A Conversation with Stephanie

i just listened to my sister for an hour. 

she says all of “this” is not my fault.she says it was all a lie, too.  and that i shouldn’t want him to be in my life where he will hurt me, my family and my son.  he’s the villain of the story, not the hero.  he takes advantage of people and spits them out.  he is not the one.  he is the one who lies.  he is the one who is a jerk.  he is the one who abused you then threw you away like yesterday’s newspaper.

she says it is not me.  it is him.  he used me.  maybe it was a mid-life crisis…although we thought the other girl was.  she says he is in the same category as jeff, the rapist, the true abuser and beater.  he is untrustworthy, irresponsible, and not worth it.

 she tried to “see” him and she said that he has accepted his life and his choice and is fine with it.  he doesn’t really care – about me.  he has built a very thick wall around himself and will never return.

she really believed that one day he would call her to check on me.  or mom or someone.  she can’t believe that he has left me out here alone to drown and isn’t throwing me any lifesaver whatsoever, and she can’t understand that.

 she is horribly angry with him for seeking me out, luring me in, promising so many things he knew he could/would never do.  he used me up, he took away everything; abused/used all my family, really; he got what he wanted from me (strength, power, praise) and then, bam! he was gone.  i was no longer useful to him, no longer fit into his fucked up plans.  and on top of that, he left everyone in my family no recourse; gave no one any – whatsoever – explanation so that they could help me through all of this, help me understand.  hel p me want to continue to live.  help me not feel destroyed and next to nothing.

 she says he doesn’t really have any power over me/us.  the only power he has is that i won’t let go.  she says i have to start thinking that he treated me like shit and i am better off without him, and i am done with it.

she says she loves my spirit and my kindness, my care of others but i need to start putting my belief where it belongs.  not on him.  stop worshipping someone who is really just a lying lie face.  she says i am not invisible.  she said he did love me.  he did want to be with me.  but he was bad to me.  he treated me like cattle, like a dog. he obliterated all my preconceived notions and then devised a nuclear attack on what remained of me….

she doesn’t want me to lose my mental and physical health over him because he is not worth it.  he is not a knight in shining armor, not the great person she saw on the cliff protecting me.  he is really the shadow sneaking up behind me to put a knife in my back.

there was nothing i could do to change this.  i approached it in innocence and love.  he is the one who used me – maybe to find his way back home.  he doesn’t respect me at all – or my family.  had he spoken to me once, in kindness, since that email in august, she could perhaps feel not so angry, but he hasn’t.  he has been cruel and mean and now i am haunted and sick,  want to die all the time.

she says i am still a queen.  i am still me. 

the good thing, she says, is that i can keep all my good feelings about him, but i need to put them in a golden chest and not let them rule my life.  i can call it my “box of truth” – my truth, anyway, because everything i said was true, i meant it all — every word i spoke, wrote, or said with my body.  all of it.  he didn’t.

he has made it abundantly clear that he will never cross the barrier again; that people who are what i always thought he was (loving, intellectual, heroic) would never treat me this way.  if he really loved me he couldn’t do that to me.  she hates it that i have lost my (already minimal) self-worth, my motivation…that someone has again done this to me: used me, abused me and then abandoned me.

she says stop destroying myself until there is nothing left – which she knows is where i am.  he is not worth it.  i believed in something, i invested heavily in it – with everything i had – and it didn’t work out…he was just a guy, she said, not Jesus. 

she asked me what i was looking for in the nuclear fallout?  i couldn’t answer.

i want him back, i said.

she siad he’s not coming back, so what do you want?

i don’t know!

well, what do we know right now?  hes’ gone.  and you have to remember that he is the one who set off the bomb, he orchestrated it, he made it happen and then he went back to his little hovel down the road, laughing.  he detonated the bomb but knew he could run and that his family was safe, but he didn’t know what would happen to me; yet he left me anyway.  i could already be a ghost, and he would never know/care. and my family is left trying to call me home again.

