Saturday, January 14, 2017

Closing an old wound

There was something I wanted to write about on my blog yesterday but, unfortunately, by the time I had a chance to write it, I no longer had the strength to do so. I was too exhausted after everything from the day and could not put down into words all of the things that I wanted to say.

And what I wanted to say was something in the way of an apology, of sorts. I discovered something yesterday and I felt terrible about it. And even today, that regret lingers. But I will deal with that regret in my own way, because I am pretty much on my own with this sort of thing. Nobody cares about it except me.

But I feel the need to come clean about it on my blog, because I have posted about it here on my blog in the past. I am talking about this blog post: An old wound.

I know, WHY am I bringing up something from almost 12 years ago?? Why even bother? Nobody gives a shit. Seriously: NOBODY CARES. Everybody has moved on with their lives – including me. And I don't dwell on the past.

But, life doesn't care about any of that. For almost 12 years, life was throwing fireballs at me. For almost 12 years, something in my conscience twinged and it would not rest. I was reminded of it constantly.  But, as my kids will confirm, and as my friends will acknowledge, I can be very stubborn. I can be very bull-headed. So, for a long, long time, I ignored those constant pings from my conscience. I was so convinced that I hadn't done what I had been accused of. Oh, sure, I could have checked. I could have looked. But I didn't.

And, you know, I really should have.

Well, I have done that now. Yesterday, in fact. I did go back to the chats I had saved all those years ago and I read over them.

But why did I do it now? Why, after all this time, was I trying to see for myself what had really happened?

Because my conscience finally won its battle with me. Yesterday morning, I had been thinking about something that happened a long time ago, and how I had struggled for years to forgive this person: My brother. I had severed ties with him after leaving California on account of what happened in the past. And while I was civil with him at my dad's funeral, and I hugged him and expressed my condolences because he too lost a father, I still kept my distance.

But yesterday, I was thinking about that. And I all of a sudden felt pity and compassion for him. Nowadays, he is being punished for another thing he did to his family, and I thought, It is time to stop holding this grudge. He is going through enough suffering now. He has lost everything. It is time to forgive him.

So, I did. Just like that. I no longer felt anger towards him. I no longer hated him. I felt love and compassion for him.

And it's like my conscience grasped this moment of vulnerability and reminded me of some other thing I had to come to terms with: This thing that happened in 2005. And at first, I was like, Why do I have to go over this again?

Because life was not going to let me forget about it, that's why! He was still in my dreams, in my friends' Twitter or Facebook feeds, in the faces of others that I saw, in books I read and movies I watched. Reminders about it and him were EVERYWHERE.

THAT was why.

So I decided yesterday to put all this to rest. I decided to open those online chats I saved from long ago and see for myself EXACTLY what was said.

And, eventually, I did see it. It was right there, plain as day: I had indeed told a lie. I had lied about being divorced.

As I sat there staring at the words, I tried to remember the person I had been back then. I am not that person anymore – although I still AM cautious about what I share with people I talk to on the Internet. I still do not trust people so easily. I still understand that there are posers and predators on the Internet and that you have to be careful with what you share with strangers on the Internet.

But life was different for me at that particular time. I had just moved to Oregon with my husband and daughter. Before leaving California – which I HAD NOT wanted to do because it meant leaving my family – my marriage was being held together by a thread. And I had no friends or family in Eugene. No connections, resources, job or anything here. I was very vulnerable and, in fact, set on leaving Eugene altogether. (These days, I do at least have friends here and I don't want to leave. But that's all that has changed for me.) Things were not going well. In fact, I was planning to get a divorce. At that particular time, my husband was trying to fix things with us, but I was done (or so I thought!). I no longer loved him. I no longer wanted to be his wife (and I had told him as much in California). In my mind, I was no longer married. In my mind, I was no longer someone's wife.

And that was why I had said as much in that chat. For all intents and purposes, I was planning on getting a divorce. I was planning on filing for a divorce – which I did, eventually. At that time, I saw nothing wrong with saying as much, though. At that time, THAT was my plan. It just took me a while because I did not know about the law in Oregon about how new residents had to wait at least 6 months to do such a thing. And during that time I had to wait, my husband and I separated. I moved out and just hoped that the man I had fallen in love with over the Internet would suddenly appear.

