An Irishman recently said to me, “The past has a way of throwing stones at your back.” This is very true.
This past weekend The Ex reappeared. Again. This time he sent me a text saying, “Can we please work things out, I’m not the same guy anymore, I have nothing but love and respect for you, and I know I can show you that every day. These last three months have been hell for me, but I’ve survived and I’m better.” Ugh.
I decided not to respond to that text for several reasons:
- The first sentence drives me nuts. I mean, he starts out with a question, but decides to punctuate with a comma instead of a question mark. Ugh. Ok…maybe I’m being a little nitpicky. But he spent eight years with me! I teach language arts! He should know better.
- Last week he sent me three text messages in a drunken rage telling me to stay away from his friends (meaning Max). He then apologized for those text messages on Mother’s Day… as soon as he sobered up…two days later.
- Any response from me will prompt another text from him, and I do not wish to engage in any conversation about “us” with him. Not only does that sound unpleasant, but it will also give him false hope. Just because I broke up with the guy on Valentine’s Day does not mean that I am a heartless bitch.
I called him the next day…but I really, really, really wished I didn’t have to call him the next day. In order for you to understand my reasons for calling him on Sunday, I need to give you some background information.
About a year ago, The Ex and I adopted a cat. This cat is named Sebastian. Sebastian is an awesome kitty, and I got to keep him after The Ex and I broke up (victory!). Here’s my current dilemma: Sebastian is accustomed to having company all day long, but said company has since moved back in to his parents’ house. Subsequently, Sebastian now spends most of the day alone. He protests this new arrangement by pissing and shitting under my kitchen table. Damn cat.
Even though it is nasty, I can deal with the piss and the shit when it is under the kitchen table. It is easy to clean up so my apartment doesn’t smell, and summer break is very soon so I will be able to spend more time with Sebastian; but I cannot deal with piss and shit when it is on my bed. On Saturday night I biked to a bar with some friends and because you can still get a DWI on a bicycle, I spent the night on a couch. When I finally got home on Sunday morning I flopped onto my bed and into a lovely, pungent piss stain. Damn cat.
Given my newfound single girl lifestyle, I took extra pains to make sure my bedding did not smell like cat urine post laundering. That’s when I realized that my newfound lifestyle is not ideal for Sebastian. I’ve suspected this for a while, but I didn’t want to admit to it. I love my cat! I don’t want to get rid of him!
The Phone Call
I knew I have to give Sebastian away, so I called The Ex. If the roles were switched, I would be hurt and angry if The Ex gave Sebastian away without asking me if I wanted him first, but I really didn’t want to call The Ex because I knew that he would also want to talk about “us.” The conversation sounded something like this:
The Ex: Hello.
Me: Hi. I’m not calling to talk about your text yesterday. I want to talk to you about Sebastian.
The Ex: Okay…
Me: Basically, I am barely home anymore, and Sebastian has been pissing and shitting under the kitchen table.
The Ex: …
Me: I’m also going to be gone a lot this summer, and I know he is upset because his routine has changed since you moved out, and I’m going to work extra-long hours next semester, so it isn’t fair for me to keep Sebastian when he is clearly unhappy.
The Ex: …
Me: So, I want him to go to a good home, and I know you love him too, so can you take him?
The Ex: I don’t know. I’ll have to ask.
Me: Okay, thank you. Just let me know as soon as you find out.
The Ex: Okay, but can you please give me another chance?
The Ex: I’ve been working really hard on changing, and I’m much better now.
Me: Clearly, considering you sent me some nasty text messages marking your friends as your friends last week, and this week you’re begging me to take you back. That doesn’t show growth. So no, I will not give you another chance.
The Ex: But–
Me: No. I’ve moved on, so should you. I am not having this conversation with you. Let me know if you can take Sebastian or I will find another home for him. Bye.
I then hung up and cried for twenty minutes, but I didn’t cry about The Ex. I cried because I don’t want to get rid of my Sebastian, and because I was experiencing the emotional side effects of PMS. I felt much better after a good cry and continued with my day.
The Ex-Mother-in-Law (AKA xMiL)
The next day I got a text from his mother, my ex-mother-in-law(ish). Let’s just refer to her as xMiL for simplicity’s sake. Her text looked like this:
“My heart has been broken for my son and I will never understand how u could stop loving him like turning off a switch. Also turning your back to us as well. He was always faithful and there to support u and how sad that you’ve become someone we would not recognize as being the DAISY WE KNEW.”
Umm…seriously? It’s been three months. I expected this text, or a phone call, two months ago. At first I was going to respond. I was going to tell her that my heart was broken every night he drank himself into a rampage, every time he failed to follow through with his promises for a future, and on the day I discovered he had been lying to me about taking college classes for a month. His excuse for dropping the classes? He needed the money to buy me an engagement ring. He failed to see the flaw in his logic. I wanted to tell her that I didn’t stop loving him like turning off a switch, but that it was a very slow and painful process.
I also wanted to tell her that while I am no longer sixteen, I am still the stubborn, independent, driven Daisy they knew. I just outgrew their son.
In the end, I decided not to respond to the xMiL. There is nothing I can say to that woman to make her happy with me. And let’s be honest, does her opinion of me really matter? I haven’t spoken to them in three months, and there is no reason for me to speak to them in the future. I believe that right now she needs me to be the bad guy so that she can feel better about the situation. I can do that. I can be the bad guy. I suppose this is my final act of love for her and her family, although I know she will never see it that way.
Sometimes the past has a way of throwing stones at your back, but why do they have to hurt so much?