Image by Profound Whatever via Flickr
I have spent all day telling myself that it doesn’t matter that today is the six month anniversary of the day I found out that my sweetheart had been sleeping with another woman for a year and a half.
I gave up telling myself this an hour ago. OK, it does matter. It matters. It was six months ago today, back on October 26, 2010, that my life stopped, that reality reached into my chest and wrenched out my twisted, bleeding heart in its fist and chucked it over the side of the interstate.
What matters more is that I bet he doesn’t know, or if he does know, doesn’t care.
I wish, I wish, I wish I were a fish. Oh, how I wish I’d never heard from him again. 18 years! Why didn’t he stay good and gone? Or, if he wanted to see his daughter, how about just that, seeing his daughter? Why get into a relationship with me? Why renew the old intimacy, the old vows?
Why why why? No one forced him to start talking to me. No one forced him to send that card, “I’m sorry, can we talk?” in response to my response to him tracking us down. No one forced him to bring a basket of flowers to my hotel room the first time we saw each other in eighteen years, watching the waves crash from the window overlooking the beach, trying to make sense of what had happened to our life.
I should never have believed him, when he told me that he’d quit getting high years before, or that he only drank on the weekends. He was lying to me because he wanted to be with me and I believed him and if he’d only told me the truth well maybe we could have had a foundation to lay our souls upon but he started us out again with lies! I want to go back in time, knowing what i know now, and say, “You’re lying. Tell me the truth, and because i love you, then we can go from there.”
Every day, I want to give him the benefit of the doubt. I can’t forgive him, but I love him and so I try and try and try. “What if he wanted to quit all that?” I say to myself,” What if he had every intention of making a new start in his life when he told you all that but he didn’t know how to follow through?”
I want to believe that this woman tricked him, that she lured him. That he was devoted to me but she wouldn’t stay away from him. Didn’t my friend who helped me read all the emails six months ago point out how this woman had been emailing him daily for six months before it appeared they’d started sleeping together? And that he hadn’t responded to her? Had she been reeling him in? What if it wasn’t his fault, really, as he had so little experience in relationships?
That Sunday morning he offered me his hand. His hand for the first time, in nearly two decades, on the walkway along Long Beach. It was cold, we had spent the weekend talking and he offered me his hand. His hand, which I had seen growing for eighteen years in our daughter’s hands; she had his fingers. It was sunny out and his hand asked the same question that his face did, “May I? Could we? Start again?” and I took it, believing that God had led us both to this point of redemption, of understanding, of forgiveness, and that nothing could ever separate us again.
If I ever had to go through what I went through last October again I would not survive. I have barely survived this. All the crap about that which does not kill you makes you stronger is simply untrue. I did not need this, I did not need for him to come back into my life and betray me this way. This was the completely opposite of what I needed, battered and tattered in this life at age forty, when he surfaced saying, “I had my head up my ass and failed you.”
My own true love, my lost young darling boy, my dearest husband, risen back to me from the dead. Come back to me and now taken away. And I hurt, and I hurt, and I hurt, and I hurt. Do you even know how much I hurt? Do you even look back, over your shoulder, to see what you have done to me, as i lay crumpled by the tracks after being hit by your train wreck? What is the truth, tell me, is it that i drove you away, or is it that you can’t have a woman who won’t accept or at least pretend not to know that you’re an addict? Whose fault? Mine or yours? I raised the baby. I worked, and I worked and we ate lentil soup. I raised the baby alone so that you could get stoned all day long for twenty years. And I’m so controlling, because i wanted you to stop? Oh curse the day you asked me out. I was eighteen. How could I know you’d destroy my life, not once but twice? You looked so innocent in the lunchroom in your food service uniform, as you shyly asked me out, so shy you could barely get the words out. And I was confused, could not say no to you for fear I’d hurt your feelings. Oh, to go back in time and tell you NO! No, I won’t go out with you. No! We’ll have a baby and you’ll be too busy getting stoned with your friends and selling dope with your friends to make sure I have a decent place to live. I would give everything I have in my life to back there and tell you NO!
Maybe that would give me a chance at finding a decent guy, one who wanted to marry a nice girl like me and have some babies. Not someone like you who was so busy kissing your stupid macho asshole friend assess so you could be Mr. Big shot selling dope. Do you have any idea what I did to my chances of finding a nice guy and having a decent life by getting pregnant with your child at the age of 20? Do you ever think about this? No, it’s always about YOUR feelings. How do you think we ate, your daughter and I, without your support? Well we did, through my labor, and without inconveniencing you, as you so did not want to be inconvenienced. How could I ever have forgiven you, for putting your scumbag friends in front of your daughter and helpless young wife? But I did, and you failed me again.
In the past six months I have decided that you are either lucky in love or you are not in this life. I am not. I never have been, and I never will be.
When I was born, your soul was crossed upon mine in such a way as to make me miserable, in one way or another, for my entire life. It is not enough that I had to raise our child alone without your help, while you had your head up your ass. No, I had to forgive you for all that, let you into my heart, into my soul, in the most intimate way only for you to shatter me completely.
How can you rediscover the one person who made you whole, forgive them, only to have them betray you in a completely new way half your life later? Is this love? Is this madness? Is this karma?
I can’t let go of my feeling that I had for those two and a half years, the fulfillment of our prophecy,
“They are one person,
They are two alone
They are three together
They are for each other…”
It’s been six months and I still don’t believe that you could have done this to me, or that this could be my life. The rest of my life, without you. I did everything right. I raised the baby. I forgave you when you came forward seeking forgiveness. I deserve you and our ocean and our cannons and my island and our happily ever after. I deserve that. Do I wait for my next life? Dear, you have left me hanging, and I will never again know when to trust myself or what is real or what is false.
I wish that I had never laid eyes on you. God, do you hear me? Take this cup away from me for I will not drink it/. I never wished this pain. Take back the years, take back the time and let this abominable thing not have happened to me.
I give up on love. There is no love for me in this life. There is only family, friendship and work. I will make my peace with that, and be grateful for what I have.