Tuesday, March 23, 2004

It must be so hard for him to hear me sobbing, as quietly as I can manage, and not turn around to see me there. It must be so hard for him to turn his head and look at me, and see the tears on my face-- they are always there, when he turns around. In my experience, the people who talk about how hard it is to make them cry are the ones who cry the most, and I gave up pretending it was hard a long time ago. When he does turn around, most times I pretend not to know he's looking. I don't move, or waiver at all. I just stare at the laptop, at the AIM conversation with tonight's perpetrator, or the sad e-mail someone's written me, back when people still wrote, or the lines I've written someone else-- the most poignant of which, as of late, were in the end paragraph of a long e-mail I wrote in the middle of the night to Nissa, who does not write back anymore, which I fear is because of my eagerness in trying to get to know her:

Zack sleeps beside me and I have to sit up in between paragaphs, and
shine the light from the moniter onto his face, and remind myself how
much I love him. I touch him and shed a tear and try to think very hard
about how I married a man, not just a circumstance.

I sent this very long e-mail to both her and Casey, but pretended sending it to him was a mistake. Because of this, he never read it, which always disappointed me: I had explained so much in there that I wanted him to understand, but I couldn't tell him that without feeling like he'd only read it out of obligation, obligating people being one of the things that scares me msot in life. I wanted him to read it because he was curious, because it was five pages of me, pure and honest and true. I guess he had no way of knowing that it was, though. I guess I'll never tell him.

When Zack stares long enough at me, crying at my computer, so that we both know that I know he's looking, I must say something to keep him away. I have grown so sadly disillusioned that there's nothing my knight in shining armor can do to save me from my inner dragons, and I so miss the days when I, and I alone, was responsible for my sadness. When I was hurt, I could cry and not have to worry about who would hear. I could hate the world and everything in it and not worry about whether or not that hurt anyone else. It was a more comfortable sadness, back when I had nothing to really be sad about. Before love. Before marriage. Before Vaginismus.

Now that I am in love, and married, and unable to take my husband in, to make love to him...now my sadnesses feels more like his failure. As well as I'll make the argument that Casey isn't a destructive force in my marriage, he is the person I tend to turn to when I want something Zack can't give me, and lately that something's been consolation.

It's a sad coincidence that he's checked out of our friendship emotionally at this point. It was inevitable, and everyone knew that, though as hard as I tried, I couldn't get anyone else to acknowledge that they did. The bitch of a life spent living convinced that eventually everyone will leave you is that they always do, and having this pattern so well established in my friendships is not a great encouragement to my feeble belief that Zack will stick around. Without sex, without satiation, without sanity.

I don't want to live anymore. It's no secret. Sure, vaginismus is my biggest problem, and maybe it is treatable. Maybe I finally am at the point where I can get treatment-- maybe I'm at standing on the precipice of a happy life, a healthy marriage, success. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

But will I ever really get over my anger at life that they could do this to me, if only for a little while? Will I ever really forgive God or whoever it is for not allowing to consumate my marriage on my wedding night? Will I ever forget that there are some problems in this world that you can have that absolutely no one will be able to understand, no matter how dear to you they are, no matter how close? Will I ever forgive my friends, my family, my husband for not understanding-- for not taking the time to make themselves understand?

Tell me you're sorry for me, go ahead. Tell me it's sad that I can't have sex, that it's a "bummer", that, Gee, Linda, that sure does suck. Tell me you can't imagine, even, it's a popular phrase. "Can't imagine."

But who the hell are you? You haven't tried to imagine. Of all the friends I have who claim they would do anything for me, of all the promises people have made that they would be there, of all the implications that are involved with being a parent or a husband, not one of you, not one has taken themselves away from their lives for a moment, and really tried to get it.

No one's sat down in a dark room, laid down, and thought hard about it: Imagine you're a sad person, that your whole life has seemed like a waste, and then imagine that one day you meet someone that makes you happy. Someone who makes you finally want to throw away the uselessness of being sad all the time, shown you the triviality of your youth, the possibilities of your future. Imagine that finally, inevitably, you're totally happy. Because of that one person, that one fated meeting, that dream within a dream, you finally feel like nothing is keeping you from the next stage in your life.

Imagine you take that person by the hand, and you lay down with them, and you bring them close to you. Imagine you're finally ready, and you feel so open to them that your heart wants to explode. Imagine that you're trembling at their touch, rejoicing in their kisses, imagine that you're bringing them closer and closer to you, and imagine the deep breath you both take as it's about to happen....

