As I begin to write in my journal again, something I have not done for months, I mistakenly open a forgotten journal, restored from my old computer. In it is email correspondence between he and I that last summer. Discussing separation, indicating his desire to change; how much he loves me and doesn’t want to lose his family and home. Too little, too late. So complacent for so long. So willing to continue his behavior until everything began to unravel. To read the emails is to experience him again. The person I married, who vowed to love me, honor me, cherish me, protect me. The person who cared little over the years he had done none of those things.
He writes he wants to change. I see someone in that email just like you or I. Earnestly trying to undo a mistake. But he made different choices, choices you or I would not make. They were not mistakes. They were purposeful acts to control me. What is said cannot be unsaid, what is done cannot be undone.
It is sad to read the emails because in my responses I see I have let go, finally, of any hope that he will indeed change after so many years of trying to figure out a way to make our relationship work. It is clear to see as I read I have let go of hope for my marriage. You see, it was not our marriage. It was mine; a relationship I invested in, not him.
I remember wanting to believe him, that what he was saying was true. I remember accepting it had not been true, any desire to change, the many times I pleaded for him to stop, pleaded for him to leave me alone. It is clear to see we were irreparable.
I remember thinking apart from one another we would be so much better than together. I now understand this would not have been the case. He would have been the same. He was not willing to work to change. History had proved again and again there would be no reprieve. With each email of mine, a more final resolve. A determination to get on with my life. An acknowledgment of the truth, an emotional separation. A reconnection with myself. With each email of his, he edged closer to the ultimate end. Declarations of love, like those over the years, always countered by pain. I love you but I will hurt you now. Final declarations of love, painfully expressed with his last words ‘I love you too much to live without you’ seconds before he shot me. And kept shooting me.
Love…..he took mine and murdered it. He made it into something ugly. And me, in it, damaged. Love=anger. Love=control. Love=pain. Love=humiliation. Love=harm. Love=loss. Love=sadness.
This is how I was loved. This is what his version of love felt like.
Damaged people are dangerous, they know they can survive. Josephine Hart