For several months leading up to my fiance’s visit to Florida, I felt a growing distance between us as couple. There were very good reasons for that, many of which I touched upon in my last post. Every time that it appeared we were able to overcome one dramatic turn of events, another seemed to be waiting just around the corner. I was having an incredibly difficult time keeping up with her ever-changing moods and emotions and it was wearing me out. I became quickly accustomed to remaining watchful and on edge at all times, because I never could quite tell when the next irrational reaction would occur. It was particularly devastating at times when things had remained positive for several days and then unexpectedly in the blink of an eye I’d witness them turn in the complete opposite direction. I wanted so desperately to save our relationship. I couldn’t allow myself to lose her. I needed to find a way to keep us on track. And I felt that little by little we had been making some progress. Then she took her leave, and everything spun completely out of control
When she arrived in Florida, she made it very clear to me that she would be quite busy most days taking care of her father. Of course I understood that, but I was still certainly hopeful that we’d have the opportunity to talk regularly and continue to work on our relationship. But it didn’t seem as if this was a priority to her at all anymore. She was cold and short with me when we did speak, and she made me feel as though my calls were irritating and bothersome. And then, probably a little over a week into her trip, she told me that she really wasn’t sure if she wanted to be in a relationship with me at all anymore, and that she needed time to think. She asked that we take some time not speaking to one another so that she could clear her head, providing me with no real idea about how long it would take her to sort through things. I was completely heartbroken. My relationship had been in limbo for months and now, just as I felt things were progressing in the right direction, my fiance ran 1,500 miles away to tell me that she needed space and time to think. There was nothing I could do. I didn’t have the ability to sit her down in front of me, look her in the eyes and have a heart to heart so that I could get a gauge on her true feelings. No, I just had to sit and wait.
It wasn’t long until I discovered that what I was waiting for was for her to be able to create enough separation and gain enough strength and support back home to say goodbye to me. And after two weeks of some of the most stressful and panicked days of my life, she made the call to me and did just that. I’ll never forget how cold she was that day. It wasn’t a person that I recognized at all. There was zero compassion in her voice…it was strictly business…take care of this and move on. I begged and pleaded with her, but nothing was going to change her mind. This was it. She had made her decision.
I had a lot of logical questions that I wanted answered…what are you going to do about your job? Have you put in your resignation? What about the house and your commitment to our mortgage? Are you just going to leave this for me to figure out? When are you going to return to get your things? It was all so incredibly painful. She had walked out and left me with all of our belongings, our memories…it was brutal being in that house. A simple glance around the room could send me bursting into tears. And I had no idea what her plans were, so I was left to make my own assumptions on a lot of things. Because I believed so I much in fate, I allowed myself to hold continue to hold onto hope. And my assumptions centered around my faith in our relationship’s resurrection.
My fiance had told me that she had not yet quit her job, and that she would decide soon how she wanted to handle that issue. So naturally I made myself believe that if she hadn’t resigned, perhaps she was still questioning her decision. I told myself that until she quit, there was still a high likelihood that she was not completely forfeiting her life in Pennsylvania. Plus, I knew that eventually she needed to come home to get her things and that at that time we’d have the chance to talk. She even mentioned to me in conversations that she’d likely return alone to pack for several days prior to making a move. If all else failed, at least I’d have that one last shot to attempt to mend things.
She wasn’t going to allow me the opportunity to work on things over the phone. Most times when we spoke to one another, she carried the same temperament that she had the day she told me we were through. But then at times I’d catch her in a moment of weakness, and she’d stumble a bit and share her real emotion. On one afternoon in particular, she broke down and told me that she loved me and missed me, and that “she had “lost 10-15 pounds” since she had come home because she was so sick over the situation that she couldn’t eat or keep the food down. Another night we had a great conversation, and by the end of it she had decided that she wanted to work on things…she told me she loved me as she said goodbye, and we made plans to speak the next day. Of course, the next day she was a no show. And shortly after she retracted all of those comments. Things were unfolding just as they had in Pennsylvania. We’d make some headway amidst heartfelt conversation and undeniable emotion, and then she’d slam the door shut on it.
I can’t tell you how often I sat by the phone waiting and hoping that she’d call me and tell me that it had all been a big mistake and that she wanted to come home. I prayed for that every day, over and over again. My OCD would not allow my panic over the situation to go to rest, and I became completely distracted by it. The only way that I could really find any peace was to escape with my Dad to our cabin in the mountains for several days. There I had no access to my cell phone or email – I didn’t have the ability to check whether or not she had attempted to contact me. Good thing too..because whenever we’d get into range of reception, I’d quickly see that there were no missed calls, no voicemails… and it hurt more and more every time.
As summer went on however, she and I did have the opportunity to speak a few more times, but most of those conversations led only to more heartache. She eventually told me that she had resigned from her job. She made it sound as though she had just spoken to her boss recently, but later on I did research on the internet and found that her position had been posted for quite some time on the hospital’s website…she had just kept it all hidden from me. Then there were discussions about the house and how we’d handle it. She expected me to cave and sell, certainly thinking that she’d be able to collect half of the assets. But I wasn’t sure that I wanted to sell, and I definitely didn’t want to make things easy and convenient for her, so I fought for the home. I was ultimately able to qualify for my own mortgage, and with her agreement I moved forward and removed her name from the deed. It was a painful and costly process, but I did it. And it felt good. I was even able to recover my engagement ring. At least she hadn’t been able to take everything from me.
The one true question that remained was when was she going to come and get things? She had been avoiding it for quite some time and when I’d ask about it she’d just give me a vague answer…”well I’m not sure because I need he/she to help, so maybe in two weeks”. Her car remained parked out in front our home, there were boxes upon boxes of her personal belongings in our basement, and everything in our living space that was hers remained untouched, including two closets full of clothing. At this point, I wasn’t extremely confident that we’d be able to work things out upon her return. But I did look forward to the opportunity to look her in the eyes and see her honest emotion. I missed her badly, and I just wanted to see her, even on the worst of terms. I truly felt that it might take her meeting with me in person for things to “click”. Maybe then she’d realize what she was losing and would decide to make an effort to salvage what remained of a once beautiful partnership…
September 12th, 2007 – it had been over two months since she left for Florida. It was an overcast and rainy morning as I headed off to work at RTC Direct just miles away from our home. At just after 11:00 AM, I received a call on my cell phone from my now ex-fiance. I wasn’t able to answer in time, so moments later I stepped outside of our building to listen to her voicemail. “Hey Matt just wanted to let you know that I stopped by the house to pick up my things. Let me know if you need anything, thanks.” I couldn’t believe it. Was she really in Pennsylvania? I left work immediately, racing home as my heart pounded in my chest, hoping that I’d catch her before she left…but it was too late. All that remained was a house stripped of all of her belongings.
I had never felt so empty and betrayed before in my life. She was gone…and this time it was forever.