May 24th 2020
I’m sorry I couldn’t save you. I’m sorry I finally ran out of hope for us. I’m sorry I quit on us. I know you had hope for becoming a better person, as long as I still kept that candle burning for you. I’m so, so sorry I quit on us. This week was the first time in eleven years you didn’t hear me say “happy birthday.” This time you didn’t roll over and wake up to my familiar smile, my touch, my kiss, my smell. This time, snook, you woke up to someone new. Her body where mine should be. Her dark hair on my pillow – because you always did like the brunettes – anything that didn’t remind you of me. This week, you woke up to her on our anniversary. It would have been nine years, Ty. Nine whole years. You woke up to a loss in your heart. You woke up missing me, even if just for a moment. She woke up without knowing what was on your heart and mind. The same place I shared for all those years.
It’s a poetic justice in a way. Even after all this time, all the pain, all the wounds that scab over and then burst open right before they fully heal, even after I’ve felt loving and wonderful moments with others, I still miss you. I still believe deep down you could be better. It’s not every day. Hell, it’s not every month. But every so often that pain seeps in like an unwanted friend. Every so often, I wonder what could have happened if your broken heart could heal. If you could finally learn to love yourself and if you could have had a glimpse into the way I saw you, before we broke. Before we harbored hatred. Before the affairs. Before the violations and abuse. Before the codependency and manipulation.
Still coming to terms with my own healing process and learning to undo the codependent bond between us, it hurts that you didn’t sit with the pain after I left. It still hurts that you owed it to yourself to do the shadow work, to look inward and heal your wounds – your self-sabotage. While I can say all day long that I wish you the best, it doesn’t change the fact that I feel tied to your self-destructive ways. It doesn’t change how I have to continuously tell myself your choices are your own now. That when you break her heart, when she finds out what’s underneath that beautiful smile, a part of me will feel her pain inexplicably and mourn for her. I know this is in no part my responsibility, but because of your manipulative ways, how you have played the victim for so long, I’m afraid a part of me will always be attached in that regard. After all, I was your fixer. I covered up your acts and put on a brave face in front of others. I protected your reputation. I protected your true self from how the world viewed you. At the end of the day, I enabled you to do what you did. And unfortunately, I own that. It’s my choice how I respond to you now. It’s my choice. And until that bond is broken completely through my healing work, I know I am choosing to acknowledge the codependent link. That link that says, “if only I did this, if only I loved harder, if only I could lose the weight, if only, if only, if only.” But it never is enough with you, babe. It’s not about what I did or didn’t do. It’s not about how I looked or how my body felt. It’s all about how you felt inside. The inner parts of you screaming from your own past hurt. Your darkest parts coming out and hurting who you loved the most and probably still do, me.
I journal to get through the pain and the sleepless nights. I journal to catalog the real effects of the trauma bond that still so blatantly exist in this post. I journal to catalog the healing process and how far I’ve come in the past year. The fact that I can still harbor blame in my heart and take responsibility for giving up on someone who gave up on themselves, is a testament to the strength of a trauma bond. How it seeps into every aspect of your life and rears its ugly head just when you think you’ve gotten away. How the doubt can come flooding back and you can question what part of you wasn’t worthy or valuable enough to make someone choose you. How someone can just discard you and all of their feelings after a decade of love. How someone can seemingly forget you existed, forget the place you held in their life, and choose to replace you with someone else. With someone who doesn’t remind them of the hurt they feel inside. With someone who isn’t attached to the memories of the past. With someone who is lighter baggage to have to carry. I remind myself this is hallmark narcissism. I remind myself that he discarded me and chose a new victim to feed off – that I should be thankful he is not in my life anymore – but there’s still humanity under a tough exterior. There’s still a wife who tried to hold a marriage together. Who tried to be true to her vows. Who was left wanting. Who was discarded by the one person she would have given everything for.