I lost the ability to trust long before I had my first kiss. I learned from relatives. I learned from exposure. I learned from watching couples spit ‘funny’ insults at each other over holiday dinners. I learned from hearing ‘jokes’ about having secret girlfriends. I learned from living under the same roof as a broken couple for decades.
I don’t want to blame you for my problems. I don’t want to play the victim. I don’t want to act like my own actions and beliefs and thoughts are outside of my control. But it would be a lie to say your divorce hasn’t impacted me.
Actually, to be completely honest, the divorce is not the part that bothers me. There’s a certain relief in knowing any relationship can end once it becomes toxic. I like the idea of starting fresh, of being brave enough to turn over a new leaf, even if everyone is going to judge, even if it feels like you are taking ten steps back.
The part that bothers me is pre-divorce. It’s all the time you two spent together when you knew the relationship was clinging by strings. It’s the nasty arguments and the late night lies and the stench of alcohol. It’s the cheating. It’s the fuck yous. It’s the unforgivable acts that were forgiven. That is what screwed me up. That is what gave me a twisted version of love.
I watched someone tell bullshit lies, make offhanded comments, and come home at five in the morning without even bothering to give an explanation — and get away with it.
I watched someone get called unspeakable names and get thrown around the room and get treated like a useless piece of shit — and continue giving their unconditional love.
I have an unhealthy image of what a relationship looks like. I have trouble deciphering when to keep trying and when to give up. I have difficulty looking at a situation logically instead of cynically.
I am skeptical, even when I should be trusting. I am coldhearted, even when I should be spreading kindness. I am a conflicted person who acts like I don’t give a fuck in order to protect myself from recreating the same trauma I have seen my entire life.
I don’t trust anyone. I don’t even trust myself. I know what people are capable of doing to the ones they supposedly love. I know how much hurt can weigh down a heart. I know how long someone can stay when their feelings overshadow their common sense.
I don’t want to end up in a relationship that ruins me. I don’t want to make a life-altering mistake. That is why I’m careful about where I place my heart. I will keep it locked up until it absolutely has to break free.
I never wanted to be like this, but your divorce has hardened my heart. It made me fear commitment. It made me wonder whether forever exists or is only an elaborate lie.