The other day I started to watch a new Netflix series, “Stranger Things,” but the show kept skipping due to a bad internet connection, so I took that as a sign not to watch TV. I don’t want to numb my feelings with television, or anything else for that matter. I’d had acupuncture a few days ago for a discounted rate with the school, and the treatment was to release feelings, and man did it open the floodgates. The acupuncturist came into the room afterwards and no doubt noticed the tears in my eyes, and she held my hand and asked, “What’s going on with you?” That’s when the walls came down. For some reason I’d been thinking of my college boyfriend and how well he’d treated me, how he’d opened me up to God, and how much I’d loved him, yet how badly I’d treated him, ultimately deciding to move to London to find myself, only to get further lost, the beginning of a long journey through a labyrinth of confusion and despair, to find myself nearly 20 years later just beginning to crawl out of that rabbit hole.
Some say everything happens for a reason, and for whatever reason that was what needed to happen at that time for me, and for him. It’s not so much that I regret it or want him back, because my current boyfriend is my soulmate, but it’s just the memory of the loss of innocence. It just makes me sad knowing what I know now, how closed I was, how jealous I was of his friends, how I’d tried to commit suicide at a party he had for the widow of a friend of his, partly because I was jealous of her. How selfish I’d been, when this young woman at the age of 23 had lost her husband in a freak accident after a year or so of their being married. I mostly remember how sad she looked, how we were all high, but how her high heightened her grief, and made her eyelids droop even further. But I was jealous even of that grief, of having loved that deeply and lost, how much closer to God they all seemed to be, how free they all seemed, with their dreadlocks and their reggae music and their veganism, all characteristics that I thought somehow put them spiritually above me. On a deeper level it was that they all were friends with each other, they connected with each other, and I had a hard time making friends or feeling like I belonged anywhere, and spent many years trying on wildly different hats to fit in somewhere. I remember the next morning sitting by the fireplace with her, and how kind she was to me, and she’d asked where my place in my family was. When I told her I was the youngest, that confirmed it for her, though my memory of it isn’t that she judged me for being the baby, spoiled and selfish, but just that she was making an observation. I would like to apologize to her today for that episode, and I want to apologize to my ex-boyfriend for being so selfish and mean during our time together. More importantly—because I doubt either of them is mulling over that time in our lives (especially given that my ex-boyfriend wasted no time in finding a gorgeous new girlfriend a month after I moved)—my acupuncturist reminded me to forgive myself.