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Monday, August 11, 2008

Trash

This is something I wrote several years ago now, when I'd broken up with my boyfriend of 3 1/2 years. I'd thought I'd wanted to marry him. At the time I wrote this piece, it was only a few months later, and I'd learned via mass-email that he was now engaged to another woman. And I felt like trash, and some days, I still do.

** *** * *

I stood there, resolute in my promise to myself as I heard his car pull into the garage. I stood with the dogs out in the yard, happy that we were going to have this conversation in person, sure that it was the last.

He came out of the garage, slowly. My heart was in my throat, already knowing the answer. He wouldn’t even meet my eyes. He, the one who couldn’t even THINK of me, now couldn’t even look me in the eyes.

It was I who broke the uncomfortable silence.

“So am I going or staying?”


Silence.

He was greeting the dogs, still. At least someone was happy to see him. I had once used that same avoidance technique, years ago, avoiding a kiss that I didn’t want. It was a different man, a different dog, a different place. He patted the dog, then looked up at me, still bent over. He couldn’t even say what he had to say while standing.

For the first time, he looked me in the eye, still bent over, distracting himself. I knew before he even said the words.

“I think you’d better go.” He looked away, unable to say more.

I stared, my heart dropping, my game backfiring. The previous night, tired of being undervalued—maybe “non-valued” was the better term—I'd given the ultimatum. He'd been out elsewhere with other people, not caring that I'd been gone for two weeks. So I'd left, packing up everything I'd ever left at his house. All the little things. Leaving no trace of myself, wishing he couldn't even smell my perfume in the air. But I couldn't vacuum the air.

Later, after I'd left, knowing he'd already arrived home, I'd  had to call about necessary medication for one of the dogs, planning on leaving a message. He’d just walked in the door. He didn’t even notice I was gone!

I had to tell him I left. I even had to spell it out.

He hadn’t even noticed I was gone.

So I asked him if he wanted to break up. All the indications were there. He didn’t know. So I told him to think about where I belonged in his life, or if I didn’t belong at all.

Turns out that I didn't.

And immediately after that, he wanted to marry her!

Two weeks after we broke up, after a 3 year relationship, he started dating HER. A very nice person, a bit too much like me—and now he thinks she’s “the one.”

He went out with me for three years, knowing that he would NEVER marry me. He led me on, introduced me to his family—and he took me for granted.

He didn’t want me in his life, in his family. He wants to be my friend, fine.

But he thinks she’s the ONE!!!!

Just twist that dagger, there, ex.

He had said he loved me. He said that I was important to him.

I trusted him. I believed he loved me.

And I was just wallpaper. Just wallpaper, someone to be with, but someone who really doesn’t mean much.

Now I’m just yesterday’s trash, kicked to the curb. Three years, I carried our relationship, while he kept his secret to himself. She’s a buddy in the National Guard, he’s known her for 4 years. Was she the reason that he never introduced me to his Guard buddies? I was never going to be good enough, no matter what. He knew that, but kept the secret to himself, selfish. He just wanted a woman in his life. He sucked up my years, my life, wasting it for his own purposes.

Wasted.

Trash.

Funny how those terms go together. And now they resemble me.

And I can still feel that breeze in my hair, time and sound stopping, hearing the sound of “over.” Knowing how it feels to be trash.
*

4 comments:

Tara said...

Adoro:
Oh, we have ALL been there! You are beautiful (and you have great hair--as seen in the pictures of you and Father V), you are God's magnificant creation--trash--I think not!

Substitute the words "trashy" for the words poor in the following quote:

"They say that we are too poor, but can a heart which possesses the infinite God be truly called poor?"

-- St. Clare of Assisi

Adoro te Devote said...

Tara ~ ROFL! Great HAIR? lol!

I liked that pic of Fr. V. and I, too, although I'm not at all photogenic. He is, though.

At the time I wrote the above, I did not have God in my life. I was really seeking, but hadn't really found Him..or, maybe more accurately, accepted Him. But getting rid of THAT boyfriend went a LONG WAYS.

And...when that boyfriend got married, well, we spoke after I'd bought my house, and I bought him a Catholic Bible, leather-bound. He did help me on my way back in, asked me about Catholicism and forced me to find answers I didn't have otherwise. I hope that Bible brings him to Christ...it was my wedding gift to him and his new Bride. I don't hate him. I was complicit in our relationship.

Even though he made me fell like trash. I know from what he'd told me that other women had made him feel like trash, too. He didn't know any different.

It's sad...so many average people think they are trash because others teach them this lesson so they pass it on in all its falsehood.

Alli said...

Thank you so much for writing this.

I am in the same place now that you were - 3.5 years down the drain, and one month later he was sleeping with a new girl, who he told me he was not even dating, only seeing casually now and then. I blamed (and still do) myself, because I was the one to cut off sexual intimacy, just one year previous, and now the man who was practically chaste before I met him could no longer contain himself. And I felt and feel lower than scum because now he was participating in an act with someone else that we had told each other we were only doing because we loved each other and were going to get married as soon as I got out of college.

Funny how God has a way of turning our plans on end, isn't it?
So it's not as though I have some wise, heartening advice or words of encouragement... just know that many of us have been there, as your story has made me realize.

-Alli

Adoro te Devote said...

Alli ~ Thanks for your comment. A big reason why I went ahead and published this was because I know it is the experience of others as well.

I thank God all the time I am not married to that guy.