Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Confab

I'm still having a hard time believing that all I learned yesterday was real life. Nothing he said was true. NOTHING HE SAID WAS TRUE. What I thought was real, was not real. What I thought my life was, was not my life. I trusted him. I believed his lies. Everything I believed was a lie.

I wonder now if anything was real. Did he love me even a little? Or is he not even capable of love? Did he ever feel anything for me? I always got the sense that what I felt for him was unrequited, but WOW, maybe he honestly never even cared about me, not even a little. I did so much for him. He did nothing for me. In any way. Why would he? He never loved me. He never cared. It wasn't real. It was all fake.

It's a lot to process, and I'm not really processing it, if I'm being honest. I'm numb. I'm not sad or angry. I feel nothing. It's too much cognitive dissonance. I simply can't wrap my brain around it. He had another relationship going while he was married to me. He fathered another child. He was living another life. Everything was a lie.

What's been at least a little bit comforting was learning that he treated his ex the exact same way. I emailed her yesterday. He has a son with a previous girlfriend. They broke up in 2010, and the last time he saw his son was 2012. At first I totally believed him that she was a horrible person, but as time went on and I learned who he really was, I began to feel nothing but sympathy for her. He left her when she was 7 months pregnant. He chose his career over her and his son, just like he did me. I knew that she and I had a lot in common, and I always wondered about her. So I emailed her.

She wrote back a lovely email. She was shocked to hear from me, but also happy. She felt guilty for not warning me, but knew that I was just as taken with him at the beginning as she had been, and knew that I wouldn't have listened anyway (totally true). She confirmed that their pattern was exactly the same as his and mine--at first it was blissful and perfect, then he began to change, and then suddenly she realized that she was stuck in a terrible relationship and pregnant. He was also angry and violent with her. He told her outright, just like he told me, that he would always choose his career over her. She paid for everything for him, just like I did. He also criticized her physically, and made her believe that she was much less than him. It took her years, she said, to realize that it was the other way around, and that SHE was the strong, talented one, and he was sick, sad man. She's now married to a "wonderful, caring man," and in addition to he son with my husband, her husband has 3 children, and she gave birth to a baby girl earlier this year. She is happy. She promised me that I would be, one day, too, and that I am too smart and too good to let him ruin me. She gave me hope.

I know it wasn't me. The problem wasn't me, it wasn't her, it wasn't his current (or now recent-ex) girlfriend. It's him. He is the sick one. He is the one who hates himself, and who is damaged beyond repair. We don't have to be. We have the capability to love and trust, which is what you are supposed to do when you're in love. People who love you aren't supposed to lie and cheat and deceive.

He's the one whose life is all a charade. Mine is real. My feelings were real. I behaved in a way that was truthful and in line with my values and with what a person does when they love another person. He did not. My life will continue. His never began.

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