It was a curious moment of being both exactly where I was and also somewhere very very different. I’d told her I messaged P2AD. She said she didn’t want me to get hurt and I told her, very truthfully, that I wasn’t afraid of that. The most curious part is that, I meant it.
I recognized the moment for exactly what it was. A breakthrough of sorts, I had made some sort of peace with pain. When did that happen? I think it came shortly, as in moments, after admitting the truth. My sister invited him to her graduation and I admitted to her and to myself that I wanted him there as well. He’s family, she said and I said again in my head to make sure I understood. But this isn’t about him, it is through the processing of these occurrences that I found some resolution with my biggest fear: annihilation.
Years ago I made previous mention of a quote by Geneen Roth, author of Women Food and God, where she writes, “As long as I believe that pain is bigger than me, as long as I define being open and vulnerable as being vulnerable to annihilation, I believe in an image of myself: that I am someone who can be annihilated. And when I believe this, I bolt from different situations by engaging in various mind-altering and body numbing activities. I shut myself down or walk out the door when pain threatens to destroy me–which is any situation that involves another human being or whose outcome I cannot control. I live an autistic existence (43).” I bail. It is the thing I hate most and yet it is the thing I do best.
I was woman enough to admit to him that after one fight I bailed on us in Nashville. I was woman enough to admit that I bailed on our friendship when we had a disagreement on where it should go and when. I bailed on him for weeks after even when my heart hurt because it hurt too much to look back and face the truth. I had to own that. “So be lonely, Liz!” I say that to myself often though it’s not exactly loneliness and I am not Liz. I say the words to remind me to be however it is that I feel rather than trying to escape it.
Why did it feel so good to leave? It felt good to tell the truth. To have been honest and outright with everything. The peace, I believe came from that acknowledgement of truth. Also, I do rescind my previous rejection of the request for space and time. It’s interesting…what you can hear someone say when you listen with your heart and not your ego.
So, through this when I realized I was openly enticing pain it was not masochistic. It was me saying, “I know you are a possibility but you will not destroy me. I am of something far greater than you.”It is like the voice said, you will never be broken by loving and you will never go poor from giving.”
Something about the last few days…it didn’t sit well with me to still be perceived as the One who doesn’t need. “Stop acting so hard all the time.” He said to me. I told him it was hard. He said quite literally, “Holding a wall will block an opportunity.” Even the fact that we had this conversation is reason for reflection. The entire occurrence was an anomaly and I pay attention to those. That conversation was an opportunity for me to adjust. I thank him for that. I don’t want to hold my breath for water I’m no longer in or a dive I already dove. I want to continue choosing to believe I am stronger and more durable than pain, even the biggest heartbreaks. I want to choose to believe That I am not so easily annihilated. Because the truth is, I’m not. I’m here. And that’s the living proof.