The Soundtrack of My Life – 3 – All Too Well

I will do my best to limit the amount of Taylor Swift songs that end up in this year long project, but I can’t make any promises. I love the bitch and her songs resonate with me on so many levels. My husband likes to joke that I am a 14 year old girl. (Although she’s in her 30’s now, so that no longer applies.) However incorrect the statement, it’s true. Gay men are notoriously immature and tend to romanticize any interaction with a person they find attractive. It’s just how it is.

I chose this song because of my visceral reaction to one particular part of the song. Ever since I first heard it, when I got to/get to this portion I immediately began/begin to cry. Every time. Without fail. It didn’t really occur to me until the re-release of Red (Taylor’s Version) that I react this way because of one specific memory. One in which still is very vivid in my mind no matter how much time passes.

Well, maybe we got lost in translation
be I asked for too much
But maybe this thing was a masterpiece
‘Til you tore it all up

Running scared, I was there
I remember it all too well
And you call me up again just to break me like a promise
So casually cruel in the name of being honest

I’m a crumpled up piece of paper lying here
‘Cause I remember it all, all, all

They say all’s well that ends well, but I’m in a new Hell
Every time you double-cross my mind
You said if we had been closer in age maybe it would have been fine
And that made me want to die
The idea you had of me, who was she?
A never-needy, ever-lovely jewel whose shine reflects on you

There is no doubt that when I got into a relationship with my husband I was not emotionally, mentally, or mature enough for one. I had just got out of a bad break-up and I was so young. I had just come out… I wasn’t looking for anything serious. He was. That’s where we got lost in translation.

Instead of verbalizing any of this, I was unwilling to let go of a person I knew loved me, who (at the time) I was not emotionally vulnerable enough to return his affection. I kept him for selfish reasons. The thought of losing another boyfriend was too much for me, so I became secretive. I was a liar and a cheat. I snuck around on him and justified it in my mind by saying I needed it or somehow deserved it. No one deserves that.

Everything began to unravel when he went through my cell phone and started reading my texts. He saw messages with this dude who I said was my friend Mike but was in fact an entirely different one. These explicit messages began to sow seeds of doubt. I explained it all away that we were just flirting but it was nothing more. He accepted that because he said he would sometimes do that with guys on AOL.

That’s when he read my e-mails.

Rookie mistake when cheating is not clearing out your trash can. That’s where he found the messages proving my infidelity.

He was enraged. But the kind tied to emotional pain. He kept asking me how I could do this and I had no answers. At this point I was caught. I owned up to it and he told me to get out of his house. He never wanted to see me again.

I was dumbstruck the entire drive home. I didn’t know what to say or think.

What should have happened was he should never have spoken to me again. It is the only way I would have learned my lesson. And I’m sure in some alternate reality he never did call me up, however this is not that timeline. When I answered his call he said simply, “Get back here,” and hung up.

I sat there wondering whether I should. What was going to happen?

I couldn’t imagine a life without him and so I went.

When I got there, he had devised “the plan.” I either agreed to these rules or we just were going to separate. Before he even told me what they were I had accepted. I knew I had fucked up and there was nothing more I wanted to do than to fix it.

Even though we got to a better place, the night was far from over. He banished me to our bedroom while he drank. He couldn’t look at me that night, and I don’t blame him. I had betrayed him. The hurt I caused… I have never seen anything like it. I truly destroyed him and I hated/hate myself for it.

There is one moment that haunts me. I was in our bedroom, the lights on, staring at the ceiling and I begin to hear his footsteps thundering through the house as he storms down the hallway. The heel of his palm hits the bedroom door and it flies open. He was drunk, tears streaming down his cheeks, and has a flurry of new questions. I sit up and try to defuse the situation that had quickly escalated. Fear courses through my veins like ice. I’m almost certain he’s going to make me leave again. I just knew it.

But he didn’t ask me to leave. And we worked through this event.

I wish I could say that I learned my lesson and didn’t cheat again. But that would be a lie. I was genuinely the worst person to him. I regret every horrible moment to this very day and wish I could take it all back, but what’s done is done.

These moments you must not forget. You must keep them fresh and learn from them. Study them. At least, I do. I pick each moment apart, trying to decipher why did all of this occur. What was the purpose of all of this? Why?

Am I just a horrible selfish person? Yes, I am. I have been. But knowing this I can be more conscious of the choices I make, the things I am willing to accept. It comes with experience. I was much too young. I knew nothing of myself or what I wanted. I didn’t deal with the grief that lived inside of me. I instead chose sex and liquor to try and heal the wounds.

This isn’t a good memory, but it’s one I can’t let myself forget. It humbles me because I know that I am the wrong in all of this. I was the problem.

The verse above is an abbreviated conversation between me and my husband. The bold words are his and the others are mine.

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