Monday, February 18, 2019

Profound Moment

A random act of kindness; one of life's mysterious, beautiful, & meaningful moments. 

I had an interesting, strange, & profound moment at Union Station the other day. As I was waiting to board the Red Line train in Downtown LA, I thought very briefly about launching myself off of the edge of the platform & being killed by the impact of the train. I wasn't feeling sad at all. I had just finished class & was relieved to have gotten through the week. But the thought came to me in a split second. A daydream about ending it all. The thought scared me. It scared me to feel that way. To want to off myself even though seemingly nothing was wrong. I shook my head & pondered, "It's probably just because I'm very tired." I've felt tired of life often. 

I caught the train to Union Station, & as I arrived, a man kindly approached me. His skin was of a bronze complexion, he may have been Latino or Asian, I'm not quite sure. He was dressed in a black coat and looked a bit disoriented. He came up to me & asked "Excuse me, you speak English, right?" I nodded & verbalized "Yes." He proceeded, "Can you help me?" I obliged. He held a discharge sheet in his hand & explained to me how he had just been released from a mental hospital. He had since taken his psychotropic medication on an empty stomach & was starting to feel the side effects kick in. He appeared uneasy. I offered to buy him a small snack. Happily, he said he would like that. I walked him over to the small convenience store, letting him know that I could only spare a few dollars. He said that would be fine. I watched as he hurriedly grabbed 2 small bags of Famous Amos cookies & a Vitamin Water, trying very considerately to not take up much of my time, & politely apologizing for the inconvenience. I told him not to worry. We waited in line for the cashier, & I paid for the items on my credit card. $5 and a few cents. We walked out together and he thanked me & told me how much he appreciated my help. I told him that he asked the right person. I shared with him that I, too, have been in a mental hospital. He asserted, "Ah, then you know how it is." I told him "Yes" & shared with him my diagnosis. I told him that I then went on to work in a psychiatric ward for a year, & am now pursuing my doctorate. He thanked me again & told me to have "a blessed evening." I told him to do the same, & we said our goodbyes.

I cried immediately after the exchange, and for several minutes during my ride on the Gold Line train home. I thought about how good it felt to help him, to have the capability and privilege to spare a few dollars for a small snack that could reduce some of his discomfort. I thought about how good it felt to be able to help someone, but I also thought. . . If I had killed myself just minutes earlier, I wouldn't have been there to help him. And again, this thought scared me.

This interaction caused me to re-evaluate my existence for a moment. I truly do believe my purpose on this earth is to help others in the ways I've learned to help myself. I truly believe that is why God created me. And it's my reason for being.

It gave me the opportunity to look at how far I've come. I've been through so much. Only a few years ago, I was in that man's shoes. Feeling uneasy, alone, disoriented and in need. And now, I'm accomplishing great feats.

But when taking a step back from this experience, I now see.  .  . I don't think I helped that man as much as he helped me. 

 Thank you for reading. <3

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Love Should be Conditional

This will most likely be an unpopular opinion piece. So be it.

I have never believed in the concept of unconditional love. It doesn't sit well with me. It doesn't seem right.

But I've talked to many friends about it, & most view it as the truest, purest form of love.

I still disagree.

I believe that love SHOULD be conditional. You should love someone on the conditions that:

-They love you back.
-They respect you.
-They trust you.
-They are loyal to you.
-They value you.
-They would never do anything to intentionally hurt you.
-They are kind to you.
-They are considerate of your needs & support you.

I feel that these conditions are fair. I feel that they are just. They are equal & reciprocal. They should be amendable.

And I feel that if these simple conditions are unmet, you don't have to love that person.

It seems that many people think you should give love freely. I don't disagree. But if someone won't love me as freely as I love them, I'm not going to waste my time by continuing to love them & give when all they do is take. In my opinion, this is idiotic & self-destructive.

Rather, you should give kindness freely. Kindness can be bestowed upon anyone you meet, a stranger or even an enemy, & it should be. But love, to me, is a more serious investment & a relationship to that person, which does not apply to everyone.

I feel that unconditional love can be used as an excuse to stay stagnant and not change, still expecting others to love you for who you are. But if you can't become a better person, a better version of yourself, continuously improving, then why should anyone go out of their way to love you when they're putting in all of the work and you're putting in nothing? That's one sided.

