Have you ever done something that you swore you would never do?
Yeah, I used to have morals too. But I guess they're gone now. It can't really just be a simple mistake anymore once it's happened 10, 12, 15 times... Right? No, I'd say it's something more than a mistake at that point. Mistakes happen when you don't have all the information that you need to make the right decision and once you've made the wrong decision a dozen or more times while having every shred of evidence you need in order to choose the path of righteousness, well then you're just showing a blatant disregard for what you know beyond a shadow of a doubt to be right and good.
I was guilty, at first. I was caught up in a moment of being wanted and loved and appreciated, even with all of my flaws; and I acted on the rush of that moment of acceptance. But the guilt cut through me afterward. I knew immediately that I had crossed a line that I had drawn in the sand of my life a long time ago. How could I be hurt so badly that I wanted to die and then turn around and play my part in hurting someone else in the same way, in a deeper way for all I know? I have no answer, except that I was desperate to feel wanted by someone, by anyone. No matter the price, and whether I'd be paying it or not, I was willing to play. But that first day after that first night, I struggled with myself. Over and over again I wrote to myself, 'You cannot like her. You will not like her. She is taken. You are a bad person for doing what you did. You swore to yourself that you would never be this person. You are the other guy now and you know how it feels to be him. You know how it feels to be on the other end of this equation, to be lied to and deceived by the person that you love. You make me sick.' But my words and my struggle were not enough to keep me from going straight back to the thing that felt so wrong, but felt so amazing in the same breathe, that very night.
Again, the goodness left in me cried out that I must stop while I still had a soul left to lose, but as the lies and the deceit grew thicker I became addicted to the thrill of breaking another person and winning at a game that he didn't even know we were playing. I was living in a fantasy, to think that anything good could ever come from something so rotten and disgusting at it's core. How many times can you do something wrong before you're simply a bad person? Once? Twice? Ten? How many mistakes does it take to prove that your heart is black and cold? Or do you assert the fact that you have no soul when you laugh about crushing another person's hopes and dreams? Yes, perhaps you can still be a good person who is making bad choices until you plot and scheme and laugh about ripping another person to shreds right beneath their nose.
But oh, how it feels to be wanted! Even if only for a few hours in the darkness of the night. Even if it's only on weekends or through emails at work during the day. Even if you know somewhere deep down that it must not be real, that you're only being used as a way to escape from the real world for just a little while. It's enough to keep something alive when everything else has died.
It's not a mistake anymore. You may as well cut out his heart and eat it along with the rest of your binge. When you puke it back up, do you think you can piece it back together and put it back in his chest? Do you think that it will still beat, and that you'll still live there in the way that you once did? You don't know anything if you think you stand a chance at rebuilding what you once had. Trust isn't just broken, it was never there to begin with and now it's gone forever. How must it feel to know that he was right? To know that he had his suspicions and to know that he was hitting the nail right on the head? God, it must sting. It stings me and I'm not even you. What stings the most is that I'm coming out of all of this with the skin of my back in tact. I played a part in this too and yet I've not shed a tear and aside from the burning acid of the words that you'd rather rebuild a life with him than try to make something with me, I'm coming away without much to show for all the wrong that I helped you do.
Maybe he knows part of the truth. Maybe he thinks that it happened once, or twice, that it was still just a heat of the moment mistake that we made together. How could he possibly know that it's been going on for months, that you lied to him time and time again to escape to my arms and my bed while supposedly you were at your girlfriend's house? How could he know that we talked and laughed about destroying him while you were here? How could he know that we had nicknames for each other and still be able to look at you? How could he know that the stains on my bed sheets belong to you and that we shared something not just once or twice, but again and again and again before you finally slipped up and got caught? And how can I believe that you didn't mean to get caught, or that you actually did get caught at all? Maybe you're simply more manipulative than I give you credit for. This all seems too planned to be real. Email me. Oops, he read my email. He's angry but he wants to work it out, and you want to be with him too. Sure. Why not just tell me that it's over without the theatrics? Because it hurts too bad to reject someone. I know that all too well. You're only doing exactly what I would do if I was in your situation. Make me believe that it's a tough decision and that it's your only option. Let me down slowly, softly. I'm unstable, after all.
But surely he doesn't know the truth. Surely you fabricated this whole scenario just to see if I'd ask 'How High?' when you told me to jump. Surely. How could there be any other explanation? How could he even stand to be in the same room as you if he really knew the truth? I couldn't. And that's what makes me so sick to my stomach. I can barely stand to be in the same room as myself, knowing what I did to him. You tell me that I didn't do anything wrong, but that's simply not true. I had choices to make in this as well. I could have chosen not to kiss you that first night. I could have chosen not to take you home. I could have chosen not to come pick you up in the first place. Further back still, I could have chosen not to respond to your texts when I knew what your intentions were right from the start. I could have made different decisions, but the pull of being wanted was just too seductive for me. I need to feel needed at all costs and the notion of breaking so many rules just to be with you made you more appealing than you really are.
What's appealing about a girl from Kentucky who is destroying herself a little more with each day that passes? I'd be lying if I said nothing. But what's appealing about a self destructive girl from Kentucky who is clearly taken and committed to a three year relationship, who my very being with could jeopardize my own recovery and shatter the heart of a man who has never wronged me? Well, everything. Chaos is what you are and chaos is what drew me into you. Chaos is what kept me holding on to you despite every reason to let you go and chaos is what makes it so difficult to finally say goodbye.
Did I want to be with you? Yes, of course I did. But I have an issue with wanting to be with whoever is kind enough to sleep with me. Maybe it was something more than that. Eating disorder, drinking, and boyfriend aside, you are a catch. Eating disorder, drinking, and boyfriend aside. Maybe that's too many concessions for me to be making. Maybe I deserve something more than that. Maybe someone healthy could actually want me. Maybe. But the answer still feels like probably not. Why would anyone healthy want to be near something so broken? Surely the closest I'll come to finding something healthy for myself is someone who thinks that they may be able to save me. Don't touch me, you'll only push me away. There was safety in you, safety in knowing that you knew me, in knowing that there was nothing left to explain. Don't mind those scars, you know why they are there. They are there for the same reason that you're here now. They hurt and they're against all the rules. They're not allowed and they weigh heavily on my conscious. Just like you, they must be hidden but the rush that they give me makes them completely worth it. Just like you, just like you.
And now you're gone. I didn't let you go quietly into the night with an 'I'll be here if you ever need me,' or a 'you know where to find me.' No, I told you never to come back. I told you to stay away for your own good. I told you to leave me out of the roller coaster that is your world. I've been on this ride for long enough and it's time to get off now. That's what I told you, but I already want to find another email from you. Just a few more words to let me know that I really didn't lose, but that I was simply playing the wrong game altogether. But I told you to go and I wished you luck, though no amount of luck is going to save you from yourself. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe everything will be just fine. Maybe he's a bigger man than me and he'll be able to forgive you and let it all go, but something tells me that your struggle is only just beginning.