26. That’s how many days I went to the hospital to be with you. 26 days where I put you and your medical needs first. Not only because I love you, but because it was the right thing to do. For 26 days I knew in the back of my mind that eventually I was going to have to tell you our relationship was over. I dreaded the day, felt immeasurable guilt. Why? I didn’t lie. I didn’t cheat. I didn’t ruin our relationship. That was all you. But I was so scared of hurting you, of how our break up would go. I ran through every possible scenario in my mind, drafted what I wanted to say, tried to predict your reaction. As the day got closer, my anxiety built. I didn’t WANT to do it. I didn’t want to let you go. I wanted to keep supporting you, helping you, touching you, loving you. I never wanted any of this.
With all the preparations I made, I never expected the response you had. I sat, crying, pouring my heart out, asking questions, telling you how hurt I was. You sat in silence, looking at the TV and sometimes your phone. You only said you were sorry when I asked you to apologize. You only said you loved me when I said it first. I hugged you goodbye, expecting some emotion (from you…I was sobbing). There was none. I pressed my face against your neck, my cheek rubbing your central line, I left tear stains on your gown. I never wanted to let go. Your reaction hurt so bad- it was another piece of my heart broken. It felt like you just dismissed me, didn’t even want me there, didn’t want to look at me. When you were in the coma, I kissed you 100 times, held you hand for hours, told you I loved you over and over. I never knew when would be the last time. I didn’t know a heart could break more than once, but mine broke over and over throughout those 26 days. I only went food shopping once and saw the blue Powerade you like and had to leave the store.
Afterwards, I spoke with your father. He told me (not in a mean way) that I had had a month to adjust to things and you were just finding it all out. I told him respectfully that simply wasn’t true. For 26 days, I put all of my emotions- sadness, anger, betrayal- aside and focused 100 percent on your recovery. At night I would sleep in the guest room bed and was so overwhelmed and exhausted from the day, I would not even be able to process thoughts. My mind was in a constant fog. I would talk and not make sense. I would order food at the hospital cafe and zone out and someone would have to snap me out of it by nudging me.
It’s been two days since I told you I knew everything and it feels like I’m just starting to deal with it. Not seeing you for two days has been so difficult. I want to be there with you. I’m back at work just to distract myself, but all I think about is you. Everyone keeps saying I need to focus on myself. I know that’s true, but I don’t even know how to start. I guess time heals all wounds, but I feel like this is just something that will fester inside of me forever. I knew if you didn’t stop drinking, our relationship was going to inevitably end. I just can’t believe you almost died and it had to get to the point it did. I’m trying to step back from the whole thing, give up control, let your parents take over. It’s so hard because I still want to take care of you. I realize now how codependent I became in our relationship. I know I have to move on. I know I have to relinquish the responsibility I feel for you. I know I need to allow myself to go through the grieving process of our breakup. I know I need to deal with the trauma of seeing you in a coma and you almost dying.
But I just don’t know how to let you go…