I try to write posts about you often – I often get the sense that there are words that need to come out. But I thought of you tonight, whilst I was choking down tears that had appeared from nowhere. Triggered by some innocuous lyrics in a film, they suddenly overwhelmed me and I found all the grief, that used to hurt me in the days after we split, come flooding back.
This is the song that upset me:
And these are the lyrics:
We take a chance from time to time
And put our necks out on the line
And you have broken every promise that we made
And I have loved you anyway
Took a fine time to leave me hangin’ out to dry
Understand now I’m greivin’
So don’t you waste my time
Cause you have taken
All the wind out from my sails
And I have loved you just the same
We finally find this
Then you’re gone
Been chasin’ rainbows all along
And you have cursed me
When there’s no one left to blame
And I have loved you just the same
And you have broken every single fucking rule
And I have loved you like a fool
It has been 1 year and 7 months since we split. Less since I moved out, but still, more and more time is passing between the ‘us’ that we were then, and the ‘us’ that we are now.
Now, we barely speak. If I text, you never reply – if I ring, sometimes you might pick up but you are never that committed to actually sharing time with me. You do still let me see the dogs, and I am forever grateful that you have not stopped me from ever seeing two of the greatest things in my life. But you aren’t exactly willing – it is always a mammoth task to arrange a time because, bluntly, I’m one of the absolute least important things to you now.
But then, maybe that wasn’t so different ‘before’.
The song upset me because of the honest way it portrays the ending of us. It upset me because it reminded me of how foolish I have been, with and because of our love. I loved you with everything I had to give. I loved you wholeheartedly and unthinkingly, without shame or any fear. I loved you, and in loving you I gave you every piece of me until I was no longer myself, but rather an extension of you. I loved you like a fool – through all of the difficult times, the times when you made me feel like I wasn’t good enough, through all the times you ground down my edges, trying and mostly failing to fit me into the boxes you wanted me to fit. I loved you through all my doubts, because I believed our stupid little decorative picture that said love makes things possible, not easy. I must have been chasing rainbows all along.
I am going on a date tomorrow. I like him – I have spent the last 19 months finding myself in amongst the ashes of me that you left behind, and I finally feel ready to unveil the reincarnation of myself to someone else. I am a little nervous, but I am excited – I like him. I’m sad though, too.
I am sad because I think maybe I will always love ‘us’. Not the ‘us’ we became, but the ‘us’ we once were. The ‘us’ we were when we used to drive with no destination because we just wanted to be together – the ‘us’ we were when we visited the whole of Paris in one day. I still keep the letters and cards we wrote each other, because they are my only proof now of the promises we made – those that you made me. I keep them because they force me to remember the ‘us’ we were.
I think I will always love what could have been for those two youngsters, bright eyed and with their hearts on their sleeves. Alongside that, I will always feel immensely sad for who I was in that time – that young girl, lost in her own nightmares and desperately, desperately trying to make you love her the way she loved you. I got it wrong a million times over, but dear god I tried to be everything you wanted me to be. I can see now how unrealistic your expectations were, and it now makes sense to me how you managed to eat away at my self-esteem, but I still tried. For the 7 and a bit years we were together, I tried to be your image of perfection, even when I was failing because of its impossibility. I never gave up trying for you, not once in nearly 8 years.
I think I will always grieve for who we could have been, if we’d met 10 years later or had less baggage between us. Maybe if we’d had more support, if we hadn’t been so isolated because we pushed everyone away when they disagreed with our love. Maybe, maybe, maybe. I think maybe there will always be that twinge I get when I hear someone has called their baby one of the names we picked out, or when I say something and hear you in the words and tone of my voice. I will always grieve for us, at least a little, because I loved you with my whole heart, and I loved who we could have been. Who you promised me, for years, that we would be. I will love you, always. That seems inevitable. But I can see now, just how much I loved you like a fool. Like a stupid, devoted fool.