This past weekend, I was working and playing on the computer, which is pretty much what I do most weekends. At one point, I was reading various posts on Facebook…people thankful for some person in their life. Maybe it was a relative, a friend, someone who had touched them deeply, a spouse, sibling, child, even a teacher. I was also reading all the inspirational quotes. Topics like “never give up”, “be thankful,” “have a grateful heart,” “be positive,” etc., etc., etc. I saw quotes on marriage, how it’s not about finding the perfect person, but staying with someone and loving them even though they aren’t perfect. (Note to all happily married people who are lucky enough to experience this: it takes two to tango. Some of us were willing, but our partners didn’t want to dance…because they didn’t think we were worth it…which hurts…a lot.) And there were posts about a trip to the lake, a trip to a resort, a cruise, a family reunion, a wedding, an engagement, a baby shower, a big birthday bash, going out for a special dinner. So much going on. So many things happening. So much to consider. A lot of life taking place out there. I looked at the two little dogs laying on my lap. I looked around the living room. I listened to the wind blowing outside, occasionally rattling the gutters. I heard the little snores and sleep noises my girls make when they are in the deep stages of slumber. Little whines, whimpers and muffled yips that sometimes wake them. With blinking eyes, they would gaze around, then yawn and lick their lips in contentment before going back to sleep. The refrigerator kicked on and off. The heater too. My wind chimes played a duet with the wind. Shadows lengthened. The noises of silence were loud in my ears. And realized how alone I am. And how empty my life is. Except for those two little Miniature Schnauzers who lay sleeping, protected and secure on my lap. I’m not sure how I got to this place. This wasn’t at all what I had planned.
When I was young, I had big dreams. I was in pain. I was broken. I had nothing and no one. But I had hope. I believed. I had a vision of a future that was full and fulfilling. I saw me laughing with people who loved me; people I loved. I dreamed of deep conversations, acceptance, enjoyment. I also believed I would have something meaningful to contribute…to the people in my life and to the world in general. I had a story. I was terribly abused as a child; criminally so. It had hurt me in ways I couldn’t comprehend or even begin, at that point, to sort out or acknowledge. But I believed I would heal. And be able to share that healing journey with others. Helping them to heal as well. Maybe offer a tidbit of wisdom or two that I picked up along the way. Moving them in the depths of their soul where the hurt resided. Touching them. I wanted to shine a little bit of light into the world and penetrate the darkness in hearts that were also damaged. Like me.
Fast forward to today. Me and my dogs. Listening to the wind blow. Alone. Still broken. No dreams survived. Nothing to believe or to anticipate.
I love my dogs. Deeply love them. It’s just…they aren’t people. They are wonderful. But…they aren’t people. I need them. But…I need a little bit more.
My life is so empty, I can barely think about it for more than a few seconds at a time. It’s so sharply painful, this place I have somehow gotten myself in to, the desperateness of my situation makes me want to die. Truly. If it were not for these two little dogs who love me and depend on me for everything in their world and were it not for my love of them, I would find a way off of the planet. Permanently. That is how disturbing and overwhelming and horrible my “life” is…if you can call this life.
Yes, I breathe and bathe and eat and go to work. I walk and talk and drive to the store. I navigate through the empty days. Run my errands, pay bills (for now, thankfully, I’m still able to keep my head just above the water line), get gas in my car, figure out what I will wear the next day to work, load my dishwasher, put on makeup, brush my teeth, eat. I log on to my computer, write, check Facebook (too often). I take my dogs out to do their “business” and bring them back in and take them out again and bring them back in and take them back out again…a never ending cycle. I watch them play. Throw their toys for them. I check the mail, take out the trash, do laundry. And I pray. With barely a mustard seed of hope.
God help me…is this all there is to life? Is this what it is like for everyone? No joy? No hope? No excitement? No purpose, meaning, wonder, delight, connection, security, refuge?
Has everyone lost their dreams? Have they all forgotten what it is like to be glad to be alive? I can’t even remember that feeling. I question whether or not I ever experienced it. Though I do remember having dreams. Big, small, noble, crazy…and I remember what it was like to expect I could make at least a few of them come true. Even some of the wild ones.
How did I get from that place of being hopeful and sure to this place of silence, isolation and emptiness?
And more important, is there any way out? Other than to permanently leave the planet?
I fear there are no good answers to my questions. No positive outcome. No solution. I fear the darkness has won. And the emptiness may be the thing that finally kills me.