WORSTS

**AUTHOR’S NOTE:

I am dating a really wonderful guy who doesn’t let my exorcism of old demons bother him because he is an actual angel sent from heaven. Please don’t be the sort of internet snoop I attempt to be and assume that something is wrong between Tyler & I because I have posted this. This was simply backlogged in my draft posts because I was afraid to share it for some time, but I’m not afraid of upsetting this person anymore, and I’m trying to get on top of dat blog game. It’s actually kinda funny to read this back and think that I ever thought I felt so seriously about this fella in the first place. Bless it.

With you, I always thought about the worst, right from the very start.

You were a “bad boy”, you came with a warning tag a mile long – I knew that I could never change you, but I could try to live around you and do the best that I could with what I had. In my mind, this was being rational. I tried to think this way so that I could prepare myself, should the worst come. This idea, this notion of THE WORST was what I held on to, was how I survived each day.  When I decided to like you back, the immediate worst that I could imagine would be if you decided that you didn’t like me anymore. You did, so we moved on. Once we were actually together, the worst thing would be if you dumped me. You eventually did, and it sucked, but I quickly found a new way to allude the pain. Just keep upping the ante – just keep finding a new “worst”. What threatens to break you never possibly could if you can force yourself to imagine something worse.

We got back together, and the new worst would be if you cheated on me. You did. The revelation was white-hot, a blinding punch to the gut, but only temporarily –  I saw love letters from the girl you were screwing behind my back and read her words over and over again until they didn’t make sense to me anymore, until they felt like they were written about different people, because all I knew how to do was detach. I didn’t even give myself the time to be angry at you, because that would mean feeling it.  “Dry it up,” I told myself, and I re-calibrated as best as I could. Because as long as I was quick – catlike, preventative – I could jump and land somewhere just ahead of where you hurt me, and it was better that way. I felt less, I could take more.

I lived a really long time like this, holding on to the worst, settling on new worsts, outdoing my previous best-worsts at a near constant rate, until finally it was done. It was just sort of time. You decided on another girl, I hesitantly started dating again – and it should have ended there. Petered out naturally. Once in awhile, you’d call, or ask to come over and see me, and I’d tell you to call your girlfriend and to leave me alone. I was tired of worsts, I was tired of you. I wanted to feel good for awhile, and that didn’t seem to be a feeling that came easily when you were around.

But then, somewhere along the way, I took a wrong turn on the path to betterment and decided it was time for a new worst.

It was “the ultimate”, I figured, my absolute final and most terrifying worst: never seeing you again. I could accept that we weren’t together. I could accept that we were better apart. I could accept that you were with someone else. I could accept that everything I wanted and imagined with you would never come to fruition – but I could absolutely not accept that we were completely finished. And I became absolutely consumed with it.

So, when you’d call and ask to sneak over, I would gladly smuggle you in, girlfriend be damned. I thought this, too, was preventative, rational – I had found my worst, and if I could just hold on to some fragment of who we were together, even if it was so small that it was practically nonexistent, I would not have to face my fears or feel my sorrows. You were like a drug, I swear – I could not quit, could not get you out of my mind, could not stand it if we went too long without contacting one another, because the world felt like it would close in and catch me if you weren’t somehow there. Funny, thinking back, on that last thought – because in actuality, you never really were there to start with.

It took me a really long time to wake up from this spell that I cast on myself, and I’m ashamed of that, because I wasted a lot of my time trying to keep you and I both in line, when I should have been devoting my time to facing my traumas head on and learning how to heal from them. I stopped writing, I stopped listening to certain songs, I stopped reading or watching things that might trigger me out of fear of what was broken inside of me. I cut myself out from a lot of the world for a very long time because I did not want to open that can of worms that was everything you and I did to each other. But your mind can only protect itself for so long until what you try to hide from starts spilling over and catching up with you somehow. It caught me. It hurt like hell. But I finally stopped running and turned around and faced it head on.

With this time, throughout this healing, I have been able to realize the actual worst, the realest worst. The worst thing was never if you cheated, if you left, if I never, ever saw you again – the worst thing that I can imagine would be never knowing you at all. Despite everything. Despite every damn terrible night. Despite how scared and lonely I have been, with and without you. That’s it. Just simply never having the privilege of knowing you. Because even though it hurts to think that maybe there may not be another phone call, or another long drive, or another night spent squirming underneath you and trying not to wake up the whole house – that could still never, ever be worse than never knowing you at all.

I knew what you were when I met you. You never let me down. You were lousy, a cad, every terrible thing I could think or say, the worst thing I have ever done to myself, a pattern of self-destruction that I don’t know if I’ll ever get over – but you were also the greatest person, when things were good, and I loved you so madly, right down to the core. You have always been the one person who makes me feel so alive, like the air is crisper and colors are brighter when you are looking at me.  Maybe you met my “worsts” because I was so sure you would, or maybe you always would have, anyway – it doesn’t matter anymore. I’m beyond needing to focus on those bookmarks in time that I kept placing. The worst thing I can imagine would be if our paths had never crossed. Because I would have never watched you sleep, or seen you cry, or kissed you until my lips were swollen, or worse – would have never gotten to love and be loved by you.

I guess that what I’ve learned is that in life, sometimes things don’t work out the way that you want them to, or even the way that you think they should – but that isn’t the worst thing that could happen. The worst thing is if you never tried at all. Like I said – I knew who you were when I met you. I knew every odd was against us. I was scared to death every single day. But I knowingly took a leap, and even though I lost my balance along the way, I somehow was able to land with both feet on the ground, and better for having jumped in the first place. I could not be who I am if I had never known you, for better and for worse. Your place in my life may always be in the past, from now on, but better behind me, where I can choose to look back and remember it when i see fit, than never at all.

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2 thoughts on “WORSTS

  1. This was a lovely post. The only thing that makes us who we are is our relationships with others. Even if the relationship turns ugly it still leaves us with a lesson.

    Keep learnin’ them lessons — WD

    Liked by 1 person

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