I don’t know where this story starts. Is it when I moved back to Ontario, a week and a half ago? Or maybe a month ago when I decided to leave Prince Edward Island? Is it in February when I pulled over on the side of the road, crying, because my partner said he wouldn’t fight for us? Does it go back to June 22, 2019, when my partner told me he didn’t know if he was still “in” our relationship? Or maybe, was it when we made the decision to move across the country, together? I keep replaying the timeline backwards and forwards, trying to make it all make sense. No matter which way I slice it, I just feel lost, confused, and alone.
Leaving the person I’ve loved, and still love, for nine years to move back home has been extremely difficult. I cried for two weeks straight after making the decision. I cry every time I hug one of my friends or family members when I see them for the first time. I hiked a grueling hike to see an incredible view of Algonquin Park and I cried when I reached the top. I still pull over on the side of the road to cry. I thought I would be out of tears by now but, apparently, mine are endless.
People who could see the situation more clearly than I did are teaching me what happened. That my partner had likely wanted to end things but didn’t have the courage to do so, so he drove me away. That when someone doesn’t have the decency to even ask you how your day was, they do not deserve your energy. That all those things you found that you believed could be explained away? Put it together, Courtney – he cheated on you. Seeing the bigger picture makes me so angry because I feel so stupid and naïve. It makes me angry because it makes me feel like my love and compassion were taken advantage of. It makes me angry because I’m trying to hold onto the good feelings I have for this person and all I can feel is disappointment.
And underneath the sadness and the anger? There is depression. For weeks I told my mom, “I’m OK. I’m in pain. I’m hurting. I’m sad. But I’m not depressed.” But that no longer is true.
The depression is hanging heavy in my chest. I feel like I’m starting to suffocate from it. I have no appetite. I can’t sleep but I can’t get out of bed. I feel unmotivated. I feel lonely. I feel desperate. I feel like I’m not worthy of being loved. I feel like I’m a failure. My rational mind knows these things are not true but my irrational mind is screaming at me, “YES, IT IS”. Each day has become a fight to remember my worth.
But I’m extremely lucky. I have a mother and wonderful “non-stepdad,” both of whom drove almost 10 hours to meet me in my moving truck. I have a sister who never shows her emotions but hugged me, cried with me, and helped me sit with my pain. Amazing friends that let me text them any time of day, and that constantly checked in with me before, during, and after my move. Friends that made me the sweetest “welcome home” gift that I’ve taken to carrying around with me everywhere. Friends that let me just sit beside them to watch TV or read a book. The best grandparents, ready to do anything they could to help.
My grandma said something to me that I keep repeating to myself when it all feels unbearable. She hugged me and said, “you’re safe now.” And I am. My heart needs repairing, and I think it’s going to take a long time for it to heal, but those people I hold close to me and hold me close in return? They are keeping me and my heart safe. They are helping to put me back together. Forget the last few weeks – I could not have survived the last year without them. Every time I think I’m unworthy of being loved? I think of them and the love they are surrounding me with.