Recently, I split up with a woman I loved. Primarily because I was unfaithful, but it’s entirely possible, if not probable, that we would have split up anyway – it is impossible to tell. It’s also fundamentally irrelevant.
My behaviour caused an immense amount of hurt, of pain.
Since then, we have both, as is our wont, followed each others’ blog posts and twitter feeds. It’s a neurosis we both share in this instance. We both infer, or have inferred, wherever possible, each and every post as designed to be read by the other. And we both know that we both infer this. It is, fundamentally, the condition of the internet which allows, even encourages, all of us to spread even our most private of thoughts and feelings far and wide. And those outsiders who read them do so at face value. But nothing is ever as it appears.
I’m not writing this to ‘right wrongs’ or ‘tell my half of the story’, or anything so dramatic. I merely point out that you, reading this, simply cannot know even half of the story.
The reason, however, that I did not mention this relationship in my last post was not because it meant nothing, because I have forgotten, because I don’t care, because I don’t want others to know, or any such. I left it out, I left Cathy out, because it still swirls around me so viscerally that it appears to me a constant.
I have no desire to play out this error of mine in public. But apparently I must. It is the modern version of the pillory – merely that verbal vitriol is hurled rather than rotting vegetables.
We all make mistakes, and we are all doomed to repeat them. We know what they are, but we’d like to keep them private, if we may. Sometimes we’re simply not allowed to. When it comes to Cathy and I, my mistake follows me around. And yet it is not the mistake which ‘friends of friends’ assume.
Ours was the story of someone who loved not wisely but too well. That someone was Cathy, not me.