Why I am writing this
I am completely aware that this content may very well reach nobody, but the main reason I am writing this is personal. Simply because I needed a platform where I could share my thoughts. This should turn out to be more of a soliloquy than an article.
Makes no sense
It makes no sense, right? In the midst of all the fights you have with your love you feel how justified your actions and words are. Everything you're saying makes sense, you are logical and if she doesn't listen to you, then it's a mistake on her part. She is getting sadder and sadder with each fight, and you don't really pay attention to that. You seem to be getting colder and colder, you even think: I am stronger. And that's great, right?
The next fight is here, and it's more severe than the last one. You don't seem to remember anything. Your memory is wiped - you used to cherish all the moments you had with her, but now - you feel nothing. You used to think that you will never destroy this love. But now, you're like a predator, or more like a butcher. You cut and slice, and you feel nothing. But you're not slicing meat, you slicing a soul.
Sooner or later she starts crying. Who are you, anyway? You're not the guy who held the door, who kissed her cheeks, who surprised her on her birthday and to whom she turned to when there was no-one around. Who are you? Where are you? These questions torture her mind, and she's weak. She's in love. She's still in love, and she still loves you, no matter what. She is also emotional, she's a child. She's a child... Her best defense is crying and begging. But you are strong! The butcher does not care about the animal, he has his job.
The girl you love is like an object. And it doesn't matter how much she cries or wails, or begs, you don't feel anything. She's an object, man. You want to get rid of it, and get a new. Damn this annoying pen, it keeps breaking. I need a new one. But she's not a pen! -- and yet you still feel nothing. How is it possible?
You live together in a small apartment - it was the best apartment possible. Cozy and romantic, you guys filled it with love. But right now, it is too small to contain the torture, you want to get rid of her, and she wants to escape. You're the butcher, you come to work and there's that piece of meat. And her soul is dying. Soon there will be nothing left, she keeps looking for a reason, for a justification of YOU, the butcher, who is cutting with cold precision. She never knew you had the butcher inside of you. YOU never knew you had him, and here he is.
That was me. I was the butcher of my girl's soul, and I felt nothing during the slices. No-thing. She would tell me, "please, don't leave me, don't make me go". And you know what I felt? No-thing. Only now are these words struck to my brain like nails are struck to a coffin. "Please, don't leave me".
Don't leave her, you FOOL. You're a fool.
It was September when she left. Agony does not strike like thunder or a bullet. It builds up slowly, gaining strength with each passing day. The day she left I was strong, I was even glad that I was finally free. It was everything I wanted, right? Noone there to make me behave, change, take care and all that annoying stuff.
Agony sets in on the third day, when you're off guard. It sticks its claws in your heart and starts squeezing it slowly, patiently, breaking you and taming you. It knows it will be triumphant because you deserve to feel this. You were the butcher in August, now you will feel what it means to be butchered. But you will not get the mercy of a quick, painless humiliation. Oh, no, you're a special villain. You did your best to crush that girl, don't count on getting away easy.
In fact, I still had no idea what was coming. The third day just gave me visions of my future. A dark, empty and pointless future. I saw myself in a restaurant. I was rich, oh, yes, I was rich, and I was having a rich lunch. I was also alone. I had nobody to share my lunch with. What was the point of all that money? I was also reading a newspaper, trying to fill my mind with someone else's troubles. I had women waiting in a line. But all they cared about were the pieces of green paper lying in my pocket. They were smiling, and they were perfect, they were made of glass and stone, they were definitely not real women. They were like portraits I could hang on my wall.
Then came the slow, painful realization of how wrong I was to destroy the love which I had built with such persistence and patience. My memories were finally coming back. I remembered how I kissed her, how much I wanted to live with her, I remembered her skin on my lips, her tea and her joy to see me. It was a house carefully built stone by stone. A house I razed.
But humans, we are hopeful creatures. We believe and expect, and cling to our understandings with fierce loyalty. So did I, I kept thinking how right I was, and how she should be the one to apologize to me.
Two months passed in agony. An agony that was dragging me down into the silent field of snow where I was alone. We kept fighting, and we tried to talk it out. Over the phone. She still loved me, she was still hopeful. But I could feel how she was slowly getting stronger, and I was getting weaker.
She started taking pills and hiding her tears from her parents. I started drinking and closing myself to the world. She and I were different. I'm rather introverted and she's an ambivert. She kept communicating with her friends and relatives, I never managed to do that. Contact made me sick and it drained me. All I was thinking, was her.
