Letting it go so easily, scares me.
We were each other’s liferaft while floating in a sea of uncertainty. For so many months, so many video calls, hours of online dates, and we only scratched the surface of each other’s being.
Now, it’s like we never knew each other at all.
Living and loving in the time of corona was hard, and still is. It was manageable because we did so together - 13 000 miles apart, but we coasted in the same shipwreck that was this shitty situation. We waited for borders to open, to see each other’s faces, to kiss it passionately as we always did, and to build the life we intended in all our almost countless conversations.
Then one day… POOF! He couldn’t wait. The pandemic pushed him over the edge. And suddenly, as if the last 8 months never happened, he disappeared into the abyss.
Corona chaos will leave many of us with a form of PTSD, a trauma that taunts. Everyone’s experience, so different, but so utterly and completely real.
The best way for me to now deal with it, is to talk about it. I don’t want to. The shame, the embarrassment of it all. Being a cliche is perhaps the worst part. I thought our long-distance relationship would beat the odds. We were special, mos. Now, I feel thrown-away. Like a candy wrapper, he couldn’t even have bothered tossing in the bin. The floor did just fine.
Or was I just the carnage left behind in his own COVID-trauma? Does fading into the night offer him perspective and light? I honestly never understood this route, the ghost that hides, that slithers away like a coward, too weak to kick up a fight. Fight for something worth having GODDAMMIT!
Tap into your trauma.
Teaching each other to understand one another’s unique brand of trauma, whether pandemic-induced or otherwise, might help bring us back. Not back to where we were before, or back to normal, but back to life. Like dry flakes of skin we need to exfoliate and shed, not fix, but brush away continuously, in order to heal.
Mainly, so that we can again respect ourselves, and others.
To the man I loved, and still love, I only have one more thing to say:
You were the best thing that happened to me in 2020. Interpret that as you wish.
(illustration by Daniel Ting Chong @danieltingchong)