An anniversary I never wanted

I write this article, on this date, because the actual anniversary of my disastrous fallout with my ex-fiance is in a few weeks, and I will likely be traveling at that time.

So… I’ve only written, what, maybe a dozen or more articles that pertain directly to that event last September? And most everything else I’ve written since has been influenced in some way by it. It’s a deep pit of venom festering in a wound that for a long time refused to stop bleeding.

By this point, I’ve accepted how I feel about her, which is now largely indifferent. After it ended, she treated me like a sack of shit and lied about me to a degree that I’d rather not know the full extent of. I said some stupid shit too, the worst of it being a pompous, overblown declaration that a future partner of hers would “rue the day they came into existence” if I ever happened to come across her and this hypothetical partner in person. Which, is about the biggest crock of shit I’ve ever put into words. Two weeks after losing her, the thought of someone else on her arm filled me with rage. Even now, if I were to see it, yeah, I’d certainly be uncomfortable. Irritated, to be sure. But I wouldn’t do anything about it. I don’t know who she has gone out with since me, I don’t want to know, and I don’t care. I prefer that she ends up with someone who will treat her with love, decency, and respect, but it’s ultimately none of my damn business.

I was stupid enough, even after the worst of words were exchanged, after attempts at apologies were made but damage was done, to still send her a few gifts around the holidays. That backfired to an amazing degree. And even though I had the best intentions (trying to say that I was sorry and still cared even after what was said and done) it was the wrong thing to do. I was desperate for closure, reconciliation, and forgiveness. What I didn’t have the wisdom to see at the time is that I needed that forgiveness from myself, not from her. She was the one who chose to let me go. I made mistakes, we both did, still nothing to this day that I think was worth ending a relationship over, but even if I had done everything “perfectly,” would she still have left? Probably. She was the one who chose to leave, yet I tortured myself with endless castigation over what I could have done differently. My body languished and my soul was in agony in regret over the last things I said to her. How could I be so vile and go on such a diatribe against someone who I adored with all my being? That was the forgiveness I sought, and it was only much later in 2017 that I learned this truth.

So here we are, almost a year has passed, and we are two days from a year, from one of the last correspondences from her I haven’t deleted yet: “I love you more than anyone or anything I ever have.” And a few weeks later, you might as well have stabbed me in the real, physical heart, and I wouldn’t have been much more dead.

You are reading the words of a broken man who has figured out, somehow, a way to piece himself back together. Now, if I may paraphrase a line from an Opeth song, “she is nothing but the scars on me.” In the spirit of Japanese kintsukori, I am stronger and better for the scars I wear. Regretting the choices I made in the wake of the disaster and the depths to which I sank in the despair of loneliness and heartbreak, is ultimately pointless. In this time of anniversary I never wanted to achieve, it is here I must forgive myself and use my mistakes to learn and grow as a human being.


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