Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Boy with the Panther Tattoo

In December 2012 I broke someone's heart. Now, before you get all high and mighty on yourself for thinking I am high and mighty on MYself let me explain.

When I was diagnosed with cancer in August 2012 shortly after I began seeing someone I believed that was it for me. I thought no man alive would ever allow such a burden to consume their life. I broke the news to him that I was sick. Damaged. Forgetting the fact that my life was already in crisis when he met me. But that's a story for later.

He accepted the news with open arms. I wondered at the time if he accepted it on the basis of guilt. Did he think he would be considered an insensitive prick for breaking up with the cancer girl? Or was he just raised so god damned well that he would be willing to sit with me through the hardest journey of my life when he had not even known me for six months? Regardless of why he did it - he did. Even when I did everything in my power to push, shove, claw, and scream my way out of it. I tried scaring him; "I'm probably just going to die, you know." I tried giving him reasons; "You should be living a normal life with someone else." I even tried losing so much weight I looked like a fourteen year old boy before puberty (just kidding, I lost the weight because of brachytherapy - yay cancer!). Whatever I did, he stayed. Not only did he stay, he was like a fucking savior. When I was tired, he put me to bed. Hungry? He cooked. Amazingly well. When I was in the hospital he stayed there every single night on a fold out couch to make sure that I had someone to help me take a piss in the middle of the night. He helped me bathe when I physically could not stand up. He dressed me in hospital gowns, careful to avoid all the stitches and tubes sticking out of my abdomen. He did not miss one single chemo appointment and would dive into any nurse, doctor, dietician, physiotherapist, or stupid hospital student who even uttered the words 'negative prognosis'. My dad called him my pitbull. He was the man you heard about in books and movies but never the man I thought I would be lucky enough to have love me.

In December I awoke from what I call my 'cancer coma'. Suddenly after enduring four months of hell on earth I began to see the light again. I was ready to go back to work. I wanted to travel. I could finally even have sex again! Things were falling back into place. Suddenly I wanted my life back. All of it. I wanted everything it could offer me and I wasn't going to waste a single second of it. Four months may not seem like a long hiatus, but for someone who worked three jobs, attended full time university, and spent every weekend finding any adventure I could manipulate my way into, four months felt like a life time. Suddenly my relationship seemed like a burden. It reminded me of everything I was stuck facing while I was off being cancery.  Every time I looked into his amazing blue eyes I no longer saw the man who took care of me in my time of struggle. Instead, I saw doctors telling me that I was barren. I saw a drain bag hooked up to my pelvis full of blood. I no longer smelled his scent. Instead I smelled the radiation burning into my stomach day after day while I laid there, exposed on a metal table for any doctor who should decide they wanted to take a look. Kissing him made me taste chemo; metallic, acidic and poisonous.

My knight in shining armor became a mirror that reflected back onto me everything that I hated and so desperately wanted to forget. It was then that I decided to end things.

A year later as I finally have the lady balls to look back and reflect on the situation I will not regret the decision that I made. Should he ever have the chance to read this, or should I ever be given the opportunity to speak with him I would pounce on the opportunity to say that I am sorry, but not for the reason you would think. He and I were not meant to be. Despite his amazing testament and loyalty to me we were not soul mates. Whatever the hell that means. I believe to this day that some Divine force placed us together at that moment in time as a lesson to the both of us. Without him my struggle would have undeniably been worse. I am not sure what lesson he learned from me, but I hope often that it is not one of regret or remorse. I've gotten off topic. If I could apologize to him for one thing, it would be that I am sorry for allowing my illness to romanticize our relationship. I knew better from the start, but because of my own thirst and need I allowed myself to take advantage of his compassion. I allowed him to fill a void inside me that I should have filled myself.

For the first time in my life I believe I now know how he felt when I cold heartedly decided to end things. Until recently I always believed that I knew how shitty break ups were. The truth is until last year I never truly appreciated what it meant to love unconditionally. He taught me that. He taught me that it is possible. Recently I believe that I felt the way he felt when I left him and it opened my eyes. No longer will I make romantic promises of marriage, babies, or his and her matching towels if I am not 100% sure that I mean it. It can be fun to do these things. To speak about the future as though words are promises. However, as I recently learned, when you're serious about these things and the other is not, it is absolutely devastating when it comes to an end. You are left hanging with a huge WHY over your head. Why did you even talk about these things if you weren't serious? Why is it so easy for you to walk away? Why promise to be around and then leave? We have all done this. Joked about wedding cakes and who in the wedding party is destined to fuck after the reception. But I am here to say, STOP. Don't do it. Not unless you are beyond sure that you intend to stick with this person through anything. We owe each other this empathy. At some point we all have our hearts broken. It is our responsibility in the trials of love to simply remember that we are not all that different from one another. Remember that time someone ripped your heart out of your chest, shoved anal beads in it and then set it on fire? Yeah, that sucked didn't it? Lets all do our best to not do that to someone else. Treat other peoples hearts how you would want your own to be treated.

Oh, and to the boy with the panther tattoo....Thank you.

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