It’s All I Need.

This week’s snow storm proved to be Winter’s final chance, expunging the last bits of the season’s chill.

No matter how much I want something, it’s easier to leave it untouched. The frost created delusions. Reality was hiding underneath sheets of ice. I understand that now. The warmth of the sun on my skin, the blossoms so eager to split the ground, each prove that the problems are about to be overthrown by a new, understanding chapter.

I don’t love him. Winter just wasn’t my season.

Saturday night started with a reunion. A high school best friend and I decided to have our own hometown pub crawl. Where we ended our night would be left to chance. The atmosphere, music, and conversations would lead us right where we needed to be.

At our final stop, I walked through the door to see one of James’ family members, a sibling of the cousin who told me that he was an idiot over a year ago. And then, as we continued through the entrance way saying generic hellos to those we hardly cared to see, I saw James sitting at the table next to me. And I was immediately thrown off by the chance that I had hoped would bring us good times. But I couldn’t turn around, because the movement was unnecessary. I know where we stand. I know what he wants. Looking back is only proof that I’m not ready to take the steps toward recovery that even he urged me to take. So I didn’t.


Just two days earlier I entered into my first meeting with a domestic abuse/trauma psychologist.

Sitting in the waiting room, surrounded by other women facing the same demons, I spent twenty minutes filling out papers that proved I was not suicidal. The procedure was surreal. I still look back and wonder how I ended up here. Still, Thursday proved to be beneficial. Even though my life looks like it’s put back together, I’m not whole yet.

Some of you will be offended by that statement. You think that because I survived, because I’m a survivor, I should feel whole already. And that I shouldn’t blame myself because I’m the victim. The musicality of those statements is beautiful, but it just isn’t me. I’m not whole. Lying in a bed with a man that I know doesn’t love me and giving myself to him anyway is proof. It’s a dirty little piece of my history for which I won’t feel pride.

I have three goals that my therapist and I would like to see me meet before we end our sessions.

1 – To feel whole again. I don’t want to watch my life unfold and feel that it’s not mine anymore. I want to own it. And be proud of it. And know who I am. And love myself for everything that I’m worth.

2 – To trust others. The only similarity I feel with other people is that we are different. Nobody gets it. Nobody knows how I feel. And I don’t trust them to understand. There are very few people I trust anymore. Mostly, because I’m afraid to tell them anything. They’ll find a weakness and throw me back down the nightmarish tunnel, flailing to grasp something real, until I’m on my knees again. I see the ugliness of this fear. It’s time to trust again.

3 – To trust myself. I don’t. Any time I begin opening up, I question whether I’m making similar mistakes that led me to the battered women’s shelter. When I was dating Ike, I cut off my long hair on a whim. Some people thought I was doing it because he asked me to, but the truth is that I did it so that he couldn’t rip it out of my head anymore. I saw enough blood other ways. I didn’t need it to stain my golden hair.


So, two days after making these goals, I see one person who has proven to hold me back from reaching any sort of happiness. It’s not totally his fault. I’m just as much to blame.

And just a week earlier, I was spewing insults and hatred his way. But Saturday I made the decision to leave him alone. To walk passed him. To pretend he was just another face in the crowd that I didn’t care about.

And the truth is that it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Because I’ve created enough pain while he was around. I know I need to stop putting myself in situations that present unhappiness. If I would have turned around, I would have made the same mistake. I can’t continue threatening my own happiness in that way. And, in some way, I think I threaten his too.

Our only interaction was in one moment when he walked passed me toward the restroom. The space between us was minimal, touching inevitable. I shot him a quick smile and said hello. He walked on, hardly looking at me, and touched the back of my head while reciprocating the greeting. His touch put a peace in my heart. We aren’t any further into this than we were at the beginning. We really didn’t go anywhere. Just as quickly as he passed, my heart was a tiny bit more whole. He cares on some level. And on a completely different level, I don’t.

Anne and I sat and talked until last call. On the way back to her house, I gave her my cell phone. If James tried to call or text, I wasn’t going to respond. And I wasn’t going to seek out his words either. Instead, I would sit and enjoy the company of the girl that I could trust.

He didn’t call. He didn’t text. Maybe Winter wasn’t his season either.

Tonight, I’m breathing. It’s all I had when I left Ike. And maybe now, it’s all I’ll start with again. Just my breath.

And maybe, right now, it’s all I need.


15 thoughts on “It’s All I Need.

  1. my heart aches reading your words. There are a lot of similarities between where you were, where you are, and where I am. I can only commiserate and listen. sending love, endurance, more clarity, peace, and comfort to you. Thank you for pouring your heart out.

  2. Thank you for writing the hard parts, too. I can’t say much other than that I’ve been in a similar place, at least to an extent. I’m wishing you the ability to find joy in the midst of the hard parts. *hugs*

  3. the interaction towards the end is what brought the moisture to my eyes….

    “love him when you think of him, then drop it.” -E, P, L.

    cause if we want to live then life will persist before us.


  4. Very moving, as always. Trust, betrayal, I should tell you my story sometime, it’ll leave you shaking your head.

  5. This is so wonderful and so beautifully written. Healing takes time, and we constantly have to remind ourselves not to take a step backwards or look behind us. You did a great job, and you were rewarded with the knowledge that you yourself are trustworthy. Don’t ever forget that.

    • One day at a time, pretty.

      It seems all I have been doing is looking backward to find answers. Now, I no longer need answers. I want the rest of my life to be better. There is no reason to hold onto the pain anymore. I’m ready to trust myself to look ahead.

      One day at a time. And the scenery is so much prettier when I’m not looking at it over my shoulder. 😉

  6. I feel these words of yours and gather them close in a virtual hug. “To feel whole again” – I told my therapist the same thing in not so many words. “I want to be able to breath again.” I felt strangled, unable to just be.

    I know there will always be some part of that life I’ll wear on my sleeve, the occasional nightmare, the fear…yet I also know it’s all part of who I am. The broken pieces made me who I am now. We’re stronger at the broken points.

    This? Says your stronger and getting stronger by the day. (Hugs)Indigo

    • Indigo,

      It takes a strong person to survive such hatred and move forward without becoming an equally disgusting monster. I struggle, but I push forward because I know I’m not meant to be weak or hateful.

      Thank you for understanding. Thank you for noticing.



  7. Wow. This hit me so hard today Fina and if I wasn’t at work I’d be a complete blubbering mess. I feel these things everyday and they are keeping me from being happy. The trusting others and myself? Wow Fina. Wow. I can’t explain the pit in my stomach. The feeling of ache in my heart. Wow. Miss you love.

  8. I am really, really proud of you, Fina. I wish you all the kindness in the world. You are much stronger than you will ever give yourself credit for. It’s a honor to call you a friend.

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