This past weekend marked two years since I moved out of the house that I co-owned with Liar Ex (Who Told Many Lies). It was the day that I stopped crying enough to pack a bag, tuck Cat under my arm, and get away from Liar Ex’s indifference. Of course, I didn’t know at the time that the collapsing real estate market coupled with my own poor housing choices would drag out everything by another year and a half until the house finally sold this past spring. It also left me financially bankrupt because I had to pay both rent and my part of the mortgage for that year and a half. I still haven’t recovered from that (What a nice memento of that hellish time).
There are many dates after this one (and many dates before) that could potentially be used to mark the final end of that atrocious eight-year relationship. To my mind, though, the day I checked-out of that house was the true end.
I don’t mention the day to recount (again) all of the bad things that went down at the end of that relationship. The short version will suffice: After eight years, I discovered that Liar Ex was, well, a cowardly, selfish, liar. He left no promise to me unbroken. For most of our last year together, he seemed to enjoy humiliating me and reminding me of just how inadequate he thought that I was. As I struggled to meet each new milestone he created that (he claimed) would make me worth while in his eyes, he was busy scouting out (what he imagined) to be better options. Liar Ex felt free to treat me as if I had the same emotional complexity of a paper doll.
He had many opportunities to be a stand-up guy when it came to ending the relationship. Each time, however, he was too cowardly, too selfish, or too lazy to bother. Even at the bitter end, his expectation was that I would cheerfully validate his decisions by becoming a happy “roomie.” Why wouldn’t I want a front-row seat to him building a new relationship with that homely loser that he trudged up? **Sigh** -- He didn't even have the decency to find somebody younger, better looking, or more interesting than me. Loser.
Okay, so maybe I do bring up the date to recount some of the bad things that went down. Hey, I never said that I don’t need lots of therapy. Go to somebody else’s blog for a psychologically well-adjusted account of their life.
To make up for it, I've included some of my favorite break-up songs throughout this post. These were great listening in those early months:
More importantly than recounting the bad end, I mention the two-year mark because I marvel at how much my life has changed in that time. Two years ago, it was not my decision for that relationship to end (which is why I was always so desperate to believe Liar Ex’s many lies). From his vantage point, it would have been just dandy if I treated the end of our eight year relationship (and his many lies) as if it was no big deal.
The problem being that the end of the relationship was a very big deal to me. For most of the first couple months after I moved out, it felt like my skin was on fire. Most of my nights were spent watching Wonder Woman DVD's, hiding in bed, and wondering how I would face another day. There were times when I had to abandon my shopping cart in the middle of a grocery store because I started crying. Let me tell you, it is remarkably painful when you find out that your love was worth nothing more than a passel of lies.
Other people bounce back from such things more easily, I am sure. For me, however, it was one of the worst experiences of my life. It took a certain amount of hard work and introspection to get through those first few months. Plus, I went through lots of therapy. Fortunately, I found an unconventional therapist who recommended sleeping around and drinking a lot. No kidding -- That was his advice. My favorite session ended with, "Are you sure you are drinking enough?" Hey -- Who was I to question doctor’s orders?
Aside from a therapist who promoted alcoholism as a therapeutic treatment, I was also lucky to have friends and family who really cared about me. Plus, there were some exceptional people who showed me a lot of kindness through this here blog.
Like the sacred gospel of Gloria Gaynor promises, I learned to get along and I grew strong. A straight-friend (Yes, I have them) who had gone through a similarly bad breakup gave a peculiar, though accurate, estimation of one of the few advantages of the situation. When faced with many layers of betrayal, your own love for that person dies almost completely. There is no wistful longing for futures that never came to pass or small glimmers of hope about reconciliation. Instead, you come to see the person’s actual character with a stranger’s eyes. Let me tell you, in the case of Liar Ex (Who Told Many Lies), that ain’t pretty.
Let’s be honest, darlings, Liar Ex wasn’t worth half of me. Even when I think about the type of people that Liar Ex (Who Told Many Lies) surrounded himself with at the end of the relationship (people who were shallow, exclusively white, and intellectually lazy), I realize how little he and I had in common. We were poorly matched by every measure. If anything, I wished that I had ended that relationship a thousand times earlier.
Two years out, I can say that I am much happier with my life than anytime in my eight-year relationship. Indeed, I wouldn’t trade my worst, most lonely day in the past two years for another eight years with Liar Ex (shudder).
The cosmos has been good to ol’ GayProf. I had a great year in Boston and started life over again in Midwestern Funky Town. My job is remarkably good within academic circles. These days, I am less likely to keep people in my life who are unwilling or unable to take my feelings into consideration.
Sure, there are things that still stress me out (never ending project of doom, foibles of dating, shoveling inches of snow simply so I can get out of my driveway). In many ways, I don’t know what my ultimate goals in life are (beyond finishing the never ending project of doom). Will I get tenure and stay in MFT? Will I seek out other vistas? Will I become headwriter of a gay soap opera? Who can say?
Right now, though, I like being an independent agent. My little cottage is warm and comfortable. Cat is sweet. I recently developed an appreciation for Bourbon, which means that I currently enjoy delicious Manhattan Cocktails. My health is fine. I have good friends who adore me.
It’s good that the anniversary of the breakup reminded me to take stock in all the really great things that surround me. All in all, I feel content and happy with my life at this moment.
Oh, and because I am certain that he is pathetic enough that he still reads this blog: Happy Anniversary, Shitdigit.