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Wants In A Lifetime

By Scott Kinney



Trees and Mirrors

My name is Scott Ryan Kinney and every day I go to war with myself. I fight to change a man that I've never been because a woman I loved and trusted convinced me I was. When I learned she was wrong my mind started a war within itself.

My world is a collection of unknowns. Most people know where they’ve been and know what they want but not me. I don’t trust anything that I don’t know and I don’t know anything. When I unwillingly relinquished that trust I learned even the mirror is dishonest and for most the fact that the mirror never lies is as certain as death and taxes. I promise you it does because I’ve seen it first hand. That reflection conceals more than we’re willing to see about ourselves. You can see your reflection in the water but if you don’t consider what’s under the surface you might as well be blind. I looked into mine and there he was. A handsome, kind, strong, confident and respectful man always staring back at me and I loved him. One of the only two people in this world that I’ve ever known with every beat of my heart. The other was the love of my life who turned out to be much different than what I thought she was. She made me look into that mirror through desperation and I learned I was also the opposite of who I believed I was. I thought she lied to me but maybe I was just lying to myself. I needed to find that answer. I needed to find the things hidden deep in the security of that mirror. I needed to know why it only showed the greatness that I believed was me. On December fourteenth of two thousand and nineteen I said fuck superstition and I broke that mirror. Since that day I’ve used every shard to cut deep inside of myself and see my own reflections from the inside out.

I believed all that I thought I was until the moment that my military expertise forgot to chamber a round in my Ruger 9mm during a stressful situation. That’s not exactly the number one rule in combat but it’s certainly an important one. It’s a funny thing to be the greatest soldier of all times and forget all of that training when it mattered most. I thought I was a hero backed against that tree looking at the three small ones that I had planted for the kids a few years ago. A man that’s been misunderstood throughout my life and never got a break. Never once has luck blown my way. I was a guy that didn’t deserve this pain. I’m certain that attendance records would be broken at my visitation and recognized in the world record books. Everybody knew I loved her and felt bad for me. They’d probably need to rent the civic center for my visitation. I knew all of it was bullshit but I fed it to myself anyway. Nobody gave a shit and I knew that. Nobody would care and certainly not lose any sleep over the loss of me. My self-departure from this world would be one in which would be referred to as a long time coming. I didn’t even write a note to her. What good would it have done? My guess is she’d frame that motherfucker and be ecstatic. I’m such a fuckup. I’m so sorry. I promise I’m willing to give you what you want. I love you so much. Here’s your dreams as promised. Inhale and exhale, a flinch and click. Click? What the fuck, click? I forgot to chamber a fucking round. That reality hit me a millisecond before the shock and immediate regret came over my violently shaking body. I cannot believe I just squeezed that trigger. I can’t believe I’m alive. Am I really alive? I threw up all over my shirt and instantly heard her make a slim shady reference. It was so real that I looked around to find out where she was. As always, I already knew that she wasn’t there. She never is physically but this time seemed different. I closed my eyes and laid my head back against the tree. When I reopened them I just looked up at the sky wondering what I had done to deserve this. My daughter would be so lost without me. What the fuck did I just try to do? I shouldn’t be here right now. I pulled out my phone to look at a picture of the five of us together.

Beginning to cry an overwhelming emptiness overtook my body. I looked at that picture while my emotions left me brutally battered until the phone eventually lost its battery. I sat there all night into the next morning. Crying and paralyzed waiting for someone to come and save me from this hell but nobody was going to rescue me this time. The only difference between me being alive or dead is that alive I get to suffer happily every day. I said that correctly.

This wasn’t my maiden voyage to sail away from my own misery. A lot of half ass mentions of it and although I was sincere, always too scared to put any real effort into following through. Of course there were a few regrettable times that I presented the subject for desperate attention which can be defined as manipulation or emotional abuse. When I said those things I felt it would be better for her if I wasn’t here anymore but I was always too big of a pussy to actually do anything and she would remind me of how bad it would make her look. This was the first time I quit trying to love her. This was the only time I’ve ever quit on her. I’ve said it all before but I really didn’t want to die, I just didn’t want to be alive. I’ve had friends end their lives and I always thought that things couldn’t possibly be that bad. You hear these crazy fucking lunatics talk about out of body experiences and things they didn’t realize they were doing and I would always laugh. Who are these fucking people? I’d mock them but there I was right in the middle of the same thing. I don’t remember hearing any voices other than hers. God didn’t come and speak with me but I was definitely in a place and I had no clue how I got there.

I never understood how that contradiction was possible and then it all made sense somehow. It was just time. I crossed the threshold of pain and it really seemed like the answer. She wasn’t everything I believed she was and that group session just fucked me up. My stupidity kept me alive but my love for her would eventually kill me.

I spend most of my life alone and with tears running down my cheek. Love consumes my mind and it lives there disguised as depression and memories. Maybe we should reverse that last sentence. Despite depression I’m a very happy person simultaneously. I think most people I know would agree with that. One percent of my life is painful. The remaining ninety nine percent of my life is remembering my best friend and being filled with joy because I’ve known her. A lot of tears have fallen while still holding her close to me, without her actually being present.

When she broke off the engagement I had a lot of people reach out to me and some were even in the same position of understanding. Also recently broken hearted, they knew what I was feeling and were hurt just as much as me. We’ll never get over this, we both loved the same they’d say. I learned that my support group of that common ground didn’t exactly have my patience or stamina. Some of those people have been married for years and are long past the hurt we shared at the same time. I’ve had friends lose loved ones sadly to death. Those friends have seemed to find a way to move on and make the best of their unfortunate situations. Then there’s me. Selfish and entitled me. I’m sorry that your cousin got killed in an accident or your house burned down but the love of my life just broke up with me so have a little fucking compassion. That was of course a conversation that never happened but within me, it’s exactly how I felt. More than three years later and all of my moments of every day are shared with the thoughts and memory of her. The woman of my dreams.

I changed my clothes and drove to a bar because whiskey always helped to get rid of the headache. With a cigarette hanging from my lips and checked out from the rest of the world I looked up and saw my reflection in the mirrored beer sign. Who in the fuck is that guy? Is that what I look like? Is that sadness always so noticeable? I’ve always believed that I played it off pretty convincingly. Do I always look so fucking pissed off and disgusted? In that moment, the mirror showed me a version of myself that I had never seen. As if that was a gift from God but also a challenge. Stay in this state of mental defeat or learn to live again. I don’t remember what I said to myself but I guarantee it was something along the lines of “How could she hurt me like this again?” The exact opposite of what the universe was trying to show me.

The next few days, I sat there in that same bar thinking. Being sad and remembering her as always. I can’t recall a defining moment that it started, but I remember wondering more and more how the world perceives me. Do they really see that hateful, sad and pathetic person that was in the mirror? Am I who I truly believe I am? What do people think about me? This was a question that would eventually save my life from my own darkness. The term, “It gets harder before it gets easier” was about to become truer than I could ever make you believe. This was the moment I decided to get real and professional help.

This story is a jumbled mess of those therapy sessions and how they helped me truly find where I am in life and where I want to be. Most importantly it’s a journal of how I got there. It’s a road that led to nowhere and how I fucked everything and everyone up along the way or so I believed.











Hotel Ashtrays


Unfortunately I failed to grow up until I was forty two years old. I’ve always made excuses. I’m a middle aged man and I have nothing. My reason of course is because I don’t want anything. Yeah that’s right I’m a minimalist. I’ve said those exact words so many times I almost believe that I don’t want a nice house, vehicle or otherwise. I’ve made myself believe that I really felt that way. Addiction has controlled my life and I can’t even remember how I became this person. Not hardcore drugs of course but rather tobacco, caffeine and style were the big addictions for me. I didn’t have a house but I had the newest shoes or songs on my iPhone. I had a cooler full of soda and cigarettes never ran out. I was working every day so that I could afford my addictions every day as I worked. That’s a minimum of twenty years, give or take. Of course I knew it was a good idea to save, but I never did. People like me always have the next payday. Every bill can wait. I’ll start saving next week. Always an excuse. Always procrastination. Always irresponsible.

I lived in a fucking semi. That was my home. If I wanted to feel like a normal person for a night or a weekend, I’d go to the motel. That was success for me. I was proud and comfortable. I was just like everyone else because there was a roof over my head. No I wasn’t. What? I already knew I was embarrassed subconsciously which was obviously the exact reason I parked out of site. I think every psychiatrist in the world would find a way to characterize that as shame. I’m a middle aged man with absolutely nothing and I’ve never once given a shit, which is a huge problem. I’m a fucking loser. I’ve always been a fucking loser. If I don’t do something fast I will always be a complete waste of a life. I play it off by driving thirty miles out of town when I have my daughter. We went on a lot of “vacations”. This is not what I envisioned for myself. These aren’t my dreams coming true.

I’ve heard it a thousand times. People talk about finding themselves. Hell I’ve lied about it so much trying to convince her I was a new man. This normally results in an attempt to discover what you truly want in life and even after that, they still aren’t certain. It’s more of an excuse to not be bothered by people or a specific person. I need some space, I need to process what you told me or I’m finding myself means I have more important things to do or someone else has my attention and everyone knows that. Few people come out with a list either on paper or in their mind of what they want for the future. When I decided to find myself I looked at the past first. I wanted to find the roots of why I am who I am. I wanted to see myself through the eyes of everyone I interact with. My responses, actions, reactions, habits, and even my appearance. I wanted to know what people see when they look at me. More honestly, I wanted to know how the long lost love of my life looked at me. When I look at myself I see a guy that would move the universe for her happiness. She obviously didn’t see that by the way she left and I have to know why. I have to see her point of view and I learned way more than I ever expected about me. It’s very possible to find yourself. To fix yourself. To admit to yourself how fucked up you are but the most important thing and what I failed at in the beginning was accepting the facts as I find them. It’s a kick in the teeth that was necessary and ultimately the best decision I ever made. Accountability became very important to me as you’ll soon realize. If she ever comes back I don’t want to be the same easy person to leave. I’ve made sure of that. Ironically I’ve also made sure that she’ll never come back.

I sat in a two star motel room and grabbed a piece of paper. committed to figuring out what I am. I made two lists. Good things about me and bad things about me. The good list mentioned that I’m a good father as I believe that’s an honest statement. I am polite and have great manners. I can fight. Not a big list. I figured that I would struggle significantly with a negative list. I’ve never been so wrong. Broke, homeless, bites nails, overweight, horrible tattoos, dry skin, athletes foot, smoker, addicted to pills, immature and irresponsible. I went to town on myself. Being brutally honest about it. I kept writing and the tears kept falling. I’m the most unattractive man on this planet. I am. The only difference between this moment and the moment I met her is back then I was missing a tooth and chipped another when we were together so I was actually worse four years ago. The most undesirable man imaginable and she absolutely loved me. She loved everything about me. The most incredible woman that God ever created loved ME? This was the moment when my own worlds collided. I love her and want her but I don’t blame her because I see me. She deserves so much better but no guy can ever love her like I do. I have to change. I have to change. I have to fucking change. I’m nobody. I’m a burned out who never really was. An absolute failure who has never accomplished a fucking thing aside from loving the woman of my dreams. I don’t even serve a purpose in my own life, how will I ever impact hers? I finally see it. She was right about me.

I will never understand how I got to this place. I have two amazing parents who are beyond responsible. My sisters are both well established in loving families and have had very little struggles. I had a terrific childhood with no history of abuse or any of that bullshit that could be an easy scapegoat to use. I learned early in life that I don’t have the same emotional capacity as the other kids. I wasn’t different I was just softer and sympathetic. I had empathy where others seemed to lack. I would later see this in her son. He was kind and gentle and displayed empathetic emotions that were very familiar to me. He was an identical image to who I was as a kid. I became close with her daughter and we had an incredible and loving relationship but with her son I always kept my distance because I could see it. I didn’t want him to get close to me because somehow I knew. I knew it would all come crashing down one day and he couldn’t be close to me when that happened. I had to protect him from that because I had felt it so many times before. I loved him and could not possibly put him through that. Most of our conversations were about his father and I initiated them for that reason.

Isn't it funny how we don't care if other people feel pain. The only people that get our empathy are the people that we love. I'm different. I cry during a movie when somebody dies. When underdogs win or people fall in love I cry. I’ll start crying during a commercial or a song. I'm different as she brought that to an acceptable level. She learned how to manage that with him and I needed the same. Things hurt us more than other people. We are emotionally challenged during situations that most people never notice. It hurts our feelings to see other people hurt. I got through the formative years pretty well considering I was emotionally weak. I did well but it was always in the back of mind. I worked hard and started saving my money because I had dreams of using that great heart to do amazing and successful things. My plan didn’t go accordingly.

I’m not an empath and those under the characterization of the term can’t even fathom the empathetic emotions I display. I’m far beyond that. I don’t cry when bugs die for fucks sake but I’m pretty fucking emotional. I’ve always felt out of place and unwanted. I’ve always been a little uncomfortable around people and even people I knew well. I believed I was slower and everyone had dominance over me. I fought back and stood my ground for awhile at least. I was even confrontational but it was only a preplanned self defense strategy. If anyone pushed back they would win. I was a pussy who tried to make everyone believe I was a cowboy that wouldn’t put up with bullshit. I was horrible with money and played that shit off too. Fuck, some people thought I was wealthy and those people were fucking getting played. Inside I always felt like less than everyone else and mostly because I didn’t have as many things as they did. I was an emotional basket case and cared about people but I never even considered caring about myself. I’m not saying that to sound good. I was compassionate with people while digging my own grave. I would pay a friends rent or car payment while I was three months behind on my own shit. That was me. I would help everyone else out and I hadn’t even paid my own taxes in nine fucking years. I always thought it would just go away and in the end everyone would see I was a good person but that shit doesn’t happen in real life. I was giving and it brought me satisfaction but behind closed doors I was so deep in debt that I’d never recover.

Some people are empaths. Others may be super empaths and few possibly ultra empaths if there's such a thing. What I am is far beyond any of them. The amount of remorse and empathy I have for the dumbest shit is crazy. I've been sad for others and they were never hurt in the first place.

My first vehicle was bought and paid off early with hard work and that’s about when it all went to hell. Since then I really didn’t care who I owed or when it was due. There’s always tomorrow, I’d say. I became so optimistic that everything would work out because working it out for me was simply learning new ways to push off bill collectors. I would take a payday loan out to pay a payday loan so I could borrow another until I just got tired of it and slipped out of their reach. Any furniture that I’ve ever had was rented and the only time certain family would hear of me was when I missed a payment and had put them down as a reference. When it was time to move on I’d just tell them to come and get it and do it all over again. I’ve had cars repossessed and although I made plenty of money, I just never made the payments. The guy who wouldn’t pay his electric bill all winter long because I knew they couldn’t turn it off and then when they did, it was time to move on. I just never got it. Maturity and the desire to be responsible just passed me by and I never thought to reach for it. That’s the most honest assessment of me than I can give.

Disappointment never bothered me like it does most people. Not paying a bill or not keeping a job wasn’t something I was ever effected by. I never stressed out or cared about anything. It became me. The embarrassment slowly slips below and when your card gets declined or you have no money for food you just accept it and stretch your pack of cigarettes out a little bit longer. I never understood finances and how important they are. I just didn’t see it. I never knew I was wrong because I always just thought everyone else had more than I did and that’s the way it was.










Special Forces


A common dishonesty about people with military backgrounds is that we all achieved the highest credentials. Ask any of us, we’ll gladly tell you. Well, maybe not gladly as I’m sure we have all heard something along the lines of inability to talk about it due to confidentiality or even top secret. Those are the biggest story tellers, I promise. The guy that killed Osama Bin Laden is holding seminars to talk publicly about killing the worst terrorist ever, but your cousin at the VFW can’t talk about what he did. Their career must have been amazing. I’ve lied a little about the military but I was never anything special. I learned a lot of valuable and useful war techniques like how to make a bed, clean a rifle that hasn’t been fired since the last seven times it was cleaned. I learned how to drink energy drinks like water and hang clothing properly in a closet. I’ve become an expert in patience and especially waiting for things that will never happen. I definitely learned how to swim. There are a lot of great experiences for Marines but very few have ever done something really special or skilled other than the basics of being on a team and some ego boosting. I fall into the category of those that really didn’t do anything of significance. I’ve been overseas a few times and experienced some really cool places around the world. I’ve been wasted in a lot of different countries and most of the time in trouble for fighting or doing something stupid. I was a show off and if my buddies said nobody would do it, you can guarantee that I’d be the jackass stepping up to the plate with full disregard of any authority that may hold me accountable. I was the crazy one. The ignorant one that was sure to run directly into incoming bullets without giving a fuck because I thought I was so tough.

The most expert skill I acquired was to fuck off. While in the process of reaching that great achievement in military history a brother of mine would always show us things on the computer. The internet was relatively new to us and insane. There was a local website called Craigslist. This was the beginning of the biggest regret of my life. We would respond to every ad on the site just being absolute idiots. Selling a washer? Looking for a boyfriend? A job or a blowjob? We sat there and collectively answered all of them trying to get our laughs. Now keep in mind this was before a lot of the social media platforms that we have today. The options of entertainment were slim at best. It wasn’t long before we answered an ad for a couple seeking another man. They answered back and eventually sent a picture of themselves. Holy shit! It was a guy that worked in the lab down the hall. We never let up, it became our Marine units only mission to find people that we know. For pure laughter and it delivered time after time and time again. I can’t tell you if the other guys continued to be immature assholes after we all went separate ways, but I did. It was a skill. I trained guys at my next job, and the one after that. I never stopped screwing with people and that could not be described more figuratively. It progressed to people wanting pictures so I did on dares or even at home alone. It was an addiction and although sexually originated, never sexually acted upon. We would send people messages to respond to individuals seeking the person or couple they met last week. We wanted to know all of the juicy details! It was so fun to me at the time. I look back and realized I didn’t set the bar too high for my happiness as that accomplished the goal. I was incredibly immature. Never in a million years did I think I would ever have to look the love of my life in her pain filled eyes and explain that but three months after meeting her it’s exactly what happened. I felt absolutely stupid and embarrassed. Not because she believed the story but because she believed I was a swinger and a homosexual. I was pretty nonchalant about the situation because I knew the real story. I lived it. It was nothing but stupidity. I always had a difficult time talking about it because I couldn’t take it seriously. It was all a long running adolescent game. I do see her point of view and why she would believe the things that she did. I originally told her the truth because again, it was no big deal to me. When she didn’t believe me I should have stood my ground but I didn’t. I slowly switched the truth into full out lies until she heard the part that made her want to be together again. That would become a theme long after love won and we joked often about Craigslist. It really never got old between us.

I can promise you that I don’t even know how to track a deer in the woods, let alone any professional stalking skills. I have no electronics or computer training or knowledge. I have never been to the Central Intelligent Agency School of how to track a cell phone or a vehicle. These are the things that I would later be credited with for being a former Marine. The first time we split up her cell phone number was changed, locks changed and cameras installed around the house. I was never really accused but asked numerous times if I was tracking her car or her phone. If I hacked her phone and could see what she was doing? I was asked if I had installed hidden cameras in her house. She was so damn obsessed with wondering if I was tracking her. Who in the fuck does that? I sat alone and cried because I just lost her. I did not have a command post somewhere or hired hands calling me when she was at the fucking Post Office. How do you answer when someone asks you those questions? That’s something that I haven’t figured out. I can tell you it’s awkward. I couldn’t help but wonder if she was just testing me to see my response and fishing for a reaction but the joy I had when she taught me how to watch videos from my phone on the television should have been a clue that I’m very challenged with technology.

I’ve been a loser all of my life. To be fair I didn’t yet know I had held that title forever but I was well aware that I wasn’t a secret operative.

Prior to the credit of my special operations, super spy training, police were called to remove me from her house when I was sleeping. It was insane and incredibly overboard however I understand the locks being changed. That sounds like it could be standard operating procedure in any break up. I just remember being confused. Why hadn’t she just asked me to leave or better, waited two hours until I went to work? We never even argued. Not one time and certainly nothing happened to qualify for a police escort or assistance.

I had to go to work that evening and I was caught crying. The guys brought me a gag gift with beef jerky, red bull, some smokes and a few condoms. A note that said “get well soon, playa”. I was devastated and nobody felt that with me? How could they not be affected? I just lost the woman of my dreams in the most mind boggling break up conceivable. Not a time for jokes but it all went into my bag.

About two weeks later she found me. We had that difficult talk and we decided that we were in it for the long haul. She would change her mind a few times in the following months. She would be done and then return. I would text and email. Use any form of communication to attempt to reach her. When she was ready, it always happened again. There wasn’t much trust after that but I think it was regained slowly. I maintain that she knew the truth but was torn between what the real story was and what she originally believed the story was. Plus she already told every person she knew that I was gay. I will never argue that I didn’t deserve that. She would find one of the condoms and of course instead of telling her the truth about the guys, I told her that I had it since before we met. Honestly, which story would you believe if you already assumed a guy was living a complete second life? Who knew they have lot numbers and she knew how to find them? I did not know that, but apparently they were manufactured after we met. Alright, well timing is everything. Baby, the guys gave me a gag gift bag when you kicked me out of the house. It was too late. The first two times I was held accountable and I told the truth the first time only to hide it with a lie. The second time I lied and hid it with the truth. Neither technique had any success. Am I really that fucking stupid and untrustworthy? Am I really being the person I hate with the person that I love? I didn’t know the right way out. I didn’t know what to say or do to make it all better for her. Love bailed me out. Pure, solid love made us work as it had up to that point. Things mellowed out and we were eventually living together again. It was perfect. We weathered the storm and got through it together. I knew I was an idiot. She thought I had a dark secret. We both worked around those things and we won together. It was growth. We grew together and appreciated the other no matter how small the task. We fell deeply and intimately in love with each other every day like the most incredible broken record.





Seeds


I grew up right outside of Danville Illinois which hasn't always been a tough place but we were all small farm town kids that knew how to kick ass. I could throw down better than most. Nobody was scared of me until I punched them but quickly learned they were about to get their ass beat. Getting in fights over somebody saying something about my sisters or a girlfriend. We were all tough because there really wasn't any other option. Today, Danville can be a dangerous place. The big factories have all left town leaving skeletons of buildings that once offered promise. The gangs migrated two and a half hours south from Chicago when the cities south side low income housing folded and it brought in a lot of crime. Prior to that, I always enjoyed it here. Generations of prideful people who would do anything for you. A great economy and jobs everywhere. I liked the setting but joined the Marine Corps to get away. I always felt as if I was less than everyone else. There was always a feeling of not being as smart as my peers and after high school I wanted a fresh start. I got through school with no real struggles but definitely wasn't at the top of my class. I was never the slowest yet I always felt like it. I wasn’t treated bad or belittled, but there was always something missing in me I believed. I played football every year of my childhood until I became one of the four co-captains of Oakwood High Schools varsity football team. That announcement was the first and only time I ever saw my father cry. I was fast and strong and achieved a lot of awards for being a really good defensive player. I still hold the Illinois state record for most fumbles recovered in a game. As my luck would have it, it was never reported to the athletic association and will go unacknowledged in the official record books. We played tackle football for fun when we weren’t playing it organized and I was a badass. I would drag three or four buddies until I reached the goal line and nobody could bring me down. I was hard. I always wanted to be a running back and no doubt would have had success but I was too fucking stupid to remember any of the plays. I was a lifelong football player and as a senior in high school didn’t know one damn thing about the game. I didn’t know any penalties or rules, I just played. I was a fucking moron. I never understood the game of football and loved it for twelve years.

In the sixth grade I begged my coach to play me at running back. Give me the ball coach, I can score a touchdown. I played that position for one play in my entire childhood and the ball was pitched to me on a quarterback option. I ran sixty yards and scored a touchdown. That touchdown was negated by a penalty. There would have been many more but I still didn't know what lanes and holes to run through. I was dumb. After school I joined the Marine Corps and through boot camp, my occupational school and my time in the fleet I felt like I didn't have a fucking clue what was happening. I have been lost my entire life. I have never had a clue what the fuck is going on around me. I've always been behind everyone yet still got promotions and honors. I was a supervisor at a company after the military and again, I didn't know what the fuck I was doing. Other supervisors were yelling and stressed out while I was doing fifty yard sprint races in the aisles of a grocery distribution center with my employees and beating them. I was approving three week vacations and days off that made every day a struggle for my employees. I just walked around telling people how great they were while fist bumping them and it worked. I was the first person in the building and the last to leave. They liked me and we got the job done but I sat in production meetings and didn't have a fucking clue what was being talked about. I have always been dense as fuck. I've never done anything right but winged it all enough to survive. I've always felt as if I was deprived of knowledge that everyone around me had. Even in conversations about things of no significance I always said something dumb that didn't measure up to the subject at hand. I would be talking to someone about something and make a sarcastic joke about it and it didn’t make any sense. I could stop a discussion in its tracks because nobody understood what I was talking about. I have always felt dumb compared to the people surrounding me. The first full book I ever read was "The Big Book Of Words That Make You Sound Smart" by Robert W. Bly. I bought this book a few months after we met and read all three hundred and thirty two pages in a few days during November of twenty fifteen. I didn’t want to be dumb anymore, I wanted to be the intelligent man of her dreams.

Even though I always felt ignorant and slow I was still a pretty good kid. Joined the Marine Corps after high school and coasted through my first four years in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. After that I was relocated to Camp Pendleton, California. It was then that I met my ex-wife. I’m not even sure it can be considered a marriage. We had a good time and really didn’t do anything other than party together. We weren’t in love. It was a shotgun military marriage that just existed. We went through the motions and there was never a forever type of feeling. One day I was at her workplace and we got into a pretty heated argument. I don’t remember what we were arguing over but it got pretty ugly and I left in anger. When I arrived home I knew she would be following eventually so I figured I should ease the tension. I decided to call her and apologize because quite honestly, I was a short tempered badass wannabe and most arguments were because I was being unreasonable in some way. As the ringing stopped, an unfamiliar voice answered the phone by simply saying my name. Who In the fuck is this, I asked? It was a deputy from the San Diego Sheriff’s department. They asked if I could come back to her place of work. Why, what happened to her? Was she robbed? What the fuck are the police answering her phone for? I raced through town worried out of my mind and didn’t care that I almost hit the squad car speeding into the small parking lot. I jumped out of my car and ran inside. Confused and concerned because there was a small shelf knocked over and she was crying uncontrollably. I ran to her before I was sort of half tackled by an officer. Not really taken down but enough to stop me in my tracks. I asked her what was wrong, what happened, was she alright? She looked me right in the eyes as I was placed under arrest. The officer asked why I hit her. Wait? What in the fuck just happened? Where in the hell did that come from? Me hit a woman? Me hit her? I laughed. I laughed and it wasn’t out of nervousness. It was funny. I looked over to her to share the comedic moment but she wasn’t joining in.

Still stupidly naïve to what was happening I explained to the officers that someone just probably heard us arguing and looked to her for confirmation so we can go have a drink and make up. She called us, Scott. She called us when you struck her. Wait a second, say that once again please. I was shocked as to what was happening. This was my first ride in the back of a police car. I remember thinking in the following days about the shelf. I know I didn’t knock it over. What in the fuck is happening? I sat in the San Diego jail for what seemed like a twenty year sentence but it was actually only four days. I couldn’t believe it.

I can’t remember a time in my life where I had been played before this. That was a lesson that I wish I had never learned. The court, the jail, any association with this story took a back seat to realizing people were capable of hurting me for no gain at all. People were willing to lie to see me suffer. People were willing to burn me out of spite and I never knew it was coming.

I didn’t trust anyone for quite a while. It would be twelve years before I met the love of my life. During the time in between I still believed in love and that my soulmate would find me. I met a woman and we had a lot of fun together. Actually had a really good relationship and we were both very happy. After almost six years we had the most amazing daughter together. I could really see the three of us being family forever. I did love her. She was a great mom. Somewhere along the way we grew apart and had the normal arguments. We continued doing things together with our daughter and for about a year or so we really made it work. There was respect and compromise. If there was a proper way to transition into new lives while still raising a child, we were achieving that. To be honest I really don’t remember exactly when it all turned to hell. I recall sitting down at lunch together and her telling me that she wanted child support to go through the court and to just have it on record and although I didn’t like that, I did understand and had no issues paying support. The process wasn’t horrible and I was still seeing my daughter very often so I had no real problems with it.

Every woman in my life has been spiteful in the end. I fought back three times. Once was a great friend that didn’t work out and I selfishly and extremely spitefully filed an order of protection against her. One day she wanted to take a selfie of us and accidentally opened a video of her ex boyfriend jerking off for her. I ended the relationship and didn’t argue one time. When I was knocking on her door to drop some of her things off the police arrived. I got scared and pissed off and new a spiteful protective order was coming so I beat her to the punch. I have always felt really horrible about it and went into court two weeks later and told the judge the truth. I didn’t want to risk trouble because I was in a child custody case. I took the biggest ass chewing of my life but he dismissed it upon my request and I survived his pummeling. I deserved to receive a lot more than that. She didn’t do anything to me. I was a little scared and a lot of asshole. I never got the opportunity to apologize, but I hope someday I do.

The second time I stood up for myself was against my daughters mom. We’d been best friends for six years together. The only woman I ever had that was loyal to me and I fucked it up. We had an amazing daughter that we both loved tremendously. After that we just sort of grew apart. Two different people that began to not get along well at all and most of it was my fault. Neither of us will ever break. We are both fighters and she is the only person in this world that can put me in my place to this day. She is the only person that I listen to because she is straight up with me. Sometimes it pisses me off but I know I’m getting the truth even if I don’t want to hear it. Nobody is real with me like her. She is the most mentally badass woman and will not back down from anyone ever. I tried intimidation for the first and last time in my life and it was laughed at. Imagine a very beautiful woman wrapped around the bones of the most mouthy and toughest person who almost enjoys a good fight. That’s her. It got ugly and stupid. Boyfriends and girlfriends, jealousy on both sides. Police presence and orders of protection. We took it to another level with police reports and setting each other up. It was a movie. We had lost our minds and still today we know the exact time and place to send the other one into frenzy. We do well these days. We still fight out of tradition, but really don’t have any feelings for each other that can be hurt. Id like to believe we have a lot of respect for each other. A five minute disagreement then we figure out who takes the kid wherever. Say goodnight to each other sometimes with a smartass crack and smile and it’s like we didn’t even argue. I’m proud of how far we’ve come. The world knows us as two people who hate each other and will probably end up on a crime show sooner than later. That’s all for show and not even close. We’ve been on that track, of course but we just ran out of things to fight about and now do a pretty good job of raising our child.

She’ll text me occasionally when our daughter pisses her off and simply says “Family meeting 8pm tomorrow! ”when that particular text gets sent I know that shit is about to get real so I say a quick prayer for my kid. If it says “Now” I don’t even bother praying because she may already be gone. I may end up gone as well but keep driving over out of absolute fear.

Point is, I fought back long ago and it really took a long time to repair what we destroyed. We have a good relationship. I think if I needed a few bucks or she needed a few bucks or a shelf hung, we will still have that after our child is an adult. The last time I fought back is when I fucked up as a supervisor and unprofessionally began dating one of my married employees. She was leaving her husband and we moved in to a house together. As you can probably imagine it didn’t work out and she kept going back into the house after our relationship had ended. I tried to have her name taken off the lease and locks changed but the laws on property management wouldn’t allow me to do so without paying her side of the security deposit. It could have only been a policy but the scenario was relative to that. I was broke and couldn’t afford it so I put an order of protection on her to prevent her from freely going in when I wasn’t home.

Besides those times that I pushed back against someone, my life and relationships have been sad. Women have repeatedly made a point to make me sound as if I’m the most horrible person alive after it ends. Depending on the year, a lot of that had to do with my remarks and verbal onslaught of go to hell’s. Relationships make me happy and then turn ugly once they’re over but only in stories about me. Aside from being a complete asshole I’ve only been physical with a woman one time. That’s about ten times too many! My daughter’s mom poured a glass of Coke on me once and I did grab her shoulders and push her and I’ll even say forcefully. I regret this moment of abuse tremendously. We got under each other skin and I made a horrible decision. That’s about as far as that went because if I even thought about hitting her, other people would be scared to come to my funeral. She would find a way to have me burned to death on live television. She called the police on me for telling her to fuck off over the phone. No kidding, we didn’t even talk. I was already mad and being a bitch about something when she called. I answered the phone with fuck off and I hung up. The police were at my front door thirty minutes later. Looking back I realize how abusive I was to her and I hate myself for it. In a world of dishonesty and secrets she is the only woman that’s ever had my back no matter what and to be honest, to this day she still does. She is the only person in this world today that I will do anything for at any time and it has nothing to do with having a kid together.

The love of my life hit me one time. She slapped me so hard I was seeing stars. I didn’t put myself in that position again. Aside from those two incidents, I have almost literally walked away from relationships without saying a word. Most of the time a new girlfriend was coming around days later and hours in some cases. I have a lot of things on my record although nothing has ever made it past paper in a long lost court file. My reputation has made it all around to stardom. Negative stardom without the first ounce of truth. I know what you’re thinking. Yes I’m the common denominator and I won’t argue that my smartass remarks and asshole behavior were the root cause. Aside from that I’ve never resorted to violence in a relationship. Even the times that I put my head down and walked away have come back to haunt me later as I’m always sure to hear a story eventually about how I physically abused them. I just don’t think about that and haven’t ever even called a woman any type of explicit name. I love trying to outsmart women in complicated relationships instead. I’m so far winless, all time.

The thing about confident people is that they believe they can. The love of my life would eventually come to believe that I was the biggest cheater that ever lived. She had every reason to believe that and I’ll get to that part. Before her and even when we were together, she would only know me as a confident, almost cocky person. I wasn’t before her and certainly not after. Before she came along I was very nervous and shy. I seemed to have confidence but inside I was scared out of my mind to talk to women. Of course I had dated but who I was then was someone she would never know. She’d never see that person because the moment I met her, my confidence level increased to the highest peak. She was the only person who thought that about me and seen me as that man. There’s a reason for it and that very simple explanation was that she lifted me up. She was the most beautiful and intelligent woman I’d ever met and if she wanted me I was definitely special. It was the first time in my life I felt comfortable around anyone. I felt like I belonged there. She was my safe place and my greatest adventure even as she was using those feelings against me.

Every person that I would ever meet knew about her. I told stories and bragged. I injected her into the dumbest conversations. I’d notice something in someone’s shopping cart waiting in line, “my fiancé loves those”. Someone would say something, anything about anything and I would somehow include her. I was so completely in love. I would post constantly on social media. Everything in my life revolved around her. And that’s how I opened the door for messages from other women. They began by a harmless observation of how incredibly I display my love. How obvious it was that I was crazy about her. Eventually they would turn to mentions of availability if I ever lost her. They would send pictures and all that I had to do was delete them and keep living my fairytale life, but I didn’t. I allowed these women to maintain conversations with me. The truth has always been that I wasn’t interested in anything with these ladies. It felt good that others were paying attention to a lot of things that I prayed she would notice but she was never at risk to be cheated on. I had no intentions on ever hooking up but fact remains that I was a part of the conversation. I didn’t understand at the time why she was so hurt. I was all hers and that was never going to change. There wasn’t a chance of me being with someone else physically and the conversation wasn’t invested. It was just there. I had no feelings emotionally, sexually or otherwise. The woman of my dreams came home to me every night. I wasn’t going to put that in jeopardy.

It took me a long time to understand what that really was. I was so oblivious and focused on the fact that I knew nothing would ever happen. The truth set me free in my own conscience. But that’s not what it was. It was cheating. I was cheating on the love of my life and it didn’t even register to me that I was doing it. The moment I responded back and accepted a picture was the moment I cheated on the one woman that I wanted forever. As I grow, it becomes more and more embarrassing and shameful. How does a man hurt a woman that he loves so much? How does a man that knows that he won’t physically cheat have meaningless conversations with women and risk throwing everything away? It makes absolutely no sense. I never determined if it was attention or the gratification that they would give me. I just have no answer as to why I participated in those conversations.

Knowing all that, I was cheating in the form of those conversations. My depression was caused by me and that stings. Her tears were caused by me and that absolutely destroys me every day of my life.

I was smoking a little weed at the time and ended up getting a message from a woman that I dated briefly in high school. I was comfortably in love and life was great. I responded and we caught up. She was married with a few kids and I had an amazing family that I told her all about. One day she decided to send me several explicit pictures. She looked horrible. She had not aged well at all but if you think that I wasn’t going to show the guys, you would be wrong. I don’t know why. I didn’t think there would be any harm to my relationship. I did save the pictures. It was hilarious and also mean but I wasn’t thinking of any of those things. The only thing on my mind was showing the guys what she looks like now. I kept messaging her every time I needed weed. That was it and I won’t even tell you that nothing happened because it wasn’t even in the ballpark of possibility. Life went on well after that until about four months later when she found them on my phone along with recent meaningless chit chat. Now I’ll admit it was horrible judgement. I’ll even admit that it was cheating but that was the furthest thought in my head. We already had our history and even though I was watching porn and deleting it, I never tried hiding those pictures. There was no reason and it was something I wasn’t worried about her finding. I knew she looked through my phone. I never considered how she would perceive it. That’s been a problem for me as well. Not being able to see the consequences of my actions until they are slapping me in the face.

I don’t believe that anyone is against me in this life anymore. I’ve learned entirely too much about myself to believe any of that bullshit. At the same time I wasn’t really ever doing things that I had been held accountable for. Not fully committed to those bad decisions anyway. I’m surprised that I haven’t won farmer of the decade because regardless of anything that I have ever denied, a very unarguable fact remains. I have planted every single seed in my life that eventually brought shade over me. My reputation isn’t indicative of wrongs that I’ve done but rather seeds that I’ve planted and ultimately blocked me from sunny skies. I started a fight with my wife twenty years ago and said whatever it was that made her react in spite. I told my daughter’s mom that the court was full of shit and nobody is going to keep me from my daughter. I was on Craigslist and I was messaging other women. Nothing was what it seemed but had I not done any of it, my garden of hell wouldn’t have blossomed. I see this. I understand it and own it. The truth always matters but if you give somebody a reason to believe something that isn’t true, you’re sabotaging yourself and the truth will never be accepted. It took me a lifetime to learn that and once I did, it became obvious that I was in fact manipulative in that sense. Leaving doubt about yourself in the eyes of others is the single most harmful thing you can ever do to your personal happiness. It doesn’t matter what really happened, but more importantly what crumbs you leave behind to force people that care to try and clean up after you.

To attempt an analogy, it’s like walking into a bank and telling everyone good morning. Approaching the teller and kindly making a withdrawal from your account. Wishing everyone a great day and when you open that front door to leave, you sprint across the road, jump in your vehicle and squeal your tires as you speed off. Everything inside of that bank was honest and respectable business yet everyone on the outside of the bank immediately believes you just pulled off a heist. That’s how I’ve lived my entire life. I never understood why people would think I’m up to no good but all the while I was creating their perception of me.

When I met the woman of my dreams I had met a woman who was so intent on practicing preventive measures in such drastic ways that she acted as if every situation mentioned above was who I was to her. She didn’t feel this way before I trusted her enough to tell her. Being honest about my past would become her dishonest story of my future. I’ve never posed a threat to any woman and definitely not with her yet she applied every incident as if they had happened with her and that always baffled me. What confused me even more was that she only acted as if she felt this was when we weren’t together. The time that we shared she made it clear to me that she didn’t believe any of it and yet that thought was never relayed to friends and family. She let them continue to believe that I was some kind of domestic abuser who she was trying to tame.

I imagine conversations she had with friends and at some point they were so convinced I was a bad guy. Fuck him, girl. He doesn't deserve you. You can do so much better than that prick. So much better? Than me when it comes to loving her? I'll admit there are guys with more money or better personalities. Many men are more intelligent and much more attractive than I am but to think she can find someone who loves her more than me is the most insane and crazy part of this entire book. I woke up in the morning for her and began living every day for her. Every thought of my day was her. Every motion that every muscle and joint in my body accomplished was for her. I lived for her. I walked for her and died inside while hoping she was happy. There is no love greater than mine. She cannot do better than my love. She can find things or people that could bring her more happiness. She can live a better life with someone else. She can achieve greater bliss with someone else but she cannot do better than me in finding someone that loves her.





















Little Write Lies


As far back as I can remember I wanted to be a writer. I really believed that my imagination was creative enough to change any story into a happy ending. I used it as a tool to make bad situations better. It was my way of directing the narrative to my advantage. It was my way to win. During those times when I struggled to read the writing on the wall I would simply become the author and wrote it around my wants and needs. I carried this with me throughout my entire life. This sort of talent could be used to help so many. I could have written books that would make you cry. I could have written the happiest love stories and made nonbelievers believe. I’m convinced that this was my calling in life. Instead it became my gateway to lying. That’s basically what it is, correct? A story begins and ends. To alter the story after the end has happened is a lie. The facts don’t change. That makes it a lie. Looking back I know that I never meant to be someone that lies. I just wanted to be my own hero instead of being a minor character in someone else’s story.

That lie became me. The irony is that I’m finally following my dreams as a writer and it’s the most truthful, most brutally honest thing I could ever write. It’s the only option I have for peace. What really happens in my story won’t change at the end of this book. I still won’t have her. I will still love her. She’ll still be happy without me and I’ll still always wait for her. I’ll still fall asleep every night with a tear running down my cheek. I’ll still live in that memory and be depressed. That’s where my self inflicted fate took me. Some guys have wives. I have memories of the most perfect woman.

