to an alcoholic who has systematically torn her down for years. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that she is seeing a counselor and is getting stronger and has started making plans to leave him. So often whatever you’ve talked about in your post resonates so completely with where she is emotionally. I regularly print them off for her to read and each time she thanks me so profusely. I feel a little bit guilty with the thanks because all I have done is push “print”. It is YOUR words and YOUR pain that is ringing in her ears and heart and is helping to bring about change.
Alycia, you matter in so many people’s lives and the power of your testimony and pain is making a difference. Personally, you make me laugh and I thank you for that. I get your humor and understand that somedays all you can do is laugh, because otherwise you will run screaming into the night. Know that you are not alone on those days. I will always laugh with you and, if we need to run screaming, I’ll do that with you, too. I think you have turned out to be a remarkable woman and I am proud to call you my friend.
Thank you for helping another of my friends without even knowing it. May you live long and prosper, and may the force be with you, and all that other s**t. This old lady from another time in your life loves you and prays for you regularly.
I love you, Alycia! So glad that God is working miracles of restoration in your life! Praying peace for you in this hard season.
So many times I read your posts and I think “That could have been me….” Your experiences touch me in ways that hurt and ways that make me smile. Thank you!
This is so sad Alicia! And how amazing that you can reach out to him via a blog! What a strange world we live in. I’m sending you a big hug.
This is so sad! And how amazing that you can reach out to him through your blog! I’m sending you a BIG hug!