Steve emailed an apology of sorts. It reads completely like any apology Bubba ever gave me: I’m sorry, forgive me, we were too close to just throw it away. No acknowledgment of the wrong he’d done, no promises to do things differently, just what comes across as I’m sorry I got caught doing something you didn’t like.
I told him I’d meet with him tomorrow. I wish I could explain why I feel the need to do this. Maybe to see for myself that he really isn’t the lie; that he is exactly who he showed me he was when I broke it off. I clearly remember the passive-aggressive comments, the jealous comments about me flaunting my body for the neighbors, how he was angry at me when we had sex but he went ahead with it anyway, and mostly, I remember how nasty he turned when I broke it off.
I’m not going into this meeting with any idea to reconcile. I do not want to go back. Yes, I admit that I miss what we had in the first month, I miss him. I understand that what he showed me that first month is not who he really is. He hid his fundamental self from me; the attitudes that are deeply ingrained in him that I just can’t live with.
All of my friends are warning me not to meet with him. They are afraid for me. They are voicing their concerns. They are making me feel like they think I’m a complete idiot who doesn’t have a clue in her head what the risks are here and that I’m stupid enough to get sucked back in. Maybe it boils down to the fact that I need to do this to prove that I can stand up for myself. I am strong enough to tell him what he did that I can’t live with.
I didn’t get to do this with my parents, my sisters, or Bubba. I simply placed the boundary that I would not discuss my life with them and they turned on me. I didn’t get to explain it to them. I didn’t get that chance to defend myself. I think part of it is that I need this to reclaim my power. I’ve felt so powerless in regards to my Family of Origin (FOO) and Bubba because walking away and not defending myself was what I needed to do to stay safe.
Talking with Steve is different. I’m not that emotionally invested in this. There is nothing he can use against me to hurt me and my kids in any true way. He won’t ever be involved in the family courts and he isn’t a risk to getting my kids taken away from me. I have power here and it is about time that I learned that I have it.
I plan to get out of my car and simply ask him, “For what are you apologizing?” I know the only thing he is going to come up with is that he expected me to be happy all the time. He might realize that he was completely mean and nasty in his last texts. He will not understand the passive-aggressive comments and the jealousy are a problem. I really think those are so ingrained in him that they won’t blip his radar as issues.
I need to look him in the eye and tell him that I don’t feel safe with him and that I never will again. I shouldn’t have to work to feel safe with someone. I felt safe with him from the beginning then he destroyed it. It cannot come back. I will not live my life in fear of my partner ever again. I would always wonder when I would make him mad enough that he would attack me with his words. That isn’t ok with me. It is a non-negotiable.
My gut is telling me to do this despite everyone telling me not to. It is a deep-seated need in me. I don’t fully understand it so I can’t fully explain it. Yes, it might be a supremely bad idea. I’m taking precautions. We’re meeting in public, along a major highway, right by a stop light. If he tries anything, I will run into the store we’ll be standing in front of.
I’m going in to this with my eyes open and I’m prepared. If he tries to touch me, I have a plan. I will not freeze. I am prepared that he will try to hug me. I am prepared to hold up my hands and say, “No. Do not touch me.”
I’m trying not to run scenarios through my head. I’m trying not to play out what is going to happen because I know that as soon as I ask my first question, anything can happen. Endellion and I are going to do some role-playing tonight.
I am strong. I am a Survivor. I can do this. I am Hope.