|I. Am. Vulnerable. But I am also strong enough to say so….|
I have been wrestling emotions about Cris. When my family was out here, I spent many hours talking to them about how to proceed. The situation was this:
As part of the NA programme, I have to make amends where possible, where making amends with the people I hurt won’t start new problems or prolong those I helped create. Fine. Working towards that one…
Cris’ parting words to me, despite us both pledging to work on ourselves and our friendship, were vicious, and laid the blame 100% at my door, for the situation he found himself in, a situation that had become worse since he threw me out when the drugs and the lies became too much even for him.
He scored a very expensive motorbike off me, and in my less than charitable moments I accept that Cris is a con-man: he conned me in friendship and in love over the years, he conned me out of money repeatedly, he lied about our soul connection, for his own gain. Fine. I am no angel, I lied to him, too, and though my lies were not to gain anything at his expense, as his to me were, there is no difference – we lied to each other. There was no honesty in the friendship, through all the years. I had adoration, drugs and money to dole out; Cris had his aloof appeal and creativity, the promise of friendship and the persistent hint of something more, that he used as carrot on a stick: we each had an agenda, and we played it to the fullest.
The amends I must make with him, I felt until recently, were in the hopes that if we broke free of our insecurities and started afresh, there was scope for a genuine friendship – I felt I owed it to him, and to myself.
My counsel I took in over the many chats in this regard showed me that despite my claims that I want to feel everything, in this new life I had made for myself, even when it got rough, even when it got painful, unbearably so, I was trying to rush the healing and gloss over the painful feelings over the loss of Cris, and the realisation that the Cris I had thought I had known all along is a lie, which I fell for, for 14 years.
I was rushing to write a letter, in order to move onto the next goal post, but I most certainly wasn’t ready for that because I hadn’t completed the necessary foundations in order to move on.
Then my new boss introduced me to TEDtalks and to one, in particular, that challenged my perceptions about vulnerability; she said it would change my life, and it did. I realised that I wasn’t ready to confront how vulnerable I felt, how scared and alone I felt, abandoned by Cris when the going got tough, and the walls came down. No – not the walls – the fabricated BS that was BOTH our lives. Both our lies.
My mind has not stopped racing since that TEDtalk clip, and it has raced back and forth over some very scratchy ground, a couple of times driving me to want to hide in the haze of meth, and its crystalline clouds of nothingness. A couple of times I wanted to write to Cris and just lash out, a couple of times I wanted to just phone him and hear his voice – but I am made of sterner stuff, now, and I really do cling to the promise and the statements I made that I want only peace, and love and healing for him – these wishes are hard to live up to when I think of all the money he cost me, all the lies he told me. The wishes are harder still when I think of all the lies I told him, I want to lash out at him more, make the lies HIS fault, want to justify MY lies, as a result of his lies.
You see, now I can say that I am vulnerable to the feelings of self-forgiveness, of self-justification, and I am really vulnerable to thoughts of anger, and of sadness, and over and above all that, I am vulnerable to the thoughts of losing myself to the craving for crystal meth, of going down that rabbit hole forever, and never coming back. Time was when that option used to be so easy.
But no longer, because this realisation and acceptance of vulnerability is so empowering. I know that I hurt, deeply, over Cris, and I know that I hurt Cris deeply. I also know that I am just learning how to feel, and how to deal with feeling when the feelings are traumatic, and sad, and maddening, and angering – and I know I will get through – because I am also strong, in my vulnerability: I face my fears, and I disempower them by knowing them for what they are, knowing that they are affectations of personality, not measures of my character. How I handle the vulnerability – THAT is a measure of my character.
So Cris, and Megan, as you read this, please know that I truly DO wish you two the very best, because everyone deserves that much, at the very least. I will be honest and tell you that some days it is very hard to wish good things for you, on your behalf, and some days it is difficult to get past the anger and the resentment. But I also tell you this: I have gotten past the shame of my lies, because I have no use for it, I have learned, I have grown, and I have accepted my losses, I know that they are far less than my progression. My wins far outweigh the loss of a false friendship, and the money your lies cost me, so in that I wish you the acceptance of your own vulnerabilities, and I wish for you healing in how you treat people going forward in your lives, and I promise you that I will try and always wish these things for you.
This then, is a very public open letter to you, though it is not the letter making amends that I thought I have to write – that may come, in time, though more and more I believe I need to make amends to myself only, when it comes down to the years of fabricated unkindness that paraded as our friendship.
So let’s kick that off, here, now:
I forgive myself, for falling for you, when really, I should have known better.
I accept I am vulnerable to your charms – you use them well, and know me well enough to use them effectively – so I accept that thoughts of you will hurt, and words with you will hurt more.
I know I am vulnerable to the power of the friendship you pretended to have, so I know that should that call ever come, like it did in 2001, there is a very real chance I may be won over by your charms – but now I know that these are only said to get material things out of me – so I know now that I need to tell you I am NOT vulnerable to the guilt card you will try and play over the things we BOTH lost to the pawn shop, when we sold all our stuff for drugs.
I used to be vulnerable to your physical violence (that turned out to be NOT such a lie, like you made Heather out to be telling: you showed that when you beat me up time and again – you know JUST how to kick, punch and slap so that you don’t leave a scar – I truly hope you never show Megan this side of you) and to your threats and your indifference, but I grow stronger, every day. Not by building a chemical callous like I used to, but by realising more and more what a sad lie you were, all those years.
So I forgive myself for keeping on forgiving you, when I should have walked out long before you threw me out, and took my money for your motorbike. I understand that I kept on going back because I loved you, and you had a hold on me. You used my love against me. Well done, you did it well, you will never do it again, and I hope – no – I pray that you never use that on anyone else, it demeans you, and debases both people in the relationship.
I forgive myself for lying on your behalf, and saying it was just a friendship, when it was oh so much more, from my side, and I don’t need to define it any further on your behalf, that is YOUR indaba: I loved you and let you use me, because I was scared I would lose you. Well, I lost you, and thank God for that, because in so doing I found ME, and I’m worth so much more than all that shit we used to get up to together, pretending to be just friends.
I forgive you for thinking that that last sentence was a declaration of a homosexual relationship – it is not, and ours wasn’t such a relationship: I was in love with a man, a wonderful, creative, beautiful man, who got lost in the drugs, and thought that I would…what? What did you think? I don’t know, I cannot trust anything you ever said or did.
And here’s the final thought, on the final words you said to me when I left Johannesburg – as we finished the last gram of crystal meth that we bought together, you said:
“Dave it is written in stone that we will always do drugs together.” – no, Cris, you are wrong and I am NOT vulnerable to those charms and declarations any longer – I am free from you, and every day I realise that just a little bit more – I may or may not see you again, in this lifetime, but know this – despite all my fears and vulnerabilities, one thing we will NEVER do again, together, EVER, in this lifetime or the next, is drugs.
And THAT, my friend, is a lesson your soul entity will have to learn in this lifetime, or repeat the lessons in the next, without progression.
The natural order of things? From an unnatural affinity for each other’s lies? There’s beauty in the pain of it all, as time helps me get further from your current incarnation, Cris, and your pain that became my pain, mine that you never assumed.
Goodbye and God bless you.
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