I do believe you should love someone flaws and all, on both their best day & their worst.  You should love the person as a whole, in their entirety. But that does NOT mean unconditionally.

I feel that many people think that loving family is an obligation. (Ever heard the saying "Blood is thicker than water."?) Throughout my life, I have been detached & estranged from my biological mother. People don't understand this. They tell me things like, "You should love your mother!" "How could you not love her!? She gave birth to you! She created you! She raised you!" "How dare you hate your mother!" "You need to forgive her!"

I do not hate my mother. I don't truly hate anyone. Hatred takes energy & negativity that I don't have. I may throw the term "hate" around loosely & jokingly, & I do have a strong dislike for certain things. But no real hatred.

I do forgive her for all of the abuse & neglect she put me through. She is deeply mentally ill, & has been for decades. I don't feel that all of it was conscious or her fault. It's the illness's fault. And I do believe that forgiveness is necessary, but for you, not for the other person. You need to let go of that hurt & move on before it consumes you. You can't heal, make progress in life, or grow until you do. And in terms of my mother, she isn't fully aware of the extent of the pain she caused me. "Forgive them for they know not what they do."

I do acknowledge that she did the best she could with what she had. I grew up poor, with food stamps & section 8 housing. We didn't have much, but she made sure the utilities were always paid & we had food on the table, even if that meant we went to a food bank or church to get it.

So I have empathy for my mother. I understand why she is the way she is. And I'm grateful for the good in her. But I do not love her. I cannot love her.

I cannot love someone who is toxic. I cannot love someone who is abusive & destructive. I cannot love someone who has no regard for others. I cannot love someone who refuses help & support. I cannot love someone who doesn't have love for him/herself.

Instead, I am indifferent towards her & I pity her. And that's just how it is.

She will never change. She is beyond saving. And I've accepted that.

There's no use in trying to love her when it is unsafe for me. When I tried to maintain a relationship with her, it threatened my own sanity, emotional wellbeing, & mental stability.

That is not worth it.

And it makes my heart heavy. It pains me. It fills me with sorrow. I wish I could have a normal mother/daughter relationship with her, but I can't. She is not a healthy person. She refuses to see a Psychiatrist or Therapist, heck, she won't even got to a regular medical doctor! She resists all help & functions as a ticking bomb waiting to go off. It is too dangerous for me to even be around her because she is so explosive, volatile, & completely unpredictable. So I can't risk my own safety by being around her. And my intention isn't to hurt her or make her sad, but protect & preserve myself. And the only way I can do that is by staying away from her. It's an incredibly hard plight that most people don't understand, but it's my life.

Some people are still able to love their abuser. This is known as "Stockholm Syndrome," or in clinical terms, "traumatic bonding." But this is usually a means of survival because they cannot escape the hold of their captor and they are trying their best to cope.

This is not something I possess. I was able to escape, to become my own person, & to leave my abuser behind. And I feel that I am stronger and more resilient because of it. But I am not capable of unconditional love.

Perhaps this is a distinct part of my personality or nature. I have a tendency to detach & disassociate easily from others. I can fall in love with you instantly, but lose that love just as quickly. Maybe I developed this skill as my own survival mechanism to shield myself from harm, or maybe it's an inherent quality. Either way, it's how I interact with others in the world. If our love is mutual, you can remain in my life. If not, I let go, disconnect, & move on.

After reading this, you may view me as a victim of my past or as a creature of circumstance. You may completely disagree with me. And that's okay.
But try to see my point of view.

On the other hand, if you see my side & agree, then begin letting go of unconditional love. It's an outdated, overrated clichΓ© that can be more harmful than helpful. Begin to recognize your value & your worth and implement those conditions into your relationships. Ever since I have, I am surrounded by friends, the family I've chosen, who are healthy & supportive, & they enrich my life rather than try to destroy it.

Thanks for reading. <3

Friday, August 24, 2018

Please, Don't React; Respond.

Please, Don't React; Respond. 
4 Ways Not to React to Someone who's Depressed or Going Through a Crisis 
(& Healthier Alternatives)

        Through my experiences with conversations, and as a person who lives with chronic depression, it has come to my attention that many people don't know how to provide comfort or respond appropriately in times of need. Instead of listening to what's being said & taking the time necessary to digest it, reflect on it, then proceed with a constructive response, people jump to conclusions & say the 1st thing that comes to mind, or in other words, they react. But, many times, this can be unhelpful, or possibly even detrimental &/or destructive to the person that is in distress. See, when you react, there is no tact. In order to respond, you must think beyond the initial reaction.

