Afraid I Gave All I Had Left

I have never loved anything, or anyone, the way I loved my wife…well ex-wife. I can freely admit that now, without crawling into a corner and wishing for the world to finish caving around me. I have had so many people tear me apart, and build me up, in my life. Yet, I never had anyone ever make me feel the way she did. The tremor my heart did when I saw her looking at me with love in her eyes. The few years where we built a life. A life I thought worth something, only to have it torn so completely from underneath me. No, I haven’t met anyone that made me experience what she made me feel. 

It was an earthquake on a sleepy Sunday. My whole world torn apart in seconds; at least, it felt that way. I was told it was a long time coming. But I didn’t see it. Maybe I didn’t want to see it; I know my gut was screaming that something was wrong. But, what she did. What she put me through…what her lovers put me through; no amount of intuition or experience could prepare me for that level of devastation. All those years of emergency disaster training, and I couldn’t even handle the first seconds of my own disaster. I loved her. I gave her that in. That ability to completely destroy my world. I trusted in her the way she asked me to, and I did it without question.

She seems like a lifetime ago. The girl I fell in love with is a lifetime ago, replaced by someone, something unrecognizable and yet she claims was always her. I never thought of myself as being that blind, and in all honestly I do not believe I was. I think I just believed in her more than she will ever be able to believe in herself. I’ve always been like that; torn between being so heartlessly jaded, and borderline naive in believing in the best of people. You have to, in order to have someone’s back even when they are wrong. And god she went ten exits passed wrong in what she did. What they all did.

But I am not ashamed for how I feel. I am not ashamed for loving her still. I am not ashamed that loving her is murder to me, to my heart. Dramatic as it may seem; but my head is finally clear from the games, the lies, and the mental torture her and her lovers put me through. The desperation I felt in trying to help this woman I loved…loving her was killing me and I do thank her for being a coward. For being a horrible person. I was trying to save this person that I could see was drowning in so much self-doubt and self-loathing and she didn’t want it. She didn’t want it because she didn’t view it as wrong or bad. Even when she said that she couldn’t think about what she did to me because she couldn’t breathe when she did; the pain was too much. So she became selfish, and cruel, and I have to thank her for it.

Because it allowed me to let her drown.

It is the most devastating moment in a person’s life, when they are forced to watch helplessly, as someone they love dies. And while she is still breathing, the girl I knew died. It destroyed everything in me. It took everything that I have left in me to allow that to happen. She was the one I loved, and I had no choice but to say goodbye. I am not ashamed to admit that I am still mourning that moment, when I truly realized that the girl that promised me the world, was handing it back to me in pieces, telling me I wasn’t enough.

While she would argue against that, anyone who lies, cheats, betrays, someone they love…that is what they are truly saying. No one deserves to go to bed at night, wondering what was so wrong with them, that they weren’t worthy of dignity, respect, or love. I am aware of the sentiments regarding any break-up, having her tell me the majority of them before anyone else knew what was happening.

I would have been the one, if she wanted me to be. But she changed her mind, and denied me grace and dignity in the fallout and…and I still have nightmares.  I still feel so small, and devastated, and defeated. World weary, and tired and lost. Because I know that no matter how much I rail, and fight, and claw at what I feel I will never not love her in some way. It pisses me off, and yet still, I have to thank her in some way.

I have had so many people in my life walk away, that I know what it means to turn ones back to someone. Too many people; enough to know that I will never be rid of the voices that say I’m not good enough, not worth enough. Not worth loving. I know the impact and the devastation just turning can do. To the person being turned from, and in my case, for the person turning. For while she turned her back to me in pure selfishness and disregard, I turned my back because I loved her. And loving her was going to kill me. She was going to kill me with everything she did, and denied. She was going to kill me while defending the actions of a liar, and a fraud. And so, drowning in her chaos, I turned away, and murdered a part of myself in order to be free.

Because I know who I am deep down. I know if I give up on you, it took the entirety of me, to turn my feet and walk away.

I’m now supposedly on this great quest. A journey of self-discovery and growth. I’m surrounded by love, and hope. I still feel the twinges in my heart; hope for love that leaves you breathless and yet whole and calm. I even have opportunities for relationships; opportunities to be loved and treated right.

Yet it isn’t there. That feeling I had before my ex-wife. That feeling of adventure, excitement and chance. The urge to experience what loving someone does to you. I had it, after each of my previous relationships…but not after her. It’s like I still have that hope for love, but not the drive for love. I know I’m still in mourning. I understood what marriage meant. I understand what my love meant. I was still learning how to love more, when she pulled the life-lines, and I feel some part missing. That, when I said goodbye, I lost more than her. Us.

You always do, at the end of a relationship. Lose a bit of yourself. But I am not ashamed to admit that I crumpled. That I gave up, and curled into a ball, and wished for oblivion. Because I gave up on someone I loved; I gave up on someone whom I would have sacrificed the world for, just for a smile.

It sounds pathetic. It sounds weak. But I am not ashamed to admit that I loved through fear, and dislike, and uncertainty. I loved her, even when she didn’t love herself, and I gave up everything to give up on her. To say goodbye. And now I’m afraid I gave up all I had left. For while there are many people I love…that love has been intrinsically changed. Although the argument can be made that the change is inherently for the good, there is just something in my gut that says I will never be the same.

Because I think I gave up on myself, the day I gave up on her. And now? Now I just don’t know where my feet are going. Some days I can pretend, and others I cannot.

I guess I just want it acknowledged beyond the typical heartache of a break-up. That, no matter how hard those around me try, I will never be the same. Because I’m the kind of person who would give up everything for someone I love, and she took it and harmed all of me knowing this fact. And it doesn’t feel acknowledged… the fact I gave it all up. That no one said anything as I was giving up; as I was giving her up. No one noticed the pain under the pain; the lasting effects. That I am not okay. That I’m lost and feel so wholly alone, even with the love and support from friends…

And now…I just don’t know what I have left to give. To fix those feelings. I try. I really do.

But.I still have nightmares. I still can’t sleep.

Because I had to give up everything, to love someone, to love myself, enough to walk away.

I’m not okay with that. I’m tired that its not okay, for me to not be okay with that.

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