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Pretty Pathetic, huh?

Posted in life story, Ramblings, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on 2016/02/24 by R L Burns

It is still so very weird to me that I actually believed all the things he said to me.  And even weirder that it sill bothers me so much nearly seven years later.  I feel utterly stupid that I didn’t get it that it was all a lie – but, you should know that it’s not ALL my fault; he was really good at the lie.  There’s a song by the band Seether in which the singer states:

You keep living in your own lie
                                                 Ever deceitful and ever unfaithful
                                                 Keep me guessing, keep me terrified
                                                 Take everything from my world

That pretty much sums up how I feel/felt/whatever.  Ridiculously, in retrospect, I thought I was much smarter than that; that no one could fool me so completely.  Well, now I know that I was wrong on that count, too.

You know, I guess it’s okay that it bothered – and bothers – me.  I mean, I believed he was the love of my life since I was a teenager.  In a way I only got involved with people who were, in a sense, disposable.  Not too flattering – for them or me.  I judged my feelings with everyone by my feelings for him, and their feelings for me by the way he had felt about me.  Comparing is never a good practice, I know, but I didn’t know I was doing it.  Well, I knew it, but I didn’t understand how MUCH I was doing it, nor how negatively it was impacting every romantic relationship of my entire life.  I can see it now, of course; I mean, don’t they say that hindsight is 20/20?  Yepper.  Definitely 20/20.

Even knowing all that now, though, I still don’t understand how I could be so taken in. Where were the signs that it was a lie?  Maybe…well, could’ve been the small amount of time he was able to carve out for me after I drove over one thousand miles to spend time with him.  Yeah, I guess that was a clue.  I’d be there a week and spend 80% of my time alone.  I guess that was a big sign, yes?  But when he was with me, he was WITH me.  Loving me, crying, begging…and when I was away from him, there were hundreds of phone calls, thousands of texts.  I mean, why would he do all of that if he was lying?  That’s what I couldn’t figure out.  Unless, maybe, he WAS just trying to be kind to me – in a weird-wrong-twisted kind of way.  He said later that he did it because he felt guilty that I had loved him so long.  I had loved him.  Hmmmm….and that he had not been in love with me since nearly fifteen years earlier when he wanted to be with me but I said no — he had a child and one on the way.  How could I break that up? I couldn’t, so I sent him back to her and the children, knowing that was the right thing to do – and knowing that he would, in the end, hate me if he left his family and then wasn’t close to them.  For a while I tried to believe that he was just saying all that about lying, that really he was a coward and just couldn’t pull the trigger.  But I suppose I was wrong, and he really didn’t love me any longer.  That is a horrible thing to accept…I kept others at arm’s length and never allowed myself to be happy because I was in love with him.  When I believed we finally had a real chance at the happily ever after we both claimed to have always wanted…well, I was deliriously happy.  And then I wasn’t.

And I am still not.

I still stand by my belief, though, that if he KNEW, the first time we saw each other again, that he didn’t feel the same about me, it would have been much kinder and much, much less disillusioning if he had thrown a pity fuck or two my way and then a tearful farewell. That, I would have held close to my heart with a tear and a smile.

Instead I am left with…nothing.



Follow Up to “Don’t Say His Name”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 2012/07/24 by R L Burns

I am heartened, greatly, by something I see happening.  On CNN, they are NOT saying his name.  I just watched Alex Teves father, best friend, and girlfriend (whom Alex died saving) on Anderson Cooper.  Mr. Teves was fabulous and challenged the media to stop talking about him – or other murderers – and talk only about the victims.  He said what I wrote the other night:  that let’s make it so everyone remembers the names of the VICTIMS, not the coward who attacked them.  Anderson replied that CNN was purposely working not to do that, and he agreed with Mr. Teves sentiments.  Sadly, other channels are not following this example, but I am so happy to hear people saying that we need to do what we can to stop the madness by not giving them the attention it seems they so crave.

Maybe there is some hope for us after all. 

I am so saddened by all of this, but heartened by the refusal of many to give that coward the attention he so does not deserve.

The Little Girl’s Screams

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 2012/03/20 by R L Burns

she stumbles through her day,

somehow obeying

the common courtesies on which

she so heavily relies –

she thanks God that the replies

are automatic…


she watches their mouths move,

knows they are telling

their problems and secrets to her,

wanting her help, her care , her advice –

she struggles to hear them

and in vain decipher

what need they have of her –

she flinches when touched

and jumps when she’s called,

they’ve not yet realized

that she is hopelessly walled

up in her mind

curled up in a ball

screaming and screaming

and screaming again –

just endlessly screaming

o’er the loss of her friend, her

lover,  her soul mate, a lifetime

of dreams….

til nothing is left

but the little girl’s screams.


My Birthday

Posted in Uncategorized on 2011/01/15 by R L Burns



so often just another

day in the year.

but sometimes,

if you’re lucky,

and know someone dear,

they are special

beyond measure –

a memory

to treasure

at night

in the cold

all alone.



New Understandings

Posted in Uncategorized on 2011/01/15 by R L Burns


I lay back in the snow and stared at the sky.

