So… Remember my last post were I shared about my fiancé? Well, sadly, that’s over.
It seems he met someone else that he preferred. The way it all went down though, that was shitty. This will be long and probably make me look like a complete idiot for not seeing it. But sadly, I loved this person and was thought he loved me. I still do, but only because you can’t just turn it off, and he so clearly never did.
Like any normal couple, we had issues that seemed to always cause conflict. The normal stuff. When we’d go out he would be the social butterfly and I would want to sit and soak it all in for a bit. He’d always feel like he needed to entertain me (even when I told him that I was fine). He didn’t like that I got stern when talking about the household finances. I was dealing with a lot of stress and confidence issues, and it was hard for me to feel sexy, and that frustrated him.
I thought we were fine. He was working on a show at a bar that was a huge production. He was excited about the opportunity, and I was supportive, even though it wasn’t my scene. He’d have production meetings with the organizer and other performers before the actual show. He talked about all the new people and how he was collaborating with some of them on some tracks. He promised me that he was not interested in any of the women, and that they all knew he was engaged. I believed him.
Then all the sudden, he woke me up in the middle of the night. We had been at a concert he wanted to go to on Saturday and he’d announced a game that afternoon and everything was fine. He’d introduced me to the crowd as his fiancé and I thought it was good.
He woke me up to argue with me about something. I don’t remember what it started as because I was half asleep. He told me that he didn’t want to get married, and that he wanted to break up, and proceeded to list out all the reasons that I was emotionally abusive towards him. That I was gas lighting him. I recognize that I have a hard time taking responsibility for things, but I was (and am) working on it. He told me that all his excitement about the wedding was faked and that he never really wanted to do any of it. He said that I blamed him for everything, when in my mind, I was offering suggestions for how we could solve the problem together. He said that I would intentionally try to make him think he was crazy by saying that I had never said a certain thing, or forgetting what I had said. I didn’t understand. I didn’t even know these were things that I was doing, I’d never even heard the term gas lighting before. I pleaded with him to give me a chance to be better. That I didn’t even know what I was doing, but if it made him feel bad or sad or crazy, I would be more mindful about it. I asked if there was someone else and he said NO. I asked why he never told me that I was doing these things, and he said he was afraid to. He kept comparing me to his abusive mother and eventually I just had to go to sleep. But I didn’t sleep. I stayed on the couch until it was almost time to get up for work. The next morning while I was getting ready for work, he woke up and said “You’re so beautiful” before I left.
A short time later, he texted that he had made a horrible mistake and that he didn’t want to break up. He still wasn’t ready to go ahead with the wedding, but he asked if I’d still be his girlfriend. I said I would, and that I would try to be better about the things that upset him. I asked that, if there was something that was upsetting, he talk to me about it instead of letting it bottle up. He said he would try. We decided to think of it as a reboot of our relationship. Trying to get the bugs out.
A few days later, we had tickets to the Foo Fighters, one of my all time favorites. I’d bought the tickets months ago and was so excited. Before the show, we found some people I know from derby in the crowd. They invited us to sit with them, but I thought we were in a better spot and I didn’t really want to move. I told him that I didn’t feel like I knew these people well enough to be comfortable with them and their friends. He seemed mad that I didn’t want to go , even though I told him that I didn’t think I could relax and enjoy myself there. For the rest of the night, he was grouchy. After the show started, he sat down on the lawn behind me and played on his phone and hid the screen whenever I turned around. He went to the bathroom and stayed gone for 3 or 4 songs. He came back and wanted to leave, saying that the crowd was getting to him. We went and sat at the picnic tables and, eventually, we left about halfway through the show. I tried hard not to show my disappointment, because I didn’t want to start an argument. He said something about that I would do anything to save the relationship, as if he was making me leave just because he could. Because he knew that I would because he wanted to.
A few days later we went to a roller derby game that he was announcing at. He wanted to go to the after party, even though it was pouring outside. We went and the bar was 2/3 an outdoor patio and everyone was squeezed inside, making me feel very claustrophobic. I found a booth that had a mostly dry seat to adjust to the crowd while he went to get a club soda and visit with his announcer team. He wanted me to be social with other people and not hover around him which is what I usually did until I felt more comfortable. I tried to find someone to talk to but I didn’t really know most of the people that were there very well, and I was very anxious about upsetting Nick. Once the crowd started thinning out, I found some people to talk to that I knew better. He went to get another drink and came back with some urgency. He told me that he loved me and that he realized now that we have 2 different ways of dealing with crowds, and that it’s OK. We went home, and he talked the whole drive home about how we are both oscillators making noise, and that I can fine-adjust him to make a more pleasant sound, and that he can do the same to me, and the together it makes a beautiful song. It made sense in the moment, but now it sounds like the ramblings of someone who was a little too high. Which he was.
The next week was full of ups and downs. We were working on communicating better and I thought it was going OK. He would be fine but then if he thought too hard, he’d get sad and talk about how awkward it was with us. I tried to be more patient and mindful of his feelings, and to speak more gently, but he would just accuse me of “doing anything to salvage the relationship” as if that were the worst thing a person could do.
The next weekend was the big show he’d been working on. He told me that he was going to get a hotel and stay near there, since he’d be there early to set up and then go nap and get ready, then back to do the show, then sleep, then teardown in the morning. It made sense so he wouldn’t have to drive back and forth. I didn’t think anything of it since he had promised there was no one else and they all knew he was with me. I made plans to go to Austin to see some roller derby so I wouldn’t be home alone. He messaged me a few times that night that the show was over and he was back at the hotel safe, and then in the morning that he was heading home.
