You’ll Go When You’re Ready and Not a Moment Sooner

 

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Dear Can You Feel This,

I’m spiraling. While I was getting ready for work my husband said to me, “Wear your hair up so guys don’t look at you. Never mind, guys don’t look at you anyway.” After he walked away, I started thinking how unattractive I am. My husband locks me out of our bedroom at night. I want to disappear, but gradually, you know? Am I supposed to leave him for a fresh start to go Instagram pictures of my Target cart #mommysdayout , because mania is how I get someone to pay attention to me? I feel like I am beyond repair, or just walking baggage.

Sincerely,
Goodboy

Dear Goodboy,

You must be in a great deal of pain.

The fears you’ve now, over what has been lost, is a commitment to the person you were. Pride tethers your broken heart to his broken soul, because to dispatch from it leads to conventions of uncertainty. Mania is searching for what is left to put back together. It’s your way of staying safe in fear, instead of feeling the devastation of what you’re surviving while not living. Why are you loyal to this version of yourself?

The dream of viable love, with a man who doesn’t know how to give or receive it, has shown you hollow depths of loneliness more so than ever. You’re scared of who you have to become to leave, so all you can do is stand there waiting for his love to stop hurting. Faith, belief, courage, none of these intrinsic nuances will be enough to help you not disappear into the safety of fear. So stop; let the dream fall apart.

This is really hard right now. It’s horrific, unfair, a half-hearted existence, and you may judge everything and nothing of what is or isn’t.  It would be easy for me to assume to be an expert in your life to tell you to run out of this hopeless place, but I don’t think you’re ready to do that yet. What I will tell you is what I wish someone had told me when I didn’t know how or when to leave: you’ll go when you’re ready and not a moment sooner.

Bulimia was how I ignored being sexually abused by my long-term boyfriend in college. I lived in a paradigm of fear because it was safe, whereas the cost meant abandoning my true self over and over to stay there. I did gradually disappear, as you desire to and have. I placated the life I had, versus the life I wanted, with him, because I was terrified of who I was without him. What I hear in you is that same terror.

Things are bad, they may get worse, don’t crucify yourself because you’re not ready to go. Don’t call yourself names, or give weight to the ones he tells you; give yourself grace to mourn over the dream that fell apart. Hold the inner child inside you that isn’t ready to go, because she’s paralyzed over losing what she’s been told is love, again. She needs you the most right now. Don’t tell the child in you she’s unattractive, beyond repair, or just walking baggage.

I walked away from him moments before he boarded an airplane to Afghanistan with the Marines. He told me, “You’ll regret this.”

“I probably will,” I replied. “But it’s my mistake to make now.” I left when I was ready and not a moment sooner.

Everyone wants to be the hero in their own story, but that person is not you. This suffering will mold you towards holistic intrepidness, and I believe through that you will crave something deeper than heroism. This period will let you atrophy into the safety of fear to the person you were, or this period is a preamble to the person you’re becoming.  The moment of loyalty to the version of yourself who makes the exceptional decision to go, is the moment you will see you’re anything but beyond repair.

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