It was quarter to four in the morning, an ordinary Sunday morning, when my world fell apart. I woke from the depths of sleep, my toddler nestled beside me, as you stumbled into the room. I could tell you were drunk before you spoke, heard you ask if I was awake, see you sit beside me, try to talk to me, kiss me. I told you that you were freaking me out, that you were drunk and I was sleeping, and you went to bed and fell asleep swiftly.
Awake now, I checked my phone and saw I had several missed calls from you and a voicemail. I listened to it in the silence of the house, heard your drunken ramblings, something about stupid texts, not really making much sense. I listened to it once, twice and then a third time. A tiny trickle of fear ran through my blood. Something felt a little odd, and I did what I’ve never done before. Look at your phone.
I found messages that told what you’d been doing. Though many had obviously been deleted, there were enough there for me to put two and two together.
Shivering in the cold and dark. I put your phone back where I’d found it and crawled back into bed, curling up around the warm body of my littlest one. My mind whirling in disbelief, not quite certain what I’d read, not quite able to comprehend this strange reality that had suddenly appeared.
The hours ticked slowly by, there was no chance of sleeping. I could hear my heart beating, feel the fear pulsing through my body.
Too slowly, yet all too soon, the sun rose and my house awoke around me. All except you. You slept on, as though you had no cares in the world.
Forcing myself up and on, I waited and waited. When you finally awoke, you didn’t do what I hoped and tell me I was wrong. That things weren’t what I thought.
Instead, piece by piece you pulled my heart apart. Shredded it into twenty million tiny pieces, that you scattered across the house. The more you spoke, the more hurtful and hateful things you threw at me, the more my heart broke. I never knew it was possible to tear a heart into quite so many pieces.
I found myself on the floor. Gasping for breath, my heart aching like never before, unable to grasp that this was real, that the person I loved more than anything in the world could so calmly destroy me.
To rip away not only my present, but leave me questioning every happy memory I had, and destroy my hopes for the future, all in one afternoons work.
I cried. For hours. For days. For weeks. Five weeks to be precise – I cried every. single. day. It took me that long to even be able to breathe without hurting so much I cried. Five weeks of not being able to sleep. Or to eat. Or to function.
Six weeks on and still I cry, but only at night when no one can hear. My heart still hurts. I’ve put a few pieces back together, but I don’t have enough glue to mend it all. Sometimes, I still struggle to get my head around the reality of this. Surely, any second now, I will wake up and find this all a nightmare.
People say I’m strong. But I’m not. I’ve had to be strong my entire life. Too many times when people have hurt me, too many times when I’ve had to start from scratch, putting back together the pieces of a broken life. In you, I thought I’d found someone different. I trusted you when I could trust nobody any longer. I gave you my heart, my life and all my hopes and dreams.
The day that you shattered me, destroyed every single fibre of who I am, and then kicked me when I was down, I gave up. People say that I can heal, that I am stronger than I think, but when you are so tired of being hurt, and you are so tired of having to fight, how can you explain that you just can’t do it all again?
Along with my heart, what broke that September day was me. I have lost who I am. I have questioned everything and no longer know what I want, what I like, what I think. I feel as though I am adrift in some strange ocean, in a boat with no oars. I have no map to guide me, no oars to steer me, no sense of direction, no idea where I am heading.
I remembered just how good I am at faking it. Years of depression, and BDD and eating disorders taught me well how to put a smile on and pretend I am fine. There is only so long people ask how you are before they expect that you should be OK again. In the day time, my smile is fixed, I switch off the listening to the voice in my head and concentrate on what I have to do. By the time the darkness falls, my smile is wavering, my heartbreak beating a drum in my chest, and the tears fall down my cheeks. The loneliness is crushing. When you realise that you have no one to turn to, no one to reach out to, no one to give you a hug and tell you everything is going to be alright.
The nights are too long, the silence too loud, the hurt too much. In truth, I am scared, and lost, and lonely. My heart hurts more than I ever thought possible. I’ve lost sight of who I am, lost the road that I was on, lost the will to fight back yet again.