Hiding my heart away

“This is how the story went
I met someone by accident
who blew me away
blew me away
And It was in the darkest of my days
When you took my sorrow and you took my pain
And buried them away, you buried them away

I wish I could lay down beside you
When the day is done
And wake up to your face against the morning sun
But like everything I’ve ever known
you’ll disappear one day
So I’ll spend my whole life hiding my heart away”

— Adele

I’ve always written about how much I hate games.  When we were kids, games were silly and fun, but as adults the idea of playing games take on a whole different meaning and hearts, not toys, usually end broken and shattered.  There’s no pretty Band-Aid to fix it, no kiss from mommy to magically cure the boo-boo, it’s incurable and incredibly painful.  But, to my own dismay, I realized tonight that maybe I have, in fact, been involved in a game all along.

I met the love of my life by accident.  I had no intentions of meeting, or even dating him, yet there I was smitten more and more each day.  Despite shaking my head no, I said yes to the jealous cheerleader who asked if he was my boyfriend.  We went everywhere together and soon, in his own special way, he blew me away.  But, as the story usually goes, hearts get broken, things are said, and I found myself leaving six years later.  It was an out-of-body experience, really.  I remember packing my things, tears streaming down my face.  I remember the moving van pulling up to the apartment.  And I remember the two different times we tried to work things out.  I remember all these things, but I don’t feel them.  The only thing I do feel is the fierce anger inside of me for him allowing me to go.  Does he know that I never really wanted to leave?  Does he know that I never wanted him to let me go?  I don’t know.  But, in his own special way, he never really did let me go.

I have a vivid memory of standing outside the apartment building, months after I had left, in the glittery snow of January.  I remember the tears stinging my eyes as I pleaded with him, “Just don’t count us out, OK?” I asked.  He pulled the fur of my coral coat closer to him and said, “I will never count us out, silly.”  And he never really did.

So here we are again, but things are a little different.  I feel myself scared, for good reasons, and I’m playing truth or dare with myself.  I dare myself to run but I plead with myself to reveal the truth.  What’s the truth?  I love him, I always did.

People tell me to trust, to have confidence in myself, but confidence and faith aren’t the problems.  The problem is that I went through Hell.  The problem is I felt abandoned and misled and discarded.  The problem is I learned to hide my heart from pain. 

During this dark period of my life, I turned to writer Elizabeth Gilbert for guidance.  Her story was similar to mine and I found myself hanging on her every word.  I ate her words like melting morsels in my mouth.  She recalls her ex-husband’s pain in overcoming their time together and moving on.  She told him, “don’t worry this won’t last forever – nothing does.”  And this has been my motto ever since.

So I’ve been playing hide-n-seek with my heart – because nothing really ever lasts, right?  There’s only one problem with Gilbert’s words: I don’t want to believe in them anymore.  I want to believe in the love Carrie Bradshaw spoke about: “I’m looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love.”  And I will never settle for less.

Recently, an old friend told me that I am “finally back to the old Jordan.”  When she said this, I felt some sort of pride and vindication that I finally did it, I finally found that missing girl I was so desperately searching for.  Only, she’s not me anymore.  When she knew me, I was young and naive, but now I am so strong.  I feel lucky to say I am the very best combination of all the girls I once was.  I am independent, ambitious and free, yet I still hold onto the strong belief in the possibility of love – and I don’t want to ever lose that again.

So, I’ve decided I want to pass go, I want to collect my love.  I want to quit this game of hide-n-seek and allow myself to see the world through my heart.  And, like the song, I want to lay besides him when the day is done and wake up to his face in the morning sun.  And I don’t want to hide my heart away.  I pray that tomorrow, when I count to ten, the games will have faded away and only honesty, and a little love, will be left to stay.

2 Responses to “Hiding my heart away”
  1. A.F. says:

    I love that you are not afraid to put yourself out there and be such a strong independent woman.

    How did you find the strength to forgive your abuser?

  2. Jurate says:

    Thank you for your story

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