And you thought you had problems.
When it comes to broken hearts I’ve got one that was shattered and thrashed, along with my psyche, self-confidence and pride. February 19, 2002 I write in my journal these words:
It was like he moved into my brain and started redecorating. A few throw pillows here, hate your parents there. He put the Vulcan mind meld on me. It was like I went to sleep a confident and beautiful woman and woke up three years later fat and miserable.
The “he” was my ex husband. We had a brief and brutal marriage after a two-year uneasy courtship. In my novel, the one I can’t finish, I have a character somewhat based on him as I try to explain to those who don’t understand how I could find myself in the binds of a poisonous mind.
Her need for (him) wasn’t organic. It was something that had to be molded and pummeled and mollified over time into the desired effect …
Love took the truths about one another and made them lies, new truths were born and a marriage was created based on the freshly harvested candor of mentally manufactured bliss.
It wasn’t real. And I think that was what hurt the most. I was all-in, knee deep in it and he was playing a game I can never pretend to understand.
Over the next few weeks we’ll be examining tales of love gone wrong as well as stories about love in the black community. Since several people were brave enough to bare their souls, I will also bare mine.
I’ve chronicled extensively my doomed romances, but the divorce is the one that gripped my imagination and hasn’t let go to this day. Even though the relationship ended almost seven years ago on October 10, 2001.
He didn’t call me on my birthday, Oct. 8. I thought he was being rude, but in reality he was being the cruelest of cruel. While I spent my depressing birthday with my parents in St. Louis he was secretly moving his things cross country, spending all the remaining cash in my accounts.
I came home sick, as I’d been for more than a month. All I wanted was to go to sleep but he insisted on taking me out to dinner for my belated birthday. That terrible day before the beginning of the end, being dumped in an Olive Garden, then later sleeping on the couch because I didn’t want him to touch me. Him asking sweetly and oddly why I wouldn’t share a bed with him when he’d just announced that tomorrow he was leaving. He’d said in July that he was ending this, but he then languished around for months as we turned into roommates, me living with a marriage that was a corpse rotting in our living room, murdering my spirit.
I was hemorrhaging money for myself, for him. And I couldn’t see at the time that when he asked for a divorce that he never intended to file for all my savings had run out. The credit card was to the max. He dumped me the minute the money was gone and then expected me to not be mad, to not get upset in the Olive Garden. To not act out. And I didn’t because he was my husband. My horrible husband and even then I didn’t want to do anything to embarrass him.
The last time I would see his face was October 10, 2001. I can’t remember whether I drove him to a bus station or a train station that morning. But I remember wondering how could I love, how could I miss the worst thing that ever happened to me.
I’ve written about “Harry” in poems, journal entries, short stories, unfinished novels and screenplays. Trying to make sense of it. Trying to understand. But the answer is always the same.
I’ll never understand.
September 1, 2001
I don’t know what to do.
When he said he was going back I was in so much pain and I was so angry. I wanted him to get out then and now. If he was going to leave me, he should just go. Not be a punk about it and simply walk out. And he told me all these things that were horrible and true and I hated myself for not being what he wanted. Then the other part of me thought that was stupid and got angry. The other part said he wasn’t patient enough and was giving up. And it said he didn’t try enough.
It thought, if only he could accept me the way I am instead of trying to change me. So what, I’m screwed up, so is he. I told him that we should have waited, but he told me it would be OK. I told him I was too screwed up to be anyone’s wife right now, but did he listen? I told him I needed to figure out things on my own and I needed to work out my problems. But he said he could help me. He said we could do it together and I believed him. Now it’s like, Oops … my bad … I was wrong.
What do you do when the one person you truly believed in disappoints you?
He said he’d take care of me. He said he’d do it. When I told him that I just wanted to write books and have kids and that if he could provide for me I would do that. I would clean the fucking house everyday and be happy. I would make love to him at night and help him raise our children and we’d be happy. But he didn’t have a plan. He didn’t have anything. All he had was problems and bad credit.
I never wish I never met him. I needed for something to happen. I’d been waiting all my life for something to happen. But now that it’s come, turned my world upside down and caused damage beyond repair I don’t know what to do next. This is what I’ve been waiting my entire life for. I tell myself this when I close my eyes at night, when I go to work in the morning … this is what I’ve been waiting for.
What kind of fucked up shit is this?