At least, he couldn’t. So he made up his own version of it.
Recently, I unearthed an email that was written to me over a decade ago. I read it all the way through for the first time just a few weeks ago. Previously, I had only skimmed it… because the person who wrote it was in crazy mode at the time and I didn’t want his negative energy to rub off on me.
A couple days after I found it, I shared a portion of the email with my BFF. Her first comment, “I had no idea he treated you that way.” That would be because… generally, I seldom (if ever) share any details of my relationships outside of those relationships. I believe that any issues and/or experiences I have with someone are between me and him — not me and him and the rest of the world.
But… for a change, I thought I’d share a snippet of the old email with you (the world) for a moment, just to show how strange circumstances can become… how warped perceptions can be….
Here is what the young man wrote (this has been greatly edited for length, scathing language, redundant sarcasm, grammar and spelling):
12/14/02 – You have been an enigma for me for years. I never got a verbal answer from you. I had to make guesstimates. Silence IS the best answer when you don’t want ANYONE to know the truth. You said nothing, and showed nothing.
I don’t know why it takes so many YEARS to show how you really feel. This email is what happens when someone spends years talking to YOU and TRYING to figure YOU out and NEVER gets anything in return… EXCEPT one thing — the cold shoulder.
Have you spent that kind of time on someone? I know you spent time with boys who had NO clue. It was your responsibility to take them to a higher ground and challenge their realities or leave them to their mindless lives.
It’s like the little boy who puts gum in a girl’s hair ‘cause he likes her, yet wonders why he can’t find a girl that will date him. Couldn’t you just let one into your heart? It takes something as incredible as your heart for them to TRULY see what they are missing! I know you felt pain ‘cause you couldn’t understand why you were alone, or why HE didn’t understand you. You never let any of those shallow men truly know what it was like to experience your love. For one reason only: YOU didn’t want to get hurt, my princess.
I know more about you than you think or even like to admit! I have literally studied you/your actions/your words. Everything.
I KNOW what you are feeling when you are feeling it, and I (most of the time) know why you are feeling it, and what I am doing that makes you feel it, and what I am supposed to do that will help you to get out of it. The problem is, it’s all a guess. I never REALLY know, until you TRULY open up. You NEVER did. Till just recently. I knew you would or should I say hoped you would. But I knew it had to be ON YOUR TIME. My time was “selfishly” waiting for YOURS.
I feel I have more experience with YOUR heart than you. You’re late, you’re very f–ing late! I disappear for extended periods of time, ‘cause I know that’s what YOU WANT. THAT’S ME READING YOU and, in turn, that is what I give you! I am giving to you exactly what you want.
I know what you’re thinking.
At least, I think I do. You are either thinking that he was possessive and/or stalker-ish of me. Or… you think he actually did love me and was out-of-his-mind frustrated for never having the chance to express it to/with me. Either way, you are mistaken. (As was I, back in those days.)
We worked in the same office for five years. On a daily basis, he spent his time flying from one girl’s desk to the next like a bee pollinating flowers as they fawned all over him. And each day as he buzzed by my desk and smooth-talked his way close to me, overflowing with innuendos about the reasons I should go out with him… I declined. I just wasn’t interested… for a variety of reasons: His lack of focus in the workplace. The lack of depth and unsettled look in his eyes. The topics of conversation he brought up. His choice of words. The pace of his lifestyle. His activities outside of work. His choice of music…. None of it; nothing about him felt like “me”.
Moreover… why would I even think, based on his behavior with all of the other women in the office, that he cared for me any more than he cared for any of them? Also, I was at the tail end of a long-term relationship with someone else. So I wasn’t even available to date him (or anyone else) in the first place.
Neither was he. He was living with his long-time girlfriend of ten years. She would stop by the office every once in a while at the end of a workday and mix and mingle with us. Call me old-fashioned, but I am not one to pursue another woman’s man. I have no desire for that sort of “competition”. I am quite certain I am worthy of a man’s full attention and honesty in a relationship. If a man is not interested enough in me to offer that, then that’s his choice. And, likewise, I then have the choice to stay in his life or go meet someone else who will value me more.
Plus… a man’s mere interest in me is not enough on its own to recommend him to me as a potential relationship partner. We must also have some very important (not just superficial) things in common. That’s a given, isn’t it?
