Reposting from July 2010 ...
There’s a song I used to like by Faith Hill and Tim McGraw called “I Need You.” The lyrics:
I Need You/ Like a Needle Needs a vein/ Like my Uncle Joe in Oklahoma needs the rain/Like a lighthouse on the coast/Like the Father and the Son need the Holy Ghost/ I need you…
I saw them perform it live, all up in each other’s mushy shmoopie faces. It was intimate and romantic and I felt like I shouldn’t be watching. And I loved the song because it seemed like what love and marriage were supposed to be.
I did love that way. And even more fiercely. Desperately. I gave everything I had. I loved despite all reason. I set aside my self-respect for it. And I kept at arm’s length anyone that might have intervened on my behalf. I put my entire soul into my misguided attempt to salvage a relationship so toxic that it nearly cost me my very self.
And now? I’m angry about that. I’m pissed that I didn’t stand up for myself. I’m pissed that I ignored red flags. I’m pissed that I let things get to the point they did. I think about it a lot. I remember scenes from my marriage like episodes of a TV show watched too many times, replaying the lines by heart. Wishing I said something different. Done something different. Thrown something heavy at his head… Not that things would have resulted in any outcome other than the one we have. Except I guess if I threw something heavy at his head I might find myself rooming with Lindsey Lohan. But I digress.
I used to be romantic, idealistic, just full of butterflies and rainbows and sparkles and unicorns. Now I’m cynical and angry and just a touch bitter. I scoff at the sweet romantic hopes of those around me. I still go out on dates because I haven’t completely given up, but I certainly have entirely different expectations.
I will never give myself away again. I’m not capable of it, I’m too well guarded now. I know that this is more healthy. There is nary a knight in shining armor in my imagination now, and that’s for the better. But I’m sad to know what I know. I’m sad that that girl’s prince never came. I’m sad that I learned what I learned the way that I learned it.
It’s not that I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then… It’s just unfortunate that I had to learn what I learned the way that I learned it. I know I’m in a better place now. But I’m still pissed about how I got here.