It’s coming up for a year since I met The Pirate. At best, falling for him has got me absolutely nowhere. Truth be told, he has set me back a long way.
This time last year I was relatively confident in my own skin. I went on dates, talked to strangers, bought new clothes.
Now, I hate myself. I avoid mirrors. I do my make-up in semi-darkness. I don’t give a shit about what I’m wearing. When I catch sight of myself in shop windows, I feel physically sick. The words ‘I hate you’ go round and round in my head. I thought I was saying them to The Pirate, but I’m not. I’m saying them to myself.
And I don’t feel like I have anything interesting to say to my friends, let alone strangers. I went for lunch with one of my closest friends today and the best I could manage was listening. The only thing I could think to bring to the table was to ask whether yellow tiles would be wrong in my bathroom. (No, but yes was the conclusion.)
The Pirate makes me feel worthless. When we were seeing each other and I wasn’t worth his undivided attention. When he decided he’d had enough and just disappeared rather than talk to me. When I email him and he doesn’t reply. When I call him and he doesn’t answer. His continued presence – yes, there are still emails, mostly at his instigation, when he wants something webby – makes me feel worthless.
It is not entirely his fault. I project it all back onto myself when I suspect that he’s sitting 35 miles away right now feeling pretty worthless and miserable himself. His withdrawal is as much to do with his own depression as anything to do with me. I don’t imagine for one minute that, had we met at different times in our lives, he’d have been any less of an emotionally retarded commitment-phobe, but I do think he might have been less cruel. He’s not a cruel man, I don’t think. He’d have recognised the place I was in and stopped taking from me a long time before he did, and stopped it decently, in a way that I could have moved on from with a shred of self-respect. I need answers from him that I just won’t get.
But we met when we did, we are where we are and I have to find a way to move on. I have to stop measuring my own worth by the absence of this man. I have to stop hating myself. I can’t keep crying all the time. I can’t keep living this double life, trying to hide my depression so I don’t make other people feel uncomfortable. Maintaining the mask is exhausting.
The Pirate is one of the reasons I hate myself. Can’t do anything about my husband leaving me, can’t do anything about Dad dying, can do something about The Pirate. He has to go.
Writing about him here hasn’t helped. I thought it might. I thought facing up to my feelings for him, accepting them, committing them to paper and moving on, would help. But it isn’t helping. It’s keeping him alive and I need him to be very, very dead.
So it’s time for some good British repression, denial and bottling up. He’s already deleted from my phone. All of his texts have gone – and there were some lovely ones – and all of his emails too. This is the last post that will ever mention his name.
I don’t know how to get him out of my head. Time, I guess. But no more deliberately dwelling. No more contacting him, no more replying to his emails. No more. It’s done.