April 2019

Personal Development

He Didn’t Trust Me Because I Wasn’t Trustworthy (and Other Tales of Self-Blame)



Once – and only once – upon a time, a man left me. He left me after I swallowed the second of two pills that effectively ended the possibility of us being united for a lifetime with a child. He left me on my knees, crying and begging for him to give me one more chance, to forgive me for some imagined hurt, to hold onto me. I needed him to stay so badly that I didn’t care how foolish I was acting or even how foolish it was what I was asking of him. I mean it when I say I begged: I was on my knees on cold hard tile floor, with my hands in prayer to him, tears streaming down my face and snot pouring from my nose.


As shameful as it is to share this story for the first time and so publicly, my closest friends (and many friends along the way) would not be the least bit surprised if I had told them. I obsessed over L since the moment I met him in college and after a calamitous affair that ended in him being forced to cut all ties with me, I never really let go. I wrote hundreds of thousands of words of prose about him; I fell apart on every floor of every library trying to make sense of my feelings for him; and, after being reunited six years later, I dropped my entire life in D.C. to move back to a place I swore I would never return (my hometown) to be with him. As I wrote long ago, I felt like I would run out in the middle of traffic to save him from harm. I had never experienced that intensity and desperation of feelings for anyone before, and I believed for years and years that I would never be able to feel that way again.


Almost immediately after we reunited and entered into a real relationship with one another, he began to alternate between making me feel like the most beautiful human being to ever exist…and the worst human being to have ever been born. When things were good, I had never been happier with anyone. He showered me with attention and affection like crazy; he reminisced on our years apart and his mutual obsession for me; he memorized my work schedule and would call …