After the earthquakes, I was pretty much always anxious, or depressed, or both. During these times, my heart felt like it became stone: uncaring, unfeeling, unable to connect to anyone else, including to myself.
The Man I Loved moved away from Chicago before the quakes, but returned in 2012. After work, on this very day 7 years ago, nearly to the day of a significant anniversary of our meeting, he pulled into my parents’ driveway, and as he walked up to the front porch, the setting sun behind him casting him into shadow, my heart became flesh once more.
It’d been a long day for him, and a rough day for me. My Grandma had moved into an assisted living facility the day after we’d arrived in the States, and this day 7 years ago had been her first outing outside the facility since she’d moved in. The Man I Loved had had an intensive work conference away from his office, and he was finally finished.
In my parents’ kitchen — he wanted a glass of water before we went out to dinner — he and I stood a little too close, and it felt like the first time we met, only years later.
To be honest, I’d thought I would’ve been okay being friends post-relationship; that had been the status quo for a great many years. Then the quakes came, and it made me face my mortality, and then he walked up that driveway and… well, “Here You Come Again” by Dolly Parton could cover it better than I ever could.
I’m not going to delve into the events that evening when we went to dinner, but that night, when I was in bed, I was wide awake, the thoughts and feelings tumbling through me. Feeling alive and energized, I kept replaying the day, and a million opportunities unfolded in my mind like a field of flowers in bloom.
The most remarkable sensation: my heart of stone melted to a heart of flesh and blood, with so many emotions and sensations pulsing through it, I wondered if it would explode with joy.
Today, the memories resurfaced, and my heart feels very different. As you may recall from earlier blogs, I stopped talking to The Man I Loved, received radio silence to a letter I sent a year later, and got mixed messages ever since.
Do I miss him? Of course.
Was I tempted to get in touch and remind him about that evening? Very much so, yes.
Did my pride after his latest ghosting round prevent me from doing so? Yes.
I am happy I am reconnecting with my emotions post-depersonalization, especially more fully in the last few months, and while these feelings around this particular event are bittersweet, they are honest and raw, and they deserve to be acknowledged in the right context.