Submitted by megan on Sat, 07/05/2008 - 17:19
N.B. Eric! This is partially about how I'm continuing to process our break up. I don't say anything bad about you at all, but it might make you uncomfortable to know the painful details.
For many years, I didn't keep acetaminophen in the house. I didn't trust myself to have them around.
Yesterday was the 12th anniversary of the day I tried to kill myself by taking an overdose. I've written about this before, so I'll spare you those details.
I'm not sure if it's the fact that I made an attempt that shook me so much.
I'd been deeply depressed for months: I weighed 103 pounds, I wasn't eating enough to keep that up, I was sleeping 15 hours a day to avoid being awake, I was on anti-depressants, I was seeing two therapists, I was crying all the time, I'd already been to the hospital because I'd stabbed myself in the leg, I'd been having suicidal ideations for weeks. That I might try was certainly no surprise to me. That I did try?
My ex and I were having one of our huge knock-down fights that he wouldn't remember the next day. We were in our office, what had once been a dining room. I screamed something, I can't remember what, and ran out of the room, down the hall, to the bathroom, shut the door and locked it behind me.
I must have made the decision in the 4 steps between the office and the kitchen, because I grabbed a glass along the way.
That was the extent of my planning. A cup off the counter on the way to the pills.
That I hadn't planned it was a good thing to most of the doctor-types I ended up talking to. I suppose it meant I was less serious about it, that suicide as a real solution hadn't yet taken deep root.
Maybe that was good. But it left me with yet another reason not to trust myself.
Eventually, maybe 8 years later, I bought my first bottle of tylenol. But only a little one, only with about 20 pills in it. Nothing untoward ever happened. 12 years later, I fully trust myself with any kind of pills. Never occurs to me to take one, maybe two, other than when I'm in serious discomfort.
Reading this over, I'm realizing that you're probably waiting for me to make an explicit link about being dumped by Eric and suicidal ideation. Happily, the tangent is much more obtuse than that.
What that break up left me with is an inability to trust love in a way that feels very similar to how I was unable to trust my desire to be alive.
I know Eric loved me very much, to start. I believe, to end, that he wanted to love me as much as he had for those first few months. But he couldn't.
It was there, and then it was gone.
And that was that.
Even at the start, I knew our deal might be too good to be true. But I let myself go, really let myself fall into him, into us, thinking that I was strong and could handle whatever came.
I could, I did, I have; but the price was really more than I could afford.
Now, when someone acts like they like me, I feel myself curling my arms around the small hoard of coins I have left. This person can think I'm hot, funny, smart, blah blah blah. That's great. I love that. Who doesn't love that? But the moment I get even a hint of someone having actual romantic feelings for me, something inside seizes up, twisting around fast enough that it folds over on itself into an impenetrable knot.
Who knows, maybe in 8 years I'll be able to trust romance enough to keep it in the house.