vero's 2nd vol 


I haven’t written anything since the spring. 

After the usual period of self sabotage and destruction that the winter brings, I’ve re-discovered love.

I feel corny as I write this, but hear me out. I felt love walking around the supermarket as I picked my favorite items. I’m so fortunate I can buy things I like. I walk down every single aisle although I already know exactly what I want. I give each aisle my full attention. I see everything it has to offer. I walk down each aisle again, just in case. 

I felt love as I watched my friends smile a genuine smile. Sometimes I wish I could absorb those negative thoughts in their head that I’m all too familiar with. I wish they’d smile more without reason. Maybe it’s selfish of me.

I felt love as I was lying naked in bed with someone I grew to love. Facing each other, legs intertwined, arms around each other’s torsos, and my face on your chest. That’s when I realized I had fallen in love for the first time in my life. Only time I’ve thoroughly enjoyed and craved someone’s warmth. That moment replays in my head too often.

I felt love as I watched my dog enjoy the wind against her face and body while sitting in a basket as I rode my bike in Italy. She made me feel love for the first time in my life many years ago when I had accepted that I’d never love. She’s getting old now. I hope she knows how much I love her.

I feel love as I caress my body in the mirror and admire parts of it. I wish I could admire all my parts, but I haven’t reached that point yet. Maybe I will someday.

It’s funny how rose-colored glasses can fuck you up. 

I thought it was sweet that you talked about your interests so often. He must be really passionate about these things, I thought. I thought it was sweet that you took me to your favorite places. He must really like sharing and spending time with me, I thought. I thought it was sweet that you would invite me to stay over for the weekend. He must really like my presence, I thought.

You didn’t want to hear about my interests. You didn’t want to see the places I liked. You didn’t want to drive to my place. You didn’t like me, you liked how I was open to you. You liked that I was invested. You liked that I was curious and willing to listen. You liked that you didn’t have to make space for me because I didn’t know what that felt like anyway. You liked that I was already broken so it was easy until it wasn’t. 

I don’t remember most of the words you said to me. I stopped having nightmares about you a little bit over a year ago. You don’t infiltrate my dreams anymore. I still have nightmares, but I’m glad you’re not in them. I was already broken, so you didn’t break me, but you made me realize how broken I really was. Broken might be the wrong word. I don’t think I’m “damaged” or permanently impaired. If we’re being technical, I have an avoidant attachment style and tendencies to be manipulated and abused. I’m not sure if you can cure those, but you can certainly learn to overcome them. 

I knew I was in too deep when I was too scared to speak freely around you. I was too scared to tell you I didn’t love you, I didn’t want you. Too scared to say I would’ve done anything to remove your existence from my mind. My therapist said you might come back one day. I really hope you don’t. 

I’m glad my dog pissed on your sheepskin rug.

One of the most influential people I’ve ever met was a woman, called Dr. Mary White, that I met when I was 12. I knew her for less than 3 weeks, and haven’t heard from her since. 

I’ve been trying to get in contact with her for over a decade. I know nothing other than the state she was from and her unfortunately generic name. 

Dr. White worked for the Air Force, I believe as a pediatrician. We met in Constanza during an Air Force Medical Readiness Training Exercise that lasted two weeks and provided free medical care to about 8,000 patients, and I was her translator. Not sure if I did a great job or not, but we seemed to make a good team.

I remember very little of our conversations - granted this was over a decade ago. At the end of the project, Dr. White wrote me a letter and told me I couldn’t read it until I got home. I can’t remember whether I followed her instructions or not, but I remember every word of the letter. I’ve kept it and had it framed on my wall. Dr. White was the first person to make me feel important and worthy. 

I’m not getting into the details of the letter, that’s between me and that piece of paper. I can tell you I was an insecure, unhappy, and cowardly child. Little Vero and I are still working on that, but reading that letter was the first step towards self-appreciation. The first step towards developing motivation and ambition. First step towards believing I deserved anything. 

Every so often I search online for Dr. White, but I can’t find her. I’ve contacted so many people from that program, even the person who led it, and no one knows any information. I never got to tell her how much that letter meant to me. I never got to thank her. 

Thank you, Dr. White.

I just got my heart broken for the first time. I’m thinking about you. My heart’s shattered.

I’m thinking about him.

He didn’t break my heart, but he sure threw some darts. 

I’m thinking about you again, and I’m thinking about him. Another him. 

I see the pattern - honestly, I’m to blame. I see the pattern.

I should’ve noticed before. I’m to blame, I allowed this.

I’m thinking about you.

I rip my hair out when I'm anxious. I've always done that. 

I start with my eyebrows. They're pretty bushy, so you can't notice the difference. Until you can, and then they're missing their ends. That makes me more anxious, so I scan my scalp for abnormal strands. I worry I'll go bald, but I haven't. I haven't yet.