As you will have realised by now, this is the place where I share my darkest and innermost secrets and memories and experiences. I have written of my virginity, my mental health illnesses, and the demise of my family and the dashing of the majority of my dreams. So now I am going to share a very poignant and traumatic memory as I have currently gone off my pills in a social experiment to prove – somewhat self-destructively – to my mother that every time she takes away my tablets or chides me for taking them or the like, she is more or less instructing me or relegating me to suicidal tendencies and periods of severe and excruciatingly painful depression. This memory came to mind particularly as I am getting a tattoo on the day after my birthday which has the date when my heart was broken irreparably. 29th May 2013.
Basic Hand of Fatima with Heart tattoo design by Ellie Hall
So, as you can see from that date I survived it and have resigned myself to an unhealed heart and a life without the love of a partner. People have called me weak, lazy, sensitive, crazy and a plethora of other negative and hurtful things over the years, but I may be all of those things (from time-to-time!) but my one redeeming aspect is that I am still here, I’m still fighting and I try every day to convince myself that driving a knife through my ugly body (seriously, I could be a study on physiognomy!) is a bad idea.
Many people with depression and other mental health difficulties fall when conversations like the one I’m about to share with all of you – and I hope you’ll read it with an open mind, as usual – occur, but I put myself out there and opened my breast to the dagger that was thrust into it. I asked for it and though before I was dealt an almost fatal blow (I won’t lie, my emotions in the aftermath of the final part were all over the place and in the time directly after I read it all, my death was not far off) I am now glad I was told the truth so candidly. For, although the 29th was one of the worst days of my life, in the beginning of June ’13 I had no false hope where the love of my life was concerned. Yes, I still call him the love of my life because he is and will always be but now I do not live in the expectation of my feelings being mutual or reciprocated in any way. I am content just still to be as much a part of his life as he’ll permit me to be. So, when in films and television shows and books, some hero or heroine professes that they’ll be content just to be friends or a part of each other’s lives (Angel and Cordelia spring to mind initially…), most of them end up giving in to their feelings or someone inevitably will come round, the reality is that sometimes that just doesn’t happen and the heroine is left on her own and the hero finds his true love. David Copperfield in this way is a fairytale, for in real life, Agnes would never get her David and the family she has with him.
Now, I guess I should stop stalling and writing about age-old books and Cordelia again and actually speak about Pippa. This blog, after all, is called LaBellaBorgia Speaks and that’s me. So please dig in to the following online conversation (so don’t worry about me recalling it all accurately or with exaggeration).
I know I’ve been distant lately and I feel I owe you an explanation, one which I am ashamed to admit I am too much of a coward to give you in person. Please do read this in its entirety though I fear it will be lengthy because I do, more than anything and with no melodrama, wish you to know everything I have been feeling for years, which I have kept hidden, but I can’t anymore because to put it quite simply, it’s killing me.
I have always had few friends and God knows I can’t keep a new friend to save my life and understand me fully when I tell you that I seldom leave my house or flat if it is not with family or you. To me you are my family and that fact has plagued me more than it has consoled me, for it has been apparent to me for some time (and I do not intend to be harsh, I merely say what is true) that I see you as vital to my existence, whereas I am not as important to you, which is the result of either you simply having more friends or it is because I am not the kind of person who can be needed to carry on each day, as you are to me.
I know my shortcomings. I am difficult to know, needy, intolerant, deceitful and a whole host of other things and I know I exasperate you, but know that I could and would give anything for you and some of the most frightening night terrors I have are ones in which you leave me and I can do nothing to stop it. That is the thing that frightens me most and so I hope you can grasp how hard it is for me to make this confession.
Recently I had lost my faith in the God who has kept me alive so far, yet when it seemed that something supplanted that faith I was confused. It was the realisation that I believe in something much more powerful and much more personal than God and that is the power of you, me & x. The belief I had that our friendship would be the strength of my life and the love that I clung to above all others was misguided, I see that now, because I expected too much. I hoped you would be as devoted to me as I am to you two, but I overlooked a few things: I am a woman and my nature is to be devoted (I did not get Materfamilias tattooed on my right arm for my own enjoyment); you two have so much more to live for than do I; as a woman, I am inclined to see others’ feelings and you two have never truly been privy to my own.
