HOLLY MIRANDA SMALE

Writer, photographer, "rapper" and general technophobe takes on the internet in what could be a very, very messy fight. But it's alright: she's harder than she looks, and she's wearing every single ring she could get her hands on.







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Sunday, 30 May 2010

Healing

I scared I'm healing in the wrong direction.

Not the pneumonia. That's healing as physical illnesses usually heal: in a direction that makes it all better again. My pathetic immune system has kicked in, finally, and I'm healing as I should. Until the illness is gone.

What I have realised in the last few days is not healing as it should, however, is my heart, or whatever the metaphorical organ is that holds together and splits apart my emotions. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that it's healing completely the wrong way, and I'm not sure what to do about it. And - frankly - it is terrifying me.

I have never been heartbroken before, so I made some assumptions about what would happen when I was. They were sensible assumptions; assumptions based on logic, and based on books, and based on heart-bruisings which I thought were probably quite similar. The assumption was this: when something breaks - a foot, a leg, a nose, a heart - it hurts. And it continues to hurt until it's fixed, and then it stops hurting and you can use it as you used it before. And the healing process - the fusing together of bone cells or muscle cells - is steady, and regular, and in the right direction: a direction that leads you first to forgive, and then to forget, and then to start again.

It's not working like that at all.

My heart is mending the wrong way. It's fusing together in a different shape, all jumbled up, and - instead of making me forget him - it's making me love him all over again. It's as if the hurt (still there; oh definitely still there) is easing away, little by little, and the hate is mending, and the anger is leaving: and all time is doing is making me forget the reasons why I never wanted to see him again, and reminding me of all the reasons why I fell in love with him in the first place.

It wasn't supposed to be like this. I was supposed to love him less every day: not more. I was supposed to feel less for him every day: not more. And yes; the immediate pain and the immediate missing has gone entirely. I no longer feel any desire to tell him how my day was, or to text him when I wake up in the morning, or to tell him I love him before I go to sleep. He is no longer the person I think of when something good happens, or something bad. I no longer plan things around him, or wonder how loudly he would laugh at something I could tell him, or what he would say about my kittens. Those strings tying me to him - those little, daily, habitual, strings that made him part of my day, and part of my every action - are cut, and my days are free without him; my habits, my jokes, those first few waking thoughts, are free without him.

But the deeper part of me is not. As I forgive and let go of the pain, and the hurt, and how utterly and completely he broke me apart, so the man I fell in love with comes back to me. During that six months - the six months while he loved me and someone else and I fought so hard to make it just me and failed so horribly - we both fell apart, little by little, both apart and together, and by the end that was all we were to each other: tiny pieces of what we had been. And so I assumed that those pieces would be easy to blow away: they were so light and so dead and so, so dry.

And they have blown away - the pieces of that wreckage - except that where I thought there would be nothing left, I was wrong. Underneath all the burnt bits, and all the dead bits, and all the dusty bits - underneath the black bits caused by the pain - the love is still there, as pink as it was at the beginning, and every day it gets clearer and firmer and brighter again. It becomes as it was in the beginning. And I love him - him: not us, not our relationship, but him - all over again.

I love his laugh, and I love the way his nose wrinkles, and I love the curls on his neck and the way he bounces up and down on his heels when he's excited. I love the way his eyes open wide when he's nervous and the way he grinds his teeth when he's asleep and the scars on his hand from a time he told nobody but me about. I love the lines on his face when he's tired, and the way they disappear when he's not. I love him - not his love for me, not my love for us - and that is not going away: it is becoming stronger. And time is not being kind. It is making me hurt more, but in a different kind of way: a pain that becomes fresh again just as my feelings do.

There is nothing I can do. He is gone. He doesn't feel the same way at all - he loves her, now, not me (and never did, he says), and fighting to get that love didn't work then and it won't work now. And, even if he did feel anything for me, I am not healed enough to be able to let anyone close again, and I won't be for a long, long time. Until I can believe again that my love is worth keeping, and it won't always be thrown away or given to another girl instead. Until I can believe somebody when they tell me they love me, and not ask them why or for how long.

But I'm scared - terrified - that when I told him, all those times, that I loved him and would always love him: I was right. I'm scared that when I told him he would always be a part of me, I just didn't know how big that part would be, nor how permanent. I'm scared that when I said - half asleep, with my chin on his shoulder - that he was the love of my life: I meant it. And I'm scared that the love will not go away: that it will get stronger, and it will stick in me, and it will be there when time has erased everything else and everyone else, and that nobody will ever replace him or the way that I feel now.

And, mostly, I'm scared that I am healing, always healing, but only ever in the wrong direction.