I strung together the things I left unsaid and let them trail along behind me as I walked down this path, holding his hand and falling in step with him. Maybe I should have went my own way, for a little bit, giving myself time to heal and emerge from the situation with a clearer sense of things. Maybe that way, the emotionally charged run-ins could have been avoided and I could have skipped the part where I proceeded to tear at myself violently. But there is no room for hypothetical what ifs, what's done is done. The only thing left is to extract the lessons it were to teach me, something I haven't bothered to do, for I was too caught up with my own masochism.
I'd be lying if I denied the fact that this opened my eyes to things I never really knew about myself. It also served as a catalyst to the growth I've experienced this year and I can't really decide if it's necessarily good or bad. Things happen for a reason and in the end I'm very happy in our present, filled with hope for our future, but if given the chance to re-do the past two years...would I go through it again?
It's no secret that letting go of the past isn't exactly my forte. I've always held on tightly to the things that broke me, made me cry, conditioning me to be the person I am today. For a long time, I wasn't myself if I didn't have my anger and my sorrows to get me through the day. It drove me, served as my fuel for living, and the success I were to gain from that was going to serve as the best vengeance. So, how would this be any different? If I couldn't even let go of the things that happened to me when I was younger, what made anyone think I'd let go of this?
For the first time in a long time, I was confused. I was confused by my want to forgive and my vindictiveness. By my growing feelings towards him and my disgust for the things he's done. I can't forget to mention my confusion on the choices I've made after the truth was discussed and the story was laid out for all to see. Or how I even managed to take all that bullshit from him, or from anyone for that matter, for so long. Didn't I used to roll my eyes and scoff at the girls who let boys trample all over them? Didn't I used to laugh and confidently exclaim that I, Hannah Song, would never be caught dead in a situation like that?
But yet, there I was. All throughout Year One I believed the carefully cloaked "reality" he constructed, telling myself over and over again that I just came across a heavily guarded individual. That my patience will be rewarded and that this...whatever this is, was going to be fruitful. "He just needs time." I kept telling myself. "One day." I went through a whole year telling myself that, giving a little more of myself as the days went by, and it grew harder and harder to appear nonchalant every time he came and went. And with every step he took towards me, he'd always take two steps back. It was maddening. To feel hidden away, denied the existence of outside of my little world that I let him into. To receive a heavy silence on the phone as a reply for my "I love you", every time he called me to say good night. It was so good when we were together, in one place, but the days and nights we spent apart...it was like two strangers. Maddening.
Looking back, I wonder if I let myself go through all that because of my own issues, my own battles I was going through. I had no family then, my father had disowned me, I was far from home, living on my own and having to fend for myself. I was failing at school because I had to work more for rent. I didn't eat, I couldn't afford to really, and being so far from LA, from my friends and my daily sights, without the ability to drive anywhere made me feel the loneliest I have ever felt. Perhaps it was because I came to know him then. Perhaps I was looking to hold on to anything I thought was good, anything I thought made me feel wanted. Loved. Needed. Missed. Important. Perhaps.
I can only imagine how those around me felt, seeing me go through all that. And I can only imagine their frustration when I repeatedly did just what they told me not to. "He's no good." "You should stop talking to him." "He's not worth you being like this." After a while, I didn't even bother to vent about my situation. I felt like no one understood, nobody would understand, so I went about it tight-lipped and silent. Perhaps that's what killed me the most.
Late into Year One, some things came to light (right after my birthday, such opportune timing), punching me right in the gut. Then came the denials. An edited version of the truth, which I believed in, and then away he went for a week.
That week was absolute hell. The moment I hung up the phone when he called me from the airport, I decided that this was it. I will have nothing to do with him. He is dead to me, nothing but a bittersweet dream I was too reluctant to wake from. How much more can I put myself through? Hopeless, absolutely hopeless and I won't even bother with it anymore. I was so adamant in this that I boxed up everything of his that was in my possession, deleted everything that held even so much a hint of him, and I let the anger and hate simmer.
Then a text came from him, just two days after he left. Then a phone call. And I felt my defenses weaken while my anger boiled as his voice came through the other line. How can one make me feel so goddamn much?
