Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 9.16.39 PM

I recently saw the above quote while browsing tumblr. It’s short and vague and was probably written by an angsty teenager who just broke up with their bf/gf, but as soon as I saw it I felt like someone had punched me in the chest.

That quote essentially sums up who Zooey is to me now: a stranger who knows more intimate details about the most horrible aspects of our story than any other human being on the planet.

And that is excruciating.

I cannot accept this. I desperately need her to NOT be just a stranger with all my secrets. I need her to be something more. Someone more. Something bigger than that. I need to feel like our relationship goes beyond just me sharing secrets followed by estrangement. I need to know that I meant more. I need to feel like we’re somehow still connected.

I dreamed of her last night. It was a weird dream about living underwater, but I woke up missing her terribly. That feeling just sat right in the center of my chest all damn day, making it hard to breathe. When my wife got home this afternoon, I just started crying. I explained how much I miss Zooey today and how I don’t really understand how I’m supposed to be dealing with all of this. And that I wish so much that I could just talk to her.

So my wife suggested I just ask for what I want. And I did. I called Zooey and left a voicemail somewhat along the lines of this:

Hi Zooey, this is Andie. I actually have no reason for calling you, except that I just really miss you today. There’s nothing even significant about today (I don’t think) but you’ve just really been on my mind. I’ve spent a lot of time in session processing all of this with someone new. And that helps…a lot. But there’s no guidelines or handbook for navigating this situation, so I think I’m just trying to figure it out as I go.

I don’t really know what to say, exactly. I don’t need your professional help and I’m okay. But…you’re someone who means a lot to me and I would really love to hear your voice.

So this is probably super weird, but I’m going to ask if, when you have a some moments free, you could call me back and we could just talk for a few minutes. I don’t know if that’s allowed or whatever, but I thought I’d ask anyway.

My number is [number].

Thanks. I hope you’re well. Bye.

I don’t know that she’ll call me back. I hope she does though, even if only to let me know that it actually is not appropriate for us to be speaking on the phone now that I’m not her client or whatever. I really have no idea what I would even say to her if she did call back, but I’m not sure that it matters. All I know is that it felt very important to me that I be heard – that she know how I’m feeling and that I be able to send some of that energy out into the world.

It’s too much to carry all alone.

20 thoughts on “Stranger

  1. Boost Connection says:

    Your capacity for tolerating vulnerability to ask for what you need is a truly unique and exceptional quality. Good idea, bad idea, whatever. Don’t let anyone’s anxiety get in the way of putting your authentic self out there… even your own. I am sending good vibes to you always and offering my support in all positive choices that attempt to move you towards healing, regardless of their result. #NoShame #DareGreatly

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kat says:

    i think what you did was spot on. you had a need (still have) and you addressed it by leaving your message. if she calls back, you can ask those questions and meet those needs. if not, then you did as much as you were able, and will have to address those needs elsewhere (like you have been, in therapy). but you were very brave to address this, especially to her. i hope it works out well.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Andie says:

      Thank you so much, Kat. You are definitely right…I will figure this out no matter what. But I am proud of myself for explicitly asking Zooey for what I wanted. It may not work out ideally, but I will know I was authentic and honest with myself and with her. Xo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Andrea CH says:

    I agree, and admire you greatly for asking for what you need. With my anxiety I sometimes find it hard to even admit to a loved one that I need to hear their voice, let alone a stranger holding deep secrets. Good energy and support all the way.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Zoe says:

    This was so brave of you and I really have to agree with your wife. The closure hasn’t really happened and if I were in your shoes I would feel the exact way. The difference is I wouldn’t have had the courage to make that call. You knew you had to do this and you did it. I’m so proud. You’re not only going to get through this, you’re going to dance through it as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andie says:

      Thanks, Zoe! I agree – there really isn’t a sense of closure yet, which is why it’s so confusing and painful. Hoping this will inch me closer.


  5. Anxious Mom says:

    You’re very brave to take the risk, even though you know it may not be a good outcome.

    It’s interesting, the power that a therapist yields, particularly with their clients who are completely honest with them. That’s one reason why I just can’t do it, can’t imagine anyone being able to gain my trust to the point where I’m 100% open with them, face-to-face.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andie says:

      Yeah, she may just completely ignore my voicemail. She may call and tell me never to call her again. She may call and have a decent conversation with me. No one knows. But I don’t know,… I guess I just figure that being rejected further can’t be worse than spending all this time wondering what might happen if I just made the call. I might change my mind when this plays out, but for now, I think I did the right thing.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Andie says:

      Thank you. So much. I really needed to read this right now. This is actually EXACTLY how I feel about calling, but I seem to be struggling to convey that to various people across the internet. But yes. It’s not about Zooey, it’s about me and helping me move forward. You’re the best!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. aniken5er says:

    I love your blog. I’ve read many, and this is the only one I keep coming back to. You are very insightful and I admire your courage and greatly appreciate the details you include about your therapy process. It helps me a lot with mine. Thanks for writing and sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andie says:

      Wow, thank you so much for this wonderful compliment. This means a lot to me! My hope for this blog was to put my story out there so that myself and others might feel less alone! Thank you for reading 🙂


  7. B says:

    You were really brave to do this and hope it works out for you. I can identify with what you say about telling someone secrets. I think I’ll talk to somone about things that are bothering me and then chicken outwhen it comes down to it.


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