“Looking at my watch, he shoulda been home
Today I regret the night I put that ring on
He always got them fucking excuses
I pray to the Lord you reveal what his truth is
I left a note in the hallway..by the time you read it I’ll be far
I’m far away..
But I ain’t fucking with nobody.”
I think it was initially your pride and ego that sparked the resentment in you to be planted. It began as a seed, that grew into something greater than you or I could have ever imagined. Somewhere in our life’s journey, you’d concluded that you alone were not enough for me. I don’t know when this feeling or thought became your reality, but the moment it did, our dynamic changed. I never said it, or made any subliminal messages implying it. If anything, I verbally spoke up, time and time again disproving that, but you never heard anything else from me except negativity. All you saw were my shortcomings. All you fixated on were your insecurities and inadequacies. It was as if over night, the woman you once referred to as your “angel,” “empress,” “love of your life,” “most beautiful girl in the world,” was now your enemy in every sense. The high pedestal you once placed me on years before, eventually became the isolating prison that kept me from the rest of the world, and most importantly, it kept me far away from you.
“I tried to change. Closed my mouth more, tried to be softer, prettier, less awake. Fasted for 60 days, wore white, abstained from mirrors, abstained from sex, slowly did not speak another word. In that time, my hair, I grew past my ankles. I slept on a mat on the floor. I swallowed a sword. I levitated. Went to the basement, confessed my sins, and was baptized in a river. I got on my knees and said ‘amen’ and said ‘I mean.’
I whipped my own back and asked for dominion at your feet. I threw myself into a volcano. I drank the blood and drank the wine. I sat alone and begged and bent at the waist for God. I crossed myself and thought I saw the devil. I grew thickened skin on my feet, I bathed in bleach, and plugged my menses with pages from the holy book, but still inside me, coiled deep, was the need to know … Are you cheating on me?”
There are so many parts of the past that I am trying to make sense of these days, but the subject matter that I am currently trying to sort through is, the betrayal I never processed years ago. I didn’t deal with it or mourn it. I just wanted to forget it and move on. But how could I? You admitted you had “just an emotional affair with her,” but my woman’s intuition knew better. Like every other wrong you committed against me, you often discredited and downplayed the destruction you caused. “Sorry” was your favorite word. You abused it daily and made it into an irrelevant part of our vocabulary. It lost its meaning and purpose, much like I did. I couldn’t face the truth because I wasn’t ready to give you up, and my reaction to your infidelity and deceptions were to hide them in order to protect you. I withdrew from my family and friends physically and emotionally, because I couldn’t tell them how depressed and miserable I was. There were so many nights I just wanted to run to my sister’s or parents and beg them to help me. I lived in constant torture, suffering in silence. Some days I just wanted to leave you and never come back. But I couldn’t tell anybody anything, without running the risk of exposing you and our problems. I knew once I told the truth, they’d encourage me to leave. No one would have supported me staying in such an unhealthy situation. And It only got worse the day I’d discovered the messages from the young girl that claimed to have had this alleged affair with you. I saw her repeatedly reaching out to you, threatening to tell “your wife the truth.” I spoke to her directly and She told me it went beyond emotional, it had also been physical. She began to harrass me with messages, called me from blocked numbers, and stalked me online. She hated me, yet obsessed over me, because I was the one who had your heart. She was livid at the fact that you were trying to work things out with me and that you wanted us to stay together. You must’ve really played up that “victim” role, because she really believed you were gonna leave me for her. But I was supposed to be your wife, your one and only, and I wasn’t. I was devastated and destroyed with that revelation. I couldn’t comprehend you doing something so blatantly cruel. I couldn’t believe you’d ever have a want or need for anyone else. I was here, killing myself, willing to do anything to keep you happy. Tell me, was I too proud and trusting of you? Was I wrong to have felt so secure in our love? You were the only person I fully let my guard down for, and the second I chose to do so, you took full advantage and betrayed me. First porn, then making female “work friends,” guilting me into doing things sexually that I didn’t want to do, to eventually entertaining someone else you knew took an interest in you. You opened up to her the way you used to open up to me, and you discussed our private issues with this total nobody. You told me she meant “nothing” to you and that it was “just emotional,” which was somehow supposed to make me feel better. It didn’t. In fact, it made it that much worse. Looking back, I think that’s where I began to disconnect from you, and distance my heart from yours. I started the process of letting you go, even though it would take years before I actually followed through with it. I never got over it and it’s obvious with all the trust issues I have now, that it’s changed my perception of relationships for good. I can’t seem to stay put or remain close to anyone. I have become so restless in my own skin, I’ve tried everything in my power to somehow release myself from it. Now that I no longer breathe your toxic air, my vision of the truth has become glaringly apparent. Being cheated on has indefinetly changed me. It tainted us. It tainted our love. It tainted me.
