I think I am wearing someone else’s clothes. I don’t want to be, but it seems like I woke up in someone else’s home and put on someone else’s jeans and cuddled with someone else’s cat and poured some tea that doesn’t belong to me. How else can I explain this sudden bewildering misplacement of my body? This certainly can’t be what I’ve worked towards the last ten years- this life isn’t what I dreamt about when I applied for colleges or why I slept on the ground in my new apartment. Discomfort then was so different. I felt like a hero, like the owner of a huge snow globe I could topple and shake and change at any moment. It’s not so fun from the inside.
I feel uncomfortable now in this fundamentally disruptive way. My mind is not my own. The patterns of my thoughts are unpredictable and alarming. I can be “triggered”, or more honestly, reminded of him in such a way that I feel he is in peril right that second and I have to do something, I have to DO something, I HAVE TO DO SOMETHING! Then where am I? Stuck in a physical reality where I am incapable of helping and drowning in a memory. It’s like having an itch in the middle of your back… that will kill you if you don’t scratch it. Powerful metaphor, I know. And so I am forced by this mind meddling monster to leave parties or gesture my way through conversations barely keeping the lid on a boiling pot. And the images that plague me. I am an unwilling owner of a horrific ViewMaster. My mind, without my consent, clicks through the stereoscope, and occasionally I stop to gaze at it- at him- and I imagine myself reaching down to take his head in my hands, to sit there with his head in my lap and stroke his hair. “It’s all right,” I imagine myself saying, “you will feel better. This will pass.” But then it doesn’t and I feel the rope and I am anguished, I am fraught, I am powerless.
And then I am present again. Usually, I am then the begrudging holder of some serious embarrassment. How the fuck did I end up here? We had only been dating for six months, I knew I didn’t love him, not as a partner ought to. So how is it that I feel this way, that I am toppled and tormented, when I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life with this man? I am embarrassed of how I feel, I am embarrassed that I find myself in this situation- needing so much help and needing the patience of my friends and family. How am I associated with his tragedy? How did this happen to me? I look for connections, for signs, for the stone steps in the garden that lead me here and I find them- but they only reverse back on myself and the blame meanders back to me. I am ashamed, I am angry, I am weary. But I am not over. I can re-arrange those stones.