She always understood the power of saying nothing.

She understood that if she wanted to say the worst possible thing to me, she should say nothing at all. Then I would say it for her, fill the silence with something more cutting, more cruel, more permanent, more perfectly bespoke and crafted to cause maximum pain, more painful than she could ever contrive. And I would keep saying it, over and over.

I’ve been saying some of these things, on and off, for at least 15 years.

And the pain is magnified because I will never feel that the last thing I said was heard. What I said will be left, hanging, ringing in my ears as I agonise over how I might have said it differently, better, or not said it at all. It’s a painful thing: to be unheard. Unheeded. Unlistened to. To be denied the relief of being understood. To be made to feel unworthy even of acknowledgement or response. It’s a form of anhilation.

But now I must see it as a gift. Maybe it’s cruel to be kind. Maybe it’s just cruel. Maybe the distinction doesn’t matter. The point is SILENCE IS A RESPONSE.

I must see it as the clear and unambiguous message that it is. I must understand it. I must accept it. It tells me everything I need to know. Not everything I want to know — I’ll still be left with a lot of mystery about who and how she is… but it tells me enough. It’s really very informative: She doesn’t want to hear from me. She doesn’t value my well-being enough to even respond. She doesn’t care enough, and is prepared to inflict pain to make that point. She is, despite what I took to be signs to the contrary, prepared to ignore please for help. She is not good for me, and does not want me to think she is. She will not help. She cannot help because she is the rock upon which I would break myself. There is only pain there.

So I must move on. She is the past. The now distant past. And the time has come for me to look to the future, to commit to it and to let go of the desire to look back. I have to do it honestly. I have to mean it. It can’t be a pose. It can’t be something I do with an eye to ‘someday, when I’ve sorted myself out then maybe I’ll be able to go back to this…’ thinking. I have to ‘grok’ the fact that attachment leads to suffering.

I’ll know that has happened when all this seems old and tired and utterly irrelevant. That’s hasn’t happened yet, but I’m looking forward to that day.

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