For the past few days I’ve been quietly reflecting back on the message I wrote here three weeks ago. And today I came to the conclusion that I was unnecessarily vague.
So, in the interest of clarity, let me explain further.
A few days before Thanksgiving, my fiancé Troy broke up with me over the phone. This was less than six months after I abandoned my entire life in Boston to move to Nowhere Interesting, Mississippi – and start our life together.
I was in Connecticut, awaiting his arrival at the airport, because he had promised to join my family for the holiday. I had flown up a week early, per his urging, with one of our cats, because for the past couple of months I was feeling immensely challenged by my life in Mississippi, where I had no friends and no family. I was also feeling immensely challenged by the fact that just one month prior, Troy had come home from the doctor with the news that he had an STD.
I did not have the STD, nor had I given it to him. You can draw your own conclusions from this information.
Troy asked me to go to a doctor to seek help for my depression, which I did, to the tune of $300 per appointment. He was so adamant about my going that he agreed to pay for it himself. He went to a different doctor to seek help for his… let’s call them “bumps,” for the sake of euphemism.
During those few weeks, though, he was so great! He took care of me, talked to me, literally wiped tears off my cheeks. He sat on the porch with me in the evenings and we drank cocktails and discussed our plans for the future – our upcoming New Orleans wedding and the likelihood that we would be relocating from Mississippi and moving together to Connecticut. He started looking for jobs online and I started looking at Craiglist apartments. I looked past the bumps and I saw the man I moved mountains for, the man who I had gone ‘all in’ for, the man I wanted to be with forever plus.
My whole life I have struggled with depression. It is this perennial thorn in my side that never seems to ever quite go away. And I’ve, many times, felt effaced by that thorn – incapable of action, incapable of abatement. I often felt like the sadness would disappear me – make me invisible, or cease to exist, somehow. But Troy promised to love me anyways. And his promise was more than a promise – it was like gravity to me. It was meaningful. It was enough.
Except, here’s the punch line: It wasn’t real. It was like a joke, almost. Because while I was on the phone with Troy being broken up with that night in November, he admitted that, during those four weeks, he told me only what he thought I would want to hear. And he told me those things simply to get me away from him, to Connecticut, where he could break up with me from a distance and it would be simpler for him.
He wouldn’t even let me come to get my own things. He shipped them to me – four weeks later – and I spent the entire holiday season in my mother’s spare bedroom, living out of Troy’s ex-wife’s suitcase that he had lent me for what I thought was a quick trip home for turkey and stuffing. He gave away my other cat without even telling me. And, obviously, he never paid for the therapy that he had insisted upon – the therapy that I needed because of the way that he had treated me.
When I was in my early twenties, I was married to a man who physically abused me. But my abuser, despite his obvious failings, never disrespected me the way that Troy did. Troy took the truth away from me. He made a fool out of me. Just when I was starting to feel real again, he disappeared me. He lured me 1500 miles away from my home, diseased himself, and then sent me out to pasture. And when I called him up the next night to ask him why he did it, he didn’t console me – he laughed at me and he hung up.
I was always honest with him, always loyal to him; and, in return, he was my guillotine. And he was it on purpose.
I don’t love Troy. I don’t even know who that person is. And I am still only barely coming to terms with what’s happened – how my ability to trust in other people was, once again, forcibly eradicated, how I was folded up like origami just because. But what I can’t do is not write about it here just because somebody might find it to be impolite. Troy has been a significant component to the Leaf Parade narrative. This is just the latest chapter, and I am intractably honest, perhaps to a fault.
I used to come here to write happy things, but I don’t have anything happy to say lately. And I don’t feel like baking cookies, so sorry about that. All I have to say right now is that: I hate you, Troy. And I will, in earnest, until the day I die. You didn’t have to love me if you didn’t want to, you didn’t even have to be my friend, but you should have treated me like a human.