With you, I constantly felt like I was walking on egg shells, anticipating the other shoe to drop, waiting on that final straw, that would give birth to our inevitable end. I was so taken back and perplexed by your new perception of life, and of me. You’d say things like, I deserved more, but I told you all the time, that all I ever wanted was you. Eventually the very things that brought us together, became the source of problems that inadvertently pulled us apart. We were like magnets, drawn to each other by an undeniable unseen force, that mystified us. We were both under the same spell, drinking the same poison. I never had this sort of connection with any other man. It’s as if we could read each others minds, and instinctively adapt to whatever need was present in any given moment. It’s true, I was beyond obsessed with you, and it’s apparent, you were more than addicted to me. But our destructive ongoing cycle of love and hate, spiraled us into an abyss of darkness and depression. You lost me, and you never were able to find me again. You became buried alongside the memories of the others I was unable to salvage. I was left to remain only with your ghost.
Our dysfunctional relationship was somehow functional to us, and we learned to live in a constant state of anxiety and pain. I stopped seeking you out for comfort and kept my life separate from you. Instead of being my safe haven, you became the source of all my sadness and pain. You’d leave me alone most nights, and I never slept. I remember the sound of your keys jingling as you’d turn the lock, strolling in after 2 or 3 am, smelling like sin. In those years you stole money and pills from our family, pawned our possessions, had sketchy behaviors, lied about what you were doing, and where you’d been. You’d claim to be “sick,” but in reality, you were just withdrawing from the drugs. Other times you’d be nodding off at the dinner table, because you were so high. I’d call you out and you’d get angry and call me “crazy”. Back then you called me many horrible things and often lashed out at me, leaving me to wonder where the man I once loved went. Regardless, I knew full well, that even if he was to return, our love would never be the same.
You knew damn well that I would’ve walked through fire for you, and in many ways I feel like I did. Still you consistently treated me like shit, and took advantage of the love I freely gave you. You were careless with my heart and broke it so often, that I began to lose count of how many times you tried to put it back together. My knight in shinning armor, turned out to only be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. My dream boy, just a gust of wind, never meant to be more than a passing breeze. I realized your true nature way too late, we were in too deep, and you were too far gone. Now fast forward to a few years later, and it’s apparent how well I’d mastered the art of pretending. I taught myself how to live around you, while still being in a relationship with you. I smiled and laughed to keep everyone from knowing the truth, and I acted like everything was okay. No one knew of the many nights you went missing, and how often I’d cried myself to sleep wishing for a different existence. No one knew how desperate I became, and how neglected you left me feeling at the end of each day. No one knew about the countless arguments, screaming matches, threats of self harm, and manipulative lies you told, in order to continue your habits and behaviors. You hid everything from me, never giving me your passwords, keeping your accounts, phone, social media and heart locked away from me. I was powerless and left in the dark about everything having to do with you.
You were often hurt by my coldness and that confused me, since I felt like you were the one who conditioned me into being, the “lone wolf” I am today. In keeping your secrets, I had no choice but to become like them and like you. I took on the lifestyle and behaviors of an addict, wearing sheep’s clothing, playing the part of innocence and ignorance. I, who was once so kind and meek, learned how to fight, manipulate and defend myself the same ways you’d used against me. I had no choice, but to go into my survival mode and shut down. Even though you had me from the first moment you laid eyes on me, you always treated me like I always had one foot out the door. Maybe subconsciously I did? Or maybe, you just had the inclination of knowing, eventually I’d see through your facade of deceit.
I think your inability to realize just how much I loved you, was what killed me the most. I laid down my life, my self-respect, my pride and freedom to try and prove to you that I was in it for the long haul, but you were on a mission to constantly test that. You were unfaithful, you lied and deceived me. You sunk me into debt, was condescending and manipulated me. You called it “love,” and I believed you, so I stayed.