My years are filled with lies and narratives being changed to my favor. Lies to give people a nudge if they were on the edge of accepting me and lies to cover up the truth, even when the truth was positive. I subconsciously became a walking lie and a story teller. It came so naturally. When they say people lie so much that they begin to believe their own lies, that’s false. I knew I was lying. I also knew that it wasn’t going to harm anyone and it was just to boost their perspective of me. Somehow that made it acceptable in my mind.

I never thought of myself as someone who felt the world was out to get him. I judged others who believed it was everyone else’s fault. To me it was very clear that their own consequences had caught up with them. I was surprised to pry myself open and learn that is exactly who I am. I have always believed that everyone works against me and I was this perfect guy just cruising along to undeserved bad luck. I would say something, do something or even react to situations that put others in a position to hold me accountable. As soon as they did, I played the role of the victim. I couldn’t believe they could treat me a certain way. I can’t believe they fired me. She broke up. They charged me a late fee. Everything. I never recognized accountability but always somehow made myself believe that I was very accountable. It’s been following me around my entire life and I have never once welcomed it.

I started writing a book about her a few years back. I told of all the things she did to hurt me. I talked about my love and her inability to do the same. It was emotional and I believed myself. I trusted that I was in the right and then I looked in that mirror the day I couldn’t even kill myself right and it smacked me like a ton of bricks. I was writing my own story about us. I never stopped to think what her perspective was. She never told me that part, instead she made me figure it out on my own. She never called me a loser or a nobody without her but rather she just ignored me for a certain amount of time until she couldn’t stay away any longer or I would see it and change before the next time. I never did. The very last time she came back we met in my motel room. I know she loved me and showed great patience. I was just too fucking stupid to recognize I was the entire problem.



Derailment


I can’t pinpoint the exact moment that I lost my fucking mind. It wasn’t displayed so much to the rest of the world. A lot of things came with this. Talking to myself for example became my main source of conversation. I suppose you can say that I developed an imaginary friend that stayed with me for an extremely long time. If one of our inside jokes or any variation of one presented itself I would break out in laughter and many times looked over to her laughing with her eyes squinted and hand covering her mouth. Looking as perfect as she always did right up to the moment that I would realize she wasn’t really beside me. Driving down the road and just lose control crying and begging her, begging God, begging anyone who might be able to bring the woman of my dreams back to me. She would disappear from my life as if she never existed. Again and again, but she always found me when she was ready. She always knew that I’d be in the same place just waiting for her to return to my arms again. I would live in a dark cloud of depression and then she would save me and to repeat the cycle. I thought at the very least that her love for me was conflicted. I became an unloved pet. A dog that was only given attention under certain conditions. She stopped on the side of the road and abandoned me and I just kept going back to places of comfort and familiarity to wait for her to find and want me again. I went back to those places so many times just waiting for her to miss that one thing that kept her coming back for me. She came back every time until she didn’t anymore. Still today I sit by the bench in the park and just wait. I knew that she was coming back for me. It was a guarantee and I've never been so certain of anything. I bet my entire life on that hand of cards when I knew I was the weakest in the casino. I wasn’t being optimistic it was a fact and promise. It was the way we looked into each others eyes when she ensured me. During a Christmas that we were in between being together I took toys to the dogs in the local dog pound. There was a sign on the wall that read “I saved him today and he will save me tomorrow” meaning if you adopt a pet into a better life he will be your companion when you need him. This is my entire life. She saved me yesterday but tomorrow and the day after that until there are no more days I will be here in the moments of darkness when she knows nobody can be there for her like I can. She can always call my name and I’ll come running with the greatest excitement. She can turn to me when she is in pain and I’ll immediately begin thinking of ways to take the pain away from her and wear it myself. I won’t care if she waits until it’s on me and then leaves me alone with it. I don’t care. As long as she doesn’t have to feel that hurt I’ll take it without conditions.

My daughter brings me incredible happiness. We are best friends and talk about everything. I was never sad with my daughter until I lost the love of my life. My own child was at times my caretaker. How sad that she was tucking me in at ten years old while I was crying myself to sleep with a framed picture of a woman that has never stood by my side when I begged. To see me drunk and just pathetically heartbroken, what did that do to my daughter? I didn’t know it at the time but that was the peak of when depression took control of the same mind that I would once argue as brilliant. My daughter brings me so much joy and I have rebuilt from being that father that probably scared her while I was too far gone to realize it.

Despite anything that happened in between we had a special connection from first sight until the final bell. No matter how many times it was over, when she was ready again we never skipped a beat. We would reconnect as if nothing ever happened and continue being the relationship that most will never experience. We had a great family and knowing that she was a terrific mother, I was so happy to help out with anything I could. On the very first date she kissed me on the cheek. I always pictured that in my daydreams of maybe someday finding love and thought it was a great way to tell if a woman is really excited. We had inside jokes immediately and were so similar in sense of humor that it became a vital part of our relationship.

Those thoughts have never left me. They’ve never decreased in the amount of sorrow and hurt. Those memories attacked me every waking moment. I went to a wedding and had to excuse myself to just drive to a park and cry. Showers would last until the hot water ran out. I’d just lose all mental strength and sit on the shower floor. Knees to my chest and hugging myself tightly as my lowered head cried until I gave myself a headache. There was nothing that I could do to help myself. No relief was possible. I loved her that much. I would find myself driving to a park or an overlook and just sitting in my car for hours and hours. Waking in the morning and sitting on the side of my bed just remembering and before I knew it was the afternoon and I was still sitting on the side of my bed frozen in time. I didn’t know what to do next. I didn’t know how to move forward with such a huge part of me removed. I gave on everything. Stopped brushing my teeth or wearing deodorant because I felt like the most unwanted person on the planet anyway. I didn’t see the need to put any effort in to a losing cause. I gave up. Later I would learn that these were in fact signs of abuse. Signs of trauma. I developed a long dumb-ass looking blink where I'll close my eyes and squint so tight and at last the two or three seconds and would do it repeatedly all day long. I've always believed that I was a pretty well spoken man but I started stuttering a little bit. I stopped giving a fuck about anything. I was broken.

Rain became significant to me again but not for those moments we once shared together in down pours. I loved the rain now because it gave me a good reason to stay inside. The rain gave me an excuse to not accomplish the things that were never going to happen anyway. I was able to lie and make myself believe I wasn’t already worthless. Today was the day that I was finally going to get over her and get out and do something with my life but unfortunately it’s raining and I just can’t. I would lay on the back deck while the skies flooded me and somehow hoped to drown the horrible person that I believed I was. I could not find happiness in anything. My optimism packed up and left. I quit on myself.

I would look back to conversations or things she told me wondering if I’m crazy or if something was wrong with me. She would accuse me of things that I knew damn well I didn’t do but she’s never wrong. I had to have done something horrible. In my perspective I woke up every day, made her coffee and started her shower water with a fresh towel waiting. I made the kids lunch and I never stopped that motion of attempted efforts to make her days happy. When did I emotionally abuse her or say something detrimental? Did I black out and cuss her out? Did she hear something wrong? It fucked me up. I knew I treated her like a pot of gold but she had me convinced that I was a monster towards her. I sat and thought about all of the moments. Wondering what was wrong with me because she couldn’t be wrong. I loved her too much for her not to be right. I apologized through text and email thousands and thousands of times. I didn’t even know what I was apologizing for but it didn’t matter. I knew someone else was falling in love with her and if I hadn’t said or done something unbeknownst to me she wouldn’t have given him the opportunity. I just thought about that for years. Every day and it never went away. I looked into certain behaviors and actions trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I remember folding a shirt and putting in into the drawer and then staring at that shirt sitting there as if it had all of the answers I would ever need. She would come back and it all went away. My entire world changed the day I proposed to her. Her social media post was one of happiness and she said what I needed to hear. She said “I love this man so much. He loves me enough to apologize even when it’s my fault. I get to marry him”. She knew. She had just set me free from the only barrier I hadn’t been able to remove. I knew deep down that it was just temporary but never allowed myself to accept that.

I’m not sure how many times I have asked this question but it became a familiar and dreaded question. Through all of her comebacks I developed a sense of routine and knew when someone else interesting came along, her parents gave her too much tension or she simply changed her mind that she would be gone. I knew the drill. How long do I have with you? Did you find what you were looking for babe? When will you go away? A question that would become my slow death every time. How long before you’re gone again? She never said forever but instead would just tell me that she didn’t know. That was hard. To be completely in love with the woman of my dreams and know it will be snatched away without warning at any given time. I never knew when she was leaving and I never knew when she would return.

So many times she tried to stop me in my tracks but what she felt to realize was they all led to her. It didn't matter they went East or West North or South. They All lead right to her. It was the only direction I was capable of going.

My unconditional love was absolutely that. I remember sarcastically thinking at times that she took it as a challenge. It became our greatest competition although it never was one at all. If she was trying to find a way to make me stop loving her she never had a chance.



Once in a Lifetime


We maintained a relationship that was a well-balanced combination of once in a lifetime and horrible. We both had our fairytale within each other. Nobody that has ever seen us together would argue that. People involved in other relationships wished they could act like we did toward each other. If we were out having a good time people would mention how obvious it was that we were in love. How rare is that to have people telling you five years in? Not just a few, this was a common occurrence. We complimented each other amazingly and if we were both in a place that we didn’t want to be, we had each other for jokes and entertainment. Our dialogue was unique and sincere. We always held hands, kissed and complimented each other. We were one of a kind and we both knew that. Every weekend that we didn’t have our children we planned something fun And when we did have them I’d always try to take them out so that she could sleep in and sometime in the afternoon return and we all made memories. We were competitive in the funniest ways. Sometimes a bacon recipe competition or just Jeopardy as a drinking game. We had contests to find the funniest rap song we could find. Anything was a competition and like everything else mentioned above, we never slowed any of that down. Five years and still slow dancing in the kitchen at least once a day. We went to wineries, games, concerts, dive bars and hiking. I always loved traveling with her and I could never tell if I felt more joy in seeing the world with her or letting the world see her. The two of us were absolutely synchronized in thought. We could be fully nonverbal and hear each other in any situation whether it be funny, stupid, dirty, embarrassing or just interesting. We really could look into each other’s eyes and know what was being thought. We generally had the same exact perspective and would burst out laughing without ever explaining what we thought was funny. Just two people who always noticed the same things in the same context. We never stopped enjoying each other when we were in the same place. We would tell waitresses it was our anniversary and get free dessert while they all notice and mention how lucky we are. We would people watch and the one thing that we always noticed was everyone else was actually watching us instead. We could bail each other out of awkward moments. That’s a characteristic that I’m certain we invented. We always had each other’s backs and of course argued about stuff. We always apologized after large or small differences and no matter the enormity, something from each situation was often turned into a forever running inside joke that we would never get tired of bringing up. We had that capability to take break ups and harsh words and turn them into funny jokes. We honestly found excuses to use them and make each other laugh. We found what most people never will. We found the silver lining in every situation. Just one funny thing and we used it to grow together.

We had two inside jokes that we lived by and became the measuring stick of every situation we encountered. The first was an incident that happened in a bar where somebody farted and she thought it was me. The second was me eating the last of the packaged donuts and blaming her daughter, in a joking manner of course. Those two moments decided everything that we were unsure of in life. If she asked me if I wanted to eat at a certain restaurant and I gave an indecisive answer she would ask me if I farted in the bar or if I ate the last donut. I have probably been asked those questions thousands of times so that she could clarify whatever it were we were trying to decide. That’s who we were. We made fun of each other and laughed all of the time. We’d tell the same jokes to the point where most people would be burned out but we never did. We sincerely made each other laugh from the deepest parts of our stomachs. This wasn’t an occasional thing and everything you are reading was daily. Who we were when nobody was looking or had any influence directly was amazing. When it was just the two of us we were pure gold.

We spoke in code and actual phonetics. We would spend so much time talking as if we were on a top secret military mission. Lima Echo Tango Sierra Echo Alpha Tango. Let’s eat! We had so much fun together. Our relationship was a never ending meme. The water gun fights, post it notes, piggy back rides and slow dancing in the rain. Handing her coffee to her every morning as if it was the most important task in my life. People can be compatible and make it work on that alone. Others are in love and might even have found their soulmate. What we had together was on a different level. Nobody dreamed of what we had because they never knew that such a connection was even possible. We expressed our love constantly. We said I love you a lot, but we often times had some catch phrase that got the point across. We had looks, codes and hand signals and we made it a habit to follow up those three endearing words with a reason why we loved each other. Most of the time that sign language was made up in the moment and we both knew what it meant. Never once were we confused in communication. We spoke to each other with passion but other days we’d speak like gangsters.

We never walked past each other in the hall without an ass slap or a kiss. We would stop to dance and when the moment called for it we would apologize for an earlier disagreement. We always had a high five and a wink for each other. Hell, we even adopted the scout handshake as our own. We interacted in ways that nobody has ever seen. I mean that. We were so unbelievably special in how well we counteracted with one another. We knew each other so well. She learned early on that I spit when I pee and every time I used the restroom she was sure to walk in and spit in the toilet. If I was brushing my teeth too hard she’d slap me on the ass and asked what my teeth ever did to me to deserve that. We had more fun that I could ever put into twenty books. Everything became moments of nostalgic significance for us. We took situations and created more out of all of them.

Because of this every thing was special for us and now they’ve become daggers that remind me daily. Planes flying over and rain and buffets. Tables that wobble, roofs that leak and burned food. They were so cherished by the two of us that they cannot be missed on a daily basis.

We had a lot of pictures of us looking into the camera but we had so many in which one of us was unaware of the camera just looking at the other completely in love and checking each other out.

I think back and wonder if I was seeing it all wrong. She was initiating and laughing right along with me but did the constant reminders of bad situations we had joked about play a negative effect on us? I have a hard time accepting that but I can see the possibility.

I never wanted more than I had. I had it all. I had a best friend in every sense of the term. She cheered me on and supported me. She made me laugh constantly. She opened my mind and made my imagination go wild with all the possibilities our relationship presented. I tried to make every day special for her and she made them all special for me. It would be a short and boring chapter to just have a single word. Perfect is a great summary. From the very first time I met her, I knew. I knew before we even introduced ourselves. She was flawless. We met up in a clothing store. The whole population of that store was checking her out. She lit up every room that she walked into. She’s witty and raunchy at times but always incredibly quick with a smartass response. Intelligence flows out of her and she has a sense of humor that’s beyond the highest level of comedy. Even if she told a stupid joke, she did it in a way that made you have to think. Her smile can cure depression. When she smiles, people around her start believing they can do anything. These aren’t just words. I fucking swear. These are facts. She is Gods most incredible creation. Her mind is so deep and so intriguing. Time stops when she is exploring something she’s interested in. Her gaze just dissects whatever is lucky enough to grab her attention. Sometimes it’s an artifact hanging on the wall and other times it’s a menu from a restaurant. I noticed this the very first night and it hypnotized me. She was reading the menu and I was frozen watching her do it as if she’s studying for the biggest test of her life. She wants to know everything about anything. She learns it and observes it and the magical thing about it is you can’t look away from her as she does it. Her focus and concentration is satisfying to watch. She is so determined.

When she has the chance to teach you something or explain it she lights up. She would have been an unbelievable teacher. Even when it’s just something simple. I remember thinking at times that I just asked what time it was not how the clock was invented. That was her.

She can lift you up and make you feel as if you’re the most important person she’s ever talked to. She listens not out of respect but truly wanting to learn everything about you. Only interrupts when she’s upset. She will compile a list in her mind and when you finish speaking, she has questions sometimes for months. Yes months. You can tell her a five minute story and long after the conversation is forgotten she will remind you of it and think of something new to inquire about. That’s how her brilliant personality worked.

Beautiful is an insult. The term doesn’t even come close to describing her looks. I always called her beautiful, but that’s only because a better word just hasn’t been created. I swear to you that during a storm the sun was somewhere in hiding thinking of her. I’m convinced that the reason some days are absolutely gorgeous is only because the sun caught a glimpse of her as it began lighting up the world. She motivates stars to create art in the form of constellations and I will never believe otherwise

She can make a joke out of anything. She’s amazing. The wittiest and quickest comebacks and puns. Her play on words is professional and I never one time told a joke that she didn’t catch almost before I was finished making it. A lot of times she beat me to it. She’s passionate and the most desirable woman alive. There has never been and will never be a woman like her again. She has it all and every part is a masterpiece. When she laughs her eyes water and I lived for those teardrops.

I never felt like I deserved her and that’s why I tried my best to go above and beyond to make her happy or to provide ease to her day. I knew she belonged with a pro athlete, a big time Hollywood star or CEO of some huge pharmaceutical company. I was never capable of giving her anything beyond love. I have believed in the power of love all my life and I knew it would work even if I was none of the above. It took me a very long time to understand that my beliefs in love weren’t going to secure the world that her and her parents sought after.

It was imperative that I received the silent treatment but when she was ready to return we became us all over again. We would reconnect as if nothing ever happened and continue being the relationship that most will never experience. We had the deepest conversations that would become opinions on theory and philosophy. I knew her and she knew me. I began seeing more than just her beautiful smile or earth shattering frown. I knew what she felt inside that accompanied those facial expressions. I felt her happiness and I felt her pain.

Her name became a part of my vocabulary. Think of a word that you couldn’t even pronounce the first few times. Her name is spelled different than the usual name of the same sound. I wasn’t even sure how to say it at first and it slowly become part of the manner in which I spoke. Everyone has these so called catch words that follow them. A word or phrase that signifies us. They become us and become how people describe us in stories. Eventually they are engraved onto our plaques at retirement parties. Her name became my phrase. The most cherished word in my vocabulary. The most beautiful word in every collection of letters in my own personal dictionary was her name.

They say sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. I told you I was different than most guys. You can beat me with sticks. Throw rocks at me and I'll look into your eyes unaffected but if you say her name it stops me in my tracks. It freezes my thought process and pauses my time. Magically it returns to a previously experienced world. The world that I once I lived in. The world that made me. The world that allowed me to see how much beauty is in love and life but also taught me that my feelings aren't everyone else's feelings. That beauty can be taken from you randomly and it's real. She was my favorite song and color and temperature. She was my everything.

I was very proud to have her and even more proud of her in general. I was so proud of her every day. Every accomplishment whether she was interacting with the kids or cooking dinner. I was just so proud of her. Initially she missed lunch with me and then she told me why. She saved a mans life at work one day. An overdose victim who she just happened to be passing on her way out of work to lunch. The main hospital was going to hang her picture up and I was so fucking proud. I went to the hospital every day for months. Looking at where they had those sorts of pics. Asking everyone but I never saw it. I probably logged a hundred hours in that hospital just trying to find the recognition for my life saving fiancé. I was so in love with her. Every moment meant something significant to our lives together. Either of us could look at any picture ever taken of us and tell you everything about that day. We remember the weather, what the waitress or passerby said, someone’s clothing, a sign, a car driving by, music that was playing, what we ordered to eat and drink, everything. We knew everything about every moment we spent together. That’s how close we were. Statistically only twenty five people in the world are known to have Hyperthymesia. A condition that allows them to remember every detail about their lives with great precision. We both had that with every moment that we spent together. Not a single detail was overlooked or forgotten. It was incredible.

My love was her love for living. It was never her love for me. I just wanted to create a life in which that was possible for her. I don't know what the word husband really means by definition But I know the meaning of architect. That's what I wanted to be for her. That was my love in life. It was my goal to build something so amazing that she loved life. That was my vision.

I wanted to travel the world with her. I wanted her to experience so many great things and places. She could go to any destination in the world and would never be able to see what I did when I looked at her. I wanted to try and give her that anyway. It was my goal in life to make her see anything the way that I saw her. My dream was to make her feel that much for something. There are approximately seven billion smiles on the Earth and I had a reason why I loved hers more than each one of them. We knew each other’s every movement. When we left a bar on a Saturday night we didn’t have to say a word. She’d look at me and I’d turn my back to her before squatting down and she’d jump on my back. People would watch as I gave her a piggy back ride to the car.

Even when we were having sex I didn’t feel close enough to her. It was far beyond fucking. We laughed and whispered into each other’s ears. We touched as we kissed and went far past orgasms. Sometimes against the wall in the hallway or on an off ramp and even in bar bathrooms. We would kiss and when our teeth hit each other we both knew that no matter where we were or what we were doing, it was time to get crazy.

I always wanted to give her a fairytale. It was my only goal in life. On our second date we went on a picnic where we blew bubbles and just laughed. We already knew the search was over. We asked silly questions and one was what has she always wanted but never had. She said she always wanted a Jeep to drive the country roads after a bad day. In that moment I knew two things. One I would give her a Jeep and secondly, even if I didn’t I would never let her have a bad day. For her birthday I found a ninety eighty seven Jeep that was rare and hard to come by. I was broke off my ass and had about twenty dollars in my pocket but knocked on the door of the house where it was parked on highway forty one in western Indiana. I begged the man to allow me to make payments and he agreed. I gave five thousand dollars in total and didn’t smoke, eat or spend a dime for three weeks as I worked double what I normally did so that I could provide that wish for her. I was so proud of myself. I would hear her mention things and I would do them for her before she could. I wanted her happiness and life to be effortless. I would be in bed after working third shift and exhausted when she would tell me through text she had to run to the school to find out who the kids teachers would be. I would get out of bed and go take a picture of that list on the schools front doors and send it to her. I tried so hard. I really did. This was everyday and I had thousands of examples.

Her grandfather was a photographer in the military and I spent three years trying to use every military connection I had to find some of his work and I finally did. I told her one day and she called me a liar. That night I just put them into her mailbox and she said thank you but it wasn’t for my effort, rather because she got something she deserved to rightfully have. That happened during the three years after engagement ended. She would eat at a restaurant for breakfast in Oregon Illinois with her grandfather and just before she discarded me I had driven up there and begged them for several menus to which I laminated and made into placemats for her. I fucking cared. I loved her so much and for five years I thought of these special moments to try and provide to her. Flowers and cards happened often and never stopped. This wasn’t a phase to win her over it’s who I was to her the entire relationship. I know that’s a lot for some people but when all the stars aligned she would confirm that she loved me because I was the only man that put thought into her like that. She made sure I knew my efforts were appreciated.






Hindsight


I spent five years trying to get her to believe the truth. That was never going to and will never happen. I lied and ordered a false polygraph for her to see. I lied to get her to see the truth. I was a train wreck. It was so important to prove to her that I had told the truth that I faked a polygraph? Most people would do that when they are lying in the first place. Me for the first time in my life was actually telling the truth and just desperate as fuck. This was a trend for me. Certainly not the first time as I went as far as creating fake social media pages and pretending her ex-husband and a fictitious ex-wife sent me messages. I became an expert of the backfire effect which is basically an extension of belief perseverance. What that means is that a person will always maintain belief despite any new information that firmly contradicts it. The backfire effect is the psychological strengthening of those beliefs when others attempt to present evidence to debunk those feelings. I became a pro. The false social media pages and all of those lies to make her believe the real story created a barrier within her that made it impossible to see the truth. I reinforced her false assumptions through my dishonest desperation. So immature and I didn’t see myself as doing anything wrong. It never occurred to me that it was completely psychotic. Let’s call it what it is because I promise more and much worse truths are coming. If you’re expecting anything less in this book you may as well throw it away right now.

Why, I wonder now? It’s not up to me to decide what she believes. I tell her the truth and she can handle it one of two ways. I regret not realizing that it would always be an issue for us and that she would never change her beliefs. Five years of trying to turn that around. Five years of trying to regain her trust. Why in the hell didn’t I just figure out what she needed? You don’t believe me but we want to stay together. What needs to happen? I’ve been honest and you doubt that. How do we get past this moment with both of us feeling comfortable? This is the love of my life, how fucking hard would that have been? All that time we could be blissfully falling in love every day and we had that cloud hanging over us. That may be a little exaggerated as we still had a fairytale relationship after that. It wasn’t the Craigslist, don’t be fooled. She knew my orientation, for sure. It was the situation and how I handled it. It could have been resolved so quickly but as much as I pretend to be a love expert, I never thought to learn what she needed to step over it with me?

It’s fascinating to think of how differently two people can look at a situation. I’ve always wondered how she can never think of me. Never remember any of the things that I put a lot of effort into. I wonder how she laughs at jokes or responds when someone doesn’t understand her humor. How does she fall asleep at night or wake up without me? I never could wrap my head around how she moved on so easily. She’s never wanted to hear my voice or share a laugh. If we didn’t work out I wouldn’t have a problem in the world. That wasn’t the case. We were madly in love with each other’s souls. We absorbed ourselves into the minds of each other. We grew into one and the newness never wore off. Not even after the eighth time that she came back to me. The last time I ever saw her we had our hands all over each other and our imaginations were as vivid as they had been since the day we met. We lost each other because we mishandled situations that could have easily been resolved. We were always close and could have remained the best of friends or at least friendly if that was more comfortable for her. I’ve spent so much time wondering how she didn’t want that. We didn’t have to be in a relationship and even though I’m all over the place that wasn’t the problem. To elaborate, I love her dearly and will spend the rest of my life missing her. Whether we are together or apart, I’m accepting. If she’s happy with someone else, I support and accept that. Her happiness means the world to me and I pray that she’s happy in life whether with me or whoever she chooses. My struggles come from a deeper place than just being hurt about a breakup. They come from a woman that returned so many times and made me believed she felt all of this with me. It’s a culmination of being left behind again and again. It’s having the woman that I dreamed about my entire life and being less respected every time. People listen to me talk about her constantly and believe I’m crazy. It’s not craziness. I wish her the very best and always have. I love her enough to let her go physically, but emotionally she will always have a tight grip on me. I will always love her.

She cured me. She took all the pain I’ve ever had away and that’s how she became my hero. She took my sadness and buried it. I think I smirked through thirty eight years and she made me smile in ways that people didn’t even recognize me. For three years straight and lots of broken packets of time since she has returned and took my pain away every time as if she knew I was depending on her to take it. She never failed to make me the happiest man when she was with me. I’ll never see her again but every day that I did I fell madly in love with her over and over. Even when times were tough and the relationship was in doubt, I fell in love with something about her even on those days.

I’ve made my life sad. I’ve allowed things to happen to me in relationships. I rarely fought back and never cared until she came along. I was sad before her and depression set in after her, but for those few years I will remain the most successful resident of this always turning world. No man can ever live a life happier than mine. I had a slow start and built up a lead so unattainable when we were together that no person will ever feel as happy with anything as I did with her. Not even possible. Once in a lifetime!

Throughout our demise, she eventually filed an order of protection on me. I was getting ready to take my daughter to Disney and she had said that I can send the bracelets to her house. We had a little turbulence at the time but were together as we always have been. I was supposed to be there in the evening and didn’t return to town until the morning hours. When I showed up there was another guy’s truck in the drive. Now, don’t think for a moment that I was just gone and she cheated because that’s not what I’m saying. We were connected and giving each other hope but not living together and not living in the relationship title. Nevertheless I was devastated. I know he wasn’t the first but I really ignored what I actually did not see and now I was looking right at someone parked in my spot. Me and the kids had balloon fights and water gun fights right there.

We did do-it-yourself science projects right fucking there. I taught her kids to catch fly balls and grounders in that spot. Not even a year before that her son couldn’t catch a baseball and he was so upset that his hair got shaved off so I told him if he caught five in a row I would shave my head and we would be twins and he did. So many great memories being a father figure to two children I loved more than anything and now who was this in that special spot of the driveway? The next guy that gets to do it? We washed mommas jeep right there. He was parked in that spot I loved so much. I took a picture of the truck and sent it to her. I don’t know why I did that, as if she wasn’t aware. I called her a few times and sent a barrage of emails. I was really hurt. I didn’t hear back from her and I was just confused. She put an order of protection on me two days later. I couldn’t believe she went to that place after knowing my past. That is exactly why she did it. I didn’t beat down the door or use my key. I didn’t walk in and beat the shit out of him. Neither of them were in any danger. She just got caught, simple as that. When we finally went to court I remember a moment when she used the bathroom and her father escorted her as if she was going to be targeted by me or my gang of hardened criminal friends in a well-orchestrated courthouse attack. In all fairness, I’d do the same for my daughter but she knew the truth about this situation. I would stand there and fight for her alongside him. I’d defend his daughter when he couldn’t and when he could I’d be right beside him on the same fucking team. There are many stories that could have easily been picked apart in the complaint she filed. Easily proven but instead I knew how to win. I simply told my attorney that I’d rather us both take the stand and the truth comes out in front of her parents. It was over as fast as it began. We both paid attorneys and what most people don’t understand is that law is a business where everyone wins something as long as they pay. Although she was absolutely not going to let her parents hear the truth, she paid and I paid so we had two options. Play the game either way with an agreed injunction or a continuance. We agreed on the injunction.

I’m not sure how long the injunction was for but she found me again before it had expired. She came and found me because her niece had been shot and she didn’t know who else to turn to. She knew I’d be there for her. She found me on a Saturday and by Sunday we were us again. Unbelievably in love and spending every moment possible together and talking nonstop. I drove thirty miles to meet her at a small parking lot near an intersection on her way home from work. She parked and got out and hugged me so tight. We kissed and gave each other a quick I love you before she left and I drove thirty miles back home. We were so happy again and then in the middle of the day about a week later we were having a fun conversation. I was so happy and sent a text sure to make her smile. That text never went through her block on the other side. Mid conversation and out of nowhere she was gone again. I emailed and asked what happened? Where are you? I love you, come back? Begging for any response and some clarity. I didn’t hear for her for months.

I sent her a few emails telling her that I had front row seats to her favorite band. We went to the same band in Nashville a few years earlier and I ruined it for her. We had smoked weed prior to going into the venue and I was stoned out of my mind so I just sat during the opening act. I couldn’t have stood up if I wanted to and she was so upset with me that she left me sitting right there and went to enjoy the concert elsewhere. I caught back up with her at the end and apologized. I was just sitting throughout the opening acts and not being much joy. I vowed to make up for it. Three years later I had worked my ass off and found the way to get her front row seats that were dead center of the stage. I promised she wouldn’t even recognize me. She eventually called me from Florida and asked me to buy a plane ticket and come down for a few days as she had traveled down there alone. I didn’t go. She begged and I didn’t but we continued to talk again and she agreed to go to the concert! I couldn’t believe that I was going to share that experience with the woman of my dreams and make up for the first time. We had the night that I will cherish forever. We yelled the songs to each other and we danced. She knew how much it took me out of my comfort zone but I didn’t care. I had her again. That’s the only thing that ever mattered to me.

My favorite parts of the relationship were the parts she didn’t know about. I kissed her forehead and cheek every single morning as she slept. That was my moment every morning. Just loving her and reminiscing the first date kiss on my cheek. Another of those moments was that concert. The singer hands out roses and she knew that as she even mentioned it as we drove there. The time had come and I’d say he had about three dozen roses. There were just as many women begging. They all had their hands up and slowly they were lowered with the prize. I watched and when he was down to a few I panicked for her. It has to be tonight. She has to get a rose and it all has to be perfect. I pulled her chair up a few feet and stood on her fucking chair behind her making a praying gesture with my hands and pointed down to the top of her head. He was down to the last one and he looked right at me. Oh my fucking God, I stepped down and pushed the chair back just in time to take a picture. She was so excited and I was so happy for her. I had made up for Nashville. She was going to get passed over but there was no way I could let her be the one leaving without that rose. She had no clue that I did that. How did he not notice the most beautiful woman in the arena five feet in front of him? I knew this was it. The next day she would tell her parents. Post on social media. This man loves me and I love him. We did it. Let’s begin the rest of our lives together laughing and being us. I’m rarely correct if you haven’t noticed. Instead, I was asked to keep it a secret. All of that fucking love. All of the effort and finally putting a plan together after two years and achieving my goal. A selfie of us with her favorite artist as he held our phone and took it. The seating and the rose. Most people dream about things like that and never experience their favorite band that way. Who keeps that a secret? I didn’t even care that she just ripped my heart out again. I at least wanted her to share the experience and be proud of it so I had my Photoshop buddy take me out of the selfie so it was just her and the artist. She never showed a single person. That ripped my heart out of my chest and stomped it into the ground.

A few days later she called me to have a drink at our favorite park in town. I grabbed a few beers and met her there and we shared a slow dance like we always did everywhere we went. We were having a great conversation as usual and out of nowhere she asks me if I went through her phone several months ago. I looked through her phone once in Chicago after I gave her a piggyback ride for four blocks because she no longer held the ability to walk. I was mortified by what I found. Shit talking. Talking about me. The craigslist killer, really? Don’t go back to him girl, why??? I didn’t see any other guys. I’m not even sure why I looked because I really couldn’t care less. She was sleeping in my arms so I never worried about what happened on her phone, if anything.

A few months ago however I didn’t. I wasn’t in that place I was just happy to have my sweetheart back. Nothing else mattered and that was the truth. She told me that’s why she blocked me in the middle of that conversation. Another man had stopped talking to her and he told her that I had sent him a message from her phone. I asked to see the message and so nonchalantly she told me that she made that story up because she thought maybe I had. She told me she really liked him. What the fuck? At the same time she came back into my life she really liked him? Babe, what? She drove home the importance that she picked me and that should mean something. Picked me? You’re forty years old. He stopped talking to you and I was good enough again? Was that it? She stopped talking to me because he stopped talking to her. I was in her house where we once shared a life together and was dumped because she thought maybe I sent this guy a message and she really liked him? More than hurt, that day crippled me. That day brought me to my knees again. We broke up and much differently from the other times we continued talking but kept a little space. It was great. We both agreed to take different roads and respected the other like two people who truly loved each other. Sometimes we both gave in but returned to that place in agreement. Mostly just quick how are you doing messages. After a few weeks of this she called me from a Florida hospital and had been in an accident. As a result of that accident she would need to have a colostomy bag for an undetermined amount of time. Through sickness and in health, right? I was able to prove that to her and it wasn’t even something that I had to think about. My darling had a major medical situation and I was going to do whatever it took to take care of her. I had to wait until she transferred back home because of her parents but then I couldn’t get there fast enough. I was traveling and drove three hundred miles out of the way to see her for about a half hour in that hospital. I left her that night and I cried for her pain. I stopped on an off ramp and I pleaded with God to give me her pain instead. She was hurt and I was hurt because she was. I can’t be living my best life if she’s injured or in pain so I begged for me to take it over for her. I felt her pain and wanted to feel it in hopes that she didn’t have to anymore.

Much like every other sign in my love life, I never came to terms with the fact that everyone was getting a different story from her. I asked to take our dog so that she wouldn’t have to deal with her for a few weeks. The next day there was a social media post from one of her friends asking if anyone could watch her dog. Any person that can help out, strangers welcome. Any living soul that could take this dog on because it will be a huge burden to her for a short period of time. Anyone except for the person that she was declaring her love to, apparently. Definitely not the guy that loves the dog and helped raise her and the man that the dog loves. Aside from him, anyone that could help would be appreciated. I let that go as I did most things that bothered, hurt or affected me.

We quickly became us again. Spending time together, inside jokes, the dumbest competitions that left us laughing and revisiting weeks later in smartass references. We had intimate moments, serious talks, and playful days. We were always perfect together. Aside from my financial immaturity which I’ll revisit later in this story, we never had a current problem. Not once in our relationship. Every fight was something found on a phone weeks or months after the fact or a situation that was perceived out of its original context. We never fought about anything that had just happened. There were never threats or name calling and we didn’t even go so far as to make the other feel inadequate in any situation.

We went to the pool. She told me many times that she didn’t think anyone could ever want her in that condition. What? A colostomy bag? Are you kidding, babe? Even with the added medical apparatus she was more beautiful than any female at that pool and any woman on earth.

I was so happy and proud to have her back. I would make the same mistake of posting about it on social media. My friends told me I was crazy. She’s going to leave you again they’d warn. You don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. We are back finally.

Some men dream of million dollar sports cars or a house on a small island. People pray to win the lottery or to get a promotion at work. Those people have all called me crazy for wanting what I want. I’m the only one of us who has had what I dream of. Their dreams of fabulousness and unrealistic goals coming out of their mouths and I’m the crazy one for wanting the woman of my dreams, again? She’s my want. She’s the one thing I would give up everything to have. I had her again and she was more beautiful than any of their dreams.

Seriously? There's something wrong with me because my feelings don't change. That's a problem in this world? Really? I loved someone so much I wanted her forever

Dude, you are setting yourself up for a lot of hurt. People will make fun of you. People will talk about you. Why? Because my heart still loves someone that I committed to for life? I didn’t need a wedding because choosing to propose was when that decision was exposed. It was made well before that. I love someone I said I loved. I love someone. That's a problem? How will I get hurt? You can torture me, run me over with a bus or water board me and you'll never be able to hurt me like the day she said she really liked the Irish guy. You'll never compare to the pain I feel when she was in pain. No hurt can ever match losing her.We had an amazing summer that can only be described by the word “us”. We loved being us. A few days after her reversal surgery and removal of the colostomy bag, she informed me that she had changed her mind again. I always believed in her but this time I knew something was different. Her voice for starters, was just unemotionally carefree to the fact that she had just experienced a man loving the woman of his dreams in “sickness”. Care free about anything. She was very matter of fact and cold. Every time she left me I lost a little more. Every time she left me I was drowning. I was drowning and every time, time after time, she saved me. Always coming back just in time to throw me a life raft. I trusted that raft because it came from her hands but she knew it had leaks and eventually she’d let me sink again until she was ready to throw another. She always knew the hourglass was present and time would run out. Every time I thought it was forever. No matter how many faulty lines she threw me, I never thought she’d let me submerge again. Not this time. Unconditional trust. I trusted every part of her with every part of me. I never realized that I was the last person she wanted and was always saving me for later or as a last resort. I understand fully that the rescue was over. She wasn’t my hero anymore she was the water. My souls imagination would always need her for hydration but just as suddenly she could fill my lungs and be cold enough to shut down every organ in my body. This time was different because I knew that with the medical situation being healed, she would now attract the guys that she really wants and my love was no longer as important to her. What really took my breath away was that she told me. She gave no reason or explanation but she told me. I heard her say she changed her mind and in all the times she’s left, that’s never happened. She would just disappear in mid conversation mostly and I’d wait a week, two months, six months, a year. She told a lot of people a lot of stories about how awful I was. A womanizer or a cheater. A narcissist and a sociopath. Gay. For the record, none of those people knew that she ever came back to me several times. She told whatever she wanted to whoever she wanted. She knew I had nobody else and she knew I’d always be right here waiting for her. She never told any of those people that part. Nonetheless I knew we were meant for each other and our stories would end together being ninety years old and dancing in the grocery store aisle. I always believed that no matter what. I let her go her way because I always knew she loved me back. When she said she changed her mind I felt the ice in her voice. That summer was the eighth time we reconnected and we had never interacted better which is saying a lot. We always loved each other but never as happily as that summer and she could leave again without an ounce of second thought or emotion. I knew it was over.

A year earlier I had posted a picture on social media and she turned me in for a felony and the fact of the matter is, I did. The charge was displaying a sexual image. If you’re unaware, that keeps you away from schools, churches and in some places you need a sign in your fucking yard. That charge could have ruined my life. I’m not saying I was right by any means. She had sent me that picture along with many others of her and me being sexual. I put it in a private social media folder that only my followers could see and she was my only follower. I basically did the same thing she did and sent in a private setting. It was a blowjob picture. The investigator began talking and I asked if he knew her? He said he did not. I then asked if he knew her father and he said that he did. Interesting I thought. They have different last names and he didn’t know her. How on earth could her father be known? I knew what that meant because her dad was a retired investigator so I gave them strategic answers that I knew an attorney could clean up. She had mentioned later that I took it down the next day. That wasn’t true, it was taken down weeks after that, but she just couldn’t see it because she unfollowed me, proving my point. I’ve always been that guy who would show pictures but I held her so sacred that nobody would ever see those images of her. Create competition for myself? You’re out of your fucking mind. Eventually she emailed my attorney to drop all charges because she had changed her mind again and wanted to be together. Every man in this world wants her and I make a lot of stupid decisions but that would be the dumbest self sabotage imaginable. I would receive pictures of her in the same manner several times after that but the picture in question. That picture was sent from her a year earlier in a cluster of others that were on her phone. Also in a private setting. It was right in the middle of many other pics of her and me. That picture would have prohibited me from being around schools and kids and anything else that comes with a sex related felony. What I never understood is how she knew every part of me and didn’t realize the tattoo of the recipient in the photo didn’t have the tattoo on my leg that I got twenty years prior to knowing her. She turned me in for revenge distribution of a photograph depicting a sexual act between us that originally came from her. Somehow she obtained this picture twenty years before we met and before I had the huge tattoo on my leg. See told you it was fate. We had apparently met that many years ago and didn’t even know. That last sentence was a joke, I’m not that stupid.

She took away my faith and slowly changed my beliefs. She reached deep into the dark corners of me and unraveled my most hidden insecurities. Her coming back time after time left me with hope of something that would never happen. Her love and changing her mind about that love left me with loneliness and never having the ability to supplement that with anybody else. She knew that and I think it made it easier on her to leave for better things as I was always a reliable back up plan if everything else fell through.

