From now on, I will live a very different life.
It will be very difficult, but I will do it.
I will, and God will help me.
This year was easily the hardest year of my life. There was one other year that was also the hardest, but they differed in the parameters of “hardness.”
In the last 16 or 17 months, I have grown in ways I hadn’t imagined possible. During the beginning, God performed surgery: he cut my heart open and forcibly removed the entities I had filled myself with. The parts of me that I had lost because I had filled them with meaningless things.
But, I wouldn’t know that until 12 or 13 months later. In the meantime, God dug those out, and He left me in pain. To heal naturally.
But, a funny thing happens when something is removed from within you and nothing is put in that space. The emptiness continues. Its presence never goes away. The pain eventually numbs–after months of aching madness. And then the numbness remains. Numbness hurts badly.
But, the strangest thing happens during pain. We hurt, so we try to live. We think more than we ever have. Pain forces people to face themselves and look for problems. “Where is this hurt coming from? Why?”
I knew what my problem was. I knew why God performed such harsh surgery on me. I never, ever want to go through it again. During those months of surgery and healing and the months that followed, I cried more than I had cried in the previous 17 years combined. My life was constant tears and pain.
I never, ever want to go through anything like that again. But I would.
One of the sources of the deepest pain came to me about 10 months in. And that was why all the surgery started in the first place.
I met someone who, just by his nature–not through anything that he did intentionally–made me feel at home. It was the first time in my life that I felt as if I belonged.
My whole life had been spent molding myself to others. No one knew me. I had forgotten me. The people who feel close to me legitimately feel close to me. However, I could never reciprocate. There were never connections for me. I was just playing a role. Not a lying role; I wanted to make friends. Friendship was the only form of love I believed in as a kid. I used to work desperately hard to make friends. Which, as I’ve discovered through all of this, was likely why I couldn’t really make friends. I was always obscuring myself to fit with the people I was working to befriend.
My mom used to tell me, “Be a good friend, and you will make friends.” I believed it whole-heartedly.
But it was so wrong.
And I didn’t learn that until maybe 5 months ago. Or, maybe it was right, but not the friendship I was searching for. Not the friendship people talked about. The kind where you just click with someone or can just be yourself with someone.
The only kind I had, even with my best friends, was one in which I had to restrain part of myself because it wouldn’t fit with them. How did I know it wouldn’t fit? Because I knew. Analysis is what I do. My brain analyzes everything. I’m sure I took into account their reactions to various events and occurrences and suppressed myself accordingly.
Until 5 months ago, I had always thought something was wrong with me. The expectation for love, for companionship, for connection had been filled in inside of me with empty things. God cleaned them all out, caused me to desire love, taught me a TON of tangential things, and then put someone into my life who changed it without doing anything.
I’m not in love. This isn’t some delusional, infatuated monologue about romance…If you hadn’t deduced it from what I said, I have never had any respect for romance. Literally the only love I believed in was friendship. It is still the highest form of love to me: knowing someone and being known by someone. Being accepted and pursued for your unique essence.
However, this surgery was done to heal all of these things and correct this disdain and derision toward romantic love (or, in my case: love with one person in the form of marriage). Sillily (yes, that’s a word), that sounds a lot like the type of “friendship” I just described and it’s what I’ve always truly wanted.
So what am I in? When I’m with him, I’m simply happy. I don’t have to talk to him; I just need to be near him every once in a while. Everything else may suck, but I am happy with him.
I don’t really ask for anything else from him than that. It isn’t really mutual, so I can’t ask for more. Honestly, I don’t need more. I say I’m not in love because love takes reciprocation and cooperation–which is obviously lacking according to my previous description.
Now that I’ve met him, I’ve gone from being a doormat to a bitch. Knowing him puts everything into perspective. I’ve been living in almost a dream. I had forgotten so much of myself, but it came back when I was around him. And now I can never go back. Now I can’t pretend to please people anymore. Now I can’t stand those relationships that please others and don’t please me. No, I’m not mean to anyone, but I don’t hold so much of myself back anymore. I haven’t gotten to the point at which I don’t hold myself back, yet; it’s difficult to undo so many years of training. I still allow others to feel comforted and happy around me. I just don’t expect it in return anymore and wonder and hurt when it doesn’t come. But, good things do still come from even those relationships, so I am sometimes surprised by their beauty.
By “bitch,” I simply mean that I don’t take things anymore. Now I know what I want and a very good idea of what I need. My standards have risen greatly–by 200% at least.
So why all of the tears? Why have I spent so much of the last 17 months crying? Well, the first 7 just hurt desperately. There is physical pain to emotional pain–at least in the form of sensations.
The last 7 months have been full of tears because I would have to give up this person who has been instrumental to so many changes in me. The thought of living without him hurt so badly…I can’t describe. It’s like Pleasantville–that movie. I haven’t actually seen it, but imagine living in a black and white world and then being introduced to a Technicolor world. Then being told you had to go back to the black and white.
None of my friends understood. I have tried explaining, but they don’t understand. I love them, but they don’t actually know me. I tried to explain how badly it hurt. I tried to explain what I was going through. But no one understood. I died so many times.
I don’t actually know what that phrase means, but it rings true for me in this case.
The last few months, I have been unable to live. The separation from him and impending increased separation filled me with utter desolation. I won’t go into it.
I finally have a plan. This coming year will be the best one of my life. Because I have nothing.
“Of course you have something. You probably have family, other friends, people who love you and whom you love.”
Yes, you are right: I do. I love them very much and would die for them. But I won’t continue living dead for them.
This will be the best year of my life because it is a year in which, for me to have anything at all–to have anything good come out of it–I will have to rely on God.
My value gauge was reset this summer. I now know what I want most in life. I have often been overwhelmed by the sheer impossibility of ever finding it. But, knowing that the person from this summer exists gives me hope. I had thought I would always be alone. He exists, so there must be more. There is someone who is my home.
The thing about God is that he wants to give people everything. He lets people break so that they will see him and turn to him. Not because he’s self-centered, but because he is everything good. He is the answer to all of their questions. He wants people to turn to him so that they can be.
So, this year, to even be happy for any one day, I will have to hope in God.
I’ve cried a lot to get to this point. “Why don’t you just go do something–this or that–and make it better?”
The emptiness is still there inside of me, and it can only be filled by one thing. However, it has been softened greatly. It doesn’t overwhelm me with pain anymore. One day, I will find where I belong. Now, the isolation doesn’t hurt me as much. I’ve lived a very isolated life, a very self-deprecating life. Always believing I was less than others and working hard to gain their acceptance.
I am free. And this is my plan. I’ve cried so much to get here and the future looked utterly bleak. But I will get through it. God has only brought me here to bless me.
When I came to South Korea, I felt as if I was stepping off into nothing, waiting for God to catch me. Even more so when I changed jobs (something I was really afraid of).
Now I really am. He spent the last 16 months making me realize I had wings. Now he will teach me to fly.
Because he is kind.
LOL, that makes me sound brainwashed or delusional. “God put you through all of that pain, and you call him ‘kind’?”
Yes, because he was willing to make me hate him in order to give me exactly what I’ve always longed for. We all are like children, lost and thrashing about in the dark.