While clearing out and packing the drawers in my bedroom today, I came across the card that Gary gave me at the beginning of our relationship. Reading it, some questions came to mind. Was he just saying those words as a ploy to trick me into believing he was something he actually wasn’t? Did he mean them when he wrote them? Is this one of the reasons I stayed with him for so long? Should I throw the card away and forget all about it?
Upon deeper reflection, I found my answers. I don’t believe Gary was just saying those words to trick me. I genuinely believe that Gary had/has a softer more caring side to him, a side that was absolutely there at the beginning and at times throughout our relationship but that became marred with insecurity. What I saw from Gary right from the start, was two sides. The side he was deep-down, the side I believe he would like to be ~ the caring, loving, gentle, feeling man that I witnessed a few times; but also the side that has played a part in his life for almost all his life. The hurt, weakened, vulnerable man who carries his childhood pain with him everywhere he goes using it as a shield but, in actual fact, hurting himself with it more than if he’d just let it down. That softer side was real. I saw it too many times to deny it. I saw it less than two weeks ago when he cried after our hug saying how much I’d hurt him. For the little-unhealed boy who was abandoned by his Daddy, who he loved and admired deeply, my blocking him and removing him from my life was another rejection too far. I see that now.
I believe with absolute certainty that Gary meant those words when he said them. He was crazy about me in the beginning. He couldn’t get enough of me or spend enough time with me. He could picture me in his life until the end of his days, he meant that when he said it then, he meant it even more when he said it a few months afterwards. I know that Gary loved me, maybe he still does, but I also know that love isn’t enough.
And so, yes, that is one of the reasons I stayed with him so long. It wasn’t just my own damaged, unhealed and wounded girl wanting to heal my past in the present, it was also a profound feeling that there was more to this man than what angrily bubbled on the surface but in the end, it was too much. No matter what I could see and feel in him, his pain and my pain combined was a combination that would just never work. We had mutual passion and anger and we fought an almost bloody war with both of us trying to win but I’m not sure that either of us knew what we were fighting for. We certainly weren’t fighting for our love to survive, rather, we were battling against an unknown force that we weren’t strong enough to give in to because that is what we both should have done; that is all any of us should do – give in to love and allow it to heal you but two damaged souls, two unhealed children cannot do that. I understand that now, too.
My final question – should I throw the card away and forget about it. Yes, in terms of moving on, yes I should, absolutely I should, but when have I ever done anything I ‘should’ do? That’s not how I go through life. So, I will keep in tucked away in my box of mementos, to be found again one day, maybe in five years, maybe in fifty, possibly never and do you know why? Because everybody should cherish a written love letter, no matter who it’s from or what the eventual outcome may have been because these things don’t drop on your doorstep every single day. As Gary said in his letter, ‘I cherish the times we have together.’ That’s exactly what I will do. Cherish the good times we had; the love letter, the passion, the laughs and the lessons.