One year ago today is the day she first text you, on your personal number, to apologise for you having to see her crying in a public space at your work. I hope when you read that you realise just how odd a behaviour it really was. Almost like she had thought about you before as more than an acquaintance and how did she get that idea?
You were a white knight, you asked why she was upset and was easily dragged in to her drama. She basically begged you to be and you couldn’t wait to get involved. You became easily there to be her on call support, you stayed up late, got up early, texted her whenever she wanted you, emailed her immediately about anything from standard work stuff to personal things. Always available for a “catch up” chat. You were there for you though, you may have well been on a white horse in a full coat of armour looking down at the poor damsel in distress, but what you wanted was her to admire you.
You commiserated with her, became her personal divorce advisor (despite only ever having witnessed others divorces and never been through yourself), and suddenly you were the perfect parenting guru too, despite only ever really being a parent for a short time, and declining in your ability and will to do that well. She had no interest in your advice though really, particularly about parenting, she ignored it all anyway. She didn’t value your advice, she wanted your attention, on demand, and you were happy to leap to her at all times.
I refer to you as her puppy during that time because you behaved like it. I can picture you sat at her feet, tongue out, begging for her to scratch you on the head whilst you ensure her every need is met without her having to ask, because every time she scratches you on the head it’s a hit of maybe I am worthwhile, maybe I’m not ugly, maybe I’m wrong to feel bad about my body, maybe I’m not struggling at work.
Thing is grown ups, we don’t need other people to work those things out for ourselves and you’ve learnt the incredibly hard way that begging for other peoples approval leads to nothing good. You destroyed yourself, rapidly sank to rock bottom whilst treating me like shit to validate what a poor victim you were. You quickly and willingly wrapped yourself in the fog to get hit after hit from her as you slide on the slide to rock bottom with her greasing the way the whole time.
You could have been getting some validation from me but you realised that came with actually facing up to the fuck ups you’d made. It meant to face up to the fact that your mental health was a fucking mess. Facing up to the fact that we needed to talk and I was already considering leaving you cause I was so burnt out by your excessive use of my emotional labour to meet your needs.
We are a year down the line now and you’re a different person. I didn’t feel safe then, I didn’t realise how much I didn’t because I buried it deep and I painted a smile on whilst I was internally working furiously to try and set some boundaries which I didn’t and couldn’t keep because you just battered them down, and figure out to fix how I was broken when it wasn’t me who was broken at all. Or at least, maybe I was, but thats because I had already buried so much it was busting out of me.
Over the past year I’ve been through a distinct number of emotions, repeated heartbreak, stresses, and humiliations. I now have to go through 2019 and relive those things. January 19th, the day you told me about your colleague who was very upset. Shortly after wards I sent you an article called how to support a friend through a divorce. I thought it was sweet you were trying to help her. Then there is February. Valentines, Our Wedding Anniversary, My Birthday, last year was a fucking dumpster fire in February. Valentines ignored in a storm of derogatory comments and derision. Our anniversary barely acknowledged. My birthday was a slightly more eventful day, you got together some friends for dinner, but you seemed bored and fed up all night, we were home by 11pm. March is when I told you that seeing her name pop up on your screen constantly was making me upset and you lied and told me you were just friends. That you would cool it and you switched off notifications on your phone. You told her you had feelings for her shortly afterwards. April being the month you started chatting on a secret app. Sexting. May the month you broke me into a million pieces with the words I love you said not to me but to her. June when you broke me again.
I fear the year ahead. I really do. I have no idea how I will cope. We are on the roller coaster now, we have to ride it, unclipping and trying to get out doesn’t work, you’ll just hurt yourself more. You want to support me, you’ve said it again and again, that you’ll make me safe, that you’ll support me, that you want to be here to help me through the next year. My best friend wants to support me too. I love you both for that. I love you for the work you’ve done to make life safer for us both. How you’ve worked on yourself without complaint. With recognition that things were very fucked up. Wanting us to be stronger, happier, and more satisfied. You’ll be the man that I deserve you say. Because you get it now. You get the person I am and instead of being overwhelmed by that you’re inspired by it. I never wanted you to be overwhelmed. I am who I am. I don’t feel special really in any way. I know I always felt you were special though. Since I met you. I never wanted anyone else, never was bothered by anyone else from the first time you kissed me. That’s why it stings I guess.
The next 6 months will be tough, but I have faith that we are safe now more than I ever have.