A ranty, funny, dead-serious intersectional feminist blog.

Posts tagged “pain

An Open Letter to B

Dear B,

Today will be a crying day. I can’t always tell when I wake up, but when I wake up and burst into tears and cry until snot runs down my face, that’s a sure sign. Last night I fell asleep acknowledging that there’s a part of me still waiting for her baby to come back, and this morning I dreamed that I followed you and your girlfriend around like K did when we were first together, trying to give you gifts and be affectionate while you mostly ignored me.

Waking up my first thought as the tears came was “But I don’t want to.” I’m still trying to work out what that means. Don’t want to be over you? Don’t want to walk away like I did at the end of my dream? None of this makes sense because what I want more than almost anything in the world is to not feel anything where you’re concerned. Anger protected me for a lot of last year but as it subsided—as my brain started forgetting to hate you—I began to remember who you used to be to me: not a villain but the man I loved.

You’ve done a lot of crappy things. First there is the original betrayal—it seems so wrong that I can sum it up in three words like that when a) it went on for so long and piled betrayal upon betrayal and b) it has left me more broken than anything that came before including rapes and beatings I wasn’t sure I’d survive. Telling me over and over again via email about your new love and your bullshit philosophical “types of love” and how I fit into this one box over here, but that one didn’t really count, and your wishes for multiple lovers in the future and your hope that she would accept that, as though that information could possibly help me heal. Then ignoring me on our anniversary after I told you how hard just the days leading up to it were and how I dreaded it. Then promising to leave me alone about the house for six months and then sic’ing your lawyers on me after only three. These are the bigger ones, but once in a while I realize that some part of me still feels that your worst crime was not loving me—not loving us—enough to stay and try to fix it. The absolute worst thing about this for me is that you don’t love me.

For the past 14 months I have been in a state of illness. For several weeks I could barely get off the couch. It was four months before I felt ready to move back to our bedroom and since I did, I’ve barely left it. I am unable to earn a living because depression keeps me from working more than a few hours a day for a few weeks at a time (which means I can get through a book editing project, but a full-time job feels out of the question). I am fighting a constant, uphill battle just to get back to the level of depression I occupied when you were still here. For the past six months I have been largely unable to blog. It’s like I’ve run out of things to say and confidence in my ability to say them.

J told me that you said your actions were hurtful. They weren’t just hurtful—they were harmful. Nothing in my life has ever left me this broken. She said you mourn the loss of your friend. My first thought, and what I said to her, was this:

“He killed his friend. And he killed mine. I will never, ever be the same person I was when I met him. I will never start a relationship with that trust. 8 years ago today I met the man who would murder the person I was that day.”

I know you’ve read things I’ve written before and come away thinking that I hated you. I have tried to, but I don’t. The honest truth—and the most excruciating thing I have to accept on days like this—is that I still love you. And accepting that, it takes everything I have not to hate myself. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned this past year it’s to be gentle with me because I have been on the edge and I know what it feels like to want to slip over and lose myself. I can’t let that happen.

Now you see where I still am 14 months after you left and a year and ten days after we last spoke. I am still crying over you. I am still dreaming about you. I am still waiting for you to come back to me. And I am still agonizing over all of these things and trying not to despise myself. The best thing my anger did was to protect me from that hope and I really wish I still had it. Since I don’t, I’m just trying to get through the time it will take for the hope and love to fade away. I really thought a year would be enough.

I painted this for you back in the early days. For me it expressed what I thought was happening between us: something so big and important that it threatened to burst out of the confines of this mortal existence.

Art by Rosie

Art by Rosie

Now I realize that it was big and important, just not in the way I thought. Now I see the flaws in a painting I once thought beautiful and I look for meaning in them. Where is the line that shows you falling out of love? Where is the one that predicts your betrayal? Which lines represent not love but pain? Which ones are the signs I should have seen that would have allowed me to prevent us from falling apart?

So, this is the state of things. These are some of the things you need to know before you make any attempt at another apology. I wish I could tell you everything. I wish that I could make you experience what I have experienced this past year. I want you to know what it is to be the one left behind instead of the one always leaving and leaving destroyed lives behind you. I wish I could communicate the sadness I’ve felt watching friends and even my family members choose to remain in contact with you even when they know how much it hurts me. I want you to feel what I have felt and know the pain that your choices—and complete lack of empathy for me—have caused. And I want to understand, I think, but maybe I don’t because every time you’ve tried to explain you’ve only caused me more pain. What I really want is for things to be ok, and on days like this it’s hard to believe they ever will be again.

Sincerely,

Me


Drinking Poison

poison_bottle-1A friend once said to me that holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other guy to die. But who among us can experience injury at the hands of another (or two others) and not feel resentment, anger, spite, even hate if the injury runs deep enough?

