The first year that I listened to this song, I didn’t really hear it, and so I didn’t give it credit. It was only recently, coincident to a time when I’ve had to learn how to take responsibility for myself in relationships, that it came on Pandora in the middle of the workday and I really heard the damn song. I fucking love this song; I need this song. Five years ago an unhealthy, doomed relationship ended, and I was so hurt and confused that I became determined to live by righteous anger, even if it killed me. For almost five years I was afraid to let myself see my own mistakes. A man said, straight to my face, very early on, “I am a psychopath, and you should not trust me.” He isn’t a psychopath, but I should not have willfully ignored whatever it was that he was expressing in that utterance. At one point I realized the right thing to do and ended it, but he worked to win me back solely because I was the only woman who had ever broken up with him (I still am, I think), and I couldn’t commit to my original decision, so things continued and got worse until they went up in flames. I was willful and blind and I threw myself headfirst into a situation that was sick, and progressively so. I made a lot of mistakes, and it took five years for me to be okay with that, to find peace in the fact that though I think everybody deserves one, not everybody gets an explanation/conversation/acknowledgement/apology, and you can, indeed, get on with your life without receiving one.
For whatever non-reason, almost immediately after I realized that I had it in me to forgive and not look back, I got a message from him on social media that implied that he was interested in making things right. I was shocked to hear from him, then pissed to hear from him, then I was sad and vulnerable to hear from him. He didn’t say much, and I don’t think more is forthcoming, honestly. I learned a while ago to live without closure, so I know I can do so, but a part of me will always and reflexively open my fist for a gesture of kindness from the men who acted out on me, and sure, maybe that’s fucked up. Sure.
I gave my best friend the rundown just now and immediately felt ashamed that I had this story to share at all, that this person existed in my thoughts anymore in any way/shape/form and that I was even thinking of engaging, if only in a removed, civil manner. I struggle a lot with admitting to the people who’ve seen me through hell that my life isn’t always on the linear upswing, that my past and I are not so far apart as I would like. What the hell do I expect people to say? Sometimes I feel like I’m 95% reassurance that I’m not doing something totally incomprehensible and 5% story-bombs. I have to share it, though, because I was trying to pretend I didn’t have to and it wasn’t working. No one can do the work of protecting me from that sickness better than I can, it turns out. (So, here’s a blog post!)
My last therapist, who I love the hell out of and who really loved the hell out of me, said this once: “One day, you will learn to forgive yourself.” I got pissed at him, the kind where I couldn’t address it. What do I have to forgive MYSELF for? God. Men! But he was, as with most things, right on.
I have a hunch this guy isn’t going to use the email address I gave him (the next day, he deleted the message he’d sent me), which saddens me, but not for the same reasons as before, not at all. I now know the thought of facing me really scared him then; maybe it still does. The sad part is, I guess, that I’d already forgiven him, because I had a need to forgive. The sad part is that he didn’t even have to ask, though these days I’m thinking it’s possible that he has a need.