Why Should I Care?

Readers, I need some help. I’m gonna vent a little here, and perhaps you can commiserate with me, pat me on the back, or talk me down. I don’t know what I want from you, but I know I gotta puke this one out there for consumption, consideration, speculation and I guess, liberation.

Before I found myself happily ensconced in this unique relationship and family that is mine, I was nearly two years out of what was easily my most tumultuous relationship. For four years I kicked this dead horse, treading the same toxic, destructive path until my soul was worn bare, because I didn’t have the strength, the courage, and the self-love to admit that I was better off alone.

The guy I was with, and without, during that four-year period played me against his university love, a decade old, tumultuous relationship that reads like an Edwardian novel. A bad one, where everyone goes crazy and dies. Despite his protestations that this woman was sick, their relationship toxic, and their history a thing of the past, I discovered him embroiled in relations with her, on more than one occasion.

I met her, twice. The first time because I called her, to validate my suspicions. She did. The second time, after my relationship with this man had well and truly ended, she called me to relieve her suspicions. I did.  She was beautiful. Incredibly beautiful. Like a heroine in a Gothic Edwardian novel. She was smart. She had sad, kind eyes. I felt sorry for her, and strangely protective. Weird, huh?

Fast forward to February of this year. I barely have contact with this ex any more. We no longer share custody of my beloved dog (really, in the end, the only thing he managed to truly take from me) and I live too far away to ever help him out with dog sitting. Yes, I did that. I thought “let’s let bygones” and “God, I love that dog” and so agreed to the odd summer weekend of dog care. I’ve got my own baby now, and things are wonderful in my world. My very close friend bumps into this guy and discovers he’s also going to be a dad. She tells me this news.

There’s always a funny moment when you realize  a significant ex is going to pro-create with someone else. With this particular ex, it was a little bit more twangy because I miscarried our own unexpected pregnancy at seven weeks. This event really helped me shift away from that relationship as I realized how badly I wanted children, and how utterly disinterested he seemed in having kids. He was also horrific at taking care of anything that wasn’t the dog, including himself.

Here I was, with this information, and after the twang, I thought “Well, people change, right? Babies are a beautiful thing, and maybe he’s ready.”

I also wondered who he would mate with. His personal life was way off my radar, so I had really no idea. I assumed it was a new relationship. I guess I hoped for some forward progress,  even though it’s ultimately none of my goddamned business.

I sent a note of congratulations after the arrival of the little one. It was sincere, because I know the joy and healing a child can bring. I still want to mean it, but now I feel ill.

Yesterday at a fluke media event that I was delighted to be invited to last-minute, I bumped into a very old friend of this ex. The new baby came up in conversation, and when this pal mused “… and who can believe who the mother is?” I felt the same kind of sickness I did when I realized he was cheating.

Why should I care after seven years and a whole new wonderful life of my own? I’ve been gumming on this since yesterday.

I guess it’s because I’m one of many innocent bystanders who have had their hearts and lives dragged under the bus by these two people as they try to sort their torrid shit out over a couple of decades. Why lie to yourselves, and worse, to so many other people, when you just keep going back for more? Why pull so many people, and their emotions, into your web of fucked-upness?

Why bring an innocent child into that web?

Okay, I can hear you now readers. C’mon, don’t be so judgmental and bitter. Maybe they’ve changed? Maybe they’ve worked their shit out. I hope so you guys, for that little baby’s sake, but in talking with his pal, it seems the nature of the relationship between these two adults is as sketchy and veiled in mystery as ever.

Let it go, you say? I’m trying. But I also reflect on how incredibly hard it is to raise kids, even in the most loving and supportive environments. I think of several people I know who would make brilliant parents, who want to make families, and who can’t. I think of what a gift it is to have children in your life, and how precious those little souls are. I just feel sick at the possibility that this innocent babe could be one more person to be manipulated and hurt by two people who really hurt me deeply.

