Carting Off the Dead
The cart driver finally showed up at my house last night, “Bring out your dead…..Bring out your dead.” And I did. I threw Steve on the pile of dead relationships the cart driver had in his possession. It is over.
Things have been going steadily downhill from the moment Steve and I had sex. Endellion pointed out that she was concerned when she heard that he didn’t care that I hadn’t gotten “there.” She said it spoke of a selfish nature. The first hint that something was wrong was when he didn’t move heaven and earth on Sunday to see me as he had been doing.
My next hint was on Monday. We met in the parking lot across from my work again when I was finished for the day. He had Charlie with him and I was horrified to see that tiny boy fast asleep in the front seat of Steve’s car with no car seat. I told him that Charlie needed to be in a carseat, a 5 point harness. He said that his mother keeps telling him he needs one but he just hasn’t gotten it yet. Yes, this man who tells me all the time how much he loves that little boy is not doing everything he can to protect him.
It also concerned me that he grabbed my butt and I told him no, that wasn’t ok in public. He tried another time or two to get away with it, acting like it was a joke. It was not funny to me. The red flags were flying that he wasn’t respecting my body boundaries which is something he’d been very careful to do before Friday. Yes, this showed an ownership mentality that I tried to ignore.
Yesterday I was in a bad mood. I’m getting a cold and I knew that with all the ill-at-ease feelings I was having that I needed to break it off with Steve. I just didn’t know how to go about this. My mind was chewing on it all day. How does one go about breaking it off with someone you just slept with? We’d been steadily moving toward a relationship. Neither of us were seeing other people. He’d changed and I wasn’t ok with how he was acting. I’d texted and told him good morning when I woke up and hadn’t heard from him all day.
Finally, he texted to say he was done with work for the day. I didn’t respond. Again, I was in a bad mood and I was busy at work. He texted twice more and I just let them go. As soon as I got off work, I texted to tell him it had been a long day, I was in a pissy mood, and I was getting sick. He told me to take some meds and stop being pissy. WTF? Where was the compassion? He didn’t ask what was wrong, what had caused the pissy mood, or ask what was wrong with me. I told him I don’t like meds and that I had a few natural remedies I was going to try. I also told him I was embracing my pissy mood because if I fought against it, it would only make it worse. I just had to ride it out. He told me he’d talk to me later then. He didn’t want to text with me if I was in a bad mood. Again, WTF?
I also told him that I had to look for something and I saw Bubba’s signature and it triggered my PTSD. He told me, “Stop acting up.” That was it! That was exactly what I needed to end this. I told him that I couldn’t be happy all the time, that I lived the “happy is the only acceptable emotion” thing for 40 years and it nearly killed my soul. If he was only interested in me when I was happy, this wasn’t going to work. He responded by telling me not to threaten him and if it wasn’t going to work out, then fine, bye. I responded, “Good-bye, Steve.” He told me good-bye too and I wondered if it was really going to be that easy.
The one thing that really stuck out to me is that he didn’t respond by saying that of course, he doesn’t expect me to be happy all the time. He immediately jumped to seeing a threat from me. I told him that if he believed in happy is the only acceptable emotion that this wasn’t going to work. He didn’t deny it. He didn’t tell me that I was wrong or that I’d misread him. To me, that confirmed that he truly believes happy is the only acceptable emotion and my other feelings are simply not welcome.
It is over. It is done. I’m blessedly numb. He changed so quickly and so completely that I’m rather numb. I’ve spent the past few days since it happened kicking myself up one side and down the other for having slept with him so soon after meeting him. My brain was telling me it was too soon and my body was screaming for him. I *wanted* to have sex. Then, after all this happened, the voices of the Ghost of Abuses Past began the relentless attack on me. “See what happens to sluts? That’s what you get for being a whore. Did you ever think that you should just keep your legs crossed?” The attacks were vile and I simply didn’t have the strength to fight them. I felt so ashamed and dirty and the Ghost really took advantage of it.
I finally confessed to my friends. I told them what happened, what I’d done, and prepared for the judgment. Only it didn’t come. They simply loved on me and pointed out that maybe, just maybe, it was a good thing we’d slept together when we did. What would’ve happened had we not had sex for the next six months, a year, or until we eventually married? The outcome would’ve been the same. He would’ve changed because the level of our relationship changed – sex gave him possession of me. They pointed out that it was a good thing to have found this out now, after only a month, instead of some time down the line when I was really, fully in love with him or married to him. The repercussions of that could’ve been devastating. They also pointed out that it was a very good thing that we’d put off introducing the children into the relationship.
When I didn’t have the strength to fight the Ghost and its screaming voices, my friends stepped up with battle swords drawn and fought it for me. They rallied around, circled the wagons, and went on a Ghost hunt. I didn’t have to fight the voices alone. I had defenders. I had soldiers, willing to step into the fray and defend me when I was defenseless. I was surrounded by warriors, shouting their battle cries and brandishing their weapons. I was loved and protected.
I’m slowly coming to terms with what happened, the decisions I made, and the fall-out from that. I’m numb. The feelings are that ring in the jello pool again. I have no urge to try to reach the ring though. I want to stay numb. I know it won’t last. I’m starting to miss the Steve I thought I knew. I miss the pretty little lie. I miss the person Steve carefully crafted. I shove it down though. I’m not ready to mourn this. I simply want to forget it and move on.
I know the futility of that mindset yet I can do nothing about it right now. I will take the numbness while it lasts for soon, I know, it will be gone and the pain will take me down at the knees. It will fell me as surely as a chainsaw fells a mighty oak. I will be powerless to stop it; I will ride it out, let it wash over me, and let it cleanse me. Until then, I embrace the numb and prepare for the storm.
For now, I watch the cart driver as he slowly and sadly guides his cart away from my house. He continues to implore, “Bring out your dead,” but I know I have nothing more to give him.
I am safe for now. He can continue his journey just as I continue mine.