Anyone who has ever known me, can attest to the fact, that I loved you more than any other person on this entire planet. I did everything under the sun to try and make us work. I would’ve died willingly a thousand times, if it meant I could’ve kept you forever. But I had to leave you, because I was spiritually, emotionally and mentally exhausted. I had two kids growing up in total chaos, because I wanted so desperately to keep our family together. You left me no other choice. After a decade of lies, all kinds of abuse and addictions, I could take no more. You literally drained me of everything. You sucked any and all life from me, and I felt like such a failure, because I was unable to “save you.” For a long time I thought that was my purpose, but what you needed, was saving from yourself, that could only be done by yourself. You were your own poison, curse and weakness. You were the problem and the solution. And while you had the world in the palm of your hands, you chose selfishly, and threw it all away for momentary highs with temporary people. I hope it was all worth it. I know you wanted to blame me and say I’d gone “crazy,” but after so many lies, I was unable to distinguish where you ended and I began. The cycle of abuse you’d suffered as a child, and witnessed at the hands of your own parents, became the cycle you passed down onto your own family with your behaviors, drug addictions, abuse, infidelities, neglect, abandonment, and poverty. We had come full circle, and when I left you, I came to see how much less of me I was, and how more like you, I’d become.
I don’t know what version of our story you choose to tell your family, strangers, girlfriend or friends, but I’m sure it’s a very small portion of what the truth is. Most of your evil actions you don’t even remember, so many you have blocked from your memory, conveniently due to all your drug use. I wish I was as fortunate as you with the gift to forget, but it’s evident that the scars you gave me, have not healed properly or have been forgotten. Where once you were the victim, you later went on to become my abuser. You constantly tried to shift your problems back onto me. “I” was what triggered you to use. “I” was the one “that made you mad” or “made you feel insecure or not enough.” Your problems weren’t your fault, they were mine. So typical of the addict mentality, isn’t it? I guess in that sense, I am nothing like you. I’ll take my part and admit I wasn’t perfect. I made mistakes. I have had moments were I wish I could take things back or undo. But when people ask me why I left you, I don’t sugar coat it. I tell them the truth. I was married to a man with an addictive personality, and after 10 years of putting up with all the bullshit that comes with that, I finally left him.
You promised me you’d live a life of sobriety, and yet you constantly went back on your word. You were playing a part while you were with me. I hate my memories now, because I don’t know which are based in lies or in truth. The words you spoke were often just words that never matched your actions. Our entire relationship feels like a blurry memory with fleeting moments of happiness and occasional fulfillment. I wonder how much of it was really you and how much of it you faked in order to remain the man you thought you needed to be, to stay by my side? It’s sad that even after all these years, I still can’t say, I really know you at all. You’re my familiar stranger who stole my heart, my innocence and my youth. You’re still the puzzle I’ll never finish, the story I’ll never write, the unsolved mystery I’ll never solve. This is why healing has taken me so long, and why I still find myself pushing love and happiness away. I feel undeserving of a good man and of a good life. I don’t have any real self esteem or confidence. Most days I find myself faking it still, playing the part I’ve always been known for.
I’m no longer in shock or denial. I am facing the reality of all that was done to me, and processing it all the way to completion, something I never did before. I didn’t give myself the chance to go through all the stages of grief or healing for any of the many betrayals you did to me. If it wasn’t one thing, it was another. One day pills, the next, cigarettes and the bottle. Either way, I was always battling your addictive nature to come first. You chose selfishly and I finally accepted the truth. You were never going to change, and all I’d ever be, was your beautiful nightmare, and you my indecipherable, dark fantasy.
Intuition. Denial. Anger. Apathy. Emptiness. Accountability. Reformation. Forgiveness. Resurrection. Hope. Redemption
Now the only regret I have today, is not leaving you sooner, and wondering why I continued to subject myself to such an unhealthy relationship. Why did I put up with so much? How did my heaven become my never ending hell? Why wasn’t my love enough to heal, to save, to change you? Since we have been apart, you’ve had 2 different girlfriends that I’ve known of in a year and a half. But here I am, unable to even commit to a date, let alone a relationship. I don’t know how to be open and vulnerable. I don’t know how to let someone in and love me. I find myself sabotaging my own happiness with the decisions and choices I make, be it romantically or not. I can’t imagine allowing myself to love someone that deep ever again. I guess the scars run deeper than I thought. Even now, I still don’t hate you. In fact, I love you very much. I know i will always care for you, I find peace at night, knowing you’re not alone. I just want someone to love you and take care of you the way I did. You’re the one who always needed someone. I guess I’m just the one who needed to be free. Regardless of who may come and go, who you take into your arms and mutter “I love you” to, I know you’ll never love another the way you loved me. You can’t. You loved me most, you loved me deeper and harder than anyone who came before, during or after me. I don’t need you to validate that, I have two beautiful children to show for it. Truth is, no evil deed goes unpunished, and everything done in the dark always comes to the light. You can hide all you want from the world, but you’ll never be able to hide from the truth. So much for not airing out our dirty laundry..
“Sorry, I ain’t sorry.”