After the relationship I was labeled as controlling in stories to her circle. Contrary to that I always felt as if she deserved to have nights out with her friends and it would be hard for her to truthfully say that I didn’t encourage that. She had an old friend from Chicago that would come down and take her out and he’d just call me when she was too drunk to drive home and I’d go pick her up. I would plan a fun night with the kids and she would go to concerts or wherever she made plans to go. Never once did I send a text wondering where she was or what she was doing. I’ve just simply never been that person. I trusted her completely with girlfriends and guy friends alike. The stories of me being controlling were all rooted from one person. This guy would have had the same respect from me as every friend but for some reason he always had to be a secret. Telling me stories of being with her parents and later to find out she was at a 5K race with him. The animosity was created because this guy was always hidden and there wasn’t a reason to do so. Even after the fact I think they were just friends but there was always a divide that she created between our relationship and their friendship. Not long after one of our breakups I learned that he didn’t even know who I was. I always wondered why she didn’t just tell me. I threw a birthday party for her and he never responded to my invite but instead messaged her and wanted to take her to dinner alone. I took offense to that and was labeled as the bad guy. I never understood that with the effort put into her birthday that year it was overlooked because of that. There was a New Year’s Eve when her mother refused to watch the kids because she wanted to be with me yet did watch them after I admittedly became frustrated and belligerent because she had not planned for the day knowing weeks ahead of time. Her mother agreed to watch the kids so she could go with him. Because of the way that I had spoken to her earlier in the day she went with him to the only restaurant I really wanted to always take her to. Her parents ended up taken the kids so she could go with him and it broke my heart. I regret whatever it was I said to make her want to go with him. I regret more that she begged me later that night to go to her home and kiss her at midnight. I was being a bitch about not being able to ever see the kids, upset that her parents held that over her head and crushed about the dinner. My mouth and my reactions killed me again that night and I couldn’t regret it any more than I did. Still no matter what, she couldn’t do a thing that would turn my love away from her. Unconditional love and I knew I was the fault line. She even told me that if I hadn’t talked to her a certain way she would have spent the evening with me and I still couldn’t stop speaking up when something bothered me. I still hate myself for those situations and I always will. I asked her about him early on in the relationship and she told me that he was just a fantasy and I shrugged it off like I do most things. I just have left it all right there before it ever even began. She told me in that moment that I would never be the one. There would always be someone she wanted more than me.

I didn’t care at all. If I wanted an apple but knew if I reached to the tree to pick it a snake would bite me I wouldn’t reach for that apple. If I could kiss her lips but knew I would die in the process I would never not kiss her lips. I would die every time.




On The Money


Let’s be honest with each other. Every single one of us has walked away from a relationship with hurt feelings. The story of what really happened to end the relationship is rarely the same on both sides of the fence. Groups of friends and family on both sides are getting totally opposite accounts of what transpired and if it ended badly there are sure to be some over exaggerated story telling.

We have friends of mutual friends that were telling me I wasn’t someone they should ever date. People telling me that warning have come from her about me and simultaneously we were in love again without any of them knowing it. They would tell the Craigslist story which isn’t my favorite. Times that I cheated or conned her out of money. Crazy, sociopathic, narcissistic and abusive behavior. I’ve heard it all. The fact is that every situation that was labeled as such was long in the past for us. Hell, some of them from five years previous and we had lived a great life together since. Somehow people found a way to believe that’s why we are no longer together and that just simply wasn’t the case. We weren’t together because I’m a financial fuck up and all of those other things I suspect were told to avoid the embarrassment of believing in someone that hurt her financially. The reasons I was being told by people on the outside were long joked about between her and I. We had a way of taking our darkest moments and turning them into punchlines. More importantly, she eventually knew I was telling the truth. She knew the real story about all of those stupid situations that I created.

The one thing and I mean the only, singular, isolated, sole and lone thing that we never laughed about and never got past was my irresponsible spending habits. Period!

She had told me things throughout our relationship and given me excuse after excuse as to why we couldn’t be together before we were again. My finger nails, a mole on my arm, her parents threatened to cut her out of the will, her friends and family didn’t support us, I was in shape when she came back and let myself go since. They were all just scapegoats to the real issue. She had a great career and two children and I posed a serious danger to her financial security. We had a family together and I did not once do my part to contribute monetarily. We were deeply in love in every corner of the term but she was working to raise four children and a dog that were all helplessly dependent on her. After all of those stories had really taken place, she didn’t act any different. After the accident when she was injured all summer, she had never been happier. It was a different her and the look in her eyes was glowing more now that I refused to let her pay for anything while I covered every tab we incurred. She had earned and deserved that and we both knew it. She had never experienced that with me. A few years earlier she had hit the ATM and given me cash when we had our engagement congratulatory dinner with her parents so that I could pay and they would have thought that I grew up. I wasn’t able to see the present back then. How embarrassing that is to think about it. What must she have been thinking? She was about to marry a man that she had to lie to her own parents about. I’m really ashamed of that still to this day.

Her son had a football game one day and we had just gotten into an argument about money. We stopped at a truck stop to grab some refreshments and I was so proud to pay the seventeen dollars that I had saved up on a truck stop rewards card. Are you kidding me? I felt like I was doing my part and I’m not sure if it’s more pathetic that I wasn’t or that I really thought that things like that made her forgive me and believe everything would be alright.

We joined our bank accounts and my paycheck was being direct deposited to her. In return she gave me a credit card for daily expenses. I just continued my normal routine of stopping at the gas station on the way to work, at lunch and again after work. Twenty or thirty dollars every trip at three times a day. I specifically remember the moment it was declined and I called her to have her find out what was wrong with the card. I had exceeded the credit limit of eight thousand dollars. I had no clue what I was doing and didn’t think for a second that I was the problem. Was it fraud protection or crossing state lines. The credit card companies system was down. Had to be some reasonable explanation but there wasn’t. It was me and I felt horrible. So horrible that I didn’t change a fucking thing and I have no idea why. I just never realized I was spending that much even after that. Money is something that I’ve never had a grip on. Not once in my life have I ever been moneywise. Not once did spending ever make me see that I was spending too much. This is the real reason why we aren’t together today. Everything else we had an amazing life after the fact. But not financials, and looking back I don’t blame her a bit. It wasn’t until a few months after the last time I ever saw her that I started seeing myself as the problem and saving my money. Reckless and irresponsible but I just never noticed that negative habit as being a problem. I get it these days and it’s now my priority but just another thing that stays in my head all of these years. The sorrow and the regrets of being so ignorantly blind and self-biased overwhelm me. I just never realized I was doing it. Even after she expressed concern I still didn’t see it. I was in denial much like so many other areas of my life.

Even after my financial failures, we had a great relationship together. That can be said for every problem we had ever had. We got past all of them and were still completely in love. As mentioned, we never recovered from the financial strain that I caused but we did move forward. Her friends or family would be so proud of her moving on and the whole time we were still very much in love and being us. They had no idea. I didn’t know that they didn’t know until the last time or two. I was the side guy to the woman I loved more than life. No matter how many times I ran into that wall, it always killed me all over again. Although I felt none of it was ever necessary, I really always did respect how close she was with her parents. I asked one day as we were waking up what she would do if they dropped by and although I won’t tell you what she said fully, the last sentence was that she would just tell them she picked up a random guy from the bar. That broke me in ways I can’t even describe to this day. That was better than me? Her parents believing she picked up some stranger and brought him home was a better story than the truth that we were in love. She made me promise early on in the relationship to never make her choose between me and her parents. I’m not going to lie, I never knew if there had been a past experience that caused that concern. It was an easy promise to make because I really just wanted to know them also. I wanted them to see their daughter being treated better than any person they’ve ever known. Overall, I just don’t think like that. The irony is that I could be wrong and I’m willing to realize that, but she did not have to tell anyone about issues in our relationship. Everyone knew because she had told them all and in the end, because of that her parents eventually made her choose between them and me. It never had to be like that. We could have decided on our own to part ways and I’d still change a tire if she needed it. Help the kids with whatever challenges they faced and she needed a little help with. Shovel her driveway in the winter time or feed the dog when she was on vacation. We could have remained great friends and somehow this scenario at some point in time proved to sound better to her. I never understood this. I never understood what they thought of me or how it was so bad. If my daughter ever meets a guy and he just isn’t measuring up as far as I’m concerned I will always remember the way that I felt with the woman of my dreams. I’ll sit him down at the table and I’ll explain what I don’t like and give him advice on how to resolve that. After that moment I’ll simply watch for progress. I’ll base my opinion from that point on his achievements and I won’t hold him to my original opinion. That’s how we help each other grow, but never would I expect my daughter to make a decision based on my happiness. It’s not about me. Her happiness always has to come first and everyone else has to love her enough to find a way to come together. Not be a roadblock for her happiness. Sometimes you just need to tell someone what you don’t like about them and then it’s out of your hands. You can’t just sit idly by and wait for someone to change something that they don’t even realize you are bothered by as that’s a unrealistic expectation. Ninety nine percent of the time people don’t realize their own flaws. I’m a walking billboard of someone that didn’t see their own actions and mannerism and I really needed someone to sit me down and tell me.

The truth is that we could be close and we both know that. I could mow her lawn or help her son through an issue. I could take her daughter on a rough day and make everything better. There was no reason to end the way that we did and its baffling to me. I don’t live in jealousy or envy, for me it’s mostly just about the way things were reacted to or the principles used to end it in a hurtful manner. It was all unnecessary and unwarranted. She knew the truth about everything and she let me burn in the court of public opinion. There was never violence or anger. There weren’t any actual current relationship problems that we hadn’t already moved past. No need to change phone numbers or have cameras installed or orders of protection to enhance her story. All she had to say was that I was a fucking irresponsible piece of shit relating to financial management and it’s over. There’s the truth and that’s all she had to say and I wouldn’t have had any grounds to disagree. Financially I wasn’t the man of the house but rather just a man inside the house and to look back and consider myself a man is a huge overstatement.










Joyride


My beliefs are much different than most people. I truly live by the idea that love conquers all. I believe that everyone has the opportunity to meet their soulmate but you have to make all of the right moves. To really understand my perspective of fate you can picture a map of the United States. You start driving from the North Carolina shore to the California oceans. You spend your entire life just figuratively driving the three thousand miles back and forth. Your soulmate began on the other coast and is opposite of you. You both have to pick the right highways out of all of the many choices. You have to stop at the exact same time and when you meet that person, you hop in the same car and continue that journey together. You revisit some of the things you’ve seen before with a different perspective. You experience new things together but you’re always moving. The miles are always ticking away. Some people allow others to get in the car and others decide they don’t want to share the ride after all. Some people never even travel the same path and never find their travel partner. Others become tired of traveling alone and pick up an early passenger. I stopped at the right time and I found her standing there. We drove away together. My problem wasn’t so much the storms or bumpy roads but rather the fact that I didn’t help with the gas money. Her problem was telling me to get out and then always coming back to pick me up. We would meet all over again several times. In some instances we had our foot to the accelerator and collided head first into each other.

On this journey through life we often times travel the highways with the only measure of resistance being a painted line separating us from oncoming traffic. From the time our adventure begins we all trust each other to not cross that line. There is nothing that prevents us from swerving into the other lane but we give each other the confidence to travel straight so nobody gets hurt. I’ve lived my entire life protruding that line with reckless abandonment for myself and every person around me

I believe that true love cannot be replaced. That’s why I’m so sure and also why I pray for her happiness. I truly love her. Before her I would date, breakup, date and breakup. From one relationship to the next. I never had a problem rebounding. Now I have questions about the way I was. How can you say you love someone and have someone new a week later? How can you be married and in love for twenty years and find someone else a month after that? The one that really baffles me is an unfortunate spousal death and you can ever love again? That’s not love to me. That doesn’t mean I’m right or wrong. It’s just my vision of love. I know because I’ve heard it my whole life. When you know you know. I know. I know that I’ll never replace her. People call me crazy. Those people don’t know the real her. I believe that I’m the only person in this world that does. I truly believe that with all of my soul.


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Bloodline


There have been signs everywhere as the clock continued to tick, I ignored them all. My parents for example reached the point of accepting me for who I am. Most people would be happy with that but it’s a bit different for me. They never jump my ass anymore. When am I going to get my shit together, they’d ask? I’ve been asked that so many times. It wasn’t that I was ever in trouble, I was just irresponsible. Nothing criminal as some might have come to believe. There’s a transfer in love and its basically caring about someone so much that you stop trying to change them and accept who and what we are. They always pushed me to obtain more for myself but I never wanted it. I just wanted love and I am pretty certain that I was lucky enough to have them see what I was like when I loved her. They had a son they were proud of. She brought the absolute best out of me and they noticed! My parents knew that I had potential and they just gave up when it became obvious that I was never going to tap into it. I was no longer the partier but rather the guy who always drank and got high. That’s what happens when you gain years. You become a different context of what use to be acceptable. I’m no longer the guy driving a beater car because I’m rebuilding. I’m just the guy that always has a shitty vehicle. I’m not falling asleep in the bar parking lot because of work all night or pissing my pants because of my bladder but rather due to the fact that I’m a fucking alcoholic. I dreamed of being so successful that I bought my parents new cars and a beautiful house on the beach. Instead they spent my adult years bailing me out of repos, loaning me money and having their hearts continually broke by a son that they really do love. It just all snuck up on me. I never knew I was that son. I’m pretty sure my dad reminded me a million times with a few ass kicking’s in between but I never paid attention or even cared. I’ve never been in trouble with the law aside from spiteful breakups so what are they worried about? They didn’t ask me what the hell I was thinking anymore. They welcomed me into their home. We talk about everything. My mom asks me if I want to use the laundry (just in case I was homeless that day) and that was her love for me. It’s a horrible thought that I ever made them feel that way. They simply reached a point where they know I’m sad and they accepted that I’ll never be much. I hate that for them. I hate that for me.

I can’t even imagine their embarrassment or what my parents say when they see one of my old friends from high school. How’s Scott doing these days? I know they lie. He’s great they’ll say. Really happy. Deep down they know that I haven’t changed one thing about myself since I was actually in school with those middle aged people. Every single person I’ve ever known has passed me up in life. I am not more successful than anyone that I have ever met in my life. My adult life has literally been the worst case scenario and what hurts my wonderful parents the most is that I did that to myself. They made the choice. They reached a point somewhere that made them decide between push him harder or support him no matter what.

I’ve seen this before. My entire life I watched my uncle be the coolest person I had probably ever known. We laughed together and we fought. My uncle and I were more like friends. If anyone else ever talked to us the way we talked to each other, they’d be sure to get their ass kicked but we had that. We weren’t best friends or anything like that, we just really got along. I’d tell you ten years ago that we had a good friendship because I always felt empathy for him. Nobody ever gave him a chance, I believed. His heart was in the right place he just had a habit of making every wrong decision that one can make. Since I began my journey of change I’ve noticed that we could be twins. Our lives have been so similar that one might confuse us for each other. He was a really good basketball player in high school and an extremely hard worker. I was an above average football player and also a hard worker. He was married early to the love of his life and one day he came home to discover she was gone. He never recovered from that. Not once did he ever seem like things were coming together after that moment. He had apartments and houses that he rented but they never lasted long and he was often times in the streets or in jail. Jail is about the only thing we didn’t have in common. Drugs and alcohol became his identity while making mistake after mistake. He distanced himself from reality. I never understood why he couldn’t turn it around. I cheered him on from the shadows and I never once realized or was able to see that I was living the exact same lifestyle. My grandfather would pick me up to go to work in my late twenties and my uncle was with him. It never occurred to me that we were both getting rides for the same exact reason of irresponsibility and just like him, I didn’t have a car. It was something that I guess I wasn’t ready to admit. I know now that through all of his struggles, he never meant for any of it to happen. He never got lucky like I have in time to change it all. He didn’t wake up one day and ask to be sad, we both just made bad decisions and one day woke up not wanting to be here anymore. Both of us on the same self-destructive road through life. I think back now and I see it. Days he probably woke up and had to talk himself out of ending it all. The emotional disconnect from family and the world. The inability to function after losing what you want most but more importantly doing nothing about it. Just giving up instead. I see myself very much as he was. The same mannerisms toward certain things. The same fuck this world attitude because I didn’t get what I wanted. I told myself for years that I wouldn’t be that way. I loved him of course, but I didn’t want the life that he had given himself in an unaccountable way. I remember a Christmas a few years back when the police were called for some reason that I don’t remember. By the time that family dinner ended my uncle had waxed the floor with two, three or maybe even four sheriff’s deputies. Fast forward to my custody battle with my daughters mom and I was all of the sudden dealing with the police and letting them know with a smile that they’d better call for back up because I was about to fuck their world up. As a side note, I have always respected and fully support law enforcement but to show up at my door and tell me when I could see my own daughter, didn’t go over well with my demeanor. I knew them well and eventually apologized if you were wondering. The point is that I’m a spitting image of my uncle and I don’t want to be on that path of helplessness for myself. I have studied and studied. Is this some sort of hereditary passing down that every generation of a family has a complete fuck up? Is this the black sheep syndrome that I’ve obviously heard about but never paid attention to because surely it didn’t apply to me. Is that what I became? How did this happen? Why does it storm wherever I walk? I don’t want this.

It’s a rude awakening to realize that at forty-two years old. It's the toughest thing to admit to yourself that you're the biggest piece of shit imaginable. The one time that someone loved me and I fucked it up. I lived my life believing everything will always work out and tomorrow always comes. She taught me that I was wrong in believing that. Because of this which is not her fault at all I deliberately keep myself in a cage away from my desires. I hold myself back from things that could make me happy and I sabotage myself in any favorable situation.

Who we think we are and who we really are is a difference that most of us aren’t willing to comprehend. It’s impossible to see it in ourselves. I invite you to take the best selfie of yourself and then flip it horizontally. That’s how everyone else really views you and unless your smile is symmetrical it’s a nightmare to see. For most people that’s about as far as they’re willing to go. We don’t see ourselves for who we really are. If you’re happy with your body that’s awesome but we can look at someone that has the exact same size and figure and think to ourselves, get it together man, have a little respect for yourself. We cannot see ourselves even when looking in the mirror. I promise mirrors do lie. We only see the good in ourselves.

How did forty three years go by? It’s incomprehensible that all that time has passed me by and I never cared at all. The only time I ever cared about was her time Not mine.

How is she my everything? We tell people that all of the time. You're my world, my universe, my everything. How can someone be all of that? I don't know but she's what I look forward to. Every day with her I couldn't wait until she came home. I couldn't wait for her. If I was in another part of the house I looked forward to seeing her when I walked into the next room. I look forward to seeing her again someday and it doesn’t matter if that ever happens or not because I still look forward to it more than anything else. I look back on her and our memories. I live in those moments. I look up to her. All of her charm and intelligence. Her perfection. I lifted her up on that pedestal and couldn't stop looking up to her greatness. I look down on her for the hurt and pain. She's my forward and back and up and down. She's my every direction.


Curse


I often wonder if manipulation and psychological advantage was originated long before the days that we live in. Witches being burned in the towns’ center for casting spells and curses on people who never recover. What if there was never such thing as a witch, which I don’t believe in anyway. What if those commonly referred to as witches just knew how to read someone’s eyes? In times where empathy was nonexistent they were the first to recognize hurt. They realized when people were in love like I am today and they simply made it known that those people would never fall in love again. To the accused which people like me were obvious and easy to spot and they felt empathy for the individual with a broken heart. They recognized that the person would never find another that brought them as much joy and happiness. The people, who might have been much like our world today with social media, always, wanted options and more options but the witches keep saying you will never find that again. More and more they were proven right and so they were punished as if they were some form of evil magic that prevented love again. It was merely an observation all along and they were punished for realizing people get hurt. That’s my spin on it, anyway and I’m not too prideful to admit that I may be entirely off base. That’s how I see the world. I see positive in every situation and every person until it kills me. I could just never see it in myself until she came along.

It couldn’t have been more than a month into our relationship when I believe I was hit with a spell of the opposite direction. To always love her. It happened lying in bed holding her and through all the breakups and all the come backs it was eventually repeated time after time and again. Don’t ever give up on me no matter what happens, she told me. She drove it into my head. It may seem like we won’t but I promise we will be together. Don’t ever think anything else. Now when the person who you firmly believe is your soulmate makes you believe that, it’s powerful. So many times and always something new. Wait until the kids are out of school and then her parents won’t be a factor. Wait for me, she’d tell me every time. I am going to stay young with you forever. We will live this life together. Be patient and believe in me. She hammered it into my imagination. I believed it and I believed she meant every word. You don’t look into a person’s eyes with the amount of passion we had and tell them that dozens of times if you don’t mean it, right? Nonetheless, I promised. Every time. Over and over regardless if she was in front of me or gone again. I’ve always kept that promise to her. She came back so many times knowing that I loved and waited for her that it’s the only thing in life I knew would always happen. All of the stories of different women when we were together and I’ve never even had another without her. I just wait until the next time.

People urge me to move on. Try to play matchmaker and I just won’t break my word to her. My promise aligns with everything that I want and my every day’s desire.

My negative characteristics were too much for her. Her positive traits were too much for me to recognize anything else. I always protect her. There are a few snippets of stories throughout this book but they’re simply just referencing why a certain situation arose. Every story that every friend or family member has ever heard paints the picture of her as the most amazing woman, mother and it’s pretty undeniable to say the best daughter to her parents. She’s the best nurse and the best partner. They hear how much I love her.

I’ve sat in this chair for many sessions and have been told time after time that I don’t have to blame myself for this or that. Therapy is to fix me, not blame her. I’ve never blamed her for anything ever. I punish myself so that she doesn’t ever have to feel as if she has done anything wrong at all. I don’t care if she’s in the right or in the wrong because I’ve never allowed her to be faulted with anything. I have no pride and take the fall for everything. This was never more true than when we were together I would plead my case in a disagreement and if she didn’t accept that, I’d eventually apologize even if I knew she was in the wrong. That’s what happens when you love someone, right? There has yet to be any moment that was so major that I was willing to place blame on the love of my life in order to justify my actions or to make myself look better in the eyes of others. My love has always outweighed any of the benefits or attention that I might receive in doing so. One of my best moments was after the engagement when she posted publicly on social media that she loved me and gets to marry someone that thinks so highly of her that I apologize even when it’s not my fault. That meant the world to me that she realized that even if it was short lived.

I refuse to actually watch a Notre Dame Football game. I was always a huge fan and never missed a game on television until after I lost her. I remember they were in the playoffs and I was sitting on the couch loving my life. Watching my team play as the woman of my dreams was sitting next to me telling our dog statistics and facts about the team because I was focused solely on the television. I specifically remember looking at her as if to say “could you be quiet and please let me watch this”. In that moment it was just a stupid moment that didn’t matter but it would become a defining moment in growth for me. I’d give anything to not watch football and spend the day in the garden with her, or a road trip to free ourselves for the day.

I don’t get lonely and I’ve always feared that the most. To not share experiences with someone else. I don’t mind being alone at all and I don’t even need temporary fillers for that. I was looking for someone to be there all along. Someone to hold and be physically present. I was looking for people and things. What I’ve learned that I need the most is to correct my biggest mistake. To finally release my demons for good I need trust. There is one thing that’s more important than someone trusting me. That is me doing the things without excuses to earn and keep that trust. I came from an amazing family. I allowed myself to be a failure. I’ve lost the love of my life. My child watched me fall. I have never given myself anything good in life. I’ve wanted so many things over the years. I have broken myself down and built myself to be a man that I’ve never been and never could be without her. I could dream of anything in this world and the only thing that I desire is trust. The thing that will carry me through life is knowing that I am still following my heart and that I will always know the importance of making the responsible decisions. Two years after the last day I called the house my home and my driver’s license address was still the same. I grew from the days of not being financially responsible to having a place of my own. At this point I was very capable of living a normal and financially stable life. What I wasn’t capable of doing was creating anything without her.

I could buy the most beautiful house in the world. I didn't need a roof or a front door or a laundry room. I needed her presence and I was always going to be homeless without her. No matter where I live throughout my life I will always be homeless because she isn’t there.

I couldn’t imagine picking out a place to live without her smiling at me and explaining her curiosity of what amazing moments the structure had on previous residents. Did they dance in the hallways? Were they in love or did they climb that tree in the back yard. This was her and those things always ran through her head. I loved it and I loved her input during those conversations. I stopped going to the bar. I didn’t need to be drunk all the time. It began with loneliness and although eventually I had people all around me, I didn’t have her jokes or her mind stimulation. I refused to buy a new car and still do because she deserves one while I take the Pathfinder. She gets the new stuff, not me. I couldn’t even imagine driving a brand new car while hers was ten years old. We hadn’t been in a relationship for three years and this was on my mind.







Defeat


Throughout the years since she broke off the engagement I slowly declined mentally. I was scared for myself because of myself. Depression had attacked me. Anxiety kicked my ass every single day. I had to show her that I loved her and the more it consumed my every moment, the less desperate I became. I realized a crazy factor in my love. She didn’t have to love me back. When we were together I felt that way as well. I loved her so much that I didn’t even care if she loved me back. My satisfaction was loving her. Making her smile. Making her day. Not me being loved. With that being said, I absolutely know that she did love me. After the last time however, my parameters of love narrowed even more. I realized that I didn’t have to have her to love her. I set up a life insurance policy and made her the beneficiary. I prayed every night for her health and happiness, but if I ever got the call that she was diagnosed with something such as cancer………I would have been in an accident the next day, guaranteed. I loved her that much.

I had it all figured out. The song list for my funeral was all of her favorites. That was the only opportunity to have her stay by my side a little longer, if she even attended. Flowers from my friends were to include a note with something that I’ve told them about her. As what remained of my soul left my body, she would be reading my last love letters. She would finally learn how I bragged and bragged about her to anyone I ever met. I knew I would go without her love. It was also very important for me to finally make her realize that I always remained in love with her. Hell my tombstone will mention that I still love her. My eleven year old daughter knows that when she’s old enough, to go to her and leave no doubt. To tell her that I loved her every moment of every day and if she’s happy I’m happy for her. If she’s sad and there’s a chance in the world that she felt the same all along, I would want her to be happy. I know how horrible that seems for a child of her age, but she knows. She watches her father live in a painful state of depression. I hate that but for a very long time I had no control. I never meant for her to be so aware. Even with that being said, depression is a horrible world. I really was ready to leave this world if needed for her wellbeing and health. If anything happened to her, I would have been more than willing to trade the rest of my heartbeats for her to possibly have a few more. I wasn’t scared of that. Excited would be an understatement. I no longer felt the urge to hurt myself. I’ve learned slowly how to manage that however, if her health was in question. Goodbye!

I allowed myself to almost hope for this. Not for anything to happen to her, of course. But this impending doom that I was living in opened up a religious passage for me. No, I’m not a born again religious man, but I do believe that it’s my only chance to know. Whether it happens tomorrow or when I’m eighty years old. I’m no longer worried about dying. I know that when I meet God he will welcome me with a hug. A hug that I wanted from her. A hug that shows appreciation for my efforts. He will look me in the eyes and shake my hand while he tells me “I gave you the woman you prayed for. You made an astronomical amount of mistakes and I noticed. I also noticed that you did everything that you could possibly do to correct those mistakes. I’m proud of you”. He will confirm that she was in fact his plan for me all along. I have spent the last three years and will spend my life wondering the answer to that question. This is the exact moment my therapist fired me and wanted to just be friends. I laugh saying that, but we began meeting for breakfast and talking instead of in her office. She finally admitted I’m different. She realized that this isn’t a heartbreak that will go away. She threw the book away and finally understood that typical therapy was not going to work on me.

The only person to ever lift me up high was the love of my life. I wasn’t sad with her. Not once until the later dates. I was a totally different person with her and because of her. It was the first relationship that I was really happy. Falling in love is the most beautiful feeling but when someone touches your soul and opens your mind it’s indescribable. It’s more than just loving someone but rather realizing that you’ve never actually loved or been loved before. She gave me that and she gave me all of it up front. No holds barred intimacy and passion. She kept a smile on my face even when we weren’t next to each other. I looked forward to everything with her.

I have come to the determination that there are a couple certainties in my life. I love my daughter, I believe my soulmate is my ex and I’m basically a pathetic piece of shit. What I didn’t realize is when I made the commitment to improving these certainties, those three planets would collide. I didn’t realize until I was sitting in that dirty hotel room with drunks knocking on my door asking for change that I was in this place. This was the crossroads of my life. I had nothing and I’ve never had anything. I met the woman of my dreams and had it all and now I allowed myself to be in this place.

Months ago we were adopting the family dog from the animal shelter and falling in love with her together. We were at school functions and football games giving my thoughts to a coach because the kid wasn’t ever being played. The whole world changed overnight. Now I want a quick hit of weed to feel good about myself but I need that assistance constantly. I’m always fucking high. Do people know this, is it noticeable? I’m stoned out of my mind every moment of every day unless I’m sleeping. I wake up in the morning and do it all over again. She separated herself from me and I removed myself from the world.

I made some horrible mistakes since I met her but I can confidently say that even though I was in the wrong, every single scenario was multiplied in thought to be much worse than it was.

The only thing that I have ever succeeded at was loving her. That’s the only thing I’ve ever done right. For the rest of my life, it will always be my story of love.

I’ve always made poor financial decisions and chose the wrong paths for myself. That being said I’ve never been a trouble maker. I’ve never been a law breaker. The local police departments do not recognize me if I pass by in the grocery store. I’ve had a few issues through the years but nothing of any significance and nothing criminal. I’m not the bad seed in a crowd and I really have never even had a crowd. I’ve never even had a close friend other than her. I needed imagination in a friendship. The closest thing to a buddy that I’ve ever had would be coworkers and even at that, I never joined any of those clicks.

The great thing about support groups is that they typically always base their support on just one side of the story. You can tell them whatever you want to make them support you more. Many people have always believed that my depression is due to me loving a woman that didn’t love me back enough to make it work. That’s the furthest thing from the truth. My depression is based off of her of course, but because of myself. I spent an entire life fucking around and not having a care in the world. I didn’t build anything for myself and unfortunately when the time came and I met the woman of my dreams, it wasn’t so easy to change everything overnight. My actions before her and since have created my sorrow and remorse and I beat myself up every day because of that. I never physically cheated on her but I didn’t really give her any reason to believe otherwise. I did it all to myself. There’s a reason why I’ve never spoken a negative word about her to anyone. I’ve told stories of course, but I still hold her so high that anyone listening to my memories can’t reach her for judgement. As she was destroying me I was still protecting her secrets. I put her in so many situations to hold me accountable and although many of those weren’t anything that they first appeared to be, I still created it. It’s all on me and it always has been. We reacted differently to certain things and you can’t go back and bitch about them later. She found messages on my phone and threw me out of the house. Before we met she had gone to New Orleans with a guy who she said left her there and during our relationship I found a current message from him calling her beautiful and it seemed to appear as if they had been communicating. I asked her about it and then accepted her answer and we moved on.

It’s pretty incredible how many situations were nearly the same but from different sides. I was hurt by them, but made the choice to not end the relationship. I loved her enough to be passive even if I had my doubts. She never gave me that courtesy. I could do the same exact thing that she had already done and we were broken up for months. One small example of that didn’t result in a break up but certainly explains what I’m trying to say. There was a day when we were both sitting on the back deck watching planes come into the airport. We were both smoking a cigarette and she mentioned that it would go a long way with her parents if I stopped smoking. She never allowed herself to acknowledge that she was doing many of the same things that she held me accountable for. These are after thoughts of course and I didn’t bring that up at the time. I didn’t care that there were some hypocritical actions because I had her. Nothing else mattered. It wasn’t a big deal in the moment.

When I bought the engagement ring I obviously didn't want to tell her so I took a second job after work due to being on salary and not able to pull it off without her knowing. I told her I was working late every night. I was a janitor at a nasty motor shop which basically means I was cleaning up grease which I preferred much more than the bathrooms that ended my three hour a day shift. I was caught up in the lie so when she eventually asked I told her I took it out of my retirement. I was too embarrassed at what her thoughts on that would be. I bought you a ring that I cleaned toilets for. Not exactly the romance I dreamed of. She would later use that as one of the reasons for kicking me out. I wasn't responsible and took money out of my retirement for a ring. To shoot myself in the foot even more I took a shower at a truck stop every day to hide my plans of asking her to be my wife. She'd later say that I came home too clean and she knew I was cheating because of that. I planted these seeds.






Walk Backward


I’ve put myself through all these experiences that had eventually broken me and never changed a thing until the moment I met her and then I still didn’t change enough. The fact remains that I had no idea who I really was until she loved me enough to tell me I was that guy. My actions might as well have been invisible to me but I finally realized they were blinding to the people around me. No matter what I’ve tried to accomplish in life and especially with my love for her, it’s always been one step forward and two steps back. No matter how many attempts or the effort that I made myself believe that I put in, I always landed behind where I began. It’s always two steps behind where I really wanted to be. Unfortunately depression doesn’t allow a person to ever accept closure on an emotional level. There is no getting over it and moving on psychologically just isn’t an option.

I looked back to every video I could find of myself. I don’t know a person in the world who doesn’t hate to see and hear themselves on videos. I really went farther than that. I couldn’t stand to see myself and listen to the way I sounded. My fake laugh, my voice and tone, biting my lip, my shoulders hunched over and smoking a cigarette was brutal to watch. I assume that everyone standing around me on that day saw the same thing that I was looking at. How embarrassing to see someone that you don’t recognize. It wasn’t the man that I know. It wasn’t even the guy that I was able to see in the bar mirror back on my darkest day. This was a fucking ogre. The man that I pictured on behalf of everyone in my head was a super model compared to this creature in the video. I hurt my own feelings and I’m not joking. I wonder if everybody hates me as much as I do when I see videos. They have to, right? If I cannot stand to see myself how can anyone else actually love to be around me? I became paranoid to be around anyone and I believe that is my definition of having no confidence.

About three decades ago, my younger sister had a doll that was play fed with baby bottles. I remember so specifically that she was crying because the warm bottle turned cold and the cold bottle turned warm. My grandfather suggested she switch bottles and in theory for a child, was genius. I go to the cemetery and speak with him often because I miss his knowledge and quick witted common sense on just about anything you can throw his way. I get goosebumps in knowing just how similar his intelligence was to the love of my life. I had to figure out where it really went wrong and why I make no progress with anything. I asked him. I sat there and I asked him and maybe purely out of coincidence the answer came to me immediately. Not a suggestion or an option. The entire plan came to my head in two simple words that really sounded like something my grandfather would say. Walk backwards. Turn around and go the other way.

Walk backwards? Is there a better solution or formula for success if you are consistently taking a step forward and two steps back? Walk backwards walk backwards, walk backwards. I must have said it thirty times. You’re guaranteed to double the progress. I can’t change anything that I’ve already burned to the ground but I can definitely change direction on my outlook. I didn’t need a beautiful house on the beach. I’ve been without a home for as long as I can remember and a shed would be an upgrade. I don’t need the best of anything, I just needed something to get started. Maybe I felt entitled or just never was able to see a damn thing about myself but I always just thought it had to be a beautiful home with a pool. I wasn’t going to settle for less even starting out, until starting out failed to happen so many times. I was always too good for a studio apartment or a trailer. Long ago my self-expectations and lies created someone that couldn’t possibly be caught dead living in something that didn’t make people believe I was more than what I was.

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Closure


I begged for it. I pushed all of pride to the side and begged her for it. I didn’t get a goodbye. She just moved on like we never met. I’ve taken myself to the darkest corners of my own personal hell and I had to provide myself the closure and acknowledgment that we will never be together again. I had to come up with her side of the story by myself. I had to figure it out so that I can have peace in my life. So that maybe I can date again if the time comes although I really have no interest in love or relationships at all. I know that I planted all those seeds and she still loved me. Regardless of what anybody around her believed, she still loved me after all of it. Some of our happiest moments were spent after all of the problems were long gone. Years after some of those stories were circulated and we were laughing uncontrollably together and appreciating the difference we had over any other love story.

I thought about the other guys that she dated. There was one that worked for the same company I once did and knew many of my friends. A guy from my hometown that knew many people I had grown up with. She went to a wedding with a guy. I could never and would never do any of that so the obvious answer was that she was looking for something with anybody that I had already found with her. I took all of that into account but my theory concluded much differently.

She loved me more than any of those people. She was looking for something that I couldn’t provide at the time and that’s why I sat without her as they got the chance to show her better. I cannot be convinced that she didn’t love me enough to throw all of them away. She knows that I live my life for her and she knows that I am affected for the rest of it. So what is closure?

It’s putting this entire book together for you right now. My laziness through life that ensured I didn’t have anything good and then when I received Gods greatest creation I didn’t do the right things. I planted fields of seeds and she spent a relationship involuntarily trying to find the duds. She looked at every one with great detail and developed small opinions along the way. She hoped every time that the seeds would grow into love but they didn’t and slowly let her down.

She wished on those seeds again and again. She came back so many times expecting something different and until the last time, I was the same fucking person that she left months earlier. She kept her hopes up and she believed in me more than anyone ever has or will and I was the same irresponsible boy every fucking time. It had to disappoint her and I never was able to see it. I was blinded by my own love for her and joy that she came back and I failed to see she came back every time to check in on the love of her life. I was the love of her life as well and I never looked at it like that. I was too busy trying to make her happy that I didn’t even realize that I being the same worthless ex fiancé was the problem. She loved everything about me as I did her but she needed help. She needed me to contribute financially and I just always thought it would be better the following week. I was in denial of my ignorance and irresponsibility. The seventh time she came back I was at a cheap motel. She gave me six fucking chances to show her I could do it and I was still the exact same everything. She needed me to show her. She longed for that and I failed every time. She was still my partner and I was not a good one but she kept giving me that chance to prove that I was. Every time she came back she screamed that if I was the same she’d be gone again and I never heard her. I never knew I was me. I just didn’t know. Now I know. God worked overtime to allow me to stay in the game for seven extra innings and I just kept striking out on easy pitches. I didn’t hit the home run until the game was over and the lights dimmed out in that beautiful stadium. That’s my closure. It was me. God believed in me and she believed in me even more than him. It was never about her parents, friends or guys, or things she once thought I was doing. It wasn’t even really about money. It wasn’t about narcissism or being fearful of me. She knew all of that was bullshit. It was about me not being different when she came back to me. Things are different these days. I have built a comfortable life for myself.

No more trashy motels or regrettable decisions. She taught me finally how to live normal even without her. To be that for myself and her faith in me lifted me to be able to finally succeed in life. I smile a lot more today and I do take the time every day to pray for her still and to look back on the greatest love story that never ended the way it should have.

I stay healthy and I make people feel good about who they are. I compliment people randomly and I love practicing little acts of kindness. I help those that may struggle to fill their gas tank in the cold winter while they sit in their heated car and I feel great about these little things. I’m not trying to change the world and I promise no awards will be presented to me, but the biggest trophy is knowing that I am who I am because of her and she is the real reason why I put a small smile on all of those faces. Her reach has touched that many people and that’s the mark of an amazing woman. Looking back on my life and seeing who I’ve been, it’s the greatest achievement on the planet to know that she turned me into a real man. A good man that hopes to be great like my father and respectfully a great man like her father as well.







Last Road


Don’t tell me you thought this was a story of obsession. That has never been the case. It’s my love story. It’s about a man who truly believed that he had found his soulmate but realized that she was my guardian angel. She wasn’t sent to me to be my soulmate, but rather to fix my soul. I fell in love with Gods delivery to me. Her job was to save me from myself and like every other challenge that comes her way, she overachieved. She was sent to repair my heart and my mind. They say if you love someone let them go. I lied to myself and her so many times and said that I did but that was bullshit. I loved her of course but the bullshit part is ever being willing to say goodbye. Now I can. She deserves that and I owe it to her. I hope that I was wrong the whole time and right now she’s laughing hysterically in a restaurant with the man of her dreams. I pray that he is making her so much happier than I thought I could. I dream that her parents give him a hug when he walks in the door to pick up the kids. I hope they love him. I hope that her dreams are coming true as mine once had with her.

What a journey but more importantly a lesson. To truly learn to see myself from everybody’s point of view. There is a saying that nobody sees you the same. You will never see yourself as they see you. I defied those odds. I do see what everyone else sees.

I have never done anything with my life. I’ve never succeeded and many times never even tried. I have never accomplished anything until I loved her. The only thing that I’ve ever succeeded at was to love her unconditionally.

I learned that I still love her and to me she is worth waiting for, even knowing the truth that any other man makes her happier. I pray still for her happiness every day. I’m not religious, but I sincerely pray for her life to be filled with the greatest joys. Every moment of this life I make the right decisions and lift people up so that God gives me a little more consideration at the end of the day when I beg him for her happiness. I want her to find that person that changes her life the way that she changed mine. I want her to be proud of a man and not have to hide her love for him because of the disappointment it will bring her friends and family. I want her to find that without all of the pain that I went through achieving the same. I want her children to grow up and be successful in life and her parents to live long and happy lives in retirement. I don’t mind the years passing by. Someday forty years from now I still believe that we will pass each other in the retirement home. Just two old souls. I picture us looking into each other’s eyes before I omit a teardrop and say “what took you so long”. I imagine her response will be a half smile and something along the lines of “I’ve just had a lot going on”. We’ll laugh and embrace and slow dance in the hall.

