The pain is worse than when I left my husband. With him, I knew it was because we had no future. This time, I know there’s a future and it’s being denied me. It’s like the death of someone who hasn’t yet lived their life.
He came and got his things just now and the look in his eyes — so ice blue and shut down — nearly took my breath away. I choked on words. Asked him how he was doing. “I’m doing ok. How are you?”
“I’m doing horribly, actually.”
He’d let himself in when I didn’t answer. I’d fallen asleep and awoke to him entering my bedroom. I asked him to stay and chat for a minute. We sat down on our spots on the couch. I told him how furious I was at my best friend for abandoning me and laughed sadly that normally he’d be the one I’d complain to about such a thing.
I asked if there was anything he wanted to say that he hadn’t already. He said, “I pretty much said everything I needed to.” I agreed.
He admitted he wasn’t doing all that well. He was burying himself in work and video games.
He was wearing board shorts. I asked him if he was going swimming. He said he’d just gotten back from kayaking around downtown with someone, who, I didn’t ask. I silently wondered if it was 4 am girl, but tried to push it out of my mind. He’d told me he had no interest in her, they are only friends. And really, it doesn’t matter anymore. He can do what and who he likes.
Then he stood up to get his things. I was hoping to touch him one last time, to feel his arms around me, to smell his sweet scent. He gathered up the bag and movies before I could move into his arms. “And you still think this is the right thing to do?” I asked.
His face was pained, slightly irritated by the hurtful question. “Yes.”
“Ok. Just asking.”
“I’m going to go back into my hole now.”
He moved to the front door and I opened it for his laden arms. He walked out and looked back. Our faces a reflection of each other. Sad. So sad.
I quietly closed the door and began to sob. My body is betraying me. My heart feels like it’s going to stop, my hands shake constantly, I burst into tears when someone innocently asks me how I’m doing.
I cut off 10 inches of my hair today. He didn’t mention it, but I know he knows why. It’s ritualistic, like the angry red gashes on the white undersides of my breasts. Stripes of pain, a show of loss. I have to feel this. Last time I stuffed it all away and it ate at my core.
Tomorrow is the 6th anniversary of my father’s death. A bad man who hurt me, molested my sister, died alone and in utter misery. It’s easy to remember the pain of his death because this pain reminds me I’m capable of being alive. I am going to breathe this fire and cry and sob and do whatever it takes to expunge it from my depths because I don’t want it residing in me.
I texted him asking him the name of his softball team; I don’t want to play that night. He’s pitcher, I’m 1st base. He said he’d bow out and let me play. I texted him back that I regret nothing, but will miss everything. Thank you for loving me in all the ways you could.
And then I texted and called everyone I know. No one answered. My best friend has been too tired to come over any of these nights and today she decided to go swimming with another friend. I’m struggling not to tell her to go fuck herself. Internet “strangers”, people who have never laid eyes on me, heard my voice, or felt my hugs have provided more support. Why am I so alone? If I’m such a great person like everyone keeps telling me, then why isn’t anyone here with me??
This is the ugly side of a secret relationship. I will be mourning and no one will know and my cries for help aren’t taken seriously. What have I done? What am I going to do? How can I possibly handle more loss? I feel extended to the max, stretched tight. I have responsibilities and people who rely on me for support. Can I get through the next few weeks without a ripple? I will do my fucking best.
The outpouring of love and support from you, my sweet, secret friends, is my lifeline. I don’t know what I’d be doing right now without you. You keep me honest, you keep me present, you keep me from slipping away to numbness. You are all so loved by me. I hope you can feel it. You’ve helped a lonely woman in great pain with your words. I know you’re helping another woman through her pain. You are wonderful and brilliant and are reminding me that relationships can be a fortress of love, not just an attacking army. I don’t have to know your faces to know your friendship.
I don’t want to be alone.