For years, the only ghost ring I had was in my ears. An annoying, ever-present buzzing that kept me from sleeping. Silence was never really truly silence. The ringing was there, taunting me, reminding me that it would never go away. The ringing in my ears is still here but I’ve grown accustomed to it. I used to need a fan on at night to get to sleep, to drown out the buzzing that kept me awake for hours. Now, the ringing is just part of me, part of something I’ve gotten used to.
I have a new ghost ring. It taunts me like the ear ringing used to, reminding me that I am no longer what I used to be.
This ghost ring is on my left hand.
For the last 12 years, it has worn a ring. First with my ex-husband, then with my now ex-partner. Even as I type this, I go to adjust it with my thumb, only to meet skin and not gold. You see, the ring always slipped around when I typed. I would use my thumb to turn it back to its proper position. When I drove, I would often tap it against the steering wheel, keeping time to whatever song was playing. At work, I would often play with it as I read email or thought about a way to solve some problem. Washing my hands, I was always careful to dry it off so it wouldn’t slip from my finger as I walked back to my office.
I’m trying to get used to not wearing this ring, not wearing this relationship. I’m focusing on the positive as much as possible. Dinners I will make that would have gone unappreciated by others. The quiet that will help me write. Redecorating the house. Spending time with friends. Watching movies and shows that I love. Finding myself again.
But my subconscious mind just signaled my thumb to adjust the ring that is no longer there. Hopefully this ghost ring goes away quickly.
Maybe someday it will be replaced by a real one from someone who truly appreciates me and accepts me for who I am, the good and the bad.