Updated: Jan 9, 2022
So, today's been a really tough day for me. The holidays are brutal.
I don't have family, and the only family that I had that I was close to was my grandfather and who passed away last year from COVID-19—so I’m facing this Thanksgiving alone once again with no food and no friends to hug me—and missing my grandpa so much. It was such a feat to get out of bed this morning. I had to fight so much darkness and so much pain, both physical and mental. But I fought past the pain despite it digging its claws into me like the endless knives of 1,000 lives. I forced myself out of bed despite the agony, and I turned on my oven, and then I put a pie in it, a pumpkin pie, to be exact. My house soon filled with the spice and pumpkin smell that warmed my heart and tickled my senses, delighting me with beautiful memories of my childhood with my grandparents. After putting the pie in the oven, I sat down to write my annual Christmas letters. I've now established a new tradition based upon my broken heart and shattered memories of traditions no more from the passing of my only family. Today I decided that every Thanksgiving if I am able, I will write as many holiday cards as I can.
As I sat and wrote many cards to my friends, I enjoyed the blissful solitude and silence surrounding me as the sunlight danced outside. It was such a quiet day, so beautiful and so silent (I’m autistic and extremely sensitive to sound). I savored each moment as there were no shrieks from children, loud music, traffic, or noises from neighbors. With everyone sequestered away in their homes or away from their homes - I finally had a moment of silence to myself. Within that silence, I created my own joy and peace by listening to my favorite classical music and writing with my favorite pens and stamping my letters with blood-red wax sealing ink.
A very dear friend of mine had promised that they would come and see me today. He cancelled at the last-minute last night via text. I was disappointed in him for not having the courtesy to call me, especially considering how well he knows me and how hard this holiday is for me. I gave him grace and understood and asked him if he would like to speak on the phone instead because I am facing a very lonely day filled with much grief and no company. He assured me he would call me today and talk on the phone with me. This person is someone that I trust very much and have known for years. I've been falling in love with him...I've never fallen in love with someone as I have him. He has done so many beautiful things for me and grand gestures of affection via flowers, food, visits, hugs and even playing the guitar for me while serenading me. And most of all and most meaningful, he has accompanied me to many of my doctor's appointments and been there for me through so many hard times. He held my hand after my surgeon's appointments. And he has been proud to proclaim that he really likes me in front of my dearest friends by bringing me flowers and making it very obvious that he cares very much for me. I've told this person how much I feel for him. I've explained to him that I really, really like him very much and care for him very deeply. He verbally returned my sentiments and has done so many times. He has held me in my bed while I've cried and sobbed. He has held my hand just to let me know he's there. He pushes my wheelchair to gardens and places I can't go by foot. He seems always to admire and accept me the way that I am. He has never tried to push himself on me or be sexual overtly in any way, but I can't tell yet, but I feel that there is the sexual attraction present. He's written love poetry on one of my tablets. The list could go on and on of the things this man has done for me. But I don't know how to feel now because he didn't show up today and the phone call he promised me never came.
I'm extremely hurt and disappointed. Mainly because he knew how much this day meant to me and how dark of a time I was going through. He also knows that I'm terminally and chronically ill and battle endless, insidious demons alone. I love him. I've never told him that his face and nor has he to my face, but I felt that it was an unspoken truth. I don't know how to feel right now other than sad and highly disappointed in somebody standing me up. He's standing me up on Thanksgiving, on the day he knew that was hurting me that really mattered to me. I'm worried that there was a major emergency for him or with his family or some other type of emergency. But to be honest with you, my intuition is telling me right now that that is not the case - my intuition is telling me that he blew me off, forgot about me, and those other things were more important than I am.
I don't understand why most of the men and women in my life that I've met in a romantic sense must treat me this way. It breaks my heart every single day, and I was just starting to let him in after two years of knowing him. I was just beginning to trust and let myself fall in love. And now I am left with my broken everything and no idea what to think or how to feel. I feel that if he doesn't reach out in the next three days that I will start distancing myself completely and consider this beautiful or….what I thought to be a beautiful and true romantic relationship a complete and total loss and disaster. Today ends with tears and sorrow and pain, but today also ends with new traditions and new achievements of my own that I made for myself. I practiced the incredible magic of self-care, and the spells that I cast will last long beyond this day and matter much more than some relationship that may never have been anything at all more than someone toying with my heart because they know that I wear it on my sleeve.
- Many days later...
As I’m sure many of you will remember, I was ghosted on Thanksgiving by a man I believed to love me. It’s taken me a while to digest this offense, not to mention juggling multiple septic events and hospital stays in between the days that extend into eternity.
Let’s make this short. Or a short as any story of ruthless heartbreak can be. I finally heard from him - two days later. I vomited when I saw his call, afraid for a million possible variables, my head spinning.
“Hannah, I’m so sorry.”
“You're sorry?” I replied, “yes,” he said. “Good, I’m sorry too.”
The conversation dragged on for about an hour. His excuse was passing out drunk. I told him he needed mental health help immediately. He cried, and so did I. I fell in love for the first time. I told him that I had, he said he could see it in my eyes. He was the first person I finally let my entire guard down with, the first one I’ve ever trusted with my life entirely. And I was starting to fall in love with him. And the worst part - he KNEW it. Yet, he still selfishly continued to ensure gestures of romantic affection were distributed upon my heart like the driven snow.
Getting him to admit he was only interested in being my friend was agony. I pursued him on the friendship question as any agile goshawk would its prey; as he darted around the bushes like a rabbit knowing what's to come, he finally admitted it…after almost an hour of stern interrogation, I finally extracted an answer from the selfish coward. No. He never felt a thing from the start. He just loved being around me because I'm such a fantastic person. So, he used me for his happiness at his whim for years. He plucked the strings of my heart like the guitar he so sweetly sat on my bed and serenaded me with. He told me I was the only person he's ever serenaded. I sincerely doubt that.
He dared to ask me to be friends still. I told him that asking me to rip myself apart every time I saw him was cruel. I softened at the end of the conversation, knowing this sad human needed mental help. I offered to help him find resources in his area. All while thinking, “How the hell am I this kind? He just broke my heart.”
I ended with grace, knowing I had bigger things to worry about. But that didn’t ease the ripping feeling inside my chest. I hung up with relief. I immediately gathered every single dried rose he ever gave me, threw them into a large frying pan, took them outside, and lit them on fire.
"Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option."
- Mark Twain