It wasn’t nearly as cold as I thought it would be –

“Well you know,” the young man said when I expressed this later, “snow is actually a very good insulator.”  The words were punctuated with a look that said, “Duh!”  I had the grace (for once, at least) to act surprised.  He smiled at me kindly, like a grown-up does to a small child, and then turned back to his computer.

But, I get ahead of myself.

As I lay in the snow, wondering at how warm I felt, I looked up at the sky – the same sky I had gazed upon on another night some months ago when the stars had finally again whispered their song to me.  The night I had understood so much about everything…like the fact that I am a little bit of a princess, no matter what, and that I am one of the luckiest people alive because of all the wonderful gifts God has seen fit to bestow upon me:  life, relatively good health, a beautiful son and wonderful loved ones.

This time, when I gazed upward, I knew that I was even luckier than I had previously thought.  Every once in a while, the stars peeked out of the clouds and winked at me, smiling – and whispering new secrets, new wonders, new blessings.   And new understandings.

I lowered my eyes from the heavens above and looked at the house before me, at the warm light spilling onto the snow from within, and I felt more at peace, more calm than I could ever recall feeling in my entire life.  Everything I had ever wanted or needed was just inside that pool of light – just a few feet away – and I believed that all I needed to do was get up, open my arms, and walk into that light, and it would be mine.

And so…I did just that.


A Warrior No More

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on 2010/12/01 by R L Burns

A Warrior No More

Back in 1979 a little (?) movie was released, titled “The Warriors”.  It was all about a New York gang wrongfully accused of killing the leader of the largest gang in the city, and their struggle to get back home to Coney Island.  Along the way there are lots of fights, a little romance, police, and even the death of a couple of the members.  I really loved that movie and would go see it every Friday or Saturday night for one dollar at the midnight movie at the mall.  (This, of course, was back in the days before home VCRs and the like – although I freely admit that “The Warriors” and “Valley Girl” were the first two movies I ever pirated for myself.  Sad commentary on my movie tastes, eh?)  But, as usual, I digress.

The reason I mention this movie is for one particular scene.  When the Warriors finally get off the subway in Coney Island, after fighting, dying, and running, the leader, Swan, looks around at their town; it’s filthy and ugly.  He looks out and speaks some truly important words:  This is what we fought all night to get back to? As he speaks his voice is filled with disgust and not a little self-deprecation.  For years, that moment in the movie has made me sad for them but left me feeling a little hopeful, like maybe he realizes there is more out there for him.  Something better.  Brighter.

I had that same moment myself today.  A totally life-changing, era-ending moment.  And it came out of nowhere – as they often do.

I was looking on an old flash-drive for a copy of my resume.  My PC is broken and I was hoping it had somehow found its way onto one of the four drives I wear on my work lanyard.  I never found my resume, but I found something else.  Something I had written some time ago to a friend – well, that’s a misnomer, I suppose, so let’s say it was something I had written to someone I knew.  Without a great amount of unnecessary detail (especially since I have been taken to task on another writing site for exposing too many of those), I’ll just say that this person was depressed, I was told, because of a traumatic event involving one of his children.  The inference was that I was partially to blame for this incident and that this incident, such a horrible thing to deal with, was crushing him with guilt and despair, torturing him, and all those around him.  As I read my words, truly a sort of “sympathy” and “encouragement” email, I felt nauseated.  Sick.  Stupid.  Ridiculous.  Throughout my letter I encouraged this person, sent prayers for him, his son and his entire family, from myself and everyone in my family – we were all so heartsick over the episode – while at the same time explaining to him that it was not his fault, that he had done everything a father could do, that his children adore him and admire him…that no one could have asked more from him.  The pain I felt on his – and his family’s behalf – jumped out of that letter, as did my own feelings of shame for any part I had played in this, and brought tears to my eyes.

Until I remembered that he later told me it was all a lie.

Nothing had ever happened to his son.  It was an excuse.  A tall tale.  Told for what purpose, I will never know.  And now, I no longer care.  As I stared at the words on the computer screen I heard his voice in my head when he admitted it hadn’t happened.

And suddenly I felt like Swan, the War Chief of the Warriors when he got back to Coney Island – the home he had had loved, missed, and fought to return to:  This is what I fought all my life to get back to? This is what I almost jumped off a twelfth floor balcony for?  Slit my wrists for?  Cried my eyes out for?  Nearly destroyed myself for?  How stupid am I?

I can hear your answer:  Uh, pretty stupid.  Hey, I agree.

I came home after that, berating myself all the way.  And then I took off the rings I swore I never would – having once proclaimed that even if he was a liar, I was not, so on my hand they would stay – and gave them to my sister to cleanse in sea salt.

For some time now I have felt that I was free-ish of that circle of lies, but occasionally it would come back and bite me – hard.  Oddly enough, it’s gone now.  All of it – a flash or two of self-disgust at giving everything I had to a lie, but beyond that…nothing.

I am a Warrior no more.

And I am glad.  Really, really glad.


me  11.29.2010


Posted in Uncategorized on 2010/07/04 by R L Burns

Three hundred fifty days

Three hundred fifty days

Eleven thousand forty-four to go…