It’s funny, the things that can happen in one day. The things that can change. You can lose all of your money in one day. Someone dies, you get in an accident, your boyfriend tells you he’s moving away, another boyfriend tells you they don’t love you anymore. You can lose your job or your home. you can fall in love. Everything can change.
Over the past week things have been crazy in my head. I’ve been struggling to find my identity and I’ve been struggling to figure out who is an asset in my life and who is holding me down. A few days ago I removed Chesley from my friends list. He told me he had disabled his Facebook but that his wife must have logged on to it and activated it again. I removed him from my friends list because I didn’t want her causing any problems for me while they were having problems. Once I found out they had calmed down and were giving their marriage another go, I told him to accept me as a friend again. He said he didn’t want to while his wife was out of the state because it might look suspicious. I told him I’d be her friend too if I had to. I’d do whatever I needed to do to prove that I wanted nothing more than friendship. I said I’d “take one up the proverbial ass” as it were. I sent his wife a message asking her if it was okay that me and Chesley were friends. She responded back with how he was a grown man and she didn’t care what friends he had.
He also told her everything I said to him about not wanting her to snoop around on my page, about taking it up the ass and having to deal with being her friend just to be his.
What. The. Fuck.
I was seriously confused. And I must admit I was a little more than hurt. Why would he do something like that? Why would he tell her what I said. I bet he didn’t tell her all of the shit he said about her when they were fighting. Being the adult that I am, I kept that all to myself because it doesn’t solve anything. I had a field day with my therapist. I showed him everything that happened last week and last night.
He asked me what I hoped to accomplish out of being friends with a man that physically and emotionally abused me for years. He’s asked me this before. I didn’t have an answer for him. I didn’t have an answer for him today either. He had a rather interesting point to make, though. He said, “Crystal, how do you define friendship?” I told him that it’s someone that would do anything for you within their power, someone that is there for you, listens, and loves you as a person.
Dr. Lee: Does Chesley represent any of those?
Me: Chesley has been through a lot. He isn’t capable of being there for someone right now when he’s going through so much. That’s what I’m there for.
Dr. Lee: Can you remember a time that he was there for you when you needed him, without any strings attached?
Me: When my boyfriend left me to fly back to California, I called him bawling into the phone and he asked me if he needed to pull a ‘Dawson’s Creek’ and drive to the airport to stop my boyfriend from leaving. And when Andy left me he sent me a text message and told me that I deserved my happiness, and I gave a lot of love and passion, and anyone would be lucky to have me.
Dr. Lee: Now name the times that you’ve been there for him over the past nine years. Better yet, I want you to take this piece of paper and write down every positive thing he has ever done for you and on the other side I want you to write every negative thing he’s done to you, including what he did last night.
My positive list was only half way down the page. The negative list took up the entire right side and most of the back.
Dr. Lee: Think really hard about this next question, Crystal. Are you still in love with him?
Me: I love him as a person. I love him for the potential that he has in him to be a good person. I’m not in love with him, no.
Dr. Lee: How long did you try to win his approval of the person that you are? How much weight did you lose, how many things did you buy him, how much time did you spend making sure that you were the best you could be for him? How much did it matter?
Me: I tried our entire relationship to win his approval. I never did. I lost weight, took his truck to put gas in it, made sure he had dinner and cigarettes, I took his truck on his birthday to get a stereo system put in it, came home with it and he told me he didn’t want it, to take it back. He wanted Flowmasters. I took his truck the next day and waited at the shop for six hours while they put Flowmasters on it. I wasted an entire day sitting with his fucking truck while they put pipes on it. I never got his approval.
Dr. Lee: Then why are you still trying? Why do you want to validate being good enough for a person that you will never be good enough for? Just because you don’t fit what he wants doesn’t make you less of a person. Why does his opinion matter so much?
Me: ……. I don’t know.
Dr. Lee: Do you feel you can live your life without him?
Me: Yes. I’ve been doing well enough for the past six years.
Dr. Lee: Then maybe it’s time. You are talking about ridding yourself of the things that hold you down. Three years of someone putting you down followed by six years of you putting yourself down is quite enough punishment, don’t you think? If you’re going to be done with that kind of negativity in your life, you need to be done with it 100%
Dr. Lee: Chesley may have been opening the lines of communication to his wife by telling her what you two talked about, but I would examine his motives a little more closely. What kind of ‘friend’ does something like that if they have your best interest at heart? Is that something you want in your life; someone that’s willing to ‘throw you under the bus’ as you kids call it to make themselves look better?
Me: Do you think that’s what he did?
Dr. Lee: Do you?
I sent his wife another message this afternoon and told her that I no longer had any interest in being friends with him. I told her that she would no longer have to worry about me trying to contact him, and if he tried to contact me, he wouldn’t get a response. She said she was happy that I realized what was going on. She said that she hoped I had a good life. She said that she and Chesley were starting over with a clean slate in their marriage. I told her that I hoped it lasted for many many years and that they enjoyed each other.
I’ve got nothing left to offer him. And even if I did, I wouldn’t want to now. Not after what he did. Of all the things that I know and could tell …. and I choose to keep it to myself. But people sure don’t have a problem using me to make themselves look better. I gotta love myself. I’m letting go of all of that.
And today, when I left work, I sang at the top of my lungs and I smiled. And I felt good.