Sunday, 26 May 2013

Playing With Fire and Not Getting Burned

I met Steve.

Yes, you read that right. I decided against all better judgment that I would see what he wanted or needed. I can't say I am any closer to knowing that now than I was beforehand. But whereas before, in my mind, he was a horrific monster of a person, someone who potentially could hurt me or damage me in some way, I now see he isn't. Hence the photo - it's from a Star Trek episode, where this is what speaks to the crew of the Enterprise - when in fact it is a puppet representing a little child-like alien who couldn't scare a mouse. Except this monster was of my own creating.

I know that there was a time when Steve was a threat to me, but not now. Now he is a sad, empty, full-blown heroin-addicted waste of a life. He ended the night throwing up in my garden because it had been so long since his last fix - and he has a stomach ulcer that is only being made worse by not eating and drinking too much, so there was blood in there again. I felt nothing but sympathy for him. And a feeling of responsibility - but that is just a feeling, and I can ignore it. I'm not responsible for him any more.

I know I was playing with fire. I know there was the potential there for him to use me, or fish me in again. But I went knowing that, and being prepared. I wasn't prepared for a life unlived, a person so messed up that they could barely string a sentence together, let alone explain why they had wanted to see me. And there was the ghost of my love there too - I could remember how it felt to love him, feel the tiny bit inside that always will love the person he pretended to be - and the bit inside that still loves this pathetic thing he has become, because it triggers all the protective impulses, all the destructive coping strategies I've developed in my life to keep the self-hatred at bay. But it is fine to feel those things, and recognise them, and not act on them. It is fine to turn my back and walk away.

He is who he is, and he will never change. At one point he was trying to tell me how I was, 'The One' and how he wasn't in touch with any other women, and he handed me his phone to prove it. He thought I'd look at the messages or call-list I presume, but I didn't, just looked at the contacts list. He has every ex he ever cheated with listed on there still, right back to 'Lauren Inthelakes'. I'm only one of many; another old-flame he can't quite bear to extinguish. I deleted my number.

I really do forgive him now. Oh, I'll never forget what he did and what I became, but I now see that he truly has hurt himself far more than he could ever hurt me. I wish him well, but he knows that is as far as it goes, there is nothing to see here any more. Time to move along.

I genuinely hope that he can.

So now I just have to explain to my sister that this was 'sending to the dog-pound' rather than 'casting a morsel of meat'!

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