To My Friend, C – I Understand

addictionI have a friend here in Austin who has found herself almost exactly in the same place as I was 4 years ago. She loves someone with an addiction that took over his life, and in doing so, it threw her life off track as well.

Is there anything worse than knowing, deep down, that there’s nothing you are going to be able to say or do that’s going to make this easier for her? She didn’t deserve this. She is loving and supportive and hopeful for him, like I was about Chef not that long ago. Being loving and supportive a hopeful, though, also leaves you vulnerable. And that vulnerability really left me defenseless at the worst possible times.

The whole situation really made me take a moment to take inventory of addiction 4where I am now. In a ton of ways, I’m much better. I am a functioning brokenhearted woman. I have a job that I work hard at. I have DJ, my son, living with me, and my dogs and cat, whom I love with my whole heart. And, of course, I have my friend Exodus, who I can’t imagine life without. But the wounds, while healing, are still there.

I see myself much differently than I once had. I know I tend to isolate and push people away when in pain, and I’ve done this to an extreme this time too. I worry that I don’t remember why I loved my husband so much anymore, and the thought of someone trying to love me makes me literally panic. I wrote once that I don’t know what to hope for anymore, and I guess, I’m still there. I’m lonely, but afraid to do what it takes to fix that.

addictionI will always be there for my friend who just had her heart shattered and handed to her. I just wish my life gave a better reason for her to hope for a perfect healing.

But maybe, we don’t get over these kinds of hurts perfectly. Maybe they really do change us forever. But even now, when the healing is incomplete and I can still feel the wounds buried in shallow graves in my heart, I see glimpses from time to time of a happier life. I see a possibility from time to time that make me think, maybe. Maybe one day, I’ll be whole again. Maybe one day, I won’t run away from someone who wants to get to know me. Maybe.

I wish I could promise you everything, C. I wish I could take your pain away and just add it to the already enormous mountain of my own, so you wouldn’t have to face it, like I did. But I can’t.

I can just promise you, you have someone here who understands exactly what a horrible experience this is. You have someone who understands how hard it is to get through each minute of each hour of each day. You have someone here who will mourn the death of who you used to be with you, and who’ll welcome who you are becoming now, because she knows what a tremendous force love is and having it crushed changes us. You have a sister in this.

I wish I could give you more.

~ Bird


Plz Stop Calling Me – It’s Over

sad chefYou called me crying again last night. You’re sorry for all of this. Your relationships keep failing because you can’t get over me. You’re sick; you might go blind. You don’t want to die without seeing me one more time. You’re clean now. You miss your family. You miss me. Please let’s try one more time.

I find it absolutely nuts that when you and I first broke up, I would have given anything in this world to hear exactly those words. They wouldn’t have been true then either, but back then, I was taking what I could get. Now, they just make me sad.

Yes. I avoid your calls. It isn’t because the memories of all of this hurt me so much. Not entirely, anyways. No. I don’t take your calls because believe it or not, I don’t want to hurt you anymore. But you keep forgetting that what was done between us can never be undone. You can’t have the parts of our past back that were so happy because the ending changed us both. Put simply, those people don’t exist anymore.

You get mad because I bring up The Moment of Choice whenever you are able to finally get me on the phone. I don’t remind you out of some warped need for revenge. I remind you cheating-quote-quotesbecause you lose sight sometimes about why all of this is happening to you. We stood, you, me, and Tanya, in our living room, in the little house I had found and fixed up for us, and answered, once and for all, The Question. You had spent months lying to both of us, telling me how you were trying to fix this mess you’d created — telling her I was just a crazy bitch trying to break you two up. So we stood there, the three of us, and I told you, now. Now is when you will pick which path you’re going to head down. You didn’t even think much about it. I remember feeling sick, knowing you weren’t taking me seriously.You pointed to Tanya, and told me you were sorry. She was who you loved. And I told you, then that is the decision we both have to live with now. I walked out of our little house, left everything we’d spent 20 years collecting together, and drove away. It was at that moment, I began the long, hard struggle to cut our bonds to one another. You’d damaged them, but I needed them severed.

Nothing about that moment was light for me. I accepted then that what we had was gone now, relegated to the shadowy mist of memory. You and Tanya’s relationship ended rather quickly after that day, and you spent a few months trying desperately to recapture her interest. I know. I watched. You moved on to Helena, then to others. All the while, you would call me and tell me you wanted me back. And each time I told you, no. You chose a different path.

sad girlYour new girlfriends seem to find it necessary to contact me whenever you guys break up with each other, to put in a good word for you. I can’t begin to tell you how strange and bizarre I find these conversations. That’s just plain creepy. They tell me you will never be happy with anyone but me; they know because they’ve tried. Here’s a news flash — getting back together isn’t an option for you because that would require me being open to the idea, and I’m not.

Please make them stop doing that. I don’t want to hear from your girlfriends. It doesn’t help. I don’t believe it is true that our happiness rests solely on another person; not if we don’t want it to. I can’t take you back. You think things in your life will be fixed if you can just return back to the woman you left in the first place, but you’re wrong. And maybe it is rather selfish of me, but I am not willing to suffer a martyr-like existence in a relationship with you. I am sorry, but you had your chance. Actually, you had a year’s worth of them, and you didn’t choose me then. You only want me now because I think it has actually finally sunk in — I’m gone, and I’m never, ever coming back.

I want you to move on. I hope you find happiness and peace, but not enough to sacrifice mine for yours. You will either bounce back or you won’t. Either way, that’s on you.

Please don’t make me hurt you anymore. I really don’t enjoy it.

~ Bird