The Filtered Sun

My skies had been gray for so long before you. Then you came and lifted the filter from the sun and brightened my days again.

For a short while, anyway.

The alcoholic needs her drink to feel whole; the drug addict, his pills and tabs. But me? I needed you.

Every moment without your constant and forced affection threw me into withdrawal symptoms, and it was never enough. I needed more. More of your time and attention and enthusiasm. I was addicted to you.

My neediness angered you, and although at the end we were both saying things we’d later regret, you were the first to introduce verbal abuse into my life. I remember pleading with you not to call me names, to just communicate peacefully and resolve our problems. You even admitted in therapy that you were always angry with me, all the time – that’s why you couldn’t touch me. That’s why you said to me, “You wonder why I never want to spend time with you?”

Those words pierced my heart. Even typing them now reopens old wounds. I’d believed in fairytales until you. I had always wanted a best friend to spend all my time with. Now, I know better. The only best friend I need is myself.

But let’s be honest – you are an angry person. We were the worst combination in the history of love stories. Worse than Romeo and Juliet. Even worse than Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber.

I thought that’s what love felt like. But it was codependency and a fear of being alone that kept us tethered together. Being alone meant listening to my own self-deprecating thoughts; to one heartbeat instead of two. It meant questioning myself and not having you there to reassure me. It meant relying on myself to be happy, and that terrified me because I thought I wasn’t capable of that.

I cared about you, and still do. But I now know that what we both felt wasn’t love. We simply needed each other to learn and grow apart. While I am still unsure of just what your lesson was, that’s okay – your journey is not mine to take. Once upon a time, that would have terrified me to my very core. But now, I hold my head high as I walk alone.

When we separated, the filter returned to my sun, and my world became gray again…or so I thought.

Over time, I have begun to see cracks in the surface of the filter. Slowly and surely, I am removing it to reveal a truly perfect brightness I was always capable of achieving on my own.

It will take time, but it will be worth it, because I will have brightened my days all by myself.

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