What I am about to say here has the potential to shake our friendship to its core and possibly to tear it down, but I am willing at this point to risk all (yes, I have been watching The Borgias too much!). It pertains particularly to you. I have never been particularly discreet about the fact that I love you and as more than a friend, but I don’t believe I’ve ever actually said that to you. I do not confess this with any spirit of hope that my feeling are returned or may ever be, in fact it would please me greatly if you never loved me ever. I would never want to ruin your kind, trusting and lovely soul, which is what I would do to it were you ever to allow me to and that would break my heart and spirit. I feel so much for you that when you hurt and your nature doesn’t permit you to hold a grudge or bear ill will then I hate for the breaking of my own heart and then for yours. The months after you and Lily hurt me in a way more than the months when you wanted her and that – believe me – is saying something. The only and I mean the only reason I tell you this now is so that you understand the very heart of me and why I have done what I have. When I couldn’t have you, I went after someone else and now I have terrifying flashbacks that have on occasion led to sedation and I’m not pinning blame, it was above all my own fault, but I settled and in doing so I made sure I would never be able to love anyone else but you. I have spent years of my life learning you: what you eat, what you drink, how you feel and think, so that I can feel as though I am the one person who knows you above all even though I know that’s not true. When you tell me that we can’t hang out, the thought that immediately falls into my paranoid mind is that I have done something wrong and I am hurt much like a girlfriend would be. I know I’ll never be that to you, but I would ask that you don’t shut me out because of what I’ve just told you and know that every time you do my heart sort of breaks.
Well that certainly is a lot to go through, and I’m not going to lie, it takes a lot of guts to say all of that, it really does, and I respect that very much honestly. I don’t think I could do the same.
I guess I don’t really know exactly how to respond, I’m no expert at this stuff, but here goes. First off, I must admit I’ve known that you liked me as more than a friend for some time, and I do think, through nobody’s fault, it has caused something of a wedge between the two of us. This is not your fault, I know that when you like someone, no matter who they are or how ridiculous it seems, you can’t help it. You just do. And that’s totally fine. And I am only sorry that I don’t feel the same way. In a way, I do partially blame myself for this, perhaps it would have been the mature thing to tell you I didn’t feel the same way years ago, but for whatever reason, I didn’t, and I’m sorry for that. I love you like a sister, and that is God’s honest truth.
I also feel partially responsible for how, and it does feel this way, that we’ve drifted apart in recent times. I can’t make excuses, I think it is just, unlike both you and x, I am not someone to who emotion comes easily. I’m not good at expressing emotions, in fact I’m rather embarrassed by it, and so it is true that I sometimes choose to hang out with people who, like me, do not deal with things emotionally. Call it a cheap move, it’s just the way I feel sometimes, I’d rather avoid issues than solve them, and that isn’t fair. I feel I owe you an apology for several years of that.
But there’s one other thing you need to know, and that is that none of this will force us apart. I think this stream of confessions, bearing the soul and all that, will help bring us back to a kind of harmony that seems to have gone missing. We’ll all know where we stand, as such. Pippa, you are the older sister I never had, and though I’m afraid I do not see you in a different light, and that isn’t going to change, I would not want to be without you. I would say to you, and I accept how empty the words can sound, that you shouldn’t shut yourself off from people. You can make friends, I have seen it, even if you do find it hard, and you deserve to find someone special more than anyone I know. I accept it’s hard, and I do not expect you to change that overnight, but there’s a whole world for you out there, you just need to explore it, and I only wish you could. And now we’ve all laid our cards on the table, I have every faith that it’ll clear things up. There’ll be no more need to feel awkward or smoke and mirrors. We know how all three of us feels, in all honestly, and we can accept that as the way things are. I have every faith it’ll only make the three of us better friends.
So uh, I guess, that is me, doing my best at talking about stuff. I hope everything made sense. And hope to see you both soon
I’m now crying so hard I can barely see through my glasses, but it’s so worth me reading all that again. It’s so cathartic for me. I will just say that I know most of you readers will have no clue who this is, but I fear, that despite my preventative efforts, some of my acquaintances will surmise to whom I was talking, so please – for ME – keep the confidence of LaBellaBorgia Speaks, as he doesn’t read it and I doubt he ever will, but it’s where my soul and heart lies now. It’s a broken heart but it beats here and thrives in the honesty and true life I can’t find away from the blogosphere.
I will say this final thing…I took some of his advice that day. I have travelled and will carry on travelling the world searching for something to fill the void that is in my heart. To name but the most memorable: I have seen the ruins of Carthage, inhaled the tanneries of Fes, glimpsed the Misty Mountains, felt Apollo’s sun beating down on me in Delphi, drunk Jack Daniel’s in Piazza San Pietro and watched the sunrise where the Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea meet. That was good advice and when I spend the summer in the USA and January ’16 in Tuscany, I’ll be following orders, but one thing I would say now again is that to wish me on someone else and to want me to spend my life unhappy trying to love someone else with a heart that is not mine to give away is worse than what my mother does when she tells me to stop taking the tablets that keep knives in the kitchen and out of my bedroom. What my mother does is condemn me to a painful, self-inflicted death, but what the love of my life does – unwittingly, as ever – is condemn me to a painful, living death that would be drawn out and have not one…but two victims.
That is something I’m not strong enough or malicious enough to survive or inflict on someone else and I’m so glad of that. It means that tomorrow will be better and that I’m keeping someone else’s heart safe even when mine has been so amicably crucified.