Thursday, July 10, 2008

The dinner, the aftermath

There are times when I think that we do things even knowing that no matter how much you wish it, the outcome will not change. You look at our childhood, when we first start learning about gravity. In that instance of life we continue to drop toys off the side of the crib in hopes to see if there will be a different outcome than the usual dropping of the toy onto the floor and away from our grasp.

Later on we push boundaries constantly with our parents to see what we will and won’t get away with. Sometimes trying the same thing over and over again thinking that it’ll change something and it doesn’t. We’re still grounded for misbehaving or touching something that we aren’t supposed to.

High school, same thing really, we cut class and expect not to get caught. We cheat off our friend’s exams and get caught. We drink, we smoke, we have sex, get caught, do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars and go directly to “you’re Grounded!”

Some things don’t stick it seems. Even though I know that there’s things that doing over and over again will never change the outcome I continue to do it.

Case in point, just this past Monday.

NOTE: I actually had an incredible weekend, met some awesome people and a very interesting young lady but all of that got tossed aside because of the story I’m about to tell. It’s amazing how ONE event can really change your outlook so incredibly fast. I know some will completely relate and others will think it’s silly. I need to get it out either way, it’s eating me up.

The long weekend behind me and I managed to put off the one thing I was dreading and kept rescheduling… dinner with M. Against my better judgment and the advice of ALL my friends, I went to eat with her last week. It was something quick, less than an hour. However, whatever I thought was no big deal wasn’t seen that way by M. This is my mistake and I’ll take it.

I don’t burn bridges. I hate doing it. You never know what life might bring and losing friends is worse than losing family. You know? So I’ve tried to keep it civil. I’ve called for J every night to wish him good night. I’ve given her some money when she’s short, little things. In the past week however the whole trust thing sparked in the back of my mind. How much trust can one person have? How much do they lose after something like this? Could I ever trust them enough again to want to share my life with them and not have that one thing looming over me incredibly high, like a guillotine about to come down on my neck?

Relationships and trust are hard enough. When there’s a history though? A history of hurt? How much is enough?

So I agreed to dinner and said, we’d do it right after I got out of work. I did this because I know that if I went back to my place, something would distract me and I wouldn’t make it. I’d find an excuse. I’m driving to the restaurant. (I wasn’t going to meet at her place) and my phone starts blowing up with texts:

“Where are you?”
“Are you almost here?”
“How much longer?”
“How much further?”
“What’s taking so long?”
“Are you still coming?”

This would not have bothered me if I was ignoring her but I had already let me know that I was on my way and yet here she is just being aggressive. Now I’m starting to get into a mood.

I get to the restaurant and I see she’s already sitting down and has ordered soft drinks for both of us. She’s got her make up done and her hair and she’s wearing an old shirt of mine. She’s got a twinkle in the eye and she’s all cheery. This is not good.

I am broken. She shattered me. I know this now. I’ve thought about it, digested it and even thinking about it now makes me want to curl up and cry. I gave this woman EVERYTHING that I had, was and earned. Nothing was too much. If I didn’t have it, I’d go out and find a way to have the means to get it. I live for who I’m with, I always have. It’s my nature and I don’t apologize for it. By the same token, I want to feel like it’s appreciated. It wasn’t there at the end. The last two years I held on in the hopes that it would get better. It didn’t it got worse and by the time I left, I felt drained in a thousand ways. If I had been smart I would have taken some time off of work and handled it. I wasn’t and instead it hits me every so often. Even in my highest moments now, I can be brought down low by the failure of my life.

So as I sit across the way from her and I visualize every single thing that she did or didn’t do. I remember every night that I cried. I remember every time that I felt alone and helpless. I remember it all. And my heart breaks again. (Writing this it’s breaking again but I have to get it out.)

Then she starts telling me how she wants another chance. How she wants to move out of her mother’s house, maybe get a job and make another go of it. She won’t let me down. She’s learned her lesson and it’s time to try and move forward together again.

I can’t.

I’m sorry. I really am. I know that some may read this and consider me to be making the wrong choice but I can’t. To think everyday that perhaps she’s slipping a little more. That perhaps the day was too hard on her and instead of coming to me and telling me, she goes and just takes more meds. It’s a mustard seed that’s been firmly planted in my mind and how exactly do you get it out? You can’t.

I’ve spent the better part of a week trying to get this all down. Trying to digest it and be able to make it understandable for everyone who’s reading it. I don’t have anything to hide from you guys. Every time I’ve sat down to write this, I’ve felt poisoned and had to stop. I want to finish this now.

Somehow she had held hope that I was going to change my mind. That I was going to decide that being without her was too hard but really the longer I go without her in my life the better off I am. I know that now.

With all my heart I tried to be nice about it. But she pleaded and wanted to know why, that’s when I started crying. That’s when I lost it. The tears were tears of sadness and of anger. Here was the woman that I had given everything to and she was acting like I could forgive something so massive. How can I? She even asked me who had changed my mind about getting back together. No one changed my mind, it had always been set and I thought I had made it clear but I guess I was wrong.

The meal didn’t last 20 minutes. She barely touched her food and said she didn’t want to sit there anymore and hear all these bad things about herself.

I have a soft heart and I told her we could remain friends and she asked why I could remain friends but not more. Honestly? There’s less risk with a friend. You don’t want them to ruin their lives but you can only help so much. With a lover, partner or wife, it’s so much different. You feel responsible for that person. I don’t want to do that anymore.

Having that dinner has really torn me up. I haven’t been the same since. Knowing that much now, realizing just how MESSED UP that all was, it tears me up inside and I do my best not to freak out.

I’ll do another entry tomorrow and introduce you to someone new. Come back soon?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dude, grief is hard but one cannot go around it, only through it. Yes, it's hard, yes it hurts, but the hurt will fade eventually. You are not responsible for what she thought might happen. In fact, being the cynical person that I am, to me it seemed just another way of manipulating you. I've been through this whole scene before myself and I could've written the script for you. I will go so far as to tell you what the next scene will be, but only over email not on this comment string. Yes it hurts but you are not wrong for doing what you did. You MUST do it if you want to live your life or even just to survive it. I will offer one more piece of advice: You cannot be "friends" with her. Eventually you will come to that conclusion yourself, but I say it now because it's an idea you need to get used to. I'm sorry if I sound harsh. I don't know M or even you, but I know what the cycle of abuse looks like and how bad it hurts. You'll get out eventually, my friend. Just keep trusting your instincts like you have been doing.


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