Saturday, 29 December 2012
Goodbye, HB: The End
I am done.
I don't think you have a clue what you have been doing to me all these years, because I do believe that deep down in your heart, you think you love me. The problem is that you really don't understand what love really is.
When you say you love me, you mean this:
"I love how you make me feel."
"I love the things you do for me."
"I love knowing that someone cares that much for me."
"I love that you are always there for me."
"I love that you let me be myself and do not ever pressure me into anything."
For the past two and a half years since you told me we couldn't be together, you've had your cake and eaten it, too. You had me: you had someone who loved you wholeheartedly and would do anything for you. You couldn't make the commitment, so you could go out and do whatever you wanted with whoever you wanted, knowing that you had told me that "we can't be together", and you were off the hook when it came to being there for me. You could go straight from saying you loved me to avoiding my lips - but that's all right; we weren't together. Never mind that you lived in my house and made meals with me and went grocery shopping with me and helped me discipline my children - we weren't together. Never mind that you constantly told me I was the most important person in your life, that you didn't know what you would do without me, that you couldn't imagine there ever being a time when I was not in your life - we weren't together. And you could just go off and do whatever you wanted to do, because you knew that everything in me was completely wrapped up in you, that I would always forgive and forget everything as long as I knew that you loved me.
I should have cut things off that first time you told me that we had no future together. Why did I allow you to stay in my life? What did we have, really? - a sexless, kiss-free relationship where I still did everything I could to show you that I was the perfect woman, so that you would eventually come to your senses and realize that you couldn't live without me. I spent the last three years in a ridiculous roller-coaster of emotions and you sailed through in blissful obliviousness, knowing that I loved you and that I would still be there for you no matter what. And I'm aware that none of this was done to hurt me - you just were completely unaware. In a way, your complete ignorance of how much it was hurting me is actually what hurt the most.
But I'm learning a few things. I'm learning about me, and I've realized that I've loved you too much. I've given you too much and allowed you to do whatever you wanted without thinking about how much it was affecting me. True, I broke it off (although how you can "break off" a nonexistent romantic relationship is questionable) several times, telling myself I needed to be without you and that I would be better off jumping than staying on this crazy train, but I always hopped back on. One smile from you; one kiss; one small sentence that hinted at the promise of a future, and I was right back in there: hopeful; naive; the romantic in me always craving the possibility of a moment when you would look at me and declare that this up-and-down and back-and-forth was just as stupid as I've always known it was. I thought somehow that I was hopeless in the face of the great love I had for you...really, I was just caught in the grip of my addiction to you, and you, somehow thinking that in this craziness, we were loving each other properly, let it continue as long as I still wanted you. I don`t want to enable you anymore.
How many times can I do it? How many times can I keep thinking, this time he's changed. This time we're on track and we're going to end up happy and secure together? So many times you've talked of a future, only to pull back. You say that eventually, no matter what, it's going to be you and me, together...but why is that "happy ending" so far in the distant future? If it can happen then, why can't it happen now?
All my friends know you so much better than you think they do, because they are the ones who have had to pick up the pieces every time your thoughtlessness tore me apart once again. My family all knows, and although they like you, they don't like what you've done to me - what I've let you do to me. Even my ex-boyfriends - yes, I've talked to them about you, because they know me the way that you know me, and they know what it's like to be on the receiving end of this very forceful, fiercely loyal love that I've been throwing at you for so long. It's hard to believe, but some of the best advice I've gotten has been from Stringer, and from Black Luke...and I've come to see that they truly have my best interests at heart. They want me to have what I deserve, and although you claim to love me "so much" (I love you so much, Lisa...), I believe that they - now - love me more than you ever have. Because that is what love is, HB - love is wanting what is best for the other person. Love is wanting to be the best person that you can be around someone, and wanting to help them to become the best person that they can be. It's encouraging, and supporting, and sometimes, letting the person you love make their own mistakes in order to learn some important lessons. My friends, my family: they all can see that caring for you makes me unhappy, and have been gently encouraging me to let you go for a long, long time. I keep trying, and I keep losing the battle.
But now, after this last visit, I can see that this really is it. There is no hope that you are going to magically, suddenly, somehow, recognize that I am the girl for you. You are not going to stop being so selfish in your love that you start doing things that would benefit me rather than yourself. You are not - ever - going to be with me.
Do you know how I felt when I opened the door and saw you there? So happy, and so scared. Scared that I was going to fall right back into the pattern I was in for so long before you left town, when I've just recently started to get past you and move on with my healing and my growing and learning. And you wrapped your arms around me, and you held me, and it felt safe because it was so familiar. Five months since I last saw you, and it felt like home, like it always has.
Yet, I could smell the cigarette smoke on you, and it flashed through my mind - dealbreaker. You started smoking again, and I hate it. You know I hate it and you know I worry about your health. Smoking is probably your vicious cycle, like you are mine. But maybe one of these days you will finally break the habit, like I`m breaking the habit of you today. Our visit this last time was brief, and enjoyable in its familiarity, but when you left, I felt that old familiar feeling that I had done something to make you not want me - that panic that I had to immediately text you to remind you that I exist. How awful is that? When I'm with you, I feel I am the best, most beautiful person in the world; as soon as you leave, I feel as though I am not good enough for you. How could I ever have thought I loved someone who makes me feel as though I am not good enough? And that lingering smoke smell (although of course I brushed it off like it didn`t bother me) was a continuous reminder that this is not the man I want...YOU ARE NOT THE MAN I WANT. I thought about how selfishly you`ve acted - though of course you have given me so much, you`ve also only given what is comfortable for you, and kept back the things that you didn`t want to give. I don`t want a selfish man who takes what he can and gives only what doesn`t hurt him to give. Even if you changed completely, it`s too late. There`s too much water under the bridge for us now. Stringer told me once (and it has never left my mind) that if someone keeps bringing up reasons why something can't happen, as you have always held fast to your reasons that we can't be together, it's because he doesn't want it to happen. You don't want us to happen - you never have - yet you clung to the security I provided for you...and now, I'm the one that doesn't want us to happen.
I'm not playing these games anymore, HB. I'm done.
I've erased your number from my phone. I've deleted you - and your mother and sister - from Facebook, and taken the photos of us together off my Profile Pictures. Tomorrow my friend is coming over and we are going to spend some time in prayer together, asking God to break the spiritual ties that have kept me so bound to you for so long. This is the last time. I'm not going to call you and tell you, and I'm not going to send you this letter, because truthfully, I don't want to talk to you again and take the chance that I'll get sucked in. And although I know you said - you promised - that you would come and see me within the month, and take a few days to just spend with me, I'm not holding my breath. I've learned that you'll regret making that promise, and I don't expect to hear from you about it. If I do, I will ignore it, like I should have done long ago.
Sincerely, and with regret for wasting so much of my own time,