Wearing my heart on my sleeve

When I was a little girl, I absolutely adored my father. Everything he did, I had to do with him. I didn’t think I could find a better role model than the man I had standing in front of me. He was absolutely everything to me, my entire world.  That all came to a shattering halt when my mother dropped me off at his work place and I walked in on him having sex with his co-worker on his desk. And not only did he scream at me for interrupting, I got physically abused when I got home. I was so shocked and heartbroken that this hero in my life had betrayed my mother that I did say a word for about three weeks, I couldn’t talk to anyone – I went to school, came home, sat in my room. My father never tried to talk to me about what I saw that day, or what happened that night. I was sent to counselling as my mother was clueless as to what was going on but was so worried about me, when it eventually came out to the counsellor what had happened. That night I sat in front of the fire with the entire family and my fathers phone beeped, my immediate response was “messaging Alicia again are you?” My heart had turned stone cold towards him, and what happened next I dont think any child of my age should ever have to witness or receive.

I woke up in my mothers arms the next morning, there was still glass shattered throughout the house, broken plates and a broken home. We packed our bags shortly after waking up to get out of there, just my mother, brother and myself. We didn’t see my father for almost two years, but they never got divorced in that time either. That night I not only lost my father, but I lost all trust in men. I promised myself that I would never let any man hurt me or my mother like that ever again.

Fast forward to sixteen years later, a new country, and a somehow reformed family with my parents staying married. I still dont talk to my father much, my mother is my best friend, my role model and the very reason I feel so deeply, because we have struggled through every heartache together.

I was sitting on the couch at my parents house visiting for the weekend when the phone call came through, my first ever boyfriend, but now best friend, was in a coma. All i can remember that night was the crying that came from his mother through the phone asking me to help her, she needed me to bring her son back to life. She kept apologising saying how much it was her fault, that she had failed him in trying to keep their family together after she had caught her husband having an affair. I still to this day have not been able to tell my parents the real reason he tried to kill himself, because it would just bring back the sad heartache and pain we had to go through, which now sees us living on the other side of the world. After what seemed like years of rehab and hospital visits, he had taught himself how to walk, and talk, and he started to get his memory back. Blood, sweat and tears went into that year of rehab and the hospital bill reflected that.

Coming from a small community, we all put together a fundraiser to help the family get back to being able to put food on their table and a house over their head but that night was the night my entire world changed, for what seemed the better, turned into something that has haunted me every day since. Ryan and I started dating approximately three days after that fundraiser, I knew nothing about him beforehand but after those 72 hours, I was besotted. He convinced me after two months to move to a town to be with him, and within two weeks after the move we had bought our own house. We were crazy in love, insanely, breathtakingly in love. We bought a dog, we had so many future plans, we had talked about kids and marriage all my the time 9 months had come along. We stayed this sickeningly happy for almost three years. I had been given an incredible job opportunity which allowed me to follow my dreams and travel, so we started having a few days apart here and there and thats when our relationship started to fail. He turned to proposing to me, I guess hoping that an engagement ring would fix everything immediately. But it didn’t, and he began to blame me for causing this seperation because of my job, he’d get angry when I wouldn’t pick up my phone when he called even though he knew i was in meetings, everything went to shit. It took him two months of this to have another girl naked in my bed, and it happened to be on the day that I went home early from work with a migraine, to walk in on him shagging a girl in MY bed. But not just any girl, the girl was our realestate agent that had sold us our house. I told them to both get out, and rang my mother who then got my father to bring a truck around and within a day I had taken all my furniture, and everything that belonged to me out of the house. He came home to his sex stained mattress on the floor and a plastic fork.

The six months that passed after that was and still is a blur. I developed an eating disorder, was diagnosed with severe depression which came shortly after my best friend was killed in a motorbike accident and I had to help arrange the funeral sometime within that time frame, managed to sell everything I owned bar my car, I had quit my job and still had not spoken a word to my father for those entire six months. I didn’t even thank him for helping me move out, and every day he watched me fade away into almost nothing and thats when he got to see exactly how much he had screwed our family over, how much it would have hurt my mother.

