Have you thought of me at all today? After you humiliated me in front of everyone and took your anger out on me with harsh words that cut like shards of cheap plastic, wedging in under my already broken skin. I told you in whispers that morning, my fingers winding their way over yours; I told you I’m sorry I’m grumpy. I told you I do not feel like me today. But instead of holding me and kissing my forehead with tenderness, instead of asking me what was wrong, instead of holding me quietly in your arms and running fingers over my back, instead of making me a warm cup of tea and brushing my hair out of my eyes…you ignored me. The whole day I tried to make you see me. I sat quietly next to you. I slid my fragile hand on to your leg to remind you, “I’m still here.” and even though my leg joints ached and even though I dislike meat, I washed the meat dishes out when you asked me to because I knew you were busy. Because I love you and I like doing things for you so that you feel that love. I was battling my own demons that day and I told you. But it fell on deaf ears.
Have I crossed your mind at all today? Do I mean so little to you that, a day later, you still have not messaged me to apologize? I left in tears. I left in a mess. But you have not even called to see if I am okay. I feel the shards dig a little deeper under my skin as each hour passes and I hear nothing. If the tables were turned I would not think twice about telling you how sorry I am. I would show you that I value you and that my anger was not yours to bear. But I receive nothing of this from you; just stony-cold silence. And I wonder if perhaps this is my fault…but then I cannot let my self go there. My self-esteem is not so low that I will take the blame for your shocking and hurtful reaction. I told you I was not myself. You told me nothing, you just screamed at me instead.
This is the last straw for me. I am tired of being a part of the furniture. I am tired of empty promises. I never complain that you work so much, or that you do favours and run errands for everyone whilst I sit patiently inside waiting for you to come back and see me. I am not a wallflower. I have never been one and why I have allowed you to treat me like this I do not know. It is my own fault that you think it is acceptable to never take me out, to never follow through on things you have said, to never bring me tea or breakfast in bed or cook me a candlelit supper or just pick me a flower out of the garden. It is my own fault because I love you too much. My love for you would rather allow you freedom to do what you think needs to be done. To work so that you don’t suffer so much stress. To help your brother build that fence, to go shopping with your mother, to help your friend with his car, to fix a co-workers cellphone…whilst I sit in your space, keeping myself quietly busy until you are done and have time for me. This is my fault. I let you think it was okay to only give me affection on your terms. To only cuddle me when it’s because you want cuddles. To only cook when it’s because you are hungry. To not make tea but rather wait until I get up and then get me to do it instead. Not once in all the time I have been sick have you told me, “It’s okay. Rest. Let me do this for you.” Not once did you offer to let me rest but whenever you are sick I am there making sure you feel loved and looked after. Making sure you can rest and not worry. Not once did you make me feel like you were on my side when I was sick. You even told me that it’s all in my head not long after I had expressed my frustration at people saying that; at a doctor saying that, All you did was make me feel crazy and undermined. You were not on my side. Not once.
Through this all, what I realised yesterday was: You are selfish.
We are all selfish and I am probably seeing my own selfishness reflected back at me in you. But I can say that I do what I can to make you feel loved. I listen to what you say and what you need and I try my best to make you feel the love that I have for you. So why is it so hard to hear me? Why is it so hard to step out of your own self absorbed head?! A great example is my birthday; when I was so bowled over my this present I was given by a friend and when I said to you that something as simple as this would make my day, that I would be completely happy with a spa voucher or a massage, or a day out doing something fun…you threw it back at me saying you would never get me things like that because it’s a waste of money to you. Did no one tell you that gift buying isn’t about you?? It’s about the person you are buying for. You buy me accessories for my car because YOU want them. You buy me a business book because YOU think it is money well spent. Have I used my car accessories? Have I read the book? No. Because it wasn’t for me. But take note that the spa voucher was cashed in, the bath products enjoyed and the things I asked for where appreciated and made use of. I don’t give a flying fuck if you think it;s a waste of money, it was my birthday and these were the things I expressed joy for. Imagine I took you clothes shopping for your birthday or baked you a cake (even thought I know you don’t eat it). I don’t know if you are capable of being in another’s shoes. It doesn’t seem so.
And I just feel anger bubbling up now because how dare you disregard me like you have. How dare I go along with this for 2 years like I am okay with feeling second best all the time. I have told you this numerous times before and every time I hear “sorry sorry sorry” and “I will do these things, I just get so busy with work/am under a lot of stress/ don’t think about it…” Well guess what buddy? We are all under stress. We are all busy and get caught up in our own lives. Do you think it’s been fun and stress free for me these past few years? When we started dating I had just come out of a month’s stay in a clinic after trying to kill myself. I was literally rebuilding myself and my entire life from square one again and NOT ONCE did I forget you. Not once did I make excuses. A week later when a family suicide nearly sent me over the edge, did I use that as an excuse? I kept going, because that is what I do. I just keep going. I very rarely say “help” and sometimes it would be nice to NOT have to say it. I remember you saying your ex kept harping on about you not bringing her flowers or taking her to supper etc. and I hear those words differently now…it’s not that she was demanding, it’s that she, like me, just wanted to feel seen and appreciated.
Imagine being with someone and you feel like it would make little difference whether you are there or not. I’m not saying you don’t care about me or love me, I know that deep inside you do. I see glimmers of it when you come to me needing love or attention. I see that you need me sometimes. But you could get the same affection from your dog. I am not your pet. I am your partner. And I also have wants and needs and dreams and hopes. I want you to share your with me and I want to share mine with you. I want to journey together. I want to experience new things and discuss the world and I want to see you get totally passionate about something. I want to see you…that’s exactly it…I want to see YOU. Where have you gone? Where is that man who made me feel like I was the most beautiful person on earth, worth loving and worth spending time with? I used to be so romantic and loved doing little things for you too but after you kept showing little to no appreciation I stopped putting in the effort. What’s the point when it’s not noticed? So now I am this blasé, lacklustre person too and that is not me. I have never been that way in a relationship before! Ever! I am passionate and loving and cuddly and I write love notes and cook magical suppers and pull you out in to new adventures…but in order to be that I need a partner who responds and shows passion for life too. I’ve often wondered if you are depressed. But I’ll never know because you never open up. And I have a feeling that this outburst yesterday is somehow related to the 15th anniversary of your dad’s death; but you’d never tell me if you were sad. I even popped around to give you a hug and sweets that I had bought just to make you feel better because I knew it was a tough day. But in 2 years I have never had that kind of empathy from you.
I’m tired now of digging in to this. It’s going to be hard not to contact you. I know there will be more tears and each day will hurt a little more but I guess I need this space. The beauty of learning not to lose myself in a relationship any more is that I have a life to continue with.
To be honest I am so hurt and angry inside that I feel you can just sit and rot in your stupid man cave. But it saddens me to think that if you don’t make contact, this will be the end. Because I can only take so much and I deserve to be seen.