Dear Keeper of My Heart,
You reminded me that it had been a while since I had written anything. This I already knew because writing anything at this point in my life is almost more than I can bare. My wounds run so deep. Daily I feel the pain, just as fresh as if it were all just yesterday. Like the cold steel of a razor blade cutting into my flesh, I feel the pain; sharp and cunning as it sets my nerves on edge and makes me feel as if it is my soul which is bleeding out all over the floor. I look down and I see the pool of blood at my feet, always there with me though no one else can see. The emotions that I am feeling are impossible to explain. I feel as though I pour my heart out to people all the time, yet a reviewer can say that I do not share enough of my pain or go deep enough. How do I bring people into my hell? Perhaps she had a point? In shielding myself from it, perhaps I do not do it justice – the pain that is.
Keeper of My Heart, I met you a long, long time ago. My mind would not accept the attraction that I felt initially. You were in a relationship with someone else, even though it was a very bad one. You were also much younger than me and I felt like I was somehow wrong to take advantage of that. Me – always trying to be the one with scruples and the one who stands for something. I always tried to have some code of honor that made sense then but it makes no sense to me now. I loved you and I wouldn’t accept it and I would not act on it. “Keeper” you persisted. You stayed in contact with me. You talked to me and you poured yourself out to me. I got to see parts of you that I know you have not shared with others, even now. You had yourself wrapped-up in a relationship that damaged you daily and had your emotions up and down. You wanted to do what your own honor told you that you should do – stay and make it work. Admirable quality in all honesty. I just wish you weren’t always trying to make things work with everyone else but me….
Eventually I had to walk away. It wasn’t because I didn’t care or that I didn’t have the patience. I left because my heart felt as if it had been shoved through a meat grinder and I hurt so bad. I left feeling not good enough. I felt like I was good enough for you to reach out to, depend on, flirt with and talk to but not good enough for a relationship. I wasn’t good enough for you to leave her and give me a chance. I blamed myself for putting you off in the beginning. I told you that you were with someone else. I told you that you were too young. I told you everything except that I loved you but I did.
I ran away from you. Those were even your words. I went to another state. I wanted and needed to be alone. No one really understood why. They saw a bigger picture I suppose, but the truth was that my heart was broken and my feelings of not being good enough – or just “enough” – had me feeling rejected, humiliated, angry and lost. You left me feeling frustrated and never good enough. I needed to go heal and be alone. I chose the woods and a cabin.
I started down a path of punishing myself. This I didn’t realize until recently. I was so angry at myself for not knowing what to do to get you to leave her. I was mad at ME for never being enough or what you needed. I wasn’t enough to get you to leave that abuse and the thoughts that you’d stay with someone like that when all I wanted to do was love you and protect you was just too much for me. I swirled into depression and anger. I eventually ended-up in FL to date a woman who was what you weren’t. She was free, she was closer to my age and she wanted me around. I couldn’t stand her almost from the beginning. Yes, she was my age. Yes, she had a fantastic career and she wanted me to move in with her. Still…she wasn’t you and her soul just didn’t speak to me. I didn’t like who she was underneath all of those superficial things.
Oddly, you contacted me – you basically found me – shortly after I had told her goodbye. I was several states away by then and all we could do was talk. We talked and talked. My heart got happy again and I realized that I had a chance to make good on the huge mistake I’d made before. I should have stuck around and I should have had more patience. My heart had been so hurt, but soul had never forgiven my brain for running. I had a chance to fix it all…and I loved you. I struggled through more heartaches and pain to get back to Illinois and I survived through extreme conditions for several months only to find that you STILL weren’t ready to leave her. I cried myself to sleep a lot of nights. I felt like you misled me and once again, I felt like you had made me ‘second best’ in your life. I felt like I just was destined to never feel quite good enough for you. I spent countless days and nights just waiting and hoping that I’d get to see you or spend some time with you. All I wanted in this world was to just touch your face! I waited and waited and finally, after several months, I gave-up … but I didn’t leave here this time. My soul won that battle this time. I knew there was unfinished business between us I guess? We can’t help who we love or how our heart reacts.
A few months later, you contacted me and told me you were finally free. We talked and I wanted to see you. I hoped to see you alone, but you always protect yourself by being in groups. I get that and yes, I recognize it as a behavior you have when you are protecting yourself. It is very scary how much I actually understand you sometimes. I agreed to come out and meet you with a group of your friends. Somehow we missed each other and I felt stood-up. I felt like I was right back to two years prior and you made a promise to me that you didn’t keep. ALL those times you told me you’d ‘try’ to come by and see me when you knew I was there waiting on you. All those times that you told me I would see you and I’d wait around for hours only for you to pop online and tell me that you got busy with something or sometimes to not even mention that you knew you had let me sit there – hopeful, sad, and broken-hearted.
Don’t get me wrong, on one hand I completely understood. Just on the other hand, my heart was being completely shredded and I just had to assume that you had NO CLUE how much I really did love you. So anyway, I got mad. Very mad. My anger was a reaction to my pain. Drinking six beers while I waited and got more and more upset did not help. I went home and I sent you a message that was probably the nastiest thing I have written to anyone in my life. Looking at it today, I cry. I never wanted to say such hurtful things to you ever. I never wanted to hurt you at all. I only ever wanted to hold you and wipe your tears away. I wanted you to feel my love and know that I’d always be there. Instead, I ended-up saying hurtful things and walking away again because of my own pain. It wasn’t what I wanted.
Yes, I had a rebound relationship this time. Not something I typically ever do but I guess she said the right things and I was vulnerable. It lasted about two months. My thoughts went straight back to you and I contacted you and apologized. I needed to and I knew that. Regardless what ever would or wouldn’t happen between you and I, I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t apologize to you for hurting you. I find you dating someone. I take the kick in the crotch as well as can be expected. A) I understand all the reasons and B) I had no right to be upset because I’m the one who walked away and fucked things up when you were finally free.
Here is what I know though: this new person doesn’t know you like I do. They don’t know half of what you have been through nor who you really are. They don’t know the precious gift they hold in their hands…and the things going on and being said already actually prove that. You know what I mean. I know I’m not perfect, but I’ve held on for three years just hoping for a chance to show you how much I truly loved you and wanted to be able to take care of you. I wanted to be able to hold you and touch you and tell you that you are perfect just the way you are. I wanted to tell you that you are beautiful and that your soul is a bright, shining star in my universe that has led me and kept me going for so long. I wanted to build something with you that would last and I think in a lot of ways that scared you too.
I’ve decided that I’m going to be okay with what you are doing with your life right now. Go ahead and have your fun. I’m back and I am not going anywhere and when you are ready to settle down and start moving towards all the dreams you ever wanted, with someone who values who you are and respects you for that, I will still be here. So when you flirtatiously told me that I really needed to write you something…we both know you didn’t mean like THIS, but here it is – the whole truth, nothing but the truth and totally honest. Not many people ever come into someone else’s life and tell them that they love them and will wait for them as long as it takes because their happiness is the most important thing in the world. I want you to be happy and I want you want me in your life because it is what YOU want … not what you need. I want to share your world, not a piece of you. I want to be the person who puts you first and takes good care of you. I want to give you the world and watch you grow into the amazing person that I know you are. I know the things you want for your future and your life and I am prepared and able to give you all those things. All you have to do is make up your mind to be happy once and for all. In the time being, I’ll be here, waiting and not going anywhere. There…I wrote something just for you. Might not be what you expected but it was what I needed to say.