I sit down to write this and am flooded with memories and thoughts. I suffered a great deal of innocent joy because of you, and I will always love you for that. You managed to slowly make your way past the walls I’d established around my heart, clearing out the debris and making your place there permanent. You came in to my life with instant smiles and humor and won me over simply by accident. I know it was your goal all along, but I never saw it happening. I just relaxed in to it and before I could stop it- I found myself falling wildly in love with you.
We could never have known that this thing we had, whatever insane, intense, wild thing it was becoming, was destined to crash and burn. You took every innocent fiber I had and lit it on fire with a passion I’d never believed in.
The crazy thing about fire… it burns things down.
When I think back on the end, I know that I destroyed it. I burned the house down, so to speak. It was not salvageable. All that was left to do was move on and start over. You started over immediately. I went on burning houses down. You were just so set on having the house. I was just loving the flames.
We both know that, eventually, I left my pyro ways in the past and grew up. That tends to happen as the fires die out. Or maybe growing up causes the fire to die. I guess I don’t know the difference. What I do know is that I think of the end a lot. I think of the beginning a lot. I think of all of it a lot.
I am riddled with guilt. I mean- I burned our dang house down.
I didn’t mean to do that, either.
In the thirteen years since I made the decision that would change my life forever, I’ve done a lot of thinking- a lot of wondering what possessed me to behave the way I did. This might be a good time to note that I’ve been diagnosed with impulse control disorder and apparently I also have issues regulating my emotions. It would seem that I have a difficult time expressing appropriate emotions at appropriate times- which means that sometimes I’m overly emotional and sometimes I’m under emotional. I don’t know if that helps you understand the explosive ending that we had, but I hope it will. Also interesting to note- these are things I’ve been working on since the day you stood in your door and told me you couldn’t ever trust me again, and that there could never be an “us”.
September 8, it will have been 13 years since I sat on the end of our bed and made a somber faced confession to you. It will have been 13 years since you stood on the other side of the room and just looked at me, full of hate and anger and betrayal and simply asked, “Why?” It will have been 13 years since I suddenly was faced with the unbearable consequences of my infidelity, and it will be 13 years since I acquired the injury that became a scar I’ve carried since then. An injury I deserved. An injury I have felt every day since.
It’s like the wound that heals, but over the years, things still agitate it. You know it’s going to storm because your scar itches. Or you know you’ve overworked yourself because your scar is pulling on your flesh and it’s achy.
I have healed from my self-inflicted wound, but occasionally it gets agitated and achy.
I have been married now for over ten years. I have three beautiful children. It has been slow going, but I am making a career for myself that I can be proud of. I have worked hard over the last ten years to make sure that every decision I make is made with the utmost of care. My husband has benefited the most from me burning down our house.
Sometimes my super cautious personality irritates him, but he didn’t know me when I was a big fan of throwing caution to the wind. He doesn’t know the burns I left behind by being unguarded and impulsive. He doesn’t see why I am so protective of everything. He didn’t feel the agonizing death I felt when you looked at me and choked out, “I can’t ever love you again. It hurts too much.” He doesn’t get why I am so sensitive to the hurt of others. He will never feel the pain that I handed you.
I meant to do that.
It’s been a long, challenging road. We’ve had issues from the very beginning. I came into the marriage with burned up baggage and he came into it with nothing more than a sea-bag.
But this isn’t about him. It’s about you. It’s about what I did to you and how you, of all people, did not deserve it.
It’s about how it’s past time for me to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry I hurt you. I’m sorry I ruined all of our plans. I’m sorry I didn’t take more care for our relationship. I’m sorry I didn’t work harder to protect your heart.
I’m sorry I burned the house down.
I hope you’ll forgive me.
I mean that.