Damn you.

Damn you for convincing me at the start that I couldn’t do better.

Damn you for making me feel crazy.

Damn you for giving up on us.

 —

I know I shouldn’t do it. Facebook sometimes has me believing I need to delete, if only to protect myself from unnecessary hurt. But I have friends on Facebook…friends I may never meet in person, but who are there for me as I walk through this barbed-wire road.

But I did it.

I looked at his engagement photos.

It turns my stomach. I swallow down acid that threatens to spill over.

Why would he do this to me? Could someone honestly be so selfish?

Timeline of events:

July 2012 – Sweet Carlie Wren ended her short time on earth

February 2013- Separation for reconciliation

November 2013 – Divorce finalized

June 2014 – He becomes engaged to the woman he met while he and I were separated. The woman he met when he was supposed to be helping me. Supporting me. Loving me. Grieving with me.

July 2014 – He will be married. Again.

For so long, I tolerated how things went. I felt as if I were to blame, so I internalized guilt. But now, to see how effortlessly he’s moved on is like a butcher knife to my freshly-mangled heart. And I realize, no matter how often he tried to convince me that I was insane, no matter how many times he manipulated me into believing that it was the majority of my fault… I now know that he is a broken man. I defended him, even as soon as the beginning of this year. My therapist told me she would put money on the fact that he would be engaged and married by the end of 2014. It sounded surreal. I denied that. Surely not.

It terrifies me, really. I was so sure of my life with him. I wouldn’t have married him if I wasn’t, or given him my virginity that I held so close to my heart and defined as my level of purity. I shamefully admit that I offered this to him in efforts to keep his eyes and heart from wandering, even when we were in the dating stages. I was that sure about him. Sure enough to forsake so many things.

And for what?

I never want to let a man in again. I don’t trust men as far as I can throw them (which, even with my 9 Round participation, isn’t very far). That may be a generalization, but there you go. The one person I thought rose above the stereotype I’m finding was actually detrimentally worse. He just craftily hides behind religion and good deeds so people don’t recognize this.

I fear he’s ruined me for life. For a life of a second family. The thought of even beginning that process again exhausts me. Yes, I dated someone shortly after the divorce was decided. I know now that was a rebound, and I wish I could take back those 6 months of my life. But the reality is, no matter how screwed up that person was and is, they helped me not feel so damn lonely. But never for one second did I even entertain the thought of marrying again. How could I?

I don’t pick men well. I didn’t have a father growing up, and my mother dated a few men who didn’t really communicate the definition of what I needed to look for in a man. I’ve learned recently that I gravitated toward men who were wounded, trying to fix them. I was attracted to those that would treat me as less than what I deserve, because I didn’t recognize I deserved more. I skipped over “nice guys” time and time again because they were “too nice” or “boring.” I instead looked for the ones who would make me laugh, who were child-like, and who sometimes used me as punchlines for their jokes. I thought this was normal. “You can’t help who you’re attracted to, right?”

Wrong. I’m learning that now. A man will have to shatter several walls in order to get to the place that I’ve sealed up now. I’m hyper-vigilant. The slightest indication that the person is anything like my ex husband, and I tend to run in the opposite direction.

He’s revolutionized the way I view men. I look at men as if they are going to try and get away with anything they can as long as I’m aloof. Enter the hyper-vigilance. It’s not like I had a firm grasp of what a man was, period. Absence of a fatherly figure will do that, especially if you have no one to fill that gap and explain to you what to look for in a man.

He was my everything. Now he’s nothing to me.

How can I put myself through the possibility of that happening again?

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