For weeks I was debating with myself about it. Two sides at constant war, screaming for acknowledgement and me stuck squarely in the middle. One kept telling me that I had to let go, it wasn’t good for me. It only did me harm. The other telling me that for the first time in years, I was actually feeling something. I was human after all. I cared. I had feelings; someone had finally broken thru the armor. This was no easy task- you could break into FortKnox before you could crack me. I’m an ice queen after all. I’m not gonna lie – it felt good. It made me smile, it made me cry. It turned me into a fool and it turned me into a Queen. That’s all it really comes down to – I finally felt something. Even if I lost focus, direction and reason, after years of pretending, I finally really felt something real.
I walked into work that morning feeling uneasy, a strange dread. Not sure why. It was this empty, nauseating feeling in the pit of my stomach. Felt like I hadn’t eaten in days. I couldn’t shake it. For days it’s been happening. Barely any sleep, sadness, fear, an overwhelming feeling of lost. The universe was talking to me but I couldn’t understand what it was trying to say. Snap outta it!! What the hell is wrong with you? Wake up!! I kept screaming at myself as I slowly made my way to my desk. My breakfast sits there, staring back at me, asking to be enjoyed. It just went cold. Barely touched. Great. You paid $8 for this omelet and coffee and you wont even eat it. 8 fucking dollars. Eat it!! But I couldn’t. I just sat there pretending like I gave a shit about work when in reality my entire being was somewhere else. C’mon, focus!! Stop thinking, focus!! I forced my eyes to look at my computer screen. Trying to find something to get my mind to stop talking to itself. HA!! Like that’s really how it works. If it were only that easy. At that very moment, I wished I had one of those Staples That was Easy button so I could press it and my mind would just stop. The wheels would stop spinning. If someone were to ever create a device to make you stop thinking, that mofo would be a trillionare. Guaranteed. Trying to force your head to shut up is like seeing a $100 on the floor and not bending down to pick it up. Impossible. Your ass is gonna bend over and snatch that bitch up before someone else tries to do the same. You know you’ll do it, don’t play yourself. You’re gonna pick up Ben as soon as you can. It’s more than an impulse, it’s almost instinctual. That’s what it’s like trying to force your brain to shut up – forcing yourself to walk pass that Benjamin and not pick it up. Nope, not gonna happen. I sat there being consumed by my thoughts – lost in a sea of dread. No compass, no guide, no land, no horizon. Just endless, unstoppable waves of unwanted thoughts.
Sarah, Sarah, Sarah!! The British accent snaps me back to Earth. What? Your phone keeps lighting up. You should pick it up. Ohh, thanks Steph. Still in a haze, I look down and see the missed calls. 3 calls. Back to back to back. Boston #. What the fuck? Voicemail. Huh. I wonder who this is. I snap myself out of my daze and listen to the strange voice on the other end – Ms. Taylor, we need you to call us back immediately. This is not a collection agency or a telemarketer, it’s important. This is really important. Please give us a call as soon as you get this.
My eyes immediately watered. My heart pounding out my chest. Sweat drops all over my body. The room suddenly becoming a sauna. I could barely catch my breath. My hands trembling. I tried to swallow but there was nothing there. A knot in my throat immediately materializes. A surge of electricity from my head to my toes. Immediately, she said, immediately. Barely able to hold myself together. I need air. I’m suffocating. I need to get out of here before my co-workers start noticing that there’s something wrong with me. I slowly get up, fist clenched, sweat down my back. Heart pounding. Head beginning to spin. What could this be? What’s so important that this woman is calling me at work nonstop? What is she talking about? What the hell just happened to my body? Why did I almost pass out? The dread was now covering every single inch of my body and I don’t understand why. I managed to make it to the bathroom, I don’t know how but I did. Legs trembling. Entire body sweating. Heart about to jump out my mouth.
I lock myself in the stall and call back. Ring, ring, ring. Hi, this is Sarah Taylor. Voice shaking. I could barely get my name out. I swallowed – dryness. Yes, Ms. Taylor, we’ve been calling you all morning. Your test results are back. You have Chlamydia, Ms. Taylor. You have to go to your Doctor. We’ve already informed her and she’s expecting your call. You should call her as soon as you can.
In my 27 years, I’ve never thought about my own mortality or not being able to have kids or not being healthy. But at that moment, as the tears began to waterfall down my cheeks and the pain began destroying my insides apart, all I could think about was that daughter or son that I would never be able to have. So I cried. For the first time in years, I just cried. Not because I was sick but because I felt my future being robbed from me and it was my fault. I sat there shaking, crying, alone, embarrassed. I’ve never been sick before, this has never happened to me. I didn’t know what to do. Who do I tell? I cant tell my parents. I cant tell my friends. What would they think of me? This isn’t me. This doesn’t happen to me. I don’t sleep around. I’m suffocating. I’m shaking, my fists turning tomato red. I’m so angry. I’m so hurt. I feel so lost.
TEXT MESSAGES –
Me: We need to talk
Him: what is it?
Me: You gave me Chlamydia.
Him: What?!! You better check who you’ve been sleeping with. Go talk to them
Me: You!!!!! I’m only sleeping with YOU!!!
Me: In the past year and a half, I’ve only been with you. No one else.
The thing about betrayal is that what hurts the most isn’t what the person has done per se but that they never thought about how much pain they would make you go thru. That careless disregard for you from the person you love is what tears your heart in half. How can someone you loved, you cared for, you’ve helped, been their light in the darkness, their rock during the storm, their friend, their partner, their escape from the world, do something like this? Then to turn around and essentially call you a whore. That’s the part that was killing me. How little he truly knows me. Was our connection imagined? Were these feelings fake? Did he ever even care? Such little faith in me, in us.
I knew I would be fine in time with the proper care. My body would rebound, I would heal. But would I really be OK? Would I heal entirely? How can I trust anyone after this? How can I even think of loving anyone after this? You don’t do this to someone you care about. Naïve on my part, I know, to think everyone thinks this way. I sat there no longer crying, no longer shaking. I was just angry. Angry at myself. Angry at my carelessness. Angry at my feelings. And scared. I got up, wiped my face, took a deep breath and told myself to get it together. I, after all, was still at work and had to pretend like absolutely nothing was wrong with me. These people don’t need to see me this way. I wish I could tell you how the rest of my day went but I can’t remember. I was a zombie for the rest of the week.
You have to make peace with the apology that you’ll never get. But to tell you that I’m completely healed would be a lie. What still makes me sad is that I genuinely lost a friend, lost someone who had a piece of me that I’ll probably never fully get back. Lost someone I loved. No, I’m not nor will I ever be with this person again but when you really love someone, they’ll always have a small piece of your soul. My only hope is that he too is a better person because of it. The worst part of love is loving someone who never deserved your love. But the best part of loving the wrong person is learning what real love is.
Just because someone didn’t appreciate your value, doesn’t mean you’re worth any less. In the end, it just shows that they really couldn’t afford you.