January 1999

"When all of your wishes are granted,
many of your dreams will be destroyed."
--Marilyn Manson, "Man That You Fear"

I said in my last article that this month's was going to be a dissertation on Marilyn Manson. Well, I'm afraid you'll have to wait for a detailed analysis of the man at a later date. (BTW, just in case you were wondering, the concert was an experience I'll never forget. It was absolutely STUNNING!)

Something happened in my life that I wish to talk about instead this month.

A few weeks ago, I was at a party where I would meet a young man who would forever change my life.

I hadn't particularly wanted to attend the party, but I promised a friend that I would go, so I felt it my duty to do so. I am so glad that I did.

The party was definitely one of the most bizarre, emotion-wrought affairs in recent history. There was an enormous amount of history between several of the people there, and it made for a very weird night. (On a side note, I drank quite a bit, but didn't get drunk or sick, which scared me because I *always* get a little sick after even one drink.)

Something happened a couple of hours into the party that caused me and a friend to become rather angry at my ex-boyfriend. My friend yelled at him for a bit, then it was my turn.

I sat down in the hallway with him and started talking to him (not yelling, though I wanted to. I figured he'd had enough from my friend.) To make a long story short, I spent the next hour or so listening to his emotional difficulties and having him beg my forgiveness for the way he dumped me (it was extremely crude, let me assure you). I assured him that I had forgiven him ages ago, but he continued to cry and tell me that he couldn't understand why I am such a good person and how I could just forgive him like that.

My answer: I'm so good because people like him hurt me over and over again. It may sound strange, but the more I'm hurt, the more "gold hearted" (as my ex called me) I become. I forgive because not to takes too much out of me. I have way too many people that I could hate for what they've done to me. I don't have the time or energy to devote to this hatred, and so I forgive.

I spent the rest of the night lying on the floor beside him, holding him and trying to keep him warm while he slept. The things I do for those who hurt me....I should be as amazed as he is at my ability to forgive. Needless to say, things are *much* better between us now, and for that I am grateful.

I think I need to back up a little.

At the beginning of the party, I met a fellow Mansonite who I will call John for the purposes of this article. I spoke only briefly with him that night ("hello", basically), but would talk much more the next day. Flash forward to the next afternoon. John and I are lying on the hostesses bed, talking. He's telling me about his life and I am starting to feel an incredible connection with him. He tells me about his suicide attempts, how angry he is with the world, how no one loves him. I am amazed: in him I see myself at that age (he's 15). Many of the same feelings he has, I had. It was only after my own failed suicide attempt that I began to change. He obviously hadn't had that "life affirming" event in his life yet.

I began to feel this overwhelming need to protect him. We moved into the living room, and he curled up into a little ball on my lap. I held him and softly kissed his face. My child. I needed to keep him safe, not only for himself, but for myself as well.

I didn't want to let him go, but it was eventually time for us to go our separate ways. He didn't have a stable address, hence no phone number, and I stupidly forgot to give him mine, so I spent the next week worrying incessantly about him. Was he okay? Was he safe? Was he alive?

The next weekend, I heard from my ex that John had been seeking my number, but my ex didn't remember it. I was most upset, and told everyone I knew who might conceivably have contact with John to give him my number if he asked for it.

Finally, a few days ago, I received a call from him. He and his friend needed a place to stay. I, of course, let them stay with me. I was so happy to know that he was okay.

A short time after they arrived at my house, I told John that I needed to talk to him, so we went into the washroom while his friend slept on my bed.

I told him how I was feeling; what kind of affect he had had on me. I told him that I felt this amazing need to protect him and how worried I was about him.

I told him that he needed to stop hurting himself. I told him the truth: that each of the 47 slashes on his arms were slashes to my soul; that every time he tried to kill himself he was killing a part of me. I told him that hurting himself, whether it be through cutting himself, drinking, or taking drugs wasn't the answer. Killing himself wouldn't solve anything and would only hurt those who cared for him. He said that no one cared, that they were all just pretending. I assured him that people *did* care, myself being one of them. He has too much to offer the world to throw it all away. He told me that he wanted to hurt everyone who's ever hurt him, most of all his father. Again, I saw myself mirrored in him and it tore me apart.

He rested his head against my leg and started to cry. I tried my best to comfort him. I knew his pain, for it was my own in many ways. He told me that he had been offered a place to stay for the night but that he had wanted to come to my place because he wanted to see me. Though he had only known me for a short time, he thought he was falling in love with me. Though I didn't tell him, I felt the same.

He slept with me that night. I spent it holding him and kissing him. Watching him sleep, I wanted to cry. He was so beautiful and in so much inner turmoil. I wanted so desperately to make everything better; to make all his pain and suffering go away like I had wished someone would do for me back when I was suffering too. But I couldn't, and it killed me.

The next day, he and his friend left for another city where his friend had some people who would take care of them.

I walked them to the subway and gave John my beanie baby puppy as a reminder of myself. I hugged him and didn't want to let him go. I may never see him again. How can I protect him if I don't even know where he is? How can I deal with wondering every day how he is or if he's even alive? It hurt to see him go, but I knew it was something he had to do.

He entered the station, waved, and disappeared around a corner. God willing, it won't be the last time I ever see his beautiful face.

My little brother, my lover, my child, my soulmate....you came into my life and affected me in a way no one ever has before or ever will again. You showed me myself, you showed me the world. In you I found a great darkness and despair. In you I found great pain. In you I found immense sadness. In you I found real hope. In you I found salvation. In you I found a humanity that isn't mechanical. In you I found pure love.

John, my dearest one, stay strong, stay safe, stay alive. You have so much goodness and love to share with the world. You are so very strong and I know that you can withstand the world that wants you dead. If you're ever in need, know that I will always be here for you with absolute love and support. You are mine for all eternity and I will never, ever betray or abandon you.

I love you, John. I always will.


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