         Therefore, to try & resolve this common dilemma, I thought I'd come up with a list of reaction pitfalls to avoid & healthy ways of responding. I am inspired to create such a list by communication theorists, such as Carl Rogers, the creator of Client-Centered Therapy (*Search for “Unconditional Positive Regard” “Empathic Attunement,” & “Acceptance.”), psychologist & couples counselor Gary Chapman, who authored The Five Love Languages, & Virginia Satir, who identified 4 unhealthy forms of communication (i.e. Blaming, Placating, Computing, & Distracting) as well as hypothesized a solution, A.K.A. "Leveling." For more information on her studies & ideas, you can check out her book The New Peoplemaking. Mine are very similar to hers, but rather, they’re situational, & I break them down into specific categories with concise details & examples.

       Yes, personally, I am educated & trained as a psychotherapist. But these suggestions are simple & can help any layperson communicate more empathically & effectively.

Without further ado, here are the 4 reactions to avoid:

1 - Dismissing/Minimizing - This happens all of the time. Someone comes to you upset or with a problem, & the first thing you say is "Could be worse." Or, "It's not even that bad." One step further, you bring up a story that happened to you or someone you know & compare/contrast. This is not helpful. It just makes the person feel bad for mentioning what they're going through, negates their problem, & makes it look as if they’re complaining & whining. People, especially those of us who suffer from depression, want to feel heard & understood. Being dismissive or minimizing the problem makes it seem as if it doesn't matter, which only makes us feel more alone & like a burden to others.

Another way of being dismissive is being too cheerful or overly optimistic. Saying things like "Just think positive!" Or, "Look at the bright side!" Or trying to cheer the person up by making a ton of jokes or changing the subject. If a person is feeling down, this will only make them feel like you can't see where they're coming from or are too uncomfortable yourself to discuss their sorrows. Being superficially happy is not a solution. Being realistic & supportive is.

2 – Gaslighting -
The definition of "gaslighting" is when you make someone feel crazy by discrediting them & making them doubt themselves. The way this is most often done to depressed individuals is when they hear phrases like, "It's all in your head!" "You're choosing to feel this way!" "You're making this up!" “There's nothing wrong!” "Stop being so negative!" "Stop pitying yourself!" "Stop feeling sorry for yourself!" A person who is depressed or facing a crisis is NOT choosing to! Depression is a mental illness, a chemical imbalance in the brain, a disease just like Diabetes or Asthma & should be recognized as such. People who face depression already feel crazy! They usually have excessive guilt & shame, feel hopeless &/or helpless, have low self-esteem, feel like a burden to everyone they know, have little or no motivation, lose pleasure &/or interest in activities they once enjoyed, experience weight loss or gain as well as insomnia or hypersomnia (not sleeping much/at all vs. sleeping too much,) feel incredible loneliness or start to isolate, & may be beginning to see life as not worth living because this exhaustion & pain becomes unbearable! NONE of this is a choice, but it is all a part of the condition. These are the symptoms, & making comments like these is not only insensitive, but emotionally abusive & neglectful.

To top that off, making statements like “You're being overdramatic!” or “You're such a crybaby!” are cruel & can make things worse. I cannot emphasize the importance of this enough. Do NOT gaslight. You may think you're giving them “tough love,” a “reality check" or snapping them out of their funk, but this type of language is incredibly inconsiderate and does more harm than good.

3 – Playing the Devil's Advocate/Challenging -
This, at first, can be done with the good intention of changing a person's perspective or helping them to see more clearly. But if done carelessly or with persistence, it can become argumentative & damaging. For instance, say someone tells you about a friend that they feel slighted them or betrayed them. After you listen to their story, you start relating to & defending their friend's actions. Sure, maybe you think their friend didn't do anything wrong or malicious. That's fine, & you can express that, maybe offer some clarity. But if you go out of your way to analyze the story and identify with their friend, you're now taking sides & undermining their experience, making them feel like their point of view is insignificant or invalid. They came to you & told you the story because they were hurt & searching for support, not for you to overlook their take & ignore their feelings.
The only time I really see this as being helpful is if someone is thinking irrationally or delusionally. Otherwise, it's unnecessary.

