before

In ALL, JUDY BLUME MOMENTS by Stephanie Klein29 Comments

This was me, before, hating and hostile.  Holding on.  Hurting.  Before.  This is "past tense," so pay attention.

I don’t want to be with you because of where you’ve been.  You’ve made us common by including me in all that you shared with her.  I cannot be with someone who tells me to give him the benefit of the doubt then sneaks off to support her.  I don’t want to be with you.  I want to make a hundred excuses why.  The real reason is you chose me in the end, but the choice wasn’t clear for you.  Your not knowing makes me feel uncertain about us.

I have trust issues.  I comb through your cell phone looking for evidence, to find something that will set me off.  And I always find something.  A diary entry where you keep a record of wrongs.  That’s not love; it’s right.  And I’ll call you on it, and you’ll claim, "so I’m more aware of why we fight."  You’ll claim, "to improve."  I’ll see it as the anti-Corinthians.  It’s your “see, I’m right" memo, the one you’ll whip out next time to prove something. It’s right beside the phone photo you took of the McCormick’s board saying she drinks free.  You arranged for her to drink free, just as you’d done for me.  You took her there, and probably to your vacation home, and probably anywhere else you’ve taken me.  The Tasting Room for her birthday.  When we’d gone you introduced me to the owner as the love of your life.  I wonder if he remembered the time you took her there.  I wonder who else has been where I have.  You’ve made us common, which makes me not want you.  Knowing you wanted someone else when you could have had me makes me not want to be with you.  Knowing she was in your calendar, that while you were with me, you were making plans to see her shows… it all makes me not want to have anything to do with you. 

They say there’s a danger in writing it all down.  One day someone can find it, there’s proof to be used against you.  I don’t care if you find this.  Then you’ll know how much it still hurts me.  How unfair you think I’m being, how it’s unrealistic to think you didn’t have a past before me… I know all of that.  I didn’t know, however, that you brought her into your life the way you did with me.  That you hold onto her still.  You say you don’t, that I should give you the benefit of the doubt, but you do.  You hold on.  I hold on harder.

I don’t want to be with you because of her.  What more can you do, so I don’t feel this way?  I don’t have an answer.  I don’t like what you’ve shared with her, that while you were with me, you chose to continue to see her.  I don’t like your choices.  I don’t like that even when we were an US, you still saw her and kept her in your life.  I don’t like that NOW, even after everything we’ve been through, I still don’t trust that you’ll never speak with her again.  I don’t trust.  How can we be an US if I don’t trust you?  And if I can’t trust you, YOU, then I can’t trust anyone.   

Comments

  1. I am so excited to read you're moving to Austin! You will love it. It's the Seattle of the South, without all the rain. Beautiful natural surroundings along with a great arts scene, academic backdrop by way of UT, and of course, a refreshingly liberal population–highly uncharacteristic of TX as a whole. I live in Dallas myself, but visit Austin often. It'll be a great place to raise a family!

  2. More importantly, Stephanie, its apparent that you also trust yourself more these days. I am so excited for you. The physical move is special, but where you have moved emotionally is even MORE special. xoxo

  3. I just had this conversation with an ex last night!!! Freaky coincidence. I think you were slightly more eloquent. But he got the point. I don't think he'll be sniffing around anymore :)

    Bobette in Vegas

  4. I don't know you. We're from different countries (continents, actually), we have different backgrounds… Yet what you write touches me and hurts me and applies to me like I was the one who actually wrote all that. Sounds stupid, I know, but still. I went through the same stuff – or at least, the same feelings. Doubting, hurting, not letting go. But I love him, like I never thought it would be possible. And he loves me too. And I know it, I FEEL it. I am trying – desperately and despite what my mind keeps telling me – to trust the man who sleeps on the left side of my bed. He asked me to marry him last month. I accepted. And I can't wait… but please wish me good luck anyway.

  5. Visceral. This will be something too many people can relate to- and I love that. Relationships are about creating a new history together- not recycling memories. Either he was too lazy to spin a new reality or just had not let her go. Regardless of the why, it makes you realize that there is sometimes IS a switch you can shut off- and you turned off to the possiblity of a future with him. Thank god. Now look what you have. This has so much hope.

  6. You're smart to ask those questions, even if the feelings are from the past. What's that line from Magnolia? "And the book says, we may be through with the past, but the past aint through with us." I'm sure I butchered that. Sometimes it is difficult to just let go and be fully present in the moment.

  7. Seriously? Sometimes after reading your entries I look over my shoulder to see if maybe you're just sitting behind me, commenting on everything I'm not saying.
    Or maybe its that your words are like horoscopes. We can apply meaning in a few simple words to ANYTHING existing in ANYONE's life, if one is imaginative enough.

  8. I get this. Even with a perfectly honest guy — one who keeps his ex-girlfriends at bay not just because it makes us a little uncomfortable but because he simply doesn't want to be around them — I had a hard time shaking those feelings. The cure to my issues was becoming indispensable to him and creating a new history that was just us; no room for the illustrious others. There will always be others, but they belong firmly rooted in the past.

    Being the first has its place, but I'm really enjoying being the last.

