Have you ever listened to a song and had it take your breath away? I’ve been listening to a lot of music lately. The why is neither here nor there. Most of the music is old- 80s and 90s.
I was listening to Patty Loveless and her song “How Can I Help You Say Good-bye?” I knew there was the verse in there about the husband and wife divorcing but I didn’t think anything about it because the final verse where she’s saying goodbye to her mom is the one that always guts me. And then I heard it…
I sat on our bed, he packed his suitcase
I held a picture of our wedding day
His hands were trembling, we both were crying
He kissed me gently and then he quickly turned away
Normally, I don’t think about this too much but for some reason that day it suddenly struck me: I wasn’t even worth that much. There were no tender moments (I realize I would have attempted homicide had he tried). There was no crying between two people who had been married for years. There was no reminiscing, no fake displays of sentimentality. I was simply discarded. He got in his car, drove to work, and then after work drove 7 hours to his new home and his life. Out with the old; in with the new and whore-ish.
Even more recently I was listening to Patty again. I was in a very good mood. And then I listened to “Hurt Me Bad”. It’s supposed to be a positive song.
Would have never found you
If he had wanted to stay
Oh he hurt me bad in a real good way
See? A positive song about the good that can come out of a broken relationship. Finding a new, better relationship. Or not. But then came the line…
When I look back on my life before
How my heart got shattered
with a slammin’ door….
The words literally took my breath away and I gasped for air. Because again, there was no slamming door. He slunk out like a yellow-bellied coward. I was nothing. Not a single thought. No fights. No yelling. No slamming doors. Just gradually pack up your shit and drive away while I’m out of the house. No confrontation. No explanation. I wasn’t worth an explanation or a goodbye.
Most days I have made my peace with it. Most days I truly don’t care and I’m thankful he’s out of my life. As one of my dear, dear friends put it: CF was a bottomless pit who needed you to fill that and it wasn’t your job to make him happy.
But on these two occasions it struck me how I was completely and totally discarded without a single backwards glance. I spent twenty years with this person. I followed him around the country. I gave up life after life. I did whatever he wanted. I tried to be whatever it was he wanted. In the end it was never enough and he callously tossed me aside for his whore of a cousin.
As if that’s not enough he callously discarded me and now wants to continue to ruin me. He’s cost us our house, our new life, and pretty much everything I’ve ever owned. He’s left us destitute and still refuses to pay support even though he’s working once again. He’s trying to get out of this marriage with everything, leaving me with nothing.
Someone said to me recently: He really broke your heart when he walked out, didn’t he? No, he really didn’t, was my response. He pissed me off. And that is how I usually think of it. He pissed me off. He fucked with my life. He made a fool of me. He played me. He lied to me.
However, there are times it does hurt. It’s those times when I allow myself to feel the extent of what he did. It’s those times that I wonder how people ever learn to trust in new relationships. I mean I realize that they do. You can’t swing a cat without hitting someone who has been dumped and is now in a new relationship. But then I’m left to wonder if that new person will wake up one day and see what CF saw. I wonder if that new person will see the shortcomings and the faults the way that CF did and decide I’m not worth it. And once again someone will slink out the door without saying a word. Of course that would be quite the feat seeing as how I won’t live with anyone again.
I should probably listen to better, more upbeat music, huh? The good news is I don’t often feel this way. Usually I’ve got my shit together. I know he’s the problem, not me. I know it’s not normal to discard people. I know that what he did was wrong and no reflection on me. But some days… well, some days the sheer cruelty of what he did manages to take my breath away.