“You’re losing all your highs and lows,
ain’t it funny how the feeling goes…away.” ~The Eagles (Desperado)
When I was 16, I felt it. The feelings going away. During that stage of life, I was actively trying to numb myself, stupid child that I was. I was trying to push everything I felt down to the deepest places inside of me because the pain was so sharp and unbearable, it was as if I was repeatedly being pierced by a hundred knives. I wanted to tuck all the hurt away until it was safe to bring it out into the open and examine it. To work through it. To get over it. I believed that time would come. But until then, I had to push the unrelenting, ripping, tearing pain far, far away.
At that time in my life, wooed by the optimism of youth, I didn’t realize, once stuffed, it was unlikely those emotions could ever be easily accessed again.
When I was 25, the valve shut off completely. That was when I found out it would never be safe to reveal the hurt, the painful feelings, my brokenness. To anyone. Under any circumstance.
The feelings shut off when my then husband told me he didn’t want to hear it. It. Me. Didn’t want to hear my heart. My thoughts. Didn’t want to know who I was. Didn’t want to know about the abuse and all the darkness I had stuffed deep within.
He wanted me to shut up and keep it all hidden away deep down inside. He didn’t want me to bother him. He wanted the world to be fun and light and happy. He especially wanted it to be easy.
That was the day the feelings died. The day he told me he didn’t want to hear “it.” It. Me.
Afterwards, I was no longer able to connect. My heart stopped working. The feelings…went away. Totally, absolutely. It took time before I was utterly numb. Before I was wholly dead inside. It took time because I tried to fight it. I fought hard. So it took years. But it was a losing battle. Because nothing I did to keep myself alive made any difference.
I stopped feeling the highs. I stopped feeling the deep, dark lows. The feelings simply…went away.
Oh, they were still there. I only know this because, at the strangest moments, I would suddenly find myself screaming silently because of the incredible, unbearable pain that haunted and ripped apart my soul. I would be wracked with equally silent sobs. I would stand soundlessly screaming and sobbing for 3 or 4 minutes. And then, just as suddenly as they had come, the crushing emotions would vanish. I would look about in dismay, wondering how I could contain such agony and yet go about the business of life with my husband who didn’t love me and didn’t want to hear “it.” I would walk out of the walk-in closet or leave the silence of the bathroom, the quiet place where the emotions had overtaken me, as if nothing had happened. Safely numb once more.
It was he same as when I would exit the bathroom or bedroom of my childhood home years before, pretending that nothing had happened. Pretending my father hadn’t just raped me or molested me or made me dance naked before him. Or that he hadn’t force me to have oral sex with him or made me shower with him. Or any one of a number of nightmarish things he might have just done to me.
I was very good at ramming my emotions back down my throat so I could walk out of dark rooms as if I hadn’t been touched by the darkness. I was very good at going about the business of life. I wasn’t very good at keeping my heart alive.
“…You better let somebody love you (let somebody love you)
You better let somebody love you before it’s too late.” ~The Eagles (Desperado)
I knew, instinctively, that being loved was the only thing that would set me free. It was the only thing that would allow those horrid, black, cutting emotions to flow from me. To be released forever. I knew it was what I needed to heal. Love. Acceptance. Someone who found worth and value in me, in spite of all of my brokenness and deficiencies. I knew love could, would, heal me. I knew loving and being loved was the only cure for my frozen heart. It would restore me to life as only love could.
I believed in love. In spite of everything. I believed.
But it never happened for me. I was never loved. I was told to keep it to myself. To keep my ugliness hidden away. To walk out the door over and over and over and over again as if nothing was wrong. As if nothing bad was happening.
I lost all my highs and lows. It’s tragic how the feeling goes…away. When no one loves you, when no one treasures you, when no one wants to know what lies in the depths of your heart or what is hidden away in the deepest places of your soul, the feeling goes away. Numbness becomes complete.
Only love can bring restoration. But there is a point where all hope is lost. Where, when love doesn’t come, when it isn’t given, the damage is to great to be overcome.
Love never came to the rescue. Not for me. My prince, if indeed I was supposed to have one, never kissed me with love so deep and true that it awoke my frozen heart from frigid sleep. And now, I have reached that point. The point in the song where it’s too late.
I have discovered that not every song has a happy ending. Sometimes, when the final note is sounded and the song is over, it’s just too late.
As it is for me. It has been too long. The deadness of my heart and soul is absolute.
It’s too late. It’s too late for me.
I’m the ultimate desperado. Who waited too long. Who never found my way. Who never found love. Or redemption.