Power Struggle


It’s the memory I can’t escape from.

Sure, it happens less and less, that I think about that day. Sure, it doesn’t hurt anymore, the replay of it all…not much anyway. I just want to stop picturing it. Am I wrong to wish I could forget?

Of course, life doesn’t work that way.

It’s funny isn’t it? How days like that, the ones that change everything, the ones that you would do anything to forget, seem to be stuck in your mind forever. I can still see it so clearly, in spite of my (obviously failed) attempts at suppression, repression, and my personal favorite negative coping mechanism, avoidance.

I remember the ever-misleading calm before the storm (what a bitch, am I right?), when for a little while, everything felt perfect. That’s one of the hardest things. That I, neurotically over prepared as I am, didn’t see that fight coming.

I remember the day of the fight, Sunday. We had spent every Sunday together for almost 2 years. That day, for the first time in 3 years, instead of working it out, I drove off.

I would be lying if I said I never wondered how things would have turned out if only a few little things had gone differently that day.

Most likely, I would still be in a relationship that I didn’t belong in. But that is what I like to call the “hindsight-is-20/20-bias”. It’s easy to look back and find all the faults, to realize how unhappy you both really were, even though all you could see at the time was “love”.

After the fight was the break, a week that I am ashamed to say was spent almost entirely in my bed. It was on the Tuesday that I discovered one of his lies; the night I didn’t even know he went out, the night I would later learn he spent with someone else.

Come Friday morning, I had had enough waiting. Normally, I would have called to let him know I was coming, but this time I didn’t. It wasn’t some mysterious premonition that stopped me. All I remember from that drive that I had made so many times before is a simple quote that kept repeating itself in my head,

“ If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t”.

As I drove towards him on Taunton, from Pickering to Oshawa, I was already imagining the scene that was about to play out, I wanted more than anything to be wrong.

Of course, life doesn’t work that way.

Pulling around the bend of his street, I could see her car in his driveway. I parked on the street (always be prepared for a quick getaway) and as I was walking up to his front door thought about knocking. Ridiculous, I let myself in, its what I always did. Maybe I didn’t want to give him a chance to get away with it, or maybe I was still hoping I was wrong.

As I walked down the hallway towards his room, I glanced into the living, hoping that this was all just a delusion created by pesky insecurities, that I would see her innocently sleeping on the couch.

Of course, life doesn’t work that way.

I walked to his door, closed. I wanted to walk in. Fuck. But I wasn’t ready to see it. Fuck. I couldn’t do it; I couldn’t just walk in and destroy this thing. This relationship that had taken so much of me, that had consumed me since I was 16. Fuck. I heard someone turn in his bed, and I knocked. Fuck. I could hear their voices, confused about who would be at the door so early in the morning. I waited for what felt like an entire day, and then I heard him get out of the bed. Fuck it. I couldn’t take it anymore, I knew what was there behind the door, and waiting wouldn’t change anything. Fuckfuckfuck. I opened the door.

There she was, the same girl from that first lie, on his bed.  There he was, bewildered, and in his underwear.

Of course, life works exactly that way.

The worst part of all is how instantly I forgave him; I didn’t have it in me to hate him, I still don’t.

I like to think I’m past it, and for the most part I am.  This is not a self-pity thing, nor is it my attempt to seek pity. I am strong, stronger than what happened; it never had the power to destroy me.

I am not naïve enough to want to forget that day entirely. As strange as it sounds, I am happy with what happened. Who I am and who I want to be are different than the person I had become, and if it was not for that day, I don’t know when or if I would have realized that.

Still, the memory of that final day holds me back, as it replays so clearly in my mind. It is images and not pain that has me at a stand still. It does not keep me from being happy, it does not stop me from living my life. The power this memory has over me is its ability to take me out of a moment, to grab my full attention when it is triggered. I am stuck in a power struggle with my own mind.

That is why I want to forget, is that so wrong?

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5 thoughts on “Power Struggle

  1. For what it’s worth you handled it better than I would have, better than most people in fact. Like Reid said, this is really good!

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