4 - Unsolicited Advice
This is one of the most common ones and I really dislike it. Humans, naturally, are fixers. When someone comes to us with a problem, it can be our first instinct to solve it. But giving advice when it isn't requested can be rude, especially if you're not well informed, qualified, or familiar with the person's situation.

Very often, those of us who are feeling crappy just want to vent & release our frustrations. We don't always need help, just a listening ear to hear us out. If we ask for it, give the best advice & guidance you can! But if not, don't assume we need it & can't figure things out on our own. Perhaps you're trying to be helpful, but sometimes it's just insulting & not useful. Plus, if we're stuck inside of our minds all of the time, we've probably thought of all possible scenarios & decisions we could make & forged a plan.

Now that we've identified the unhealthy reactions people commonly make, here are some healthier alternatives:

Validating - As humans, we all seek validation. We want to feel like others hear & understand us. We want comfort & consolation. Instead of resorting to the reactions above, try saying things like, "I'm really sorry you went through that." "That must have been tough." "Gosh, that sounds stressful." "Wow, that's harsh." "You've been through a lot." Responses like this mirror feelings and show that you've been listening, you really do care, & you're acknowledging & imagining what they've been through.

Relating - Another basic human need we have is for empathy & compassion. We want to feel like others can walk in our shoes & empathize with our struggles. We want to feel like others can relate to & connect with us. If someone tells you about how a recent breakup has devastated them, this is an opportune time to tell them about a devastating breakup you had. Use your lived experience & wisdom to help them through their hard time, to show them they're not alone, & that they can recover. (To improve your skills in validating & relating, consider furthering your knowledge by doing research on “active listening" & “empathic responding.”)

Reframing -  This can take more skill, but those who are depressed tend to look at life through a negative lens. Help restore the accuracy of their lens. If they make a statement like, "I'm a failure," rephrase it in a more realistic way. "No, you had a setback. But it's a lesson learned, & now you can try again." Or, "No, you struggled to get the results you wanted. But that doesn't define you." You can also compliment them by reinforcing their strengths, skills, & accomplishments. Maybe they say something like, "I'm ugly, no one will ever want me." And you can assure them how beautiful they are, or mention how you know others admire them.

Having a Sense of Humor
If you're not being insensitive by changing the subject, but making a horrible situation hilarious, that can definitely be a great way of lightening the mood! But really assess the needs of who you're talking to & identify their communication style. Do they like to laugh things off? Or would they prefer you be serious & keep it real with them? Only YOU will know based on previous conversations. (Or you can always ask. Everyone has different needs @ different times.)

Encouragement/Instilling Hope - As previously explained, dealing with depression can make one hopeless. Their future may seem bleak to them, their view of the world may be shrouded in darkness. But you can help them see the light. We all need reassurance. Let them know things will be alright and turn out okay. Let them know that you are there for them & will support them every step of the way. Help them keep the faith alive, & remind them that there are resources out there for them if ever needed. Mental health services (i.e. therapy, psychiatry) & support groups are available (i.e. NAMI, DBSA, etc.) and you can refer them to these if they're interested. If you're willing, you can even offer to take them or accompany them so they're not alone & can see your support through your actions rather than your words.

Thanks for Reading. <3

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Sun & Moon

For my sweetheart,

"The Sun & Moon" 

You're the Sun, ☀️
& I'm the Moon. πŸŒ™
I'm November,
& you're June.

We're the opposites that attract,
But our sameness holds us intact.

You're bright, fiery, frenetic,
bold, beaming, energetic.πŸ”₯
I'm the mystic, amassing sea,
feelings flowing deep through me. 🌊

You're the warmth of the flame, at its core;
I'm cool, fresh water, reaching the shore.

You're the shining exuberant day,
up with busyness & play.
I'm the sparkling starry night,
ideas alive & at flight.

You're the beacon at the highest arc,
I'm the light that glows within the dark.

Though different, we both have a tendency towards growth & change.
We're yin & yang; the complementary ends of a spectrum, a range. ☯️

On a rare occasion, our pattern flips,
& when the time is right, we eclipse. 🌘

You're the Sun, ☀️
& I'm the Moon. πŸŒ™
You're the horizon
I'm the dune.

We're the opposites that attract,
But our sameness holds us intact. 

