Publicly, I properly hate you. My friends and I curse your name at every corner in our conversations about love. They compliment how far I’ve come. They tell me how proud they are of me because I stopped allowing myself to be mistreated. I smile and thank them as I cringe inside because they will never truly understand. I don’t have all of the answers myself. For once, I don’t have the right words.
I didn’t just lose you. You didn’t just lose me. We lost a war to something much bigger than us. We were ripped apart by your struggle with bipolar disorder.
I’m not over it. It haunts me that we couldn’t defeat what constantly tried to and what ultimately would tear us apart. It keeps me up at night. I’ll always feel as though you and I are unfinished business. A part of me will always be in her past with you. She will be on the floor, blocking the door and begging you not to drink with your medication, pleading with you for your keys and crying when you didn’t call to say you were okay. Part of me will always feel small as your harshest words replay in my head, picking me apart as a person. As I watch the videos I secretly keep of you dancing and having a good time, part of me will always remember. More than anything, part of me will always wonder how you are. I’ll probably worry about you for the rest of my life. I’ll wonder who you love. I’ll wonder if you’re maintaining a healthy social life. I’ll wonder if you took your medication or if you will ever find one that works for you long term.
My curiosity consistently will break my heart. Because of all the questions I have, more than anything, I wonder what would have happened if I would’ve stayed. I was there for a long time, but I wish I could have had a glimpse into the future to know I didn’t give up on you too soon.
When I think of you, I feel haunted. I imagine the two of us trying to hold onto each other as a monster, neither a representative of you nor I, rips us apart. For years we managed to make our way back to each other until the day we couldn’t. I started to see you and said monster as one in the same. I felt locked out of a world that few understand, but you didn’t hold a key, so that wasn’t fair. You didn’t choose this. It wasn’t what you wanted either. I wish I could tell you that I still care without hurting all who are entangled in our lives. Without hurting you.
You warned me when you realized that I loved you a little too much. I pushed you to let me try to be the solvent. We have to stop pretending that love is a solvent for all. I’m sorry for that. I promised you more than I could deliver. You needed help, and I wanted so badly to fix you in a way that would grant me a happily ever after. Everyone talks about what you did to me, but they fail to realize that I hurt you too. I romanticized codependency and called it love to help me sleep at night. I fought back with you when I knew in my heart that you weren’t in the right state of mind. I let your apologies fall on deaf ears sometimes. I was selfish with our love. I didn’t tell the other people who loved you that you were struggling. I kept secrets that damaged you, all because I feared if you were well, you wouldn’t love me anymore.
If I truly wanted what was best for you, I would have gotten you help instead of begging you for sympathy. I allowed you to feel the burden of guilt when it was I who could have walked away from some fights. I learned to push your buttons. I knew how to get your attention and I stopped fighting for you. I started fighting against you. I only cared about our future together. It was you and me against the world or nothing. That isn’t right! I should have loved you in a manner that would want you to be a whole person. I had to learn that two half empty people don’t make a whole person.
Instead of holding you accountable, I held your heart hostage. I’m sorry for that. I’m sorry for who I became, having lost sight of the fact that our realities were very different. You will always be a part of my prayers before I fall asleep. I’m sorry that you don’t have the option to walk away like I did.