The perils of dreaming

I remember how hard it was in the early years to let go of the lives we had before. It was an obsessive craving. I wanted desperately to return to the world that was, helplessly hoping that it was a bad dream or a terrible mistake. It took years to get to a place where I accepted where we were and stopped willing time to run backwards.

And when the clock stopped for the boy, all those years of acceptance helped me believe it had happened, even before they shock wore off. It didn’t stop me from craving him but I had no hope of a miracle, or that I would wake from the nightmare.

And this morning I did exactly that. The boy came back. It had all been a mistake. He came back and my heart was light and my cares rolled away and for a moment I was genuinely happy. And then my treacherous brain asked the question: “how can this be?” and the illusion was lost. I was ejected from the dream to discover I was living the nightmare. It took a few heart beats for the cobwebs to clear enough to understand and then the grief crashed down again and broke me.

I’ve been in a daze all day trying to recover from the crushing weight of it. Even the temporary release crying normally brings hasn’t been available. My gut is cold and tight again and I’m afraid of the hurt that comes letting my thoughts reach for him. The sense of loss is devastating again – almost unbearable. I retreated to distractions as much as I could to give myself a break.

And then I did something dangerous. I opened a box. I still haven’t made a dent in  the ‘grand cleanup’ and I’m not entirely sure why I tried today. Was I searching for distraction or an excuse to wallow deeper? I found both. I discovered a wallet of old letters dating back to our second month together. The boy had to return home while he was renewing his visa just weeks after falling in love. They were my letters to him – carefully numbered and preserved. I was amused by them at first. I sounded like a giddy teenager – frustrated by the separation but so excited to know I’d found love. The reminder was quickly more painful than pleasant. I put the letters in my box of keepsakes as soon as I had read them and retreated back to my depression.

This has been one of the roughest days I’ve had for a while. My eyes are puffy and sore. My gut still hurts. I’ve been on the edge of tears or actively crying all day and I’m exhausted. It’s late and I know I should go to bed but I’m afraid I’ll dream. And while I’ve wanted nothing more than to dream of him for so long now, I can’t face a second night of having hope come and go again.

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