It’s funny how a person can spend so much time ruminating over how wronged they are, wishing for amends, only to be faced with that day and… well, kinda not care. Oh, how I longed for the day my ex would make amends to me, to come crawling back, begging on his hands and knees for me to forgive him. Well, that day has come, my friends. And it feels… so anticlimactic. Or just not as satisfying as I thought it would.
He sent me an email asking if he could apologise to me. And that’s how he spelled it: apologise, with an s. When you type it on an American computer or cellphone, it auto-corrects to the American spelling, with a z. So I don’t know what that was all about, but he added that he wanted to apologise for a few things that had been bothering him, but that if I didn’t want to talk to him, he understood, adding that it was a selfish request, and that he hopes I’m doing really really really well.
Of course it meant something to me that he wanted to make amends. My heart had been crushed so many times by the things he said and did in our relationship, things I put up with because he had bipolar disorder, which I wouldn’t have put up with otherwise, because I believed that he couldn’t help it, and that I needed to learn how to adapt. I would’ve done anything to keep our codependent relationship together. A relationship in which he repeatedly told me he had no plans of committing to, and even admitted himself many times that he took me for granted, always as an apology, but nevertheless a truism that I ignored for a year and a half. Because my dumb ass hoped he would change. Let me tell you something, ladies: They don’t change. If a guy tells you he’s afraid of commitment, run fast!
And I appreciate that he hopes I’m doing well. Of course I hope he’s doing well too, in a grand-scheme-of-things kind of way, like if we were in the midst of an apocalypse and someone was like, What are your last words to Steven? And if I’d already said all I needed to say to all of my closest loved ones, and to some of my friendly acquaintances and a few random kind strangers, and there was still time to leave a message for Steven, who somehow would still be alive somewhere to get my message, I’d say, I wish him well.
Although, it’s not so much that I wish him well now as it is that I don’t have ill will towards him. Ie, I don’t hope that a tree falls on his car, or that his apartment burns down, or that he becomes terminally ill, if you need some examples.
The thing that really stood out to me, besides the English spelling of apologize, was that he admitted it’s a selfish request. He admits that it’s ultimately to make him feel better. To appease his own guilt. I don’t know if that means a person is genuinely sorry, or if they just want to be let off the hook. The problem with that is that they’re looking to be let off the hook by someone else. It helps, but can it make a person let go of their feelings of guilt? I don’t know the answer to that. Ultimately we must each learn to love and forgive ourselves, and I’m not sure if getting someone else’s forgiveness can do that for us. Isn’t it just another form of approval-seeking?
And I’m not sure he really feels guilty so much as he wants to believe he’s a good person. I’m not saying he’s not a good person. But it’s possible he’s a narcissist, a label I’ve rejected for a long time now because it seems to be the trend to call every asshole guy out there a narcissist (probably because the President of the United States is a narcissistic, mentally ill, abusive, sexist, dangerous man but that’s another blog post I’m not wasting my time writing). But as my therapist pointed out, Steven just wasn’t capable of loving me. He probably couldn’t love anyone, because he didn’t love himself.
My initial reaction is this: Why would I want to let you off the hook? Why the HELL would I want to make YOU feel better? And why would I even want to see you? Why not just email me the apology? Send it in a letter?
I might not read a letter anyway, to be honest, for fear of getting hurt again by any kind of barbed or double-edged comments, such as, I’m sorry that I loved you so much that I couldn’t deal with it, especially after you said I hugged my daughter too much and that it seemed inappropriate.
It would be weird to see him now. Maybe I’d wonder what I saw in him, and it would be an uncomfortable moment of wondering who I am, if I was being true to myself then, and if I am now. It felt so true at the time. But people change. I’ve changed, and the woman I am today won’t put up with the bullshit he put me through, not from anyone, no matter whether the guy has a mental illness or not. I’m sorry for him that he has to deal with that, but I can choose whether or not to be in that kind of relationship. Honestly, I have my own depression and anxiety to deal with, and I can’t be with someone who has the same issues (magnified, in his case)—it just brings me down. When he was depressed, I was depressed. When he was happy, I was happy. Today I’m my own person—or trying to be, anyway—and I cannot allow myself to put up with that.
If it’s only a selfish request, it also means he doesn’t want to get back together with me. Not that I’d want to get back together with him, but I can’t help but wish he did. He doesn’t lament that he left such an amazing potential wife. He doesn’t see the error of his ways and how perfect I was for him, that he just made the worst mistake of his life (lol), leaving someone who’d have taken care of him, and that I was the sweetest, most beautiful, smartest woman he’d ever been in a relationship with. Haha! I realize I’m being dramatic with all these statements, but that’s how I feel in this moment.
A friend suggested that Steven would probably apologize for something that didn’t even matter to me anyway, rather than the things that hurt me, which wouldn’t surprise me. For example, how about the fact that he never invited me to visit his kids with him when he went to see them every other weekend in North Carolina? Where he stayed in the house with his ex-wife? And the fact that he never spent the holidays with me, but instead spent it with them and his ex-wife? When he could’ve gotten a hotel room and invited me to spend that time with him and his kids, excluding the ex-wife. How he reminded me that he couldn’t afford for us to live together but then he ended up getting his own place that cost him more than it would have if we’d have lived together. How he ruined my 40th birthday by putting a time limit on how long I could spend with my family, who I only got to see a few times a year, then insulted me for not standing up to my dad (whose goal for my life is that I marry someone just like Steven to take care of me, and who loved Steven). How he bragged to my dad about how much money he made, yet refused to live with me because he said he couldn’t afford it. Well, also because he refused to commit to me, but then he expected me to commit to him. And I did.
Maybe he expects me to apologize in return. Which ain’t gonna happen, my friends. Pah! Yeah, right! As if! I spent the entire relationship apologizing to him for every little thing I said or did that upset him. Maybe you’re thinking I hurled all kinds of disturbing accusations, knowing the comment I made about his daughter, but I didn’t. Most of the time I made an extra effort to be sensitive to his feelings with the words I used. I walked on eggshells, always worried I’d said or did the wrong thing. Read my old blogs if you want proof of how much I adored that asshole, who did not deserve my time. And I did apologize for saying those words, more than once, extensively. Plus, my sponsor already confirmed that I don’t owe him any amends.
Or maybe he doesn’t expect an apology. I don’t know and it doesn’t matter anymore because I have no desire to see him or talk to him or rehash it anymore.
I just want to move on with my life and find someone who doesn’t remind me of him in any way.
I want to apologize for turning this into an angry rant loaded with negativity, and for not being over it already, and for writing about him yet again, and for not looking at any of the positives about our relationship, because there were some, I just can’t think of what they are right now, since I isolated myself from all of my friends and made him my whole world… but I’m trying not to apologize for everything all the time. Sometimes we have to get the anger out to get over a broken heart, and sometimes the process just takes longer than we want.
I do want to say that I feel empathy for Steven, and his brothers, because their parents must’ve been really horrible for them to have turned out how they did. One of the brothers moved to Korea, never to return to America, and none of them have visited their parents in years. So I will say that I am so grateful that I had a mother who showed her love for me in a way that made me feel loved, and that even though my dad and I don’t have the perfect relationship, he was never abusive, and I know he loves me too.