I have a new job now. I'm teaching at a career college and I am so much happier. I am relieved that I made it to this point, relieved that I lasted as long as I did at The Evil Empire. It feels like a bad dream.
I have some experience with bad dreams these days. Two weekends ago I was recuperating from a cold that turned violent and I slept for four days, waking to hydrate and eat noodles. And cry.
The dreams were terrible, not always about Jeff, but always relative. I would wake confused and grieving, gasping for air and sanity. I showered, bracing myself on the walls and try to force air through the congestion and tightness in my chest. Cough so hard I would be sick and then dress in soft, clean clothes and crawl back into bed.
I was afraid to take Xanax along with the cold medicine.
Last weekend I had improved physically, but my emotional progress was on an inverse arc. I woke screaming and covered in sweat early Saturday morning and it took five minutes to get a Xanax down, two hours to stop shaking and regain even minimal control over myself. I don't remember the dream, not really, but I was responsible for keeping him safe. I was responsible for keeping others safe from him. And I failed. Over and over I failed.
Once the dream passed and I could breathe normally, think normally, the question I kept coming back to was, how can I ever share my life with another person if I still wake up screaming? How is that ever going to be fair to someone else? Who would ever forgive the fact that I will always be tied to him, always love him. I will never be able to let him go.
I taught a knitting lesson, had lunch with some friends... I went home and shaved my legs and put clean sheets on the bed. My out-of-town friend was scheduled to visit and if nothing else I needed him there to hold me through whatever time we had together.
And he was comforting to me. Very sweet and he absorbed my grief the way I knew he would. He is my best friend, and in another life we would be amazing together. I asked him the questions that had me awake in the dark hours of the morning. How would I ever be able to share my life with another man? How would this new person feel about the dreams that can't stay quiet?
He said, "Anyone who loves you would understand, and would comfort you in any way you would let him."
Anyone who loves me would understand.
I just need to find someone who loves me.