It’s not as easy as everyone thinks it is, as everyone expects it to be. Getting over a betrayal is more brutal than the betrayal itself, if that’s possible. At least the betrayal is only done once. Getting over it involves going over it again and again in your head. It’s like beating your head against a wall, or placing it under a car tire and putting the car in reverse, then back in drive, then back in reverse, then back in drive. The entire course of the betrayal is remapped, again and again, in an attempt to figure out when things went awry, to figure out if you should have known.
There’s hurt. Hurt that the person you loved, the person you thought loved you, could treat you so cruelly, could have so little respect for your feelings.
There’s anger. At him. At yourself. The anger at yourself is actually the hardest to take. You should have known. You should have known. YOU SHOULD HAVE KNOWN. How stupid could you possibly be? How did you not know? The signs were everywhere! And you know everyone else is thinking the same thing – how could she not have known, the signs were there!
You have your days. Good days, when you’re relatively okay. Great days, when you’re happy and you don’t even think about him or it until you realize you haven’t thought about it.
Then there are the bad days. The days when it eats at you, and you feel like you have holes in your gums, your esophagus, your stomach. You feel like you really might throw up. Your salivary glands actually start producing the sourness that indicates impending upchucking.
The bad days come less and less often, because that’s the way life works. It moves on. They (the ubiquitous they) often say that life moves on “with or without you,” but that’s not really accurate. It can’t actually move on without you. Even if you don’t want to move on, Life will still pull you along, like a recalcitrant puppy on a leash. It pulls you until you forget that you don’t want to be dragged along, until something shiny captures your attention and makes you forget, even momentarily. It’s therapeutic, in that way. Life doesn’t care about you or me or what we are going through. It just moves along, a tornado, ripping this house apart, then veering like a drunk college student at Oktoberfest, leaving the house next to it completely unscathed.
That’s what I imagine he is – unscathed. Going about his life, unencumbered by the hurt and pain he has caused, unperturbed by the lies that he told. Not a care in the world, certainly not a care about the woman he led on for a year and a half. A charmed life, happy-go-lucky. That is, after all, his personality, and part of what I liked so much about him, even as it drove me crazy.
There’s the self-doubt. Was it something I did? Was I not good enough? Does she have something I don’t? Why did he choose her over me? What’s wrong with ME?
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I wrote that back in April, as part of a fiction piece I was working on. Autobiographical? You think??
I still have bad days, days like the ones described above. I hate to say it, but almost every day when I pull into my condo I half expect to see his car, expect him to be there, waiting for me to get home. Waiting to explain, to apologize. I sometimes expect the phone to ring, and it to be him. The doorbell rings, and I think, for half a second, that it might be him.
Am I still angry? Yes.
Am I still hurt? Yes.
Do I still want an apology? Yes.
Do I still want an explanation? Yes.
Am I ready to forgive? The answer might surprise you.
I’ve had people ask me, “What would you do if he showed up and asked you to take him back?” I wish I knew the answer to that. My head, my pride, says that I’d say Hell No. But I can’t deny there’s a part of me that wants what we had back. Or, I should say, wants what I thought we had back. I don’t deny that it would be a hard road; forgiveness would be a long time coming, trust even longer. I hate myself for even thinking about it, but I can’t help it. It goes deeper than loving him – it’s more about loving me when I was with him. Loving the happiness he brought me, the way I felt when I was with him. I felt different. I felt like a better, happier person.
And I’m not saying better, happier than I am today. That’s pretty obvious. I’m saying better, happier than I ever was in any other relationship I’ve ever been in. Better, happier, than I was in the past.
You know how they say love is like a mirror? I saw myself, and I liked myself. Even more to the point, I wanted to be a better person, for him.
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The good memories:
- We’d be sitting on the couch, watching TV, and he would bend his head down and just inhale – my hair, my skin. He said he loved the way I smelled.
- The feeling I would get when he walked in after a trip – I felt like the sun was bursting out of me. Even on days when I would be mad at him for being late, he would walk down the stairs and I couldn’t keep the smile off my face.
- The intellectual discussions we would have.
- The stupid conversations we would have.
- The random texts that let me know he was thinking about me.
- The way we fit together so well, curled up in bed. I don’t mean this in any sexual way – I mean, snuggling, we fit. And he mentioned it all the time, remarking on how rare that was.
