Just when I think it’s over. Just when I think you can’t affect me anymore. Just when I think I’ve moved on, you sunk your claws into me last weekend and dragged me down into depression for three whole days. That was an amazing feat for only having spent 2 ½ hours in your presence. Well played.
If anything, it made me look back and realize how immobilized I felt after being married to you for 20 years in that overwhelming cesspool of despair and depression. If anything, it made me MORE appreciate my time alone in my little condo, away from you, away from the suck that is your life, away from your constant victimhood. I have had peace for a year, and I can’t put a price on how good that feels.
When we met – and for years after that – I not only loved you, I ADORED you, to the exclusion of myself. You were fine when that was the game plan. If I ever wanted to better myself, you ensured I was kept down and didn’t succeed. When I graduated college with honors, instead of acting proud, you acted surly. Maybe you knew that meant the beginning of the end of your reign of misery in my life, because I wasn’t that pathetic young girl anymore who “needed” you. You weren’t willing or able to share in my victories with me.
You see, I outgrew you years ago. The problem was twofold: I didn’t realize it, and you emotionally shackled yourself to me like a ball and chain and did everything you could to keep me off balance, doubting myself, and feeling like this was the best I could get. Add to that the fact that you’re a perpetual victim, so much so that I bet you carry around your own crime scene chalk. You know, just in case anybody is left unswayed by your constant caterwauling where the topic is always you and always has the adjective “poor” attached to “you.”
Though I’ve never sworn to be a perfect angel (and have, in fact, admitted many faults), I think things really started to unravel for us when I quit adoring you, when I realized you were human, when I quit babying and enabling you. Not only that, the relationship suffered when I realized that the adoration was only one-sided. You claimed what drew you to me was that you thought I needed rescuing. However, when I became stronger, you resented it. Hell, when I found myself still needing rescuing at times, you resented that as well. The fact is, you simply resent. I don’t even think you know what you resent – you just focused on me and felt it HAD to be me. After watching you at work for nearly half my life, I think you brought your resentment into the marriage and simply attached it to me and to everything and everybody else that mattered to me.
This past weekend, you said you have changed. After listening to you for 2 ½ hours and how you’re STILL rehashing things from the past 20 years instead of focusing on the year since I left, I realize that nothing at all has changed. Oh, you feel stronger, more emboldened within yourself these days. But it’s not growth you feel. No, what you feel is validated. You now go to individual and group therapies, and you share your bizarre and twisted version of how things went, and you are now getting your “poor you” fix that you so desperately need like a fish needs water. I don’t say this out of bitterness – I’ve SEEN you in action, SEEN you take and twist facts and cloak yourself in passive-aggressiveness and color yourself as the wide-eyed victim while coloring me as the bad guy.
The fact is, in the year since I left, I’ve lost 55 pounds and have been making it. I take care of myself, I have been hanging with friends, and I have even ventured out on a couple dates. You, on the other hand, have gone from being well-kept to looking like hell. Your hair is grown past your shoulders, your goatee is 4 inches long and graying, you’ve probably put on 15 pounds, and our house hasn’t been cleaned since I left (not to mention the clutter that has accumulated). You say how great you’re doing, but as those of us who have been grossly overweight for many years know, the outward manifestation of our inward selves doesn’t lie. And it’s not just that you’re a walking lie – it’s that you still chose to dump on me last weekend and act as if I was the cause of all your internal grief. News flash: I’M NOT.
But your words, for whatever reason, hit me hard during that 2 ½ hours. Old habits die hard, obviously. So for three days I took on YOUR pain, YOUR misery, YOUR conflict as my own. I carried that for you. Again. STILL. You shit all over me, and I just took it. Not only did I take it, I took to heart some of the things you said.
Then Tuesday came, and God spoke to me. He literally said to me, as I was driving my car to work, “This man stole your joy for 20 years. Are you going to let him steal one more moment from you now that you’re in your safe place, your oasis?” And I replied, “No, I am NOT.” I’m done. I’ve been SO peaceful since I left you. I’m more alone than lonely, and I don’t have to worry what’s in store for me when I get home. I don’t have to be subjected to cold shoulders, constant criticisms, neurotic behaviors, denial of accountability, or feelings of inadequacy. Granted, I still need to cleanse my own brain from your pollution from time to time, but since leaving you, the black cloud of confusion and sorrow that was my life has been lifted.
If I ever wondered what I wanted to come of this separation, I have no doubt now. You’re incapable of loving another person, of being there for them, of being their partner, of being fair, their champion, their friend. You ONLY think about yourself, and that just doesn’t work for me. I don’t need you to love me anymore. I love me. GOD loves me. And I’m done with you.