HIS BRUTAL HONESTY
Brutal honesty. It was his catch phrase. You always knew that something horrible, that you didn't want to hear, was going to follow. "Brutal honesty, I am only 90% sure that you are the one". Of course, he didn't mention at the time that the 10% was what he was focusing on. "Brutal honesty, I don't know if I love you enough to try to make this work". Those are only two examples and if I rack my brain, I am sure I could think of more. It seems that the heart just grabs a hold of the most destructive ones.
John surprised me by coming into my life. All bravado…full of spit and vinegar. He wasn't someone I ever would have picked for myself. He was short and skinny…all of a buck fifty soaking wet. He was sarcastic and not very serious. Surface…having little to no respect for anything. He seemed to have a lack of concern for loss and the ability to "turn off" on a dime. Self-serving to a fault. I don't know why I thought that I would be the one to make him whole…that I was somehow special.
I had no idea that this would be the man to teach me about love…the realities of what it feels like to love…and lose. To give your heart, soul and body to a person without reservation or concern. To lose yourself in someone else so completely…having no thought to consequences.
I think his mannerisms were what first attracted my attention...his "strong" side. Then…it was his voice and the way that we could talk and laugh with ease for hours on end. I had never found a man with which I had so much in common. Just his voice could make my knees weak. His gentle manner that he hated so much, making my heart melt. The fact that he seemed to want love in his life again, endearing me to him. He always wanted to know what I was thinking. And I found…I wanted to tell him. But…I couldn't.
He could be a cruel man. Hasty and without consideration or compassion. He treated love as if it were a business deal. A thing to be maneuvered…controlled…broken; withdrawing affection when he felt threatened. It was the first time in my life…that my feelings meant nothing to someone. I spent so much time…walking on eggshells with him. I was a sharing person that couldn't share. Little things would set him off. He would get angry and suddenly this…beautiful…caring…sensitive man…would turn into someone I didn't know.
I found myself apologizing on a constant basis. Need and jealousy controlling me, two very ugly emotions that I had never really experienced before. I found…with him…that either I had absolutely no idea what love was…or…he didn't. I thought that love was kind…forgiving…blessed…something to hold on tight to with both hands. An emotion that conquered all, if one was to put in some effort and communication.
But instead, I found love to be…flaky…self-serving…flighty…and without safety or security. I loved him like I thought love was supposed to be. I served him and our love faithfully. Giving everything to it…to him; leaving pride and self-preservation at the door. I begged him and loved him with everything I had inside me. Isn't that was love does?
No, it doesn't. Love is a thief…it takes everything one offers and it leaves you open to disease. It is an illness that robs one of their very soul. Taking all you have…and then…wanting more. Wounding you in ways that you never imagined possible. A broken heart isn't just a description; it is what happens when love attacks. Literally hurting so badly that if you weren't a stronger soul…you would take your own life to keep the pain from driving you insane.
He wasn't just playing when he said he was a self-centered asshole. I learned a long time ago that when a man tells you what and who he is…believe him. No one knows his heart better than he does. You will never change what a man believes himself to be. I didn't heed my knowledge. I forgot the basics. I didn't protect any part of me. I failed to remember that I am important too.
I forgot because I fell in love. Hopelessly…romantically…forever…without walls…in love. I sacrificed for another. I sacrificed myself for love. I ignored all the warnings and allowed myself to fall into an abyss so deep and dark that I couldn't see that this man would break me into a thousand little pieces.
The end? His pain. Physical pain…it tore into him…this man I adored. I sat and watched hopelessly…helplessly…as he writhed in it. Not having any control to help. Wanting so much to take it away and not being able to. Seeing his eyes turn from loving to forgetting. In so much confusion and pain that he didn't know who I was. Making me cry from empathy. Watching from the sidelines as this thing ripped him from my arms and stripping me from his heart. My mind racing…needing him to see that he had to help himself. I didn't care that he hated doctors or that he would consider my helping him to be a betrayal. Willing to do anything to make it go away. I had to ask for help…didn't I? Thinking back, his anger of my search for help, just an excuse.
John's fear and insecurities control him. He allowed it to break him…to break us. He thinks that I failed him…when in fact, he failed me. He ignored all the sacrifices and love. He abandoned his health and me for his fear. He was selfish, relentless, unwavering, unemotional, and dispassionate in the depth of his despair. His emotions and fears coming before my love. And now…we will never know how wonderful…how explosive…how passionate…how completely fulfilling it could have been. He will never know how much he was truly loved. Not for any other reason…but because he loved me back. How I wanted nothing but his heart. How I saw no other man…but him. How proud I would have made him. And how completely amazing it is that so many men have loved me in my life…but I have and always will…love this one.