- The way he loved everything I cooked and truly appreciated the effort I made, even though one time I made pork and he thought it was chicken.
The bad memories:
- His habitual tardiness.
- His inconsistent communication.
Obviously I’m not including the lies I didn’t know about, the cheating I didn’t know about, the hurt that was to come that I couldn’t foresee.
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It’s hard, coming to terms with the fact that the person you loved never loved you. I’ve been trying so hard to move on, but it’s not really something you can rush. It’s not something you can bend to your timetable. I wish it was.
Yes, there’s a part of me that wants him to read this and feel bad and finally grow a set and apologize to me. Will that ever happen? I don’t know. I feel like if he were sorry, he’d tell me so. And the fact that he hasn’t tells me he’s not sorry. And that hurts.
I’ve wondered if the reason he hasn’t contacted me is because of Her, The Other Woman. Maybe he’s worried that if he contacts me in any way, I would blog about it, and it would mess things up with her. I’ve considered sending him a letter, c/o his friend, but really, what good would it do? I don’t want to involve his friend any more than he’s already been involved, and besides, can you imagine what it would do to me if he still didn’t respond?
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I’m getting it all out on this one, because I’m sick of just letting bits and pieces out. I hope that in just letting the floodgates open and purging all of this, I will be done with it. With that in mind, a couple of random things:
I was looking back through some blog stats recently. Through wordpress, I can see search terms used to get to my blog, how many times a specific post is viewed, and, if someone links to my page from somewhere else, I can see where they come from (for example, if someone has me listed on their webpage, and someone clicks on that listing to get to me, it will show an incoming link from that webpage). I noticed that the most visits I’ve ever had in one day was 191, on December 29th. I figured that was The Pilot’s girlfriend viewing each and every one of my blog posts, since it was right about the time everything went down, and the day before she emailed me. But then I noticed an interesting incoming link. The incoming link was from a Facebook account. The Pilot’s mother’s Facebook account, to be specific. So evidently she knew about all this. Which I found interesting.
You know that Lady Antebellum song “I Need You”? I HATED it when it first came out, couldn’t stand to even hear it. I recently realized that I wasn’t ready to admit the truth to myself. “I wonder if I ever cross your mind? For me it happens all the time.” I feel that way entirely too often.
He asked me, in December, if I would move to Dubai with him if he got a job out there. Literally a week before the shit hit the fan, he asked me that. I told him I would, if we were married. He nodded, as if he were taking it into consideration. I feel so dumb for actually thinking that was a possibility.
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What it comes down to is this: I can’t come to terms with the fact that he cared so little for me. I feel like, if I knew he felt bad, if I knew he regretted what he did to me, it might be better. But I can’t say that’s the case. Everything points to the fact that he cared nothing for me, that he lied to me, told me he loved me when he didn’t, purposely led me on and then dumped me. Dumped me like he was taking out the trash. And all of that is so…
Demeaning. Humiliating. It stripped me of my self-worth, my self-esteem, and I haven’t gotten that back yet. And it’s hard to admit that someone could do that to me, that someone could have that much of an influence on my life. Damnit, I am a strong, independent woman, and yet this sorry excuse for a man has essentially broken me.
What does it say about ME, that someone could do that to me?
There’s nothing worse than hating yourself. And I hate myself for still loving him.
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The bottom line: I want to be able to stop thinking about it. I want to make it stop defining my life.
This is it. I’m done. I genuinely hope that I never blog about The Pilot again, that he is only mentioned in passing, in the same way Soccer Guy and my Denver boyfriend have been. If I do feel the need to blog about him again, I will make it a private post. I know everyone is sick to death of hearing about this, and I know I’m sick of hearing the phrases, “You’re better off without him,” and “It will all work out,” and “Everything happens for a reason,” and “”You’ll find someone better,” and every other well-meaning words of wisdom/encouragement/kindness. I know you all mean well, I appreciate the sentiment, but I’m sure you’re all sick of saying them. So please don’t feel like you have to.
A final note to The Pilot, should he happen to read this, or should someone he knows happen to read this and want to forward it on: If you cared anything for me, give me the chance to forgive you so I can move on. Give me closure – I deserve that much, at least. I know you ran into my friend, and it was mentioned that too much time has passed. It hasn’t. It’s not too late.