Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The guru was always inside.

I didn’t need to climb the mountain to find my way. All of the answers were already there for me, waiting for me to see them. They were there from the very beginning, red, and waving brightly, desperately warning me of my own weakness. I didn’t want to see them.

“I didn’t want to know more, I would be disappointed if you were different than my mind made you out to be.” That’s what I wrote of our first date. But you are different. You are and addict, and alcohol is your only love.

Did you tell me that in the beginning? You told me your mother accused you of being alcoholic, but then qualified it by saying she doesn’t drink, and thinks everyone who does is an alcoholic. You hid your illness from me for a while, long enough to lure me in. I can’t help it, I do love you, but I won’t be a part of this anymore.

Yes, you told me you smoke marijuana, and even got in a tangle with the law. I don’t have any moral objections to marijuana, I don’t feel it is any more harmful than alcohol or cigarettes. You promised to keep it completely away from me, but you couldn’t keep that promise, could you? You are addicted to that too.

How many times do I have to see this illness before I can finally recognize it in the beginning? My mother, my father, my grandfather, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, my ex-husband. To be honest, I can only think of a handful of people in my family who are not addicted to alcohol or some other drug. I have seen this all of my life, been hurt repeatedly by it, and still I stick my head in the sand and refuse to acknowledge it. So much wishful thinking. I deserve this heartache.

I should have shielded my children from you. I really thought that your behavior towards my son would change once you got to know him and understood autism better. Silly me. This weekend I saw you treat your brother with the same contempt I saw you treat Zach with, and I knew better. The pain festered, and once again I hid it away and tried to ignore it. All of the things you lectured Zach and me about rattled in my head. You hypocrite! Zach has never treated me or anyone else as disrespectfully as you treat your brother and mother with. He is a better man than you are, even at his age. He doesn’t need to change. And neither do I.

Even Megan wasn’t really good enough in your eyes. Her spirituality, her goals, somehow were not in line with what you thought they should be. Not good enough. Was anything about me good enough? You expect everyone else to change to fit into your world. How is your life Dale? How happy have your convictions made you? How many people have actually decided that what you thought was best for them was really what was best for them?

I was reminded this week that I tend to alter my behavior in order to fit in. I commonly put myself aside to be accepted. I did that again with you, I am ashamed to say it, but it is true. That was what I spent so much time crying about. Not anymore. I deserve to be loved and accepted for who and what I am. I am a kind, sincere, compassionate woman who only wants to find someone who is kind, sincere, and compassionate.

I hate who I was when I was with you. I was afraid to express my opinion, my feelings, because you were so quick to put me in my place. I am not a coward, my family and friends have reminded me of this repeatedly over this week, and I will not give in to you any more.

I’m sorry you feel you invested too much into this relationship. You bought me some things, poly pro pants and hiking boots, that I cannot pay you for right now. You can keep them for what it’s worth. At least you didn’t buy the tickets to Hawaii. I don’t know what to say about the money to get added onto the cruise. I didn’t ask for any of it, you spent the money because it was what you wanted.

I’m not sorry, though. I wanted this relationship to be permanent. I gave it my best shot. I wanted to be the best friend, climbing partner and lover you wanted. I wanted a best friend too. But you couldn’t be that for me. When I needed compassion and comforting, all you gave me was guilt. Crying because I feel pain is not irrational. Staying with a man who causes me pain would be irrational.

I’m moving on now. You should too. You should face your demons and do something real about your addictions. I want the best for you, I really do love you and I will miss you.


  1. Well, I am sadened and surprised to read this. I'm so sorry things didn't work out for the two of you. As you say, you gave it your all, and maybe a little more than that. It's a shame that things didn't work out, but it's better to know sooner than later. At least you had some adventures on the way!
    Hang in there, Cheri. I know the right one is out there for both of us. We'll find them eventually, if we keep looking.

  2. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. You are right, I did have some fun, and learned some new things. And I relearned some old things.