It took me about a week to get to the point where thinking about writing this didn’t make me want to throw up. And then another five days to get it written. I hurt someone really badly and it’s taken a while to wade through my own muddled thoughts and get to the point where I could explain it to myself, let alone anyone else.
I discovered a long time ago that one of my downfalls is the romantic comedy, or, “chick flick”. Life is not a movie. I looked back recently, and my very first post on my very first blog was about how movies were unrealistic. Life is not scripted, and it isn’t neatly wrapped up at the end of two hours. You can’t make a mistake of the size people in movies often do, say you’re sorry, kiss and have the happy ending. In life not all things are forgiven. The ends of three movies have been playing and replaying in my head over the last week, and please bear with me as this rambles on and around:
The Cutting Edge: Kate messes up everyone’s life on purpose, trying to get what she thinks she wants. When confronted, she explains her reasons, and says “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for things to turn out like this. I’m so sorry, for everything. Please excuse me.” and flees the room crying. There’s a montage of scenes of everyone thinking about what has happened. The next morning, much is better and at the end Kate and Doug are in love and you are led to believe that they win the gold medal and live happily ever after.
Bed of Roses: Lisa doesn’t feel that she is worthy of the kind of love she is receiving, and doesn’t really know how to give it either. She runs out on Lewis, the only person that has ever really loved her, saying it’s too much pressure. Another montage of thinking and reflecting. She shows up at his apartment after three months, things are awkward, and she starts to leave and says “This is the part where you’re supposed to say wait. Yeah, this is the part where I start to leave and that’s when you forgive me for being such a coward, and for being the last person to figure out what everyone else already knew, and you call out ‘wait’, and I stop, and we hold each other, and that’s when we know everything is going to be okay”. And he does, and this movie too leads you to believe that these characters live happily ever after.
The Truth About Cats and Dogs: Abby is a lovely woman but society has told her she is ugly so many times that she now believes it. Brian falls in love with her radio personality, but, because Abby lied to him, he thinks she looks like someone else. Brian finds out the truth, and, understandably, flips out. She apologizes, saying she can’t change it and she did it because she wasn’t confident enough that even though she was a great person that he would still like her if she wasn’t pretty. It takes him a little bit longer to come around than in the other movies, but eventually he does, and once again- the happily ever after.
There are things that bother me about each of these. Yes, I know, and I already said, movies aren’t real, but I’m going to talk about why it bothers me anyway. I hate the words “I’m sorry”. They don’t really mean anything. People have used them so many times for so many reasons other than truly being sorry. And it’s just a word. A word that means you really do regret what you have done, but it’s still just a word, and a word can’t undo what has been done. Sometimes it does have the power to do what you want it to, but so many more times it just can’t. Sorry doesn’t heal the damage that has been done. Sorry doesn’t give back the lost months of your life, like in The Cutting Edge. Whether you meant for things to turn out the way they did or not, fact is, they did turn out the way they did, and saying I’m sorry doesn’t change the consequences. In my life, sorry doesn’t put the pieces of his heart back together. I didn’t mean to break it, I didn’t set out to hurt him, but the fact of the matter is that I did.
Admitting that you are a coward, admitting that it took you too long to see what everyone else sees in you, that’s a good step. But it’s just a step. Realizing that doesn’t mean that the underlying issues are resolved. Issues like that take a lifetime to build, they don’t magically go away in three months. And, while I fully believe that forgiveness *can* be given that quickly, I know that it is rare indeed, (“indeed”… another reminder of another man loved and lost…) and about as unlikely as it is rare. As much as we might want it to be, human love is not unconditional. It can come close, and if you’re lucky enough to find something close to it you better realize what you have and hang on to it for dear life- don’t squander it or take it for granted, because some people would give their very soul for what you have.