If this particular man had truly wanted me to be a part of his life, he would have taken a real chance on me (regardless of whether or not he thought I was a “sure thing”). The fact that he wanted to be with someone other than the woman he was presently with should have inspired him to make a change in his life: either re-focus his attention solely on her and forget all about me… OR… admit to her (and himself) that he no longer loved her and break things off so he could pursue me honorably, openly, honestly — come what may (acceptance by, or rejection from, me). No lies. No deceptions.
Had he done that, it would have immediately indicated to me that he had the best of intentions and that I was someone he was serious about. That action alone would have enabled me to trust and believe in him… and in a potential “us”. It would have provided a sense of security for me; a solid footing for starting a new relationship. It would’ve meant his feelings for me were real and meaningful. It would have assured me that he didn’t categorize me as just any woman, but as the one woman he specifically wanted to be with.
But that wasn’t what happened.
Instead of embracing me in any of those ways, he focused his energy on blaming me for us not being together, even though he wasn’t even in a position to be with or pursue me. Similarly, no matter what my reasons were for staying away from him when we first met, he should have respected me for NOT giving in to him since I was already involved with someone else at that time. After all, why would he (or any man) want to date a woman who would cheat on the man she was with?
Wait for it…….
Ultimately, time passed (3 years) and finally one day he assured me he and his girlfriend had gone their separate ways. I, too, had exited my previous relationship by this time… so I gave the letter writer a chance. What did he give me in return? Instant dismissal, blame and bitterness. In his eyes, everything about me was wrong. Over the preceding years, he had listened to me talk about men I never actually dated… and he was jealous that they had gained my attention where he could not. So, once he finally did have my attention, he set out to make me pay for making him wait for so long.
(Note: Although his email suggests that I had shown interest in several men at that time of my life, that wasn’t true. Over the course of a few years, I had mentioned only one or two men to him during friendly office co-worker advice-seeking conversations.)
Here’s the important part….
If this man had truly loved me… and if I had truly loved him… and if at some point I had ever been prompted to come to my senses after years (or decades) of blindness and finally tell him, “I love you,”… even if my timing was way off… and no matter how long it had taken me to finally realize what had been right before me all that time… instead of rejecting me with a flippant, “Too late…”, a man who loved me would have opened his arms and said, “Thank God! At last! Let’s figure this out together and make it work.” And happy times would have followed.
But what I got from him in return for taking a chance on him was punishment for not having fallen at his feet the moment I met him.
And, let’s not overlook this point: He, in fact, had never actually broken up with the long-time girlfriend he shared a house with… plus, he was also secretly dating and living with another girl in another house across town, simultaneously. (In case you lost count… that makes 1 guy lying to and attempting to divide his time up between 3 girls, whilst living with 2 of them. I guess I was the lucky one, though. I was the one he said he “really” loved, but also the one he ignored and avoided.)
Of course, he told me that this entire situation was my fault, too, for not having pursued him from the start. He insisted that he would’ve broken up with his long-time girlfriend long ago if only I had shown interest in him early on… and he never would have started dating the new girl if only I had shown interest in him anytime before he met her.
The last time we spoke, in spring 2003, he told me, “If you want to be loved, get a dog.”
Now the future:
I want to spend every day of the rest of my life with a man who is my best friend; a man who loves me as-is; a man who is beautiful, loving, strong and kind, inside and out… supportive of me on multiple levels… respectful, hopeful, warm and charismatic… trustworthy, responsible, generous, honest, real and touchable… someone who inspires me to be a better me, wants the best for me and lets me help him be the best he can be… someone who connects with me in multiple ways that have been thus far unprecedented amongst anyone else I’ve known… and someone who is amazing in ways I don’t even know about yet for reasons I can’t even imagine. Etc.
If that sounds like too much for me to hope for… I will say this: The right man for me won’t even have to try to be any of the above. It will just come naturally to him and/or I will see it in him even if he doesn’t see it in himself.
I haven’t given up… and I won’t give up. There’s always a chance that tomorrow will bring the man of my dreams to me…. Perhaps he’ll blow in on a summer breeze. 😉
In the meantime… I have been silent about a great many things lately. But my silence does not mean that I’m incapable of love… giving or receiving. I just don’t want to see my history repeat itself.
Those are my thoughts.