I dont trust easily because Ive been so hurt in the past, but not from boyfriends, it stemed from my father. Ive never wanted to be someone who doesn’t trust a guy, and some relationships i have had full trust without any issues, no fighting at all, but those are the ones that are in the past because I just didn’t love them like I loved my dad or like Ryan. I only got jealous over the people I really truly cared about, and didn’t want to be abandoned like I was.

Quentin – if you’re still reading this, know that I am so sorry for the distrust Ive had in you. Nothing I can say will make it be forgotten, no words can ever explain well enough for you to forgive me. But know that I am trying to be a better person, I’m trying to be a better girlfriend for you because I am so in love with you it hurts. I will never put you through what I did last weekend ever again because it has felt like my entire life has shattered this week and I dont want to feel like this, its resonating a bit too close to home like it did 4 years ago, and 16 years ago. This pain Im feeling is the exact reason why I need to know that things are going to be okay between us, that you will support me through the good and bad times because it feels as hard as the heartbreak did from my father 16 years ago, and I think thats a way of saying just how much you do mean to me, because he was my everything, and now I want you to be my everything.

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I know you feel it too. 


Its your birthday weekend, and she’s whisked you away for a spa retreat. And I want you to come home. I know I left you for a few weeks, but you had no right to welcome me back so magically, making me fall more in love with you.

I shouldn’t have looked at that smile you gave me when you saw I was back from holiday. I shouldn’t have let you hug me so tightly one too many times in the few days we spent together before she took you away. I shouldn’t have ended up in your office every night after training, laughing and talking to you for hours about unrelated gym stuff, its always ends up being just you and I left. I shouldn’t be wondering in the back of my mind what would happen if we just shut the office door one day. I shouldn’t have let you brush your legs past mine only so you could have skin on skin contact, any contact with you is electric, I know you can feel it too. I shouldn’t have been looking for you in every guy I’ve tried to date since I met you, or in every class that we take together. I shouldn’t have organised an entire week away with you to compete in a Marathon and do a road trip together, sharing a hotel that you suggested. I shouldn’t have heard you say that you ‘don’t plan on being with her by then’. I shouldn’t want to be the other girl, because I’ve been there and it hurts.

I should know better than to get feelings for you in the first place, mixing business with pleasure is never a good idea. I should stop giggling like a little girl every time you wink and smirk at me during our fitness classes you run. I should stop responding to your flirting and playfighting, I should stop making eye contact to find you’re already looking at me. I should have quit training with you six weeks ago. I should just get on with my own thing at the gym instead of letting you train with me all the time, but you always come up to me, its always you. I shouldn’t still be responding to your messages, or thinking about you, or wanting to see you, or imagining the feeling of your lips against mine, or craving your touch because it sends pulses through my body. I should have spoken my mind when you caught my eye and held my gaze ten seconds too long, and when you asked me what I was thinking about, I should have just told you how much my heart is yearning to be with you.

I shouldn’t still be feeling this way now that I have learnt about your girlfriend – all of two days ago – and that the relationship on the rocks, and you’re looking for somewhere else to live. But most of all, none of the above sentences should start with I, but WE. I shouldn’t be the only one feeling guilty, this is not a one way street, there are no mixed signals to be confused with.

It’s your birthday weekend and you’ve already messaged me to let me know you’re home now, and tomorrow I’ll have to walk into the gym and see the man that I have fallen for, and try to fizzle the chemistry between us because it feels so wrong that it’s right. And I’ll be restless again tonight wondering if I should tell you how I really feel so I can explain why I am distancing myself from you. Every day I leave you, a part of me wonders if that is what you’re waiting to hear from me, if thats all you need to hear?

I know you feel it too, its feels like its always just me and you.