I can’t give up on that. I can’t give up on her. If I gave up on her I would be giving up on myself. I am only me because of her. They say that if you find something you love, you should do everything to keep it. You should work hard at it, but it never feels like work. I’m now my greatest job. I’m her most successful job. I love me for the first time in my life at forty three years. I love me so much and the only reason I was able to do that was because she once loved me. She also hurt me. She slowly broke me from the moment the engagement was off until the present moment. I briefly spoke of a few of those situations and you might understand a lot more about me if I wanted to include that content to possibly sell more than five books. This is about accountability for me. You don’t tell the world or anyone outside of a relationship what someone has done to hurt you. I still fucking love her and I don’t want her children to someday read anything negative about their mother so I’ll protect her with her part. I don’t want you to miss the moral of the story that I did this all to myself. If you heard the parts that make me cry still, your opinion of her might alter and I want to leave you knowing the truth. She is the woman of my dreams. She’s the most perfect woman that was ever created. I keep those stories inside. I believe that’s the most honorable thing to do. I keep those moments to myself not because nobody has cared what I felt, but rather because that’s what you do when you love somebody. I keep them inside and eventually I have too much and I release it into the skies. I purposely do this to know that those feelings and emotions still fly. Still I fly. I have grown into good, but more importantly I’ve grown out of bad and I reflect on my remorse daily. I’ve grown past the part of my life where I can honestly say that I don’t care what anyone thinks of me. I do. I care tremendously what people think of me because as we drive from coast to coast, meeting new people, new jobs and new experiences, who you are matters to the right one and you always have to put your best image on display.

There always comes a time when memories fade away for most people. Time takes over and eventually it doesn’t matter any longer. I’m cursed and blessed with the exact opposite. I can still see her eyes looking deeply into mine and making me promise to never give up on her. She begged me. There was no need for that. She’s my every dream, but she begged me anyway. I promised her. I will never stop believing in her. Those memories have long faded for her. I’d be a fool to think the same conversation hasn’t taken place one or two times since with different men. I don’t give up but I know she has. It’s not because of that silly promise. I really believe in our love that much. Somedays are harder than others but I take joy in knowing that somebody might be leaving her notes everywhere just to remind her how loved she is. That someone can’t wait to dance in the kitchen with her. That she might be happy. Those are the best days. Those are the nights that I get a little sleep. To know that two people sincerely loved each other and I’m the one left destroyed instead of her brings me real happiness. I can barely live with myself, I don’t know how I’d be able to function if she was the one left devastated. I can’t even think about trading places with her and me being happy while she’s sad for even a second.

So I’ll keep my promise to her and I’ve stood like a warrior. I’ve been pummeled and stoned. I’ve stood there and believed in her. I’ve been laughed at and called names.

They tell me I have such a good heart. You'll find someone who loves you. They don't get it. They don't comprehend how real this is for me. How honestly I've expressed my feelings. I’ve drowned time and again, and I won’t stop believing. I will keep my promise even though it leaves me broken. It’s my broken promise. It’s my reason to do well. She made me and I would never be a better person without her. She’s the greatest moments of my life. I promised her. That’s so special to me

I deserve all of it. I own all of my mistakes. I don’t worry about hers. I don’t worry about what she’s told people. I know who we were. I love that enough to hold on. I have told the complete truth of my life. I’ve opened up my darkest doors for you. I will no longer lie to get her back. What I did was wrong. What I did was never what she believed but I was wrong and honestly, I don’t blame her. Only I know the truth about that and I’ve had to learn to accept all of it. I will always live a life of regret and remorse. I told her that I loved her more than any man has ever loved any woman. I did and still do.

She has long forgotten me and is at least three or four boyfriends past me. If she ever hears my name again she will have to think really hard to remember what I looked like. Just someone she used to date. I know I’m not significant enough to be someone who stands out in her mind. I know that I loved her more. I’ve always known that and accepted it.

You might be wondering if I switched up the plot and at some point she falls in love with me like I do her. The whole story changes and we start moving toward the fairytale ending. If you’re someone who was thinking that you’ll be very confused buy the next part. I love her so much and also wish that she was here for her role in this story but she’s not. She’s all I want in life but I wouldn’t take her back if she ever calls again. I may look at her and tell her it’s about time if she returns, but she never realized how badly she hurt me. She’ll never believe the truth about everything and she did a lot to inflict as much pain as possible in the past three years. I wrote this book to document my failures and redirect myself. I won’t even count the number of times I referred to myself throughout these pages. It is about my regrets and I’m not sure she has any. I could make this book twice the size by telling stories of her hurting me but I have made it a point to not throw mud on her name and I never have. I refuse to throw stones because she was the rock that became the foundation for this house.

I wouldn’t try again and it’s the only thing I want in my life. She has hurt me deeply. I’m stuck in this place and I’m comfortable here. My world consists of the hurt and the love that she gave me. When we were together I was living inside my dreams. I only stopped dreaming when I fell asleep. Now I down some sleep aid and hope to see her again deep in the night.

Everyone tries to convince me that there's something wrong with me because my feelings don't change. That's a problem in this world? Really? I loved someone so much I wanted her forever and my feelings are supposed to just disappear because she changed her mind? Having feelings for someone is wrong? When did we get here as people? We aren’t allowed to love someone?

The world doesn’t care who you are or what you think you are. It doesn’t put a thought into what you think you deserve. The world keeps turning and you either roll with it or you go against the grain. You cannot resist the turning world and expect a ride that’s going to be easy. I promise you’ll be the one exhausting yourself while everyone you know is spinning the other way waving and smiling as they leave you on the other side. I’m finished going against the grain.

There’s a huge grey area and that’s where I live. That’s where the smoke cleared and when everything became transparent to me. I believe that she is my soulmate. I believe she loves me. I absolutely love her. But her happiness means more to me than mine. No matter how much I have improved my life, happiness, image and mental stability one thing remains the same. My love for her and wanting her to be happy even at my hearts expense. I pray that she someday finds in someone what I found in her.

Not exactly the love story you expected? Don’t worry about me, it has a happy ending and I got the girl in the end. You didn’t think that I would? Have you been paying attention to this story at all? What you should have caught onto is that I slowly allowed my paradigm to change. Getting the girl in my arms was the goal all along and it slowly became more important for me to get where the girl was coming from. To get why such an amazing love story failed and to learn why she didn’t fight for it as I did. I took the time out of my life to see our world through her eyes and I understand why I wasn’t worth the fight. She only gave birth to one son yet she raised two of us. She gets credited with that and always will. I love her and I appreciate her bringing me to new heights.

The best feeling in the world was believing that I was the one she truly loved. I never wanted to be her boyfriend, fiancé or husband but rather I wanted to be the man of her dreams. The worst feeling was when I realized that I no longer was and other men were sitting across from her planning out forever. The devastation began when I understood fully that it was my fault. She needed me to come through and gave me more chances than I deserved. I never changed a thing. Eight times in total she came back for me and I never changed a damn thing until she was gone forever. It was never due to inability or lack of wanting to but instead I simply just didn’t see myself as the problem in any capacity. I honestly just never got it until it was too late. Our love for each other was present. It’s always been as heavy as the first moment we laid eyes on each other. I just never could see anything on the other side of that love. That compassion for each other had always been all that I needed but I never understood that it wasn’t enough for her. So many times she came back for me and I was the same pathetic excuse of a man. Always in a semi or a cheap motel while selling my only vehicle so that I could treat her to a weekend in Saint Louis. I was broke and never improved any part of my situation and she came back every time hoping that I finally had. I gave her no incentive to stay and she didn’t.

My love just wasn’t enough and I never understood that. Crying wasn’t for attention and it never had the smallest effect on her. When she found me in that bar after the court injunction I was around my entire group of friends and hugging her while bawling my eyes out. I went to her house one night and when she opened the door I just began crying. She came outside with me and I couldn’t say a word. She held me with her love while I cried so hard and we never talked. She just kept telling me to trust her and believe in her and I did. The next night I stopped by again and there was another car in the driveway. Emotions, feelings and love aren’t what she needed. She needed someone who her parents approved of and someone that could contribute financially. So many times I heard her say those exact words but never understood how detrimental they really were. I didn’t get it.

I think that the real measure of appreciation is when you can give others credit and you understand why you are doing that. People preach that you should love yourself and it's true that you should. I’m unsure how many times I've tried to make myself believe that I love myself or that I appreciate the things that I do to enhance my own life. That is so easy for us to do but the challenge is when you step back and realize what other people have done for you. I wouldn't love myself today had I never met her. I would still be living a life in hotel rooms and out of shape while smoking and broke but I'm not. Literally everything that I have in my life is because of the woman of my dreams. I would be nothing without her and I would never have changed. I understand that even though I was alone in my journey of changing it came from her sacrifice and this is her accomplishment. She made me everything that I am and I’m so appreciative of her that I will never allow myself to be alright with the fact that I hurt her. I became the man that she needed me to be and I could never possibly give that to any other woman. She's the only one that deserves it and if she doesn't want me I will gladly continue on my journey alone. It's not about replacing love. Imagine winning a game and the score says that you won the game and everybody knows that you won the game. There isn't any dispute and it wasn't even close but yet when it's time to give the trophy they give to the other team for no reason whatsoever. That's what it would be like if I dated somebody else. I don't move on. She is a part of me and it is so unfair in my mind to give all of this hard work I put in because of her to somebody else. She has always been the most beautiful woman in any room. She still is. Now she is in invisible and still the only thing I see.

They all ask. How can you love someone so much that doesn’t love you back? That’s a complicated question for me. I believe she does love me. I know that she loves me. Deep down I know. I believed her. The connection that I felt was not something that you come across often if ever. She’s a part of me and she’s the only part of me that still believes in love.




Better Days


The defining moment that really made me want to turn the corner was the last time I smoked marijuana. I felt it in my chest and so much in fact that I thought I was having a heart attack. This has happened on numerous occasions but never to this extreme. I really thought this was the moment. I called my daughter to tell her that I loved her and was proud of her no matter what. I then sent a text to the love of my life apologizing and providing one last declaration of love and letting her know that I never stopped loving her. I accepted it and although I had made great strides to that point I knew it was time. I lay on the bed and when I closed my eye the visions of all four people that I truly love raced through my mind in the way that movies flash your whole life just before the end. I could see their happiness and laughing and I knew my actions had destroyed all of their lives. I knew that I was about to leave this world. I began crying and in all of the calmness, fear took over. I sat up and started pleading with God. Please don’t take me yet I have so many things to fix. Just not right now. Please let me fix my wrongs. Screaming and begging until I lay back again and wept knowing this was it. There was no doubt in my mind that he was bringing me home. I woke up the next day and felt purpose. Although my eyes water every now and again that was the last time I cried uncontrollably and definitely the last time I used marijuana.

I’ve since explored new ways to improve my own happiness but it won’t involve another relationship. I’ve come to the determination that I do love her and will never replace that feeling in my heart. Instead she’s been replaced by several outlets. I began fighting again for the first time in twenty years. I enjoy Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and it is a great way to take out the frustration of a man who knows he destroyed himself. I love photography and have considered taking my love to a higher education and possibly doing something with it. I enjoy making people feel like we felt. I don’t think it can ever really compare but that’s not the point. I’ll stop a couple on the street or hiking in the woods and mention how noticeable their love for each other is even if it’s not at all. I do this to make them feel good or maybe to better their day if they don’t look happy. I ask if I can snap a quick picture for my portfolio and you can see the difference in their smile. This has become my happiness. Strategically making the day better for people who don’t appear to be having the best days. If they are happy, hopefully it makes them happier to know that somebody noticed. It always made our day when people pointed out our happiness to us. Recreating that through others has become a true joy for me.

If I’m at the grocery store on a holiday I’ll make it a point to thank every employee I see for being at work and making it possible for me to get whatever it is I need that day. When I’m in the parking lot returning my cart, I’ll ask anyone along the way if I can take theirs as well. Small acts of kindness have become a lifestyle. I’m not a pay it forward type of person honestly and won’t buy a meal for the people behind me in the drive through but that’s just not my style. I’d rather make small gestures so they are rewarded with happiness and it’s something I can smile at by watching their reaction. I have a network of single moms that trust me to teach their sons how to throw a football, tie a tie or shake hands with a man. I won’t be winning any awards and that’s not what I’m after. For much of my life I volunteered for several agencies and it was all for acknowledgement. Certainly, my contribution made a small difference in the lives of those I was working with but it never merited the right attention within me. It was a show. Not a lie, just a show that was more for reputation or trying to sway the perception of myself through other people.

I no longer have enemies and if anyone considers me as such, it’s totally one sided. Whatever happened with those people long ago is agreed upon from my angle because I can promise that I hated myself way more than they did or ever could. That’s been released. I’ve found forgiveness for myself and they can agree but if they don’t, it’s not a mutual feeling.

I don’t like sugar and I hydrate. That feeling like trash all of the time is far behind me. Through exercise and self-love caused by her love I feel great about myself. For the first time in my existence I have confidence. That’s never happened for a single moment in forty years without her beside me, but people are beginning to notice that change is happening. They see a man that is finally responsible and accountable for me.

The love for her is still present. That’s the one thing that can’t be altered. The difference is that depression doesn’t own that and there isn’t sadness. I am finally a solid man and I’ve found a way to turn all of my negatives into positives. There isn’t a competition to be the bigger asshole in any situation. Instead I push people to be better and help them gain confidence because I’m familiar with the feeling. Listening to people has become the staple of my person. There isn’t a need to have a better story in response because everyone deserves the opportunity to be understood or at least listened to uninterrupted. There aren’t smartass remarks or trying to be comedic when someone is telling me something that’s important to them. Instead it’s a goal to leave a positive impact on every person that I come in contact with. That has become very important. She made me find me on my own and decided to no longer be here as I grow because of her. That’s how this all began and I’m appreciative enough to give her credit for every smile I can create in others. Because of her love for me once in my lifetime, she has touched so many lives through what she has created in me. I won’t be winning any popularity contests as I once put so much effort into but on small levels she has changed the course for so many people that I at least attempt to encourage. She believed in me and I made it right even if she never notices. It’s not for her, rather because of her.

I no longer drink alcohol or smoke marijuana and those have been replaced with a love to create new salads that meet my taste and health needs.

Kindness has become my priority by far. I’ve always had great manners but realizing that I wasn’t kind really defeated the gesture. Without kindness, having manners doesn’t mean a thing. I could thank someone and be entirely sincere but my tone was telling them thank you in a condescending way. I’ve come to the belief that our level of kindness is the majority of content people gauge their perception of us on. Kindness, manners, posture, tone and volume make the difference in people’s opinion of you. I always had to be loud but I never thought annoyingly. I would really attempt to sound commanding or stern and that was my premature prevention of someone thinking they had any chance of disrespecting or taking advantage of me. I studied myself intensely on videos and I didn’t like myself. My posture spoke volumes. Shoulders shrugged and head down while my arms were crossed just looking pissed off at the world. I wasn’t but that’s the vibe I was sending. Imagine being a waitress or waiter and looking over at the table that just ordered. There’s a guy sitting with his arms crossed and hunched over with a mad look on his face and you make eye contact. Is there any way to believe that man is not unhappy with something? There isn’t but you still come over and ask if I need anything or is everything alright and I tell you yes but thank you for asking. I was being genuine but the way I said it was as if you were stupid to ask or to check up on us or even that you just interrupted. I have never meant any of that but it’s exactly who I’ve always been. My eyebrows are raised more instead of squinting and giving the impression that I’m struggling to understand what they are trying to say.

Volume, tone, manners, posture and kindness have all made an incredible difference in the way people interact with me and it’s so refreshing because I feel their interest in the conversation and their comfort in speaking with me. If I could teach the world one thing it would be to always work on these five keys. Watch that person that you hate to see on video and pay attention to this. I can watch myself on videos today and like what I see.

I made graphs and flow charts about myself and began looking at my own trends and the trends of those that interact with me. As a manager this was such an important focal point for success. Grading productivity through different circumstances and environments was my greatest asset. I was always very proficient in ergonomics so I decided to manage myself on a personal level. I watched how people reacted and responded to me when I was tired, energetic, drinking, smelled like smoke or excited. I watched how people interacted with me in every situation and I took notes. I noticed the trends and was able to see when people weren’t interested in conversation with me and when they were. I changed it all. The surprise was learning the parts of me that I thought people respected were the exact opposite and the parts I feared exposure of was what made people most comfortable.















Steps


Learning who I was and changing what I was were two entirely different things. I had no clue where to even begin and my only source of advice, support and motivation had long forgotten about me. I lied so many times to her in attempts to manipulate her into believing that I had changed everything overnight. Now I have a laundry list of bad habits and habitual characteristics that serve me no good. I wanted to find a place to live and began looking but quickly believed that I would be putting myself into a bigger hole to do that right away. I haven’t had a home since the day she kicked me out of hers and it’s been two years so I can live with that a little bit longer. Instead I began slowly because overwhelming myself because failing just wasn’t an option anymore. The very first thing that I did was inventory my clothing. I understand how insignificant that may sound but that was something that I spent a lot of unnecessary money on that addiction. Weekly that was about twenty percent of my pay. I have plenty of clothing for every season, situation and event that I would ever need. As I was counting my apparel I found that my negative traits all sort of aligned. I was always going to start working out but I constantly needed a new pair of shorts or a different running shirt and so it became clear that procrastination was fueling my addiction of spending. I have fifty two pairs of shoes and I thought about selling them and moving forward but decided otherwise to keep them and at forty three years old I know that there is never a reason to buy a pair of shoes for the rest of my life. I’m not sure how old I will live but for the average age of death, I have four pairs of shoes per year so that’s coming off the list. I never need to buy shoes again for as long as I’m alive. There isn’t a reason to purchase another piece of clothing for several years and so that twenty percent of weekly pay is going into savings.

I challenged myself to reach a point of keeping a paycheck in my wallet for a week without needing it. I didn’t want to deposit because I would spend it. I want to change but habits are very hard to break. After being paid on Fridays my weekends have always been spent like a king and then poor until the next payday so what does acting like I’m poor over the weekend hurt? I did that and it took me a week to reach my goal. One fucking week to accomplish what I’ve never allowed myself to do. I deposited my check after a week and decided to save two paychecks in my wallet and live on the deposit. It was never hard. I’ve made my life so difficult and within a month I had five thousand dollars saved. The part that I was most proud of was more principle and that it pissed me off. I finally care. I’ve never given a fuck but I finally care. I’m not proud of what I saved, I’m proud that I really care that I can do this. I can be a man.

Of course all of that wasn’t saved purely on clothing. I started restraining myself from trying to make everyone like me. This has been camouflaged as generosity for years. Ordering a five dollar whiskey and soda and tipping five, ten or twenty dollars for the isolated intention on the server believing that I was a great guy, wealthy or just to separate myself from the title of an alcoholic that only left fifty cents per drink. Clothing and tipping was all for show and I broke myself trying to make everyone believe I wasn’t broke. That makes no sense but I lived a life committed to it. I spent all of my money to make people believe I had money instead of just saving my money. That’s how unbelievably stupid I am. Now that money sits in a savings account.







Love You More


Much like closure in my life, finding me and trying to piece together her view, advice is something that I had to learn on my own. Through her friends stories of me I realized that advice from friends is never accurate or even applicable. We tell people in our support groups the version of the story that we want them to hear so that they’ll provide the answers that we want them to say. Advice is the most overrated form of information in a relationship. The only people that can provide the answers that you need are the two people who are actually a part of the relationship. I understand getting a second opinion from a close friend but problems need to be solved between the people involved. If your love isn’t strong enough to work things out together, you’ve already lost the battle. You have a partner and nobody knows you better than that person. It’s always great to have friends and support and everybody loves attention but as soon as you are seeking information on trouble with your partner from someone else you are abandoning that love. You might disagree and I understand you’re point of view as well. Nobody else knows the entire story and that’s a proven fact. My advice on relationships is solely based on ourselves before we ever attempt to meet someone to begin with.

I no longer believe in love conquering all because I can tell you that it most certainly does not. Your ability to love or how much love you have to provide will only matter at first or in time but will never have the power to be the only factor that allows a relationship to succeed. Everyone wants to be in a relationship and that’s why so many people make the wrong choices in finding a partner.

My advice is to fix you first. It’s so cliché and nobody takes those words seriously but search for your own personal faults and resolve them before allowing anyone else to be involved in your life. Be patient. If you are struggling with a car payment or the electric bill, don’t bring someone into your world. If you have an addiction or you enjoy having options you need to stay in that place by yourself even if it kills you and no matter how much they want you. Don’t invite anyone into your life until you can be honest with yourself to fix those things. I never should have allowed her into my broken world of finances because we fell in love and they all became her problem as well. Anything negative in our lives transfer to the people who love us and it’s just not fair to them. It should be a punishable crime to allow someone into the negative parts of our lives. I still love her so much today but had I learned all of the things I did about me and understood the impact that it would have on her I never would have taken the first step of beginning a relationship with her. I watched her break down over and over while praying for me to change. I watched her die inside and refuse to give up because she believed that I could do better. I watched her weigh the options of bailing me out every time or maintain her own financial security and that’s love. She loved me and I didn’t love her more. I loved her the same from start to finish and my love was genuine but her love for me was faith and hope that I would be who she needed me to be. I failed her every time and I can finally admit that she came back because she loved me more than I loved her. My love was just love. Her love believed in me enough to check in eight times to see if I was ready to be that responsible person that she so desperately wanted.

I destroyed my mind for so long wondering why she didn’t fight for us. She was the only one that did. I just sat on the bench hoping that the coach would put me back in the game. I didn’t train harder or make myself more appealing or valuable. Me fighting for her was just optimism. Hope is not fighting. She fought herself every time for me. She fought the inevitable opinions from the people around her for our love. She did fight for us and I let her do it alone.

In terms of admiration my love was above anything that she could receive from any other person. I worshipped her and went out of my way to help do anything to make her life better from a non-financial point of view. If we all lived for free we would have had the greatest love story that the world would know. Unfortunately there are adult responsibilities that factor in and when you put everything together my love was destructive and painful for her. My love was a train wreck and most absolutely toxic in every way.

Whether we lay in bed holding each other or on the phone every night of our lives together, the same words were spoken. Always the same exact words. “I love you”, “I love you more”, “I love you most”, “I love you more than most”, “there’s no such thing”, “yes there is”.

I would then tell her “sweet dreams. I’m going to give you every fucking one of them” and I meant every syllabus. I meant those words with my life.

That was how we said goodnight. I look back and realized I was wrong. I believed it was more from my end because I did more things to try and make her happy but the reality is she loved me more than I could ever fathom. She loved me enough to think I would change the things that were destroying her while she remained by my side as they did destroy her. That’s not easy to think about now but I do every moment of every day and I will always remember that love that she felt for me.

It wasn’t fair of me to ever bring her into my life at the time that I did. She’s all I never knew I needed. All that I have and all that I may ever have is because she loved me more than I loved her. That was the roots for a man that has turned his life around in every way and I never could have seen it had she not returned all of those times and eventually stopped believing in me. I never would have found me through all of my carnage. She used to tell me that I’m all she never knew she needed. Who knew those roles were reversed all along? Now I know that.

Anyone can find a relationship but to get all that you deserve you have to be a person worthy of deserving. Get your shit together before you destroy someone that becomes your everything because I promise that no matter what you believe, it will happen and you will regret it. You can trust me because I speak from experience!

I can’t tell you how anyone else sees her. I suppose for most she is just a beautiful woman who walks by. Maybe this amazing woman that they had a brief conversation with and will fantasize about for some time. For me she became a measure in time. She became a before and after line that is a permanent scar among my years. There was a me before her and the version of myself after her.

We all aspire to be something that we are incapable of ever being. She saw that in me. She’s the only person that has ever been able to see that potential. I saw hers as well. That person that you wish you were in real life. We saw it in each other. We saw the end result of what we strived to become. That’s how we looked into each others eyes. We inspired each other. We saw greatness. We saw the future.










Nine


She allowed me to see what I can be and I had to figure out on my own what I was willing to become. She gave me a well-deserved dose of humbling tough love. Today I have a basket in my bathroom full of hotel soaps, shampoos and lotions. I have a picture of her on the bathroom mirror and that's the way that I wake up in the morning. I make her coffee and leave a post it note before unlocking the front door and showering just in case she wants to talk. That reminds me to be better every day. That reminds me to do the right things as I'm starting over every morning. I broke my own heart so many times and blamed everyone aside from myself. I was the guy that we all know. The person who will never amount to anything in this world and every time I spoke, nobody believed a word I said. I was him and I never had a clue. I'll get a house someday or start saving someday but the clock didn't wait for me. I woke up in my forties and hadn't done any of it. I attempted to manipulate her so many times into believing we only live one time and this life needs to be shared together with the special love we had. All the while I was wasting every moment of mine. I don't feel stupid any longer but rather blessed.

I’ve stopped burning bridges and began focusing on destroying my personal red flags and I am still a work in progress liberating myself from my own toxicity. I returned to a lot of those bridges and offered to help rebuild them but all of the people I submerged chose to swim away from me. I had to accept that.

I still haven’t changed overnight and have to work at it every day but it gets easier. My habitual characteristics are now worthy of respect and more proudly, I know it’s ok if that isn’t noticed or appreciated. It’s for me now. I ran everyone off and even in solitude I make the right decisions. I make me proud and I don’t lie about that anymore.

The most horrible thought in my life is no longer what I’ve done or who suffered. I’ve opened the door to all of them and my light remains on if they will let me apologize for that. The thought that eats at me more than any is that I was wrong about the love of my life. To understand that she loved me more than I could have ever loved her at the time. I was an unusually rare fuck up away from ending my life while believing she was the problem. My legacy was almost the emotional abuse of blaming her for all of my own fuck ups and that still affects me. To leave this world and allow everyone to look down on someone who did nothing but love me. That’s a horrible thought to live with but I deserve it as punishment. I will never forgive myself for that. No matter how much I change and progress myself I will keep that one unforgiven. Can you imagine that plan working out for me and how unfairly it would have impacted her life? It makes me sick to think about. It hurts me that I was so blind and had no clue who I really was and came so close to blaming someone in a way that could never be taken back.

I navigated through depression without any pills. I changed my diet, lifestyle and my mind instead. I still have depression and I still have moments of pain but I can manage it. That never goes away and that’s alright.

I don’t hate myself these days. I voted on giving myself a chance. I always wanted love and spent the first half of my life wanting or attempting to have only that and nothing else. Now I’m excited about the second half and what will replace my search for love. New experiences and no stress of finding the love of my life because I already found out who she was. Now it’s time to relax and enjoy my life. See new things and take pictures in case she ever returns and I can tell her all about them. I believe everyone deserves a second chance of life. I’m critical of myself and not certain what I deserve but I gave myself a second chance. It’s very possible that I owed that to myself and I grow more every day to believe I deserve that second chance. The only thing I know for sure is that I don’t deserve nine!

People still ask me why I can’t move on and look at me funny when I simply say it was more than love and that she touched my soul. She changed everything about me and allowed these eyes to see the world from a different perspective. She caused me to see myself from that same different perspective. Just the thought of her makes me fall in love with her. I desire those memories of her more than the physical presence of any other woman. That’s how heavy my feelings are and it’s all true. In a world full of options and new relationships always readily available I became the guy that waits for someone who isn’t returning. That’s what nobody does yet everyone wants. The mainstream thought is that guys jump at every opportunity and nobody is loyal. I became that one in a million. I won’t deny that guilt probably has a lot to do with that. Perhaps my way of apologizing for the pain I put her through. I won’t wake up someday and decide I’m ready to be with anyone else. We don’t practice what we preach. When you know you know, well I know so why doesn’t anyone respect me for that? The prerequisite seems to be that both parties want the same thing and that’s my difference. That didn’t happen for me. I am not the one for her and I understand that loud and clear. She is however the only one for me. I know it’s true. There isn’t a doubt in my mind and I know that I’m not wrong.

It’s an impossible replacement. She’s my only choice and unfortunately I’m not hers. I understand that nobody agrees with me and that’s perfect. Nobody can possibly understand loving someone this much and that confirms to me that it’s once in a lifetime. Those words literally are true. It’s one time in a lifetime! That’s how amazing we were. Friends introduce me as the guy still in love with his ex. I hear them talk shit and they don’t realize I’m paying attention. I hear the comments under their breath and laugh as they put me down for waiting. I don’t mind at all. They’ve never watched the glowing sun peak out from a cloud to catch a glimpse of her but I have. They haven’t been in bed and watch her walk across the room changing clothes to sleep in and have to sit up to watch because every night’s beauty tops the previous night. Nobody has ever had to be patient with her because she’s trying to tell a story and can’t stop laughing long enough to talk but I have hundreds of times. I’m fine with that. If everyone knew what that was like it wouldn’t be special. I am so in love with the fact that nobody understands because no matter what everyone makes themselves believe, its proof that they have never felt the love that I have. It means I have experienced happiness that they can’t relate to and although I wish for every person to find this, the reality is that it rarely happens. I’m one of the lucky ones.

She washed her hands of me and so did I. I had enough of myself. I loved her so much I made her right about everything. She told a friend I was a snake. I dedicated myself to being a snake and shedding every cell of bad skin. I slithered away from all that I was and learned to walk as a man. I shed all that no longer served me well. I left the old me behind.

I appreciate the optimistic voices that tell us all how every day is a fresh start or a new chance. I wanted to make sure I didn’t need a new chance everyday. It’s all just a continuance of a good guy doing good things and that’s success to me. I don’t have to wake up and go over the lies in my head from the previous day to ensure I don’t get tripped up or exposed by anyone.

I threw away my bucket list. Every item listed was an experience I wanted to share with the woman of my dreams. Now I just go day by day and appreciate new experiences as they meet me. I don’t set goals for adventures but rather milestones for my life. I don’t break myself for things that I’m not.

I’m not looking to settle and anything less than the woman who gave me all of this would be doing just that. I need love to move my world and she did. She redirected it to a different galaxy. We don’t find that twice.

What is my realistic expectation? It’s simply to be a good enough person that she admits we were special. It takes a lot of hard work to cause someone to admit the good and not focus on the negative. It’s for someone to mention my name to her and with that perfect smile she tells them we had something that was extremely rare. That would make my life a happy one. I would be truly joyful in life knowing that the woman I love so much gave me a little credit and allowed people to know that we invented a completely different connection and feeling than anyone has ever known.

Memories still make me smile. If anyone was to ask me what the best part of my day is it will always be the memories of her. It makes me happy that although everyone in the world once had more success than me I had what none of them could ever reach. I’m the luckiest man alive to know that I had her and we shared what everyone wants in a lifetime! People tell me that I’m wasting my life away waiting on her when I know she’s never returning. Waste of time? She’s worth every second of it. Some people win Championships or the lottery but I get to think about her every day and I wouldn’t trade it for any amount of money or glory.

I never cared that people didn't understand because I knew that they couldn't. I knew that it was impossible to describe my love for her to any person in this world. There aren't enough words to get my feelings across to you with full understanding of how much a human being can love another.

It could never happen again. Don’t you think I know that? My love for her is something that the world can't possibly understand. She could study me for the rest of her life and never comprehend how I feel about her. She could never feel the same way. Nobody can. It's a level of love that you can't reach in your wildest imagination. It's real and true. It's the purest form of sincerity and I've never met another person who can relate to that.

A factor in love is giving someone your heart and trusting they don’t hurt it. I’m not sure what it’s called when they do destroy it and you allow them to do it again and again. You welcome the hurt they bring you over and over because your love is beyond understanding. She could throw me out of a high rise window and I’d be right there to open her car door when she finally got back down to ground level. I would say that she couldn’t hurt me but she did. The truth is she couldn’t hurt me enough to not love her. It was impossible. In today's world it's so easy to label people. It's hard to explain to anybody that I walk that line where I'm not crazy. You are entitled to your opinion and hopefully I did a well enough job that you realize I just truly believe she was the one love of my life and now I understand fully that she's gone and there's no reason for me to look for love anymore. I lived that part and it's something that I no longer seek out. In today's world to want somebody when they don't want you is grounds for protective orders and psychological labels. I’m none of the above. I love her enough to let her go. So many people have used that saying. “Love them enough to let them go and if it’s meant to be they will return”. In the meantime they find someone new and so do you and eventually the dream fades to a distant memory. I love her enough to never let her go within myself. I love her enough to be happy if she has found a happier life. I love her enough to support her chasing her dreams with any man even though its not me. I love her entirely too much to let her go. I love her enough to never try and replace her because now I love me and to believe I could love someone as much or more would be a lie to myself. I live today by my truths instead. I love her enough to accept she wants me to be nonexistent in her life and I am. If I ever hear of hurt that has found her I will silently be in pain as well. I will hurt with her as I always have and beg the good Lord to take it away from her and give it to me. I love her enough to smile when the day comes and I see the engagement picture and wedding announcement in the newspaper. I will be genuinely excited for her. Nobody has a road map for our lives. We have to find our own way. This is the direction that brings me the most happiness. I have options and could find another relationship but it goes against everything that I believe in. Having someone next to me is not at all what I desire. A piece will always be absent. Most people have been faced with a three prong electrical cord and a two prong outlet. We break the ground off, plug it in and forget it ever existed. I just can’t do that. I could plug into another relationship but there would always be something missing. Another love could never be complete. I miss the moments we shared and the connection that we had but the biggest impact is that what she was to me is gone. She is missing from me and that’s my greatest weight. I navigate through a grey area that exists in the middle of not having or wanting anyone. I only love the one I will never hold again. I don’t look and will never again look. I’m retired from love and relationships. She sent me to retirement. I went out on top loving the one I wanted to love and playing in my favorite arena. I won’t ever love her again or try to love another. I have great memories of achieving greatness of the heart. I’m happily retired.

You can be happy and never laugh. Laughing is the key to happiness and the key to everything. If we laugh we stop looking for new situations because that's all we need. Whether you are at work or the bar or just a conversation on the phone. You can walk away from all of those situations under any circumstances except for when you're laughing. You wake up in the morning and you leave the love of your life to go to work. You hop up from the couch and leave them to go get coffee creamer from the store. We can walk away from any person even if we love them. We don't do that when we are laughing. We wait for the laughter to fall away and then we walk away to complete whatever task is on the agenda. That's what we all seek. We find it in relationships and anything else that can make us laugh. That's what we are all looking for. I found my laughter. I can still laugh from those memories as if they just happened. I don't need to look for anything or anybody to laugh with. I found mine.

One life is all we get. Thousands of years and billions of people have roamed this wonderful planet and not one person has ever lived more than a single lifetime. I don’t know what the purpose of living is. For many we aspire to raise our children to be the best possible people while finding the happiness they seek and then hope they do the same as they become parents and then we die. It’s rinse and repeat and really nobody knows what we are doing here. Very few things that we do, say or create will be known in two hundred years. We will be long forgotten but hopefully somebody finds this old non seller of a book in a great grandparents old storage chest and reads it. The biggest companies or the most well known sports arenas will be long gone by then but I want the world to know that centuries ago lived the most incredible woman they could ever imagine.

I lived my lifetime to find love and I found it. That was my lottery. That was my peak. Having her in my life secured my success during my time here. Some people have boring for a lifetime. I had three solid years and several trickles until it evaporated away from something that wasn’t found in today’s world or any era since.

I have changed all but one thing about who I was. I can’t change my vision of love. I can’t let those beliefs wilt away as I once allowed myself to do. I don’t believe you find that twice and I won’t unfairly allow someone else to ever wrongfully assume that they could mean more to me. She wasn’t the one that got away, but she was the one. She passed through my world and is gone yet she was my one and only. I no longer dream of love because I participated in the love that was destined for me. God’s plan and my immaturity only allowed me a short time with her but that was the love of my life. The only fairytale I’d ever need to know my dreams came true.

I’ve given not only unconditional love but unconditional acceptance of everything that came with that love. She did as well for awhile. We joked several times about Stockholm Syndrome. I took it as a joke but maybe that’s what it was. I abused her financially and I flirted with the line of abusing her emotionally through those earlier mentions of suicide knowing that I couldn’t follow through. She never knew about the day I was backed against the tree. That was all to myself until now. I almost became the worst human being to ever leave this world and these days I thank God that I was a really dumb Marine that didn’t pay attention in weapons training.

Don’t leave a relationship with a spiteful outlook. Hopefully as you navigated through my tornado of a life you understand now just how much it can fuck someone up.

If you try to love and it doesn’t work, move on mutually and respectfully. Mention the good parts and avoid airing the dirty laundry if possible.

Don’t accept abuse on any level. There are many safeguards and outlets in place for that and I beg you to use them no matter how uncomfortable it may be. It’s worth doing. You will never fix someone who doesn’t know that they’re doing wrong. Trust in friends or family and allow them to help you relocate from that negativity.

Get help. Talk to a professional. Allow yourself to believe that you might just be on the wrong road and everything that you need for happiness is just a few intersections away.

Find what you desire and don’t settle for less because you owe that to yourself. I noticed a long time ago that romance and intimacy of the imagination and mind are quickly becoming dying aspirations. Most people lose that over time but grow together in other areas. The term commonly referred to as the honeymoon phase is a well-known part of a relationship that eventually loses its fire. We never lost that. We did everything opposite. We never built finances together but no matter what happened or how long we were apart the next meeting was filled with intimacy and romance that people dream of. We had that amazing connection and through all of the problems it’s the one thing we could always depend on.

All of that was exactly how I viewed myself. I wouldn’t listen to happy songs or funny movies because I didn’t want to feel better. Maybe it could be considered a form of self punishment but I wanted to be sad. It was a Stockholm Syndrome type mentality and that was what depression was to me. I wanted to keep revisiting the good times with her in my mind. I only entertained myself with sad content because when I was sad I was thinking about her but when I thought about her the depression dug it’s heels into me deeper. Still those thoughts outweighed the opportunities I was declining with other women wanting potential relationships. The sadness of her was better than the thought of happiness with any other person. That’s a sad way to fucking live and I wanted it. Everyday I needed that pain because she was included.

I didn’t seek therapy because I knew how fucked up I was and didn’t want someone else to tell me. The thought of a doctor telling me I was a failure scared the fuck out of me. A friend eventually talked me into a group that met on December fourteenth of two thousand nineteen. That group therapy would redirect my life and everything I thought it was or could be. I never fathomed my life could spiral more out of control than all that you just read but it hadn’t even begun. I was at rock bottom and barely even began to dig. She told me everything that was wrong with me and I changed all of it. I believed she would be back any time and that would be my happy ending but I was so wrong. Therapy became the picture I needed to see what this puzzle was supposed to look like. I no longer had a bunch of pieces that I didn’t know what to do with. Through my crying eyes I began to see what I never wanted to. I’m not entirely sure she set out to turn my life upside down but I loved her enough that she did. Everything she convinced me I was is what you just read and it’s about to become a lot worse for me. I was emotionally decapitated and I had to take myself back. My only dream in this world had become my fucking nightmare and what I didn't realize at the time was I was about to make it a lot worse. I had to find me yet again but this time without the optimism of ever falling in love which is the only goal I've ever had in my life. I was about to be forced to see the truth.








Old School


Pretty crazy journey of a man, right? I’ve overcome most all of it. Today I am a completely different version of myself than ever before. The only thing I never let go of is my love for her. I’d love to leave this story with a little bit of dignity and say that I’ve tried but why begin lying again now? I haven’t ever even attempted to move on. I’ve never been interested in anyone else. Not when we were together and certainly not today. What does that make me in today’s standards? A creep or obsessive? Who knows? I never found the missing piece to finish that puzzle. There are so many crazy things and people in this world but what if my story is just love? What if she truly is the most loved woman in this galaxy and she will never know. What if I just honestly feel this way about her? What if it’s an emotional abnormality and so far out of the realm of normal standards that you refuse to see I just simply love her? Maybe it’s not as insane as you have brought yourself to believe? It’s really not that farfetched is it? I’m living within my dreams it’s just not the way anyone else would feel comfortable achieving that same happiness. It took me a long time to grow up and be a man. I discarded parts of me until I was nothing and built myself back up. The only thing that stood the test of time is my unconditional love for her.

I get kicked around a lot and people talk shit about me. Why does there have to be something wrong with me? Because today I still love the woman that I wanted to marry and spend the rest of my life with? Just because she changed her mind there's something wrong with me? That I vowed to love a woman until all of my days are gone. Isn't that the fucking point. Why does that make me crazy? How does that make me any label other than Being someone that is true to himself. Have we really become so desensitized that nobody understands my point of view even if you don't agree? Is love that expendable to everyone? I find that most people cannot comprehend someone loving another person that could give a fuck less. There are new partners everywhere. It’s not hard to find someone. I’m a couple generations away from where I should be. Simpler times are where I belong. Our grandparents tell stories of how she waited while he went off to war. Grandma turned down grandpa for years but he never left her alone and they have been happily married for decades. Those are the best love stories.

We are only a few generations away from being forgotten forever. As if we never existed while the Earth continues to rotate. People come and go and love and lose and it’s alright because we are just here for a tenor so short that it won’t even be measured in the total accumulation of time. We will be nothing and it’s just all gone while other people take our place and we mean nothing to them. It all goes away. All of our love and our hate becomes nothing. We live one time and in that small duration of time we watch our televisions. We watch other human beings acting as if they are something more than they are in real life. We watch sitcoms of people being happy. That’s how we live our lives. We spend our short time alive watching other people live a fictitious existence. That’s crazy to me. We gain and lose emotions based on those characters. We love them and we are committed to watching them. I’ve always tried to be the guy that created my own movie or sitcom. I try to make my life and relationships better than anything I could see on television. That’s how I want to spend my time here. I don’t want to watch someone on television act like they love a woman in the perfect relationship. I wanted my own. She was the first relationship I was finally able to do that. We didn’t have a favorite show at night to watch other than Jeopardy that was a playfully competitive time between us. We had a better connection than anything Hollywood could ever script. We did. I fucking swear we did. We had it all. Every piece fit perfectly.

Nowadays you can love someone intensely. Develop feelings that you can’t control but only until their feelings change and then you better be able to shut it all down and move on. What kind of programming is that? It’s just not me. I really am our grandparents. I made mistakes of course and so did she but when we committed to each other it was forever in my mind. I committed to that on the very first date. The first time I looked into her eyes I knew and I have never been able to change my mind. She never accepted or believed that. I thought it was more than what it was. Thousands of pictures, conversations, jokes and moments together. She made me believe things that people typically don’t believe in. I became stuck in those beliefs without the ability to ever feel otherwise.

