Looking back, I wouldn’t do anything different.
While picking this apart for the thousandth time I saw the clue I had completely blanked out until now. The single but all important warning sign. This clue wouldn’t have made the slightest bit of difference to the outcome. And I wish I hadn’t seen it. Not seeing it was easier; that surprised me. I believed understanding would help, not make it worse.
Until now the why and how he dumped me in such a way has astounded me.
It made no sense. I had a number of theories and couldn’t decide which one was the truth:
1) He lied about loving me.
Maybe it was one of those moments when someone declares themselves to you and you cringe so you go along with it for a while until you work up the courage to say no.
– This is a very likely scenario if I assume he told the truth for the rest. The lie wasn’t easier for me, that was just easier for him. I understand people want to take the easy route, god knows I do too, but when you know of someone’s weaknesses and their issues with trust, that you’re genuinely close, you just can’t do that. You have to be brave enough to reject them with some dignity and not lead them on. He provoked this as much as I did. He flirted, a lot, he stared into my eyes way way longer than someone who wants nothing, a lot. It was more than just friendship. Unless I imagined it all in which case lock me up right now.
2) It was just entertainment for him, something pleasant while he had time and was a little bored. He didn’t expect me to take it seriously and this is also why he pushed me away so harshly.
– I did give warnings, I said stop teasing because it’s stirring things inside of me a few times, I gave him outs once in a while. He never took them and pointedly continued doing the things I said had an effect.
This is the option Heart believes because it makes sense considering my experience of people in general.
3) I scared Other away by telling Him about it. Our fairy tale turned into something harmful for someone else. He doesn’t like conflict or rocking the boat too much.
– This is a likely scenario but I also pointed out that it did us more good than the expected harm. It really did help Him and I give it another go.
4) He ended it just because of guilt towards Her but secretly still has feelings for me.
– I feel pathetic just writing this. It’s only an option because I can’t see how we could be one way then so suddenly another. It truly doesn’t make sense to me. This is wishful thinking but the trust is broken.
If he did decide to sacrifice himself in a noble gesture he also sacrificed me and Him in the process. What breaks me consequently breaks Him. It is his choice but just telling me that flat out is something I could deal with and respect. And maybe tease him a little. If I’m being honest this is the only way that fantasy survives and I feel slightly less terrible because it isn’t me that is being rejected. But it’s the least likely, isn’t it?!
He warned that the change in his schedule would give us a lot less time. I did not understand this as being a warning of an end, just a warning of a change. At this point I can admit to myself that I missed a clue towards the end. He stopped telling me he loved quite soon after he said he did. Nothing else changed until his circumstances did and he took the opportunity to get rid of me. He had no more time for me and too many responsibilities. I believe the obligations but time…. I’ve seen him post stuff on the internet… there’s a lot of it. He has a lot of time for that. And again, I made no demands.
You should be able to expect that someone who cares about others, who is kind and generous would be able to consider those around him and try to act accordingly. Even more so when he knows they have deep seated issues and he does know. He’s learned all of my shit over those couple of years.
People say “you don’t know what you are missing”… Not knowing doesn’t hurt you. I was shown what that was exactly. Happiness. And perfect, book-worthy romances. I felt truly valued and then it was taken away.
I was used.
It was just “a bit of fun” while he had extra free time. I have spent way too long trying to make sense of this and to get over it. I’ve wondered if he is a narcissist who was gaslighting me and I couldn’t see it. I don’t think he is. I like to think I’m no longer blind to narcissism. He is the one who put me on that track in the first place. He’s the one who woke me up to what my father, and then manager were doing to me. He helped me deal with a narc who was leading a vendetta against me because he didn’t like what I said once, he defended me publicly.
I don’t think I’m any closer to getting past it. Quite the contrary. Even though I see the clue I keep having to remind myself of it so I don’t go back to ignoring that tiny little fact.
With my history being what it is, it is nearly impossible for me to wonder why he would be different and not have used me, why would he not have lied, why would he not have manipulated? There isn’t anything that allows me to think otherwise. That is almost all I know. I clung to the thought of someone else loving me that much because it made being alive worth the effort of getting through every single day.
Some hopeless romantics will ask “But what if he secretly still loves you?” Does it even matter at this point? The trust is broken. The hurt doesn’t all just evaporate from one minute to the next. I’m not sure there could ever be a way I could let go and get comfortable again. If you were lucky enough to have my trust it in the first place and break it, you don’t get it back. Ever. You’ve no idea the paranoid scenarios that go through my mind. Long and short cons all the way.
Other more pragmatic souls will say “They never leave their wives, you know”. No I don’t know, my mother left my dad for another man 23 years ago. They are married now. And anyway I never asked or expected him to leave her.
I love you? Nope, not going to put myself out there again anytime soon. I’ve had an elephant sitting on my chest for all this time. Some days I wish I’d never met him because despite the absolutely amazing parts this pain is one of the worst ever. It’s level with the “I regret making you, you ruined my life“. How could I be so blind and stupid and think I deserved my fairy tale and having people in my life who aren’t just out to get what they can or want before throwing me out.
Another blogger who talks of narcissism, said this of an ex “Because I was open to him, to us, I absorbed every one of his words as if they were physical blows. They were actually much worse, although it took me forever to figure that out. His blows cut to the core of my soul. He took every fear and doubt I had ever shared with him and threw them back at me” * Other might not be a narc but this turn of phrase is perfectly appropriate here too.
I doubt my sanity. My ultimate love story happened only to me. All by myself in my imagination. Looking back, as the story evolved, I must have made mistakes but I would change nothing in how I behaved. It was the right response given what information I had. Everything I did and said was the truth and it was carefully considered. I really, truly believed it. This has been humiliating. It makes me angry at myself, at him, at life itself. I don’t understand why I almost exclusively have to deal with these kinds of people. If you believe in karma, I was a very bad person before. Can you imagine this from his point of view? See things getting totally out of control on her side? Her family falling apart in part “because of you” (even if it’s not)? Of course he ran.
We all have dreams of fairy tales of happily ever afters both in love and work to aspire to. Most of us never really get there, we all have regrets about things we did and knew we shouldn’t, or of what we never tried. We stay enveloped in the stress of everyday life from which we find little relief. He broke my dream of being loved enough that I don’t feel so worthless. That is all I ever wanted. He turned it from fantasy into reality then back to an illusion. Him does his best but the damage left by so many means that he can try all he wants one person isn’t enough to lift me.
Dreams of rosy futures of perfect harmony in blissful homes are unicorns. Too good to be true. Maybe you’re never supposed to get there but what happens when you do get your hands on one of these mythical beasts, manage to hold onto it briefly then it just disappears in a puff of glittery rainbow smoke? What do you dream about? What do you aspire to? It all seems a little flat. I can’t see getting back up to that level of positivity again. I’m not sure how to function without that ultimate goal of brilliance to spur me on, to push me to better my life and my relations with, well, everyone. It’s damaged my faith in people very badly.
Wanting a better, a more fun job, a bigger and nicer house… those aren’t the goals I’m talking about. They are not what makes life count. What makes it count is the richness of it, the power of friendship and love, the fundamentals of caring. It’s the things that you care so much about you’d chose to live forever because you can’t bear for it to end.