We finally reached a point where I lay limp in his arms, my feet tangled in the sheets, our bodies covered in a thin sheen of sweat. My tears and snot lubricated the skin between his shoulder and my cheek. Emptied of grief, I finally found myself floating in a place of comfort. It had taken all night to get there, but now, finally, 40 minutes before his alarm would go off, I felt the love and connection I had been struggling all night to find.
I fought him. All of my frustration and helpless rage needed out. I opened my mouth and all of the hateful bitter things trapped inside spilled from my lips. I didn’t want him to take it on, but of course he did, stepping into each of my desperate claims and wearing it around like an ill-fitting garment. Maybe that helped me, seeing how ridiculous he looked in my fears. But he would say, “This isn’t me. What are you talking about?” and his voice would be loaded with hurt as we lay in bed, surrounded by darkness, “You don’t even see me!”
And I would cry harder because I wasn’t talking about him, I was talking about my emotions, telling him about the things I need to work through because they are poisoning me. I wanted him to reassure me, to tell me that it was okay to feel, and to be my ally in finding solutions. I would tell him, “Of course I see you. I know you. You are my heart.” and I would writhe against him in agitation, “Please, I need help!”
I felt like I was drowning. Over and over, I would cry, “I just want you to hear me!” like I was begging for a life preserver. The middle of the night is never the best time to try to have relationship discussions, but we didn’t have other time. Exhausted and hopeless, I wanted to give up.
He got angry. On opposite sides of the bed, like continents separated by an ocean, we lobbed bombs at each other in futile attempt to make peace. I had no defenses, being open to him made me an easy target. Every word he said hurt, but nothing as bad as his final abandonment would, when in cold tones he explained that we were over.
It’s always all or nothing here. We give everything or we walk away alone. I wasn’t ready to lose what we have built. I made the same sacrifice I always make, silently wishing that he would apologize first sometimes.
Under the oppressive weight of my sadness, I needed his touch. I longed to be held, cherished, protected from this anguish. He came round to my side, slid under the heavy covers, and pulled my body on top of his. We would both calm with our bodies this close. I let go. I let go of my problems, my anxiety, the desperate emotions I can’t seem to resolve. I made a decision to believe him when he said that I was building walls against him. I lowered my defenses. I was vulnerable to him.
In his arms, I released my pent up emotions in a torrent. His anger dissolved under the onslaught of my tears and the absolution that what I was feeling is not about now, not his fault. I cried until I was empty, even dumping the vague feeling that I had betrayed myself. All that mattered was somehow finding each other before the night ended.
In those moments of stillness I experienced a strange high. I would feel strongly connected to him, but also euphoric, drifty, and hollow – a bit like a balloon on his string. Emptied of all thought and emotion, I found a pure meditative state where we held each other in peace until the alarm went off.