“I think we should break-up!”
The words slipped from my lips and the shock on Lionel’s face turned in an instant. Sadness soon overwhelmed him. My face bore no emotion. The last thing I was thinking about was his feelings. We walked from Hoboken to our apartment in Jersey City barely soaking a word. I had no idea how to start the conversation again.
I always try to start with some weird words of wisdom.
I have none.
Up until this moment, I was scared as hell to even write about what has been happening within the last couple of months. My life seemed so perfect to everyone looking in. Whether they were looking through social media or just people we knew, I had everything I wanted. I guess,
When morning came, Lionel woke up and got ready for work. I stayed in bed thinking. He kissed me on the forehead before he left. I froze.
“DID HE NOT HEAR WHAT I SAID?”
Fridays were always bad for me. I could never get out of bed on time and I was always late to work. Sitting at my desk, I sent Lionel a text message to let him know that I was indeed serious about this breakup. I wanted out of our relationship and I needed him to take me seriously.
Somewhere along the way to “break-up” I became overwhelmed. I didn’t want to take care of anyone else. I grew up a caretaker to my parents, my sister, my friends and everyone around me. Somehow, I became the prime caretaker in all of my relationships and in my professional life. I WANTED OUT. I wanted someone to take care of me. That meant cutting ties with everyone. Poor Lionel wanted to work things out. But my mind was made up. I wanted to be on my own. I wanted to be loved and adored. I didn’t feel like I was loved in my relationship. I started to feel nothing.
By the time I showed up for our Dance Fitness class, there was a tension between us that grew thicker. However, at this point in my life, I am used to hiding everything from everyone around me. I hid an addiction to alcohol and pills from everyone and functioned normally for almost a year. He and I spoke in the class just to keep up the appearance that we were fine. I even threatened to cut someone who said something to him, because that’s what I do…. Regardless of anything, I am his protector and I dare someone to come for him in my presence.
The Noise Doesn’t Stop
You’re probably wondering about what might have happened in our relationship that I needed a break from him. I will not write about that. The truth is, A lot has happened. Then I realized that there was a lot happening to me.
I was worried about school, work, home, bills, my family issues and everything under the sun. I was struggling with extreme bouts of depression. My life at work had become hell and it still is. My OCD started to trigger my anxiety so much that I would have crying fits at work. I remember one day. crying to Rasheeka telling her that I couldn’t take it anymore. That this disease was too much.
“It’s going to kill me. I am going to die from this.” I repeated this over and over again.
“It’s going to kill me.”
This wasn’t my cry for help, it was a cry saying that “I am in care and the care I am receiving isn’t helping and no-one around me seems to care that I can kill myself because the noise won’t stop.”
The noise never stops. Sometimes, the noise is louder than your own voice. Sometimes it’s louder than the music you blasts in your ears. It’s much louder than Soca. It’s louder than the adorned voices yelling about how fabulous you are. The noise would be easier to deal with if it was just your voice, but it isn’t it’s your voice and many others. Regardless of what you do, the noise doesn’t stop.
For three days, I was away for a training in New York. I stayed in a hotel in Long Island City. The training was a few days long and I got a chance to meet a lot of people there. But if you’d ask me how I felt during that time, I was a mess. I barely slept and I ate and drank my feelings those four days, I ate and drank a lot of feelings. I had so much alcohol in those four days, I expected to not wake up some days. Some days, I didn’t want to wake up.
Some days, I wondered what life would have been without me. I also gained 10 pounds that week. I guess I could have channeled my depression into working out, but there was no gym. Plus, I am not wired that way. When I am depressed, I eat. In the past, I’d resort to other unhealthy and risky behaviors. Eating happened to be the one behavior that didn’t land me in hot water.
Almost a week ago, I told Lionel that he and I could figure things out together, which was a huge departure from me asking him to move out!
I think. Either way, Lionel has gotten used to my noise. I asked him the other day.
“Are you happy?” Paying attention to his video game he said.
“Yes!” My heart sank. I wanted the attention at that time. I was tired of fighting for attention.
“If you were to say that you felt any way about life, you’d say you were happy?”
“Well, I’m not happy at work sometimes!”
People usually asks us questions about our relationship. Some just assume that our relationship is golden. I get it…. He’s a “privileged” white accountant who has had everything handed to him. And I am a “fabulous” diva who is adorned by him. But therein lays the problem and issue. We have two very different experiences of life. He will never relate to any of my experiences.
We were leaving the gym and there were police officers circling the block. Lionel quipped.
“Be careful baby, the police are out!” I’m not sure if he knew how damaging that was to me. Maybe he did know. Not sure..
We got measured for suits once and Lionel observed,
“Did you notice that he counted how many things that were in your hand, and not in mine? Because you’re black, baby!” Though I was furious and couldn’t verbalize it at the time. I started to resent him. I started to hate Lionel because he’s white and for his ignorance. Obviously, these are things he cannot change, but I hated him anyway.
But we go through some real shit. We argue. I throw things. It’s not perfect.
Check on Your People
I watched “13 Reasons Why” and had dreams about the characters.
If I could bean example for those dealing with mental illness…. If I could offer advice,.. “Check on everyone you say you love.”
Smiling faces tell lies, they don’t always tell the truth. When I was a kid, I was able to hide the fact that I was going through so much. I learned to hold all of my feelings inside. My parents never cared how I felt, They were going through their own shit. I learned to take my feelings and bury them. This is a skill I practice everyday. So please check on everyone. Because the one person who you think is okay… the beautiful soul… the infectious personality…
May not be okay…
I’ve been documenting my life in this blog for almost three years. I started this journey writing about my ups and downs and being very honest. It wouldn’t be right to hide this. My art is writing about my life and my experience as a human being. I have been doing that for so long that I don’t know any other way to write. When I stopped allowing myself to be open about my life, I stripped myself of my voice. I didn’t have writers block, I was blocking myself from writing. I’m trying to stop that trend…