We sat there. In silence. I was crying, but began to ask myself what good would come out of tears streaming down my face. Crying wouldn’t help, but I could not control the waterfalls. I turned to him and he knew. He knew in that moment that my heart was broken and for the first time in our relationship, all walls, all ammunition, every guard I had put up were gone. He looked at me with his warm hazel eyes and took me in his arms. He was wearing a black sweater from H&M, the one he thought was uncomfortable. The only thought I had in this moment was…"Shit, my smearing make-up will get his sweater dirty," but I knew he wouldn’t care. He didn’t like when I “painted my face,” but I did it anyway. Perhaps to hide the dark circles under my eyes that seemed to stretch out to my chin. Maybe it was to hide the sadness or the pain in my eyes, a sort of distraction for the general public crossing my path for a mere three seconds.
I slowly backed away from his warm grip and looked away. Embarrassed that this was happening to ME in front of him. I was a very private person. I didn’t share my feelings. I saw no point in doing so. It made me vulnerable and I never put myself in situations where I could remotely become the slightest vulnerable. I always appeared cold and untouchable (or so I’ve been told). It was a wonder that this man loved me, to be honest. It marveled me every day.
Now completely embarrassed and vulnerable I figured, I might as well keep this train rolling and explain myself. Now, anyone with an anxiety disorder will tell you that speaking of your true feelings is an unthinkable thought. But here I was, bludgeoning myself to tell him that I didn’t care about moving abroad after two years together. That the truth behind this 1000th fit was because of this irrational fear of becoming a loser. A loser.
Let it sink in — I didn’t want to become a "loser"
I told him while sobbing (like a three-year-old child who couldn’t get that extra scoop of ice cream) that I had all this education, all this intelligence festering in my brain, all this debt hanging over my head and…I had to breathe.
I had all these things which I though was the key to success in life. Education.
I was told that education was my key to success, so I pushed myself like any other brainwashed 21-year-old to make it through my Bachelor's. After my B.A., I was lost again and figuring, “education is KEY!,” applied for a Master’s — stupid!
So I did.
Two years later, at 26, I figured that it was worth nothing. I couldn’t get a job in the field I wanted. I couldn’t get rid of these fucking loans and bank phone calls. What was this “education" good for except bragging rights? At that very moment, I couldn't figure it out. Neither could he, I think. But he tried.
He looked at me and said something philosophical. To be honest, I can’t quite remember what was said. I was focusing on trying to NOT have a heart attack, a panic attack, and dying at the same time. He knew his words weren’t helping me talk. So he grabbed my hand and pulled me up and told me we were going for a walk around the block. I didn’t mind midnight walks. That’s when the city had finally tired itself out and everyone was away, hidden in their homes. I liked being alone. People frightened me.
I said OK. I walked into the bathroom and saw myself in the mirror. I looked disheveled and, quite ugly, to be honest. But I paid no mind to those thoughts and washed the mascara, that had smudged, off my face. I grabbed my jean jacket with my favorite Bart Simpson patch on the back with an upside down crucifix on his forehead (because we all need something to believe in). I locked the door.
While we walked, he continued to encourage me. Telling me to find something that turned me on. Something that excited me. A thing that would make me proud of myself (because God knows I had never truly been proud of myself, even though I had accomplished a lot in my short life.) Perhaps he was right. But, depression makes everything seem impossible, so I gave up on the thought right away. We walked and I got cold, so we sat on the bleachers at the park. He wanted to do like they do in American movies. He was from France and bleachers were a foreign concept to him. I giggled. I thought this was silly, so I sat down to amuse him. He questioned me on what made me so sad. "My family," I answered, “well, not everyone in my family, just…” “Yeah I know," he quickly responded as he put his hand on my leg. We talked about the negativity they had infused in me and how I believed their obscenities. He made me understand that even though we are made to believe that these people are meant to help and support us through thick and thin, sometimes, almost all the time, they fail to do so.
I told him many stories of my past and how I was made to believe many, many things. I talked about the love I had for my mom. Our beautiful relationship. I told him of the darkness that lingers within this idea of “a family” that I had made myself believe. He spoke to me softly and said that this would be a good time to forget about my family (except my mom, I love her too much) and live for myself. A thought I had heard so many times. “Be happy,” “Enjoy your life,” blah, blah, blah. But, this time, it was different. I was fed up. I was fucking FED UP!
It was then that my heart began to beat at a normal speed. That my muddied mind was washed clean. His words set me free. I knew in that instant that letting go of these nauseating people in my life would simply mean that I could live life according to me. Now, I know this sounds cliché. But trust me, shitty people are, well, fucking shitty and will remain to be. You can’t change people. Honestly, you can slave over trying to change someone, but it ain’t going to work, so give up now.
We got home and my entire being had shifted. I felt, more awake (not that I was tired but...) more aware of myself. As if I could feel the blood race inside my body. As if my thoughts were coming from my own brain, I could feel the brain inside my head and, it was not numbed out by precarious thoughts. For the first time, I felt myself. I actually felt the skin on my body and my clothes on my skin and my thoughts being processed in my head and my hair on my head. I felt.
I knew that from that moment on, I had (bear with me, another cliché is coming up) the power or the ability to create MY life for me. Fuck what everyone else thought. Did they REALLY matter? No. They never did. And allowing them to matter gives them the power to ruin your life. My life was MY LIFE. Not theirs. MINE. I understood in that moment that whatever I wanted to do needed no permission. The world had endless possibilities and with a swift kick in the ass, I could obtain anything.
This, was my moment of liberation.