Looking back what would I say to the girl in the pool? I can remember the day pretty clearly. I was just about to turn 17 and newly in love. It was the first time I seen you in a vulnerable place. I didn’t know you were struggling. We stayed in the pool and I recall feeling like I could fix you, I could keep you safe. I felt in that moment like we were sharing something more then surface emotions together. This felt real, I loved you even more in that moment.
I found in you something I had not had before. Our relationship was still new and I trusted that with you I would be safe. I only picked up bits and pieces of what was wrong and with why your family had called you over. What they were saying didn’t match up with how you behaved around me. Was this just the beginning of a 20 year relationship that only shared half truths? Neither of us could have predicted it. I was still naive and of the mind that if you struggled with something all you had to do was make your mind up for it to be different. You just “stopped” whatever it was giving you issues and heartache, besides I was all you needed. I would love you through it.
We stayed in that pool for what felt like hours, embraced, touching, intimate, playful, together, in love. I can still see you with your arms wrapped around me. You were beautiful to me, perfect in that moment. I felt safe in your strong arms and the way you looked at me made me feel connected and alive.
What would I say to that girl in the pool so in love with this beautiful man who was struggling? I can’t find the words. In those moments it seemed possible to grow together. I was still so sure that love was “enough” to get through the tough times. That girl in the pool would not know to listen. That love is not about fixing someone, that just because you make your mind up to change doesn’t mean you will be able to. Could I tell her that it was a sign of things to come?
The girl in the pool was blindsided, she had no idea there was a problem. He had not told her or shared what he was going through, too consumed with herself she didn’t see. Can I tell her this would be the basis of the relationship for the next 20 years of their life?
Could I tell her that two people damaged or hurt do not make for a whole person. That it takes more then one whole person to have a relationship.
Maybe I could whisper “you can’t fix him” but she would not believe me. The best I could say is “just remember to let go when it’s time!”