She managed to slowly crawl back out of the pills and the tears and started building up a steady life. She found a job, which helped her a lot. She allowed her friends and colleagues (who were also her friends) to heal her and get her through this. I never managed to find this relief. It got worse with every passing day. My smile was wiped away, I lost about 30 pounds and I couldn't concentrate on anything. My job dragged me down even further. The office routine sent me into autopilot.
All I did was wake up, drive to work, work and only go back home to drink. I don't remember how much I drank. I would cry on my way home only to find temporary relief in my glass. Of course, I started doing terribly at work. I lost track of deadlines. My boss was a patient man, he noticed what I had turned into, but I said that everything was fine. I was often late for work, only because I couldn't wake up. I saw no reason to.
Mid-November was when I hit depression. I remember those days clearly. I don't think I should explain what depression means. I had all the symptoms. It got to the point where I started thinking of the worst...
The struggle made no sense. I remembered our plans: we wanted kids and a home. We wanted to see the ocean and the mountains together. We wanted to travel and share all experiences. When she was gone, I saw no point in continuing.
Winter caught me like this.
In January, we saw each other. We talked everything through. It was painfully obvious that she was doing much better than me. She had advanced in her job, she was getting better off, and she had a different voice. Her voice was more confident. That's when I knew I had lost her. She was no longer the child who needed me. She had her own life and I was just an extra worry. Her love was no longer the previous love.
I was pathetic. I had turned into a prideless, spineless and depressed ameba. This was one of the most embarrassing parts of my life.
Nevertheless, she still loved me. And we decided to give it another go. We tried celebrating the same dates, sending the same cute texts, talking about the same things.
I was the same guy.
She was not the same girl.
She dedicated all her time to working, duties and 1000 other things, and only then did she reach out to me. It was painful. I didn't take it well, and I thought that we ought to talk about it. The more we talked about it, the more we got into that same hell we were in just a month before. She got colder and colder, more and more manipulative, and I mean real manipulation: gaslighting, guilt play, humiliation and much more. Professional level of manipulation.
It all ended with a bang. All she wanted was to tame me and dominate me. God only knows why. I won't try and comment on this. It is what it is. She wanted this love to go by her rules, even though it was for this exact reason that we started fighting initially. I refused to play like this, and thus, she left me for good.
I felt the same emptiness and pointlessness as before. I was the same guy. She was the one who had changed. Who wouldn't?
But that's not my point here. I spent the next 10 months in almost uninterrupted emptiness, mixed with sadness and minor depression. Only recently, I started asking myself: does love even exist? I had always thought that love means unconditional loyalty and complete dedication to the other person.
I keep thinking about the same axiom: love does not seem to exist. It seems to be a game of domination and manipulation. If you are not the one dominating and manipulating, you will be dominated and manipulated.
I took a look at my previous relationships. I did not love those previous girls, but I sure had an attachment. All of them, the relationships, were built on the same principle. The moment I stopped being the dominant force in the relationship was the moment when the girl started fighting for the dominant position. And things never normalized after that. It was the same scenario all over again. How is this love? It is a dumb, brutal battle for dominance.
The mutual share of feelings, romance, flowers and dreams - that's what we were thought about love, but reality tells us otherwise.
A year later
One whole year has passed since our last talk. You know the hope that she'll get in touch, that she'll tell you how she's sorry and how she wants everything to go back to normal? Do you remember Labirinth's song, "Jealous"? That's what I kept thinking for a good 10 months.
"But I always thought you'd come back, tell me all you found was
Heartbreak and misery"
And it never happened. Silence was all I got. Endless, merciless, perfect silence. It was like I was staring at a pit, waiting and waiting for something to happen, and it never did.
She seemed to live the life she had always wanted. She was all the more happy without me. When we last talked (the final normal moments of our reunion), she told me that she took up all the work she could get her hands on so she could make it easier on herself, and make it easier to forget me. Her habit never broke and it seems it successfully taught her how to forget me.
Once again: if you can just teach yourself to forget someone, how is this love?
And yet, deep inside me, I know this was indeed love. I remember how she looked at me, and how she talked to me, how she dreamed with me of our future. It took great effort to destroy this love, and we managed to do it. I blame myself, but I am also now adequate enough to know that self-blame is destructive. Some months ago, all that I had was guilt, which was destroying me. Nobody can live with constant guilt, one might as well go insane because of it.
I taught myself how to contain the guilt and keep going. But I will keep this as a topic for another article.
My dear Alice, I know you will never read this. My dear Alice, In my mind I wish we were still in that tiny apartment, drinking tea and listening to the silent Summer night of August. Just the two of us. Yes, I am still there. You were there with me. You were.
© 2020 John Trevorson