Prove me wrong you guys, please. I hope to god you’ve finally accepted the fact that you love and want each other. Quit it with the Gothic torture and unrequited bullshit, if you haven’t already. Take care of yourselves and each other, and the precious gift that the universe granted you. Keep each other close, get a good therapist (I know a great one, btw) and keep other people out of your grand mess. It’s not romantic, it never was. It was sick, and hurtful to all parties involved.

You are both talented people who are capable of kindness. I hope that this child proves that you are worthy of love, and love for each other.

Okay, I already feel better. Thanks for listening, readers and friends.

 

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6 Comments

  1. Jax
    June 12, 2014 / 1:10 pm

    As you know, I was dealing with my own hurtful and lengthy relationship as you were moving through yours. Our ex’s had many similar selfish qualities and I know we both had similar stories to share over these men. I went through the same feelings you are having now when I found out that my ex was having a child with someone I know he had been with while we were together. I was well passed and moved on from the story of us and yet it still felt like being slugged in the stomach to hear the news. For me, it was that he was outwardly committing to someone else after so stealthily hiding me and everything about our relationship from the world.

    Like you, I hope that the adorable little boy he had grows up in a home full of love and support but I don’t really think that my ex can commit to anything. As far as I know, he continues to walk the same selfish and deceitful path that he always has.

    So, I hear you and am confirming that your feelings are natural. Just know (and I know you do) how loved you are by those in your life … including me!

  2. Billie Mintz
    June 12, 2014 / 9:32 pm

    We all have an unconscious that has a mind of its own that wants one thing: for us to suffer. It will look for any way that can cause suffering in your life because that is how it stays in control of us and asserts itself. This past is a sore spot for you and the unconscious(being really smart) knows exactly how to get you. Your wish for “suffering” disguises itself as “caring”. Its an easy trigger. Nothing like this blog post to keep it going. Though it does not feel enjoyable, your unconscious is having a field day with it.

  3. June 12, 2014 / 10:29 pm

    Yet – another great blog post.

  4. Kyle
    June 13, 2014 / 11:06 am

    I was kind of surprised to read this from you but then I remembered that we are very very related. As far as I can tell, this bitter twang never goes away. For me, I’ve accepted it as my own narcissism and realize it will never change. I’ve been able to hold my head high in this lifetime knowing that I’ve given my best (admittedly, a deeply flawed best) to the few people I’ve ever committed myself to, and while in all cases I’ve been the one to officially end each relationship (again, narcissism) I often get trapped in these similar thoughts.

    That said, I’m GLAD that this happens to me. I can’t imagine an existence so cold and so lonely that I feel nothing, that I feel numb. I’m okay with carrying some anger and bitterness. I’m just cognizant of it become pure unbridled cynicism. Sometimes these types of feelings approach me like a life savior, reminding me that I am capable about deeply caring for someone else, about making sacrifice for someone else.

    Plus that dog kind of smelled. You’ll be fine.

  5. M
    July 19, 2014 / 12:11 am

    Sympathy

    Therefore I dare reveal my private woe,
    The secret blots of my imperfect heart,
    Nor strive to shrink or swell mine own desert,
    Nor beautify nor hide. For this I know,
    That even as I am, thou also art.
    Thou past heroic forms unmoved shalt go,
    To pause and bide with me, to whisper low:
    “Not I alone am weak, not I apart
    Must suffer, struggle, conquer day by day.
    Here is my very cross by strangers borne,
    Here is my bosom-sin wherefrom I pray
    Hourly deliverance–this my rose, my thorn.
    This woman my soul’s need can understand,
    Stretching o’er silent gulfs her sister hand.”
    –Emma Lazarus

    An empath must know when to release the ties that bind us to people and energies that would lead to our downfall. Focus on your new light and let the universe take care of the rest. Maktub.

  6. August 20, 2014 / 7:40 pm

    Holy crap, Catherine, you are a force. And a gift. I’ll take a referral to that therapist asap, thanks.