As for my life in general, therapy allowed me to open doors that I slammed shut and had forgotten what was on the other side.

I haven’t been homeless my entire adult life. I never stayed in a hotel until after we split up. There was one winter I had lost my job and didn’t pay the electric bill until spring but somehow in my mind that became my vision of who I’ve always been. I was only able to see my negatives and almost programmed to not acknowledge anything good that I may have done or have ever been. I have been broke my entire life and horrible with money. That changed of course, but there is absolutely no denying that fact. I had a car repossessed in two thousand and four and other than that have had pretty decent vehicles but I just began believing that if something happened once, it was permanently branded into who I was. I stole a pack of gum from the grocery store in the sixth grade so my mind would return to that day and my existence became that of a career criminal thief who has never stolen anything aside from a roll of six feet bubble gum. My mind escaped me and listened to those who degraded me. They convinced me that I was that person. Their misconceptions and opinions of me became the reflection of my own mirror. I don't lie about everything. I'm not a pathological liar but no matter how hard it is to understand, I loved her so much that I believed her. I believed that I was unfaithful and dishonest and this storm was brewing inside of my every dream.

This is who I became. I didn’t have a house on purpose because I couldn’t go home to her every night. I didn’t want to go to work because I couldn’t tell her about my day. I couldn’t eat because she wasn’t there for the conversation. I couldn’t move on and I didn’t want to. I’d wake up in my car in some fucking parking lot and drive around during the extreme early hours. I wasn’t getting fresh air or sight seeing, I just didn’t know what to fucking do next. The feeling of emptiness couldn’t be solved. The gas stations and restaurants were all closed with no sign of life, and I fit right in. I went to the neighborhood I grew up in and just sat in the dugout looking out on to the little league field. I imagined I was back in that moment when dreams were possible and before I hurt like this. I sat on the back deck of the house I grew up in and I don't know if the current residents were home or not. I just needed that comfort. I was so lost. I was fucked up.

I have done some great things in my life. Nothing that will change the world but I wasn’t a never-has-been. In the military I was a Marine Combat Instructor of Water Survival (MCIWS). Less than one percent of Marines hold this position which is basically and expert in the water. Of that one percent I was one of the fucking best. I was one of the greatest swimmers in the Marine Corps. There were no awards or proof of that but I knew. I was a badass in the water.

Since my days of active duty service I volunteered for every organization possible that assisted in the activities designed for children with special needs. We held baseball games and bowling events. I’m not sure if that was selfish but I had a great time and helped an amazing team make the kids feel like the rock stars that they were.

I helped people and I was there for them no matter what. I was a dependable friend and employee who always pushed others to be better.

I was never an alcoholic or homeless before I met her but somehow my mind only allowed me to believe that everything I failed to be after her was what I have always been. It was as if my memory only went back to August of twenty fifteen. I had never dated anyone else and I have never been any good. I believed that’s how I’ve always lived my life and it wasn’t even close to the truth. I will never understand how I began thinking that. I wrote the entire first part of this book believing I’m the biggest scumbag ever my entire life and I didn’t even live a second of that lifestyle until after she broke off the engagement. She changed my mind. She made me believe in things and she made me never believe in those same things again.

By definition, Insanity is repeating the same actions and hoping for a different outcome. Some say insanity is loving someone so much, you help them destroy you by trying to save them. I helped her destroy me but I never thought she needed any saving. Quite the opposite actually. I helped her destroy me by allowing her to convince me I needed saved. I allowed her to penetrate my beliefs and I felt as if I needed forgiveness or a makeover from being the criminal, cheating, no good piece of shit that I wasn’t but she made me believe I was. I eventually owned it and felt remorse for situations I had no part in.















Vision


I met the woman of my dreams in two thousand fifteen. The first time we split up was three months later. A short time after that we began living together again until late two thousand seventeen. We reconnected that year and began our on again off again decline. She was injured in twenty nineteen and we spent nearly the entire year together until her surgery in the later months. Two thousand twenty was the first full year we didn’t speak although not due to lack of effort. I sent thousands and thousands of texts, emails, letters and messages. She continued leaving puzzles on that social media page for me but I didn’t respond. I thought about her every moment of every day. I began my therapeutic experience after she had changed her mind the last time in twenty nineteen. The day I attempted suicide was December fourteenth of twenty nineteen.

The first therapist listened to me talk for a while and then began suggesting ways to move on. That wasn’t appealing to me at all. I wanted to be a better man to get her back so he obviously wasn’t on my team. The second Doctor listen to my story and told me there was nothing wrong with me suggesting I was actually the one suffering from narcissistic abuse and that I was codependent. He tried so hard to try and drive his point into me. She’s dating and has been dating. You are still waiting for her. That’s clearly a factor in who cares and who doesn’t. I gave him a small and respectful piece of my mind for insulting her and he never got another dime from me. The third opinion listened to me like the other two had and said the same thing. You bought her a Jeep Wrangler for her birthday and she was mad she couldn’t go to dinner with another man that night? Yes Sir but I was being a jerk and deserved it. No you didn’t deserve that. You put in the effort Scott. On so many occasions you put in effort that was overlooked and we will never know the reason behind that unless she decides to come clean. Come clean? What the fuck did he mean by “come clean”. Needless to say, he didn’t last long either. She told me I was a narcissist. I was always hurting her. I’m a sociopath because she said and she knows what the fuck she’s talking about. That’s what I need to fix. The things that she says are wrong with me. I don’t need you to tell me I’m wrong about the most perfect woman. Fuck You. Fuck all of you psychobabble therapist assholes that don’t understand the real world. You don’t know how fucked up I am and you don’t know how fucking amazing she is. I gave up. Nobody could fix me because they all wanted to know more and more how she reacted to certain things rather than focusing on me and my issues. What did she do after this or that? Was there a pattern of time in which she returned? So you couldn’t tell anyone that you were with her? She could contact you any time but you were ignored until she wanted to talk. Fuck! Can we fix me? Me? Fix my problems because we are wasting precious fucking time here.

The last therapist that I tried was a lead from the second gentleman. He had basically run me down to my car in the parking lot and gave me her business card. I think she would be perfect for you, he told me. I imagine I probably mumbled something like “what the fuck ever" under my breath but I held on to it and didn’t really consider ever calling the number but for some reason after about a month of not going anywhere for help I called her. Once again I sat there telling my story to someone that couldn’t care less because all of this was beginning to feel pointless. I didn’t get much out of the first session because at that point I was so frustrated and hurt. I just cried. I didn’t know how to tell my story again. I didn’t ever want to sound too good because this one would surely begin to tell me another one sided opinion leaning toward the guy that is paying her for the session. She never did. We just talked. We became friends and just told each other stories. She eventually learned all my faults and mistakes. She explained narcissism and codependency and she taught me what selfishness and selflessness meant in a way that included every situation I told her about. She asked me what I wanted in life. I wanted to love the woman of my dreams. What does the woman of your dreams want in life? I don’t know what she wants. If I asked her what you want what would she tell me? She would tell you that I wanted her. Why would she tell me that? Because every day I made it clear to her that’s what I wanted. You’re telling me she paid attention to that? Yes of course, I showed her enough, I mean she knows how I feel. You don’t know how she feels? No I don’t know. If I asked her why you don’t know what she wants what would she tell me? She would tell you that I never paid attention to her. Tell me ten off the wall facts about her. I rattled off as if I already knew that question would be on the test until she stopped me which was well past ten. She never unties her shoes. She has a scar on her eye. She isn’t really happy unless she squints when she smiles. She smirks when she’s in deep thought. She studies everything she sees. She hates toenails. She loves the sun and can get tan in the first five minutes of summer. She’s the best mom I’ve ever met. She hates beans and doesn’t eat pork. She hates sweet potatoes. When she’s really in love she laughs at your jokes and suddenly stop, bite her lip and her eyes will water a little. I can go all day I said. She smiled and said she knew I could. I paid attention and knew every detail about my love. Every part of her was art to me. My therapist closed her book and smiled at me slowly. You know everything about your former fiancé that you could see. Well no shit doctor obvious. Don’t you see it? You made her feel something. She knows right now that you love her. She does? Yes she does. I’ll ask you again for the second time, what does she want in life? I don’t know what she wants. I have one more question she said and told me after she asked to just think it over while she was going to give me about ten minutes to myself and she would leave the room. Ok, I agreed. She knows that you love her because you made her feel that. She knows what you want in life. You don’t know what she wants so here is my question. What did she make you feel? She stood up and fulfilled her promise of giving me some time to think it over. Here we go again, thinking you can outsmart me. Easy fucking list. She made me feel like the luckiest man because I had her. She made me feel loved. She made me happy. I jotted down several more and was proofreading my list when she walked back in and over to me and extended her hand for the paper I was writing on like a teacher that was collecting test when time expired. She didn’t read it but she folded it up and put in her notebook. She asked if I was happy with my list to which I replied yes. The doctor smiled and said she predicted I would be. Write another list with the sole intention of not being happy when finished. What? I want a list of how she made you feel that ultimately brought you to my office or give me a list of things she’s done to make you feel all of the things you just wrote about. She left again and there I was. I was all alone in a room with the thoughts I’ve never allowed myself to see. Staring at me in black ink and I didn’t know what to say. The list was almost hard to read from the teardrops that I had saturated it with while writing. She made me feel like my feelings didn’t matter. She made me feel like I was always second to something or third or sometimes even fourth. She made me feel as if I was wrong in many things I tried to do. She made me feel like I wasn’t important enough to stand up to her parents. She made me feel like there was something wrong with me. She made me feel as if it was better if I was hidden. She made me feel like I didn’t matter. I lost it. That’s how I felt since twenty seventeen when we last lived together. I’ve never been any importance to her since. She has never done anything since we lived together to make me actually feel anything good.

Of course we had our inside jokes and laughs as well as our talks and great experiences but she didn’t mind if something she did hurt me. She didn’t mind making me a secret or appreciating a concert or anything else that I would do to make her feel loved. She showed me I was only worth fighting with but never worth fighting for. She didn’t care about me and this was the first time I was able to see that. I was hurt. Love is blind she said and there is no doubt that you love her in ways that many don’t care to express about partners and certainly not ex partners. I know it hurts but I needed you to see that before we can focus on you. I see it I guess, I said. That’s when it all began. Therapy was less the original vision in my head of laying back on a flat hard cushioned lounge seat and more a collection of lists compiled and the carefully breaking down every part of those lists. Name the five biggest things you’ve done for her. No problem. Make a comparative list of five things any of your buddies have done for their relationship partner. There were some but I couldn’t even get to two on any of my friends. How long has this friend been in a relationship? Married for twenty years. Dating for seven years. Thirteen years, ten years, thirty years. Scott you did more to try and make someone happy in five years than others had done in thirty. I was reluctant to accept those facts. They weren’t that great or she would have stayed. Blah blah blah. I fought back. You are not a bad person and there are very few men that go the extra mile as you have demonstrated on countless occasions. I can help you get to where you need to be but I need you to realize I will not sit here day after day with the misconception that you are the entire problem. I won’t do it because it’s a waste of my time, your time and another patient’s time who might be trying to get an appointment. I know you love her. I am pretty sure I’m not going to change that feeling but I can help you if you accept the possibility that you weren’t alone in what brought you to me. OK, I said hesitantly.

The night before the next meeting my therapist called me and asked to meet at a coffee shop. We began talking and she told me she had been thinking a lot about everything that I said. She knew there were liabilities on her end and she asked me if I’d be willing to stop seeking help through her office. No, it’s helping. I can’t lose you now. Please don’t drop me. I begged but she only smiled. I mean let’s just meet and talk for breakfast. My job in so many words is to help people manage significant events and moments so they can be happier in life. That’s not going to happen with you is it? I said no. She asked one more time in a tone that suggested she needed a final verification. You really believe this much? You really love her this much even without her. Yes. Fuck yes I do. She sounds amazing. I laughed. She is amazing. She believed me. The first person who really understood that I am for real in these feelings. She referred me to another therapist to be professional and told me she didn’t have a use for her tools when it came to me. She was so intrigued by how I feel that she wants to talk as a friend and not medicinally.

We continued to meet and I eventually realized that it wasn’t all me. I wasn’t the only problem in this relationship. It turns out we were even better partners than I ever thought and both played major roles in why we didn’t last. I could see everything I wanted. I could hear the words from her mouth and survive on that sound forever. I made myself feel so happy to have her and I did feel her love for me but not after I moved out. For the next couple years I didn’t feel any of that from her, it was only how I wanted to feel about her. I felt so much love for her but it wasn’t because of any of the things she was doing. I made myself feel that because the love was true and real for me. I could write books about her and she couldn’t even return a text unless the conditions were all just right. I was non existent until she came back and we had the love of a lifetime again.

Every change that I’ve made and every teardrop that I’ve cried because I doubted myself was because she doubted me. I loved her so much that her opinion of me became my opinion of me. I believed in myself until she didn’t believe in me anymore. I was willing to change it all because she didn’t like it. Nobody could ever break me like she did. Nobody could ever take my love for them and kill me with it like she did. I had holes before her and will have many after her and she can repair them all. Nobody can fill in what she took from me. She’s the only person that can complete me. I don’t even want her anymore. I know that we could never have a life together or she could never commit to one. I know it’s long gone but there will never be a part of me that doesn’t love her. She will always be loved by me. I don’t have grand hopes that she’ll show up again someday. I really don’t. I just gave all of myself to her and I didn’t get a lot of me back.

She would come back to my life and spend that time telling me that when she leaves again I just have to be patient. She begged me to believe in her and wait and she knew what she wouldn’t allow others to know. She knew I was none of those things from her stories and it was already my plan to wait forever if I had to. She told me she would always be back someday. I believed it. She changed my picture of the future to never lose her even when she was gone. Most people could see through that or brush it aside but I already loved her that much before hearing her convince me even more. I already knew before she assured me. It’s already how I felt about her.

My friend formally known as my therapist tested the waters with me one day and suggested I was maybe possibly abused a little bit but with a tone not enough to make me upset for saying it. I let her know that my position wasn’t going to change and that I truly love her. She asked if I trusted her to which I said yes. She asked if I was her friend and I responded that she was the closest person in my life. Ok, she went on. Please shut the fuck up and let me tell you my opinion and why I believe what I’m saying. Go on, I’m listening. She was so worried about you tracking her because she was with other men. Take this from a woman. There were other men before you knew. I stared at her in disgust. She cannot go to a Halloween party every year with her friends because she was banned after texting another woman’s husband from that group of friends. Well yes, but that was a long time ago and I’ve done stupid shit ya know, over the years? And she still holds it over your head? How do I respond to that? I couldn’t. Things that she has done were always non factors but things I had done or been accused of doing were always dangled right in my face.

You can only metaphorically give someone time. It’s always taken away and time is never added. No matter what you do time will always escape from you. You give someone all of your time that doesn’t even know who or where you are and that alone makes you special. You are rare and I’ve learned how true that statement really is. No doubt about it you are a very different person in the way you think. For her not to know that would be a lie. She knows how special you are. She knows. She knows very well how much you love her. She doesn’t love you Scott. She has made that decision knowing everything you feel and have done to make her feel. She knows and she doesn’t love you back. You need to face reality. You feel all of these emotions for hurting her. She has moved on. People who are abused cannot move on so easily and you are still suffering. Do the math. I glared into her eyes waiting for a blink or for her to scratch her arm. I became a damn FBI agent in a moment and looked for anything that could be an optimistic indicator that she was giving me a dishonest statement but it never happened. She knew what I refused to see. What I dreaded the possibility of and could never believe. Everybody in this world knows that I love her. Do they all know that she doesn’t? Fuck man. I wasn’t ready to hear that. It had been sixteen months since I’ve heard from her and I still wasn’t ready to hear those words. I knew I had to finally accept them. I knew it was time for that.

Peace has been the biggest gift in my life. The state of tranquility I live in is indescribable. I’ve learned from my own journey and experiences how important that is. I was never able to provide her dreams like I promised. I never found the words to make her believe I loved her but I'm able to give her peace. She made me strong enough to give her peace when I lost mine because of her. I told you she was incredible

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Stand


I get it. I understand fully. I know what it’s like when your entire world collapses on top of you. I feel what it’s like to have everybody believe that you are different than what you are and all you want to do is leave it all behind.

I thought I had to die and I was wrong. I thought that would make someone else happy. I can’t come to terms with how I allowed myself to be alright with that. I felt second to any other part of her life even when we were together. I found myself believing that would promote me to first place. To be dead and she would surely think about me more in a day than someone else for at least a month or so and that made it worth something to me. I never wanted her to feel bad or be hurt. No. I didn’t want that, I just wanted her to think of me. I wanted to end all that I could ever be so that she thought back for a few seconds on her drive to work and remember a moment that made her smile about me. That was worth dying over. Being someone she thought of first thing in the morning or the last thing at night was worth my life to me.

I know how easy it is to fall into that place where you just want to die. You never felt that way before. Maybe you have had others around you do the same thing and you just couldn't understand how they got to that point. You could never see it but now you do. You just want to go away. Don't. Don't go. Stay here because it's the only time that you'll ever have. Have you ever given your cousin a gift and then for Christmas they give you back the same gift? It's called regifting. How do you think God is going to feel when we give him back the time that hes given us? life is a present. Keep it This is our only chance and you have to make it through. I believe in you. You can turn it around I promise. Write about it and look at it staring back to you. Who's going to win? I know who. You. You got this. I wanted a reason to live so bad that I decided on loving a woman that I wanted to kill myself over. I don't even have her but I focus on the good times and stay here to smile about that every day. It's pathetic and I know that. It's my choice and my reason. What's yours? Find it. Find your reason to live, to smile. I promise you have one. You question your worth just because someone else is unsure of it. Maybe someone made you feel like you deserve to die. The things we love in this world are out of reach and because we can’t have that we no longer want anything at all. I know how that feels. I understand what it feels like to love someone so much that you come to terms with the idea that the only way you can make them happy is to not be alive. I never thought I would get that but I do. The only thing you want is to make that person happy and it becomes obvious that you vanishing would provide that for them. Your whole life revolves around them and they just want you gone forever. They don’t care how they leave you or what you feel when they do. We’ve become a society of quit and move on and that’s painful for some people but to most it just becomes another open door and another new relationship. In early two thousand and twenty I was finally open to receiving help and willing to allow Doctors to diagnose me. I wanted to right my own ship and was finally alright with learning what I would describe as “what was wrong with me”.

I was diagnosed with Persistent Depressive Disorder otherwise known as Dysthymia. This is a patient but long term form of depression. I am not a narcissist or a sociopath. The word psychopath was replaced in the nineteen seventies by the word sociopath and I’m neither. I was diagnosed with codependency in a way that only included her and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder also not by the normal standards, rather entitled Post Narcissistic Stress Disorder(PNSD) Finally I suffer from emotional abandonment. I still have never taken a single prescribed form of medication instead of changing things in my life that lessen the identified triggers. I didn’t want to pause the problem but rather live a life in which it isn’t a factor and I’m doing that. With that being said I was not diagnosed with any ailment or condition until after the last time that I was with her. To be fair I will say that there is no telling how long I’ve carried them with me. They are not all directly related to the woman of my dreams. I believe losing her for good was the breaking point.

Therapists continually attempt to convince me how healthy it would be for me to at least try to move on but I cannot do that. I have let her go but the love for her will always remain fully intact. She is a major part of who I am. People generally never move on or forget the firefighter that saved their life and that’s a similar thought when it comes to her.

I never saw her as the woman that would put me down to friends and family and coworkers. I never saw her as a woman entertaining two or three men during the same time frame. I saw a classy and mature woman who was loyal to me and wanted to make it work all of those years after we stopped living together. I know I was wrong. I never had a fucking second life when we were together and she really might have. As soon as she kicked me out and broke off the engagement she began living two lives. There were new relationships and boyfriends and I became the secret. I believed she wanted it to work so much. I was the one she was seeing on the side. She was my everything and I was her fucking joke.

I’d drive across town to start her car on a cold day or go hours out of my way to save her from achieving a task that might take five minutes. I was the one hearing about fake friends and non supportive family members. She leaned on my shoulder because of them not the other way around. She would go out of her way to tell me I made her a better mother to the children we both loved but everyone else was telling her to keep her kids away from me because of what she had told them. I was always confused but deserved more than that. I didn’t deserve to be a game.

I was wrong. She wasn't coming back to check in on the love of her life. Perhaps her boyfriend was out of town for a few weeks or she told him she needed to process something that he said. She had a colostomy bag and couldn't live a normal dating life so I got to come back. I thought that she was coming back because she loved me but there was just a gap in her normal life and I was called into the game. You laugh when I tell you she took parts of me. This was when she took my faith away. When my therapist taught me to see this is when I lost trust in humanity. I'm not being dramatic as I write this. Those pieces were taken from me permanently. It wasn’t a fucking fling for me it was real life. It was everything I loved coming and going and every time I was a little less. She knew her friends and family didn't know the truth and she didn't care. That was her escape plan. She made me out to be so bad that when she finally made up her mind for good they would be proud of her. It would be celebrated to throw me away and I loved her in a way they could never love anyone. She fooled the entire fucking world and I was the punchline. The one man that would do absolutely anything at anytime for her completely out of love. She was the love of my life and I meant nothing at all to her. She needed something from me and once the fulfillment was satisfied she was gone again.

It's not that easy to move on. It's impossible. This is truly how I feel about this woman. I honestly love her this much. It's real. Even if I want to move on I couldn't. I can't find somebody else. New opportunities are everywhere but I gave her all of myself. I gave her every part of me and I ended up being a game. I could never try again. I could never trust again. This was my greatest effort and it left me completely defeated and beaten down. expecting anybody to understand that would be impossible. The love that I have for her just as it found in today's world. People don't love like this anymore. The impact of loss to me personally Is not measurable. It's a combination of who I am as a person on an emotional level and the love that I have for her. It's more complicated than to try and figure out the most difficult math problem in the world. My pain can not be calculated and I don't think I have more hurt than somebody that has lost a family member or anything of that sort. I don't think my loss is greater but it’s the greatest pain in my life.

She kept coming back and I kept trying to communicate when she was gone again. I thought it was alright to do that since she always returned. I’ve attempted to reach out to her many times since just to talk. I needed that and it became my roadblock that slowed down my healing significantly but I had to eventually come to terms with the fact that she didn’t care. I was just a stepping stone for her to reach better things. Since she didn’t want to talk until she wanted to talk I was ultimately given the super admirable label as being a stalker. That’s fair because after she came back to me so many times I just simply thought it was ok to try and reach out but it wasn’t unless it was on her terms. I wasn’t allowed to call or text or show up at her house but I was given pictures on a social media account that were puzzles or codes and I had to piece together what she was trying to communicate with me. I accepted that because it was a way to hold on to something even if minimal. She would have me blocked yet every time we reconnected she would show me folders in her phone that contained screen shots of every social media post I had made during our time of disconnect. She would answer some of those messages that I had sent. Eventually every thing was discussed and that’s why I believed it was alright to send unanswered messages. This killed me. Why couldn’t we just talk? She was proving me wrong once and pulling up a previous text that I had sent and when she showed me the phone my name was saved as “Tango India” which was a combination of inside terminology and phonetics. When I asked her why she said she didn’t want the children to know she was talking to me again. I absolutely loved her children and I believed that bullshit. I was quick to agree, yes let’s protect the kids. The kids that I love more than their own father does. What are we protecting them from? Me? I was a fake name in the woman’s phone and she meant everything to me.

Her friends and family have been led to believe that I have printed pillowcases with her picture on them or strands of her hair that I have repelled into the Locks of Love vault and carefully stolen from the donation box. I drove by her house uninvited once and threw a bottle of champagne in the yard on New Year’s Eve but we had reconnected since then and I was pretty intoxicated. Aside from that day I’ve never been within three miles of the place. I no longer scour her social media pages and I have no clue what she is today or who she shares her life with. I don’t hold on to or try to learn anything that she’s doing. I hold on simply to the love I have for her within myself.

Some losses set us free in life. She was set free with the loss of me. She didn’t lose anything that she wanted or respected or admired. I was of no value to her and she was my fortune. I lost everything. It didn’t set me free but it began a repetitive feeling of losing again all over every day. It keeps taking from me and it keeps being taken. I do still lose her every day because she’s all that I ever wanted.

Ultimately everything I believed was backwards. It’s the classic pencil and sharpener story. I was always made to believe that I was wearing her down and I never could see how. I became a person that felt horrible about doing that because I was told I was doing it. One day I took a long hard look at myself and realized there was nothing left of me. All of the love that I felt for her had turned me into the equivalent of a nub once identified as a beautiful brand new number two pencil. She took all that I wanted to be and I would use the little led I had left to continue attempting to proclaim everything she meant to me. When that didn’t work she became the eraser. Every feeling that I wrote about her was erased and wrote over with the negative things I have done or some that never even happened at all. You can use permanent marker or you can burn the paper in a fiery pit but changing your feelings about someone does not give you the ability to change someone’s feelings for you. That’s a level of control that nobody has. I still love and wait for someone who believed I was cheating on her physically three years ago and I’ve still never been with another woman sexually since the day I met her. The truth is always pretty easy to see but we choose to cloud positive truths with negative assumptions. It destroys our lives.

I told her I wanted to die and I did. I didn’t want to be here anymore and feel free to call me a pussy if you’d like. It doesn’t fucking effect me. She slapped me across that face harder than I’ve ever been hit. She asked how it would make her look if was dead. She wanted me to go to see a counselor that day and when I went to work instead she called it emotional abuse. I did go to work. That day and talking to a therapist could've changed everything for me and knowing now what I knew then I regret not going. I didn’t want to go with her because she was the fucking reason I wanted to die. Accusing me of having an affair on my worn out old high school girlfriend. I would never in a million years cheat on my woman and here I was being threatened by her to lose everything if I didn't tell the truth about it which I had already done ten times. She always had predetermined outcomes when asking me questions and I just figured a therapist wasn’t going to change her fucking mind when I told them the truth too.

We live in a world where people want to know things about others. They want to be the individual who can hold that dirt above someone else’s head and be the source of that information being passed on. She knew everything about me and she was the only person that ever has. She told people things both true and false. She held that power and control over me. She used the same love that she knew I felt for her as a weapon of mass destruction against me. The only way to regain my mind is to lay it all out in this book. People have been told stories about my cheating, narcissism or stalking. How horrible of a boyfriend I was and how abusive life was with me. Truth is I woke up every day in love and ready to make her every day the greatest that she ever had. It’s true. I sat and thought about things to do just to make her happy every moment of the day. Financially I fucked her over. I took money that wasn’t rightfully mine. I spent what I wasn’t capable of replacing and that’s enough to end it respectfully but she never did. She ended it 3 years after the last time I ever spent a dime of her money and 5 reconnections later by allowing the world to believe I was a serial killer in the making and was crazy. She began writing that story three months after we met if not sooner. What examples were those friends getting? How naïve are these fucking people? At home it was a joke. Ted Bundy always opened the car door for women and John Wayne Gacy brought his wife flowers all the time. Jeffrey Dahmer would have been on Craigslist if it was around back then. Alright, she got me on the last one. Hard to miss the humor and that’s what it was. We laughed and she would make those comments and then we’d continue our fairytale with dinner or something while being madly in love the entire time. Her friends however were getting told what? How was I psycho or narcissistic?

A lot of people hate me because the woman that I took every breath for told them things. It’s insane to me. They were supporting her against me and I was there to support her when they were nowhere to be found. I would give my life just so she could smile and they hated me because they loved her? How does any of that add up? They hate me because I love her. None of them could ever love her like I do. They made me believe there was something wrong with me for loving her.

I simply just wasn’t financially responsible and as previously mentioned I did entertain conversations with other women and although I did get stupid early on in the relationship there wasn’t much sexual content. What she never knew was that I knew she was doing the same thing all along. I just loved her enough to not throw it all away because of that. Eventually they would all fade and it would just be the two of us. I wasn’t stupid but I was in it forever. That was the goal that I always kept in sight. The end result when it all settled down and those slow dances in the kitchen still meant something.

One day I texted her and asked her what she was doing and she said she was missing me. We weren't living together at the time but we were in a full blown relationship. I had to go to Chicago that night and ended up getting canceled so I wasn't supposed to be home until the next morning. I went and grabbed flowers and her favorite wine and a card like I always did. I wrote what I thought was a very loving message and I still have that card to this day. The problem is when I went to knock on her door I heard what was going on on the other side. She was getting fucked. I sat there and cried and I never wanted to cause a scene so instead of starting my truck up I put it in neutral and pushed it down the road a ways so she didn’t hear it. You can probably guess I went and cried. We spent the next day together and I knew. She didn’t act any different. I never said a word because I was afraid to lose her.

We all pick and choose what points we take away from education. I learned so much about me and about my ex fiancé throughout therapy and I continue to meet for coffee although in reality it’s only about once a month these days. We keep in constant contact through text. The one point that continues to be a thought for me is love. What is it to me and what is it really supposed to be? How far in left field am I when it comes to love and relationships? The heart just pumps blood. That might be the most important thing I have ever heard. The heart just pumps blood. If you had a broken heart it can be repaired but will never be the same. Of course I argued that mine will never be repaired. She said she understood but people have heart transplants and still love their partners. The heart is just a symbol of love for pictures. It’s not even the right shape so it’s a lie from the start in a roundabout way. Soulmate? You believe that your soul had something to do with that relationship? Can anyone provide a picture of a soul? I’ve never seen one. What is love? It’s imagination. That’s the only thing that allows love to succeed. You don’t touch a person’s heart or really feel there soul in reality but the moment you open up a person’s imagination they begin to look forward to new things with you. When you wake that up it changes everything. My therapist looked at me and told me she really believed that my former fiancé was incredible and so was I. I’m pretty sure she included that part because I would really accept nothing less than her being put on a pedestal regardless of what the reality was. She explained that we captured each others imaginations and we both loved each other. Sometimes people just don’t see what we want them to see. Sometimes we see more than what is really there. Sometimes we just see each other and our imaginations feed off of that. She admitted finally that we loved each other and obviously intertwined in imagination. I could compromise on that. I loved her with all of my imagination. I dreamed of a life with her. She loved me with her imagination as well. It was mutual. She didn’t love me with all of her heart or soul. We both had holes in each but our imaginations were full and filled with each other. I can hold onto that. It makes sense to me.

I believed I knew her on a deeper level than anyone else ever could. I truly believed that. I believed I could read the contrast of her eyes and know what she was thinking or feeling. Now I sit here still without her and unable to move on and I wonder how she could leave me behind. I wonder if I was wrong about all of it. My mind remains in a place of curiosity and wondering if she ever felt anything. Her friends feel the same way. They think they know the real her. How could she walk away all of those times or even at all? How could she leave me at my lowest and just not give a fuck? How could she see how badly it hurt me and do it seven more times? How could she tell so many people so many untrue stories about me? I don’t know if she ever felt anything. I believe it with my world that she did but where is she now? I just don’t know. I wished so many nights that it was all a dream. For her so that she would have never known who I am and for me because I would then have an easier time believing that it wasn’t real. I still don’t know if it was real.

I’ve been so afraid to lose her in my mind. To forget about her as she has me became my biggest fear. She doesn’t love you. She’s done for good. They hold it against me as if I’m not going to know until osmosis sets in and I’m able to feel it but I won’t. They all know that I won’t. Every person I’ve ever met knows it. People that I don’t know are aware. The only people who never realized how much I loved her was her and her parents. That’s it. Her friends knew but of course had to change their opinions after the fact to complete their obligatory friendship duties. The one person that could see everything about me couldn’t see that I was for real. She was the only one that didn’t know.

She was the only one that didn’t know and she was the only one for me. One is singular. There isn’t one after the one or a one that can take the place of the one. She was my one and only. Not my one or another. Now she’s my one or nothing. That question has been answered and I’m alright with that. There isn’t another one and never has been. She’s my person.


Accept


It took me a long time to admit that she did anything to hurt me. I truly believed I loved her so much that her doing anything wrong was a product of my imagination. I protected her faults as if I was created to do so. The conversation that kept haunting me was her dating so much after I emotionally abused her. People don’t just get past emotional abuse Scott. She moved on easily and you still cannot even hypothetically put yourself in a relationship of any sort. Emotional abuse doesn’t just get forgotten after a first date with someone. Do the math. I’ve heard that so many times and I’m fucking sick of it. Do the math. Do the math. Do the math. It was pounded into my head by a therapist that wanted to be nonprofessional with me because it was a quest for her. Much like adrenaline junkies look for the greatest thrill she got her fulfillment by breaking the rules in order to provide therapy for an unfixable mess of a man. At times I thought it was all wrong. Many times in fact I believed it was some manipulative game to use me for a school paper or something. This guy is a fucking psycho and I get my kicks off having breakfast with him and listening to how crazy he acts are the words I imagined her telling her friends in the therapist chat group. As more and more conversations occurred I began to see things differently.

My name is Scott Kinney. I’m a forty three year old man and a victim of emotional abuse and abandonment by someone who made everyone believe I was the narcissist. My struggle in life is that what I just mentioned had nothing to do with my love for her. I really do love her. I wasn’t duped into believing I loved her but I was fooled into believing she loved me. I did do certain things that can be considered the same. Mine were isolated incidents and hers were a body of work spanning five years. My beliefs in love and in her were fatal characteristics when combined with what she wanted. I was far from perfect and my mistakes didn’t escape me but it’s undeniable that I was abused by someone I thought the world of and I never even had a clue. It was always me in the wrong. Since August of twenty fifteen I had taken ownership eventually of every problem we ever had. In reality we were fire and gasoline. I didn’t accept blame for every situation because I was a man or in love. I did because I didn’t want to lose her and at some point I understood that the thought of her being at fault for any hurt in our relationship would simply mean that there wouldn’t be a relationship at all. I protected that with my life even without her being a part of it.

When I say the word victim I feel absolutely stupid. I’d rather just describe the Craigslist story another dozen times but I’m not a fucking victim. I know that I was abused but let’s just call it hurt because the “V” word takes away all of my credibility as a man. Men aren’t abused. Oh here we go, get a load of this victim. Does anyone need a drink from the cooler? Kinney, do you need some ice for your pussy? I get more abused by my friends these days in the form of ball busting but that’s alright with me. PTSD? Oh my God I’ve never really believed that was real. People have that from war and you’re telling me I got it from love? Do I have to be afraid of fireworks now? How the hell does this work?

I dug deep into my past and unfortunately that included up to the moment I met her and during our time together. Somewhere on lists written out with my therapist there were hundreds of examples.

When we were still getting to know each other we went to an indoor beer festival in Bloomington Illinois and then bar hopping with three of her friends. She had left the table to go to the restroom or something and one of the other girls leaned in close and told me to run away now. Trust me run, she said. I laughed and took it as a total joke but I can still see the look on her face. She was sincerely looking out for me. It's crazy to think of these situations in the moment of long ago and knowing what I do now. People were warning me and it didn't just happen once. People were trying to tell me something.

The very first sign that things would not end well for me was meeting her ex-husband for the first time. He asked me if I knew what I was getting into. I laughed it off in the moment and never thought about again for five years. He’s just a former husband with a sense of humor making a light joke that she’s a handful. Revisiting that day I wonder if he knew? Was he aware that I ultimately would never stand a chance of forever? Was the guy she dated before him abusive and destroy her but she built herself back up and forgot all about the abuse because he was so perfect for her after a few dates? Was he trying to honestly tell me something?

She would later tell me that she didn't love him. she wishes her father would have stopped the wedding because he could clearly see she was doing something she didn’t want to do and somehow that was her dads responsibility. During her time being married to him she had other partners and was on the Ashley Madison cheating site. I just really thought that was all in the past. A phase that she went through but now here I was and life in love changed us both. I was very egotistical to believe I changed anything at all. Well after the relationship with me I could see it so clearly. I was the man she loved but because I spoke to her a certain way about not scheduling a babysitter for New Years it was my fault she went out with a different guy. I felt horrible about what I said to cause that. It's amazing where we let our minds take us. I sincerely believed I needed to make up for that. I didn't deserve that. I loved a woman and got punished for it. I remember one day she mentioned she was out of coffee creamer and I jumped up from my football game on the television and rushed to the store. She didn't demand that, it had nothing to do with her. I loved her so much that when she said jump I would shoot myself out of a cannon. I'd later be accused of wanting or cheating because I ran out of the house so quickly. As if was an excuse to see my side chick at the grocery store and her needing something that I wanted her to have as soon as she needed it was my gateway. How does the human mind become that? I have always taken the fault. I'm untrustworthy I felt but why? I was completely committed to her. I didn't have any fucking secrets or secret relationships. None. Zero. However, I still felt horrible for having non existent girlfriends besides her. Jesus Christ, look into my heart and soul and mind. Find a way to take one peek because it's all you'd ever need to understand how much I loved her.



Between marriage to him and meeting me she had went on a date with a State Trooper and he was stalking her although I never witnessed it. She would tell me to be careful because she saw his car driving by. He was always driving around the block she claimed and then one day I just stopped hearing about him. She wasn’t scared of him because he wasn’t dumb enough to really do anything given the fact that he knew who her father was. When she met her husband was there an abusive partner before him? Does every guy in her life get a first date story of abuse from an ex-boyfriend? A guy that doesn’t bother her anymore because her dad would take care of it? We are all the man of her dreams until the next time and we become the abusive bullet that she dodged. Now that she met someone new everything is better in her life and that abuse was forgotten about?

People move on differently but it’s almost scientifically impossible to be cured by years of abuse by different men just by meeting someone that you trust immediately, oddly enough. It’s still a part of you and it doesn’t just evaporate. It stays with you. You don’t get abused multiple times and not have some sort of barrier up. That just doesn’t happen but it does with her. I’m afraid to get close and I’m scared I’m going to feel that same pain again.

The next time I felt as if something was off was when we went on a weekend trip where I had preplanned a couple’s photo shoot for us. We had a great day together as always and decided to go to the bar. Being the playful relationship that we were I challenged her to act single and see if I could pick her up. We laughed and joked about the game but it became real for me very quickly and I found myself extremely uncomfortable. I pretend tried to talk to her at the bar as if I had never met her and she almost seriously blew me off. Another man eventually began talking to her as I’m laughing and still into the joke but she acted as if I didn’t exist at all. She was playing darts and hanging all over him. I went to the car and she didn’t notice I was gone for a long time. She didn’t care and it was so obvious. I was hurt but it was my idea from the start so I knew I had to accept that my fun little prank became more than that to me.

On our first New Years Eve she told me she had to work and I later found out she was at the bar with her ex husband. She told me she couldn’t do anything with me and even two months later when I found out, I was upset. She told me she had went there on her lunch hour and of course I accepted that and we moved on. I didn’t want to believe what was right in front of me. She wasn’t fooling me at all, I just loved her so much it really didn’t matter to me. As long as we were together we could move forward in my eyes.

There were meaningless conversations that I never put much thought into and some even flattered me for some God known reason. The first time she told me she loved me we were sitting on the couch during a thunderstorm. Out of nowhere she grabbed my hand and dragged me outside with a purpose to slow dance in the pouring rain and tell me she loved me. It was my dream come true and there couldn’t have ever been a more perfect moment for anyone at any time in any galaxy. It was everything to me. Later she would tell me that the moment she knew she loved me was when a fellow employee at the hospital called her to meet in a janitorial closet or whatever room they’d meet in and now it wasn’t appealing to her anymore. Wait a second. I treat you like gold but the reason you knew you loved me was when you didn’t want to be with someone else sexually? I told her that was awesome because honestly I had no clue how to respond to that. She told me she didn’t need that power over him anymore. We would go to her friend’s house that held the annual Halloween party and she would tell me she loved seeing the wife of the guy she got caught texting and she felt a level of control over her. Again, I had no response and I never thought anything about these conversations again until well into therapy. Were these signs of who she was? No of course not. This was who she was before me and I changed everything for her, right? We both have a past and now we finally met the one for each other so all of those silly things before each other were non factors now. I believed that whole heartedly even as she was still holding my past against me.

I began thinking back to so many conversations that seemed insignificant at the time but now became pieces to a puzzle that I needed to put together. I had to know. People are pretty adamant when they tell me to move on. Stop living in the past they say again and again but I cannot do that. There isn’t a switch that can just make me alright all of the sudden. My mind is on repeat just playing these previously unimportant situations like a favorite new song. For years I would show up at her workplace with lunch or send flowers or try and make her day. One day she asked me to start being a little more boring. Boring? My life's purpose was to let her know she was loved. We live one time and she wanted me to not show her? I had to respect that's what she wanted but I loved showing her. proving it to her and she loved me but didn't want me to show that?

She has told the world that I abused her yet there have been so many new dates and she was able to move on until Stockholm syndrome set in and she had to return to me to get her fill of more abuse? I believed that. She had tried to move on but they were all worse than me. The guy she went to the wedding with tried to sleep with her and made her uncomfortable. The guy from my old workplace had called her a name. The guy from my hometown got evicted from his house and showed up trying to move in and they never even dated. The black truck in the drive that night was a friend who was too drunk to drive home so she let him crash on her couch. There was a picture she had put on social media with the sole intention of me seeing she later told me. It was a guy licking her face and he was just a friend that had zero chance with her because she loved me more than all of them in her words. There was a bartender and Irish guy but she told me none of them could ever mean more to her than I do whenever she came back to me. I have been to dinner three times, took a picture and posted on social media before talking about her all night and never hearing from them again. I couldn’t even imagine having a relationship with anyone.

