I admit my stomach dropped when I saw his name in my inbox. I didn’t expect to hear from him that quickly, let alone at all.
I had held no punches, pulled back the curtain to reveal my years of suffering. Before I’d hit Send, my finger had wavered over the button, unsure. I knew it would hurt him and that wasn’t what I wanted, but I pressed it because of my pain. I had to at least attempt to stop the flow.
His response was short, curt almost.
He had misinterpreted my very first shot across the bow as an olive branch as I had feared. I thought I’d been very clear of my confusion in writing, but perhaps his hopes overshadowed my words.
He asserted his memory of our history was “different” from mine and said he didn’t want to argue over it.
He will be moving out the beginning of October, “so there won’t be further cause for you to feel anxiety about possibly running into me after that.”
He then suggested that it was best we didn’t communicate anymore and he would no longer be responding to my emails (as if I were wanting a dialogue).
I had sat down to read, but as I finished I realized I’d held my breath and my heart was racing. I let it out and with it the wall began to crumble. A tear sprang to my eye, but quickly dried. I was pleased with the response — he seemed shaken, which means I got through to him — but also sad. He didn’t address one thing other than to say he has a different memory “of our history,” whatever that means.
And I knew I’d hurt him.
I felt vindicated, but equally ashamed. Proud and embarrassed. All this time, though, he has believed me to have happily moved on, free of guilt or responsibility.
Then the anger came in large, indignant swells.
What do you mean by you “have a different take on our own history”?? Did you not come over to my house one day and say you wanted a break? Did we not then not discuss a single thing? Did you not then dump me? Had you not denied anything being wrong for you for the entire preceding year whenever I’d asked??
As I drove home I fact-checked my own memory. No, all those things had happened. I didn’t know what he was remembering differently from me.
Perhaps it was my claim that him dating that woman from the gym overlapped with his insistence he was happily single and wanted to remain that way. No, I fact-checked that the moment I’d seen the images. They began around August/September, clearly at odds with his false claims.
Maybe it was that I knew he’d lied about other things which I didn’t list? He doesn’t know to which I’m referring so he can’t possibly refute my belief there.
I had attached the very first and last screenshots of his AFF visits. He didn’t mention that either, but perhaps he believes AFF just randomly listed him in my visitors.
The only thing he addressed was my anxiety, which to be honest I’m thankful for. I now have something to look forward to in regards to him for the first time in 2 1/2 years.
He could have said so many other things, really grown up things.
Things like, “Jesus Christ, Hy, I am so sorry that I hurt you like that. You’re right, I should have told you so much sooner, I just couldn’t muster the courage and I didn’t want to hurt you; I hoped my feelings would change, etc,” or “I’m sorry for looking at your AFF account. It’s been hard not being your friend and so I periodically check in on you in hopes you’d know I was thinking about you. I won’t do it anymore,” or “You’re right, I did lie to you about wanting to date other women because I was afraid I’d lose you. I really fucked that up,” or even, “I can see how it looked like it over-lapped, but it was just really close timing and I even surprised myself by dating her when I thought I wasn’t into dating.”
But he didn’t.
He doubled down and shut down.
My version of events likely fly in the face of the story he’s told himself so he can sleep at night. It’s his very human right to remember things differently, but now it’s my turn to sleep.
I wrote the letter for me, not expecting anything in return, but what he did give me has lightened my heart immensely. He knows how I feel – possibly for the first time ever – and that’s all I needed. I just needed him to know.