Out there somewhere is a woman (a sex addict, I assume, like my ex-boyfriend) who believes that she is entitled to joy and happiness at the expense of another person. I have been her. I am not proud to admit it, but I was her seven years ago when my ex decided he loved me and left his wife for me. As I have explained previously, he was miserable in the relationship, but now I’m certain he told his current addiction the same stories about me that he told me about his ex wife. He “loves” me, but he doesn’t “belong” with me because he doesn’t have the “passion” with me that he does with her.

Now, you and I, reader, understand that he’s got a problem with grown-up relationships. He wants to have GREAT SEX all the time without having to work at it. He wants his woman to scream in ecstasy at his every move because if he’s not the World’s Greatest Lover, then sex is not satisfying to him. And if he can go out and find someone new every time the passion wanes, then why on earth should he make any effort in a relationship? Why should he work with someone who has been raped and abused and figure out how to help her feel the things she wants/needs/ought to during sex when he can go out and find someone who fulfills all his fantasies RIGHT NOW without ANY EFFORT on his part? When you put it like that, it seems so simple, doesn’t it?

And as much as the rational part of me understands that to dwell on them rather than myself–to expend any energy at all on this fucking rerun of the worst syndicated cliché the world has ever dreamed up–is to keep myself from healing, to poison myself, to kill myself, there is a part of me that can’t stop doing it. Can’t stop hating him for loving me so little. Can’t stop hating her for believing she’s entitled to joy and ecstasy and this sick thing the two of them are calling LOVE at the expense of anyone and everyone who might get in her way. Can’t stop hating myself for being just like her, and for being me–the person he left for her.

Fuck him. Fuck her. And Fuck all this hate.

Until tomorrow,

Rosie


Unexpected Bullshit

*Trigger warning for discussion of rape.*

Dear Readers,

My life just took a turn for the surreal when I discovered that my partner of 7 years sought sex from a stranger and carried on a relationship with that person for months, creating a bond with her and ensuring that ours would be broken, probably irreparably.

“Probably?” You cry. “But Rosie! He did a terrible thing to you. Why the HELL would you take him back? You’re a FEMINIST after all! Show some self-respect!”

I hear you, readers, but life just isn’t as simple as it ought to be. I may not take him back. He may not want to come back. The whole problem seems to be that he lost interest in having sex with me, but instead of telling me, he took care of it himself. And apparently felt no compunction in doing so. (Now, of course, he’s tortured over what he’s done to me. Go figure.)

It has been four days since he left and I have not left my couch. I am, as I’m sure you can imagine, a basket case. Some days I cry nonstop. Others I just ache. In between I seethe at the injustice of it all. I’m also reading books and articles on how to deal with  deceit and unfaithfulness in a relationship. In one book, the author quoted a woman as saying to her husband the following:

“I was raped when I was 15. This is worse. The rapist was a stranger; you were supposed to be my best friend.”

I’ve been turning this over and over in my head. As many of you know, I have experienced actual rape, and it is a horrific thing that does not bear comparing to many others. I told my partner that it isn’t true. But I get why she said it. This feels like a very real violation of my person, and the physical and emotional agony are nearly unbearable. There will be lasting damage. I will have to learn to trust again—if not my partner, then others in the world. I question everything about myself, my life, what I thought was real and true. I don’t know that this is worse than the effects of rape, but it’s right up there.

When my partner confessed his infidelity to me, I confessed something, too. Something I hadn’t told anyone–a thing that happened to me three or so years ago that someone else did to me, something I didn’t write about in my article about my abuse because I hadn’t told him and couldn’t tell him because I was ashamed and afraid to hurt him. Enraged, I described the incident in detail and the agony I had endured keeping it from him. I wanted him to understand how his lies had hurt me. And he does—at least to a degree. I’m not sure he can ever fully comprehend my pain.

People who cheat rationalize that they aren’t hurting anyone. But they’re hurting at least three people. And while people do recover from things like this, I think it’s safe to say that the damage can’t be completely undone. I don’t know that I’ll ever trust another person the way I trusted him. I don’t know what lies ahead. I just know I have a lot of healing to do, and that may mean less blogging as I focus on myself. On the other hand, it might mean more.

Meanwhile, I have several guest pieces coming up, including another from my good friend Sid.

With love,

Rosie

PS: I wrote this post on Day 4. It is now Day 6, and I have packed his shit and told him to leave me alone. I’ll write more about that when I can. I can safely tell you, though, that he has hurt me more than any single person in my life. Including my rapists.


Update (12/18/14): It has been two years today and my ex has married the woman he found on a sex chat site. I’m sure they both got what they deserved, or will. I am still struggling up out of a well of depression. I have been trying different combinations of medications for a year after going off my meds and into a very dark place for a couple of months. I have come to term what my ex did to me as abuse, and have unsurprisingly encountered resistance to that term. I have written a lot about this concept, what happened to me, and what I have gone through in the past couple of years attempting to recover from it under the betrayal tag if you want to catch up. You can also read “An Open Letter to B” for a snapshot of the damage. I know that I am getting better—that I will get better. And writing about it is one of the ways I’m doing that. Thanks for reading.