I lay on the bed waiting for something to happen. We had talked about all sorts of fantasies in our relationship, but each day looked the same, luxuriating to the point of suffocation. He pulled the computer over to rest on his chest as he perused the internet, waiting for noise to stop downstairs so that he could potentially make his first meal after hours and hours of waiting, “I don’t want to go downstairs because there are people down there,” he would say, “I am not going down there.” I began to realize that I was waiting for something that was never going to come. Years could be filled up with this waiting: sitting on beds, looking over at a living corpse just waiting to rot and die, and for what? I was doing this to myself; I was choosing to take the easier way out, staying in a relationship because I was already in it—because I was too scared to venture out into the world on my own.
I had been talking about going on a road trip for some time and in that talking I had been halfway waiting for him to jump on my bandwagon so that we could be a fiercesome group of love bandits making art as we rode along the highway—interviewing strangers about their passions and making improvisational music as we went. I thought that this dream was only possible if he was included because I ascribed all of the magic to him and his connections—to his ability to play cello anywhere and with anyone.
I felt like I was dying on that bed too, because I wasn’t valuing myself as enough and I wasn’t acknowledging that this situation was unhealthy—that I wasn’t treating myself in the way that I knew was positive. I was letting myself stay in a stagnant relationship for some idea that this person was the one and only person that I could be with, because I had decided that he was the love of my life, because we had slept under the shooting stars, because he had introduced me to living off of a bike in the forest for a month.
I didn’t know how to leave.
I felt trapped.
I wanted to save him and I thought I was strong enough for the two of us.
I would lay there, cuddling with him in bed hours after I had been ready to get up and start my day, “How are you feeling this morning?” I would ask.
“Bad,” he would say and I would hug him harder. I didn’t want to leave him. I wanted to lie in bed all day too. If he could do it, so could I.
When I got around people, I let myself take up the role of passive observer, not really having the energy to explain who I was—just talking about whatever they wanted to talk about, questioning my own interests, valuing other people’s passions as more worthwhile than my own. I started to think that I didn’t know anything, really. I started looking to everyone around me for direction.
On some levels I knew that this was an unhealthy situation for me, that I was in a toxic relationship—that’s what I would write about sometimes—but I also felt like that was what crazy love felt like and that people just didn’t understand our special connection. I was addicted to a person, so I forced myself to take a month of space to see what truths came up when we were away from each other—to see if I could do something on my own two feet.
When you have been leaning on someone else as your emotional punching bag and security blanket for a long time, it is hard to go cold turkey and not feel lost and disenchanted with your path—and it also reminds you that you are alone and that is the one truth that never goes away. Ultimately, you are the one making the decisions about your life, so shouldn’t you be getting the credit for pulling you up and out of a deep depression and making something happen: no matter how big or small? It is hard to come to terms with the fact that you have been spending all of this time waiting and that you were really just waiting for yourself to wake up.
Author: Evelyn Amber Schmelling
Author Bio: Evelyn Amber Schmelling is committed to radical honesty and authentically living her life. She has been drawing and writing every day for over 3 years and has found that life still feels crazy, but that changes happen more quickly and she is more aware of what she wants as a result of her creative practices.
Link to social media or website: https://www.facebook.com/evelyn.schmelling