Well, he did -- that one night at the bus station. He and his brother were both there. Neither of them said anything to me. And I had ran right past him, in a hurry to get to a bus. I was in such a rush and didn't recognize him – although I DID see him.

But later, back at home alone, I had realized what had happened. And after that, I never saw him again. There was no more contact with him at all. I tried sending an email but it was ignored. And I pretty much accepted that it was over. It broke my heart, because I had loved him, but, alas! ‘Twas not to be!

So I had to move on. I had to fix things for my daughter, who was hurting from the divorce. She had her own heartbreak to deal with and my heart just ached for her. SOMEBODY had to think about her, and that someone was me. I had to step up for her (and to this day I will never again hope another person not related to her will ever care about her enough the way I do to make her happy). I had to make things right for her again and, ultimately, for me, that meant reconciling with her dad. I had to forget about my own feelings and I had to ignore what I wanted and put her first.

And I have been doing that ever since – until now, that is.

But, anyway, yes, I did realize that I had told that lie. I am not happy with myself for doing such a thing, though I do know why I did it. I understand why I had done that thing. And I also understand, too, that I can't go back in time to change anything. I can't make everything right again.

I know it was a mistake to do that. To say that. And I also learned later on that I should NOT have allowed myself to fall in love with someone until AFTER I was actually free to do so! But I know that you really can't control what your heart feels for people. I know my lying about being available was the wrong thing to do. I know this. I really, honestly thought it was okay to say that I was no longer married because that WAS the direction I was going in! But I should not have said that. I learned that lesson the hard way and much later on in life. And I really, really wish I hadn't ended up feeling anything for him because that pain of losing him is something I will never forget. It was something I suffered with for years, even when he had moved on to other people and saying things. I wish I can go back and stop myself from falling for him, but I can't. To think it was okay to feel ANYTHING for anyone while I was going through that mess was a really stupid thing to do. I shouldn't have, but I did. And I have since been judged harshly and wrongly for that. And I was forgotten about.

And, as it is, I am not able to apologize to him for the lie, either. He and I are on different paths in life. He is living his life and I am living mine. I have no communication with him. So I cannot apologize to him directly. I tried via Twitter, though I doubt that would do much good. I mean, it's been almost 12 years. He has moved on. I have moved on – and I will move on from all of this, now. I am filing this part of my past under "Shit happens." 

But, you know, ever since then, I no longer wear my heart on my sleeve. I no longer trust my feelings to some stranger on the Internet. I will never again allow myself to feel so much love for someone because it only leads to hurt and disappointment. I know the pain and heartbreak of loving someone in that way, and I don't want to go through that again. Or of the loss again.

Not that I ever will, though. These days, I am putting myself first. Seriously, it's time to be a little selfish and pay more attention to my own self for once instead of putting everybody else's needs and wants over my own. That may have been the old Dawn, but the old Dawn is dead. She is not coming back.

I am not posting all this on my blog to get attention. I am not posting this on my blog with a hope of reopening the lines of communication again. No. I don't give a shit about communicating with anyone anymore or divesting my feelings in anyone anymore. I have been through a shitload of crap ever since then and I have hardened myself since then. I don't hope for or expect anything from anyone. At all.

I am posting about this on my blog to come clean. Yes, I lied, and I'm sorry. I do hope he will forgive me and it would be nice to be forgiven but I am not holding out any hope that that will happen. It doesn't matter, though. I had to post this on my blog in order to tell my story and bring closure to this whole mess. Hopefully from now on, I will no longer be reminded about it or him. This will have to be enough to bring all of that to an end. It is all I can do. And I hope that now my conscience is now clean and I will finally be able put all of this permanently to rest from now on.

And by the way: I know how some people may react to this blog post. Despite my conviction that nobody really cares, I know some people may read this and ask questions. Or wonder about the people involved. And I know the one involved will say I am just a delusional fan (which is not true) and that I am just doing this to get attention (also untrue). I know what position I put myself into by posting about this and I know that I may be setting myself up for public ridicule. But I really don't care. I know what happened. This is my story to tell and to share. And as to what people have to say about it? I honestly ... don't give ... a shit.

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