Monday, December 18, 2017

Feelings Without Names

The feelings without names are the hardest for me.

Since I was small, one of my everyday accouterments has been the obvious display of my heart on my sleeve.  It pulses, beats, cries, and sheds joy into the world without much consideration for whether I desire to hide what I'm feeling.  Over time, I have come to love the openness this way of being provides me, but there are parts of it that mean being less shielded, and less able to suppress things I wish that not everyone could see.

I have become somewhat of an expert in articulating my feelings.  My wants, my needs, my desires, what I need to feel calm, safe, and loved.  In the past four years, I've found myself and found a lot of strength.  I've learned about boundaries and nurtured my ability to express them.  I've figured out how to communicate about myself.  Finding myself in a place where feelings have no name, where there is no tangible need...  it's not only painful, but it's frustrating for me.

When I feel off and sad and he asks me what is wrong, and all I know is it is the past, it is the things I have lost, it is the pain of a hole in my being where there was once substance, how do I even begin to explain?  When I lay there and he asks me what I am thinking about, and I say that name from long ago and realize with a start that it feels very unnatural to use it at this point.  I whisper it as the first tear slips down my cheek.

Justin.

A ghost of a word for a ghost of a person.

A sound that feels so strange on my tongue that it's strangeness is only rivaled by the agony of thinking that after all this time a part of my soul is still not in my power somehow.

I manage to utter a name that now sounds foreign on my lips before the tears come, but I can't talk about it.  There aren't words or specifics.  Just a rending of dreams and passions deep inside me.  It comes and goes, a flash flood that is sometimes deep inside me, ignored for days, weeks, even months at a time.  But in a vulnerable time of year, when it is four years to the day from whispered words of sadness and endings and desperation, it is there just beneath the surface.  Instead of a great ax, it takes only a paper cut to open it to the world and for it to flow over me like liquid heartbreak. 

This too shall pass.  I know that now.  When it's not so fresh, when it's not December anymore, when time fades the most recent pain and betrayal from other people that I'm still processing.

There isn't much to do but embrace it for now, let it come, and look to the light of tomorrow.

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