The scene from The Truth About Cats and Dogs is the scene closest to my life right now. I’ve been relatively careful up until now to keep any picture or physical description of me off of this website until now. Why? Is it because I think that people will find my writing any less interesting if they knew I wasn’t some supermodel? I don’t even know why really. The truth is, I’m interesting, I’m sweet, I’m engaging, I’m cute, apparently I’m bubbly ;o), but I’m not what would generally be considered beautiful. I know that there have been people in my life that think I am beautiful, but in general I would not be considered to be. And while everyone knows the ideals are unrealistic, I’m nowhere even close. That’s because I’m fat. Not one of those women that are 5’8 and 155, who thinks they’re fat, but truly fat. And you know what? I don’t care what you think about that. That’s probably because I’m not actively trying to date anyone who is reading this. (and if I am, you already knew that so it doesn’t matter that I’m saying this because I already know how you feel about it. Well, except you Adrian, if you’re reading this) But while I say that now, I haven’t always been able to. I’ve been meeting guys online for a while now, and as hard as it is to admit, I’m not always confident enough in my real looks, and I’ve lied about what I look like.
Like the character of Abby (from whom I derived my online persona and the name that I go by in certain forums), I’ve spent much of my life being looked down upon for my looks. And when it happens as often as it did/does, one starts to believe what is being said about them. About me. Abby has a chance to meet what seems like an amazing guy (who puts roller skates on his dog, but come on, everyone has done something that stupid at one time or another) but she is so afraid that he’ll reject her based on looks alone that she lies. As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve done it. As much as I profess to be comfortable with myself and with who I am and what I look like, I’ve pretended to look like someone else. Not *be* someone else, because in all my conversations with these men, I have been myself. Not only myself, but the self I *wish* I could be around everyone in my life, and not just a select few. But a lie is a lie, no matter the reasons. And lies hurt people. In the end, Brian forgives her. He is very hurt, and lets her see that she’s ripped his heart out, but in the end he forgives her. I’m not going to hold onto hope that my “Brian” will forgive me. Because life isn’t a movie. It isn’t a fairytale with a happy ending. It’s an endless learning process, one that involves pain and regret.
But I’m done beating myself up over it. I’m done feeling bad about the things I’ve done that I can’t change. Peter told me something last week. He said, “Feel bad about something until you know why you feel bad about it, then decide you’re not going to feel bad about it anymore, and do what you can to keep it from happening again.” I didn’t really want to hear that, I was enjoying my wallow, but he was right. I know what I did. I know why what I did was so crappy. I know I’m sure as hell never going to do it again. And I’m going to let it hurt. Yes, I hurt him, and I hurt him badly, but I hurt me too.
So to my “Brian”- I’m so sorry baby. I know it doesn’t help. I know it doesn’t take it away. But I have to say it. Whether or not you ever forgive me, whether or not you ever even see this, I said what was in my heart and I tried to explain, and that’s really all I can do. I wish you the very best of everything in life. – Abby
Maybe now I can accept myself as I am, and stop trying to mold myself into what I think someone else wants. The last thing he said to me, on that hellish afternoon, was this:
“Next time, try to be honest. Because the next guy who comes along could be the one you’ve been waiting for. But if he doesn’t know who you are he might pass you right by.”
If I’m not myself, I’m no one, and I’m letting down all the people who believe in me and believe that I have the strength to be the person I want to be. So I started off with movies, and I’ll end with a song, since song lyrics tend to have such an impact on me as well…
If just one person believes in you
Deep enough, and strong enough, believes in you…
Hard enough, and long enough,
Before you knew it someone else could think
If he can do it, I can do it
Making it two….
Two whole people who believe in you
And if two whole people believe in you
Deep enough and strong enough, believe in you,
Hard enough and long enough,
There’s bound to be some other person who
Believes in making it a threesome
Making it three….
People you can say: Believe in me…
And if three whole people,
Why not — four?
And if four whole people,
Why not – more, and more, and more…
And when all those people believe in you,
Deep enough and strong enough, believe in you
Hard enough and long enough
It stands to reason you yourself would start to see
What everybody sees in you
Then maybe even you
Can believe in you too