pain is seeing your abusive ex-boyfriend’s newborn baby nestled quietly in his fiancée’s arms.
that could have been me.
thank god it wasn’t me.
what if it had been me.
i count my blessings : health, family, friends, income, coming out of this alive.
that last one gets me. alive is one thing- unscathed is another. relationships are hard. they certainly can’t beat his worst, but they’ll never come close to his best. everything is a comparison, and everyone i meet has the unpleasant misfortune of attempting to meet my imaginary checklist’s standards.
a few months ago, i’d fallen (hopelessly, madly) for a man. his behaviours were manic, he was a recovering addict- on a steady diet of ephedrine and energy drinks. he slept like shit, and he ate like shit. he was arrogant and obsessive. vain and evasive. but he was eloquent and spoke in metaphors and he’d been everywhere and seen everything and i’d fallen in love with his mind. i fell in love with the life he’d lived. he’d been in the army, and he was a chef, and he’d been tree planting, and he’d lived in Scotland when he was a twenty year old skinhead in the nineties. he liked good music, and we wore matching fred perry shirts, and he was clean shaven and smelled expensive. he drove us around on his triumph, and he had his face tattooed, and jesus christ, i was sixteen all over again- falling for the bad boy with a broken heart and awful habits. and he needed me- he needed my home, and my money, and my heart.
and i gave it all to him.
and i lost everything.
the steps i’d taken forward, and the path i’d finally paved for myself… all of it was destroyed. he came into my life as quickly as i’d thrown him out of it, and i wasn’t at all prepared for that kind of damage, that kind of heartache.
i play it over in my head… removing his clothing from my closet, putting all of his shoes into garbage bags, packing up his books into boxes, placing all of his fedoras and paper boy hats into a brown paper bag… i never thought the relief of watching his things leave my home would hurt me like it did. i never thought i’d miss his dirty socks on the bathroom floor, or the smell of his cologne as he’d come through the front door. but i did, and i do. and it is really hard to disassociate those feelings from my new life. it’s hard to fathom any of it- how the only men i’ve ever loved in my life could be so incredibly wrong for me. how i easily it was for me to fall into old habits. how these tattooed men on motorcycles keep stealing my heart so they can break it into thousands of pieces. how i keep letting them.
he is trying to make sense of it all- how i could end it, how i could leave him to fend for himself- homeless and broke and without wheels, because he crashed his motorcycle, and i wasn’t there to pick up the pieces. he’d made his bed, and i wasn’t about to sit around and watch him die. i wasn’t going to let myself become who i’d been.
things have been constant, if not stagnant. i am not unhappy, but i am not elated either. i am in this very obvious, very real state of just being, and surprisingly enough, i am completely okay with that. i am often bewildered by my state of mental sobriety- so very sober from this sickness that is my weakness. maybe that’s why i associate myself best with addicts- me entire past feels surreal : how did so much happen in such little time? how were the most important years of my life plagued by sadness and hurt and regret? how were they plagued by such hatred and misfortune and unhealthy lifestyles?
i was fourteen when i started fucking, fifteen when i’d seen crack and ketamine for the first time, sixteen when i started drinking heavily, seventeen when i moved in with my junkie boyfriend, eighteen when i aborted my baby, nineteen when i had the shit kicked out of me by said boyfriend, twenty when i was raped, twenty one when all of those years finally started to sink in, twenty two when i hit bottom and contemplated a way out, and twenty three when i’d risen from the dead.
i’m twenty four now.
i’m twenty four and i have an incredible job, a beautiful home, and a retirement fund. i’m not over exaggerating when i say i died and came back to life. i was given a second chance to start over and not fuck it up beyond repair. i was given new hope and a breath of air and i kicked my own ass into gear to get here and finally do it right. falling for devon was a momentary lack in judgement. it was a moment of weakness. he was the apple and i was very, very tempted. briefly.
i’ve stopped bending over backwards for people. whatever goodness that’s been left in my heart is going entirely into getting back on the horse i was shot off of. i am a victim of my demons, and i am my own enabler, but for the first time in my life, i actually have too much to lose to be reckless. there’s too much at stake to take such absurd risks. i’m worth more, and i deserve better, and i owe it to myself to use this second (third) chance, and do it properly.
this is me letting go