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What My Husband Once Said When My World Was Falling to Pieces

“Where have you been? I don’t recognize you lately.”

These words are spoken to me a week or so ago by my Dimmu (my husband). We had just woken up and were chatting about our past few days and how I had been feeling. Days that to me seemed far away and foggy around the edges.

How I feel? I told him how lost and confused I have been feeling, how I can’t even see who I am, how I don’t know who I want to be or even if I knew how to be her if I could.

He knew where I was at without me even having to say anything. He just wanted to know how it looked from my side. He didn’t say it in a malicious way, and it didn’t upset me because I knew exactly what he meant.

It’s true. I’m at this loss. I feel like part of me is missing still, even after all this work. Even after all the pain, it feels like I am putting myself through it. Even after all I have, I am still so lost.

I’m almost 32 years old, and I feel like a puberty-stricken teen in the midst of a first crush. It’s like the world is over all because her crush won’t talk to her. Except this time, I’m the crush and the girl all at the same time. Yet, there’s a big fence stopping us from awkwardly hugging or kissing.

Something is stopping me from reaching the person on the inside. I haven’t felt like myself for a few months, but recently I felt like I wasn’t present in the moment, in any of the moments.

I was me but not me, a me who was still a work in progress, a me who wasn’t recognizable to myself, my kids or my husband. My therapist called me and told me this loss, this confusion is progress because we are unpacking so much and because we are getting to the core that is me.

“Yes, you were sexually abused for a long time, but that’s not all you are, even though that is your issue to work on in life.”

In that same week, my Dimmu consoled me after I spent my shower crying like a baby on his chest because I was jealous I don’t have the balls I assume it takes to end it all. Sadly, I was feeling envious of those who don’t have to live through life. It feels embarrassing and almost shameful to admit something almost inconsiderate to those who have lived through that, or insensitive to those who have actually died by suicide. I didn’t want to die necessarily. I just wanted to take the pain away, like I have said so many times before. Suicidal ideologies, I call them.

I climbed out of the shower and watched Dimmu shave while I sat on the toilet in my soggy towel. The tears just kept welling in my eyes, falling off my face one after the other and my heart shattering over and over. My world felt like it was falling to pieces. The hurt is so consuming that life just feels wasted on me.

The earth-shattering numbness mixed with desolation is unbearable. At those points in my depression, I genuinely feel incredibly alone. I am constantly grappling at the pieces of myself I haven’t even really seen.

These pieces, I am constantly trying to find and smash together, like a 2-year-old trying to stick ripped-up paper together. These pieces I can barely hold feel like they will never become whole, no matter how much tape or glue I use. This is probably because I feel like I still don’t have all the pieces I need.

My Dimmu looks down at me with this look on his face. It isn’t disappointment. It isn’t pain. It’s love and heartbreak.

I am still sitting on the toilet with my wet hair dripping cold droplets down my back when he kneels in front of me. The exhaust fan hums above us, and he is still wet from his shower with his towel around his waist. He kisses me ever so gently on the lips and when he pulls away he places his forehead on mine.

He says, “Stay with me, OK? Even if you cry all the way to the end, I’ll still be right here when that end comes.”

That moment, which was mere weeks ago, still plays on my mind today. It still hurts. I feel guilt because I put this family through so much. I feel like I don’t deserve such devotion, such love and adoration. I also feel sadness for him because he knows how desperate I am at those points, and he knew right then it is a real possibility that one day I could slip over the line.

I don’t know what breaks my heart more: that he loves me enough to endure all that is inside me, or that he knows how much I’m hurting (because he had to say that in the first place).

His love and devotion to me saves me every day. He will never fully understand how much that devotion and support means to me, how much he keeps me (partially) sane. He picks up the pieces of me I can’t and holds them to my body until they fuze back on. He picks them up every time. If I’m not ready to hold them, then he keeps them warm for me for when I am ready for them.

No words could ever describe how good having that feels. No words could ever capture my appreciation for him. So all I have to do to show him how much that means to me is to stay with him, and it’ll all be OK.

This post originally appeared on AD Remembered.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.