15 months. That was how long I tried to convince him not to move here. To convince him how hard it was to be with a girl like me. To convince him that no one else had ever been able to handle it before. He convinced me that when he was in love with someone as much as he loved me that he would be strong enough to help and support me through anything.
9 months. That was how long it took before he left me. To be with a girl who was my exact opposite. The kind of girl he told me again and again that he wasn’t attracted to. The kind of girl I wasn’t. It was how long it took for him to stand at the end of my hospital bed, for the first time he had come to visit in over ten days, and tell me I was too much for him to handle.
My being sick was too hard on HIM. HE was very stressed out. It was affecting HIS work. HE felt guilty. It was too hard for HIM to see me like this. HE hated spending so much time at the hospital. At first he would just stay for shorter visits. Eventually he stopped coming all together.
One night he called me while on a business trip in Scotland. As soon as he said hello I could tell he’d been drinking. A lot. I find drunk guys very frustrating and obnoxious. And terribly unattractive. This was exactly typical of him with more than a few drinks in his system. He would get loud and fall all over me and act like a jerk. I had been able to avoid this because I had been in hospital for the last five months.
I heard music and shouting in the background.
“Babe!?! Babe are you there? How are you feeling!?”
I answered him even though I knew I did not have his attention. Some other girl had it. I stopped talking and eventually he yelled, “Why are you ignoring me!?” I told him that it was just really hard for me to be stuck in this hospital bed alone while he’s in a bar halfway around the world.
“Hard on YOU!? Hard on YOU?! Do you have any idea how hard it is to be with someone like you?! How much easier it would be to be with a normal girl!? Everything is just about you being sick. Everything revolves around you and your surgeries and your hospital stays. I’d rather have any of these girls right now who have NO SCARS and NO ISSUES. But I won’t. If I do, then I’m the bad guy.”
The last thing I heard him say was, “Do you know how lucky it is for someone like you to even have a boyfriend?!”
I hung up. He called me and texted and finally showed up when he arrived home five days later wondering why I was ignoring him. He told me he didn’t remember talking to me at all.
Even though we wouldn't break up until 3 months later, for me it was completely over that that night. It was like a switch turned off. I could not stand to be around him. I was one of the few people he knew when he moved here. I was the whole reason he moved here! I felt so guilty at the thought of breaking up with him. I plastered a fake smile on my face all through the holidays and his sister’s visit from Australia. I went through the day to day feeling numb.
When he finally came in and stood at the foot of my bed and started giving his reasons I interrupted him. “Get out.”
He looked at me. “Baby, I love you. I do. I just…”
“Well I don’t love you. I haven’t for a long time. Go away. Don’t come back. Don’t call me. Don’t email me. Get out of my life.” I have never felt such relief and release.
Months later I received an email from him asking if we could talk or meet for coffee. I responded by saying that no, we are not friends, we never will be friends. I could never be friends with someone who said those things to me.
He begged me to tell him what happened that night and work through it. When I did he said he couldn’t believe how terrible he treated me. He made excuses like it was just that he was so upset about me being sick and I had to consider he’d never been through that before. He didn't want to be "that guy" who dumped his girlfriend while she was in the hospital going through the most difficult low of her life. He hated what it made him. He was still so unbearably selfish in his reasons for wanting to get back together.
I never wrote him back. How could I ever be with someone who doesn’t completely love me? For better or worse. For richer or for poorer. In sickness and in health.