I met him almost 8 years ago. For the first time I was pursued and given value. He called me, left messages and love songs on my phone. Picked me up from work. Told me I was beautiful. And I foolishly believed it for the first time in my life. My only value to that point was in my practicality and usefulness to others. With Robert, I was valued just for being me. We were great friends, and I was, and still am, constantly hungry for knowledge of him. The more I learned of him, the more I loved him. I wanted nothing more than to reinforce to him that which he was giving me.
In being loved by him, he was learning to love, and I was learning to believe in being loved. I learned of his childhood and scarred past. I grew angry at those who had harmed him in the past. Like a mother trying to protect and comfort her child, I mourned for him. I felt his pain for him. I loved him so much more than words can ever express. He trusted me. I trusted him. It was an intimacy and trust that I had never before experienced. Others would see the way we looked at each other and comment on the intense love that they saw. It was unbelievable. As perhaps it should have been.
When he retreated, I patiently coaxed the scared little boy out and wrapped my heart around him. I longed to take away his fear and his pain. As I saw a loving man emerge, I rejoiced at our triumph over sadness. I had found my soul mate. I knew the love he had for me was unconditional. I knew I would never ever love another so strongly ever again. I had someone in whom I could trust. Someone who would not abandon me. This man really loved me. In the sadness of his eyes I saw myself staring back. This was my twin, my friend, my lover. For a moment in time, I was loved as equally as I loved.
Then in an instant.. It was gone. I learned of an unspeakable act of betrayal. Why? I’ll question that always. In his confessions, I saw the scared little boy begging me not to stop loving him. How could I turn from him? He trusted me. To turn from him now would damage him forever. I could not do that to him. His greatest fear was then, and is now, abandonment. He feared being thrown away. I of all people can understand that fear. I know the feeling of worthlessness staring back at you from the eyes of the very one you are reaching for. I cannot do that to him. I feel it when I see him. It is as if I am experiencing it for myself all over again. Empathy is my strongest gift from god. It is also my biggest curse.
Slowly... My forgiveness returned. In the midst of forgiving I learned to forget... if only temporarily. After the catharsis of truth and the rebirth of healing… I somehow became the child. Damaged now and needing so to feel the love returned in likeness to the amount it had been given. That is when he backed away. I stood hopeless. As my lover, my child, my father, my friend slipped further and further from me. My pain and need only driving him from me more. Ultimately the betrayal came. With reckless abandon, and no concern for my fragile soul came the lies and infidelity. Even more cruelly this time. For this time, I let myself need. I opened up to abandonment and rejection and was scalded. Tossed away as unworthy. Unwanted.
My life now… trying to pick up the pieces. Longing for the best friend. Praying still for the fragile little boy. The twin. The soul mate. The person I gave my soul to. I walk now without a soul and feel at this moment that I always will. I can not go back. I will not allow myself to be hurt like this again. I would rather live without a soul, than die without my dignity.