“Say you wanna run away
Say you won’t be there
I’m trying to show you
But still you won’t see it
If you say you’re gonna leave for brighter days
If you say you think that things will never change
I won’t have to keep on pushing you away
If you escape
Then I won’t have to
Maybe when you’ve had enough
I’ll regret the final push
– Saint Raymond, Brighter Days
I’m guessing this song was written about the end of a relationship, but it puts words to a feeling I struggled to.
I do not mind people walking out of my life, I expect it. I expect to be let down, I expect to be hurt, I expect to have reason to lose faith in this species sometimes. But don’t give me reason to think I was wrong about that, don’t be the exception and then tear me down. I want to run from me too. I would run for miles and miles and I blame nobody else that wants to, in fact I encourage them to do so, I would do anything to save everyone from me. I push and push and push. Do not grow roots if you won’t stay. Do not work your way in to my life and take a chunk of it with you when you uproot to bury your roots in something better for your mood and yourself. Do not let me learn to almost trust you.
All through school I watched my closest friends walk away. Always the closest first. Never the people you expect – instead the people you have grown to rely upon.
And so I have grown to expect everybody to leave now, everybody to let me down. Those who say they won’t usually do. Usually first. Usually right when I really need them not to. Always because of my health, because they can’t handle it, because they can’t handle its effect on me. And honestly, I’d rather people were just honest. I push to speed it up, to get it over with. I know it is coming and I don’t need protecting from it. I’m stupid enough to fall for the rubbish time after time, to lose myself in the good and learn to depend and confide and believe… And on the verge of trust, it all falls through.
And I don’t mind, because I knew it was coming. What I mind is that I gave plenty of opportunities for people to say how they felt, for people to walk out of my life or express their emotion or let me down and they assured me they wouldn’t and laughed in my face and told me they weren’t like everyone else, that I could trust. And damn it I fall for it every time. Because I am desperate to find truth in those words, even though I know how tough my life is to watch, how scary it is to be around me…
Did you ever think that I don’t blame you?
That sometimes I envy your ability to escape, to walk away?
Did you ever think that given half a chance I might ditch this body and run with you too?
Did you ever imagine how hard it is not to be able to walk away?
Did you ever think that after I have shed you from myself and freed you from the burden of my health, and the relief of my success in doing so fades, I crumple a little more, I want you back in my life?
Did you ever have any intention of staying?
Do you see? Do you see why I always, always expected you to leave, to let me down – all of you, every single one? You said you would always be there. And you were, right until I needed you more than ever.
A long time ago I gave up messaging first. I almost died of septicaemia and stopped messaging people first, and when I was better a couple of weeks later there was not a single missed message. I decided then that it would become apparent who was willing to start the conversations, decided that maybe those people might stay. They didn’t. Eventually the roles switched and I clawed at what was left of friendships until people fell away and all that was left was my “Hey” with no reply.
Dragging it out hurts. Building up hope gives you further to fall. It’s cruel. It’s kinda selfish. Just say it. Say you want to run away. I will not blame you. I know you want to. I know because I do too.
I want to shake off all of this just as much as you do and I’m sorry that this spilled over into your life. I’m sorry that I thought you were different. I’m sorry that you thought you were. I’m sorry that I’m not what you thought I would be when you were stupid enough to introduce yourself to me.
I’m sorry that this is not aimed at just one person. Or two. Or three. Or four. I’m sorry that there are too many of you to count.
Do you not get it? The second you found out how messed up my body is, I knew. I knew you would walk away, I knew it would freak you out and I knew it would scare you off. I knew it would be a matter of time and I knew I would screw with your life and I hated myself. So time after time I told you not to bother, asked you if you were sure. And you said no, no, no. But I saw it coming. Right up until I didn’t. Right up until so much time and so many laughs and so many memories had passed that I thought you were unlike all the others. I couldn’t understand how or why you cared, or how you coped with the hospital visits or whatever, or why you answered my texts and were determined to be there through everything. I could not comprehend the alien feeling of acceptance, of the safety of dependence. And I never got to.
I get how you feel. I always did. You could have just said. You didn’t have to break me. You don’t have to pretend to be what you think I need or say the things you think I want to hear. I’m big enough and ugly enough to handle the truth.
If you never lie to my face, there is never any betrayal.
There never had to be a sting in the tail.
I know not everyone thinks outwardly about others around them. I appreciate you have no idea how long lasting and deep the wound you leave will be.
And that is why my fellow third wheel is so different. He gets it. For once, there is no fear of that betrayal. He says what he means, and he says he isn’t going anywhere. He stays up messaging me until I can sleep. He wakes up early to get back to the hospital and he sits here all day talking and playing cards until he is so exhausted he goes home to try to sleep again. He speaks up for me to medical staff and he calms me down and he distracts me from where I am. He packed all of his stuff so that if I get transferred to London when this morning becomes a fully fledged day, he can come too. He’s made his family pack him a bag and got sixth form friend to drive it up here so he can stay with me for longer. I push and push over and over and he does not budge at all, in fact when I tell him it isn’t necessary and he doesn’t have to at all, sometimes I just get a middle finger put up at me (not nastily). He is getting here to speak to the doctors with me today. He is updating the others. He brings me stuff I need and doesn’t ask me to pay him, so I order us food and we sit and share it and we plan stuff we’re going to do when I’m free. He hasn’t judged me for any of this and he doesn’t look at me like I’m a freak. He treats me like I’m a normal human and does his best to ease my embarrassment. I haven’t (completely) freaked out about being here yet and it is entirely down to him. For the first 28 hours I was here, he didn’t leave – he ate here, slept here, waited and waited and was just… There.
For everyone that made my day(s) and then walked away, there was the one that stayed. And he says it is more your loss than mine.
So why am I the one who is hollow?
Did you never stop to think that I don’t blame you for walking away?
Did you never stop to think that I might envy you for being able to do so?
Did you never appreciate that there would be no way but through?
(Yes it’s half two and I only just posted but this song just played and triggered this whole massive ranting train of thoughts. I’m sorry)