August 27, 2012

So much for denial.

I have tried so hard and for so long to put this to rest. I write and I write hoping to someday put enough words out there to write the pain out of my head and my heart.

He's everywhere. I was at the gas station by our old house two weeks ago and I thought the man in front of me was him. My heart started racing and I got incredible anxiety. What would I say? What what he say? He finished paying and turned around and from the front he looked nothing like him. At first I was relieved, but then the reality that I would never ever see him again overwhelmed me with sorrow.

There is a man in Security that really looks like him. Seeing him in the blues with the same stature kills me. For a while that man worked at my resort. It was so hard to show up at a call and run into him when I was so good at avoiding him the rest of the night. The poor guy probably wondered why I barely spoke to him when I talk all the time, to EVERYBODY.

I try to remember what an ass he was before he left. I try to remember all of the people who hate him because they only knew that side of him. I try to remember how hard his kids tried to break us up, and how hard they continued to ruin my life before I moved on. None of it helps.

I didn't even realize I had never dealt with this until I was beginning to heal from the one after him. My mom made a comment when she first met Dean about how much he looked like Keith. Friends asked me why I was marrying Dean and I never really had an answer. I didn't realize until I was fully in the pain from him that I had never let myself REALLY heal from Keith. I just shoved it down, like I always do, and tried to make the life with Dean that Keith and I could never quite figure out.

Recently a friend told me I should go back to my maiden name. I said I haven't been that person in a looong time and I am known by my name in business, etc. I know the truth is that his name is all I have to remind me that he once loved me enough to promise forever, and I will never want to let it go.

I know to the world he was an ass in a dead end job, with two kids that had each seen the inside of a jail cell more than once. I know people at work knew him as a cheating womanizer who pretended he wasn't married and played every game in the book to get the women to feel sorry for him.

But to me he was always that kind man with amazing shoulders and blue eyes that hid a pain so deep, he probably told no one in his life before he opened up to me. To me, he was the only man who put me in a sweet little house in the subdivision with the pool and privacy fence for the dog we got together. She's gone now, too...

He set the standard that I will judge every man against for the rest of my life. For better or worse, all intimacy will be as good as him or not as good as him. All men will be sweet like him while they woo me until they get up and leave in the blink of an for someone better in his eyes. Someone I never even knew was out there, making him happy in his depression that I could never find my way into to lead him out.

After I moved out, his daughter was still living in the house. One morning I left with the last of my things and I told him I left the key with Rachel. That very night he moved "her" into MY bedroom.

Four months later the divorce was final and they were married on one of those stupid cutesy dates like 8-8-08. I know this because I had to search him to forward some papers, and I accidentally found their wedding website. "She" had the big fancy dress that I never got and "she" is sitting in a Queen's throne as he is down on one knee, in a tux, holding her hand like Prince Charming. It tore my heart out. I was supposed to be the Queen.

Three months after their wedding, he quit his job and let "her" move him away to the North. He always told me he hated it there. He froze to death when we went to Chicago because in the Air Force he spent a long time in Iceland and he had once drank too much to find his way in the blizzard. When they found him he had hypothermia. He was always freezing cold as soon as it hit 60* Now he lives in Canada with "her." And every time anyone mentions the Air Force I have to choke back all of the memories he shared with me about that 20 year career.

Right after they left, Rachel was still sending him checks for the mortgage, but he apparently wasn't paying it. After she had poured thousands into fixing the place up with her boyfriend, she found out that her own father let the house foreclose out from under her. She finally saw the man I had to see after he hurt me so deeply. I wanted to think she got what she deserved, but I could only feel sorry that her knight in shining armor had finally tarnished in her eyes. I had felt that pain, too.

The house was sold on auction and the bank that held the second mortgage bought it for $100. It seemed like a slap in the face that our years together and our life in that house was worth so little. New people live there now, and they have painted the shutters and trim a different color. It helps a little when I have to drive past it every time I go to see mom. I do still look at it, though, and see the yard where my kids ran with the dogs and played with their friends. The deck that was a screen room where we had our wedding. The beautiful wooden deck was the only part that survived after hurricane Jeanne. Our "Miracle Roof."

After he left I tried to put my life back together. I got a new job, re-arranged the house with the kids, even got on graveyard. Anything to make my life seem nothing like it had been. It worked for a while. Today I can look back and see that two of my very best friends came from that time in my life.

I dated a lot in the first year or so. Then I dated one person steady for awhile, but it wasn't what I was looking for after all. Right after that I got with Dean, and we all know how that worked out.

I did some rebound dating after we moved last year. That did a good job in teaching me more about myself. So, I took a break and really focused on some time to heal. It's been a year and I have grown. Mostly, I have realized that no one will ever get how truly genuine and open my heart is. Unfortunately, I'm so good at the happy act I've perfected since I was fifteen, that everyone notices the fun girl with the big laugh and great energy that walks in the room before she does (or so I've been told), but no one has ever REALLY stopped long enough to see the scars, the pain, the sorrow behind the mask.

My heart is locked up in a vault with chains wrapped all around it. I have pain that hits me like a front end collision when I least expect it. And only some of it is from him.

I get so angry when people think they know me, or they understand me, or they think they get what it's about. Sure, I may seem like an open book because I'm not afraid to be outgoing and talk about stuff. But there is plenty that I keep hidden, too.

I might make snap judgements or mistakenly read people's comments to me after a few drinks, but I'm so much more than anyone has ever really SEEN.

Inside this body is a young girl aching to feel she is worthy of love. ~ ~ ~

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