  9. just curious – what makes you decide to post this now? i realize it is past tense – but when you post it is in the here and now – so can you can share a little insight as to why you post this particular past tense entry now? (i'm not a writer :)

  10. I don't know if you are talking about the past or the present here but I can relate to it. I used to date a guy who kept in touch with his ex. What bugged me was not that he did it, it was that he did it secretly, which made me feel like he's hiding something.

    After we broke up, I realized that probably there was nothing going on but it ate away at me and it got to the point where I felt paranoid and couldn't/didn't want to put up with it anymore. Because of his actions I felt like I was being a jealous freak. It's not worth it. Now I know that it wasn't my problem, as he used to say, it was the lack of respect on his side.

    If the current relationship is important enough for him, he will stop it. If they are truly just good friends, he'll make you part of their friendship. And if he doesn't — he doesn't think it's important enough.

  11. I realize this is written "past tense" but I wonder why it keeps getting brought up. I thought you were over all that and were moving on. Then I wonder if the trust issue still bothers you, and his past. And with the sudden move and all, is it to run away from all of that and hope it will gain your trust being far away? Distance doesn't always matter.

  12. is it just us girls that feel this way? i'm currently dating a man who keeps in touch with ALL his ex-girlfriends. i tried not to be jealous. i tried to take things lightly. i tried to be indifferent about it. but the hardest thing to swallow is he does it secretly. why do men do that? i go through the same feelings as you do, everyday. i have trust issues too. and i think i can never wholly love him, not while he keeps on doing this. we've had fights, fights, fights. sometimes i really want to just give it all up, but when he holds me at night to sleep, it's like he's sewing my heart to his. well maybe not his heart, but to him. sigh.

  13. I've been on both sides of this in the past. Now in a more mature relationship, I don't have the need or reason to snoop, to seek out his whereabouts, though I'd been cheated on by my ex-husband and slow to trust my current husband. There are people I talk to and things I do that might look bad taken out of context…and I hope not to catch him out of context. And seeing that this is "past tense" – it would seem that this was something that couldn't be gotten over. His carrying on an old relationship, you snooping. Two wrongs are hard to get over.

  14. It would be so refreshing to once in awhile, just one in awhile, to read something from you (so smart, such a good writer) that isn't about you and your feelings. Maybe moving to Texas will change your perspective…anyway, I read your blog faithfully, but I agree with the poster above. This self-involvement is getting pretty old. No sense at all from your blog that you're even aware of anything or anyone else, even though you say you do volunteer work. Hey, Sex and the City got old too. (Literally and metaphorically.)

  15. If you don't experience the bad, there is no way you can fully appreciate the beauty of something great or good. After I met my husband, I really learned to value my past realtionships:

    -the broken promises
    -the heartache
    -the shame
    -the jealousy
    -the feelings of inadequacy
    -the feelings of betrayal

    My husband is my husband because he loves me wholeheartedly , doesn't shame me, berate me, hurt me. Had I met him earlier in my life, I think I would still love him but not appreciate him as much because I'd have no real life basis of comparison.

    Alice

  16. I posted this because I felt it very strongly when I wrote it, in the past. I don't post so you get a better idea of where I am now, emotionally. I posted it because sometimes it helps to know you're not the only person feeling these things. I posted it because it is human.

  17. My point in my comment is that it is good to express these angry, confusing, tormenting thoughts…Going through such thoughts helps us understand the past and define our future.

    Alice

  18. It always puzzles me when I see people telling bloggers what they should/should not write about.

    A blog is a diary that the writer generously chooses to share with the world. If the words resonate with you, great– keep reading. If they don't — there are a million other blogs out there that might be a better fit. It's not like she's charging us money for this, and we didn't get what we paid for. Stephanie's blog is popular precisely because she puts down what she's thinking – not what others expect her to think.

    I can understand debating/discussing a point of view in the comments — that can be satisfying, and fun. But dictating what someone should write? That seems like it crosses the line to me-

    Would you ever dictate what someone should/should not write in their paper diary??

  19. Over time, the pain of past hurts becomes less, but unless you allow yourself to feel those hurts, and deal with them, the wounds never truly heal. With trusting its different. You will never be able to trust someone no matter how much you try and try to quiet those little voices in your head. There`ll be always that question, suspicion.

  20. Spot on. You wrote something similar before, but this piece says it better.
    I ask him those questions too. 'Did you do that for her as well?' 'You probably said that to her too, didn't you?' and the worst, most guilt invoking 'Who do you love more'. And yet, I've been on the other side too, trying to be friends with an ex. But as soon as I noticed it hurted my boyfriend, I stopped. He was more important to me.

    Seems like everything is going wonderfull for you now, good luck with the move and the mariage and the baby-making :)

  21. These are the posts that I re-read. These are the posts that console me when I think I must be the only one with these vulnerabilites and uncertainties. Thanks for putting it out there.

  22. My inability to trust those I love has been the bane of my existence. The paranoia that comes with not trusting challenges my sanity. Only by thrusting these thoughts from my mind and taking a chance do I get relief.

  23. It is a blog people. That is what blogs are for. Self-involvement and if you don't like reading about how she has been hurt and is healing that why read it. That irritates me when people say crap like that on my blog. Steph, I commend you for continuing to write depsite it..
    T

  24. This is way,way too familiar Stephanie. Thanks for the post-It helps to read the other side. Great post, and good luck with Austin! You are a step closer to a real western city! Not quite there, but getting closer! :)

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