Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The Ex emailed me over the long weekend to say "It may be a little late, but I am so sorry."
There should be some validation in these words, something reassuring in his realization of how raw I had become when I finally walked out the door. Instead, there is concern- knowing him as well as I do, he must be at a very low place indeed for this realization to have come about. Rock bottom seems the only surface hard enough to rattle him. By all accounts, this is where he has fallen.
I can't help but remind myself that he knows me well, too. Maybe this is why I'm hesitant to accept this apology as an entity in and of itself. It feels as though there are implicit conditions involved, that by me reaching out to receive these words, I am also obligated to check in on him, ask how he is, wish him well. He knows this is my tendency. I'm afraid I may be pathetically incapable of just taking what I need from this apology, despite having been meticulous in my lack of contact, only returning messages, never starting them. He's seen me do this before, in my comprehensive responses to the pleas for support from another ex, the one who I had never sought out in the seven years after he had stomped on my heart, but saw fit to email me out of sheer desperation, depression and his own experience of heartbreak, supposedly because I was the only person he could think of for genuine support. The Ex told me I was a fool then, and now that he is playing that role, it is the Duke who is telling me not to be a fool, that this apology is just bait from a lonely man.
I attract apologies like a magnet.
These apologies only occur under very specific conditions, though. My heart must have been stomped on, or, at the very least, kicked around a little. I must have healed it through sheer force of will, initially by faking the steps of moving on until there is real force behind my footsteps. The contact then must occur utterly out of the blue, a ringing phone piercing my unrelated thoughts. Then comes the sorry's, the declarations of ruminations, of guilt, of not knowing what they had at the time, in more or less words. Sometimes this is stated in the form of simple catharsis, free of motivations, while other times, it is more like an attempt to get a toe back in the door they may have well slammed themselves. This scenario has plated out five times now, in one form or another, starting at age 15 up to this weekend.
I used to place this in a romanticized framework. I told myself I had served a purpose in their lives, taught them a lesson, that I had come into their lives a year or two too early. Now I wonder about what it really says about me. Maybe it isn't that I am this wonderful, earnest, unappreciated woman. Maybe there is something specific to me that leads me to be taken for granted. Maybe they just know that I'm the easiest person in the world to apologize to-- that I will accept it even when I shouldn't.
(And, yes, my Google Reader is at 500 and rising. Your Princess is a very, very busy bee on the verge of drowning-- shan't bored you with the details. So sorry for the lack of bloggie love. Just take pleasure in the fact that each time one of you posts something new and my number rises, it is like you are giving me your own personal mini-guilt trip!)