Then imagine anguish. Physical and mental at exactly the same time. Imagine all you want, in sudden and violent contrast, is to hit that person away, to hurt them, this person you love so much, because they've hurt you. Imagine the guilt after that moment. The reaching for them, unsure of whether to trust them for a moment but needing your arms around them so badly.

Imagine trying again.

And again.

And again.

And again. And more pain. More anguish. More crying. Imagine you hit them-- actually hit them-- without having any control over it. It just hurts too much-- you try to make love and it feels like you're being attacked. You try to open yourself up and it feels like they're invading.

You try to give yourself to someone and it turns out there's nothing to give.

But pain. And anger. And frustration.

And another night you try again. And again. And another night. And another.

And pretty soon you realize. You're



And as much as you could love this person, you're just damaged goods.

And how could they love you?

And how could you love them, if one day they stop looking at you the way they used to.

Stop wanting you. Stop

...loving you.

And you know the only thing to do is keep trying.

AND IT HURTS. And with each and every goddamn try you feel less and less like a person, and you just know they're going to walk away. You just know that they're going to give up patience. You just know that...

...oh god. One day they'll see someone-- ANYONE-- and they'll want what you can't give them-- what ANYONE else COULD give them-- and...it's inevitable, isn't it? It's nature! You're just this unnatural freak, this problem, this disease, and everyone else, from the ugly to the insanely beautiful, all of them have something you don't.

So now every time they even mention someone else's name you're jealous. Every time they talk to someone, look at someone, every time you think they might think about talking or looking or thinking or wanting...it doesn't matter who, anyone's more complete that you are. And suddenly there's nothign at all that isn't a threat to you. And you find yourself less able to love them because you can no longer appreciate anything in their life that's not about you. Everyone represents something that will one day lead to them wanting someone else-- because you can't do it.

You can't do it.

You can't do it.

It doesn't matter where you are or what you're doing. Anytime you're in a crowd, you're the only one there they couldn't make love to. Anytime you're watching TV, all those beautiful people who were never a threat before might be able to give your lover something that you aren't man or woman enough to give them. And it's your fault. It's your fault. How could it be anyone else's fault? It's yours.

And your friendships start falling apart because your never happy anymore. You're so afraid while your with your lover all day that you've become nothing that it starts effecting the way you are with everyone. You're so insecure, so afraid. You're never happy, and they start getting annoyed because they miss the happy, carefree you. The witty, self-assured you. The you they liked in the first place-- and why shouldn't they leave? They've made no promises. The deal was always that you'd hang around each other as long as it was mutually worth it and, let's face it

you aren't worth it anymore.

So you start lashing out at even the ones that aren't hinting that they might leave. And the ones you control yourself with, well, god, you never noticed how often they talk about sex. And how often sex is on TV. And on the Radio. And in books, magazines, printed on fucking napkins-- suddenly the whole goddamn world revolves around something that YOU CAN'T DO. It's like one giant club that you'll never be a part of.

And you start to think how much easier it would be if you weren't alive anymore. And you start to think that even if you were fixed, things would never be the same. You start to think that now you know all of your friendships are temporary, that your faith in your love isn't boundless, that things that once seemed magical are really just used-up and played out. You start to realize that life isn't fair, and it never was, and you hate it.

And now you know that being sad all the time wasn't worth it when you were younger. You never did know what real loss was. You were a fraud the whole time.

But now that you know what it is to really lose something-- what it's like to be happier than you could ever imagine and have that taken away at fate's sadistic whim-- you miss being a fraud.

You, in fact, miss everything you ever had. And you start to regret the one thing that ever brought you real joy in the first place. And that...that instant you give in to regret, my friends...that's real loss.

Just so you fucking know.

Every one of these sentences represents hours and hours of my life, but most of you won't even give it an hour. You'll put it on your "to-do list", maybe, if we're real friends. You'll give it maybe fifteen minutes and then exaggerate it in your mind. You'll lie. You'll make yourself feel okay about it.

But you won't shed a tear. You won't break a sweat. You won't kick and scream like I have more times than I can count now and you won't come close the realization, the genuine epiphany, that life's unfair.

And hey, that's probably how it should be. But don't come offering me your false pity, your lies that you'd do anything for me. Don't tell me that you "can't imagine" because, trust me, I know.

What I need now is someone who can.

On with it.