I am taking a break from writing my novella to journal through the grief I find myself completely absorbed in right now. The novella is supposed to be a love story that honors what was while giving some background into why I entered that particular relationship and what it meant to me. However the grief blocks the process.
Without giving any particular details imagine a forbidden love. Now imagine that you are one part and your partner is the other part. The two of you grow deeply into one another. She sees you in ways that no one can ever see you. In fact, she shows you glimpses of a you that you didn’t know you could be. You do the same for her. The love, however, is forbidden. In her culture/religion/background what you are engaging in cannot be. In her eyes it cannot be changed. Thus she ends the relationship. The woman who showed you glimpses of the you you didn’t know you could be is now gone. Forever. She will never return to you.
The stages of grief include denial, bargaining, anger, depression, and acceptance. The stages are malleable and fluid. You could go from anger to denial to acceptance and back to anger again. Grief is hard. Grief over loss feels impossible.
At first I bargained. “Please don’t go! There’s a third option. We just have to think of it. We can do this. Our love will carry us through this! I have faith in us. I have faith most of all in you!”
The bargain was rebuffed. Her reasons were sound to her and I tried to understand them myself but failed miserably. I thought through all the options running scenario after scenario and finding solutions left and right. The solutions would always fall to the ground like bubbles — beautiful until, at last, they popped.
I entered into a state of denial. “She has her reasons. I have faith in her. In the end, because I was so strong, she will return to me and we will carry on with our love as we did before. We’ve got this.”
The denial was easy at first. She kept in contact enough just to keep the denial going. It was easy to see that this was going to work out and all I had to have was some patience. It could be done. I imagined that there would be times where we wouldn’t talk but after a few days we would and things would be alright again. Then, after a night where her final statement to me was that she loved me, there was silence. Three days of silence.
Anger and depression seemed to intertwine at this point. The depression was clear. “Why isn’t she writing? Has she given up on me? Has she embraced where she is at? Why did I involve myself in this? Why me?”
I reached out to her. Maybe I shouldn’t have. The response felt brutal to me. “Hearing your voice is a reminder of what’s missing in my life. And I hate myself for causing it.”
At first I thought this was bittersweet. Maybe a fair end to our contact. Unfortunately I am the failure of a man writing this journal before you and thus I obsessed over the text reading and rereading. I understood it less and less. “We’re here. Don’t hate yourself. You didn’t cause this.” Clearly I wanted to go back to the denial stage of grief.
“Contact from you is a brutal reminder that everyone else in the world gets to hang out with you but me.”
My contact was brutal. Brutal. What kind of piece of shit man hurts the woman he loves more than anyone else in the world? A brutal man. There are lots of other men in my life that I would equate that word with. Some of them read this blog so I cannot name them. Apparently that is who I am.
That brings me to this place of anger I now find myself at. I am angry that she thinks the “world gets to hang out” with me. I stay at home after work because of two major reasons — I’m depressed and I’m writing my novella. No one is hanging out with me. One person I was trying to hang out with only gives me one hour every other week and has made it clear that that is the extent that I’m going to get. The disconnection I’ve been feeling has been stronger than ever thus attempting to utilize my normal support system has been next to impossible. On top of that my best friend in the world has the opportunity to see her for two hours each week. During those times he’ll pass on words of wisdom to her and I’ll be at home writing for myself.
I reread the remainder of her texts. No emotion. Distance. “We’ll be ok.” “Stay safe.” At the anger stage of grief I read this differently than how she likely means it. I read it as, “Don’t give in to the depression and kill yourself because then I’m going to blame myself.” I keep the words to myself. Except for now. As she will read this blog. Then I get angry thinking about those stages of grief again. I know that she feels guilt and shame. I know that she blames herself. I wonder, however, which stages she’s going through. Anger at herself certainly. Depression yes. But when was the denial or the bargaining? And acceptance seems so much closer for her than it does to me.
The final stage is seemingly acceptance. I feel that acceptance is a huge loss. It means that I have accepted that the best person to grace my life either wasn’t good enough or will be the last person to grace my life. I don’t see the third option like I normally can. I spoke with my closest friend last night and he suggested that acceptance would be accepting that she is doing what she needs to do. Sure. That sounds great on paper. But what stage am I at right now? Anger and depression. The two stages that are the worst stages for making clear thinking work for me. And in this present state of mind when I think of acceptance and her grief I think it means that she has accepted where she is at in life, embraced it, and will forever be exiled from my life.
In that finality I would feel that my purpose in this was, as I have often thought, that of catalyst — a bump in the road. As that bump I cannot see that whatever lessons I potentially learned continue on into my latter years. Truly I feel the only lesson I would have learned in that dreaded end is that the only true constant in my life is that of being abandoned. Who knows? Maybe if I reach acceptance my grim perspective told in this journal will look far more optimistic. I think that’s denial.