she loves me endlessly and she hates how i am now — which i hear from everyone, by the way.  she said i am a good person, with a wonderful heart, and many people love me, and that i am not alone, even if i think i am.  she is amazed at how hard i can be on myself.  maybe i’m not the greatest disciplinarian with alex, but i sure know how to wield the hammer against myself…

she said i am stuck in the hate-myself mode and i have to get out of it because it is killing me.  they think i had a stroke,now.  i’m on all these meds now.  i barely make it through each day at work…gramp and mater and everyone want me to survive, i have a lot to live for…she says i am beautiful and smart and cool…

she says, stop punishing robin.  stop beating her up.  i will have to arrest you and put you behind bars if you don’t! (i asked if she meant that she was going to send me back to the looney bin,  she laughed – but she also didn’t really answer.)

 she said i’m like pat benatar – hit me with your best shot.  then he did and i went down.

she says if i could stand up to my second husband, i can stand up to michael.  she says if i could stand up to jeff (the abusive first husband) in court, then i can stand up to michael.  ir’s a matter of personal safety!  i can’t let some guy (she often calls him that fucking guy), take away everything i have fought for, everything i fought through, the perosn i have fought to be…he is like the bad egg in willy wonka. 

she says i have to let go of this albatross around my neck.  i am psychotic to keep thinking about it everyday.  she says it is not me, it is him.  he detonated the a-bomb right in front of me and left me to die, or survive, irreparably scarred. he didn’t care which.

maybe, she said, imagine you are standing at the water’s edge and he and his whole group are on the party boat.  push the boat away.  he can look at me longingly, if i want him  to, but he is long gone already, rebuilding his whole life with all the new tools i gave him.

she said it’s like i am in a coma and she just wants me to wake up.  it’s like he beat me up from head to toe and i can barely breathe.  she hates this.  life is short, she says.  please don’t leave me, or alex, she says.

she says one last time, i love you and it is not your fault.  you did nothing wrong.  you loved him and you gave him everything, absolutely everything you could possibly give.  he was a jerk and he fucked with you.  he looked for you, he cried to you, i heard him call you endlessly when you were here visiting me…what the fuck was up with that? quit hating yourself and quit blaming yourself.  he had a great part in the demise of this situation.  i am only saying all this, she says, because i want you to see it from other sides and maybe if you can be angry at him and recognize that he had a big part in all of this, too, and that he abused you, then you will know it’s not you.  he promised to marry you, to take care of you and alex forever.  he initiated it, he continued it, he left you in the cruelest way possible.  he lied to you about everything.  he’s just some guy, you loved him with all your heart, and she doesn’t want to see me lose my whole self over this person.  she says i deserve better. she says i can mourn the loss, six months is long enough, though.  she says i am valuable and meaningful and that she doesn’t want to see me throw the rest of my life away over someone who isn’t going to reciprocate or be kind.  he has had all these days to be kind to me, and he hasn’t.  she wishes there was a different answer, but there isn’t.  it is over.  i can’t fix it. 

elvis has left the building.

it made me sad. 

but she was probably right.  but how do i face that?

i just wish i could go back to the day before he contacted me on myspace.  up until then i had learned to live without him.  i had my little golden chest of memories and i was special.  i was still his princess and his lady, even if i was his secret princess. 

now…i feel like i am nothing.  all the good things my love for him and his love for me had created in my mind and heart are gone.  and there is nothing i can find to replace them.

anyone know any stores where i can buy some self-reliance and self-worth?  or some peace of mind?  i could really use a piece or two as there is not much left of mine.

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2 Responses to “A Conversation with Stephanie”

  1. oh wow… i could have written this. i know how you feel, and i know it’s not easy to give up. sometimes what we want is in direct opposition of what we need. i wish i could tell you how to reconcile the two, but i haven’t learned how yet either. i won’t tell you it gets easier. i won’t tell you to move on. i know how impossible it is.

  2. thank you, c, for being one of the few people who do know how impossible it is. i know it is necessary to move on, to let go, but i truly don’t know how. i will do okay for a little while and then, bam!, i’m right back in it, obsessing and crying. it’s like being — oh wait, they’ve decided now that i am, so i guess it’s JUST LIKE being mentally ill. little to no control over the mood swings, the tears, the suicidal ideation…i feel like such an f-ing jerk, though. do you? i hate myself for my weakness…oh well, if i figure it out, i will tell you — and please promise to do the same! cheers!

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