and that's all i have to say about that: an epilogue.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

It’s been a while since my world as I knew it “ended.” Since I was running to the window gasping for air when I found out the man I thought I'd be married to was dating someone days after he broke up with me. To the lies and the rumors and the nonsense and excuses and more evidence that literally amounts to nothing: no closure, no understanding of the situation, no logic anywhere.

It’s funny because I’d always joke with my ex and say, “if I ever found you cheating on me I’d beat the shit out of you AND the girl.” And we’d laugh at that crazy statement because in my mind that would never happen. Not to me and him— we were indestructible. The idea of him cheating enraged me to say that at the time, but the actual reality of it broke me instead. 

I won’t lie, these past few months have consisted of me teeter-tottering between “go in peace“ and “go fuck yourself.” Between wanting to gather evidence and put all of the pieces together and set the world on fire, to wanting to drop off of the planet and forget that any of that part of the past 13 years has happened. From sobbing on the couch to blocking him and throwing out and breaking every piece of him that still existed. 

I’ve moved. I’ve started a new relationship. I’ve thrown out every single thing he ever owned or gave me and archived the rest at my parents house, stowed away for eternity amongst their mound of storage boxes in the basement. I’ve mourned and grown and moved on.
But even after all of this time and growth, I still don’t get it.

Not the why or the how or the who. 
Not the when.
But the biggest question that will probably haunt me forever is: why, when you knew, didn’t you tell me or try to work on it? Why did you throw us away after all of these years without even TRYING to fix it? Why did you just watch us sink while you held my hand and played along? Fell for someone else while you had me hanging onto a forever with you?

Will I ever find out? Or, most importantly— like the rest of the information I’ve gotten about the situation over the past 6+ months— will it even make any sense? Will it provide any clarity? Will it explain how this person I loved since I was a kid suddenly transformed and had the ability to hurt me and look through me and deceive me and lie? To pick up and go without a second thought…? Without a fight?

In the end, the person I think that I’ve mourned the most these past few months is myself. My life and the person I was over the past 12+ years doesn’t exist anymore; that version of me simply cannot exist without him. I realized this when sitting amongst the items to be archived and the memory box I’d filled (and had at my parents’ house for over a decade): there was only 1 box for everything— the middle school years were mixed with love letter from the police academy mixed with graduation pamphlets from our high schools and ticket stubs and fashion week passes and tchotchkes from my childhood. 
It hit me again at Thanksgiving when I realized I’d never color at the kids table again with his nieces and nephews or receive holiday texts from his sisters. Realizations that hit me like a blow to the stomach every once and a while and remind me that I am no longer a part of that universe, no longer that person— they suck. We were so ingrained in each others’ lives for so long that it’s almost as if he took my entire identity with him when he left. How can that not hurt?
Even after months and months, it still hurts, but now it's more in the way that stubbing your toe or ripping off a band-aid does: more annoyingly than heart-wrenchingly painful-- and for that, I'm thankful. I've also officially stopped trying to rewrite alternate endings of how my life shoulda, woulda, coulda been. I've made peace with the fact that there are things that won't be, and even things that I will never be again. And that's just fine; I'm a handful of new things I never thought I'd be just the same.

These days my life is an uneven pavement mixed with amazing and new and wonderful things. And, most importantly, it’s mine. It’s not shared. It’s not co-owned. It’s decisions are not dependent upon another person or their happiness. It’s up to me! For the first time, I’m at the wheel, alone. I don’t have to worry about failing and disappointing someone else. Or bending. Or fitting into a certain box. Or taking the high road. Or getting home in time for someone else (other than my dog). For the first time ever, I get to think about me and my feelings and what I want to do. I get to deal with my problems and decide, for me. 

It’s all new. And sometimes it’s scary. But it’s also exhilarating. It’s now filled with a burgeoning love story (*squee*), adventures to different places across the globe, character growth, change and development (i.e. me!), new friendships and family plot twists and, gosh, so very much more that I just want to hug and squeeze it (but also hide it and enjoy it all without anyone knowing anything). It’s not perfect. But right now, at this very second, I do love it in all of its ridiculous madness—it’s heart racing moments, its tears and its messes and its cuddles and disaster and its triumphs— just the way that it is: entirely up in the air. It's a shiny new rebirth-- or as my boyfriend calls the "Corinne-aissance," and I couldn't have summed it up or wordsmithed it better myself. 


Every once and a while, when I get really sentimental (the 1 character flaw that didn’t seem to drop off with the others. Lucky me), I imagine Stillo and I grabbing a cup of coffee and being friends again. Not a couple, not together again or with any affection exceeding the kind that we had back when we were friends in 7th grade. Catching up on our families and jobs, feeling happiness for the other prospering in the world— almost like the past 13 years never happened and we’re catching up after not seeing each other since 8th grade graduation. 

And maybe it’s just pure sentimentality speaking here, but even after all that’s happened, I’d still be open to that being a reality one day. And a little part of this new me hopes that maybe, in the very, very distant, grown-up future, when this is all lightyears behind us, it will be. He did, after all, break up with me over a cup of coffee, who says we couldn't start a new story over one?

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