Two Sides of a Coin
It is always the same — I mess up, she loses it. Sometimes the fits short and spunky. Sometimes they are long and silent. Sometimes though, they get loud and violent. And then every now and then they get mixed together in this potent concoction — once when I messed up, she slapped me and then went on to not speak with me for a week. Though I must add, there have been times in the past when I’ve manipulated the situation to make my fuck up sound like her creation and doing. I did not do this with malicious or manipulative intent, even though it may sound like it and puts me in a bad light. I simply manipulated the situation to avoid things getting ugly and create a rift between us that would take a week to heal. As much I understood that she values honesty, these fits get tiring and I don’t always have the energy or bandwidth to deal with them.
Like I said though, the rifts always fixed themselves. Or at least we felt like they did. Maybe they never truly settled, a storm brewing underneath throughout. God knows what direction it was taking. We were both oblivious to it; addicted to each other and the turmoil we brought into each other’s lives.
Anyway, this time, it seemed like things were going to be different. You see, we’d been having serious issues for a while, with long distance and all that. And then I went ahead and — yes, you guessed it — cheated on her. It wasn’t the first time, but it was probably the first serious time. The other times were harmless in comparison. This time though, it was with a friend I was close to and there was more than just a physical connection. It was bad. But I was lonely and bitter, long distance was hard, and this woman I was supposed to be in a relationship with spent most of the time pissed off, not talking to me, and hanging out with her friends in the country that I wanted to live in. She did not even like it there and complained all the time. I hated the complaints — woman had some strange entitlement issues.
Me? I hated where I was and business wasn’t doing that great either. And after over a year of pretty much living together, the distance was hard and I did strange things to protect myself from it. We had these set roles in each other’s lives. Me, the guy who never got into relationships or emotionally dependent on anyone, I forgot how to live without her. She helped me with the mundane things of life and work that frustrated me, gave me advice I never got from anyone, made my breakfast, packed my bags for travel, calmed me down when I was freaking out, always understood the details, knew more about the world, and was significantly better at Google searches than I ever was. She had patience, perseverance, and dedication. And I complimented those qualities. We fought and had brutal arguments, but that was because we were strong people. It is what held us together.
Now she’s gone. Walked away saying I’d never see her again. I have a hard time believing that. Similar words have been said before, but they fall through. I sure hope it isn’t true. We might not be in a relationship, but man, is that woman awesome or what? I want her to stay in my life. She knows everything about me. Everything. Even the things I keep hidden from myself. Maybe, that is why we could never survive in a relationship — she doesn’t see me for the person I am, but for the person I can be…
Have you ever been addicted to heroin? I have not. But I know people who have, and what they describe to me feels strangely similar to what I felt. So I feel like I have been addicted to heroin. Instead, my poison was a person and the pain that person caused me. Ever since I can remember, I tried getting out of it. From the second month of the addiction. But I kept getting sucked in deeper and deeper. Initially, when I tried to walk away, he begged and pleaded me to stay. And then somewhere down the line, the begging and pleading fell on me, even when I was not at fault. It was stifling. Oh so stifling. I could not meet friends, hang out with them alone, try something new, cook, read, or even write something on social media without receiving some flak for it. I was TIRED.
When do you decide you’ve had enough? I think I walked out to preserve my self-respect. If I had stayed even a day longer, I would have lost that too. And so that morning I made the announcement — “you will never see me again.” “Yes, I will find you.” “No.” And BAM! I was gone. I never existed. It tore me apart for a very long time. I spent that summer in a rehab of casual flings and one night stands. And many months after that tormented. By the pain and by the absolute disbelief that I had allowed myself to drag this out for so long. That I spent 1.5 years just trying to pull away and disconnect. How weak was I to feed off someone’s energy so much that the pest started growing inside me and turned me into something I was not? And I called myself a strong woman…
What kept me there for so long, you ask? I don’t really know — that’s how addictions work, right? I had been in better relationships before. Heck, I’d been in amazing relationships before with people I respected and who respected me. It is not as if I was giving the relationship my all. I have to be honest, I cheated a lot. More than he did. I think it was a symptom of the fact that I always kept trying to break away, of the voice in my head that kept telling me to get out. That is one way I turned into something I am not — I don’t believe in cheating, never have or will (open/non-traditional relationships are different).
When I walked away, I knew it was over. Factually speaking, he found someone else. Someone who gave him the attention I had stopped giving in my constant struggle. Someone who probably cared, because I had stopped caring. I had reached a point of hysteria by now and found my own self quite unbearable, can’t imagine how painful it must have been for another person. In reality, I know what happened. I pushed him away. Unconsciously, without even realizing it, I created a situation for myself where I simply had to leave, because that is what I wanted all along. Doesn’t mean it was easy. I cried a bit that day, but not once after that. Countless pointless tears had been shed in those last two years — I just did not have any left. But I did wrench my soul apart and it turned me to stone. Two years of subjecting yourself to emotional abuse that your soul keeps crying out against, but you ignore? It’d turn anyone to stone. In the end, I found peace after a long time in realizing two things — 1) the person I thought I loved never existed, but was a figment of my imagination; 2) the greatest disservice you can do to yourself is to share your life with the wrong person. And I know I won’t be doing that ever again.
I miss writing. I have not been doing much of it. But it seems like there are some, no, many, cobwebs to clear and messes to untangle for the words to start flowing again. Till then, finally got around to hitting publish on something I wrote over three years ago.