When I was in elementary school, I had this board game called “Forbidden Bridge”.
The concept was pretty simple: get your plastic hiker safely across the tattered bridge and, in return, you were rewarded with red, plastic jewels.
The catch? The bridge was controlled by an evil statue that came to life at the unlucky drop of the dice – his anger shook the bridge in hopes of keeping his precious gems for himself.
It’s been about six weeks since I published a series of blog posts that described, in great detail, the last…sort of, dating encounter I had.
Before hitting publish on those posts; that was life on the safe side of the bridge.
The posts, publishing day-after-day turned my life into a frenzy, with inboxes full of messages-some hateful, many thankful.
But although quite some time has passed since I weathered the storm, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wonder if I handled it the right way.
Whatever glimpse of a relationship had budded over the course of our 14-year friendship was solidly shattered way prior to the publishing of these posts, and I used the blog like I always do: as a place to share my unedited thoughts, and in this case, my broken heart.
I could have very-well lived my life like most people without a blog, and ignored what happened to me, what happened to us, and moved on with a very similar outcome – him and I never speaking. And he would continue his life choosing to believe that what he did to me was perfectly okay.
But I’m not most people; and I am the CEO of this blog, and blog that revolves around the relationships we have with others – romantic and platonic.
Our “fling” did not warrant a label, and it’s probably taken up more bandwidth on this blog than it deserves, though today, and probably tomorrow, I don’t and won’t feel any better about the situation than I did prior to testing the rickety bridge.
It has less to do with the fact that I suck at dating, and more to do with the number of lies I was fed throughout the course of us knowing each other.
When the first few blog posts were published, I was presented with two things: 1. An apology, and 2. An offer to “fix this”.
There’s no doubt in my mind the apology was delivered out of fear, and for no other reason than to serve as a plea to save-face. Regardless, it was an apology.
It was the offer to make things up that’s got my gears grinding today. Because guess who I haven’t heard from since? HIM.
The simple fact that I haven’t gotten so much as a message from him, proves my original theory to be true: all of the “I hope I can make this up to you” lines were his dangling carrot, his red plastic jewel, rewarded to me if, and only if, I stopped posting the blogs.
I didn’t stop, because I did not believe (and I still don’t) that there was any reason not to post them. Despite him gathering a team of people to rally against me, I kept on, because my story deserved a home.
During a rather heated conversation one night amidst the postings, he made a comment that I can’t get out of my head: “You are loving this,” he said.
He was referring to the fact that I said on Facebook “#twirl” in regards to people trying to keep me from publishing the blog.
My reference was a Beyoncé lyric, not anything else. I’m not someone who revels in the downfall of others; and there wasn’t even a reported downfall.
So why do I feel like I’m to blame for the fallout? Calculated manipulation, if I had to guess.
It was more than a metaphorical game of “Forbidden Bridge”, it was a series of them: Twister, Pretty Pretty Princess, Trouble, and the oldest game in the book, Telephone.
At the end of the day, he’s got me blocked in every way possible, as if even the idea of having the digital communication lines open between us would set the road from Texas to Indiana ablaze.
I’ll be honest, there have been nights post-wine bottle drain, where I’ve stared at the phone and wished for something to happen that would make things feel fixed – like I was promised.
But it doesn’t and morning eventually comes.
There is a saying, “The hell you know is better than the one you don’t”, and it is the fuel that’s kept me mentally attached to so many of the wrong men of my past. I find comfort in dating failures, because that’s all I know.
But when did we decide to cut people off at the first sign of crossed opinions? Are we stronger for weeding out the weak, or are we heartless and cold?
I don’t want to be the woman who’s stuck on that one situation, that one heartbreak; especially when I’m sure he’s moved on to someone else, continually replacing a void from decades prior. One red jewel in the ocean after the next.
Time is my only option at this point, and I’m guessing I’ll need another six weeks to forget about 14 years. Okay, perhaps a case of rosé and my John Mayer records, too.