I came to a realization the other day.
I was sitting in my bathtub, shaving my legs and deep in thought about other things than the immediate task at hand. It was then that I had a passing thought about you. And it was then that I realized, it had been a few days since I last had a passing thought about you.
It only took almost thirteen years, but I no longer think about you everyday. Not in passing, not in mourning. I no longer think about how much you hurt me, violated my trust and innocence and how you irrevocably changed everything about our relationship. I don’t have a half a second flash where I recall how horrible that morning was. I don’t have a moment where I have to catch my breath when I fantasize how different my life could have been had that morning never happened.
We don’t speak any longer except at rare family gatherings where I have to be in your presence. You know why I stay away. You know when I’ve never said a word to your wife or your children. You know that I’d rather pretend you don’t exist than to keep up the pretence of normality. And I’m glad that you at least grant me that and don’t push for more.
With thirteen years distance, I can see how much that night was such a turning point in my life. Yes, I was already off making too many mistakes with too many boys. I was already trying as hard as I could to fuck up my life — what with my newfound taste for freedom. I loved it and indulged. Perhaps too much. But that didn’t mean that I deserved to have that trust that I placed in you broken to teach me a lesson.
When I think back now, about redoing things, about whether it was me who acted stupid, about whether I should have known better than to trust you, about whether I was wrong to put myself in such a vulnerable position… I don’t think I did anything wrong. I should have been able to trust you; you were my own family.
I know it’s foolish to contemplate how different my life could have been. I can’t go back and change things. But I do wonder. Would I have been so eager to look for acceptance in men who were so emotionally distant? Would I have placed my self-worth so low? Would I have been so happy to compromise myself so willingly?
Sometimes I get sad, thinking about who I became because of that one morning. Sometimes I mourn, thinking about who I was, who I could have been if it never happened.
But I’m not as sad anymore now.
Everyday, I think about you less and less. Someday I hope to never think about you at all.