Thanks for reading. ❤

Friday, March 30, 2018

An Insomniac's Letter to their Lover

Dear Lover,

Of course, I've been up these past few nights thinking about writing this. That's just my nature, I guess.

I'm sorry that I won't ever be able to enjoy falling asleep next to you. You always say you love falling asleep and waking up next to me, and I wish I could share that sentiment, but it's possible I may never be able to.

You see, at night, sleep evades me. I'm not normal, I'm far from it.

I envy how easily you lie down, close your eyes, and drift into dreamland while I lay awake beside you.

Sometimes I watch you sleep, admiring your good looks, sexy physique, and how peaceful you are. But I continue to toss and turn, shifting positions to get comfortable, staring at the wall and planning the next day or processing past hurts.

What seems so simple for you and most people is so difficult for me.

And so you sleep all night and wake up refreshed, ready to start the day. I can't even fathom what that's like. I feel as if I'm always in a constant state of tiredness. I'm chronically fatigued, and I hope I'm not doomed to feel this way for the rest of my life.

And so I'm sorry that you have to witness me sleep all day. While the world is resting, my mind is running nonstop. So many sleepless nights lead me to desperately reach for sleep during the day, the only time it comes to me, the only time I can actually catch it. And it leaves you puzzled and confused and takes away the time we get to spend together. I'm practically nocturnal to say the least.

I don't know if things will ever be different for me. I've tried medications and nothing seems to work. But just know, even though it's hard for me to fall asleep next to you, it's not you, it's hard for me to sleep next to anyone. It's hard for me to sleep even when I'm alone. And though it's a little bit more of a struggle when I'm next to you, I'm willing to keep trying, because I'd rather wake up with you feeling exhausted then wake up without you at all.

Keep dreaming on, my love. And maybe one day, I'll be able to feel as rested as you do, so we can take on the world together.

Thanks for Reading. <3

Sunday, February 11, 2018

New Love

Welcome back to my blog!

So, if you've read my previous post, you might have seen that I was in a dark place at the time. Depressed, lonely, heartbroken, all because I was abandoned by a friend I fell in love with.

Well, he didn't speak to me for a whole 5 months, but finally reached out to me the day before New Years Eve.

He did apologize and explain his rationale for ghosting me, but this didn't save our friendship, it ended it, which was for the best.

But between then and now, something miraculous happened:

I found someone new, and fell in love again!

It all started in November. I decided to go clubbing with my childhood friend America. We hadn't been dancing in ages! We had been wanting to go for a while, but our schedules always clashed. :(

Alas, one weekend, she said she was free, so we immediately made plans to go out!

Before we went inside the nightclub, I made a disclaimer. I said that I would promise not to ditch her, (because I'm not a sh*t friend like that) but that I had been very lonely and depressed lately, and if I met someone, I wanted to dance dirty with them. I asked if she'd be okay with this, and she agreed she would. (She read my prior blog post too, so she knew what was up!)

Mind you, I didn't actually expect to meet anyone that night. My hopes were set low, and I just planned on enjoying dancing for a bit with my homegirl.

But sure enough, there he was.  .  .

I saw this gorgeous, thick, cutie perusing the dance floor. He came with friends to celebrate a birthday, but he was dancing alone and caught my attention!

I immediately commented to America, "Who is that cutie dancing by himself?"

She replied, "I don't know, but maybe you should go dance with him!"

To which I comically retorted, "I don't know, I'm not sure if he's buying what I'm selling!"

I wasn't sure if he had noticed me or was into me, but I continued watching him for a few moments before I did what my brave self usually does and went over to him to make my move.

Next thing I know, we're dancing together, introducing ourselves, and it starts to get a little hot and heavy.

His hands move down to my waist, then to my hips, his lips on my neck, and we're just grinding in the club. It was like a scene from a 2000s Hip-Hop music video!

We exchanged numbers, said our farewells, and I rejoined America to go to Denny's and catch up until 4 in the morning!

Now, whenever you meet someone at a club, you don't expect it to go anywhere. I've exchanged my number to a few guys after meeting them on a dancefloor, and almost 99.99% of the time, you never hear from them again.

But this time was different. We had been texting each other all day! And we wanted to meet up for a real date!

I thought I wouldn't be able to see him for an entire week, but I happened to be free after catching a movie with my girl Haley that Saturday night, so I told him we should grab some ice cream.

We did, and we started dating right after that, and a couple of months later, we made it official!

