I look back at all those years that we "had" together and wonder when it is I should have gotten the fuck out of our relationship. I have things I am grateful to you for - things like helping me get some distance from my relationships with my family so I could learn what it meant to be my own person; and the financial support you gave through my return to college.
And then I have all these letters from you, or cards that I've saved, that were words I thought you sat down to write that really meant something, and I wonder looking at all those lines, the most oft repeated that you "fall more in love with me every day" and "hope you wake up next to me for the rest of your life" and I wonder if you started using those words just at the time when I should have called a halt to all of it and just let our relationship go.
Because you started using them the further we grew apart. And I thought those words meant that you still wanted to somehow bridge that distance, and I rationalized away the notion that we needed to bridge the distance in a daily way until it was too late.
Because this last year? Too little, too late. I threw myself into it in part because I didn't know any better, because the signs I thought I'd seen were you working and trying and still wanting me.
But they weren't. They were you being afraid of the dark.
The funny thing is that these days? These last three weeks have felt like I'm in the sun for the first time in years. Looking back and cutting through all the clouds I shrouded over the boyfriend-shaped hole in my life (that you could have filled, and I think you did once, but not entirely, not for years... instead you were a bad fit, rough around the edges, with cracks and gaps that I had papered over with excuses), I see more clearly now.
And yes, I should have gotten out too. I was desperately unhappy. I was totally unfulfilled. I wasn't being supported or stimulated (intellectually or physically). But I was willing to compromise on those incredibly basic needs because I thought that you were trying just as hard as I was, that you were there too.
You may believe you've said you're sorry enough at this point to not have to say it anymore, but it's simply not true. You probably even feel like a weight has lifted off of your chest and you can breathe easier -- that's not the weight of our relationship that was weighing you down, that's the weight of your lies.
You had to lie to me on a daily basis, and I'm sure in the day to day it wasn't that hard, because our lives were made up of watching TV and ordering take out and running errands and very little else - nothing to interrupt with the truth. You had someone else probably whispering every rationalization known to man in your ear, someone broken and pathetic who helped you be that way.
We huddled on our couches illuminated by substitutes, with the two of you trying as hard as you could to keep anything real out and build a fortress against life ... and the only responsibility I take is for not recognizing how very much I had created a wonderful life outside of you and realizing that I didn't need you in my life anymore. Because I didn't realize that... and now I'm starting to. I stopped going to you for emotional support years ago. I stopped going to you for intellectual support and camaraderie after we graduated college. I stopped going to you for physical support when you continued to put me off - acknowledging the problem in words and then never doing a damn thing about it. I stopped going to you for fun. I stopped going to you.
In some ways too I wonder if I didn't know, deep down. But I don't blame myself for not recognizing - because I believed in the person I thought you were more strongly than anything else. You had the opportunity to live up to being that person (and trust me, he wasn't perfect either, not a man on a pedestal by any stretch of the imagination, but he was a good man, and a relatively honest man who could admit when he'd made a mistake), and you didn't take it.
And now? I'm going to go live in the sun again. I like it here. Good luck in the shadows - they're going to eat you someday.
also posted to dreamwidth | you can reply here or there | um, but don't worry, i'm still an lj girl