Death is Not an Eraser

‘Let us all understand that death is not an eraser. It does not remove the deeds or the meanings that existed in anyone’s life. It does not make poor men rich or great men fallible. And when death comes, let us not romanticize its presence nor the person it takes from us. Let us see death for what it really is: a border that we all must cross; a border that, more than any other, defines the lives we are able to lead. Do not mourn for those who cross over. Rather, reflect on the definition they’ve left behind. It is the only truth we are able to know here on earth. When the definition is great, then celebrate it. When it is lacking, then learn from it and improve on it. And use it to make your own definition more truthful and loving and miraculous.’ ~ Russel Andrews

Whenever we argued, you reacted with anger or hurt making me feel I was cruel and insensitive to talk to you about things that bothered me. I was scared of your reaction to my feelings so I kept quiet.

You never kissed me, or told me you loved me, you never wanted to touch me. You preferred a hand job to making love because you wouldn’t have to hold me.

I was too fat, and then I was too skinny, my hair was too short or too long, I was too loud or too passive. You never told me I was beautiful.

When I told you I had an eating disorder you said I was just being over dramatic. When I said I wanted more of you in our relationship, you said it was my fault I had changed. When I said I believed in the power of love and the infinity of our spiritual potential you said I needed psychiatric help because I was delusional.

You spent all our money on books, games, toys and gadgets draining our joint bank account so we couldn’t pay the bills. I had to put my money in another account and automatically transfer the rent money out of your account on payday otherwise it would be all gone.

You drank, a lot. As you got drunker, you got more belligerent. You argued with me about everything. You looked at me like you hated me.

When I spent time with my friends you wanted to know what they were getting out of it. When I went to a spiritual meeting, you said they would take all my money. When my boss was kind to me, you said someone had told him he had to be.

When we had to move out of our house, you wouldn’t come and look at the new place with me, even though you were home and it was just around the corner. When I competed on stage in Sydney, you wouldn’t come to support me. You never said you were proud of me.

When I talked in my sleep, you told me that I had confessed I was having an affair. You twisted my blog words to prove that everything was my fault.

After I left you, you came around to my place with a typed list of all my transgressions over the years and read it out loud to me. I was worthless and spiteful and it was no wonder you had given up trying.

You watched my flat, and told me that you knew what I was up to. You even pretended to be a stranger on RSVP and spent a whole night chatting on-line with me so you could prove how much of a slut I was.

And somehow I believed you. It was all my fault. I made you unhappy, so desperately miserable that you killed yourself. I was as worthless as you said.

And at the same time, I felt so angry. Everyone feels sorry that you were so ill that you couldn’t face another day. But I have been so mad at you, for hurting me in a way that I will live with for the rest of my life, for what feels like the ultimate act of abuse. And I have felt wrong for not feeling any sympathy for you.

Today that changed. I discovered that you were not depressed, but had Borderline Personality Disorder. It made you deliberately cruel and abusive, and that behaviour hasn’t been erased or excused just because you are dead. Yes you were sick but maybe you could have done something about it and you never did. You just took it out on me, right up to the end and now beyond.

I understand now that you wounded me more than I ever realised even before that day when you decided to kill yourself. I am still healing from those wounds. I couldn’t have done anything to change the way you were — even if I been able to continue to love you through all the pain, you would have kept on hurting me — you couldn’t help it.

I chose the wrong man, I put up with abuse for far too long, but that is my only crime. Now that you are dead you are neither a saint nor a sinner, you are simply a soul that was broken beyond repair. Figuring this out has made me strangely peaceful. Maybe my wounds will heal quicker knowing they were never my fault.

About KatieP

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing

3 thoughts on “Death is Not an Eraser

  1. Wow you have a great way with words. I have followed you for years now and love reading all of it.

  2. I am so glad this realisation has given you peace. My father had borderline personality disorder and threatened suicide many times over the years. He died a year ago of drug toxicity due to his medication (not suicide) at the age of 59. He had been receiving treatment for his condition for 12 years and I am sad to say he never really improved to the point of being able to have healthy relationships. His death was tinged with sadness for a life wasted, but was predominantly a relief. Unless you’ve been close to someone with this condition it is very hard to understand how it affects the people around the one with the condition, more so than the person with the condition themself.

    You saved yourself – and that was all you could do. xxx

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