The first time I went to dinner with another woman I already knew that I wasn't going to let anything happen. I was an absolute mess. I felt so guilty and I called and left a voicemail for her begging and crying for her to talk to me. Please tell me it's alright to go to dinner with some body. Please tell me it's alright to have a good time without you. Please tell me it's all right. I didn't need or want her permission. I just thought that she felt the same way that I did and I could not imagine hurting her. She was on her seventh or eighth different guy and I could not hurt her as I was dying inside. I couldn't do it.

It scared me to meet anyone new. Having a sexual outlet wasn’t even an option for me. That began after I knew for a fact she was entertaining other men. She would get upset because she didn’t turn me on and I couldn’t perform in the bedroom. I told her the truth that I just couldn’t stop thinking about the other guys and she assured me that none of them had a chance with her. So they just spent the night and slept on the couch? I truly believed she didn’t have those sorts of connections when we were separated for months at a time? She went on dates with all of these guys and none of them ever seen her bedroom or vice versa? I couldn’t shake the thought. The thought of other people touching her or feeling her when I was so hurt was unfathomable. I wasn’t the same but it’s exactly what people believed about me. It eventually led to my agamous lifestyle.

When we were in the thick of being together we bought elves for Christmas to display and entertain the kids. My daughter one day mentioned that the four inch painted plastic figurines were not real elves and we all laughed it off until one day she asked me to get on her phone for something and she had texted a friend about how my little bitch nine year old daughter ruined her kids vision of Christmas although I don’t remember the exact wording of that text. By all non legal or official means, that was her stepdaughter. I’d take a bullet for her children and truly loved them as if they were my own kids. I settled for an apology that held no sincerity whatsoever.

There were signs everywhere and I loved her too much to see them.

Conversations about how she felt about something were lectures on how I’m emotionally abuse and Conversations about how I felt were arguments and she’d try to prove me wrong.

There were so many sides to every story I’m not sure how she kept it all straight and I never thought it was a problem. On the order of protection she wrote that she lives in fear every time a garbage truck goes by because they sounded like my truck. Days before that she meant me a text saying she was sad because she heard me truck and ran to the window excited only to discover it was the garbage truck.

Everything that I had been accused of or belittled for were things that she had done to me or to her husband. I knew the truth and obviously knew that I wasn’t cheating physically and I do remember thinking at times as if she was liberating herself from her past by projecting those stories onto me as if she could never do that to someone. She did do that to both of us.

She told me that her father had a conversation with my brother in law in which he was told that my sister’s husband who was a police officer as well had to carry a gun around me because he never knew when I was going to finally go crazy. What in the fuck? There were warnings to him to do everything possible to ensure she didn’t stay with me because it wouldn’t end well for her. To this day I hate my sister and her husband and I’m not even entirely certain that those conversations ever took place in real life. I had an off the wall gut feeling that she would make those things up and if I ever confronted anyone about them I would look like a liar or absolutely crazy when her father had no clue what I was talking about. I really remember feeling that but it never was a flag for me. I felt as if there was a huge conspiracy to tell me so many things until I asked someone and they would undoubtedly think I had lost my mind or I was paranoid and delusional. Was she setting up an escape for someday by telling me bullshit stories that I would eventually become frustrated enough to confront and look nuts? Was I just a game? I just don’t believe it but it’s staring directly at me. Was I a scapegoat for her wrongdoings? If she made people believe I was all of the things that she told them would it erase the things that she has done. She told me at the very beginning that her mom hated me because she thought I was a criminal who stole her grandfathers military marker from the cemetery. I was dumbfounded. Who in the fuck would do that? Why did her mom believe that, I wondered. A few weeks later and apparently after a full investigation she told me it was removed for landscaping. How do people’s minds work like that? I was addicted to painkillers. One day she told me someone broke into her car and stole a new prescription. She confronted me and I didn’t take them. She told me she had filed a police report and I don’t know if there were ever pills in the first place a theft or a report made. I look back and began to believe that she just made shit up. This was someone who I trusted and believed every word she spoke.


It’s been unbelievably complicated to piece it all together. There were examples from the beginning and they slowly added up over the years. I was never perfect as you should know by now. I questioned everything about myself even knowing the truth. I wanted to die because I treated her so poorly but in my heart and in my mind I knew that wasn’t the case. I would do anything for her and it was proven on so many occasions. I wanted to kill myself for hurting her but I went out of my way more than any man would be willing to do for any woman and I knew this. I knew that my every moment alive was just trying to make her smile. I loved her so much that I truly believed I hurt her and I know I did a few times. So many times the subject came up when I knew I had done nothing except jump when she asked me to. How was that hurting her? I cannot say it enough times. I fucked up and I hurt her. I know that. I did questionable things. I own all of them. I supported her and loved her so much that I wanted her to win even if that meant I had to lose in the process. All the false assumptions or stories to her friends became who I was to them. I couldn't ever call her out or tell people she was wrong. I really loved her that much. Nothing she said was so bad that I told people she was wrong. The people that were told I was gay would only know me as a gay man. I was fine with that. It was embarrassing of course, but that feeling was so much better for me than them believing she was wrong. I let them believe that without resistance because it came from her mouth. I died inside so many times for her to remain right about anything she may have said about me.




Nothing Special


I promise I’m not entitled. What makes my story special and worth telling? What part of my crazy mind believes that anyone would ever want to read my story? This is nothing. It’s a relationship that didn’t work and a grown man being a complete bitch about it. Everyone goes through that and everybody has lived through much worse than losing a girlfriend. Move on already man. So many people grieve the loss of so many more important things but I don’t. I know I’m nothing special and should move on but I can’t. There’s an emptiness in my eyes as I often times just glare into the distance. I get lost and those moments and I go back to that place every time. There are pieces of me scattered over the landscape of every day since the moment I met her. Those pieces will never return to me and I will never be whole again. There are so many unanswered questions that really don’t make a difference anymore but I starve for them. I search endlessly for understanding and acceptance and will never be able to close the book on this. I really want to move on and forget it all but I also know if I am laying on my death bed my last wish would be to laugh with her. I will cry and beg everyone to please find her but they won’t. I’ll die the same way I live which is wishing she was next to me. I love her that much and always have. Through all of the hurt and all of the pain both given and received I love every part of her. She really truly was the woman of my dreams. I did hurt her and she returned the gesture many more times to me. What makes my story so special? I don’t know but I’d do it all over again knowing what I do.

I’d take all the pain over and over and let it destroy me again. I don’t know the woman that I fell in love with. I have no idea who she is or what she’s been. I will never know who she really is but I know that she met a man that would let her destroy him any time it was convenient for her. I let her tear me down and piss on my remains but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. She will always have the green light to demolish me any time it makes her feel happy in doing so. I faithfully would die a horrible death inside every time just to be close to her. I’m not certain why I could never move past it all and say fuck off on my way to someone who would actually love me. I just don’t know. I know she loved me once and will never love me again. I also know all of the things she did to become the worst experience of my life. Psychologically I felt guilty for things that were never even possible but I loved her so much I felt horrible. I hated myself for things I didn’t even do.

I can’t figure out if it’s the unanswered questions and not having that closure. Maybe closure really is important for people like me. Maybe it’s really love and all of my feelings are true. I genuinely feel the greatest unconditional love for her but that’s impossible. Who loves someone this much? I have to be wrong but I can’t bring myself to that. I cannot admit it and acceptance gets shielded away with a security greater than Fort Knox. She left me broken and I still lift her to a higher level than anyone has ever soared. What if it happened again though? What if we fulfilled that promise to each other to always find our way back? To you it’s just a story of a guy that got the girl but to me it’s everything. It’s every dream and desire and aspiration. It’s me achieving my highest of highs and without it I will always be a better man but broken. She is a line in the sand that changed it all. My whole life was spent strolling across that beach trying to get to that line and nothing will ever be the same after I crossed it. Life will never be the same because of her both positively and negatively. I will never give any of myself to anyone again. I will never believe something will last forever with anyone because at our best we were good enough to get through anything but we didn’t. If these two people didn’t make it I promise you nothing in this world is permanent.

There has never been anyone else in my life since I met her. That moment changed my life forever. She never allowed herself to believe how much I cared about her. She always saw something that wasn’t there. I’m still proving that every day. I’m still committed to her knowing it was all wrong and I was only hers. I looked into her eyes and I could only see perfection. I thought I could see more than any man ever has or could. That’s the part that hurts the most. Knowing I was wrong means I might always be wrong about everything or anything. It means that I don’t know anything really. Every man that looks into her eyes sees exactly what I did and that means my vision doesn’t mean anything special. I thought it was the type of love that poems and books and songs and movies tried to capture to give people something to dream about but it wasn’t any of those things.

I can admit when I'm wrong. I was wrong about her. Its about trusting that people really mean what they say to me. It's about knowing every promise I'm given can be broken. I learned that people can look right into my eyes knowing I love them and fool me. I never want to know that can happen again. I'm such a kind man today. I'm a gentle guy and treat everyone with the greatest level of respect but nobody has a chance of getting as close to me as I let her get. My light is on for people who need me but unfortunately my door is locked to everyone.

My beliefs all died a long time ago. My dreams of having a one in a billion type of love. I’m emotionally unavailable to everyone. My entire world revolved around the moments she was standing right in front of me and now I refuse to let anything get in my way. I walk backwards so nobody will ever be able to give me that.

How do I put it all together when I don’t even know how many pieces there are? Was it more my fault or more hers? Did we both contribute equally to my unraveling? I was a good kid that never got into any trouble and eventually had a daughter with a woman I was crazy about. I never knew how to love correctly but my intentions were true. I was a dumbass and eventually lost her. I raise my daughter to experience new things and be herself. I’ve always had good jobs and comfortable homes. I met the woman of my dreams and fell deeply and unconditionally for her. She showed me love. I did things to hurt her and she did things that hurt me but I kept bottled up. Most things that I did were over reacted to and accused of being much more than what they really were. We spent basically three years together and separated into a downward spiral of fairytale again and then off again that lasted a few years. She was dating in between those back togethers and I waited for her to come back every time. She convinced everyone that I had done so many awful things but they were really things that she had done to me or others. I lost her and I lost myself in the process. I don’t trust anyone today. I don’t let anyone near me. I don’t blame her for any of that. I don’t blame her for anything that has happened in my life. I don’t even hold her accountable for hurting me. I developed a sense of self denial and a mental block that prevented me from believing I’ve ever done good in my life. I lived in hotels after she kicked me out for the first time in my life and somehow began believing that is the person I’ve always been.

What's special about it? I almost killed myself. I loved a woman so much that I almost killed myself because I thought that she loved me and I thought that I hurt her and the whole time it was just a game for her. Her niece didn't get shot. She knew that I would never see her niece again. She knew that we weren't going to get that close and whatever temporary fix she was trying to find for herself at the time meant everything to me and she let it mean everything to me. She sat and she watched me completely in love with her knowing that I was a game. I don’t believe that’s true but it slaps me across the face every day. It looks back at me in the mirror. It’s proven.

There’s nothing special about my story. Men do extraordinary things. They win Super Bowls and World series rings. People go to space or invent life changing machines. It’s special because my accomplishment is greater than any of theirs in my mind. I loved. I gave away more than I kept for myself. I walked in her workplace at lunch and the smile she gave me was better than any home run or touchdown in any crowded stadium. She was my hall of fame induction. She was my climbing of Mount Everest or sailing around the world. She was my motivation and the reason I was humbled. I looked up to her. She was my everything. I smile every day because it could possibly be the day she hears someone say "I love you" for the first time. I imagine her happiness in that moment and it fills my eyes with tears of a little pain and a lot of joy.






Dream


If you put a comparative side by side photograph of myself from twenty fifteen and one from today you wouldn’t even think it’s the same person. My attitude and demeanor and focus and confidence. My reactions, personality, posture and even my bank account are that of two completely different men. I recycle old pictures of myself on social media and haven’t shown many people what I even look like today unless we crossed paths in person. There hasn’t been an actual picture of me taken in well over a year and easily forty pounds ago. I don’t drink or smoke. Weed and pain killers are a long lost part of what I once was. I’m tan and thin and I smile without pain. I finally gave in and agreed to meet a woman. It was a blind date that my therapist of all people connected me with. Before we go any further she was not a patient as I assumed you were asking yourself.

I already knew how it would go. Much like any other time I have dinner with someone. I talk about the love of my life and they lose interest and then I pay and we go our separate ways. I’d introduce myself and then go into my PowerPoint presentation about how her moving on was a more significant event in history than Pearl Harbor, the Titanic or September Eleventh. How I lost her but she never left me mentally. I would describe how we hadn’t lived together in four years and the loss of her was a new tragedy every moment for me. When we met I now had some new material to boost the conversation. It wasn’t the same old love her with all my heart talk. No, not this time. I sat across from a woman whose eyes burned into mine with an interest I’ve never felt before. She literally asked the words, so what’s your story Scott? That was the invitation I needed. I told her that I wasn’t interested in being anything more than plutonic because someone else had my, wait for it, someone else had my imagination. She laughed at me before apologizing and asking me to continue. I made it clear that I was already in love with someone who was gone. How did she die? What no, not gone like that. God no, she just doesn’t want me anymore. I chuckled comfortably. She asked me to tell her everything and you better believe I did.

We sat at the restaurant while I proudly lifted my ex-girlfriend to unreachable heights. She eventually made a request and asked me to tell her about things that I thought I had done that was rare since I used that term so much and I did. I didn’t learn one thing about her that night. It was literally a blind date that was me talking about my ex for hours in the table and then more hours at the bar where I admittedly did have a light alcoholic beverage. Blah blah blah again. I bought her a Jeep, I bought the kids suits for her birthday for a photo shoot, I loved her kids like they were my own, a photo shoot for us, I went well out of my way just to save her five minutes of her own time, I always tried to make her life better and easier to manage. I was proud of her. I went on forever and she never once got tired of hearing me talk about another woman. Her eyes and attention never wavered. When I finally shut up my eyes were watery. She patiently gave me a moment to collect my composure and when I looked back up she was still smiling and looking at me as if I’m telling the greatest story ever told.

She smiled and acknowledged that I’ve come a long way as a man even though she had never met me prior to that night. She told me that I didn’t lose as much as my ex did and that is very obvious. She lost a man that still cheered her on and rooted for her without having her and she doesn’t even know it. Her biggest supporter lives in this much pain and she has no clue I think of her so highly. She winked at me and never told me to grow up or to move on but instead she asked me if she could give me a gift that she believes I deserve and I accepted knowing damn well it would probably be thrown away shortly after I got home. She grabbed a book of matches from the bar and a pen from her purse. For almost six hours this woman listened to a complete stranger of a man talking about my past relationship. She wrote slowly in the matchbook and closed it before sliding it across to me with her fingertips and a slight smile while gesturing by raising her index finger for me to not open it yet. She stood up and told me she would be ready by the car and walked out of the establishment while I asked for the check. I paid the bill and as I was walking out the door with the assumption that I would not see her by the car or ever again for that matter, I opened the book of matches. “You didn’t lose her she lost YOU and I want to show you that” is what she had written in it. I approached the car through the drizzled rain that had no effect on the touch of skin. She waited for me.

As I walked closer to the car she walked toward me as well and we stopped a few feet away from each other. I whispered Thank You for the kind words. I apologized for talking about the subject that I did all night and she responded in disappointment. That’s not the whole story is it? I need more than that, she said. She grabbed my hand and leaned in to my ear and said, “I like to dance too”. We did as cars drove by honking and shouting in approval. We laughed and joked. She’s extremely intelligent, funny and accepting. She accepts that my ex had the effect on me that she did both on the positive and negative sides. She doesn’t judge my past and she’ll ask questions about her. That’s how she learned so much about me. She knows there will always be feelings and that’s allowed in our relationship. She understands what a massive part of me remains in love with her. You can have feelings that don’t change. Who made it a crime to feel something? She knew she wasn’t a replacement and could never replace her but she loved the idea of being the chapter in my book that matters now.

She wants all of my broken or missing parts and she doesn’t care if it doesn’t always fit the right way because she gets to be the arms that hold it all together and she does. She wants all of the little things that I do for her and the appreciation is over emphasized. She stands up for me and brags about how great I treat her and I’m just doing those things that make me who I am. We have developed an entirely new way to be in a relationship and communicate. We help each other love each other. We don’t sit back and wonder why she didn’t love me a certain way at a certain time and she doesn’t wonder why this happened or that didn’t happen, we tell each other. We have a small box on the counter because sometimes life is busy and we overlook things. We don’t get upset we drop hints. We use that hint box as a method of addressing missed acknowledgements. For example if she picked me up something from the store or she styled her hair a certain way or I clean out her car or change the oil and we just didn’t notice we write it down. “I have a new hairstyle”. When we get the hints we have until the end of the day to bring it up in conversation as if we were never reminded that we had forgotten. “I changed your oil Saturday” and later that night we will be talking about our day when she says, “hey my car runs so much better, Thank You for changing the oil”. It’s that easy. We tell each other what we need to hear. We don’t stress or get frustrated. We simply coach each other through our lives together. If she is hungry she walks into the room and says “ask me where I want to eat”.

The level of communication and never misunderstanding each other is amazing. We push each other towards being better with each other. I’ve never been with a woman that supports a past relationship but she accepted that it’s a part of me. It is the reason why I’m a good and solid man. She holds onto me no matter what. She isn’t going to throw me away because I have feelings. We celebrate that. Too many people in this world are cold and just leave you hanging on the ledge. We pick each other up from that ledge every time without judgment. My ex still lives within me and I’ve been reassured time after time that it’s ok to love someone you have to move on from and love another as well. She allows me to believe that I’m not replacing something so important to me but rather starting a new chapter. She encourages and drives me to keep that close because it’s me. It keeps us healthy. On some mornings I will have a post it note in my car just to remind me of her opinion “She lost You”. Never has there been an attempt to change my feelings or to belittle me for having those feelings. She knows that I need reminders. She will attempt to make fun of what we had and sometimes it just doesn’t work. I was peeing one day and she walked up behind me to lean around and spit in the toilet missing by a mile and hitting the seat. We laughed and I said she didn’t do it as well. That’s alright with us.

She knows I found what I needed in her. She understands that I dreamed hard for a long time. She knows that I truly believed my ex was the woman of my dreams and she simply smiles and lets me know it’s alright because we all have dreams. The luckiest people have someone that loves them even more when they wake up, and we have that. We’ve reinvented arguing. We don’t snap at each other we ask questions. We ask in order to understand until one of us realizes that we are wrong and then get rewarded with a touché or some other creative form of waving the white flag. We grow together without resistance and with no regard for anyone else’s input about our relationship that doesn’t affect them. It’s ours and we own it together. I stand my ground now and so does she but it’s just a difference not an argument. Help me understand what you are saying or why do you feel that way? We let each other be heard. She’s a very different personality than the woman that I fell in love with six years ago. I’m an entirely different person as well. I’ve allowed her to open up my imagination and my world.

I always fantasized about the way my ex would feel because of certain things I would do. I would get excited thinking about how they made her feel. I now feel the way that I hoped she would have. I dreamed about a lifetime with my former fiancé. I wanted that so much and was convinced it would happen no matter what. I appreciate her and still hurt every day. I have someone that feels that pain with me now and helps me back up every time. Admittedly, I don’t fall in love with her all over every day, instead I feel as if she allows me to remain in love. I found my keeper but the part that makes me most proud is that I’m now a keeper too!

I was destroyed and devastated in life and just meeting a new person isn’t enough to cure that. If you truly love someone or have been abused being with someone else will not remove that from your brain. I found someone very rare and we both understand that. We both understand that there is love for other people in our hearts. It’s everything I needed. She’s everything I needed. There are no negative stories about my past relationship or life. It was very important for me to allow this woman to understand how I became the person that I am today. I taught her all about the person who is responsible for shaping me into the man who now believes I really can make someone happy just by doing the same things I’ve always done in relationships. We both are big fans of the woman I once loved. Not for the things that hurt as we decided to forgive those situations. We know the good parts of her changed my life in ways most people will never understand. Some people don’t have the person they want. It takes a lot of maturity and psychological strength to be in a relationship knowing that. To love and be loved but understand your partner is only with you because someone they truly loved didn’t work out. We only have love because someone didn’t love them back. Some people only found love when hearts were broke elsewhere. It’s a reality. My ex is a permanent part of me and she is more a part of me than some of my own organs. She has a past as well and I support it the same. It’s who made us who we are.

She reminds me often the even though I am not complete I’m still a hundred times more caring as any man she's ever met. I am not sure if that's true but I do try and it's very nice to have somebody noticed that.

She is patient with me apologizing nonstop for everything. What are you sorry for babe? I don’t know really. Not good enough, she’ll say, I need a reason. I don’t know. STOP APOLOGIZING, she’ll yell. Alright, maybe she’s not that patient about it but she gets me. She understands there is a reason.

She told me one night that she hopes she leaves this world first so that I can meet the woman of my dreams in that nursing home. I responded by smiling and telling her that’s no longer a wish that I want. Well, I just want you to know its ok. I want you to have your dream. Oh love I said! I have the dream I want and it’s only because of the dream I wanted.

I never go past that moment. That’s the part that wakes me up every time and I realize it’s just a dream within my dreams. I wipe my eyes and roll over to look at the most beautiful smile in a purple picture frame on my bedside table.

People are constantly telling me how they have seen pictures of her or in person and her smile doesn't even compare to what it was with me. I've never looked and I hope and pray that they're wrong. I hope her eyes water every day with laughter. If it’s true that’s alright because we had something nobody will ever understand. My smile isn’t exactly the same either and so that’s probably the last thing left that we have in common. I’ve thought about that a lot. I’ve wondered if there is any joke or phrase or feeling that she saved just for me. If there is any part of her life that is reserved in thought for me and nobody else. Anything that could still be ours.

Sometimes the end is just a word. For her it was simply not writing anything at all. For me it was the whole book. She has always deserved better, but I couldn’t imagine her growing old with anyone else so I became better. Now I stand alone but I’m better for it. As I bring the pages to an end, she is still the most beautiful chapter!

What do I get out of this? Really man, did you write a book just to tell people how horrible you are? No I didn't. What do I get out of this? Well hopefully I get my dreams. How many times have you heard somebody say that they will spend the rest of their life trying to achieve whatever it is that's being talked about at the time? Let's take a step back. I no longer want the love of my life. I love her more than any man has ever loved any woman but as you read I'm a man with scars. I will be happy in life if she simply knows that I love her. I don't care if she's with somebody else. I don't care if she hates me now. I don't care how hurt I continue to be. I want her to know that three months after we met I told the truth. When she broke off the engagement I told the truth. I was telling the truth when accused of cheating. I want her to know she was wrong. I don't care if she feels incorrect and that's not my point. I loved her correctly and she was the one I wanted. I proved that and she didn't believe it. Now I'll spend the rest of my life proving that. I'm not trying to prevent her from being with anyone else or convince her to love me or be together. That's long in the past. It's over and I'm alright with that. I hope she has an amazing life. She had a favorite picture of us lying in bed together. She liked the pose I guess. It wasn’t even a picture in which we were showing the world our huge and happy smiles. Just a regular old photo and she loved it. A few minutes before that photo was taken I was poking fun at her trampoline skills. She told me she wasn't feeling the love and giggling. I replied by telling her if I ever didn't make her feel my love I'd spend the rest of my life making up for it. You're so cheesy, I love you she responded. Well......here we are. I really thought the circumstances would be different. I loved her as I said I did back then. I was honest with her. I love her the same today and every day. I promised my heart would always find her. My favorite lyrics are still her. I keep singing her.

It’s no longer up to me to find her. The only thing I can do is put myself in a place where I can be found. The only thing I’ve ever wanted was to give her all of her dreams. She decided that I can’t be the man to do that. Instead I am giving her all of mine. I know now that I've been discarded. She can turn to any page or close this book for good. She can put me on the shelf where I've become so comfortable and save me for later if she wants. She can keep me there to know I can't open up without her hands. This is how I feel about her. We all fall throughout our lives. I had the strength to get up from anything. Always stood back up one more time than I fell down. I can’t get back up this time. I wake up every day and I put forth my best effort but I will never be able to win the game without her. I just can’t win this game without her.

The greatest love story of my dreams wasn’t even real. I have struggled to move on and that's the part I wish people understood. I want love but it's very hard to even imagine anyone could love me now or I could ever trust again. Just get over it they say. Maybe I'm weak, but I let her take that part away from me. I just don't have that part anymore.

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For Real


Knowing what I do now it disturbs me when I hear people break up and use the word narcissist to describe their former partners. It’s a word that gets thrown out with ease and is often misinterpreted. We’ve all heard that someone’s ex is a narcissist and they’ll even Google that shit and dress it up with words like covert or some other fancy word to make you believe it more. Narcissism is for real. There are several ways to identify them and we all have characteristics that fall into the diagnosis. I was horrible with money and used hers. We were in a relationship with a joint account so I’m not going to call it theft but if you feel more comfortable reading it as such, I more than understand. On that alone I could be a narcissist but fact is I just didn’t know a fucking thing about responsibility and financial accountability. I never thought she was a narcissist or even considered it until I was forced to write down examples.

One year on her birthday we went to my niece’s fifth birthday party. She was fine and we were having fun. She was showing off her new Jeep to my family and then out of nowhere she had a damn temper tantrum and in so many words told me that she was missing out on her own birthday with her parents and just like that we left my five year old niece’s party early so she could go celebrate her thirty seventh with her parents and damn near had a nervous breakdown in the process. Things like this happened but not often and when they did I was always confused as if I was briefly speaking to a whole new person that I’d never met. I never chalked it up to anything more than a bad day or moment and I felt she deserved those. That was a level of selfishness that flirted with self-importance and there were many examples of it. On a different birthday she had driven me to Indianapolis for a work orientation that would last a few days. I needed her to return to the hotel after she’d been gone for about ten minutes. I’ll be honest; I had no money and didn’t realize that I had to pay for the room that would later be reimbursed upon completion of hiring. She came back but she was pissed and again the excuse was that she was missing her birthday with her parents. This was about a month after our engagement and things have been great. She was a complete asshole to me and to the hotel clerk and I found myself apologizing for her attitude after she left. She was also pissed that her phones GPS wanted to take her through Lebanon Indiana to get home instead of the cities outer circle of I465 to Interstate 74. I865 to 65 and Indiana route 32 was about twenty five minutes faster but she wasn’t having it. She was pissed off at me for holding her up with her parents that she could have made it to faster but refused. I understand that my irresponsibility was the reason and I own that but she wasn’t just angry, she was a thirty eight year old woman being a complete child. It was ridiculous.

Narcissists don’t feel much guilt because they think they are always right, and don’t believe their behaviors really affect anyone else.

The narcissistic mirror tactic is a sure way to be convinced you are with the person of your dreams. It’s fail proof and works on any person at any time. The principle is simple and effective. Mirroring is learning what people like, how they speak, their mannerisms and interests and being the same person back to them. For example if you enjoy fishing and they have never been fishing in their life you won’t know it. They will learn things about fishing and speak the language with you. A flaw in this system is they don’t have experience so they will know useless information about that hobby that nobody cares about. That’s from the research. If you don’t like certain foods or if you say I specific phrase, they will soon be the same as you. You won’t catch on to this, instead you will praise how much the two of you have in common and who doesn’t look for that in a partner? If you like a certain team, so will they. If you like a certain show, they will too. Mirroring is a spider web and you cannot let someone go who has all of the same interests that you do. When they are in the honeymoon phase and beyond you will notice if you pay close enough attention that they don’t have too many interests that sway far from yours. Nothing that they love to do and you don’t. There may be some but not many.

The smear campaign was used both ways. She would tell me that her parents were invading her privacy by putting up security cameras at her house because they didn’t trust me and her parents were being told I was someone that should be watched. I loved her parents, they were great people but she divided everyone from me. I never understood it.

The smear campaign is one of the things that really destroyed me inside. When your ex starts to talk negatively about you, with feelings of strong conviction, others believe it. Smear campaigns are intentional, premeditated efforts to undermine a person’s reputation, credibility and character. In most cases this is one of the final acts and used as justification for leaving you but in my case it was continuous. To me she would smear other people and I knew of all their flaws or wrong doings but to those same people I was being shamed as well. I always understood or at least loved her enough to try and understand but I didn’t realize how heavily she was pouring it onto them. I still tried to put myself in her shoes and tell myself I was the root cause so she deserved to tell people. I felt as if she truly loved me and at the same time, friends or family believed I was abusive and disrespectful to her. This is the example that made me realize just how two faced people can be. She had me believing the exact opposite of what she made others believe about me and vice versa.

The silent treatment is a calculated strategy to emotionally make someone suffer and she was the best at it. She disappeared out of nowhere and that’s the same way she would reappear. Sometimes days or weeks but it escalated to months and even more than a year in one case. The silent treatment is a passive aggressive form of emotional abuse in which displeasure, disapproval and contempt is exhibited through nonverbal gestures while maintaining verbal silence. A textbook example of this would be that social media page and the puzzles or hints that she would leave me to try and decipher. On one of her comebacks she told me that everything she ever puts on Pinterest was for me to see. This was the spot where she changed the profile picture to the guy licking her face that I spoke of earlier. The friend that didn’t have a chance was now her profile picture on a social media page that was meant for sending codes to me and one where nobody ever changes their damn profile picture.

She would use a friends phone to contact me while those friends thought I had done bad things to her and she was worried about stalking. How does that work? That has been a curious situation to me for years and although it’s of very little significance in the big picture it remains one of the great unanswered questions for me. How did that conversation go? I’m scared of him and he really is horrible enough to kill me. I changed my number because it’s so dangerous for me that he would have it. Can I use your phone instead to text and say I love him? I could be overthinking it.

Entitlement reveals how narcissists believe they are the most important part of the universe. They believe they are special and superior. They feel as if the rules don’t apply to them. Narcissists are only interested in getting what they want and making the relationship work for them. There was a lot of selfishness throughout our relationship but I loved that it came with her and I never thought much of it. After the last time we lived together in twenty seventeen until twenty twenty when I last heard from her our relationship was a one way street. A great example would be using me to have someone while she had a colostomy bag and dumping me days after it was removed. She used me during those summer months and into the fall season. Another example was telling me she only celebrated New Years with the other guy because I had spoken to her wrong earlier that evening. That was planned well before that night but I was so weak that I fell into believing I was wrong about everything and anything she did that I found questionable was a result of my own wrong doings. It’s pretty much the definition of entitled abuse and undeniable.

Always the victim. On October seventh of two thousand and nineteen, her best friend was involved in an incident with her ex-fiancé in which he fired a handgun in her direction and then turned the gun on himself without injuries to either. Another situation involved a friend who was asleep next to her man when he apparently woke up and began beating her with a baseball bat. I know the first story was true and still uncertain about the second. I had called her out on being wrong about something unrelated to both and just in general conversation but by the time we had finished the argument that accompanied she was holding herself in the same manner of abuse that her two friends had unfortunately endured. Her being told she was wrong was turned into psychological abuse that put her in the category of victimization with her friends. Trying to tell her facts became labeled as manipulation of the mind and an emotional beat down from me onto her. She couldn’t be wrong about anything and if she was, my abuse was escalating according to her and she wasn’t going to take it anymore. We sat at a park one day shortly after I moved out of the house and she had told me stories of another friend who was emotionally abused. She could never give me any examples of me abusing her but I guarantee her friends had all kinds of tales about how bad I was. The victim claims never occurred to me to be honest, I remember thinking as if she was trying to find a way to keep up with her friends on a level that she had been abused just like them. She was trying to fit in to a group whose prerequisite was being in a relationship in which they were tortured.

Love Bombing is my favorite and I still don’t think that it was a factor for us. Love bombing is inundating a person with adoration and attention to the point that it becomes overwhelming. It’s my favorite because I held on to the idea of it throughout my process. I love bombed her from day one and unlike narcissism I never stopped. I never lessened it because it’s how I really felt. I loved her. The honeymoon time frame came and went and I was love bombing until the bitter end. She would do this as well. Before I moved out it was an everyday way of life for both of us. I don’t have a good example of when this was a negative because I still believe it was sincere. The only way this was used against me was every time that she returned I was love bombed all over and that brought me back, although I was already waiting for her. It’s something to keep an eye on as a red flag but in my situation and our relationship, I believe we really just loved that way throughout the duration. We both seemed to love overwhelming each other and it’s how we interacted. If anything I was the more guilty party of it, but it was no temporary tactic and I loved her this way from the first day until well after I lost her.

Lack of empathy is one of the most acknowledged traits and is also one of the most overused terms to diagnose someone to be a narcissist when they are not. If you are talking on your cell phone while driving and get pulled over you are in the wrong. That doesn’t make the police officer a narcissist for un-empathetically writing you a ticket and fining you. As soon as certain people aren’t afforded empathy for a situation they believe it should happen, they scream out narcissistic abuse. Lack of empathy is the ability to understand how other people feel and even develop a feeling as if we are experiencing the same. She has none. When it was displayed and at times it was, she would pour on the empathy and then cut it off and move on. For example I was crying one day and honestly I’m not sure if I was being a sappy little bitch or it was something that mattered but she felt my pain and we discussed it. All good, right? Yes, she was there for me in the moment, but as soon as I stood up and let the dog out the conversation was over. As if I’m being emotional and crying and she’s crying along with me. I get up and walk ten feet to the door and let our dog outside, close the door and returned to her in a total evolution of eight seconds and she was dry eyed and on her phone scrolling through social media. The conversation was over and never revisited. That didn’t happen all the time however.

Emotional abuse is a tool used for control. A form of this abuse is called gaslighting. Gaslighting is making someone question their own sanity, perception of reality or memories, or otherwise the first several chapters of this book. This ultimately makes people feel anxious and unable to trust themselves as was perfectly experienced in my own life. The silent treatment isn’t silent in narcissistic terminology and most of the time it’s used to gaslight. Imagine seeing a plane fly overhead with a banner that reads “Call me at nine tonight, I’m thinking of you” but when you dial his or her number at nine o’clock that night there isn’t an answer. This isn’t someone ignoring you but rather someone creating symbolic signs and placing them in places that you will see. When you act on those hints you are reminded that they don’t want to speak. It’s human control on the biggest stage. They are controlling you. My ex-fiancé loved me and I believed that more than I’ve ever believed in anything and the silent treatment was her choice of emotional abuse over me. She would post on Pinterest every day and those hints were supposed to be solved on my end. She loved me until she changed her mind or found something better and then I was expected to also change my mind and walk away. When she was ready, we were together and when she wasn’t there was no mutual or verbal communication. She decided when I could love her and it had to be on her terms. That is absolute control of someone’s emotions and controlling someone’s emotions is summed up pretty simply as abuse. I could only love her when she was ready to love me. When she left I had to punish myself until she forgave me for whatever drove her away and finally explained to me the reason why she left.

Hoovering is defined as attempts made by the narcissist to bring you back into their life. Especially if this is a new behavior for you, the narcissist might hold off for a short time to see if you're really serious about creating that distance. Examples would include never letting me get too far before pulling me back in. This is a book of truths and my feelings could also be described as hoovering even though I’m not so much attempting to be with her as much as I’m just stuck in a moment and can’t change my feelings. Either way, fair is fair. I definitely have attempted to get her back.


The double standard is what many people notice first when interacting with a narcissist. They will scold you or belittle you for things that they themselves are also doing. The simplest reasoning behind this is because they don’t realize that they’re doing it. That’s not always true because certain actions take deliberately doing. For example my ex believed that I was cheating and I was scolded for doing that although I wasn’t even considering. I was a cheater in her mind and all her friends knew it and hated me for it. She told everyone I cheated on her which was a completely false statement and I’m not certain if she really believed it or not. One day I walked up to her on the couch and she was on a dating website. Babe, why are you on that site? I asked. The response I got was that she and the girls at work had it on her phone for entertainment. Remember we were together for a few years and this was about eight months in when I believed things were good. Two things struck me odd. First of all if that was true why was she looking at it at home on the couch and secondly I had used the word “entertainment” for the Craigslist catastrophe of twenty fifteen. She took an honest answer that I gave her about a situation and used that answer in dishonesty as if to put me in my place and use my own words. The biggest example was the most innocent as previously mentioned the time we were both smoking and she said her parents would be happy if I stopped smoking. She was puffing away as she told me that and it will forever go down in my own personal history as the most hypocritical experience of my life.

Narcissists project their own wrong doings onto their victims. You’ve heard it before. The accuser is typically the one who’s doing it. In my case it played out as advertised. I’ve come to believe that she projected her past onto what was our present and painted me as doing the things she has done. The fucked up part for me isn’t that she made me sound bad while still making me believe I was the man of her dreams, rather that her past didn’t fucking matter anymore so it was pointless to do it. In doing this another narcissistic trait was introduced. She slowly divided me from anyone else around her. As the dominoes fell trait after trait was born. Triangulation became a way of life. Narcissistic Triangulation are one-on-one conversations or disagreements that might quickly become two-against-one situations. You might suddenly find yourself left out, your protests ignored and overruled. Dinner with another man on New Year’s or buying her a Jeep for her birthday and being told it was the worst birthday she’s ever had because she didn’t go to dinner with that same man. Almost every sane person in the world would see my point but whatever those friends were told was enough to make them believe I was a complete asshole or even abusive because these situations hurt me. It’s when they tell you how fucked up you are and it’s true because her friends and family see it. They only see it because she told them false information. It’s a vicious rotation and you may not experience it immediately or for a long time but it always occurs eventually with a narcissist.

Narcissists will come and go at their convenience and there is no compromise with that. No matter what you say or do there is not a chance they are returning until they need your attention. When they have convinced you that they are clearing their mind it makes you want to wait for them. They will make you believe they are thinking of you but you need to know the truth. They are with other people. They are not trying to figure things out in peace, they are on dates and in the bedroom and I’m sorry but we all need to hear that. They will do it over and over and sometimes don’t even leave you, there’s just other people thinking they are in a relationship just like you are. They are pulling this off and you do not have a clue. It’s hard to accept but you better get tough because the hardest part is the final discard. This is sure to happen in a time when you believe things are better than ever. You think that you finally made it and they see your love and then the hammer drops and you are left without them, without closure, without answers and without the ability to accept what just happened to you. They were fucking other people the whole time and they will never give you closure. We all want to hear our situation will be better or different. Believing that bullshit will not do you any favors. The truth is they will throw you the fuck away and don’t give a shit about your feelings for them. You believe they are your soulmate or your best friend but to them you are fucking nothing. Even knowing that, it will still kill you in ways you never felt. There is no preparation because if anyone believed this we’d all be happy and stay away but guess what? You can’t. Just like I couldn’t because they are so fucking good that we are blind to it. We don’t see it coming even after it’s already happened. We allow them back and they make us feel fortunate to be in that position. I promise that if you believe your relationship is too good to be true it would benefit you to keep one eye open at all times. It can’t hurt right? If you love someone you get to always look at them and if they are a narcissist you’ll begin to see patterns that you would otherwise never notice. Keep an eye open!

The last day I spoke with her we had plans for the following day to visit a Himalayan salt cave in Peoria Illinois. She was excited to go but called me that morning and said that an HVAC tech had to fix her furnace that day and she was sorry she couldn’t go. She told me how much she loved me and she would call later that day. I never heard her voice again after that conversation. This is known as the final narcissistic discard. When they finally throw you away for good and they aren’t returning. In most cases it’s because they have found a new supply or in simpler terms a new boyfriend or girlfriend. Its typical behavior to discard after they have been found out but not in our story because I didn’t have a fucking clue who she was until much later. Had I been able to see the signs, it would have been obvious to me that this moment would eventually happen but I didn’t have a goddamn clue. We had plans for the future then it was all gone and I was left wondering what I had done wrong to fuck it all up this time.

When they return it’s always a reason that benefits them. Mine never just came back and acknowledged how I felt. There was never a time when she showed up and said she missed me. Many do but mine did not. I had tickets to a concert, her niece got shot or she was shitting into a medical bag attached to her hip and nobody else wanted her. Mine was co-dependent and would have suffered being alone at times had I not loved her unconditionally. It’s never love and always fulfillment of something. They develop reasons that make it impossible for us to say no because our empathy won’t allow us to do so. That’s how they use our love against us. There are many flaws in the dishonesty that they’ve perfected and this is one of them. If a narcissist comes back into our life and were to say they miss us, we’d be none the wiser but they don’t. It’s always a situation in which we believe they understand our love and they appreciate that we our the only person that they want comfort from. It’s all bullshit. They don’t say they miss you because saying that would create the highest likelihood for rejection although we never would turn them away. These are small signs that we never think to notice but they are there. Most nurses are changed the first time they witness someone die in their hands. She took joy in handing me my slow internal death and as long as she was with me, I took joy in dying. She wasn't checking on the love of her life. She was checking in period she was checking in to see if she still had access to me. She was. She was checking in to see that I would still drop everything for her and I always did.

Narcissists typically repeat the same actions and behaviors with different victims. Mine wanted to use the song “I’m yours” as our song. I’m sure she has done that with every man. We ended up using a song from a kids movie and it was actually her choice. I broke the mold. The next one will go right back to what she can remember. She is probably traveling all over and exploring. This lasts a few years and we all explore with the woman of our dreams. It’s the same thing she always does. It’s like a movie playing itself over and over. They find what works to their advantage without the opposite catching on and they stick to those routines.

