“He’s a jerk, Linds,” my aunt said to me tonight in regards to David and the finalization of this divorce, to which I correctly replied, “No, Nance, there are jerks and then there is David.”
There was a time where no matter what I did – be it cry uncontrollably, involuntarily drool, drip snot down my freshly cleaned blouse from a cold, spill copious amounts of food upon my lap, non discreetly snort when I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants, my ex-husband found me irresistible – he found me appealing, lovable. He still loved every inch of my mind, body and soul. There was a time when I felt it, too – A time when there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that David would love me for forever and a day.
Only a month shy of our one-year wedding anniversary, David and I were “on the rocks.” He was away, “clearing his head” in New York while I remained in Los Angeles, “holding down the fort.” I was damn near believing we were “over,” our marriage was nearing its end what with his dramatic phone call in which he resentfully stated, “I loved you,” (take note of the past tense) followed by hanging up the telephone on me in the middle of the night. I don’t have proof but I am about 99.9% certain that alcohol had influence upon these histrionics.
The following night, I went to bed as usual, anticipating David’s return later the following evening. Around four in the morning, like clockwork, I awoke from my meager slumber, walked the length of our North Hollywood apartment to the kitchen to feed the cats and walked back to my bed. As I lay there half awake, I began hearing a foreign noise, a noise one should not be hearing at such wee hours of the morning. After about twenty seconds of this noise, I fully awoke to the alarming realization that someone was trying to break into my apartment.
As I held my breath, I recognized the sound of someone throwing his/her entire weight against my front door, attempting to bust the lock. I immediately jumped out of bed, grabbed my cell phone and crawled on all fours into the hallway, my heart pounding in my ears and sweat forming upon my forehead. If my cats were at the door, I told myself, then my keen senses and instincts were correct. My head cautiously rounded the doorway in the dark and much to my fear, both of my furry companions were standing alert, at the door – my oldest, the protective one, begun to meow loudly.
I called my best girlfriend, Sandy, who offered to hurry over, gun in tow. I declined as the sound of the front door banging ceased and my oldest cat jumped up in the window, appearing to watch someone from our second floor apartment.
“Hang up the phone and call the cops now. And then call me back,” Sandy instructed. I followed her orders.
Long story short, no one and nothing was discovered. I told myself that someone was drunk and forgot where he/she lived though the significant timing of my husband being absent for days reluctantly forced me to think negatively. I felt as if someone had been watching me, knowing that I was presently alone at my home and attempted to take advantage.
That day, I had posted on Facebook about the early mornings’ frightening events and, of course, David saw this. He immediately phoned me as I was getting myself ready for work, assuring me that, “You know no matter what is going on between us, you can always call me if something like that happens.”
I guess he still loves me after all, I warmly thought to myself. Not that I ever doubted this amongst his dramatics but nonetheless, it still hurts, to say the bare minimum, to hear your husband tell you that he loved you, past tense.
In all honesty, I couldn’t wait to greet David upon his arrival home from New York that evening. I was so eager to throw my arms around his body and feel the warm security of his skin against mine. The early mornings’ events had rattled my sense of safety and it was true – no matter what we were going through, we wouldn’t wish harm upon the other.
The incident brought a sad sense of false intensity to our relationship, however. It created this illusion that we needed each other so how could we end things right then, especially with our one year anniversary approaching in a couple of weeks?
I often ask why, as humans, we don’t behave in this way naturally? Why must it take a potentially life threatening event to create a sense of urgency, to express how much we care, how much we love another person? It’s this ideal sense of loving hard and deeply, no matter what the circumstances, that have pitted me into a small and lonely space, one where I feel as if I’m the only person in the world who loves in this intense and committed manner.
As the sound of David’s footsteps became audible that evening, I anxiously anticipated his key in the lock, silently questioning whether or not he couldn’t wait to throw his arms around me either. Thankfully, he felt the urgency as much as I. The loving look upon his face, when he walked through our front door, made me walk toward him as he met me halfway. Now that I think about it, it was probably the last amazingly heartfelt hug we exchanged before our marriage came to its end, the kind of hug where the emotions are so heightened and you can tell that neither one of you desire to let go.
We agreed that we just needed to “start over” if there could ever be such a feat achieved. This fantasy lasted for about two weeks until things sped downhill once again – more like freefell. Some of the worst fights I can recall within David and I’s three year relationship occurred in the two and a half weeks between our July 9th anniversary and the early morning of the 29th when all was finally lost.
It may sound as if I’m reminiscing when in fact I actually began the retelling of this story above back in April of 2014. As I read through it, I felt the urge to edit quite a bit of it but I thought maybe it more appropriate to just exhibit the immense change that has taken place in what I have to say now.
I honestly cannot remember the feeling any longer, the love that I had for this person that I speak of every now and then, this person that I cannot wait to never have to speak of or to again. This is one of the things that I wonder if I may be dissociating from but dissociation implies that the feeling is still there somewhere and I can call on it at will. I’ve tried.
The memory of the feeling is there somewhere but the actual feeling is not. I feel like cueing the “aww” but while this may initially appear sad, it’s probably for the better. His vindictive, immature, hateful and cruel disposition made it easier for me to make the decision to end my marriage and not remembering how or why I once loved this person so much that I vowed my life to him is an ounce of relief. I won’t lie and tell you that I’m not often reminded of what a huge mistake I made and I am certain this self-ridicule will wither once he decides to figure out what is stalling our divorce.
One of my dear friends once stated accurately, and I paraphrase, “If David spent as much time on his relationship as he does on his dramatics then maybe they could actually work things out.”
It wasn’t the first time he had told me he didn’t love me anymore. The first time was in New York right before our big move to LA – only that time the sentiment was, “I’m not sure if I love you anymore.” As you can imagine a newlywed wife may feel, it was hysteria inducing.
Today, at 8:04 p.m. on October 6th, 2015, I am laughing out loud. Perhaps because the memory is just too painful and I’ve detached myself, or perhaps because I know I would never allow anyone to infiltrate and fuck with my life in that manner ever again. The extremity of the situation is comical after so much time. Or perhaps it’s a little bit of both.
I am still an idealist who loves hard and deeply but I now know whom not to love hard and deeply.