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Current Pickle

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After returning from my trip to Guatemala, I was riding high on the satisfaction of successfully managing work despite my health challenges. I felt proud of my accomplishments and immensely grateful to those who had given me opportunities. However, my euphoria was short-lived. While browsing LinkedIn for projects or jobs that would continue to inspire me, I was blindsided again by turmoil in my personal life.

I was genuinely happy about his recent project, and his team's achievements filled me with pride. I've always believed in the effectiveness of work relationships between individuals, regardless of gender. Collaborating closely often yields the best results. However, I now realize that my perception was naive. I failed to recognize the blurring boundaries between them, partly because I lacked the education on trust issues.

I found myself in a state of confusion. Was I overthinking and imagining the worst while he cared deeply for his colleagues? Or, was there something more insidious at play, with him exploiting the situation for his gain? Amidst my inner turmoil, I secretly hoped he would display a picture of me, even though our relationship wasn't at a stage where I felt ready for that. Despite my reservations, our intimacy grew more tender and affectionate than usual. However, my heart shattered when he ultimately chose to display a picture of his friend instead of me.

Once more, I felt a familiar wave of triggers and inner conflict, reverting to my former self. It was a stark reminder of my lingering powerlessness as a woman. As my health declined once again, I found myself back in the psychiatrist's office, grappling with numbness and despair. Unable to bear the weight any longer, I reached out to a trusted confidante, pouring out the pain inflicted upon me. However, instead of receiving solace, I was abruptly removed from LinkedIn, and our intimacy dwindled. Furthermore, he seemed to distance himself from his teammates.

In the depths of my hurt and pain, I found myself involuntarily blurting out a mixture of truths and fabrications to my family, driven by a desperate need for them to acknowledge and believe in me. Yet, as I poured out my heart, I soon realized the futility of my efforts. Instead of understanding, they responded by slapping new labels on me, ones that threatened to confine me to a psychiatric ward.

That was the final straw when I resolved to seize control of my narrative. I decided to demonstrate my true self not through self-analysis but through the raw experiences of living. With pen in hand, I embarked on a journey of unfiltered truth-telling. I refused to be paralyzed by the fear of misunderstanding or not fully comprehending my struggles. I decided to keep my medical records private, taking charge of my documentation. I know what is real and what is imagined within my own story. Truth always manifests itself with evidence and facts. Imagination, I realized, is a powerful tool for healing, granting us the courage and strength to forge ahead. I take pride in sharing my authentic experiences, unashamed of envisioning myself as an intelligent being, for I am indeed a thinker and a perpetual learner.

As I took charge of my mental well-being, the truth began to unfold itself gradually, balancing and offering solace to my seeking mind. It is acting as an antidote to the poison I had been subjected to. Though I am still a long way from full recovery, I have come to realize that I am currently confronting my deepest fears. I fear being deceived, abandoned, or used in a relationship that lacks definition, particularly with a man admired by many. Simultaneously, he may be grappling with his fears of betraying trust and deviating from his identity as a good and decent man, especially towards someone he has hurt. I dread becoming the Boleyn Girls, while he might fear loving me with a sense of guilt.

As I found myself alone in my space and time, no longer under his constant presence, I wrestled with many emotions. I grappled with withdrawal, longing, love, anger, and the unbearable pain of separation. My heart felt weaker, my health was affected by the toll of new medications, and even my tooth loosened under strain. Yet, amidst it all, I retained fragments of my former self, the aspects that once drew him to me. Back in 2012, I had expressed a desire for my husband to find freedom if he ever felt a lack of love, intimacy, or connection with me while seeking a path of fulfillment for myself through work. Although thoughts of another man may fleet through my mind, I recognize that my current relationship remains undefined, yet enduring, tethered by a bond that still holds us together. I am not yet healed from the pain we caused to each other, and I am determined not to inflict that same anguish on anyone else. Despite everything, a small part of me still holds onto hope, yearning for his return. It's only been a week, but it already feels like years. 

Then, a sudden realization hit me – back in 2013, I had been prompted to place his picture, yet I was oblivious to any deeper feelings at the time. Consequently, I didn't act on the prompt. In hindsight, I comprehend that my actions, or lack thereof, may have inadvertently caused him pain, just as his actions hurt me when he noticed the picture of another man.

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