Narcissistic abuse is fucking real and it strips you of beliefs, feelings, trust and hope. It will knock you down and turn you into dust and then it hits you with tornadic winds and will blow you in a million different directions making the possibility of finding all of your self again impossible. It’s hard to experience and even harder after the experience ends and you finally learn what had happened to you. You feel stupid and embarrassed and that doesn’t exactly make the anxiety and depression pack up and leave you. I didn’t even notice once. I was convinced I was living out my dreams.

Narcissistic abuse isn’t yelling or name calling as many believe. Most times it flies under your radar of detection because it’s secret relationships or other actions and you have no idea. They are incognito and you believe that all of your dreams are coming through.

The part that I needed to understand is if she did it on purpose and I cannot bring myself to believe that for even a second. She knew what she was doing when she hurt me but there is a reason why they call it a personality disorder. The simplest way for me to describe is that it’s labeled as such because it’s a disorder of personality. Yes, I made it that simple on purpose and just flipped the words. It is thwt easy. They walk amongst us and carry on normal relationships

The guy driving down the road with his turn signal on and in the same lane for miles does not realize that his blinker is flashing. It’s that innocent. Dumb people don’t know that they’re dumb; know-it-alls don’t realize they annoy us and narcissist do not know that they are living with that personality disorder. The first time I sat in a therapist’s office I said I’m a narcissist and want help. He laughed at me and promised I’m not. If you were you wouldn’t be here saying you’re a narcissist. That’s not how it works. The next few therapists would have similar moments. So it’s your entire fault because you are a narcissist? Yes Sir. That’s a contradictory statement if I ever heard one, they’d say. Nobody with borderline personality disorder or narcissism is going to take the fall, ask for help and admit who they are because they are empathetic about the things they’ve done. It’s not because they don’t care but because they don’t fucking know what they are. To them everyone else has the issue.

I became tired and skeptical about what was going on. I stayed in a mindset of denial because I would read every book I could on narcissism and I found myself passing it off because I believed someone had to have every trait to be considered as such. I realized that I actually do some of those things as well and that scared me. I had a difficult time with that. Well this applies but that doesn’t. She did this but she has never done that. Oh shit, I did that and fuck I did that once too but she never has done that to me. I don’t know if that’s an issue for other people but it was a roadblock of acceptance for me. Not every trait has to be present and every person in the world has some similar characteristics to narcissism. If you consider a professional football player they are all expected to have similar abilities. Run fast, be strong, be athletic, be smart enough to memorize the playbook and be competitive. You will find this in every single person on every team but only a handful of players can throw a touchdown pass, catch a pass, outrun the defense, kick a field goal or have the balance to stay in bounds while tip toeing the white line. It’s the same with narcissism. They don’t all present every characteristic but they are all on that same playing field.

It’s sad that many people are given this title with no justification behind it. How many times have you had a friend who was severely abused by a narcissists head games and after they willed themselves into leaving and surviving that abuse they were seeing someone else within weeks or even months. I absolutely promise you that friend was not abused by a narcissist. That is something that the narcissist does. They leave you in ruins and destruction mentally and they move on to the next partner. That seems to be a common theme with the actual abused. We cannot move on immediately. Sometimes its years and in the saddest cases, it’s never. They make us trust their love and then they leave us with the hope of it. When we know what hit us, it leaves us unable to open up to anyone new. Meanwhile they are already beginning the game again by making someone new feel they are the one that allowed them to open up again so quickly and love again despite the abuse they suffered recently.

Someone once said that you can learn a lot about your partner by the way the relationship ends. That statement is completely true. Abused people remain single for extended periods of time and the abusers are already in that honeymoon phase with someone else. Most of the time both parties can move on even when it’s ugly but that’s only because they didn’t get along.

Forgiveness is your choice. I’m not here to tell you that you should let things go or forgive any abuse you are suffering at the hands of someone you love. I chose to forgive because I see things differently and I formed the opinion that narcissists have no clue they are. They don’t wake up in the morning and decide to hurt someone’s feelings. They don’t selfishly decide on hurting others to benefit themselves. I’m convinced they don’t. They just live in a different paradigm in which all that we describe is normal for them for whatever reason. It is a disorder and I believe it is just that. They don’t just blame everyone for everything that goes wrong because they don’t want to own it. Fuck, they honestly believe it’s everyone else’s fault. They do believe that down to the core. They don’t want to be fixed because they have no fucking clue. That’s not a lie they tell you to cause hurt, it’s how the fuck they feel. You can’t create empathy you either have it or you don’t and nobody chooses not to have it on purpose. They don’t understand how you can be hurt because someone else hurts and they never purposely don’t give a shit, they don’t understand that you can feel it or that remorse even exists. They don’t know what it is. We use words like magic or optical illusion to describe a thing that aren’t real and that’s what remorse or empathy is to a narcissist. They know the definition but they don’t actually understand it’s a feeling that a person can have. They don’t look down on you and it’s not a personal feeling. They simply are just living in the mindset that they matter more than you. They believe their situation or dilemma needs a solution before any other problem in the world.

Narcissists do not know that the rest of the world views things differently. Think, the person that skips a line whether its dinner or the grocery store. This is not a trait that every narcissist practices but the people who do are likely to carry the disorder. They aren’t thinking that they’re better than you or they deserve to go first. They believe that why they need to is important and everybody will understand that their business is more of a priority than yours.


The trademark aftereffects of narcissistic abuse are this. I believed in her so much and I was only willing to see her for what she was but never once did I see her for something she wasn’t. The problem is that she was a whole different person and I never had a clue. Her friends and family only see her as something she is not and her entire life is keeping that thought of her believable not by action but rather deception. I believed in her so much that every time she left I waited and she knew this. In conversations with friends I was a psychopath who wouldn’t let her go when she clearly told me she didn’t want to be together. In conversations with me she loved me so much for being patient with her. Everyone gets a different story and we all believe it. I’m not the only victim of her. Everybody is. Friends and family who really care about her are duped. I’m just the only one that knows this. I waited because I loved her and she was the one. She knew this but the people around her were told I was out hiring prostitutes in a truck stop parking lot or at some underground gay club living out my nonexistent dark secrets and homosexual fantasies. She knew it was all bullshit but she became the center of it all. I could only see what I wanted to see in her and I was wrong. Her circle only sees what they want and they are wrong. I waited like a man in love for the woman I adored and It broke my soul. It destroyed my fucking mind and made me question everything about me.


Don't get me wrong. It never felt bad for me until she was no longer here. I feel guilty transitioning into the subject of narcissism. It was a fairytale for me with or without the narcissism because I had what I always wanted. Pinpointing exactly what broke me has been a challenge. Let’s recap the chain of events.

We met in August of two thousand and fifteen. Three months later is when the Craigslist debacle went down and a month after that it was over and we were together again and separated a few times briefly. Craigslist became a joke that we revisited often in humor the entire time we were together. A few months later we were living together again and we remained there until September of two thousand seventeen which was three months after our engagement. A few weeks after that we reconnected and then separated again after she told me she was going to see that friend that was always a secret to spend Thanksgiving with him in California. By the way, if you think I was mad at her for that you’re wrong. I gave her a list of restaurants that she would love because I used to live there. We reconnected before the end of the year and the New Years with the same guy happened the same year. We would connect and separate for months at a time until March of twenty eighteen when I stopped by her house and the another guy was there. That was when she placed an order of protection on me that was mutually reduced to an injunction. She found me five months later at the bar in October of two thousand eighteen, disappeared in November because the Irish guy she really liked stopped talking to her. She reappeared in January and then went silent until she called me from Florida to come and visit her a few weeks later. In March of two thousand and nineteen she went to that concert with me and split up shortly after. A few weeks following that she called me from Florida and that’s when her accident happened. We spent that summer together until around November when she had a reversal surgery and her colostomy bag was removed and she dropped me again. She continued sending codes or self-placed signs for several months until early two thousand and twenty one.

From the moment we stopped living together in September of two thousand seventeen until the last time we spoke I was led to believe that she was working behind the scenes on figuring out a way for us to be together full time again.

Any financial issues or disagreements were left behind when we separated in September of twenty seventeen. That was the last time we ever had any of those problems between us so if you didn’t catch any of that before now, all of our problems were moved on from long before she discarded me.

Once the Craigslist split up was behind us, life was perfect until I moved out a few years later. The kids had great lives and we were a couple that was envied by most. We had a fairytale and that included the children. Life was fun and always exciting. We lived and we held nothing back with our love. There are signs that I wouldn’t see until much later but that doesn’t mean I’m going to back track and say it wasn’t the happiest time of my life because it was. Those years didn’t stop being the pinnacle of my life just because it ended. Every time we reconnected since September of two thousand seventeen I was ensured that she loved me and we would find a way and every time we separated there were many guys to take my place until it happened again. I believed in her so much that nothing she was doing without me could change my mind about her.

I loved her unconditionally and hopefully by now that’s pretty apparent. My love for this woman was the definition of unconditional.

Sometimes the best way to describe something is by using words that make us look bad. If you’ve read this far you know that doesn’t bother me. I was insanely in love with her. I was obsessed with her and addicted to being with her. She was part of who I was. Those words are more slang than psychological profiling. I loved her so much that I was obsessed with making her happy. I’ve never driven by the house with my music down and headlights off or knocked on the door hoping for the best. I don’t have a uniform that makes me look like a pile of leaves so I can stake her out from the bushes or climb trees to see how she lives her life. There has never been crazy actions from me. It’s always just been love and I didn’t look for her when she told me not to. I’ve messaged or texted more times than normal people might have and I still want to text currently at some point every day. I think in my fucked up mind that was me thinking that maybe she just didn’t know how I really felt and once I found the right words to explain it, her love would follow. The only way I could make that happen was by explaining it. That’s the formula I used every time and I felt she came back every time not caring that I had texted when she was gone. It was just the way things were. I could tell her something in text and not hear from her for three months and when she found me again she would immediately answer the question I asked ninety some days ago. It was never a woman telling a man to leave her the fuck alone and a man who just didn’t understand that. It was never that with us but I later learned that’s exactly what her friends were made to believe. It wasn’t that and I’m not being self -protective, it was really never one person not giving up when someone told them to give up.

She would tell me she was going to therapy and made a really big breakthrough. She’d say, We talked about how my parents are over stepping boundaries by getting involved in our relationship and how I need to stand up to them. I’m gonna make this happen baby. We will be together. All the while her circle was thinking I was overstepping respect for her wishes to never see me again. It was insane.


It was crazy and I never thought it was a red flag. One night we had gotten high and decided to go grab something from the store. She stayed in the car and when I returned I mentioned her friend was inside. Oh shit. Hide. I have to hide. She doesn’t know I’m with you. What? Babe, what are you talking about? We are the greatest couple in the world and love each other. We are in our fucking forties. Why would we ever have to hide from anyone? I did not see it. I loved her so much that none of it registered that something may be off course. I just figured she had told them something about me and I was used to that by now. Shit talking didn’t amount to much. Joke was on them because she loves me and soon they’d all know it. I’m obviously not Nostradamus. How blind can a man be? How much can a person love a person? She would be putting me down and being critical and the whole time I thought she just loved me enough to be honest with me.


I’ll tell you how much. One night she was sleeping and mentioned another guy as she dreamed. I was hurt but instead of trying to make her feel uncomfortable, I began telling her that my fantasy was for her to be with another man. Holy fuck that would have killed me but I couldn’t call her out, I felt as if she would be happier if I just went along with it. She did this again after the engagement and I began sleeping on the couch. I wanted to hold her tight every night but I just smoked weed and slept on the couch because it destroyed me when it happened. I wanted to remove myself from the possibility of hearing it again. She would later use that against me saying that I couldn’t even sleep in the same bed as her.


She would use Pinterest as a platform to send signals. When she traveled to Florida and wanted me to visit there was a picture of an airplane, a restaurant in Bonita Springs and a Nike swoosh. When she called me a few days later she told me that was her saying that she was at her parents condo and for me to buy a plane ticket and come down, just do it! This became a world for us as we didn’t have to speak to get our messages to each other. We understood as if we were one person.

What broke me was I wasn’t good enough to hear her voice. What killed me inside was that no matter how many texts I sent, her knowledge of my love for her would never be altered. She knew if I didn’t send any messages or if I sent a million. She knew and still knows exactly how I feel for her and although she changed everyone else’s outlook on how I feel, she knew she was feeding them bullshit. It’s obvious that she didn’t feel the same way but she never told me that. Her words were full of hope and a future together that would happen eventually. What broke me was learning it was all a lie. I never misunderstood any portion, it was just a woman playing games and I didn’t break until that reality hit. She was irreplaceable to me and that’s really how much I loved and believed in her love. There was no pain inflicted that could make me love her less because I really believed in the big picture on my own and because of her confirmation of wanting the same thing with me. When I was shown that it was all fake and considering that my feelings were true for the rest of my life, I formed the opinion that my beliefs were all wrong in love, people and ultimately my beliefs in what life was supposed to be like. I’ve tried hard to explain it and it’s never been just a guy that got dumped. Jesus Christ, I could have handled that shit if it was all that had happened but it wasn’t.


I hated myself so much that I didn't even want friends. I would hang out with people and tell them not to put pictures of me on social media or not to tell anybody they were with me and the reason why I did that is because I didn't want to drag them down into the sewer that I believed I was. I didn't want other people looking down on them because she made me believe that I was so fucking horrible. I don't cry because she left. I lost myself because of how she did it over the course of three years. I didn't lose hope because I lost her, it was because of what she took from me when she went away.


The break that happened after I was broken was a group session a friend suggested I attend with fellow veterans. I went into that meeting feeling as if I was fighting for a one in a trillion love that had swayed off course. I sat there thinking that none of those other guys had a clue what love is because they never spent a moment with her. I had something so much more special and although I wouldn’t have spoken up in that setting, my story was more love and hurt than they could comprehend. That’s when my Earth crumbled beneath me.

Every story that those men told was a mirror of my own. Their paths were parallel to the route I took to get in the same place with them. The examples were eerily similar as if it were a setup and everyone had lines to get me to see something that I was too fucking in love or blind to see without assistance. There were stories of old friends from high school, friends that couldn’t be around when they were, blaming parents, dates with other guys because of the way they spoke to their female partners. It was like looking at myself and I just sat there in a room with seven men I had never met and I cried. I already know that this will be the last relationship I ever had because it was all of my dreams come true. She was everything I wanted not because she was there but regardless of whether she was or not. She was the one and my search is over even if I never see her again. It was special and nobody could relate to the level of love we had and then there I was in a room with seven others who had the exact same woman, it seemed. My love for her has become my life and that feeling will live on without her ever knowing. It’s not about getting her back or being together, it was because these were my true feelings. I loved her enough to never want to be with anybody else, even though that meant being alone. She was the same as all of their narcissistic partners down to the most insignificant detail. I was destroyed right there. I was frozen in that plastic classroom style chair and just crying and looking at the wall. I think the other guys in the group new what I had just realized and one tried to hug me. Get the fuck off me I said as I pushed and then he persisted before the others stood up. They all hugged me. They all felt exactly what I did. They just witnessed a man mentally break as every dream I’ve ever had escaped from the broken leavy in my punctum’s. They watched in real time as I gave up and immediately questioned everything I thought I knew about her, about love and about life. Everything I ever believed was stolen from me in that very moment. That meeting was on December fourteenth of two thousand nineteen.

When it was over I went to the woods and sat there looking at the three trees I had planted for our kids. That was the day I decided to die. That was the day my soul was ripped away from me. That was the first day my own selfishness would outweigh my love for her. I understand the therapy timeline doesn’t add up. If this was the case I found out she was a narcissist before therapy. Well, that’s exactly what happened. The human mind believes what it wants to believe and the burden of proof isn’t something that could ever affect that. That was my first taste of therapy which was a group that met on Saturdays. The following Monday I called and scheduled my first one on one therapy session. My mind wouldn’t allow me to keep that thought alive without help. I would find myself at fault for every situation and I thought about how I caused them. I made myself believe my story was different from those other guys. I created a way to place blame on myself in every situation and threw away the crazy fucking notion that she was a narcissist and had any part of the blame. I heard those guys talk with my own ears, tried to kill myself and then flat out refused the idea of that being reality. I was back to square one and that’s where this book started. It was time to fix myself instead of blame her. That group session was the first time I realized she wasn’t anything that I thought she was and it made me want to leave this world. Everything I knew was wrong but I found excuses to dispose of those thoughts and to this day I’ve never again allowed myself to believe she wasn’t real. I never wanted to return to that thought and I never went to that group again.


Narcissists think that they're smarter than everybody else and she was. She still is. Nobody has a clue who she is or what is really going on behind the scenes. She outsmarted me and if I didn’t love her as much as I do I would have never known I would have just been heartbroken for the rest of my life but I did the work. I figured it out. I solved the puzzle because I had to. It destroyed my life so badly that I had to solve it and when I did I realized that she is living a complete different life than what she really is. Nobody in the world Will ever figure out what she's doing because she's so fucking good at doing it.


I replaced my beliefs with darkness and that should have you up to speed but we’re almost to the next chapter and I’m about to have a major operation that no doctor can perform. I’m about to get fucking surgical on my mind. Two and a half years after my suicide attempt and now you’re all caught up on my confusing writing style. I just needed to go back and visit my hardest day for you to understand who I became.











The last goodbye, I swear


In a book full of embarrassing truths I won’t begin lying now. I would love to say I forgot all about her and have moved on but I haven’t. I still think of her every day and although I still cannot out run the memory of both her love and the hurt she made me feel, I continue to try. She’s the only thing I couldn’t erase from my list of bad experiences and collection of happy moments but that’s where my drive comes from.

I no longer do anything for a reaction. A great example would be the smartass that I was when practicing little acts of kindness. I would open or hold the door for someone and when they didn’t say thank you I’d loudly let them know they were welcome in a sarcastic tone. I obviously opened the door so they didn’t have to but why did my kindness get deleted due to the lack of their voicing appreciation? I just smile and move on now. It’s not up to me to judge people’s reactions. I open that door for me to know I’m kind. I know who I am and many don’t know who they are. Everyone will tell you they do but there are locked up parts that you have to endure the worst hells to discover. I’ve traveled so deep into that inferno and put myself through more than the average person enough to know that most individuals that claim to know who they are and what they’re capable of have absolutely no idea. I believe that they believe they know, but trust me you don’t. I still don’t know what I’m capable of because every impossible task I present myself with I achieve. I win and don’t cheat to win. I’m my only spectator. To reach that outcome I lose and that’s how you find yourself. You don’t learn who you are in the winner’s circle but that’s the standard that most latch on to. You learn who you are when you want to quit and you don’t. You learn what you’re made of when you have excuses to stop and you push through them to be more for yourself.

When I contracted Covid-19 I felt like death. In all fairness in truth I don’t know if I am a person that overreacts to sickness and not feeling well. I might be a guy that believes I’m much sicker than I really am but to me, I felt like death. My ass laced up my running shoes and I ran until I was sick and couldn’t move another muscle. After that I caught the little breath that I could and ran the entire course back to my car. What I put myself through to reach self-satisfaction is borderline sadistic. I’m not sure how serious the virus was but I told myself I was being a pussy as I threw up on the side of the road and forced myself to keep going. I challenge myself to be the most honest person I can be in my own head. Every day I ask myself if I can keep going. I don’t ask if I’m hurt or injured or tired. I don’t wonder if I would rather be somewhere else. All that’s obvious and typically can be affirmed. I ask myself a simple yes or no question. Can I keep going? Period. That’s the only answer I want and I demand it.

I’ve learned that mental health is much like stretching and works like the human body. When you stretch you have no choice than to reach a limit where you cannot go any further so you have the opportunity to quit or force yourself to feel pain that eventually expands your threshold. I do that to my body and mind every day. I push myself to my absolute limit and then I learn how much further I’m willing to go. Negatives can be turned to positives but you have to want that for yourself. We focus on the good and the comfortable and many of us stop when we get there. Those people have no idea what they’re capable of. The bad experiences and negative feelings can push you so much further than you thought possible and in doing this, your mind becomes something incredible.

I can’t explain who I am or why I am me. I’ve searched endlessly for those answers. I don’t know if I was ever even in as serious of a relationship as I brought myself to believe but I really think it was real. I’ve learned without a single doubt that she is a narcissist and I also believed that I overcame that obstacle for the most part. If we were in the woods she would make it a point to say “Hey babe, I just wanted to say thank you. This is me and I cannot be me with anyone else” or in bed she would tell me “please don’t let me ruin this”. I was much more worried that I would ruin it financially but I think I got through to her and I believe she wanted to make it work. You can look at her saying “Please don’t ever give up on me” as control to ensure when she was gone I wouldn’t have a relationship with anyone else. That was never a possibility but I honestly believe that she had every intention to be together in the end for a good portion of our relationship. I put my pain to the side when I say that. I swallow my pride and say that I believed in her even though her method of stringing me along killed me. I think she had good intentions right up to the moment that she discarded me. That’s what I choose to believe and I will not accept that she was faking me out. None of it matters now but I wanted to get that in. She is a narcissist and I believe I made her want to be in a real relationship. Call me stupid, I don’t give a fuck. I didn’t put myself through a higher education of life to know that I was hurt, I already knew that shit. I went through all of this to learn if she ever truly loved me because I need to know it was real. I’m fully accepting that it’s over but I had to know if it was real. I believe it was. There are so many moments that we shared in privacy and we went beyond intimacy and explored each other’s minds and I refuse to believe that wasn’t real. Narcissists don’t know they are wrong when they are. That’s how I met her. She knew everything and it was cute. I began to believe she was the most intelligent woman. Before we were done she owned every mistake in her life. She told me the things that were wrong of her to do. Not with me, but situations that happened prior to meeting me. As if she knew and wanted to change it. I think she tried and maybe I wasn’t as receptive as I should have been. I think she knew all along but in the end it won and in the process, I lost. I lost everything.

A short time before D-day she sent me a screenshot of a conversation with a girl from a year earlier that was on my Facebook wall. She was dating several guys but wanted answers. Did I date her? I never met the girl but we had been friends on social media for years and we discussed going to a ball game together. I was confronted with this as if she wasn’t dating all those guys. I knew the end was coming again and she was searching for the excuse she needed. She said that she really was affected by the fact that I couldn’t be at her son’s birthday party in late twenty nineteen because of her parents. It made her think about the rest of her life and I could never be at a birthday party so that had her thinking about our future. She dressed it up with hating her parents. Why can’t they just mind their own business?, she asked. I just want you and everyone else prevents that from happening. I believed it and never blamed her for planting her own seeds. At that time I didn’t realize that I was the only one she was planting seeds with. She would return home from therapy and tell me she was ready to stand up to her parents. She loved me and swore we were going to happen no matter what. At the same time she was telling her friends and family how sick of me she was. That mother fucker is driving me crazy, I can’t wait to get rid of him. All the while telling another man she loved him. She couldn’t stand her best friends husband and talked shit about him constantly to me. She was pulling the same shit with everyone.

To have closure is defined as a letting go of what once was. I need closure on this one and it’s impossible to answer that defined question because of the last three words. What once was. I don’t know what it was. That’s the only reason I can’t move on. I know what it is now but I do not know what it once was. That keeps me awake at night and decreases my appetite. It tugs and pulls at every emotion in my body. It forces me to destroy my body through running every day. Three years of therapy and education. I’ve read dozens of books and listened to hundreds of narcissistic audio books. I have changed everything about my life and the only reason why is because I need to understand if she ever loved me. I need that answer.

I never asked to be this emotional or weak. It’s just who I am. I am changing that and growing stronger by the day and I put myself through insane physical limits to make that happen. Sometimes I confuse my weakness for love. I said I wasn’t going to sling mud on her name and then it became part of my story. I would like to apologize for that to her and to the readers. It’s where my emotional train led me and I needed to say it. She’s accountable for her actions just like I am for mine. I always tried to show her respect even when I was furious. I always took the high road even if I fought it first. The end result was always me giving in either because I was in love or I was weak. I don’t know which. All I knew was I would lose her if I didn’t, so I did.

My dreams of writing didn’t include this book. It was supposed to be about her being a mother and glowing as she walked into the room for a slow dance. Stories about our wedding and making fun of our kids. This book was meant to be inside jokes and interactions that nobody would understand but we would read it over and over to each other. It was never supposed to be this. This wasn’t the plan but I think it’s both irrelevant and crazy to tell you that to this day I still love her but you already knew that.

I have a hard time believing that life was supposed to be like this for me. Of all the things that I could have learned and all of the knowledge that I could have, I never believed that being broken after you're already broken would be the happiest experience of my life. I'm trying to think of the right words to describe it. Stand in the mirror holding a mirror and you can see your reflection over and over and over and over and over and just gets smaller and smaller but you can see your reflection forever. That's how I would describe my pain. She broke me and then she broke me again and again and again and I've never healed from any of it. I just watched myself getting less and less. Every piece that remained kept loving her.

I’ve always been real. I don’t hide my emotions or feelings and I’m aware of how most people view me. I stay true to my heart because I don’t force it. I will thrash my body and mind to grow stronger but my heart doesn’t change it’s feelings. I never bet against love that I feel.

It's so hard to explain what I felt for her. I didn't plan on Having interactive like samples or exercises But I want you to consider this. The next time you are around a large group of friends or family whether it be a wedding reception or a family reunion or anything that you can think of. Say something out loud where everybody can hear you about your spouse or your partner that is not true. Just come up with any off the wall story. I guarantee that no matter how close you are with your partner they will call you out for giving incorrect information and they will look around to your friends and family and say that isn't true. I could not do that with her. It wasn't because I was weak. It was because I loved her so much that I could not make her look stupid in front of other people even at my own expense. I couldn't do it. There was no pride. It was pure love.

I've always had her back. Even in this book I had her back. Do you know what some people do when you have their back? They turn their back on you all the time because they know that you'll always have it. I had her back when I told you we woke up one morning and I asked her what she would do if her parents stopped by. I told you that I wasn't going to tell you what she said fully. That's when I felt like she shouldn't be held accountable for her own actions. What she said that day was that her parents knew she's a whore and she'll just tell them that she picked somebody up from the bar instead of telling them that I was there. Her parents knew she was a whore. Well guess what? I knew that too but I didn't give a fuck. It means nothing to me and I wasn't performing it with anybody else but I loved her even knowing that. My love was fucking stupid and my love made mistakes but my love was real and she could never take that away.

I deserved more than to be a secret but the only one I ever loved refused to let our love be loud. Now I roar but it's only for me to hear. I know that's the reality but somewhere far away I know she can still hear it. I know it. I tried so hard to tell my story and maintain a style that would lift her up and the whole time I’ve been thinking about the perfect last sentence. My walk off that would show you exactly how I feel. My raw emotions that show complete respect for a woman I have committed my solitary life to. I’ve learned one thing for sure. I react to pain and I love it. Pain in our relationship kept me in love for the rest of my life. Pain while running allows me to be mentally strong enough to do that in a world of relationship opportunities so readily available. I loved her even more as she was hurting me and I only love me because I hurt myself. Both allow me to grow into something I’m proud of every day.

Some people never reach their dreams but I have. That storm has come and now it’s gone. I clap for others now and I continue to applaud her happiness and success and life. I will always cheer for her life to be complete because of the five years that I once felt mine was with her.

This was my story of love and loss. It’s my story of how we as people can create depression in others and some of us thrive on that power. It’s not a story of redemption, rather it’s finding a way to run around the pain. It’s about human nature and how we can look someone right in the eyes and tell them how special they are to us knowing that we’re in the process of destroying them. It’s about having so much love for someone that we become vulnerable enough to let them ruin us and having so little respect for those that love us that we find joy in ruining them. It’s a journal of how love for the wrong person can turn into self hate. It’s unconditional love and it’s about weaknesses and having love that defeats everything else. It’s not a sad story or one of self pity because I contributed just as much. It’s about knowing yourself and now I do. I just don’t know what to trust and without knowing if it was real for both of us I’ll never have the balls to try anything with anyone again. My life is easily explained with seven words – I don’t know what to believe in. Everything I have ever believed in turned out to be wrong. I just don’t know what and who is real. The most love I’ve ever felt in my life was reciprocated with hope and faith and dreams and it was all an act. If you reach up and touch the stovetop only to burn your finger, you don’t touch the burner again. That would be a good analogy for my outlook on relationships but you do have that option and it’s a choice to continuously burn yourself like I did . My love life is more accurately described by saying if you drown in the first part of a triathlon you can’t finish the race. I am running an unwinnable race.

I don't know if I'm a happy person but I don't feel sad. I just feel like my world crumbles every day. In the end things that you put so much effort into just go away sometimes. I finally took her pictures down off my wall and I stopped writing a letter to her every day. I had six hundred and thirty three letters. The goal was to write a letter to her every day that we were apart for any reason and this even dated back to when we were happy and living together. There were times where she came back but I never gave for the letters. My intention was to give them all to her parents the day we got married so they would know and finally understand that their daughter is with a man who genuinely loved her. What really ended up happening is it just became a few minutes of counting and a paragraph in a book. I finally gave up and The day that I burned them I cried and I cried hard. That was the first moment I accepted there wouldn’t be a wedding.

She would call me out of nowhere or text and say "Marry me". This began a month after we met and never stopped. I truly felt as if I was the man of her dreams. She told me that she was talking with her ex husband after our first date and told him I was the man she would marry again. She would leave notes, voicemails or just walk up to me and say those words. If we were hiking and somewhere pretty she always acted disappointed when we left. I thought this was the day I’d become your fiancé, she'd say as she squeezed my hand tighter from the passengers side of the vehicle. I cannot put facts in front of feelings. I just can’t accept the characteristics over my love for her.

They say that addiction is giving up everything for one thing. Recovery is when you give up one thing for everything. I exist somewhere in the middle of those two worlds. My existence is outrunning my greatest addiction and the only way to beat that addiction is to beat myself. I’m trying to outrun my past but she’s always just a little faster than me.

Therapist have gotten second and even third opinions and every professional that has dealt with me assures me that I do not miss her or love her but it is an effect of the emotional abuse spanning at least three years and most likely all five even if I didn’t believe I was experiencing it. My feelings of love are caused by the trauma bonding of abandonment and the PTSD. I call bullshit but they guarantee their careers on it. How does a man not know his own feelings? That's all that we have in this world and I still refuse to believe my greatest love story and the most incredible connection was fake. That’s why I’m me. I’m different and when I say I love you, I mean it down to the smallest particle in my body.

Relationships these days aren't for me. They’ve become expendable win or lose temporaries and that very clearly means one must lose. Why can't we win together and when we lose we do that together too? From there we find a way to win together again. If we aren't meant to be we can still both win in other places while cheering each other on. She wasn’t having any of that. If I didn't lose she could not have given herself closure. She didn't quit until she knew I couldn't win. I just wanted us both to never taste defeat

I learned a lot from this journey. I realize that people have no idea who I am. I'm not fucking special or different in anybody’s eyes. More like every man alive yet I kept saying it. My heart is different, my mind is different, or I see things differently. If you put me in a lineup, you couldn't tell the difference between me and ten other guys that have the exact same look. Inside I know I'm very rare and I know the world doesn't see that. These became my obsessions. There are two choices that we have. The world continues to think you are a dime a dozen or let that fucking inner you out for them to see. I chose the second.


I learned that no matter how much you love someone they can switch on you. I went to an intimate place within myself to share my story. It's shameful and it's fucking embarrassing but writing didn't get hard or damn near impossible until it was time to reveal her narcissism. It killed me. I wanted to quit everything so I didn't have to say one bad thing about her. That's why this is the most important paragraph for me. She didn’t know and still doesn't. That's how it works. People throw the word up after a break up as if narcissism is just another word for their last relationship. There is a pattern of behavior and not everyone is a narcissist. My story is written in third person diagnosis and it's not a true diagnosis but strongly assumed given the examples. It’s not up to me or my therapists to diagnose her and she never volunteered to be observed. The narcissistic title was given through the thousands of text messages, examples, emails and voicemails that I provided to my therapist. I never mentioned her name for that reason. I still protected her through exposure. I don't care. I still loved her. She put effort into making me laugh. She made me feel like the luckiest person alive. She was absolutely awesome. She wasn’t extravagant like me but she would stop me mowing just to say she loved me. She would open up my mind. She made me feel good and it wasn't fake. She hit me with some horrible shit but then the other woman existed. She was the greatest everything through my eyes but she broke me. She broke me and then broke those pieces and the pieces after that and I still followed my heart because I believed it was made to be broken for her. I haven’t always been an honest man but when I said she was the love of my life it was every truth I’ve ever told. We could end and that’s fine because I cannot go elsewhere and love the woman of my dreams. There isn’t a break up and then meeting the next love of my life. All I did was tell the truth. I was for real. I meant those fucking words every time I said them.

My struggle in life is that I don’t know the truth. I have so much doubt that she ever really loved me and without knowing for sure, trust is something I cannot accept from anyone. I don’t know what to believe from anyone or anything and that’s the worst possible outcome for a true believer like me. As long as I don’t know if she really loved me, I won’t know what to believe in. That’s a baseline I need for trust, faith, hope and love. If she wasn’t real, I will never know what to believe with anyone. It scares me. In order to heal from narcissistic abuse you have to accept that they were never who they said they were. I can’t overcome the thought of her being who I believed she was.

Pretty dramatic person, aren’t I? That’s the problem I have with this world. So much masculinity that men are scared to show feelings and emotions. That’s all that I have. My affection and the love that I give is the most important thing to me. I don’t care about money, status or reputation. I know I’ve made mistakes but I love greater than a majority of men. People think that mental toughness means not taking any shit from anyone but I promise it’s harder to be receptive and unconditional with your feelings. That’s mental strength in its most challenging form. The world wants to control their feelings and then there’s me. That’s the only pure thing we really have. I don’t want to control or be able to change my feelings. I want them to guide me and if it hurts, so be it. She was the only person in this world who learned that and she used it against me. She took my vulnerability and she burned it alive. She took a man who was true to his feelings for her and she learned it was satisfying to control them instead. In time I began destroying myself through those same methods. Mentioning my feelings became arguments and eventually I began hating myself for having those feelings as well.

Since August eleventh of two thousand and fifteen I believed the sunrise happened just to see her. I believed she lit up the world. Now I realize the sun wants to see me too. I looked for her in everything for so long that I couldn't see anything else. Every morning I wake up hours before that first glow so it knows I loved her first. I am miles into my day when the first sign of light comes and it helps me believe that every day is new and every day it helps me see through my darkness.

I take a lot of pride knowing that I held onto what I wanted and no amount of pain can ever take that away. I was labeled as the biggest cheater that ever lived and here I still am practicing loyalty to my heart and to the woman I lost long ago. I’m quite possibly the most loyal person that has ever roamed this Earth and I had to accept that only I knew that. People change the oil in their cars, change their clothes, replace their toothpaste or deodorant and change the people that they allow in their lives all in the same manner. I’m not like everybody else. I’m not like her. My love defeated time and pain and none of its crazy. It’s always just simply been love.

I truly believed in love and her love was my every belief. I look at everything from a different point of view than anyone else. I believe in a deeper love than any person could feel. The woman that became those beliefs had the blueprint and determination to break every one of them. I used my heart to let her destroy mine.

Still I hope when she looks into that mirror it lies to her. She’s perfect the way she is. I hate her but I love her and I want her to see that beauty every day. The mirror can keep what’s inside of her from her because I’m willing to take the ugliness so she never has to. I’ve never wanted to be the most handsome guy in the room or the loudest. I never cared if I was the most successful or even if they liked me. I set other goals. My only objective in life was for everyone else in that room to see me and say to themselves “God that man loves her". Those were my dreams and I’m really that guy. That is honestly who I am. When I held her, I held the world in my hands and no man could have more than I did. Knowing that I felt this way she lied to everybody. For three solid years she happily watched as I struggled in her quick sand. The more I loved and the more I believed in her I sank and the whole time she knew it.


I made it

Knowing what I know now, I’m one of the lucky ones. I never believed I would become the things I have. I would have laughed at my eighteen year old and even my thirty nine year old self if someone told me that I would be telling this story right now instead of any other version. The greatest gift I have given myself was two years away from anybody to learn about me. I have taken the time to reflect on every moment in my life and very few people will ever do that. I might as well have been on an island because I have shut out the world and focused on learning who I’ve been, who I am and who the fuck I will be. I’ve learned what people hate and love about me and I let it hurt my feelings enough to change. I learned why people hurt me and why they hate me and I changed those parts. The catch twenty two is how much I learned about those same people and what they’re unable to see about themselves. It hurt me to learn how many people are horrible inside and they all believe that they’re a good person because of the act they put on for everyone else and to themselves. I was blind, naïve, and gullible about myself and about the basket that I laid all my eggs in. I really felt this way about her. I thought I was the luckiest man in the world even as she was leaving or gone. I believed love was real and lasted more than a few years at a time. I remain single and that won’t change. I know my feelings and emotions about every part of life except love and her. I’ll never have that answer and having closure wouldn’t even help now. I don’t believe in love or people at all. I still don’t know if I loved being a narcissist’s fun and games or if I loved a woman I knew. Are the therapists right about me? I don’t know if my feelings were for a real person and that was the great love story I always dreamed of. No horror film in the world could scare you more than that shit. I don’t know if I dedicated my life to someone who knew all along it wouldn’t happen. I don’t even know my own feelings and one person could answer that question and fix me. It doesn’t matter anymore if she loved me or not but it’s a truth I need and will never be alright until I get that. I believed her and chose to change everything she said was wrong with me. At forty three years old I transformed every part of who I was to something better and became a success story. I’m proud of myself but I don’t celebrate that because every day I’m only proud if I do more than the last. Eventually I decided that I would never get the only answer I needed to complete me. Therapists continue to assure me that it’s a psychological fucking trauma that is making me believe I miss her and not my actual feelings. I still feel like I miss her. I have made progress with my co-dependency that isn’t by the normal standards. I didn’t always need a partner; I just wanted her and only her. Normal co-dependency would be immediately moving on to the next partner. I’ve identified every action that hurt her. I’ve picked apart all of her actions against me as well. My final conclusion is that she’s a narcissist who successfully painted me as the same. I believe she loved exactly as I loved her until our first breakup and from that moment there was always a secret somewhere. She began hiding things from me and smearing my name to everyone around her. I believe that was an insurance policy for her but at the same time she tried because she had a fairytale with me too. Sometimes those secrets drew her away and I believe she eventually picked me every time because her feelings were true. I feel that is accurate until I moved out the last time. Since that moment I remained in love with a cold and calculated narcissist. I believe she knew how strong my love was all along but when she broke off the engagement she learned how unconditionally I would wait and do anything for her. This is when the true selfishness began and it was at the expense of every positive emotion I had or will ever have.

I believed in love and was so far out of the box with my creative way of what it should be. I was a true believer that was convinced I found the greatest love story and it was with someone who was brutal enough to know that and take it away from me with zero fucks given. For three years my mind was tortured and I could have made the choice to stop waiting and not feel that but you don’t understand. It was never going to change since day one and I never knew it was happening. She always knew that when she left it would do all of this to me and that’s a ruthless way to murder a person’s mind. She knew I would be this man and could have written the book herself word for word and she was ferocious enough to add to it. She turned my feelings for her into a savage destruction I would use on myself. I helped her viciously pick me apart for three years and I felt lucky that it was happening.

She took the parts of me that she wanted and she drowned the rest. I had to become my own court, jury, doctor, hospital, support, bully, enemy and friend. She left me in ruins and she knew. She knew she was doing it and she allowed me to believe in her more than anyone ever could. I was strapped to her table as she surgically tore me to pieces and I loved it. I loved her for doing it and it was all real for me. Knowing this will never allow me to find love or give it a chance. My entire belief system was her. Everything I thought the world should be was what she was. Happiness had an image and it fucks me up to know that could have been an illusion. That sole possibility is the sharp edge that I stand on and it cuts into me. I take that pain because I don’t know which way I can trust to jump off. Every day it protrudes more and will exit the other side some day. Its slow torture and the most horrible death as I know it’s coming, I just don’t know when it will happen. I don’t dream anymore I just go day by day without the courage of leaping in any direction. The suffering is the less of the two evils for me because I might land with someone like her again. You never know who people are even when you are completely certain and that’s the scariest lesson you can ever learn. Nobody in this world is who we believe they are and neither are we. It might take years to see it and many never will but I do. Nobody in this world is who we think they are. That is fucking frightening to see on the level that I have.

I can do great things in life and maybe someday I’ll change the world. I can have a fantastic life but when I’m old and my days are drawing to an end she will be the only thing I think about. That will be my peace as I leave this world. I will smile and cry thinking of her and take both passions to my final judgment. I hope it happens many years from now but that’s truly how much I love her. I didn’t waste my time with her; she wasted hers intentionally on me for no reason at all. She stole my soul because she knew hers wasn’t pure. She collects these wins and I won’t be the last. I wasn’t the first and somehow I thought I’d be the only one she’d truly love. If that’s called being damaged, I own it. The others will move on after her and find love elsewhere. Everybody does and so will she until she eventually ends up alone. I learned everything about her except her true feelings even if she stopped feeling them. She will get married again but it will happen and the same cycle will show its ugly head. This isn’t who she was with me, it’s who she is and nobody around her has a fucking clue. It’s so convincing and I believe it’s because she’s convinced but time always brings out truths. She will believe it’s him and he will believe it’s her and they’ll move on to someone new. Again and again it will just keep happening in five to seven year increments. They will believe she’s perfect and they’ll think they know her on a level nobody can and then get blindsided. I pray for those men but they will discover that God is patient while Evil is right in front of you. He doesn’t always help us fight battles we choose for ourselves but he always helps us grow from them. That much I know. Some people unfairly ask him for a lot. I asked him to show me if she really loved me. I believe he put a thought in my head long enough I forgot to chamber a round that day. I believe he had to show me who I was to learn who she was and I believe he has given me the answer. It’s in front of me every day. You cannot stand in the mirror every morning and cry for someone you haven’t seen in two years while they’re happy in life and honestly believe they ever loved you but I’m still convinced that she did.

