A Year Ago From Now

January 12, 2011

I was expunging emails from my inbox and I stumbled upon this exchange with my ex from just a year ago. This, of course, was before I learned that she had borderline personality disorder. But even back then I knew something was off about her and her family. It’s hard to believe it was only a year ago. So much has changed since then. As you can see, the exchange was full of sweet nothings. Now we don’t even speak to each other. But within the tender exchange were moments that were early signs of the breakdown that was to come.

She wrote:

you are beautiful.
thank you for thinking of me, that sounds like a wonderful day.
were the noodles made fresh at that place? if so i think i’ve been there.
thinking of coming back early, a lot of chaos here. trying to calm down and see if i can manage the rest of my trip but will let you know.

much love.

She was visiting her family in Toronto. But she wanted to come back early, because she had just learned something horrific about her father. He had done the unthinkable. Back then she had the clarity to recognize it as chaos. But she has since blocked that out of her memory. Now she has fooled herself and others into believing they are one happy family. If you’ve been following this blog, you are already familiar with the story. When she first shared it with me, I was shocked. I couldn’t imagine any father doing that to his family. It was left to me to pick up the pieces and somehow make her feel better.

I wrote:

I’m sorry to hear your trip is not going so well. Maybe you’d like to talk about it after dinnertime?

She wrote: 

Thanks for talking. And listening. And being honest.
And letting me weep, a lot.
I responded:
Any time. I hope the tears were cleansing.
How was your day?
She wrote back:

You are so good to me baby. My day was good, didn’t get to sleep til 5am and woke up at 2pm. Brunch with my dad then took myself shopping… Thinking it might be best for everyone if I can just let this go. I think it’s possible and if my dad doesn’t remember anything it might just cause more hurt for everyone to talk about it without any resolution. Still thinking… How was your day? Missing you.


She let it go because she was afraid of unraveling the family. But the damage had already been done. The family had unraveled a long time ago. She was trying to sweep a rock under the carpet. Her father wouldn’t remember what he had done, because he was too drunk to remember. So rather than confront him about his horrible deed, she buried it deep inside without resolution. But when you bury something troubling inside, it comes out in twisted ways. Rage that is held back, inevitably comes out and is unleashed upon an unsuspecting victim.

I soothed her nerves as best I could. I was there for her when she needed me. And how did she repay me? By doing the same thing to me, her father had done to her mother. My ex had hatred in her heart, but instead of taking it out on her father. She took it out on me. This is the thanks you get when you care for the emotionally damaged. A borderline like my ex has experienced a lot of trauma in her lifetime. That means she was carrying around a lot of unresolved pain. Unresolved because she was afraid to confront those who committed the harmful acts.

Inadvertently, she took it out on me, because I just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. A survivor of trauma loses the ability to discern a loved one from someone who traumatized him/her. Which means the loved one becomes a victim in this cycle of abuse. Like a vampire, a trauma survivor goes on to spread her affliction onto others.

It’s been months now since our break up. Thank goodness, most of my own pain has subsided. I can look at emails like this and not wax nostalgic. I have the perspective now to thank her for cutting me free. Had I been the one to move in with her and marry her, I would have continued being her emotional punching bag. But reading this exchange now, does make me wonder if any of our love was real. After all, how can someone love another and treat them so badly? But then again, borderlines do it all the time.

2 Responses to “A Year Ago From Now”

  1. Danilo Montgomery said

    I was mirrored to believe this woman was what i had been searching for. Her values were just like mine, interests and hobbies. I now cant tell if we did share a lot in common or if it was all just a lie in order for her to get me to fall for her. Her first outburst was over me eating her doughnut one night, she told me it wasnt the doughnut but the principle of me giving her a gift and selfishly taking it from her. Maybe there is some truth to that, but the anger and abuse i would recieve in the weeks that followed was incredibly hurtfull and confusing emotionally. I really believed that maybe i was mean, maybe i was inconiderate and cruel. This continued untill my brother saw her one night at the bar with another man. She told me she was out with her friend who was not the man my brother described. She insisted that i was insecure and controlling about her going out. Its funny how when i first met her she told me she would not have spoken to me if i was a drinker, and that her ex was an abusive alcoholic and yet rowards the end of our relationship she was at the bars every weekend searching for god knows what. She would not want to see me, respond to my texts or calls, and get mad when questioned about anything that required an emotional responce from her. I broke up with her, and she said she didnt want to but she was used to it because everyone leaves her. Why tell me she wanted a relationship when she was at the bars all the time acting single? Why tell me that she loved that I didnt drink only to go out and get hit on by drunks? A traumatized mind i am lucky it only lasted three month. I was in a very vulnerable place where i just sobered up from years of alcoholism and became addicted to her pull-push. Im glad I engullfed her in a way to get the monkey off my back. Its been nc and i am seeing a therapist because this is the third woman like this I have attracted in the last two years. I have developed emotional walls and feel untrusting of women now after spending much time trying not to be a narcassisitic ass, but this experience has triggered me to return to that mindset and unfortunately for the next healthy woman i may incounter i may not be so open and available. I know i have work to do on myself and will continue to do so. This blog has helped me understand that it wasnt my fault and even though i may have been able to do things the would have made the relationship last a little longer the outcome would have been the same. Thank you

    • savorydish said

      Thank you, Danilo… For sharing and for the kind words. I am always humbled to know that my blog has helped others heal. Be well and please let us know of your progress.

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