He vowed to love her. For better or worse. For rich or poor. To love her to the best of his ability for not only the rest of her life, but for the remainder of his as well. He promised to cherish her. But the reality, he is a promise broken.
One of the only ways I can explain what is inside of me is to say that it is an abyss. A swirling mass of emotions that sometimes rages. Sometimes calms. Sometimes swirls along at the bottom of my consciousness. And then soars to the very top of me. Covering every inch. Sometimes I stare down into the abyss. Standing at the very edge with my tiptoes on the ledge. And I look down into the emptiness and nothingness that is at the core of me. Sometimes it takes everything I have to not just jump in and finally allow the darkness to take me. Because it beckons me. Calls my name. Now the little girl that I used to chase around the house to hear her laughter. The little girl that I have shared every secret with, every smile, every tear, every hope and dream with, is staring into that same abyss within herself. And I do not know if I can stop her from creeping to the edge.
I don’t think she even truly understands what is happening. This is a new feeling for her. I know the abyss well. And while she has not had an easy life by a long shot, she has never faced the strength of that pull into darkness. To just succumb to the emptiness. She does not know what awaits at the bottom. I made my own promise to her long ago. I promised to always protect her. But now, I do not know if I can keep that promise. It is out of my hands. And I do not want to become yet another promise broken.
Last night I went over to spend time with my sister and niece and nephew. It was supposed to be an escape for both of us. An escape for me from the health issues that I have been struggling with lately. And a chance for her to get some help with the kids so she could get a couple moments to breathe. It turned into a nightmare.
My sister and her mom got into a screaming match. They are both wrought with emotion and strung as tight as can be. My aunt (that’s what I call my sister’s mom) is scared out of her mind that my sister will return to my brother in law. She is scared that my sister is breaking down into nothing, and that there is nothing we can do. My sister, on the other hand, is shattered. On the brink of a complete nervous breakdown. Unaware of the true extent of her brokenness. And so both of them just exploded against each other. Taking all of those other emotions out on each other. My sister was drunk and continued to drink. My aunt left the house for hours. I tried to talk to my sister, as I took care of the kids, but she could hear nothing that I said. She is so consumed with wanting her “family” back that she cannot see anything else. It is almost as though she has not examined her face enough to see the bruises that still circle her eyes. The marks on her neck that are only just now beginning to fade. I want to scream at her, “Look in the mirror! Look a little closer! A little longer! Truly see what he did to you!” But it would be no use. She is beyond words at this point. She would not hear me even if she was looking into my eyes as I spoke. She is in denial. I know this. But she is also about to jump into the abyss. With pure abandon. With both feet. And she doesn’t even know it.
It breaks my heart. It has broken me. And my niece and nephew, I want to protect them as well. The first time I held my nephew in my arms, I whispered into his ear that I would protect and take care of him to the best of my ability for the rest of my life. And I did the same with my niece. But from this, I don’t know how to save them. Any of them. “Well baby, mommy is going crazy and no longer knows what way is up. Yes, mommy is crying all the time because she’s sad. Yes, mommy’s face is black and blue, but there is no bandaid that can fix it. No baby, daddy is not going to come home soon.” I do not want to be a promise broken. But I have no idea how to destroy the abyss. It lives within me. I don’t want it to live within them as well. I promised.
“You saw my pain. Washed out in the rain. And broken glass. Saw the blood run from my veins. But you saw no fault. No cracks in my heart. And you knelt beside. My hope torn apart. But the ghosts that we knew. Will flicker from view. And we’ll live a long life. So give me hope in the darkness. That I will see the light. Cause oh, they gave me such a fright. But I will hold on with all of my might. Just promise that we will be alright.”
Mumford & Sons – Ghosts That We Knew
I just logged into my facebook and the first two posts I see are from two different friends regarding them missing two different people that they lost in their lives. I take death hard. I don’t know if it is because of the BPD or that I’m just super sensitive, or what it is really. Just. When people around me are sad and broken, it’s like I soak it up like a sponge and feel all of those same emotions with them. I hurt for them. And I feel all of those emotions intensified within me. Even if the person that they are mourning for was not a part of my life, I still feel that loss as if it were my own. I know that sounds selfish, as if I am trying to seek attention or want people to feel pity for me, but I promise that’s not it at all. It’s just, I am so sensitive to those around me that I feed off their emotions. I don’t even know if it’s that I can read people well. That doesn’t quite explain it sufficiently. It’s like, I can feel them. Even if they didn’t say a word, my body and emotions inside of me would alter to whatever it is that is gripping them. I can feel what they feel. I can feel it almost more than they can. I hurt with them. And for them because I never want to see the people in my life that I care about feel emotions like I do. Maybe it is the BPD. I don’t know. But it sucks. I begin to think about everyone that I have lost. Those I still have yet to lose one day. Those that I am terrified of losing. Feeling that loss as if it were real. As if I could reach out and touch it and it becomes my own. I don’t really know how else to put it. Seeing someone that I care about hurt, I think it hurts me more than my own sadness. Because there is no outlet or reason for the pain. It isn’t mine. But at the same time, it is. And yet I have no explanation for it or way to ease it because it did not stem from me. If this is the disorder then it is one aspect that I cannot wrap my head around. It is something that I cannot change because I have no idea where I would even start.
I have one more story to tell today. Now this story has absolutely nothing to do with BPD. But it is a story that gets to the very core of me nonetheless. It is the story of a different type of struggle that affects my life too. This is the story of Tom Bridegroom and his boyfriend of six years, Shane Bitney Crone. Tom tragically died in May 2011. As the couple was denied the right to legally marry, Shane was left absolutely powerless when Tom’s family took control of Tom’s funeral arrangements. Shane was not even allowed to attend the funeral as Tom’s family threatened that he would be harmed physically if he were to show up. I am sure that some of you have heard of this story, but some of you may not have. While I struggle with BPD, I also struggle for my own freedoms when it comes to who I love. Just as I do not like to be judged for my disorder, I also do not like to be judged based on who I choose to spend my life with or give my love to. I wish that people would get to know me for the person that I am, regardless of my sexual orientation. But alas, that is not the world that we live in. Shane and Tom’s story breaks me, I could not even imagine being in Shane’s shoes. He is a stronger individual than I could ever hope to be. But his story is one of hope. A hope for change. So that no one else will have to suffer through the nightmare that he was forced to live. Shane originally posted the following video as his own tribute to the love of his life. But it has grown to more than that. It has grown bigger than I am sure he ever thought imaginable. And it is all geared towards progressing the right for everyone to be able to marry who they love, regardless of gender. Because everyone deserves the right to be able to take care of the person they love. In sickness, in health, and, yes, even in death. And this story is something amazing that I want to share with anyone that might be listening. I have BPD. I fight my own inner demons regarding self-hatred. But I am also gay. And because of that, I fight hatred in real life. Hopefully this video and this story can help to change that.
This story is set to be made into a documentary entitled “Bridegroom: An American Love Story”. If you would like more information, please check out their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/bridegroommovie or http://www.facebook.com/equalloveequalrights.