I love how life has magical moments like this. I remember my bestie Melina telling me, "Look how much has changed for you in the span of a year! You are with a new man, living in a new apartment, and I'm so happy you're in a relationship again!"

It's true. Soooo much has changed within a year. And I'm in a much better and happier place now. 

I've managed to cut out all of the toxic people that remained in my life. And now, all that's left are the amazing ones. I'm surrounding by the best of friends who are so supportive and nurturing, and now I have a new man as the cherry on top. My life finally feels complete. (I told my therapist this before we ended treatment and she said she had goosebumps, she was so happy for me! It was very touching.) 

My sweetheart is so warm. Unlike my past relationships and the many men I dated last year, he is so tender and affectionate. He holds me and kisses me every chance he gets, and this is always sure to make me melt. <3

He is so appreciative. If you've read some of my earlier posts from further back, you know my primary love languages are "Physical Touch" and "Words of Affirmation." I need to constantly be reassured and told how much someone cares and loves me. I want to know how much I mean to them. He always makes an effort to tell me how grateful he is to have me in his life. When he said he loved me for the first time a few weeks ago, I cried tears of joy, knowing that he truly meant it, and it was one of the happiest moments of my life. He pulled me in close and whispered in my ear, "You make me feel incredible," it was so sweet and profound. 

He is so fun! Unlike a majority of the men I've been with, he's not afraid to make a fool of himself and play around! My exes were so flat, uptight, quiet, and robotic! Never able to let loose and have a good time! It's so refreshing to be with someone who knows how to laugh at themselves and not take life too seriously! (We can do Karaoke together! That's something I've NEVER been able to do with anyone I've dated!) 

Though we're still in the early phases of our relationship and have only been together for a few months, I've already had some of the happiest moments of my life with him, and I'm looking forward to many more! 

Not too long ago, my mentor and friend, Ariel, told me that once you meet the right person, you'll see how wrong everyone else you've been with was for you. And so far, this is ringing true. Every time I thank my man for treating me right, he always tells me, "This is how you've always deserved to be treated." 

I think I've found a keeper. :) 

Thank you so much for reading. And have a Happy Valentine's Day! <3

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Sweet Nothings

Does it really mean nothing to you?

After my break-up in January, I started getting closer with a good friend. He was there for me, and we hung out and talked often. I didn't intend to fall in love with him, but like Selena Gomez sings, "the heart wants what it wants." 

The more time I spent with him, the better I got to know him, and the more I realized that he fulfilled all of the desires that my ex-boyfriend never did. We could go out to a bar to grab a drink, we could talk all night until the sunrise, and he wasn't afraid to go for a long drive or try something new. 

In all honesty, I actually started developing feelings for him while I was still with my ex, because I saw how different he was, how much more kind and compassionate he was. But I would have never acted on these feelings because I loved my ex and would have never wanted to hurt him. (I am faithful to a fault.) 

Next thing I know, my ex dumps me, and I find myself spending a magical Valentine's Day with this good friend, and many more nights together after that. 

When we first started seeing each other, it was only out of fun, and neither of us were looking for anything serious. It ended up being a "Friends with Benefits" type situation, and we were both allowed to see other people. 

I dated other men, but as you've probably read in my past posts, I had NO luck with any of them. 

So we continued casually dating, and I ended up falling madly in love with him. 

He had told me, several times, that he wasn't looking for a relationship. I respected this. 

But I couldn't help the way I felt. 

I put off telling him for sometime, because I knew me confessing my love for him would make him uncomfortable and push him away. Or at least I feared this. 

Well, I was right, because shortly after I told him that I loved him, we stopped casually dating, and then he stopped talking to me. 

Our non-official relationship lasted 6 months and ended in July, but we were still friends. 

However, I often told him that I cared about him and missed him. Apparently, this was too much for him. I would sit in silence when I made such a comment, and the silence was deafening. It crushed me. 

I knew that he couldn't return my sentiments. But I felt rejected and unwanted. I knew he didn't want commitment, but he could have at least said something when I told him I missed him instead of staying quiet. 

It got to the point where in August, I texted him to let him know that I no longer felt comfortable hanging out in person, completely alone, with him. But I said I still wanted to remain friends, we could still hang out in group settings, and talk over the phone and through texts. 

He never responded, and now, it's been over 3 months since I've last seen or heard from him. 

