Moments Etched in my Memory
Daily Prompt: What are the three most memorable moments — good or bad, happy or sad — in your life? Go!
In 2000, I arrived in New York full of hopes and dreams of spending the rest of my life with who I thought was the love of my life. I loved him deeply enough to have taken a leap of faith — leaving family, friends and career behind to start anew here. Even if I knew that he had a string of failed marraiges, and that I hardly really knew him apart from our brief encounters the previous months.
I remember how going through each day was both happy and sad — happy to be here with him, sad to be away from everyone else I loved. The scenes, even the highway, felt like a scene out of a movie I was watching. We had our challenges — my stepson, in particular — but I thought we had enough love going between us to see us through.
In 2004, my son came into my life, and everything changed. To this day, this is one of the most remarkable memories that will forever stay with me. Even as I hold him now that he is almost 10, I remember how he looked at me when he was but a baby, and how he made everything I touched, felt and tasted different and more meaningful.
In my happiest and darkest moments, he remains to be the one thing that I know is real and is true — no matter how everything else may have been but an illusion or something I wanted to believe in.
In October 2013, I came upon a discovery of the betrayal that shattered my world. We all fantasize about those dramatic moments that we see in movies happening to us in real life — or happening to someone we know. And for all our wisdom and perceived level-headedness, we end up getting swept away when the tidal wave comes in and we drown.
Six months. And the memories of all that I had come to know, realize, and have felt and gone through remain with me. Sometimes I have a screen running in my brain which replays these scenes and feelings over and over again. And my heart does a double take and replays the heartbreak and the pain.
I thought he was a better man. I thought that if he found himself in love with someone else, he would be man enough to tell me and let me go. Instead, they carried on for over a year until I discovered their affair. Even when I had already told him what I knew, he kept hurting me by telling me he didn’t want to pretend things were okay when they were not. He smirked at me as if to tell me he didn’t want to pretend he still felt something.
For three months, I lived through the torture of waiting for him to resolve his conflict. I knew they were still in touch. He took her side whenever she ran to him with some complaint about something I said or did. I saw a side of him I wish I didn’t see — weak and broken. Ungrateful. Unappreciative. I was convenient to have around — but she got all the perks. She got all the expensive gifts. Even gifts that I never ever got — and have not gotten to this day. Because in his eyes, she is worth it and I am not.
I am trying so hard to live with that. I tell myself I am here not for my happiness but for my son’s. It is a bitter, bitter pill to swallow. Sometimes I don’t know how much more of it I can take. Unhappiness can kill a spirit. You try — you go to the therapist. You pray. You convince yourself you still laugh together. Maybe he will indeed turnaround even if deep inside, you know they are still in touch and they might still be carrying on behind your back. And you can’t forget that they broke your spirit and violated you as a human being. How do put the pieces of your being back together?
You stop expecting. And you just numb yourself to the heartbreak both past and present. But the heartbreak is so great that you cannot forget. And you always remember.
The therapist told me that it takes time. But that hasn’t made it any easier on my broken soul. I live from day to day… I push myself to believe things will get better. Maybe there is hope that things can still be repaired somehow.
I wish our brains were programmed to remember only the good and not the bad. But then if that were the case, we wouldn’t be able to savor the good we feel in our hearts.
My birthday’s just around the corner and it’s a very dark time for me. Last year, she got an extravagant gift FOR NO OCCASION AT ALL. And I, the birthday celebrant, got a token gift because I was useful. I served a purpose. And perhaps there was guilt in that because even on my birthday weekend and week, they were constantly together. She played the part of his wife among their friends. I was left to take care of my son and his mother. I served a purpose in that sordid love affair that their friends and batchmates probably knew about.
He says they’re over. Maybe they are. In a sad, sad way, it doesn’t even matter whether they are or they aren’t because what they had done to me had killed a part of me I cannot rouse back to life anymore. And the saddest part of that is that the man who I thought was the better person and literally my better half, was the one who drove the knife through my heart.