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I Wish I Was Brave: A Song of Unrequited Love

Posted on the 26 December 2019 by Berijoy @berijoy
I Wish I Was Brave: A Song of Unrequited Love

"Because what's worse than knowing you want something, besides knowing you can never have it?"
― James Patterson, The Angel Experiment

I wish I was brave. Then I would tell you, without embarrassment, how it feels to be rejected in love, again, in my life. Unrequited love and I are old roommates. Still, it has made me a coward, has made me tread the depths of my own darkness and despair in anguish. It has made me feel so undesired, so unimportant, even unnecessary. Why have I found myself again wanting someone who doesn't want me back? It strips me of my self-esteem, makes me feel so alone, so rejected, hearkening back to a feeling that I must've understood, even though I had no language for a mother's disgust at what she had borne when I came along to remind her that marrying my father was never her choice. It was only the duty she fulfilled to be a good daughter to her own mother, further meaning she could never have her own dreams.

Unrequited love, a song sung of being cast aside by someone who can't or won't love me, smarts back to that earliest rejection. "I could have flushed you down the toilet" my mother used to say, to remind me that I was lucky to be here and that she had the power to choose (but she didn't), and that her saying so would serve as a reminder to keep me always in order.

That phrase still haunts me, still evokes the terror I must have felt as she looked upon her newborn child, wondering how she had gotten to that moment. I am still endeavoring to eke out a sense of self-value because of it.

"Maybe I was destined to forever fall in love with people I couldn't have. Maybe there's a whole assortment of impossible people waiting for me to find them. Waiting to make me feel the same impossibility over and over again."

― Carol Rifka Brunt, Tell the Wolves I'm Home

And so it went with him.

It was only midway through our almost two-year association when I realized how similar this place, this feeling of where I was now, was to the first real experience of unrequited love of a man that I remember, that came from my initial earliest experience. The first man I loved, (or thought I did), never had the emotional availability for me. But I didn't understand it in those terms then. It never occurred to me that there was something wrong with the man himself...that first one, or even this one. All was just an affirmation that there was something wrong with me. So, I just kept trying to prove my worth. I kept waiting and thinking, "See me, now. Pay attention. Look this way. I'm giving you every chance to see me. You obviously don't understand that you love me. You don't understand who I am. Here I am, waiting for you to realize because once I really get tired of jumping up and down here, and trying to make you see me, I'll leave. And you'll regret it. And I'll have moved on."

That's what I told myself. But it never made any difference. He never did anything different. I never stopped jumping up and down. I never stopped waiting for him to realize. It took me 10 years after he left, to free myself of the burden of loving him, or what I thought was love then, comparing every man I met after him to him, raising his value way above the towering masses. (I hear Prince in my head singing, "Nothing Compares 2 U"). In every date I had, I looked back on what I never got from him, and no matter how good, how kind the man, it was never good or kind enough to compensate for what I thought I was still missing.

And it was only years later when I realized that I had placed him high high high, undeservedly high, and myself, undeservedly low. Not to suggest he didn't have value or worth as a human being, but that all of the efforts I exerted...for someone who couldn't see my value...only exhausted me. Wore me out, drove me down. I never knew then that it was because I couldn't see my value. He was another somebody (according to my good friend), who in many ways was not fit to touch the hem of my garments. And yet, I was lowering myself because I had fixated somehow on him, never ever knowing that it was karma that brought us together in the first place. We had come to a moment trying to bring us up to speed in this life, for a purpose. For a resolution, that would remain unresolved, and only end up making more karma for the next life. He left my son without his father. And in the well of darkness that swallowed me, then, the understanding that we would have to do this dance again, later. I'll see you in the next lifetime, Erykah Badu hums in my ear.

Ten years and that long ago memory stay buried. I had made some kind of peace that would allow me to go on.

And then, so many many many years later, there was him.

But this time, this now was different. The set of circumstances vastly different. Me, a veteran in personal growth and development work, in spiritual acceleration and elevation which brought wisdom, maturity and truth to me. But somehow I had skirted around the unhealed first loss, the cave of pitch-black emptiness which at this new arrival sent me flying back to that first unnamed thing I experienced when I looked into my mother's weary, frightened eyes.

"Unrequited love is the infinite curse of a lonely heart."
― Christina Westover

And the unrequited love I experience in this now moment has seemed to (in this two years) take that 10 years I spent exorcising the demons from that first man that I waited for, (let's call him UR #1), and multiplied it with some kind of trick math, or quantum calculation that I am at a loss to explain, even if this made any sense. The impact of this one was like having had a Mack truck run into me, knock me to my knees, and back over me several times before driving off. How was this possible? I had been doing all my work, had made momentous leaps in awareness and growth, had tackled the earliest of demons. Where was this new experience of an undead thing coming from?

When I recognized it through him, when I recognized that it was no ordinary reminiscence reconciling and seeking my full attention, that it was more than simple karmic affect, my mind was overwhelmed. Boggled. That we had danced this dance many times before, caught me by surprise, and I did not realize that the unworkability of the whole thing in this moment, would draw old wounds back to life, but stronger this time. All those years in between were like the silent background moves of a zombie. I took no notice. But now I knew, as before, that like UR #1, we, too, would have to meet again, as well, in another time and future place.

Never mind the details because the pain is too new. Still. It has just brought into stark relief that despite all the work I've done over the years to bring myself up to speed, to find my own value, being rejected again is like a wound that just as it begins to heal, you bump it and bruise it again, and it begins to bleed and gush again, a geyser of gore and pain emerging, requiring starting all over again with the healing. I can't seem to crawl out from this dark cave of grief I feel, and that darkness that concludes that I'll never get what I want in love.

I don't know what to do about that. I know I'm in need of triage, and that is in the hands of my Divine. I pray about it. And I tell myself positive affirmations, and I affirm my ongoing budding belief in me, at every chance I get. And still, there is a ringing in my heart and a clanging in my soul, which is more like the sorrowful tone of a funeral dirge. There is a sense of dying because of a longing that can't seem to be fulfilled.

"If you don't receive love from the ones who are meant to love you, you will never stop looking for it."
― Robert Goolrick, The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life

I wish, oh I wish I was brave, then I would tell you all of it...everything.

But I'm not.

I wish I could make you know how I feel. I wish you could understand how deep the ache, how resonant and familiar the emptiness, how raw the hurt, how wide the yearning, how infinite the sense of unfulfilled desire, how desolate the space I inhabit. If I could, you would grasp just how dim the hope is that I feel.

I am a dying star, falling from the sky, one last wisp of light before the nothingness.

I wish, oh how I wish I was brave, because then, I would tell you how I feel.

But sadly, I'm not.

*Audio version posted on Facebook.

I Wish I Was Brave: A Song of Unrequited Love
© 2019. Egyirba High. All Rights Reserved.

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