Out of all the things I've been through, this one was the one I was most vocal about. If you've been reading my posts on my Wordpress account, you pretty much had somewhat of a play-by-play as this happened. Poems, short stories, vents and one-liners all having to do with the things that happened since he came back from the week-long trip until earlier this year. Reading back on it now, my anger bled through the words, my disgust with his lies evident, driven by my heartbreak and filled with understanding. I was too understanding with him, as I am with most, and a little too self-sacrificing. I realize now that I compromised a huge chunk, if not all, of myself for him, a mistake I'm making sure I'll never make again. With anyone. You should never compromise yourself for another. No one deserves that and it shouldn't even have to come to that.
Complete and utter betrayal. It cost me my confidence in myself. The things I was passionate about. For a while, I came to steer clear of the things I used to love because it held similarities. And I found myself comparing. Wondering. My trust was completely shattered and my mind started to breed doubt, fucking with me and driving me insane.
I was torn between wanting to give this another shot, rejoicing that we finally have a chance to do things right, and giving into my heartbreak and doubt and vindictiveness and my desire to just say "Fuck all of this" and leaving behind everything and everyone so I can use this new anger to fuel my original mindset of "Fuck the world, all I need is me."
It took a while. A few breakdowns here, a few arguments fueled by my suspicion, a hell of a lot of jeering, sarcastic comments in reference to the things that happened in order to make him feel like shit... I'm not going to lie. For some time, I acted a certain way that I knew affected him as a form of punishment. Childish, I know, but it was my version of a temper tantrum. A little peek-a-boo from the vindictive bitch that lives in me.
It still hurts, but not as much. I don't think about it every day like I used to. Now, when I talk about it, I can completely detach myself and accept that it did indeed happen to me and that I am not above these kinds of issues that I used to deem unnecessary and avoidable. But I can't disassociate. Not quite just yet. It still kind of tugs at my heart when I see traces of the other wherever I go. Or when I pass by the places the places I held dear to me that's now kind of tainted with this bad memory. Or when I remember random events like last year's empty Valentine's and see it in new understanding given to me by the facts that were provided. But I'm learning.
It's a peculiar predicament only because I know so much, and knowing so much ultimately was making the cut go deeper. Knowing so much and my memory bringing things up and my mind constantly comparing was ultimately throwing salt on a fresh wound. Plus there was the part where I had to get used to him. I was used to him never being around. Flaking. Being distant. Used to not knowing who his friends were. Or his family. Now it's the complete opposite. And we live together. Bizarre!
So now, I'm learning the greatest lesson I have come across so far: forgiveness. I had a conversation about this with a coworker of mine and she told me something that opened my eyes to the way I have been acting. "It was your choice to forgive him and stay because you love him. He's trying his best and probably proved your doubts wrong already. You can't say that you forgive him and then punish him for what he did while you're with him."
She was right. I was acting out. And being selfish. And a whole lot of other things. I want so much for this to work out, I have been wanting this and him for a long time and I was just fucking it up for myself. Because, I fully realize now, that I want things I can't have or seem extremely difficult to attain. I realized that it's always been that way, with boys, love, friends, interests, things, everything. I yearn for it more when it's out of reach but once I have it I grow bored. Or disgusted (stems from self-loathing issues). Or I find reasons, or make up my own, to wriggle out of it. Which was exactly what I was doing with him.
I took his obvious efforts to right his wrongs, took it and cold-heartedly deemed it insufficient. I maliciously waved his mistakes in front of him and held my heartbreak over his head, as if he wasn't already feeling guilty enough. As if I didn't see that what happened ate him up as well. Cruel, cruel girl.
It's high time I moved forward and discard these childish antics of mine. To face the things I was running from, to vent, to purge, to move on. Let go. Forgive. And though I can't forget, I sure as hell won't be constantly looking back, bringing the past into the present.
So here I am. Releasing the things I felt within the past two years in form of word vomit, lightening my load. I don't regret staying and I love him immensely. And I've given up trying to make logical sense of the intense emotional whirlwind this experience proved to be.
To think of how much I have grown, how much he has grown, and how much we have grown...we've definitely come a long way.
A looooooooooong way.