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Sometimes the worst bonds of confinement are the invisible ones. It is not always physical chains that keep one prisoner. The strongest force of imprisonment I have ever felt was not to another human or a concrete cell of any type, but to an emotion. One of the most powerful emotions God has given to us is Grief. Grief can entangle a human being in her suffocating web in an instant. Then she takes days, months, years, even decades to fully release her grip on the soul. Last April I began to feel the painful vise of Grief take hold of me like I never imagined.
I have been grieving for a lost relationship for well over a year. Seventeen months ago I lost my fiancé, best friend, and soul-mate. We had been dating for three years. During this time we had been through some very challenging trials. The biggest one being his decision to join the United States Marine Corp. Over the course of his last deployment (which lasted 7 months) he was involved in some very intense training and covert missions.
Upon his return he was a changed man. I no longer knew the cold, heartless, angry person who returned from the Middle East. The loving and caring man whom I desired to be my husband was nowhere to be found. His training in the Marines had stripped away all aspects of his personality. The only things left were the anger, rage and meanness that made him such an outstanding Marine to begin with. Somehow he had lost the power to turn these emotions on and off. The relationship had to be abandoned for my own safety. I experienced overwhelming feelings of sadness and loneliness. I had previously read about Grief, specifically, Elizabeth Kubler Ross and the five stages of grief associated with any type of loss. I can now tell you from experience that reading about denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance is far different from actually living through these extremely powerful emotions. I can honestly say I felt these stages full-throttle. It is much more than a process of gently gliding from one into the next. More like bouncing in between them and sometimes lingering in one feeling for an extended period of time.
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"I Lost My fiancé, Best friend, and Soul-mate." 123HelpMe.com. 08 Dec 2019
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When I first discovered I would be living my life in the absence of this meaningful relationship I was completely devastated. Grief swept upon me like a hurricane. I mournfully went through my apartment reliving every moment we had spent there together In fact, I relived every single memory I could conjure up, good or bad. I spent many sleepless nights only able to feel the darkness and sadness all around me. Soon those sleepless nights gave way to appetite-less days, filled with the spoils of Grief: pain, and sorrow. In these first weeks Grief held me tightly in her strangling, icy grip. I began to forget any feeling not born out of grief.
As the realness of my tragedy started to set in, I became numb. In my loneliness I longed for any feeling whatsoever. So I turned to my captivator, Grief, and she was always there ready to entrap me with open arms. Whenever I would come home from work or interviews I could lock all the doors, shut all the windows and let my friend Grief completely take over my soul. To outsiders I may have appeared normal, but my grief affected my every waking thought.
I attempted to escape Grief by leaving my home and moving to Arizona. She accompanied me the whole trip, at times loosening her grip and allowing me to think about other things besides my loss. Other times I would feel the effects of grief come over me so strongly that I would have to pull over and spend several minutes crying. It was impossible to see the road through my tears. Grief took so much out of my being. She took my will to live, my desire for happiness and truth, and my light-hearted nature. These became things I would never possess as long as grief was allowed to reside in my soul. It was not a completely one-sided relationship. She gave as well. She gave me plenty of tears, (enough to last a lifetime) loneliness, pain, sorrow, self-doubt, and lots of negative thoughts.
I am living a new life now, almost completely free from my captor. It took lots of prayer and support to begin to shake my constant state of grief. But I am learning how to live without the pain. I have learned many things from my captivity in Grief. I was so dependant upon this man that I felt he completed me. My life had no real purpose outside of our relationship. Every feeling of self-worth I had was tied to him. Now I realize that when I am ready to become romantically involved again I want to be in a relationship where my partner enhances me rather than completes me. My experience with this overwhelming Grief has taught me to be a more independent woman. I wish to gain my validation from myself and God. Before I only desired it from him. When I was rejected by him my whole world fell apart. The most important I can think of at the moment is never to let myself become so dependant upon another human being that the loss of that person would cause me to be a captive of that horrible beast grief for such a long period of time.