Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Case of the Bruised Knuckles

The night was passing by peacefully. The only sound that echoed within the confines of the room was the sound of rain from my cellphone, the screen dim and the sound low. Nestled deep in the blankets, I slept deeply, the troubles of the day forgotten for the peaceful drug of unconsciousness. Yet within the layers of night I jolted awake suddenly, the peace and the depth of my slumber forgotten for a drowsy, confused grog that was permeating my senses with cloudiness and displeasure. It was not from a nightmare or some horrible sound...so why, pray-tell, was I suddenly awake, and most assuredly not happy? I lay there a moment, not moving, trying to identify the source that had woken me. Surely it was no sound from within the house, the rest of my family was enjoying their own individual dreams, and no animal we own would make enough noise to wake me from my closed room. Suddenly my hand began to ache, and I looked down in puzzlement. My knuckles were sore, and red. I realised that in my sleep I had reached out and hit the wall with my hand, and this was the jolting force that awakened me. Then my gaze softened and tears came to my eyes as the reason for my awakening became crystal clear: I had reached for you in my sleep, and you had not been there.

Well, there you have the gist of what I'm going to talk about...missing someone. The aforementioned incident above has happened not once or twice, but four times in the past week. And it's not like the thought is even crossing my mind consciously, no I have the pleasure of hanging out in my room and on my bed, only to hit the wall with my hand and REALIZE that I was reaching for her and she is not there, making for lovely waves of loneliness and depression.

To be honest with you, I'm not used to this. I was a military kid for a long time, so I'm used to this whole "leaving people you care about" thing. But this is absolute, utter torture. I have had to deal with travel and leaving people my whole life...so why now, when I'm grown and with Mariah, is this suddenly so hard?

I miss everything about her. That small smile on her face when she catches me staring at her from across the room, the way her forehead wrinkles when she's reading something really important, the way she plays with her hair when she's thinking; it's all things I have fallen so in love with its bordering obsession. I suppose it's partially our fault...we got really used to having each-other around last year...like every free minute we had we were joined at the hip, snuggling and loving or just on both of our laptops, doing work, simply in each-others presence. Nothing compares to just having her there, and I have gotten to the point where I would give almost anything to have her back. To add insult to injury, I can't just up and run back to her...I have responsibilities where I currently am, that make me money, that's keeping me form just turning tail and running back to her arms. Having to go cold turkey like this is absolutely horrible. Going to surprise her for our anniversary was the most amazing thing...it was like getting my drug fix. Having her back in my presence, even for a few days, was a treasure beyond comparison. But now my high has long since worn off, and I have another month to go exactly before we can see each-other again.

I know that nothing compares to having the person you love beside you, but here are some things that you can do to help make missing them a little easier to handle until you have them back again.

1) Have them buy you a stuffed animal, and name it together, or take one of theirs and bring it with you. I cannot even begin to explain how comforting this is. Just to have something of theirs or something that they have given you is a powerful psychological tool. You can sleep with it, play with it, or even talk to it if you wish you could tell them something. Its an outlet and a means of coping. The best part is that when you see them again, that stuffed animal becomes that much more important to you both.
2) GET A SKYPE. Im fully aware that it isnt the same, but getting to see their face and hear their voice can be so relieving at the end of a long day you begin to expect it, need it, and want it as often as you can get it, just because its when you feel closest to actually touching them again.
3)  Find out what scent or perfume they use, and spray it on things. I can't really explain this one without sounding a tad creepy... but it is so fucking comforting to smell something and smell THEM on it...you can use it on clothes, pillows, beds, even stuffed animals. If it smells like them, you will find that it's not only comforting, but actually boosts your mood on occasion.
4) Learn their routine, if they have one. Believe it or not, just knowing what they are up to and what they are doing can make you feel better. Maybe its because you feel more involved even if you can't be with them, or maybe its just because you like it that they care enough to still KEEP you informed, even if you can't be there.
5) write them old fashioned letters. I know that in the technological age, this can seem a bit old fashioned and slow paced...but let me tell you, there is an extreme amount of satisfaction from getting mail from someone, especially if it's a loved one. taking the time to slow down and actually write a letter is also a lot more personal than texting, emailing, or I-Ming (if people even do that anymore). There's something about letter correspondence that is extremely satisfying...and when your phone has been exchanged and your computer has died and life has moved on and all your texting conversations have been erased from time....you will still have the letters that you wrote.
6) Find ways to give them little surprises, even if you can't physically be there. Mail them a little gift with a note, write them a long, sweet message when they are sleeping for them to wake up to, or send them a picture that reminded you of your relationship. When you can't actually see them, little things like that can mean more than you think.

How do you guys deal with missing people you care about and long distance relationships? Let me know in the comments!

Its been a long summer, and its not over yet. But I'm counting down the days, knowing we'll get through it. But this has taught us both one very important thing. We are never doing this again.

By Autumn

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