Held an inch underwater

From the beginning of this whole experience, I’ve had a hard time describing what I’m feeling without victimizing myself or saying something just to say it. Knife in my chest. Heartbroken. Lost. Pain. These things come to mind immediately after losing someone you loved deeply, but what does it really feel like? For the first time, I’ve sat alone and really thought about it, and it clicked. It’s like being held an inch underwater. You’re submerged, you can’t breathe, and you feel helpless but you know that your salvation is only an inch away. You see sunlight but can’t feel it’s warmth on your skin. You try to stay calm but surges of blood rushing from your heart to your head remind you that the only way to breathe again is to release whatever is holding you. And you have to wait until it’s gone.

Infidelity. Physical abuse. Manipulation. Control. Lies. I wish I could say that I knew better about the last four, that I left because I was strong willed and brave and I loved myself more. That wasn’t the case. I became prisoner of my longing to be loved and validated by him. A compliment, gesture, feeling the same hands that hurt me caressing my skin, a smile, big brown eyes, nestling my nose into his chest during an embrace, his smell, music, songs, love letters, beautiful words-all of these things mattered more than my dignity. They came from the love of my life and they meant so much after bouts of sadness and hurt. What I didn’t know, was that none of these things mattered anyways. The actions that I held so sacred were shared with other women. Women that didn’t receive the bad things, only the good. They mattered more than me, and still do. He had more respect for them than he did me. He betrayed me.

But not as much as I betrayed myself. 

I can’t say that I’ve come to terms with everything yet. I find myself alone in my apartment, awake and writing about my feelings, reading books, secretly hoping to hear from him so that I can seek an explanation thats never going to come. It wouldn’t make much of a difference, anyway. The duality of knowing that you’ve saved yourself from a lifetime of pain, and wanting all of those good things back with that person is something that I encounter every day. All I have to do is break that cognition and focus on the sunlight coming through that inch of water, until one day the water is gone. 

 

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