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I Feel Like I’m Free

Excerpt from The Love We Had, a Novel

By Øivind H. SolheimPublished 2 years ago 4 min read
I Feel Like I’m Free
Photo by Saad Chaudhry on Unsplash

It is at night that it is worst. It just so happens that I feel like I’m free, but then I feel like I’m dying again. It is very painful.

It happens so easily. I can say something that is a little wrong and suddenly, because of what I was stupid and said, something he could not bear to hear right now, it happens again. He gets annoyed and condescending and does not talk to me. I can see the icy look that says, “You are nobody!”

I am about to lose the night’s sleep again. I know I don’t mean anything anymore. It’s so hard. It’s worst at night. I lie and feel numb inside me. I feel it is beginning to lose its grip, I’m afraid that I will lose myself.

It happens so easily, the balance is disturbed, we cannot talk to each other. I experienced so many times how it was locked. He messed it up, and so did I. I was dragged under water and could not breathe, he went into a deadlock, and then it is difficult to talk.

And I’ve been thinking a few times lately that I just need to distance myself. I just have to distance myself from him. I cannot allow myself to be drawn into the turbidity he creates when he gets annoyed and angry with me.

The gray grows inward

Sometimes everything looks hopeless, everything turns gray around me. I lose energy and power and everything just gets heavy and I disappear into myself. I do not want to live depressed. I do not want to feel that way.

What can I do about it? Yes, what I can do is that I can get out. I can start going for long walks. I can walk and I can think that I will get better. I will get better. Without or with him I will get better.

Sometimes it seems like these days come many at a time. There are many of them and they last too long. These are the difficult days. Days when the gray covers everything, and it is difficult to get anywhere. There are days when the gray lies like a veil in front of my eyes.

It may happen in the evening, or even in the middle of the day, as I stand and look out the window. The gray clouds and fog hang heavily down the mountain sides on all edges. It seems as if there has been a thin veil between me and the world out there. And I think:

“But this cannot be everything. This cannot be the way life should be. It cannot be just this, only this meaningless gray. There should be more, I need it to be more — me and my life.”

So, it is me. There is something wrong with me. Obviously, everything that happens, all the negative impact — when he doesn’t want to see me, when he doesn’t want to listen to me. I should become invisible. Should just be calm and quiet, and leave it as he pleases?

Or should I get up and resist? I look into his eyes and with a firm voice I say the words that I want to shout out loud.

I have days when it is gray all around me, days when the gray grows inward in my mind, days when the gray seeps into everything. I have days when the world is gray. It lies like a veil in front of the eye. I’m in the living room and see the town through a thin haze.

Life, longing, love.

“Am I sleeping?”

“Am I dreaming?”

A thin haze between me and the world out there. I’m thinking:

“This can’t be all. Life can’t be just this.”

When he doesn’t want to see me, when he does not want to be close to me, that’s when I want to become invisible. Then I must shut up and leave it that way — as he will.

Or should I get up, stand up to him, look straight into his eye, and with a firm voice speak my words of truth?

Sometimes I feel like I want to scream.

A distanced laugh and a quiet smile

He has power over me. He imagines that he has power over me, but I will show him that he cannot do as he pleases. I will show him that I am not who he thinks I am. I will rise up and stand up for myself.

When he is spiteful, condescending and rude, when he grins at me, and blistering with poorly disguised contempt I shall stand up against him. I will give him resistance, and I will take the brunt of the sore words with a distanced laugh and a quiet smile.

When he arrives with his contemptuous trivialities, I shall answer with the same coin. Or I should smile at him with irony and factual reasoning.

When he comes with his turf, I will no longer let him push me to the ground. Instead, I should stand straight and give back.


About the Creator

Øivind H. Solheim

Novel author, lifelong learner and nature photographer: Poetry, short stories, personal essays, articles and stories on nature, hiking, physical and mental health, living in relationships, love, and future. “Make Your Dream Be Your Future​”

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