We always get exactly what we deserve. Last night I got what I deserved. It was eight months in the making and the moment I had feared since the day he told me he was married.
I wrote him a letter. I told him I was in love with him. The consequences of doing this were a far-gone conclusion. For eight months I have been watching this train roll towards me, not even hurtling, just a slow leisurely meander. I could have jumped out of the way at any time. I had options, men who were certainly more available to me. Men who were actually single for starters. But I kept choosing him and one by one I let go the other options.
The knowledge that I loved him was destroying. It ate me up. Every message, every joke, every off-hand remark was interpreted for greater meaning, looking for signs, signals that weren’t there. We create our own stupid fantasy worlds where we love and are loved. The words spilt out of my mouth when I was alone at night, when the light was off and I was being lulled to sleep by the sound of my puppy breathing at the end of my bed. Like a cough, I could not sleep until I had cleared my throat, let the words slip into my pillow “I love you”. No one to hear them of course but at least I could sleep now.
His response to my letter, sent by email, was clockwork, precise, expected, anticipated, unsurprising. But our emotions are fickle. My eyes still welled up and my voice choked and I felt that searing white pain in my chest, that oh so fucking familiar pain we all know when something is broken.
And that was that. I could tell you how he feigned ignorance about my feelings and told me it would be up to me to block him from contacting me, but what’s the point. I got exactly what I deserved from this … was it a relationship?
My bestie shared with me some tough love. It’s not new but it’s valuable advice that anyone who finds themselves constantly initiating relationships with unavailable people should hear. Indulge me but I have recounted it below in full:
Me: This was coming towards me like a slow train. I could have jumped out of the way months ago. I didn’t. My head chose this pain.
Her: So do it now. It’s not too late.
Me: It is too late. I feel the pain.
Her: Don’t let this drag on and become an on again/off again headfuck.
Her: Call it. End it. Save yourself.
Her: I don’t often tell you directly what to do but I am now.
Her: You have got to stop. This is the emotional equivalent of self-mutilation.
Me: I have got exactly what I deserved.
Me: It’s like watching the car you’re driving crash in slow motion. And you’ve seen it before, dreamt about it. But you can’t stop it happening.
Her: That’s fucking bullshit. This is going to sound harsh and you can tell me to fuck off or not talk to me but – You got exactly what you set out to get. You are hell bent on proving to yourself that you’re not lovable, that you’re too damaged to be loved. That is why you deliberately choose men who will help you reinforce this self belief, which is utter fucking bullshit. You are lovable, you do deserve love and happiness but you have to fucking believe it.
Her: It’s time mate. It’s time to break the cycle before it breaks you.
Her: Stop now.
Her: I am begging you.
I sent her screenshots of our conversation, where he tells me he wished I’d ended it in person and I told him I would never have had the resolve to do so. Where he tells me that he’d counted on that.
Her: You’re goading him into saying something terrible so you can feel that searing, agonising pain. I get it, more than you know.
Me: It’s better than feeling nothing. Feeling empty.
Her: It doesn’t have to be one or the other. 0 or 100. You are capable of having a healthy, functional relationship.
Her: It’s not easy and it will take some pretty fucking heavy self reflection and some professional help but if you want it, it’s there.
Her: I know this is not the time you want to hear this.
Her: But I am hurting for you and I just want you to see you can be ok.
We all get exactly what we deserve.
Read his right of reply.