Pre, Present, and Post Valentine’s Day Stress Disorder (PVDSD)

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Pre V-Day I was stressing pretty hardcore. I have never really had a good Valentine’s Day, and I was surprised to actually have a fantastic guy to spend it with this year. We aren’t in an official relationship, but we’re exclusive, so I had no clue what would happen. I don’t think he knew how to prepare at first, either. I didn’t know what to wear, what to expect, or even how to act. Honestly, I don’t know anyone who isn’t nervous about February 14th. I mean, it gets all the hype and there are too many unsaid expectations. Especially for the men… sorry fellas.

Lucky for me, my lovely man managed to find the perfect agenda for our relaxed relationship. Nice lunch instead of dinner, and the rest of the day just spent together. Flowers and chocolate, but no other gifts. It started out filled with a little bit anxiety and jitters, and not everything went quite as planned, but in the end I think most people realize this as well: all that matters is that you’re with the person you care about. All the nerves for nothing, right?

Now today we woke up, went to church, had lunch, the usual. But the post-V-Day effects were there. Still a little sappier than usual with the hand holding and pecks on the cheek. Not to mention, church was significantly emptier than usual. We’re apart now, which is good because I think it will help us transition out of the V-Day image. But it’s leaving me feeling a bit odd, but I don’t know what it is or why. Let’s just say it’s PVDSD.

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Bridges

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Do you know what if feels like?

I do.

To be in a mentally abusive relationship.

What?

Yes, mentally abusive.

He was depressed, he was suicidal.

He didn’t try to hurt me.

And when he asked,

I was doing fine.

I was strong.

I was the only reason he was alive.

Yeah, he told me that.

But I was strong.

Not strong enough to see what he was doing to me.

Because I loved him.

And he loved me.

I was fine.

He was in the hospital;

I told everyone he was sick.

Well, he was.

And soon I would be too.

But until then,

I was happy.

Sort of.

I thought I was.

But I was wearing down.

I was becoming a shell:

empty to hold his issues,

protective to keep us both alive.

I wasn’t suicidal.

I couldn’t be.

I couldn’t do to others what he did to me.

So I stood on that bridge

even when he wasn’t there,

just in case.

That’s really what wore me down–

balancing there was exhausting.

At any moment

I could have fallen.

But as soon as I left,

he would be on the bridge instead.

And he would fall for sure.

I couldn’t leave.

After all, I was the reason he was alive.

So I stayed,

and prayed he would ask me to leave

before I fell off,

head first,

into the dark waters below.