Terra Firma

It was the right thing to do.

Telling Tony it was over, I mean. Most of the time, you don’t do that with friends. You don’t have those official break it off words. But this time, I had to, and not for her. For me. Our relationship went to such a dark place in me that I had to admit what I was doing and come clean. I was living with her in her stories, and ignoring anything that had to do with my actual life, the one where my wife lives.

Dana’s jealousy was never that I would leave her. It was that Tony was taking up so much room in my life that she started to wonder if there was anything left for her. I just didn’t worry about it until it occurred to me that there might not be enough room for me, either… and please don’t misunderstand. Tony is not the problem here. I am. I stopped taking up room. Period. Her stories became more important because that’s what I’ve always believed- that others’ stories are more important than mine. My past history says that when you suit up, I’ve done something wrong. That obviously you are suiting up because I am a bad person and you cannot trust me.

That exact thing happened. I sent my sister a snippet of an e-mail that I wrote her, and when she found out about it, she automatically assumed that I was sharing *everything.* Her words and reactions including mine.

The problem was that I hadn’t.

She started treating me as if I was guilty before she even knew whether I was or not, and that feeling never went away… even when I said I hadn’t done anything wrong and she claimed it was “water under the bridge.” It’s not water under the bridge if you’re acting like your friend is suspect even when they have flat out said that no one will ever be able to get information out of me. No one. Ever. I would die first. Literally. I’d take a gun and blow my brains out to protect anything she told me if it was ever serious enough it required that kind of protection.

She blew away a piece of me. That piece that says I am a capable and good secret-keeper, because I’ve been doing it all my life. She attacked my integrity, the piece of me I try so hard to keep together even when the rest of the world is falling apart.

Stepping down onto firm ground and saying, “no more,” was my only shot at being able to heal the part of me that broke.

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