... and for a while all that's left is the memory of the feeling... but then... eventually... even the memory of the feeling grows indistinct... there is no need for grief. It's time for joy.
Ten years ago, 2000, I was engaged. I was deeply involved in the most intensely passionate and personally overwhelming relationship I will probably ever have. I lost myself, we lost ourselves in that relationship. He and I. When we came into each other's lives, it was our shared desire for death, that probably most glued us together. We had nothing, nothing but amazing potential and the crushing expectations of our parents and our need to rebel against them. Both of us by underachieving, but also by him dating a white girl with blue eyes and blonde hair, and me by dating a Hispanic boy with green eyes, us both, by living together unmarried in a blatant "fuck you" to the religion of our families.
We tried to escape the bonds of this world and fall up into the nameless unknown through drugs and dance, and music, and film, and writing, and horrible jobs, and sleep deprivation, and every other way we could, by losing ourselves in each other. We shared plates (one plate at dinner for two people), cups, showers (I rarely had a shower by myself for the majority of our relationship), we only spent maybe a week total of nights apart, practically everything was held in common except toothbrushes and clothing.
At one point, he over-dosed himself and I nursed him through it. His body over-heating from the chemicals, I poured cold water over him and helped him cool down and vomit until his violent fever broke. I held him through the rabid dog dreams that took him far away from me in their jaws and shook his body like a limp rabbit before throwing him back down roughly on the shores of life. Another time I held him above water when he tried to drown himself in a pool shimmering with rain that shone golden under streetlights. I swore time and again that I would never leave him, that I would always love him.
This turned out to be the crux of the problem. At the beginning of us he had lied to me about who he was and he did not believe that I would love him if I knew the truth. He did not believe that he was worthy of love. He believed that my love was false and would not continue because I loved the person I thought he was, that he had led me to believe he was. He did not want to live a lie forever, but he was afraid to lose my love by telling me the truth.
We started fighting. He fought to make me leave, maybe because he was testing my love. I fought to stay, and against the pain he caused me. I fought also, because I was worried that we would never be more than just surviving and because I started seeing our potential wasted. I would drift away sometimes because he would hurt me, and then out of fear, he would fight to bring me back. It was a strange, back and forth pattern, we did not want to be apart, but we did.
Then, he began to lie about small things, which movie he saw, who he was out with, where he was, maybe he was testing me finally, with whether or not I could love someone who lied. Maybe he wanted me to break up with him so that he did not have to break up with me because he thought I was stronger than him in that way. Regardless, in return I became vigilant and wary as I began to uncover the little lies. I began looking for falsehood in every move he made, and it was too much for us. He could not bear my utter and bare-faced, brutal honesty. He lied and he believed that I lied too.
Anyway, the truth finally was spoken and the truth was finally the thing that broke us... I could not bear the fact that he lied about the fundamental nature of himself of the man he led me to believe that he was. I asked him to leave. I made him leave. He left. I did not know what to believe if he could lie about both his complete inner nature and also about the small things that he lied about. I still loved him, always and forever, but I didn't know who I loved anymore... or if he had ever truly loved me.
He left, but he only retreated a few blocks away. I think we could have gotten back together, but I couldn't stop throwing it back in his face. His failures, our failures. The lies.
I couldn't stop. I was too hurt. I was not able to deal with what happened appropriately. I was too young and inexperienced with life and other people.
Eventually, he really left. He cut me off years ago and went away. We have not spoken since.
I wrapped myself around my pain, around the vacuum left in his wake, I believed that that lack defined me.
All this time, my heart has been mending itself. I was struck with grief about two years ago when I first heard that he was married, I got drunk, did some stupid things, and wrecked a relationship I really wanted to work. I have been afraid that I would never fully heal.
I have loved other people. I do not know if I have ever learned all of the lessons that relationship had to teach me. I should have.
I will never completely empty myself in service of another person, a lover, like I did then. I want to stop being so bitter, always bringing up the failings of the people I love most. This is what killed us in the end, why we could never be friends, why I will never hear from him again... and I am desperately, horribly sorry.
I have found myself doing it again. Injecting poison into a person I loved because he hurt me, by throwing how he hurt me back in his face at every turn. The thing is, once someone has committed an action that hurts you, it's over. The incident only lasts as long as it lasts. The ramifications of the action may reverberate, there may be fallout from an atomic bomb, but it's your choice as to how you react to that hurt. You can hold on to it and embrace it until it informs your every movement, or you can react at the time, and then step back to protect yourself and rebuild.
To truly be able to forgive and forget, or at least forgive and never mention it again, that is what I want to be able to do. My son needs it from me, and, if I ever have another lover, that man will need me to be able to do that too.
I needed a place to put my pain where it can be forgotten. For a while I was putting it out on display in full. But it turns out that that's not ideal so I recently created a "dead letter" blog, anonymous and unconnected to me in any way, where, like in post-secret or something I can put whatever things I feel or need to write there, and no one who knows me will be able to read them or find them. It was important to do that. I can explain myself there and I feel better. I'm not cured, by any means, but I am trying with everything in me, to be able to separate my emotions from my actions more.
I do not want to hurt the people I love and/or care about to the point where we cannot be in touch anymore. To this end, I have sometimes, over the last few years, cut contact for a while. In my mind it was and is better to just STOP, than it was to accidentally, keep chopping them up and slicing them and holding them over the fire.
I'm tired of losing people.
This is the lesson, my ex-fiance taught me, the hardest lesson... and it's taken until now for me to really be able to accept the lesson.
A friend of mine who knew us both found his wedding pictures and sent them to me. I was afraid to look at them at first, but went ahead. I didn't feel hurt, or pain, or anything really. A regret that I was responsible for so much unhappiness in his life, and a regret that we are no longer friends. That was all I felt. Otherwise, I was fine.
I wish I could tell him that I'm sorry, thank you, and I'm glad that you're happy. That's all I have left to say to him after all this time. In this case, I am going to believe that it's the thought that counts.