I have sent him 12 text messages, called him 3 times, and left 3 Voicemails, but he will not respond to me. 

My heart is completely broken. 

I spent 2 weeks in August crying myself to sleep every single night over him. 

I miss him each and every single day, and I have no idea why he isn't talking to me.

I can only hope that it's because he doesn't want to lead me on or hurt me. But ironically, he doesn't seem to understand that completely cutting me out and ghosting me hurts more than anything. 

I know he's a good person, and I don't think he would ever intentionally hurt me. But I wish he would at least give me a reason why he decided to stop talking to me. I wish he would explain his reasoning, perhaps this would give me closure and help me move on. 

But instead, there's nothing. Only silence. And I wish I could be angry with him or hate him, but I can't. 

It makes me question every intimate moment we spent together.

On my previous birthday, he accompanied me and the rest of my friends to dinner, bought me a ton of drinks at the clubs and bars we hopped around, and made the night extra special. 

One night, he had seen me after I left class, and offered me a ride home. He looked at me and told me that I seemed more pale than usual, and he was worried I was sick. I told him I felt fine. Sure enough, about 20 minutes later, I had a migraine headache, which was a good indication of food poisoning. I had eaten a lot of different foods that night, and I guess the mixture did not agree with me. He took me home, let me lie down, brought me some water and Ibuprofen, and massaged my head. I ran to the bathroom and threw up everything I ate. I went back to bed, and he held me close throughout the night. When I woke up, I was in his arms, and I felt so much better. I was so moved that he had been observing me and knew I was sick before I even knew myself. And no one had ever taken care of me that way. 

On another occasion, he spent the night, and I woke up to him gently kissing the nape of my neck. It was the most pleasant and refreshing way I've ever woken up in my entire life. I thanked him and asked him if he had ever done this for any of his ex-girlfriends. He said he had, but none had ever seemed to care. It was one of the most pleasurable experiences of my life, and I cherish it dearly. 

Once he came to see me after a particularly stressful day. I let him vent to me. After he got everything off of his chest, I thanked him for sharing with me. He glanced at me, closed his eyes, and nodded. It was so cute and innocent, it made my heart melt, so I gave him a kiss. Him being so vulnerable with me was so profound and made me fall even more in love with him. 

There were many times when we first started dating that we would drive off to a secluded place late at night and make out for hours in his car. His kisses would send tingles from my scalp to the tips of my toes. I would run my fingers through his curls and gaze at his relaxed expression, taking it in, watching how much he enjoyed my touch. It was breathtaking. 

There were countless moments we'd spend cuddling each other in bed. He would graze his fingertips on my sides, making me feel so calm and warm. He would sometimes bring me in close for a very tight hug. I could feel his muscles tensing and we would both tremble in one another's arms. I sent him the song "Powerful" by Major Lazer and Ellie Goulding, and he told me it reminded him of these strong embraces.

I miss the smallest, simplest things, like kissing his cheek after a fresh shave. His skin would be so smooth and soft underneath my lips. 

Now, I sit here wondering why he won't talk to me, and pondering if these times meant anything to him. 

Is this why they call tender, affectionate moments "sweet nothings?" Is it because they truly mean nothing? Because they mean EVERYTHING to me. They mean the WORLD to me. They are all I hope and pray for. They are all I want in life. 

Like Florence Welch sings in Calvin Harris's song "Sweet Nothing:"

You took my heart, and you held it in your mouth
With the word, all my love came rushing out
Every whisper, it's the worst,
Emptied out by a single word
There is a hollow in me now

And here I am, still thinking about him daily, wishing he would show up on my doorstep, and apologize, and tell me that he's ready to be with me. 

I would drop everything to give him a chance. Though I'm busier than ever right now, I would MAKE time for him and sacrifice everything if he told me he wanted to be with me. 

But he would have to earn back my trust. How would I know that he wouldn't leave again? How could I count on him?

I don't know, and it's probably silly and absurd that I even have these thoughts. But my heart aches for him. Even if I can't be with him romantically, I still valued his friendship, and its absence brings me so much sorrow. 

For him: If you're reading this, please know that I'm not angry with you. I just miss you and want you back in my life. Please contact me. 

I truly feel like he's the love of my life, the "one that got away," and I don't think I've ever cared about anyone else as deeply as I care about him. 

But I guess it's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. </3

Thanks for reading.