After the Apology…then what?
Originally written on 1 January 2010
I apologized, and I thought that would help me let go of it all. And yet somehow it has changed nothing. I am inundated with feelings of self-loathing and idiocy. Cannot believe how ridiculous I must have seemed; throwing myself at him over and over and over — ad nauseum. How did I get so confused, so warped that I would think he could really love me, would choose me? How could I even have ever thought that he…no, how could I forget my own words to him: you aren’t in love with me, you are in love with the idea of me. Always he denied it and always I believed him. And then, when we saw each other…I believed even more. He was the one person to whom I could not lie – at least, not for long – and I suppose I so wanted to believe he loved me, to finally “live my dream”, that I ignored his hesitation. He explained that, though, and said I confused his fear with indifference. Told me I confused his love with me for pure lust.
The funny thing is, I didn’t. Not this time. This time I bought it all, hook, line and sinker. A part of me stood apart, afraid to believe, afraid to give everything to someone else, especially someone who had so much power over me, but really, I was in it. I was so deeply in it I couldn’t see anything else. I did everything I could to prove my love, loyalty and committment to him…Thought I had.
On Friday night, he’s on the phone with me discussing where we are going to arrange his books and his computer desk when he comes to live with me. He promises to call me back and doesn’t.
Saturday he calls me for a few minutes and tells me his brother is deathly ill — he didn’t die, though, because I checked their newspaper. He asks me, breathlessly, if I am okay. When I reply that I am, he nearly cries with relief and says,
He tells me he loves me and he’ll let me know about his brother.
He has never called me since.
On Monday morning, I go to the post office to send him a ring we chose together – one that has “I love you, Michael” (his choice of words) engraved inside. An hour fucking later, he sends me an email telling me it is over and he hasn’t even the courage to tell me in person. He asks me to respect his wishes.
I flip out. Cry. Call. Text. Write. Do it all some more. No answer. I attempt suicide – quite by accident. Really I just wanted the words to stop running through my head. End up in the ER. They patch me up and send me home. Everyone is on suicide watch. I am destroyed.
I write. I send a copy of a book with one of my poems published in it. No response. More wailing and crying. I end up spending a week in the psych ward because I almost jumped off the balcony of a twelfth story hotel room – one at which we had planned to meet.
Then two months later comes an email saying he never loved me. It was all a lie. A lie he felt he owed me for having loved him so long. Again, he hopes I will respect his wishes and that I will find someone who truly loves me and makes me happy. WTF?
I really flipped out. Took a picture of us in a beautiful golden frame (I was so proud when it was the very first thing I brought into my new home three weeks before he dumped me), and I beat it into the door frame of my home office — where his computer desk was supposed to go. I beat it until the frame broke and glass went everywhere. I really went all out. Screamed, fell to the floor, crawled to my room for meds, wailed all the way back to the kitchen. Opened a bottle of wine, opened the pills, took ten ativan, drank half the wine, took five more ativan, drank the rest of the wine. Stumbled back to the office, saw the hated words on my computer screen. Crumbled to the floor in shame, agony and despair. I fell into the glass from the picture. I looked over and the fucking picture was intact, out of the frame. That pissed me off so I took a large shard of glass and scraped out our smiling faces. Then I threw the picture away from me. It floated back, the bitch. I cried and cried and then slit my left wrist with the glass — yes, the long way, I’m not stupid. I scraped the glass across my tattoo – the one I also got just three fucking weeks before he dumped me. The one that says “Then Now Always”. Idiot! Fucking idiot! I knew when I got the tattoo that I had jinxed everything. I was right. Anyhow I passed out.
My mom found me on the floor, slapped me awake. I mumbled something; she called 911 but decided to take me to the hospital herself. We went. I couldn’t see. They stitched my wrist a bit — only two stitches, so I suppose I am not as brave as I always thought I was. Wimp. More therapy. Whatever.
And all this time, nothing from him. Nothing. I write a really rude poem called Liar to him. Nothing. He says nothing. Then I ask if he will perhaps, if he’s never going to use it again, return a cell phone I had given him so we could talk for free whenever…he sends it to my fucking mom. At Thanksgiving. With a note that says, “LEAVE ME ALONE”. And he returns our rings to me…
My mom hides it all from me until I am in her presence and then only gives me one thing at a time. I cannot believe he has sent these personal things to her, to…well, he knows.
She replied to him and asked him to send me a sentence to save my life, a sentence to give my loss purpose. Oddly enough, he answers HER. He sends it to me attached to my email about the phone. One sentence:
“Love built on the wreckage of innocent lives is not love.”
It changes nothing.
Again, WTF? And how could he answer her and not me?
This all reads like a really bad, really, really bad, Lifetime movie and I can’t figure out how I got here. I don’t know why I let myself believe any of it. Don’t know how to reconcile myself to the lie of it. Somehow I will figure it out, I have to because I cannot go on like this indefinitely. It is making me bitter and angry and crazy. That is not who I am – at least it wasn’t.
How do I put this behind me? How do I accept that he never loved me after all? That has been the only true constant belief in my life since I was thirteen years old. Without that belief, what am I??
WHO am I?
How do I also accept that I gave him everything I am and he threw it back in my face as if I am trash? Is that what it means? That I am nothing but his old trash?
Oh, good. That was helpful. Whatever.
A sad thing…My sister’s father abandoned us when she was a baby. My mom took her to England in hopes of seeing him, I think, but he replied that he had no desire to resurrect his past (and no, his name wasn’t Michael, it was Paul). My sister cried and told my mom she was going to kill herself. Mom just stood there and looked at her, tears falling from her own eyes until my sister said,
“He wouldn’t even care, would he?”
Mom shook her head no and they got back on a plane to the US. When I woke up in the hospital after the “it was a lie” email, she told me that same story. And she’s right. It would be pointless, because he wouldn’t care.
Question is, how do I begin to care again? About anything?
Hey, one other question: if they do make this into a really, really bad Lifetime movie, do you think we could get Drew Barrymore to play me? People always say we look alike.
Well, it could happen…