Not to Be, That is the Answer

God that it can still hurt so much. Choke my throat like I’m drinking hot lead. Here we are. A year later.

It’s been a year as of a few days ago.  A year since my birthday, since my life exploded.  I try to tally the damage and the success.

I’ve lost 60 pounds and kept it off, but I need to work out more and get motivated again.

I’ve quit drinking completely, It’s been a year and I’m proud of that.

I’ve learned to spin fire/staff although I’m not as dedicated as I could be, it’s still a verifiable skill I didn’t have before and led me to meet a lot of amazing people.

I’ve nailed down a job for 100k a year and I’m moving to work in Silicon Valley. Where it goes from there, I don’t know.

What did I trade in? My wife, my partner, my old life, my old house, my old friends, my pets my dogs, my extended family, my nieces. A sense of peace and a deep trust. All these things are gone. I’m not quite sure if I’m winning at life or making the best of a bottomless loss.

I tried to talk to Carrie, I reached out, took the chance and she told me she’s not ready. I told her I might be moving soon and she asked me to tell her when so we could at least say goodbye. I did today and she told me she’s still not ready. She said no again.

I don’t know, I guess I hoped that there would at least be a goodbye, that I would be missed. That maybe we’d get something done before I just go away. I can’t tell you how it hurts that I don’t even get that. Just an overly-formal message wishing me well. Like I’m some vague acquaintance.

I imagine what she’s going through, I imagine that maybe she’s making progress, facing down her demons and her problems. Actually doing some real growth. Maybe finally being single and learning to love herself. These are just hopes, wishes, dreams. Something that would at least make all this worth it.

My therapist, whom I have to part ways with fairly soon, as I’ll be moving, asked me today what I really wanted from Carrie. I was able to summarize it better today than I have in a long time.

I remember when this all happened, I remember calling my Mom and telling her the whole ugly picture, the depth of my failure. She was disappointed but she gave me some good advice.

She said “When you apologize, and you will get a chance, be sure to acknowledge her. What you’ve done to her, the depths to which you’ve hurt her, the breadth of your betrayal. Don’t make it about you, about yourself, and how sorry you are and how unhappy you are. Really take ownership of what you’ve done to her and explain that you’re sorry because of how she feels, not because of how you feel” that’s paraphrasing a bit but you get the gist.

It was good advice, and I tried so incredibly hard to acknowledge what I had done, and the depths to which I hurt her. To take that advice to heart.

Now a year later of being hurt endlessly, bitterly, deeply. I guess I want that same ownership from her. I’m sure at times she tells herself that dating my friend had nothing to do with me, that her immediately moving on was just her way of coping, or that the relationship was somehow genuine. It’s easy to imagine a myriad of justifications. Whatever her intentions, it hurt. It hurt me so deeply that I feel like I got tenfold back what i caused.

I was prepared to reap what I had sown, to lose the woman I loved and married. The grief of that was more than I thought I could bear. When she hurt me back she did it so deeply and thoroughly that it shook my foundations of what kind of person I thought she was. I couldn’t concoct a better way to hurt me and keep hurting me than what she did. Which is to lie to me, betray me back, rebound and lie some more, to know that I’m in deep and horrible pain and just shrug like I deserve it. To blame me for her actions, so that they don’t seem so fucked up.

It was bad enough to lose my wife, but losing my trust and my sense of her being a good person hurt so much more and for so much longer. The pain of us separating would have been enough on it’s own to break me, the results of what she did pushed me beyond any limit I thought I possessed and hurt me more than I’ve ever been hurt. I know I hurt her too, but blindly, accidentally, and when the consequences came home I tried to own it. To be an adult,  a good person, and to immediately change what led me astray.

She had revenge sex and then dated the skeeziest guy we know, she lied to me time and again about it ending and then dragged the farce on for almost a year. It was degrading, it was hurtful and after I told her many times that this deeply deeply hurt me, she just continued doing it.

I would like her to own that, own those actions. Acknowledge them. She doesn’t really even have to apologize, but just to recognize what she did and how it made me feel. I do feel an apology should be in there. I’ve never really gotten one. I fucked up, I get it. But she gave up on us so quickly and replaced me so quickly it made me feel like garbage and like I was never important in the first place.

A lot of this has come back today because, I think, today is when I’ve finally accepted that I’m moving. That the chances are ending, and the likelihood of us working things out or even being friends will go from some nebulous number to a minuscule chance in hell. Not only does that hurt, but I don’t even get to say goodbye. And our last message isn’t caring, it isn’t nice, it isn’t loving. It’s formal, distant and formal.

It makes it really hard to ever imagine loving again. It makes it feel impossible.

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