Sunday, September 6, 2009

So this is what it feels like

It happened to me for the first time today. I know it will happen again, and I know I have yet to feel a lot of pain, and a lot of joys in my life. It is an overwhelming revelation. But right now I just need to take it one breath at a time. Although I know I'm not thinking very rationally about all this yet, I think it might be of some future value to write what I'm feeling now, marking this quietly monumental occasion.

It just happened all of a sudden. Couldn't have predicted it until it was already happening, like when you step on an attic floorboard and it creaks a little too loud and a little too long. And then you fall through and you aren't even sure how you got where you are, or if you'll be able to get up again.

This is how it feels. This wasn't going to go ideally. We wouldn't be friends.

I will never forget that pause on the phone. The unexpected silence brought a slight creak, "You did?" and then creaaaak, "You did," and I was falling. A hurl of emotion shook my bones so that they tingled, as I, trembling, tried not to drown in the sea of dissonant chords, foreign tongues, and rainbow sludge that was pouring into every opening in my body. Gasping for air, my chest, stomach, and head undulated in the wake of what hadn't been said.

So, less than a week after we'd last kissed, spoken, he'd slept with somebody else. Then called to tell me he missed me, and wanted me, and wanted to see me. How tragically mainstream.

But I didn't know it at first. So I tried not to indulge my still-strong feelings for him, and then, succumbing, agreed to see him sometime. And then he paused, he wanted to, but he wanted to think about it, and he thought I should too. Such thoughtfulness was uncharacteristic. So on a whim I asked.

The silence said it all. He'd been with another girl, regretted it, called to repair what never would be again. Played to the feelings he knew I still had for him, because I had told him. My feelings progressed in the following way:

Chapter I: The mudslide (described before).

Chapter II: After I'd somewhat surfaced, self blame. How could I have been so stupid? Naïvely chaussée-ing through the waltz that was going on around me. Then ending up in this hot, wet sandstorm, feeling dirty and used.

Chapter III: Anger and disgust. How could he? After almost four years. And then on top of it, he played it to me as if nothing had ever happened. I wanted to smash everything I saw, vomit, crush every ounce of anything that reminded me of his mindless typicality.

But then, and even scarier, and more quickly than the other two, came the fourth chapter: nothing. I felt nothing.

It has been said that the mind can only take so much pain before it just shuts down. My limbs felt heavy, my bones vibrated under my skin. I felt light-headed and exhausted, but my thoughts were cold and mechanical. Eventually I realized that I wanted to sleep for a long time.

And I still feel nothing, can think nothing, and feel utterly indifferent towards mostly everything. Then the pain comes back, like the nausea of grief, in intense waves, leaving me reeling and then just tired and numb again.

When we first started dating, when we first started to realize that we were falling in love, that this was different, we casually joked that whomever should break the other one's heart first had to, as a form of consolation, give the other a pack of Twizzlers, as they were very good. T was very afraid to fall in love. And although he was the first one to say he loved me, again, casually as we crossed the street in the East village, he'd still refused to say it again for months, an act which hurt and confused me at the time.

Four years later, and just as casually as we'd slipped into love, he brought my world crashing down. Twizzlers, I'm afraid, really won't cut it.

So this is what it feels like to have your heart broken. My heart is broken. It was broken by some one I used to know.


Elizabeth said...

Every single day, little bit by little bit, the amount of time you spend in pain will lessen. I promise. You won't notice it until one day you realize that you've spent an hour without thinking about it or him.

It ends. Not like a summer storm passing through and gone, but like a natural disaster that changes the land it touches. You'll bear the scars of this forever, but in ways that make you better, kinder, stronger, and wiser in your humanity and in love.

I promise.

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing. i've never experienced heartbreak but your words made me teary

L said...

thanks, victoria. means a lot. it's funny because i already feel pretty distant from that day, but i'm so happy i wrote what i was thinking and feeling. it's like the john lennon song, "nobody told me there'd be days like these..." it's a harrowing thought to think there will be more.
but...thanks....and follow on! i miss you :/