Well folks, it seems I can never learn lessons the easy way. I fell for the oldest trick in the book, post-painful break-up – the old “let’s be friends” line. My ex and I had been chatty lately and he and I agreed to be friends, which felt okay. I have been in a really great place these last few months and so I wanted to test the waters. I realize now that that was stupid of me and I know for the future that I should just say no…if there is a next time. Two weeks into agreeing to be friends (or, at least friendly) he vanishes again. This time around, I know why he left – that doesn’t mean that it sucks any less. It feels good to finally be able to move on from his lies, but a part of me aches inside when I think about never seeing his eyes, hearing voice or his boyish laugh, or watching certain shows with him ever again. It hurts, and it sucks, and that makes it hurt even more because what he did to me hurts the most.
However hurt I am, I have been able to move forward. I have feelings for someone else, and I let him know that and he used that as his opportunity to finally, fully walk away – without remorse or shame. I should have seen it coming, but he’s as unpredictable as a hurricane. I always wondered what would happen to me when he really left, and honestly I feel unsteady. He treated me like trash and I have spent the entirety of 2019 moving past the hurt and the pains in my heart and the endlessly destructive need to be with him. Sometimes, when the nights get really hard, I squeeze my eyes closed, as tightly as I can, and I conjure my favorite memories of him – holding me in bed, on a late night walk for his cigarettes, those nights that we first met. We haven’t been boyfriend/girlfriend in almost a whole year and I truly am better off without him, but now I have all of these new questions running through my brain.
” So tell me
Did you ever really love me?
Did you ever really want me?
Now that I see you clearer
I wonder was I ever really happy
Didn’t get the chance to ask me
Now that I see you clearer
Was it just smoke and mirrors?
Ooh, was it just smoke and mirrors? “
When we first started having relationship issues, I wore this song like my life vest. If it’s possible to wear out a digital file, then I probably would have because I think I played in on repeat 48 hours straight at one point. I allowed him to convince me that he felt the same things I felt for him, but now, this last straw has broken, and I know now that he NEVER intended to be with me like I wanted him to be. He was just waiting for the perfect opportunity to leave me. Did he have to go and break my spirit like he did though? Wasn’t it enough to be a liar and a narcissist? Wasn’t it enough that he was obviously cheating on me the entire time that I lived in New Haven and I didn’t – or couldn’t – see it? I was cheating on him too towards the end, but I always knew that he was with someone else but I wanted to believe he was better than that. I wanted to believe that he loved me.
The more time that I spend with my friends and work on re-connecting with them and their lives here in New York, my eyes are opening up to how much I missed by being with HIM. I completely isolated myself and created this faux-reality in my mind where my friends stopped caring about me or wanting me around. The longer I believed that lie, the longer I stayed away and the easier it was for me to convince myself that he and I were happy.
It was all a lie. We stopped being happy together a year before we even “broke-up.” I think we just convinced ourselves we were happy with one another, which makes the situation even sadder than it already is. To this day, I don’t know if my happiness was real. Did I force myself to be happy with him or did I really feel happy with him? I truly can’t say for sure. I wish my answer were different. Lately, when I am with friends, it feels like I was in a coma and I’m just waking up realizing how much my world has changed while I was sleeping. It’s frustrating to think that someone would take so much time to carry on with such a lie. Was nothing that he said to me truthful? Every time he told me that “he didn’t want to lose me”…was it a facade? Was he telling me what I wanted, or needed, to hear? My brain HURTS when I think about it too much and I want to break down and cry for several weeks, but life goes on and I have to keep moving.
I’m scared – terrified that the next time I fall in love that the same thing will happen to me. It frightens me to think that someone could perpetrate such an extensive lie and I never picked up on the con job…not once.
So, yes…it WAS all smoke and mirrors – me and him. The pain he caused will ALWAYS be there and the scars on my heart might not fade, but I know that the next man won’t be a con artist because now the smoke has cleared and I can see the signs reflecting in my rear view.