But I’m Different with You.
“I am a bad man. I’ve done very bad things. I’ve lied, cheated, broken promises, hurt people…”
As his list flourishes into details leading up to his week’s behavior, I feel the gravitational pull toward the darkness. It bunny-beckons me, mirroring my own. I recognize the familiar feelings written across his face. Like watching a movie with subtitles. I read into him. He wears shame like a wet blanket. It drips off him, clinging. So many externals in failed attempts to fill his emptiness. I’d only need one.
I’d only need him. Just one human-sized portion to fill the space. Just once more.
If anyone knew how starving I was, they’d never deny me this pleasure. He’s right in front of me. Talking to me, and he wants me too. The soothing sense of the familiar fills me like poisoned gas. I’m officiated in his suffering. I want to inhale him, shoot him into my bloodstream. Is he a relapse or am I just relaxing? Breathing again. Just once more. It’ll be different this time…
And everything dissolves. Goodbye yesterday, tomorrow… it’s just him and me, right here, right now, and nothing else matters. I’m fully and completely absorbed in him. All that I want, all that I need.
“Rigorous honesty.” He claims it like a shiny new toy. Fascinated by the concept. It’s delightful watching him blossom in front of me. A budding rose bud, a baby learning to crawl. How could I not hold out hands in supportive guidance? “You don’t have to do it alone baby, I’ll show you how!”
He looks at me in the purity of discovery, sees right into my most vulnerable self. My terror and distrust and boxer heart. My passion and obsession, love and fear.
“You are like family to me. I love you… am in love with you. You, my best friend. I want you in my life forever. I’d never want to hurt you. I know how hurt you’ve been. I have to be careful with you. I’ve been so bad, so sad… but I’m different with you…”
It’s the notification of my exceptional rarity that floods my system with dopamine overload, crushing any hints of red-flag warning. The notion that I, Goddess, have the power to D.I.Y.-complete this Project Man-child into my ideal life partner. Nurse Narcissist to the rescue.
Everything he says counters everything he does. The honest liar isn’t truthful. Seeing the light isn’t the same as stepping into it. My brand new baby boyfriend had a girlfriend. My brand new baby had invited me deep into his addiction, and I’d hopefully, helplessly jumped in to join him. The pull-down was so strong. I can’t blame him. I can’t claim him. It has everything to do with me.
Despite a lifetime of evidence in support of that fact, I too believed, but it’s different this time. Lucky number 52! So identically different with him! Just let me save me through saving you…
I depend on them depending on me. Perpetuated addictions. I am fertile soil to his rakish ways. Seduced by the same trickery as I was with all the boys before.
Only God can save him now! I righteously sob over the tattered remains of my broken toy, two weeks into playtime. How did it break so soon? Faulty manufacturing? I couldn’t save him from his self-destruction, and he couldn’t be the savior to mine.
I couldn’t use him responsibly. I wouldn’t take just a little bit, I wanted to binge and gorge.
And now, I dip my pen into my pot of red inky pain and begin again. Start over.
Instead of punishing him, I’ll self-protect.
As my pathway narrows in pain, my horizons broaden with possibilities.
I’ll trust those who have walked the road of recovery before me.
My glass-fragility becoming crystal-precious in the process.
I’ll remember not to hand myself to historical heart-breakers.
When I pick up again, it’ll be me.
Because the truth is, there is no one to save but myself.