Some Hurts Don’t Go Away

Riley Black
6 min readOct 19, 2020
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

“I just don’t desire you anymore.”

I let the words hang there, floating like fumes in the middle of the room. I felt like they could suffocate me. I swallowed, and spoke.

“What does that mean?”

It meant the end of a relationship I’d held close to my heart. It meant that the suffering and sacrifice were over, but with the death of a partnership instead of a revival.

And not just that.

Those words, somehow both sharp and blunt, felt like a heavy boot trampling over a little green shoot that I had been trying to cultivate. The identity that was growing a little more every day — the woman I wasn’t born as but was meant to be, stomped on as if it wasn’t even there. I wasn’t desirable because I wasn’t a woman, and I wasn’t a woman because I had been too afraid of losing the relationship to say “I’M TRANS!” instead of “I’m genderfluid and want to figure that out.”

Being unwanted hurts deep. Not even seen, deeper still. My mind scrambled and panicked as I tried to understand how all the years together, everything shared, led to this. I felt like I had simply been given notice, everything I had poured into that relationship suddenly worthless even as it came at the cost of becoming myself.

It’s not difficult to recall how I felt in that moment. I remember the feel of the couch, the lighting of the room, the terrible tension that crept through my muscles as I sat there, bewildered. It’s a frozen moment. I call it up, my eyes lose focus as I live there for a moment, and letting go of the memory feels like waking up in the world all over again.

Almost two years have passed since that night. I’m with someone else, someone who reminds me they desire me every day, but that memory still aches. To be told that there is nothing you do, or can do, to inspire the love you thought you once shared is a cut that dives down so far that the wound may never fully knit back together. It’s a statement that seems to undo reality, calling into question the past as well as the future.

Yet I feel like I’m not supposed to talk about it.

Breakups are strange. Almost everyone goes through at least one at some time or another. Many of us feeling the terrible, sucking sense of loss, even…

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Riley Black

Distant cousin of T. rex. Author of Skeleton Keys, My Beloved Brontosaurus, and more. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @Laelaps. http://rileyblack.net