I remember him asking me why I wanted to be with him once when in his words, I could have any man I wanted. All I knew at the time, was that I wanted him and he made me feel safe and connected to both past and future and that being with him again for some reason meant the world. As if I could somehow do right the second time what I got wrong the first time. In his last texts to me he brought up the fact that twenty years ago I cheated on him and while I deserved the rebuke it didn’t make it any less painful to hear. Long before it devolved to this point of angry tit for tat, I told him I made a mistake twenty years ago and should never have let him go. I was wrong to have strayed and stood convicted twenty years later. The fact that he ignored me is not poetic justice; he didn’t love me that much then or now. It was a statement of fact and remains that. His love for his children is proof of that no matter how far he has wandered from that ideal thru addiction and recovery and no matter what his ex wife’s opinion may be. By bringing up me cheating twenty years ago, he ignored the fact that this time around, I was finally able to tell him how much he scared me. That with my history of sexual abuse, that twenty years ago, when we had sex, I was overwhelmed and deeply confused and ran. It did not mean that he himself meant any less to me and hence, I have never forgotten him and he was always on my mind in so many ways after the fact. Musically, in things that I would do, places I would go, attitudes I adopted. When anyone asked who was the best boyfriend I ever had, it always came down to a toss up between him and one other man. I never could decide between them. It was easier to live with his memory than it was to live with not being able to meet his expectations and possibly having to do the real work of having a relationship. Of being that open and honest and that exposed. Now the shoe is on the other foot and he is the one who wont be honest with me. I hate dialectics. Twenty years ago he was fresh out of rehab, and full of drive and hope and life and he confused me so deeply I couldn’t face him anymore. I was too confused and it was too painful. The fact that no one in my family ever bothered to try and get me counseling for a problem that should have been exposed by the family years before is inexcusable. Me possibly getting into public health for my Master’s degree only serves as a constant reminder of the fact that help was available if I had been clear headed enough to seek it out. And I wasn’t and there is no excuse for me not finding help either. Not even the women’s movement offered this kind of help. And the price I have paid, is not having a family, children or a husband and it’s a high price for sanity. A very high price.