Identifying and processing grief.
Hope is a skilled seductress. She’ll find your deepest desires and echo them back to you, in a honey-toned voice that melts your insides. She swears she’s a seer. She’s envisioned your future and will whisper in detail the beauty that is about to unfold. She’ll capture your imagination and you’ll find yourself dreaming in vivid color of her promises. She’s enrapturing, all-encompassing. She makes you feel as though you’re the only woman in the room. When you’re together, life feels vibrant, full of possibility, magical.
Hope is a fickle mistress. She makes promises she has no intention of keeping. She’ll woo you until you can see nothing but her, until you are inflamed by desire, then flee the moment another captures her attention; leaving you yearning and unfulfilled. She’s incapable of acknowledging your pain, of witnessing the wreckage she leaves in her wake.
Hope has two sisters. When she leaves, one of them arrives, acting as your companion until she reappears. If you’re lucky, she’ll send Fulfillment. Fulfillment will ensure all the sweet nothings Hope sang to you come to fruition. She has the power to make every daydream, every yearning, every wish, a reality.
But, sometimes Hope sends Despair. Despair forces herself inside you, searching for the places Hope left open. The chambers of your heart that had expanded, holding space for your dream. The light pockets within your soul that were awaiting Fulfillment. She will penetrate every space with a dense, black fog that is infectious and unshakable. She will take up residence and every attempt to evict her will be in vain, because you have become her.
For as long as I can remember now, she’s only sent Despair. It wasn’t always like this. For a while, Hope and I were entangled lovers. In the rare moments she left my side, she sent Fulfillment to comfort and entertain me. Life was blissful. I was in love with Hope.
Our relationship has become toxic, one-sided. It started when she began leaving each month, sending Despair for weeks at a time before returning. Each time Despair withdrew, she left a filmy residue that lingered and thickened. I begged, pleaded, cried for Hope to send Fulfillment. I told her I wasn’t sure how much more I could endure. She promised the next time would be different. Every time.
I’m afraid of Hope. She is God, for her power to shower you with Fulfillment is equally matched by her ability to take all of you, leaving only a crumbling husk. So I have shut her out. I hide when I hear her call. I lock the door. I try to forget her.
Without her life is dull, but predictable. No promises means no betrayal. No love means no heartbreak. No longing means no disappointment. Here, I am safe.