That one answer would change everything about my life and no matter what her true feelings were the irony is my result would be exactly the same if she did or didn’t. I could move on no matter the answer but I can’t without knowing it. That question means nothing and the answer means less but not knowing the answer restrains every thought I have. I have a wall up and it’s not to keep people out, it’s there because I can’t find my way around it. She remains the only person who can free me. That’s why I need her now but I don’t want her. My feelings were so unbelievably real that I need to know if she really ever loved me. I hope for her happiness still and I don’t want her in my life but she’s the only person with the answer I cannot escape without having.



Tough


I turned into a good guy but was never much of a bad one. Call it better than I’ve ever been. Something had to give and it was me. I struggle every day knowing that the woman I loved so much only thought of me as her personal hourglass. She decided if sand was added and controlled how much time remained at any given moment. She chose the times that it would start all over. I was stuck in that glass cylinder and she was turning me upside down and right side up at her convenience. I loved it there and cherished being captured because I knew it was the only way her hand would hold me. It fucked me up.

The world we live in will mess you up. Some people enjoy trying to do that themselves and saving the world the trouble. Oddly enough those people want to fuck you up so bad and they never even take credit for it. What they do is the exact opposite. They will destroy you and act as if you’re the one that did that to them instead. It’s a level of audacity that’s insane. They are living fun and happy lives while we are broken and will never be the same while friends or family still think they were the ones that were abused. My whole life I’ve been a complete hopeless romantic and my only goal was a love that nobody could understand because to everyone else it would be unbelievable. I found that love but it kicked my ass and knocked me down, deleted my soul and threw my dreams in the garbage. It stomped on me and set me on fire until I was ash. This world scooped my ashes up with a shovel and put them in the grinder and then burned them again. It didn’t care. The world didn’t give a shit about my dreams and if that wasn’t enough it almost defensively prohibited them from happening. I Couldn’t win and my mind was so broken that I never would, but things have a way of changing you. Mine was an old friend named pain and something pushed me toward getting to know him a lot better.

The reason I began running was because somewhere in my fogged mind I believed that people cared about my situation but in reality I knew they didn’t give a fuck. Any person I spoke to about it just laughed at me after I walked away but I couldn’t shake the belief that they all cared that I live in such a hurt world. I started running so that when I died they wouldn’t stand over my casket and see me. Man, she dodged a bullet. Look at this pathetic piece of shit. She made the right choice. I wanted them to know she lost someone good but I knew she wouldn’t care either way. She’d just be glad that I was finally gone and she would no longer get that occasional birthday email or have to worry about me someday being in the same place. I say that but was at Kickapoo state park in Oakwood Illinois one afternoon and I turned the corner on mile twelve of my typical weekend self ass kicking. There she was with some guy. I turned the other way as I cried and ran away. I was devastated all over again. She didn’t look great and there wasn’t a natural connection to the guy, it was pretty obvious. That shit actually made me sad but the one thing that stood out was that I realized she was only there for the possibility of that moment. She was only there to hurt me. She knew I was there as I told her long ago what I do every weekend. The bike trail on the far edge of the park is a place not often visited by out of town weekend warriors or amateur hikers. I promised to stay away from her places including a pumpkin orchard next to her house and I made good on that. This was complete disrespect and intentional and I was relieved she didn’t see me. I would have had an order of protection served on me for stalking in the woods even though she manufactured the chance meeting. Even if it was the guy’s idea, she knew to say no because of all the ironic factors. It’s not like it’s the only fucking trail in the central Illinois area. Located less than a quarter mile from my house and fifty miles from hers its less known than any of them but there she was. I thought back and wondered if I had ever been anywhere with her that she was using as a chance to have one of her former boyfriends see us. Times I was in love and thinking how lucky I was but she was just hoping someone else would see her with me. Honestly think about that moment. I went through the same thing and had no clue. She is undoubtedly with someone who believes she was abused. She has probably told those guys she can’t go to certain places because the fear of seeing me would bring back trauma to her. He feels strong like she trusts him for protection. She knows how close it is to my home and how long it took her to drive there. She is aware that it’s my spot. He thinks he’s in love and hiking with the woman of his dreams but her entire plan is for me to see her with him. That is the textbook example of narcissism and it’s my definition of diabolical. She’s so scared to see me that she creates situations in which the likelihood of seeing me is an almost certain outcome. That’s fucking crazy and I loved every minute of it with her like these other guys do now. It’s a calculated strategy to hurt people. This is a real person doing this. We know nothing about the people we think we know and it’s the most horrible part of life when we learn that.

I finished the rest of my nature run and at the end I was still thinking about her. Not because I had just about ran right out into her direct line of sight but because I did every day and after every run.

That day I didn’t get in my car and drive back to the life I’ve nestled deep in dungeons of solitude but I turned to masochism. I cried and then wiped the tears and started a whole new run. I wanted to go so far that she couldn’t possibly keep up with me even in my head to be there to hurt me at the end. After twenty miles I was exhausted and every muscle burned. Oh yeah, and she was still on my mind.

Since that moment it’s been my drive for every swim and run or bicycling evolution. I wanted to out run her so she couldn’t keep up and hurt me. This was all in my head by the way and mother fuckers living in your head are all a bunch of regular damn Olympic track stars and they are fast as fuck. She always kept up but I was determined to out run the thought of her. That’s how my lazy, non-ambitious and fat ass became a runner. The next several months and more accurately every day since proved to be a psychological boot camp that would change me forever.

When you cannot stop thinking of someone every moment of the day and you are trying to run away from those thoughts without actually being a runner there is sure to be some pain. Physically you had better be a bad mother fucker and I was not. I was still a pussy but I was going to see this through. I beat myself up mentally and physically and it never worked. I was growing tired and was only a few miles in when I decided to take my run to the water one afternoon. I was crying of course and being the bitch that I knew I was. I needed to check myself and with that I took a deep breath and sank into the underworld of the aquatic peacefulness.

My whole life I've been afraid. I've been an absolute pussy. If someone started a fight, I fought back. That's not the context in which I'm speaking. I've been petrified of being hurt by people. There isn’t one example that made me that way, I just focused on love so much that I was afraid to be hurt. I caved in relationships and always took the high road. I wanted a fairytale, one in a trillion type of love so much that I always let people do whatever they wanted to me and I was too fucking pussy to respect myself. Reality is there are going to be moments of conflict in every relationship. No matter how good it is, you will face disagreements and difficult times. I always let them have that but never more or to the level that I let her win over me. Allowing someone to defeat me was a vulnerability that captured their trust, or so I believed. It set me up for a ten thousand feet free fall without a parachute. I fell fast and I fell hard without the capability of standing back up without a miracle happening. It's bittersweet what I'm about to tell you. The place that I went in my heart and mind. She made me stop believing in fairytales and love and all of that fake shit that kills people like me. I went biblical. I looked to God and I promised to do my part. I tested myself and pushed my limits to a place far past my physical capabilities. I turned into fucking mayhem.


That happened emotionally four feet below the surface of a river full of tubers floating by and drinking. I took that deep breath and I sunk below which at the time was the perfect metaphor for my life. Motherfucker you are a complete fucking douche bag. There is nothing good about you. Fucking nothing. You’re the punchline in every story told about you. You’re a pussy. You’re a joke. You want to die? Do it right now. Be a man and hold your breath bitch. That’s all you have to do. Don’t take the easy way out with a bullet, swallow water and stay down. I know she fucking hurt you, I fucking felt it too. She’s fucking gone. God please show me she’s gone. I yelled at myself as bubbles raced to the surface as an SOS signal that would never be seen. At that point I didn’t want to die. This was two years after I sat with the trees and I really don’t know why I came up with that speech of all things but it turned into something I needed. Also, it’s educational for me to teach you that I promise it’s impossible to drown yourself floating free. Human nature won’t allow it. If anyone is capable they are absolutely crazy and coming from me I’m assuming you’ll take that as credible.


The underwater self-intervention was a shifting point in my thought process. I realized that I’m a loony mother fucker to be yelling at myself under water and I was ready for a change from this daily nightmare of a life that I wanted to regain control of.


I beat my ass down every day. I wanted to beat her to that finish line so I could be alone and no longer feel the wrath of her. A few times I felt as if I outran the thought of it all but I didn’t realize there was no finish line. I kept fucking running toward that imaginary place. I had to leave her behind me. I would hurt my feet, back, knees and ego but I kept fucking running. I didn’t care of something major happened, for the first time in my life I ran through the soreness, aches, pains and minor injuries. I wasn’t in it for the fucking sport. I hate running but I loved the pain. As long as I was hurting myself, she couldn’t. I wanted to inflict more pain than she did and my return on investment was that it would overshadow hers and so I wouldn’t feel her hate as much. I was causing my pain and it was more manageable than when it came from the person I loved.


I didn’t take mercy on myself and take the easy way out as usual. Fuck that. It was time to live in my humility and stop being a fragile little bitch. I went through my clothes and found a tan Brooks running hoody that was a size medium. It still had tags but that motherfucker was probably ten years old because I haven’t seen that size fit on this pathetic excuse of a body in years. I could barely pull it on and the zipper didn’t have a high likelihood of survival but I was willing to sacrifice it if need be. It was stronger than I thought and made it through. That son of a bitch was tight and looked like spandex wrapped around a bunch of people fighting to escape torture. It was a gross fucking visual. I was embarrassed but more than anything, I was determined and pissed off. That’s the reason that everybody driving down North Vermillion Street in Danville Illinois that morning and every day after had the pleasure of seeing that bag of fat failures running down the sidewalk. That hoody was ridiculously tight and my body screaming for mercy while pushing those materials to limits nobody thought they could reach. I had to do that. I wanted people laughing at me. Taking pictures and making jokes. I was accountable for that slob of a man and I was fucking changing that shit.


I intentionally waited until now to describe what I look like because it seems unfair that I had to witness this picture of myself and you are reading with no real clue of how insanely pathetic it was. I’m five feet and eight inches tall. I have blue eyes and blonde hair that sometimes flirts more toward the brown side. My hair is always messy in form of a fauxhawk or a messy bed head look. My BMI or body mass index is rated at one hundred and sixty four pounds. I weighed two hundred and sixty pounds and that hoody had the capability of holding in about a third of that. We never see ourselves as we really are and I’ve always worn loose clothing to hide my shameful laziness but now it was on full display. The polyester fabric was stretched like some sort of medieval torture technique and fat rolls tried to escape from every vulnerable stitch. My tits were sagging and my gut stuck out like a target used to make blind people feel good about themselves as now even they could fire a rifle and hit the bulls eye. Think beer belly, dad bod, pregnant woman and every dickie do joke you’ve heard all wrapped into one sad excuse of an above waist catastrophe. I wanted that to be seen by the world. Look what I did to myself. Look how fucking lazy I am. Look at me and laugh at me because I was sure it would be the last time so enjoy it while you can. With that I ran and it took a long time but that hoody slowly became easier to slip on and off and I felt the progress. I stopped caring about pain and became a fucking savage that ran through it all. That goddamn jacket was going to look good and that little thing pushed me. After years of telling myself I was no good and drowning in my own tears and after all that I felt for her it was a fucking hooded jacket that made the difference and pushed me over the edge.


I would find motivation in other ways. I competed with everyone and they didn’t even know it. Hey, how far have you guys hiked today? I’d ask passerby. four miles, they’d answer. I did eight. If they said eight I did ten. If they did ten I did twelve and stayed out there sometimes well into darkness. That was about my limit at the time, but point is I always won and I’m the only one that knew it. They didn’t even know I was beating what they were doing because after the five second conversations they would never hear or see from me again. They didn’t give a fuck about me and my challenges within myself, but I beat them all. I out ran her but she was still there when I finished and she never stopped running through my mind. I still chased the goal. Toughness became a habit of mine. I broke my small toe and remember her dad couldn’t run because he had broken his a few years ago. Fuck taking a break. I’m not weak like him I’m a fucking man and the biggest man that she’s ever known. I pushed on and gave no fucks about that toe. That day I learned her father is much smarter than me and I fucked my shit up. I didn’t beat him that day. I could barely walk and had to resort to the bike for a short time. Point is these imaginary battles pushed me well beyond my perceived physical limitations. I had no ceiling. Quitting was not confined by my pain anymore and my mind refused to lose. I started winning.


Runs became longer and longer and I continued to try and out run her memory. Sugar and bad nutrition was replaced with fruits and vegetables washed down with water and chased with salt tablets to avoid cramping. When I started running I would always have cramps and tried to manipulate myself into motivation somehow by taking Midol as a solution. Yeah, I really did that. If you want to be such a pussy about your life than Midol is all you deserve you little bitch. That’s what it’s for. Bitches like you, I told myself. Women are not referred to as bitches by me. Men who are weak are bitches and Midol is not a product for men. I am just being honest with how I treated myself and no disrespect to anyone is intended.


I always upped the ante on myself and bet on my ability to not quit. I turned my never give up on her attitude and lifestyle into a mindset of never give up on my current run or swim. I still wanted to beat her so she couldn’t be there to hurt me when I was done for the day but outrunning those thoughts were eventually overshadowed by a drive to push myself further. I pushed myself past the point of exhaustion and if you knew me, you’d believe that’s bullshit. I’m a quitter and I don’t run from shit aside from my own responsibilities. Not anymore. The world doesn’t know this Scott Kinney. They all know a good man that will help with anything. I’ll stop on the side of the road and help change a flat tire or help children with special needs play in the annual baseball game. That’s who I am and it’s not fake at all but when I’m alone I take no prisoners. I don’t technically or officially have multiple personalities but when I’m alone it’s time to get evil. I don’t beat around the bush with myself or lie. If I’m being a piece of shit I own that. If I cheated on a workout I punish myself like a high school football coach from the nineteen eighties. I made me pay for my shortcuts and cheating until I reached a time where I didn’t want to face the punishment I would get from me. This made me strong on a physical level but mentally it took me to a place that only a few men might ever find. I seriously held myself accountable in ways that I once may have thought were crazy. One night I was scrolling through social media and a friend had asked for prayers. I typed and said I was praying but never actually said a prayer at all and went about my business. Isn’t that what we all do? It’s been standard operating procedure for me. I feel bad for them but I’ve never really said a prayer. Just typing it out summoned God and he knows what to do from there. I was lying in bed three hours later and couldn’t stop thinking about how that was a lie. I never prayed at all and unless God has a social media account he sure wouldn’t see it. Most I could hope for is a thumbs up or some good job emoji from the creator of all things. I got out of bed and I knelt down to say that prayer and after that I made myself do fifty pushups for being lazy and trying to take the easy way out. This became habitual with everything. It didn’t matter if it were parenting, work, running, swimming or just general situations, I punished myself if I took the easy way out and you know what? I stopped taking the lightest resistance and began challenging myself. I couldn’t stop until I was challenged. I would run ten miles and then say, you’re gonna stop now bitch? Why did you even run, to waste time? You’re not even in pain. You’re still a pussy. I knew you’d never change. Fuck you I’d say to myself in my head and complete the ten mile course again. I blocked out the pain in my legs and sides and I kept going. I ran through feelings both mentally and physically and I have no way to describe it other than it didn’t stop me. Most people stop at those levels of pain and I no longer remembered how to quit. I have always chased my one true want which was love and now I’m chasing my biggest fear which was pain. I hunted it down and preyed on torture. My mind was directing me toward whichever path would decimate me more. I began to need the brutality my body was becoming accustomed to and I was addicted to the suffering. Each ache and pain pushed me harder as if I actually enjoyed the feeling of getting my ass kicked, picked back up and kicked again.


That was the beginning of me going completely barbaric on myself. I created many justifications for the self-inflicted punishments I would go through. At first it was to lose a little weight. I told myself it was to out run the pain she made me feel. I went through phases where I was satisfied knowing she couldn’t beat me or find anyone that could. I’m not a professional athlete but I’m ruthless on those trails. She couldn’t find anyone that was better than me. None of that mattered but it was fuel and I used it. I slowly began to need running for mental strength. The two coexisted and eventually became the realist love story I’d ever find. Pushing myself past previously unachievable tasks made my mind stronger. It made my spine a powerhouse both actually and figuratively. My life became a renovation of a dreamer and I turned that mother fucker into an achiever. I took all the love for her and I turned it into the love for my own mental health and the only way to maintain that was to fuck my own body up every day. I never quit until I achieved that.


Anybody that has ever known me in my life could walk right by and never notice me. I’m fucking hard in a body that has always been soft. I’m driven in a mind that has always been lazy and taken the easy way out. Now I seek out the most difficult route and I rock that motherfucker. I don’t talk about love anymore. That shit is fake and nobody is real. I am real. I refused to fail at that. I lost the hunch and my eyes are looking straight ahead as I walk tall and with purpose. My demeanor is kind and soft yet I speak up when I need to. It’s never on my own behalf because I take what life gives me but I stand up for others. My fingernails are borderline fucking beautiful and I have the body of someone who can out run a plague. People like me and others want to know me but I don’t let them in. I still live in that terror of not knowing who anyone is even after years of being certain. She can keep that part as a souvenir or trophy. I have me now and she doesn’t. She never can and neither will anyone else. She won. That’s what narcissism is and she sleeps comfortably at night knowing I will never love again because of her. I see a man in the mirror that she hasn’t deserved in a long damn time. I gave love that she wasn’t worthy of. This entire book is over one relationship and if you don’t think that’s rare, send me yours and I’ll gladly read it.


I was once a magnet for being broken. I even broke myself and I decided in a moment to stand back up and I got broken again. The cycle never let up until I made up my mind that I will not be broken any longer. I will not stop because I’m in pain or injured. I grow with a simple formula of trying to break my unbreakable self and I do. That was when I started tasting victory. That was when I became my potential and that’s when I took back my fucking heart, soul, mind, spirit, imagination and every part I lost to her along the way. I brought that shit back home.


I have a great mentor and friend named Ed. The only name mentioned in this aside from myself. I met Ed at my lowest after I lost her. He heard my stories and thought I was crazy like everyone else until she came back and seeing us together he would tell me that we are obviously in love. I thought you were crazy, you guys really are in love. I can see it in both your eyes, he’d say. Back and forth she came as Ed watched and offered me a little advice that I put in my back pocket. Ed is a successful resident of Champaign Illinois, a very intelligent, giving man and always offers solid opinions and recommendations. Originally from Columbus Ohio he loves Ohio State, the Indians, the Browns and the Eagles are his musical choice of greatness. We’ve talked endlessly about all of those teams and the band but the most important thing he ever told me was unintentional. He has the means to travel anywhere in the world but won’t and his reason changed my life. Ed will tell you that there are so many beautiful places in the United States and a person could never see them all. Why travel overseas with so many great things right here? He has said that to me twice. The first time I was in agreement and she was still coming back into my life. The second time I was well into my personal growth and when he said those words my mind went to a place it’s never been. That should be me. Not so much traveling the country as I do but it became my outlook on relationships and love. It became the philosophical answer that I needed. Why explore another relationship or woman when I haven’t explored all that I am. I haven’t even discovered what’s inside of me. I haven’t tapped into my capabilities or found my limits or reached my depths. Why do I need someone else? I know what I’m willing to do for her. I’ve felt that happiness and I’ve taken the pain but what the fuck am I willing to do for me? My whole life I’ve put others first. I have never made myself happy and I loved her so much I was happy doing it. I’ve never made me happy. I’ve traveled outside of my own borders looking for it but never once valued what’s right here.


My father would tell me in grade school that if another kid was picking on me or started a fight I wouldn’t be in trouble for fighting back but those conditions only applied if I won the fight. If I lost I would be in trouble. My dad is a great man. He has been the most awesome father you can imagine but I always wondered the theory from back in the mid nineteen eighties. There are some tough kids out there and I was gonna lose some fights occasionally. Was that the rule because he wanted me to fight hard enough to win or be scared of losing and not try? I always took my chances and especially with bullies. I was never bullied but I stood up for the kids that were. That and I was a very emotional kid so if I didn’t know how to fight I would have had a rough damn childhood.


I made that about me and maybe that was my dad’s goal all along. Fast forward thirty years and I set goals and I fight for them. If I don’t win I get in trouble with myself. I make it twice as hard the next time. I find a way to win and I’m only in competition with myself. Easy task one might think but my defense for my own bullshit is greater than the Steel Curtain, the great Pittsburgh Steelers defensive line from the nineteen seventies. I fight wars within my head and I fucking win now. .


Like poison Ivy, you can almost always find me in the toughest terrain with a weighted military pack shoulder strapped to my back. I look pissed off and I hate every step but I love it. That’s me pushing myself and the reward of not stopping when I want to quit are my championship moments. That’s when I know I’ve won. Twisting my ankle and saying fuck it before soldiering on for another ten miles or feeling my back tighten up and saying not now bitch, you aren’t done yet. Those simple seconds of my day when I choose to keep moving forward during moments most people would quit are the moments I live for. That’s my marriage to myself. It’s me watering my own soul and my mind growing even stronger. There are days when I have to crawl on all fours back to my car but I don’t ever fucking quit. I serve myself with a hard dose of brutality and violence. That’s not who I am but when I run a different man shows up. I set goals for a month out and decide about halfway through the first day that I’m going to achieve it right here and now.

I always thought life was supposed to be easy and if it wasn’t that was cool because it would get easy eventually. I was the eternal optimist who believed if you had a job you loved, life would be simple and you’d never work a day or if you with someone you truly loved it was all a breeze. Now I take the path of the most resistance every day and challenge myself to greater things that nobody will find out about. These are internal wars and I push myself to the point of suffering to win. These are feel good daily goals but I still believe that if I’m hurting myself and that pain is at the highest volume, she couldn’t come back and hurt me.

I became a gladiator but only within myself. I took it to a violent place and I beat the shit out of myself every day physically which in turn enhanced my mental strength.

I learned that it's not the stab in the back that kills you it's when you turn around and see someone you love has the bloody knife in their hands. When you dumb that down , it really means that I could deal with the physical pain but the emotional hurt is what continues to devour me. I live my life killing myself trying to outrun the only thing I’ve ever wanted. I run hard and I run hurt because that’s the only way to strengthen my mind and keep her out of it. No matter what I accomplish in my life, I call every day I can minimize the thought of her a successful day. You have a choice every morning to stay in bed and dream or wake up and chase those dreams. I wake up and run from mine. I smile a lot but when I’m running I have a mean mug that’s real. I’m pissed off that life gave me a shitty hand and I hate myself for using that hand to touch everything I loved. I held on to it and should have let it go and that’s what we call regret. She robbed me of believing but I wanted her there doing it as she did it. I stood by her side as she was destroying me and I helped. She couldn’t have done it without me and that’s why I finally decided I’m accountable for the hell that I live in. My life happened because of me and the greatest gift was to finally see that. I can be free of anything that hurts me just by loving myself more than I loved them. I felt selfish doing that but it’s alright and necessary. When I took responsibility for letting her do what she did it allowed me to focus on me and it’s now my greatest achievement. I helped my world take my world away. That’s when you have nothing left. I wasn’t even on my own team, I joined hers to fight against me and we won. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned unless you meet a narcissist. I believed I was the biggest fucking failure and abuser but she created that narrative and my love accepted it as who I was. My life spiraled out of control because she wanted temporary self satisfaction. I gave up everything just to be her nothing. She needed someone to take the fall for the person she was and let’s be honest, I hope it was the fresh start she needed and she’s good now.

I was never going to grow up financially or even at all. I met her and she eventually made me feel useless and hopeless. She masked this with the illusion of love and I never caught on. I loved a woman so much I changed every flaw she found in me. I let a lot of good parts of me go and all of the bad pieces are gone too. I will always give her credit for that. I wouldn’t be who I am without her and I’m thankful. I stopped believing in people and love and I hate her for that only because she knew the truth and she knew it would have this impact on me.


It hurts me that some of us feel unwanted pain. Some of us will experience the most horrific feelings in our lives. I wish I could absorb it for every other person who has been subjected to emotional abuse. It’s part of me now because I wanted it to stay. I can handle it and I would take it from any other person so they don’t have to live through what I did. If you ever see me sprinting by on your Saturday stroll through a hiking trail, I’m doing it for all of us. I’m pissed the fuck off for all of us who have ever loved a person who watched us gasp our last breath to express our love for them while they steal it and whistle as they walk away to the person who replaces us. In a few years I’ll be pissed off and running for them too. I wish I could take your hell away because I would. I’ve always been that man. If I can suffer so others don’t have to, I will. I do not remove myself from discomfort rather I force it to stay. A lot of people quit but I needed to grow before I stopped and now I can not grow enough. I enjoy it in this place of torment because while everyone else is learning about new people, I still discover myself every day and it becomes something I can keep no matter what. Nobody can take me away from me. Nobody can break my heart. Nobody can touch my feelings. Nobody can break me and I don’t let anyone get close enough to try. I won my own approval.


Who do you want to be? What do you want for yourself? What if I told you it's possible? The only thing separating yourself from what you want is discipline. It's that fucking simple but we want to blame everyone else for our short comings because it's easier than admitting our own lack of willpower. When I was hoovering, people would see my hardcore social media posts. I just ran ten miles or whatever the fuck I was lying about to try and impress her back into my arms. I'd pour water on my shirt from the sink and make it look like I was sweating. Walk outside and take a selfie and then return my fraudulent ass to the couch where I'd smoke another pack and drink another few whiskey and sodas. One question that never crossed my mind was what if it worked? What if she was somehow impressed by my drive to become better and come back to me? Then what? I'd still be out of shape and hideous, but I never thought about that shit. That isn't lying to someone, it's fucking lying to yourself. It happens so often and not just in relationships. We post who we wish we were on social media for the world to see but we aren't anywhere near that person we display. Being who we want people to think we are would make us happy or we wouldn't lie about it. So stand up and fucking do it. Be that person. Be who you pretend to be because it's not hard to accomplish. I'm telling you, it's easier than you believe. Just fucking do it. I wanted to be unique and always posted these crazy ass workouts that never had a chance of being real. Some I'm sure were downright ridiculous in the eyes of others. Today I'm the creator of arrow hiking. Arrow hiking is easy yet insanely complicated. There aren't rules or time limits. There aren't any winners or losers or spectators. Arrow hiking is a person going a little out of the normal standards of a hike or run. You look on a map and you pick a starting point and a finish point. You pin those two locations and remember that it's always round trip. A five miler is really ten and so on. You plug those coordinates into your smart watch and you run a straight line. Seems easy enough but you are forced to face everything within your desired distance. Road, grass, fields, valleys, inclines, declines, creeks, ponds, rivers, mud, thorns, brush and whatever else you can imagine.

It becomes a test physically but the only real challenge is what you are willing to put yourself through to reach the finish line. The only way to succeed is to tackle every obstacle. You can choose one mile because it never has to be a crazy distance. The only question you need to answer is if you tested yourself more than you normally do. The real strength comes at the halfway point when you know what you just went through and you have to do it all again to get back. Fuck it. Be tough for you and go back to where you came from. Your mind will accept that you're a badass and you will begin to grow as you start to choose more intense terrain. You may run for awhile and then have to swim before running again in wet shoes and clothes but it causes you to become more for yourself. It allows you to find your limits but only if you don’t quit. You can run, sprint, walk, crawl and even stop to take a break but just finish. That’s your gift to yourself. Since I was sixteen years old I have never been without a girlfriend. Since her I refuse to be in a relationship and I still don't know if that's because I love her, I'm damaged or because I'm scared but I think the three coexist. In twenty nineteen every meal that I ate was fast food. I drank a minimum of twelve sodas and smoked two packs of cigarettes every day. I was popping pain killers like breath mints and washing them down with whiskey. I still don't know if meeting her was a blessing or a curse. I was addicted to prescription medications and I couldn't even run to the bathroom. I drank so much and took so many pills that if I was sitting on the couch and had to use the restroom I would undoubtedly piss myself before I got there. I did not have the ability to run twenty feet. My longest arrow hike is now thirty miles. I don't expect anybody to believe that I'm a masterpiece because I'm far from it but there is something really good under this surface and I masked it for a long time. I painted over all that with smoking and drinking and drugs. I took the ability to feel good about myself and I made sure that I could never feel that. Bad habits only hide the greatness that we can be and it takes one moment of self discipline to outrun that.


I had a lot of things wrong with me but the only way I was ever going to tap into my potential was to accept that I was a piece of shit. I had my issues but she convinced me even more and destroyed me in the process. It made me become something I would have never been otherwise. I needed her to hurt me and I’m thankful she did but I broke because a woman I truly loved broke me. It’s my bittersweet love story. I became a really good man but I lost all interest of love in the process. To this day she still creates signs and puts them in places only her and I know of. I smile and move on.


My closest friends warned me about this book. You are embarrassing yourself, do you just want people to laugh at you? You are making a huge mistake talking about your emotions so honestly. We know you love her but they don’t. It will come off sounding crazy. I love my people because they know not to beat around the bush or tell me what I want to hear. They tell me the truth because I demand it. A lesson I’ve picked up along the way is the only people who make fun of me or judge me are people that have never put in the effort I have. Every person should understand this but most will not. If you are with a person and you love them right now, do you love them enough to feel the same after being removed for two years or have you rebounded and moved on? You wasted your time but I did not. That’s what love is to me. Love is when someone completes you no matter what else they do, where they are or how long they’ve been away. The feeling of love cannot be taken away from us yet the person can. If you can change your feelings because the person is gone it wasn’t love. Not the kind that I seek anyway. Casual or normal relationships? Not a fucking chance. I'm a different person. I love different. I see the world from a different perspective. People want to know what's in space. How far it goes. Is there an end or not? I'll tell you there is definitely an end to the universe. I live it everyday. Point is everyone is looking up and I look down. I don't care what's in space. I’ve already worn out all those stars wishing. I want to know what's at the bottom of the ocean. While people are wishing on those easily found stars I am looking for what treasures lurk far below the surface. The things that people can't find. I see the world that way. I'm completely opposite from everyone else. I need souls to crash and minds to become vulnerable together. I need to feel like I’m not close enough even when I’m inside of you. I need to know that we will most likely die of old age minutes apart because when the first one goes the second can’t imagine living without and the heart gives up. Everybody wants love but nobody wants what I seek. I starve for the deepest, most intimate and darkest corners of love. The parts that only a few might ever find. A love so true that they don't even have to love you back. A level of passion that nobody has ever reached. Everyone claims to be a hopeless romantic but I’ve always been a hopeful romantic. I remained hopeful until it killed every part of my dreams. Most hearts only feel pain until someone else makes it happy but not mine. I wanted a love so great that I never stopped feeling pain when she was gone and I fucking got it.

I've wanted to be or thought of myself to be more than I was. My goals in life and love are unreasonable expectations to anyone because I live it. Nobody can understand how much love for people means to me.

I need love like that and I stopped looking after someone I gave all of myself to made me believe they felt the same but lied. The deep end is a long way down. Throughout our relationship we both touched our feet to it and lifted each other out more times than either of us can count. I don't know how we got to this place of not waking up together and not joking with each other and not being completely in love like the two people that we were. I'm not sure how we got to this final destination but I remember all of the roads so vividly and it was nothing that we couldn't defeat. I finally learned why we never would.

I trusted her so much that when she said I was awful I believed her. I changed every part of me over someone that was possibly pretending to love me and that's an obstacle I cannot get over. I believed her when she said I was abusive or cheating. I trusted her that much. She didn't trust any part of me. My therapist told me that untrustworthy people don't trust because they only see others as they know themselves. I changed everything because I trusted what she told me, but she was wrong. I'm a better man and I give her credit for that. It was all her. That's why I grew up and changed it all. She also took away my belief in love, my dreams of a fairytale and my vision of people. That was my best part and it's a ghost of the past.

Today I smile a lot but not because I’ve found things that make me happy. It’s because I created a smile forcefully. I made a straight bar about the size of a pencil to clinch behind my canine teeth and that reshaped my mouth to be symmetrical and always appear as if I’m happy. I had to actually make my smile by exercising my face with a bar sticking out from both sides of my mouth like a fucking dog carrying a stick. The biggest tragedy in life is falling into unconditional love with something that will never be. I still wanted to learn how to smile so someday if we happen to cross paths I can show I’m happy for her.

I was convinced the stars were heartbroken too. I didn't wish on them, I promised every fucking one of them. I’m not sure what her love was but I know she made me feel it was the same as mine. Her love could have been pure hate for me. Her love, no matter what it was, made me wiser, stronger, braver, confident, focused and better. Her love was the last I’ll ever know because before it did all of that it broke me and made me its bitch. Her love took parts of me that could have been appreciated and adored by someone else who is real. Her love made me appreciate love and fear it. Ultimately her love made me something I’m proud of within myself but will never share with anyone. That’s how much I loved her and I felt she looked at me the same way until I learned she never once did. Now I’ve evolved so much that she’ll never know me again and maybe that’s what my subconscious wants. I’ve been studied by numerous psychiatrist and have been the subject of many psychology students as they all try to answer the question, “What the fuck is wrong with this guy"? It makes me laugh that my stupid ass has so many people excavating for answers. I’ll save you the time, it’s just love in a way you’ll never understand. I don’t want something that I can’t have, I want something I don’t want. I want someone that I don’t want. That’s not a man unsure of anything. She’s the only woman I will ever love and I hope I never see her again. I’ve put in the work and I’m certain of both. I’ve only had one dream in my life and she killed it. It all came crashing down. I’m terrified of having dreams. Everyone wants the glory but people don’t want to put in the hard work it takes to achieve it. I only wanted people to know I loved her. The only time I’ve stood up and said she lied was when she convinced people I didn’t. Now I walk into a room and they all know. To be honest I can’t complain, that’s what I prayed for. It just happened a lot different than I pictured. In the end she found someone to replace me but I found me in place of her. I deleted the space literally. She was once a part of me but now I am apart from her. I closed that gap.

She did do a lot of great things. I didn't dream in real life of someone that treated me like shit on the daily. I mean that. She was awesome. It wasn’t until therapy when I began to see any negativity from her. That's when I learned she looked at me as a joke. It hurt but it made me hate myself. I had to turn that into a positive and I accidentally did. I began looking at myself from her eyes, you know? As a joke. Every fucking day I looked in that mirror and unleashed at myself. Laughed at myself. Cried to myself. I broke the mirror and promised all things holy that I would never look at me again for what I did to her. The next day I realized I'm probably going to need a mirror at some point so I replaced it. I continued to mock me. I had lost twenty pounds and my reaction was no different. You're worthless. You're a piece of shit. Any man had a better chance than you. I wanted to make myself cry and I did. I never picked myself back up. That was suppose to be her part. I bullied myself and the pussy version of me came out and I turned off the bathroom light and walked away to fail at something else. One day I ran into a friend that I hadn't seen in a few months. She mentioned how great I look and I made up some dumbass dad joke about her being blind. She insisted and I was thinking, what in the hell is she talking about? It hit me. I never had to tie the string on my running shorts. They always fit snug around the waist and a little tight in the balls if I actually needed to move. That went away and I didn't even notice. I tie my shorts but they are still a bit loose and if I had lost the string in the dryer most of them would fall down to the center of my ass. I could never see it. Looking in that mirror I was only willing to see her perspective of me. I was looking pretty fucking good. The gift in this was that if I could see myself I would have stopped. I could never see myself as I was but rather how she made me see me. I kept going because of that.


How do you stop somebody from hurting you when they're nowhere near? How do you stop somebody from killing me every day without answers and without them giving a fuck. It's simple. Learn to not give a fuck too. I went a different direction. I hurt me more than she ever could have so that I could finally win the war within myself. I gave myself the closure by

breaking myself down worst than she did and in my fucked up mind that meant she wasn't the person that hurt me the most. I was. Call it wanting her to be the good guy like I always have. Call it whatever you want but I needed to beat myself down more than she did and that would allow me to move on from her. I had a woman tell me everything that was wrong with me. Everything that I did wrong and the things that I failed at or failed to be and that wasn't what I thought it was. I thought it was somebody loving me enough that she was telling me the truth and I changed all of it because of that. To have somebody care about me so much that they're honest with me about who I really am made me change everything about myself that was never wrong in the first place. Well sometimes that's not love. Sometimes that's fucking abuse. Sometimes the things that they're telling you aren't really wrong with you at all.

You might think that I'm broken-hearted but that’s not who I am. She didn't break my heart or hurt my feelings. She erased my fucking soul. She took my mind to a place that I can never explain and I had to find it again. She knew how I loved people and she made sure I will never experience it again. That’s how much power I gave her. I didn’t know I was giving her control of me, I really thought it was love for both of us. The value of love should be greater than any sum but the cost of loving someone should never be yourself. Nobody who loves you will ever take you away from yourself. Nobody that loves you will ever allow you to hate or hurt yourself because you love them.


To discover a person’s every want. To spend years learning what makes a person happy and then killing them with it is not normal. For someone to know your deepest dreams and use them against you while telling you they love you is pure fucking evil. I’ve dedicated my life to learning what happened in my life. I learned all of my wrongs and fears and faced them all. I beat myself down so many times so I wouldn’t be wrong and I’m not. I live with depression. I love a woman who used my love against me and ensured I could never use my love again. I had someone that stimulated my mind in ways I never thought possible and learn every part of me just to use every part to destroy the rest. That’s pure ugliness. It’s diabolical.


I gave one person not only the power over me but I gave them all of my power as well. I relinquished all of it to her and it was purely out of love. When she left me for the last time I lost myself. My daughter started getting in trouble because she witnessed her dad falling to such a fucking horrible place. I didn't give a fuck about anything. I didn't give a fuck about being a parent. I didn't give a fuck about my job. I didn't give a fuck about anything in my life. I changed my entire life for someone that had a great reason every time she hurt me.


We all decide who we want to be with. It’s our choice and freedom. We go after the hot girl or the wealthy guy. We pick and choose at our convenience and that’s the way it is. Well some of us don’t have that choice. Some of us have no control of who we love and that is something the others will never understand. My love landed on the worst possible scenario. Somehow I found someone that I wanted to rip my own heart out and give to so she could find happiness. I loved someone that I preferred to hate myself for just so I can continue to love her.


She once made me feel like I was a horrible human being and I believed all of it. The whole world can think that because I know who the monster is now and it's not me. I loved in a way people can never love. I dreamed in a way people don’t dream. I've hurt more than anyone could relate to because of a basic failed relationship. I’ve only met one other person with my empathy and he’s probably getting to the age that he can hide it but it will always be there. I hope you never see who you really are and I pray your son never meets a woman like you!







I think it's important but not necessary to tell you that I'm not a doctor and I have not went to school for anything. This is real life. This is not something that you learn in a textbook. Professionals may disagree with me but I've lived it. I never thought that mental health would be the priority in my life. It was never about losing a relationship but it was always about how I lost myself because of the relationship. When you don’t take care of your body it eventually catches up to you. Certain movements and actions become hard or down right impossible and they all hurt. Mental health is no different. When you don’t take care of your mind every thought eventually hurts you. I believe that’s what depression is. So how do we keep our minds healthy? Unfortunately I don’t have the answer that can universally be used as everyone’s solution. I did the work and found my answer. For me it was giving up my dreams. It was telling myself that no matter how much I want a love that nobody knew could exist, I would always hurt myself by seeking it. Today I have a circle of people that you can count on one hand. I’m in love with myself and not in a cocky or egotistical way. My only goal is to close my eyes at night when I’m alone and whisper I love you and I’m proud of what I did today. Admittedly sometimes I’ll say it in her voice. That still brings a smile to my face. I no longer need or want answers from her. I gave that up for my own well being. I continue to try and break myself physically every day and that’s become my life.

I drink water, eat healthy and do not smoke, drink or do any sort of drugs. My daughter smiles when I show up because now she doesn’t have to wonder what she’ll do when I’m too high to have fun. My daughters mother, which you’ll remember is the only woman I’ve ever been physical with even watched me fall and now she has become a great friend, my family and probably my biggest supporter. She’s become the only person who pushes me to do great things. Today she is with a great man. I love that he is in my daughter’s life. He taught her to ride a bike and they enjoy dirt tracks together. We will someday have one of those moments where two dads are walking her down the aisle at her wedding and I’m so happy for that. I take her shopping for Father’s day and after all that I learned about myself I’m grateful he picked up the slack when I was lost.

I’m calm and don’t say much to anyone. I keep to myself. They still tell me it’s because I was abused. I’d like to believe it’s to prevent that from ever happening again. I loved someone until I hated myself for doing it. Some us hold on to people until we hate them. I held on to her until I hated myself. Please understand before I did that people who love you care about how you feel. People that love you will never discount your feelings and I’m scared that I’ll never know if that’s real or not.

My therapist admitted that she dropped her office and began alternative meetings with me because she knew early on that getting me to move on was a lost cause. Many people feel that way and it’s curable but she knew as she listened to me talk about her that I am this person. She wanted to help me manage my love for a person I will never have and she succeeded. The other’s are still certain it’s trauma and we laugh at that. I am a rare heart and mind that has now been medically and professionally confirmed. I think differently than any other man. That wasn’t the goal I was seeking but I guess now I can say I told you so.


22 de Junho de 2021 às 19:22 0 Denunciar Insira Seguir história
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