I’ve only dated three guys in my short life, and I married the last one. But I’m having a hard time letting go. The first one, well, let’s just say there were so many mistakes in that relationship that I’m tempted to say the entire relationship was a mistake. Despite the massive mistakes made, I still talk to him. At least, I try to. We try the whole being friends thing but we’re both mostly closed off from each other now and he gets melancholy and I get nostalgic and then we both end up depressed and it’s stupid. I still have a hard time letting go, though. I still want to know that he’s thinking about me. I’m not sure why, and it doesn’t make sense. But that’s the way it is. However, I’m getting better, not talking to him as much, forgetting about him more often.
The second one I just can’t seem to shake. That relationship was terrible, abusive in many ways, and it pretty much destroyed me. Then, when I had nothing left to give and no strength left to hold up under his onslaught any longer, he just left. Or rather, he broke off what I thought was a devoted and committed relationship and kicked me out of his house in a city I didn’t know on the opposite side of the country from anything familiar. I was 18.
Because of how much he hurt me, because the whole thing was so devastating to me and recovery was such a hard and long process, I just can’t accept the fact that he moved on. I moved on, too. I’m in a happy, healthy marriage. I love my husband more than I can even express. Despite that, I still hope to run into my ex, to show him that I’m doing better. I still hope that he hurts when he thinks about me, that he regrets some part of what he did to me, that he admits any fault at all. I still watch the profile he has to see if he ever mentions me. I just can’t seem to move on. I can’t seem to accept that he did such a huge number on me and I was just…what, a notch on the bedpost?
Then there’s my husband’s ex. If either of us has a right to be angry and bitter in that situation, it’s her. I moved in as a roommate and in a matter of days became the mistress. Within three months I’d completely won him and their divorce was being filed. Place blame where you will, you don’t know the whole situation and even if you did it wouldn't change the fact that what I did was wrong and it's only because of the ultimate outcome that I'm sure I wouldn't change it if I could. It makes no sense for me to be as angry at her as I am. I want, desperately, to see her crash and burn.
Not only is this not Christian of me, but I don’t understand it. After all, I won. She’s the one who lost, whose entire life was turned upside down. So why do I get red-hot angry every time I see her? Why do I catch myself thinking of ways I can tear her down? Why do I often feel as though I’m the one who was slighted?
I don’t move on so well. I obsess over whether people remember me, how I affected them. I crave the knowledge that someone’s life is drastically impacted by me, and that they will never be able to forget me.
Fortunately, I have mentors in my life who are teaching me to turn that impulse toward a good cause. Impact people in a positive way. I can get incredibly creative when my mind is let loose to roam in it’s natural, vengeance and destruction seeking pattern. They’re teaching me to use that creativity to build up and affirm instead. I’m glad for the change, and for the support. I just wish I understood why I am the way I am.
Why can’t I forget…anyone?
I even remember people that my parents have forgotten, people who were only in our lives for a short time. I may not remember names or recognize faces if I ever see them again. But I remember them. I remember the impressions I had of them. I remember certain details about conversation or setting. I simply don't forget people. Years and years after the last time I talked to a certain stranger in passing I'll probably remember that person and wonder where they are now, what they're doing, what their story is.
I forget things like my husband's birthdate, the fact that his system doesn't handle garlic well, or the name of a friend's favorite pet. But I remember that one girl in fourth grade who was in our class for two days, how pretty she was, how lonely she seemed; and I wonder where she is now and how her life has turned out. I remember that random kid on the playground, and how nice he seemed, and that he lived nearby but wouldn't tell me where. I remember our next-door neighbors when we lived in the apartments and that their house always seemed to be dark except for in the kitchen. I remember these people that - considering how unlikely it is I'll ever see them again - don't really matter in my life, but I can't remember important things, like an appointment next week or what I need to get from the grocery store.
Dearest says that people study psychology for one of two reasons. To figure out what's wrong with them, or to figure out what's wrong with everybody else. I don't study psychology, because as fascinating as it is to me, there are things about myself that I want to know...and there's a distinct possibility that nobody understands it any more than I do. Like my penchant for grudges. Or my seeming inability to forget a person.