June 1, 2013. Today is my last day at home before I travel. I was finally able to fall asleep last night shortly before dawn. The intensity of my anxiety (that’s all I knew to name it) gripped me and seemed to be building toward a crescendo that never appeared. It included a growing paralysis that literally took my breath away.
“Who am I if I cannot even breath?”
It seemed as though that was all there was left of me — a focused concentration on finding a way to let breath into and then out of my body.
“This will not do! What is the matter with me?”
Finally, left in a state of panic, I forced myself to put into thoughts in words everything I could imagine that could be tied to this state of such heightened distress. I tracked all my thoughts carefully, meticulously, one by one, until they led to one feeling: sadness created by great loss.
Because of the severe abuse I suffered from birth until I left home at 18 I know that sadness has been as much a part of my physical body all of my life as terror, feelings of foreboding and panic have been. But I know I carved out space within which I could experience a gamut of other feelings anyway. That’s a complicated, intense and difficult way to live — never being free of trauma emotions while trying to make myself bigger than they are.
Why now is my universe seeming to collapse with me in the center of it?
I write this now because I have figured it out — how I am being affected by the loss of the love of my life and of my greatest friendship.
I cannot write of this love. Its details lie in a circle around me sparkling against darkness in moving circles of ripples wherever I look. All of this rests in mystery like life itself. Like death. Like change.
Thirteen years ago I met this man eye to eye at my gate on the property I used to live on then. Literally as our eyes met it was love at first sight. In an imperfect world, or at least in a world too complex to understand.
What I learned last night about myself is that in the past five months since a great change in his life removed him physically from my life I have been left without our conversations which meant more to me (and to my well-being) than I have yet allowed myself to realize. I have left untended the millions of ways that the unavailability of this friendship has affected me.
When the hurt comes from this loss I have turned away in a different direction refusing to face what I cannot change and can no longer deny: The loss of the marvel of this man has made everything about me in my life harder to endure. Not only is he not present to help smooth my way but the loss of him is amplifying every difficulty as it sustains great difficulty of its own. Trouble does not diminish as it used to. It has grown in these five months until — as I found last night — it has nearly buried me alive.
I am suffocating from the loss of this relationship.
It is not only that I cannot share what confuses and perplexes me with my friend that has gridlocked me. I also cannot share with him my hopes, my joys or my enthusiasms. (I find myself so many times a day holding my breath. Just now as I wrote those words — a deep SIGH!) As I prepare to launch into the experiences of this coming trip I begin tomorrow I feel such a loss in not being able to share this adventure with my best friend. He is sick, in pain, suffering and closed within the circle of his family who — for reasons so far beyond me — despise me. (I am 61; he is 75 and is making his own choices.)
Time does not evaporate such mutual affections as my friend and I share — and will hold dear far beyond either of our last breaths in THIS world. But time brings with it obstacles that cannot be altered by sheer will or hope or desire. These changes are very real. They must be accepted. Must be included in some way in both of our lives.
But what way is that?
All I know is that for myself I must FEEL my way along a road I have not chosen but that has been chosen for me, nonetheless. Against all odds this man and I found one another but neither of us were free to leave what remains of our destiny in this lifetime. Our two destinies run parallel at a distance from one another — and that distance is growing.
Ours is a mysterious love that is complicated by life but not destroyed by it. Of this I am certain.
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