He had started hanging out with an old friend from an old job. and they would go to shows together downtown. I never met him, but I saw them interacting on Facebook, so I am confident he’s an actual person. Maybe not the person Nick was really with, but he’s probably real. He’d come home from work, take a shower and change, then leave again. He’d stay out until the show was over then hang out until the venue closed. He’d text me that he was on his way home and then finally show up around 4am. He said he’d leave the show and drive around listening to music in his car. He never slept. He never talked to me. He still said he loved me and called me my nickname. He still gave me kisses when he left or came home.
I had signed up for a 5k a few months back and the day came. He had said he was going to come watch and cheer me on, but now he didn’t want to. I tried not to be disappointed. When I got home after the run, he was home. He decided that we should reconsider our living arrangement. He thought that it was too hard to “reboot” while we were living together and seeing each other all the time. The apartment was too expensive for either of us alone, and we were in the middle of a lease, so we decided to sort of divide it with me in our bedroom and him in his studio. Give each other some space. I felt like I wasn’t allowed outside of my room if he was there. When he was home he slept on the couch, if he slept at all. He’d stay out all night and I felt like I couldn’t say anything because I didn’t want to anger him. His anger was starting to get a little scary.
This went on for almost a week. On Thursday, we were texting and he got mad about something I said. I wasn’t trying to start an uncomfortable conversation or anything, but something triggered him. He outright said he wanted to get his own apartment, but that we could continue to see each other. I asked him again if there was someone else and he said “no, just me.” That night, I went to visit some friends and we talked about how he was dragging me through this and that I never really got a chance to speak on any of it. He’d shout over me or shut me down every time I tried to speak up.
The next morning, Friday May 11, I told him that there was some things that I wanted to say, but I didn’t really have time to right then, as I was getting ready to go to work. He said that I couldn’t really leave it like that, so I said fine. I started to talk about how I felt like he never gave me a chance to speak about any of the accusations or anything, and he shut me down and said “I want to break up.” and I said “Well, no shit!” And I proceeded to try to tell him what I wanted to. He accused me of trying to change his mind, and I said that I wanted him to recognize that there was a human on the other side of this, and that he wasn’t the only one who’s feelings mattered. He seemed to think that we could ‘coexist in the derby world”. Yeah, sure. I eventually had to leave for work. At lunch, I went home to get some clothes because there was no way that I was going to stay there, even if he wasn’t. He was still there. He hadn’t left to go to work and it was nearly 1pm. I gathered some things while he was in the bath and tried to leave before he got out. I had my stuff outside the door and he came out and offered to help. I was mad. I didn’t want to see him. It hurt too much. I haven’t seen him since then.
That same day, I got off work and was scrolling through Facebook at the long light I always have to wait through. “Nicholas Thompson has changed his profile picture” showed up in my feed. And someone “loved” it. I wondered who, so I clicked on it.
And this is what I saw.
This was a girl, who wasn’t me, who had been in a relationship with him for nearly 2 weeks. Who know how long before it was “facebook official.” It was one of the girls from the big show a few weeks earlier. One he had told me that he was collaborationg on a song with. He had said that she knew he was engaged and that he wasn’t into her, that she wasn’t his type. I feel like this was the reason that everything was suddenly so bad that he couldn’t stand it any longer. I’m sure he was texting with her at the Foo Fighters when he hid his screen from me when I turned around. This must have been why he was staying out all night with his “friend.” This was the reason that he was giving up on us without a fight.
I screenshotted the page and sent it to him, calling him a liar. He accused me of Facebook stalking, and asked if I felt better now? I was rage. I sent the screenshot to my best friends, because I couldn’t make the words. They rallied with me and tried to make me feel better. Nothing helped, but at least I wasn’t alone in my rage.
A few days later, he texted me. He wanted to know why a friend had said something on Facebook. He said he was sorry that he lied. He tried to tell me that he thought it was clear that we weren’t together after that terrible night that started everything (don’t forget, he asked me to be his girlfriend again after that night). He claimed that he thought we were broken up since the beginning of March (?). I pointed out that that was BS because we BOOKED A WEDDING VENUE on 4/2, and he regularly referred to me as his fiance up until that bad night, and as his girlfriend since then, and had said just the previous day that we could still see one another once we lived apart. He said that the girl had no idea that I even existed, but I don’t know how she could have missed me unless he hid any photos of us from his Facebook, which, it turns out, he did.
It was then that it all clicked in my head. He was doing to me exactly what he was accusing me of. He made me believe that I had been in the wrong the entire time. I’m sure he did that to justify his actions in his head. If he could convince himself that I was a bad person, then it canceled out what he as doing to me. It was complete and total bullshit. He has been to so much therapy that he knows just what to say to be convincing.
He seems to have retroactively convinced himself that all the good times we had together were bad or that he was really miserable the whole time. No one can fake it that well.
All of our silly things that we had. Blank docks, herons, snuggs in snuggletown, sassy, bearron, toast, the mysterious unicorn girl, sexy man delivery service, all the things.
Now we have to exchange cold (and sometimes hostile) one sentence emails to arrange for me to get my furniture out of the apartment and settle affairs with the cell phones. I see her things on my bathroom counter in the apartment when I go there to get my clothes (during the day when no one is there). I see that all my photos and knick-knacks have been hidden behind other things as not to offend the new girl. It’s like I never existed to him.
Do I think it will last? No, I don’t.
Part of me wants him to feel just how I do right now. The pain of losing someone that you expected to spend your life with. I want him to come to his senses and realize what he threw away, but I don’t think he will. I question whether he cared about me at all, ever, and if I was forcing him along the whole time.
I want him to know that I know what he did. That he can make me the bad guy all day, but deep down he knows that’s not true.