“I will gladly endure pain after pain after pain if it means being happy in the end. Unless of course, it kills me, in which case I have not earned that happiness.”
“That’s the definition of insanity you know.”
“We’ve already established that I’m insane.”
This was taken from a recent conversation I had with my best friend, who is going through a breakup with her boyfriend of 3 months. I’m…in the same situation as her, heartbreak-wise, except it has been almost a month for me, while her breakup is much fresher.
It’s funny how new wounds make us remember old ones. Supposedly with every new relationship, we love the next person a little differently. I’ve had a handful of girlfriends, but I count the most recent as my first because she was the first I was ever able to hold, kiss, and laugh and spend time with. Every other relationship was online and long-distance.
However…if I were to rewind more than a decade into my past, I would find myself with my unofficial “first” girlfriend, and the many wounds that soon followed.
I was twelve-years-old, not even a teenager yet, and going through what I now call my “Jesus freak” stage. That’s right; this Viking used to be a bible thumper. I was a member of an online social “church” called faithfreaks. I met many friends and admirers (not even joking) on that website.
That’s where I met her.
Her name was Brittany, though I cannot remember which way to spell it, and she was just a few months younger than I was. I do not remember much about her. I do remember that she lived in Bowling Green, Kentucky and that she had wavy, light brown hair, and bright blue eyes. At least I think she did; the exact mental image is faded, and only pieces remain.
When I first convinced her to talk to me over AIM (AOL Instant Messenger), I did not believe that she was the person in her picture. I truly did not. I even asked her who it was and told her that the girl appeared to be a model, not a typical person. Turns out, it was just great lighting and that the girl in the picture was indeed the one I was speaking to. She was flattered. We talked, established mutual interests, and within the next week, we “fell in love.”
It was quite sickening really, a prime example of mushy, icky puppy love. We talked for hours on end, had “I love you more” phone calls, and did all the things that would make me want to kill a man today. I was madly in love, and my idiotic preteen mind believed she was “the one,” a concept I have long since abandoned.
However…we were not without our problems. We were fine with each other, never argued, had few disagreements, but there was a huge problem on her end. Whether or not it was real, I may never know, but twelve-year-old me believed everything from this girl. She had an ex-boyfriend, a sixteen-year-old, who, as far as I could tell, was king douche…controlling, kind of psychotic, and toxic as hell. I had the displeasure of talking to him once when he used Brittany’s AIM account without her knowing.
Again, looking back, I do not know if any of this was true or not as I had only Brittany’s word and my own online experiences to go off of, but apparently, one day, he caught Brittany alone. I’ll be blunt. He raped her.
She changed after that. The sweet, innocent, loving girl that I called my girlfriend was shattered, an echo of her past self. I remember an instance where we were having a normal conversation, and I said “please, please, please” in a playful manner and her demeanor suddenly shifted. She simply said, “you have no idea how many times I had to say that word.”
Things took a dive when I made an incredibly stupid mistake. I prided myself on being Brittany’s number one person, so when I happened to have a conversation with one of her friends on faithfreaks and found out that she told him about the supposed rape before me…I don’t quite remember what happened there, but I know it ended in an argument with her friend.
When I brought this to her attention sometime later, she and I got into our first and last argument, and she broke up with me.
That was it. She was gone. The girl I had invested so much time and emotion into wanted nothing to do with me. I was crushed and broken. Here’s the kicker, I didn’t heal like most people are supposed to. No, I took a fucking nosedive.
For weeks, I cried myself to sleep at ungodly hours. For months, I wallowed in what I can only describe as a dark void. I didn’t have depressive episodes before that, but I started getting them quite often. I didn’t smile; I didn’t laugh, and eventually the tears stopped too, but not before I tried to take my own life. I know I was an imbecile when I was young because I tried to strangle myself, not thinking that I would simply knock myself out and wake up again. Or perhaps I only intended to inflict great harm on myself; I don’t remember; only flashes of the memory remain.
That’s when things started to change. Heartache was starting to feel less and less like heartache and more and more like bitterness. Bitter because the girl I loved so dearly cast me aside, when I was trying to be my best for her. Misery turned to disdain, disdain turned to disgust, and eventually, it bloomed into pure, black hatred. I often imagined myself standing over her, screaming at her, tormenting her, making her feel the same emotional (not physical) pain that I did.
I learned very quickly that hate hurts a lot less than a broken heart. I taught myself to hate the girl I loved because, in my eyes, she was responsible for all the suffering and pain and damage I had to endure for almost a year, a lot of that damage, I only recently realized, I still endure.
I remember the hurt, and I remember the putrid hatred…but I cannot recall for the life of me how I moved on. Of course, in my older age, I know I did not love her if I could teach myself to hate her, but I had to save myself somehow. Some people, like my best friend, put up walls and close up, I decided to plunge right into my mess of emotions instead.
Now, in my most recent clash with heartache, I remembered all of this. I hadn’t looked at these memories in years. Of course, they were in my head somewhere, collecting dust, but I had always overlooked them, probably for my own good.
I recognized that demon, that little voice telling me that if I wanted to survive, I had to embrace hate again. If I wanted to numb the pain, I’d have to go to the reverse side of the coin. I listened to that demon…for about three hours. Then I asked myself, “What if someone else wanted to hurt her? What would I do?” I knew the answer right away: my rage would be redirected towards the poor bastard very quickly.
The demon had little to say after that. I knew if I succumbed to that voice again, nobody would win. Not me, not her, not any future lovers, not Brittany, no one. I’m happy to say that the spirit of mercy and forgiveness won over that fiend’s lust for unwarranted revenge. Why did it win?
Simple…I still care. Even in a logical sense, love takes many forms, not always romantic. I made this person a promise that she would never be rid of me and I intend to uphold it.
So that’s my decision. I will not clam up and protect myself by never feeling again, nor will I feel such a fiery rage that I myself get burned…I will simply carry on. Heartache itself is not a failure; the only failure is when you refuse to get back up. Hiding yields no reward, so if I have to suffer this same pain over and over and over again, I will gladly do so…
…because there’s no other way to get what I ultimately want most of all in this life.
This is Jätteskog “Harcos” Frejyason, and I will find my beloved someday.