Saturday, August 3, 2013

Letting Go: A Letter to the Ex

November 14, 2012


I never thought I would say this, but I want to thank you for cutting me out of your life for good and finally putting an end to the insanely tumultuous years we spent together. I still think about you way too often, and sometimes I drive myself crazy attempting to understand and figure out just what our relationship was about, and if it had any meaning or purpose at all. I need to let it all go; I’m working on it.

Although we certainly had some nice, good times together, mostly all I remember is drinking, doing drugs, fighting and fucking. Mostly fighting.

My life has greatly improved without you, and I sincerely hope yours has improved as well. As I’ve often told you: I do think you are a strikingly handsome guy, and unusually intelligent in many regards; those are the traits that initially drew me towards you and kept me with you for so long.  You have an amazing side to you, a lot of good qualities and you have a lot of potential if you don’t throw it all away on drugs, alcohol, self-hate and anger. I hope you someday face and deal with your demons; I’m currently facing and dealing with mine. 

I’m not blaming you for everything. I certainly played a role in all of our misery and fights and we often reacted to each other in ways that accelerated our anger, sadness and unhappiness until it spun out of control. We hurt each other a lot. Simply put: We obviously were not good for each other. Part of me wants to just accept that, move on and wish you well.  Unfortunately, I have difficulty with that because a large part of me remains bitter and angry at the way you treated me, my son and my friends.

Like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, you have a brutally cold, cruel, vicious side to you.  You constantly picked at me in the places I had the most shame and guilt in my life and I allowed you to make me feel like the “murderer,” "killer," “liar,” “useless piece of shit” “pathetic loser” you accused me of being.  I now understand that such abusive attacks deeply took hold within me because I had my own, similar self-judgments and shame and believed you were right. You fed those self-doubts and self-judgments and helped them grow to a point where I began truly hating myself, yet I stuck with you because you also comforted me at times and I believed I loved you (and believed you loved me).  I think now that we were just addicted to each other, and both of us are addicted to alcohol, drugs and intensity – It obviously made for a pretty dangerous, potent, volatile mix.
I think I can eventually forgive you for what you did to me, since I allowed you to do it; but I am not sure I can ever forgive you for how impatient and cruel you often were to my son -- a wonderful, beautiful young child with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. I fear I will always maintain some guilt, shame and self-judgment for having let you talk to and treat my son the way you did. He would sometimes cry and beg me to leave you and stay away from you. He’s a smart boy, and I should have listened to him. But I don’t need to forgive you; I need to forgive myself.  Fortunately, Cory has forgiven me.   

Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and do it all differently. You had no right to judge me. The first time you talked to and treated my son the way you often did I should have thrown you out of my house and out of my life forever. The first time you talked to and treated me the way you often did I should have thrown you out of my house and out of my life forever. Ah, see . . . more guilt, shame and regrets. . . regrets upon regrets -- that’s the unfortunate impact I let you have on me. 

A friend once told me to never regret having tried to love someone; but I regret you. 

As you well know, when we met I was still struggling with an identity crisis, still coming to terms with coming out and being gay, and trying to figure out just who I really was. I was still in a place where I had too much guilt, shame, sorrow and regrets from my past. I was vulnerable to your verbal abuse and cruelty. At some level, I think you knew that and enjoyed the power you had over me. Perhaps it’s something I needed to experience to grow into a better person – like a wildfire that seems devastating at the time but makes a forest healthier in the long run. Who knows? I obviously still think about it entirely too much.

I’m not sure why I am writing you all this. I know you well enough to know that you will dismiss everything I have written, and likely berate me for what I have written -- if you even bother to read it at all.  I guess a part of me wants you to know how your cruelty affected me and others in the small hope you will examine yourself, get help and become a better person.  And why do I even give a shit? I don’t know. I am not sure. I guess a part of me still cares about you and hopes you will turn out okay and achieve your dreams and contribute something useful to the world.  I wish I could just forget about you entirely and delete you from my memory.

I’m working on it.


1 comment:

  1. Dave - WOW ! the pain you have suffered is so evident, my heart goes out to you; but I also am reminded of the adage "what doesn't kill us makes us stronger !". I see you as a strong man now ! Blessings ! Skip