What a deal! The long weekend and After I get home from work, I get to have the house to myself! No wife, no kid! Just me and, well… Me!
My wife calls and asks when I’m coming home, she says she is in no rush to leave. I came home as soon as I could and couldn’t wait to spend a little time before she left for the weekend.
When I got home she told me she was ready to leave. She was just waiting on me to get home to say goodbye. Guess I didn’t realize what she meant on the phone. Well, I’ll miss you honey! Drive safe and have fun! I Fake a smile and walk her out the door. Silently disappointed I watch as she goes out of sight.
Walking back in the house I am immediately taken aback how quiet it is. There is also something else I can’t put my finger on.
Let’s see who wants to come by or hang out. No one.
Let’s see what’s on tv. Nothing.
Ok. I can handle this, just like old times! I’ve lived on my own before, I don’t need anyone else. After another hour I realized I wasn’t as alone as I thought. I had someone else there after all.
She was beautiful, she had the face of an angel…. and she would have been 13 this year. It’s been 8 years since the night our paths crossed and not a day goes by that she doesn’t run through my head. Through counseling, I have progressed enough that I can usually rationalize these thoughts, but tonight, in my loneliness, My heart was telling me that it wasn’t fair that I was allowed to sit here when I couldn’t allow her the same luxury. I survived, she didn’t…. I survived
That feeling in the pit of my stomach begins, it raises to my throat and bites like acid. my lip starts to shake, here come the tears. It was supposed to be such a great night alone, and now I’m curled up on the couch crying. I feel more alone than I ever have. My only comfort is that I’m not ruining anyone else’s life.
The downward spiral continues. Now I don’t want to talk, I don’t want to make a sound, I don’t even want to entertain the thought of human interaction. Not that it matters, even if I did, no one would understand. Beyond everything, I know I’m all alone and nothing can change what I’m left with; a slew of memories that I don’t want, and an entire night to think about them all.
Fuck all this, I’m going to go upstairs and lay in bed with an old movie. Just like the old days. If I’m lucky maybe I’ll pass out.
A few minutes into the movie, I get a warm feeling I haven’t felt in a while. It’s familiar, it’s comforting. It feels like peace, while not in sight, it may at least be within reach. I realize that I have any number of brothers and sisters in support of me that I could have called at any time. Most of all I know now that I have options and nothing is going to stop me from getting through this.
5 hours later I’m waking up. Taking account of the night, I can take away a lot of lessons. I can recognize the symptoms of panic I used to ignore, in that way I can prevent another spiral. I can take comfort in old habits, familiarity can be very calming. Most of all, I can keep surviving.
Brothers, sisters, I don’t care what uniform you wear, what causes your bad day. No one should have to suffer in silence. You always have options. I care, and the brotherhood/sisterhood cares. If you need an ear or just want to see what’s available, as always, let’s take a walk.