I ask myself…how could this have happened? To love so deeply…so thoroughly…so intensely…so fast. How could two hearts…in the same relationship feel so differently? How could I have been so enormously mistaken…thinking that God had somehow…after all these years…finally sent me the man of my dreams…the man who would be the last face I look at before I leave this sorry world? I don't have the answer. All I know is that without him…I will feel empty. And as terrifying as it is to love this much…this fast…it's also exhilarating. It feels like a gift.
I told God…that I wanted to experience love before I died. I wanted to feel it so deeply that it consumed my heart…my mind. Just once…I said…even if just for a moment. How could I have known God would be so cruel? Has my life not been enough suffering? Have I not given enough? Have I not earned the right to find happiness and fulfillment? Have I not been submissive enough to Him…our Creator?
I will remember the first time I looked into the face that I can only describe as beautiful. I will remember how happy we were. How easy it felt. I will touch my lips and remember his kisses that made my whole body feel alive. I will touch my breasts and remember his lips there. I will remember looking over and watching him sleep and thinking…God I love this man. I will remember how he smiled at me across the table with this look of pleasure so pure that it made the hair on my arms stand up. I will remember the last time I saw him…in pain…as I put on his shoes…tied them…buttoned his shirt…and steadied him as I helped him into his coat. How I stood at the door and watched his wobbly frame disappear. And how I waited anxiously for the phone call to tell me he got home safely...a call I never got.
I am praying that I only remember the good things. That I will forget how I felt the next morning...waking up without him. That I will forget the sound of his voice…so…void of affection as he told me that he didn't know if he wanted to be with me anymore. Or that maybe we didn't belong together. I will try to forget about the shame and self-loathing I feel when I remember how I begged him take me with total abandon…like…a whore…the words he used…at the time…to his lover…enhancing the passion…but now…just feel insulting and hateful. I will try to forget the pain of a loss so deep that it will be with me forever. And I will try to forget…one day…that had he asked me to stay…I would never have gone home.
Everything has a price. There is absolutely nothing that isn't paid for. Whether that's something tangible or not. Faith is not a gift. It is earned, with the price of a thousand mistakes. Faith in people, God, kindness of humanity, love, etc… will never be free. All are priceless…substantial equity in a life. We are taught that these are the better things and that they come with no cost. That is a myth. The cost is immeasurable. Sustaining broken hearts and broken dreams…losing all those things that one is trying so hard to achieve. See, unlike wealth, we can't control whether we retain what we have been so hell bent on gaining. No guarantee that if you treat someone with respect and love, that you will get it back or at least get to keep it once earned.
People say that life has a way of making those that cause another pain…pay for that. But…with all the little morally corrupt decisions that we all make within our lifetimes, how do we know that what we are receiving isn't just payment for all the mean things we have done? Whether we were children or not, aren't we all held accountable for pain caused to others? And when does the paying stop? When is enough…enough?
My life…my heart…will never be the same since him. I will go back to the life that I left for him. I will smile and pretend that he never existed. I will clean house, cook meals, and pretend that I am whole. Meanwhile, I will spend months wondering where he is, whom he is with, and why I couldn't make him love me. I will go into the bathroom and take a shower or a bath and cry my heart out until I cant cry anymore. Then, I will blame the red, sore eyes…on allergies. I will try to make a real life for myself as the wife of a man I am not in love with. John will move on and into the arms of another in a matter of day's…maybe weeks. And I will let Bret into my body…something I haven't done since falling in love with John and never intended to do again…and settle into a complacency that only comes from total defeat.
For the next few weeks…on the heels of my hurt…I will question faith in things that I thought were a given. I will question the hearts of humanity. I will wonder why people who have so little security and love in their seemingly perfect little lives, would turn away a heart so pure. I will wonder what I did wrong and ask myself why they didn't see how amazing I was…or how they didn't know that they will never again cross paths with another soul like mine. I will wonder how their lives will be after experiencing a friendship so pure and losing it. And I will wonder how I will fill the hole left behind after sharing and giving so much of myself. I learned. And I know better now. The cost…far outweighing the reward.
I have found in the last few days that a heart can take a phenomenal amount of stress and continue to beat. That even though you know what is not good for you, you will still want…with every fiber of your being…to beg and plead for the very thing that is causing that pain. I have found that I knew his soul better than he did. That he will never find what he believes to be perfection because there is no such thing.
I look forward to a time that it doesn't hurt. A day that I can get through without thinking about what could have been. I look forward to my heart feeling like it is one whole piece as opposed to a thousand different shards of glass that poke and scar me every single day. I look forward to a day that I stop wishing that one night…he will be lying in bed…and he will think of me…and remember what it felt like to be loved by me…pick up the phone…and tell me to come to him. I look forward to the day that…if that call came…I could say, "No, I'm over you". I smile when I think about that. It makes me feel better in some way to believe that one day…this will all be a distant memory of something not nearly as potent as it felt. One day…I want to be able to read this and think, "Wow, I don't remember it hurting that much".
No, I will never be the same again…because I can now say…I have been in love.