It was at this point that I started questioning my intelligence. Here is a 36-year-old man who publicly declared that not only does he never want to marry anyone, but also he doesn't love me. If this wasn't the warning sign I needed to know the relationship has run its course, then I don't know what it would take.
Intellectually, I knew the relationship was over and I had to break it off. Emotionally, I was still lingering. Yeah, he is very self-centered, but he does care for me. I know he does.
My friends started treating me like a victim. M-Joy text messaged me a few days later to make sure I was okay. Harvey greeted me with, "Heeeeey, how aaaare youuu?" and a sympathetic head tilt. I don't want to be viewed as a victim; I don't feel like a victim. If I was going to feel like a victim, it would have been when I went through the verbal and physical abuse. This? This was nothing. This was just me being embarrassed in front of my friends.
I met up with Harvey and a few others a week later while I was avoiding Christopher. It was the boys of the group who were incensed by the George Clooney comment, not the girls.
"This guy is still saying he's George Clooney?" laughed Government Mule, who wasn't even at my birthday party. "He's been saying that since Thanksgiving."
I did not know he'd been telling my friends this since Thanksgiving. For the record, I've never heard him say the George Clooney comment at all. Whenever he spoke to me, he always used the Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn example.
I shook my head. "Man, Thanksgiving, that was back when things were good."
"Except for the whole hitting on Katie thing," reminded Harvey.
"Oh, you mean when he hit on fill in the blank?" smirked Government Mule. "It was every girl there, not just Katie."
I did not know that either. Christopher always denied hitting on her, but I know what I saw. And I know it wasn't one of those I don't realize I'm flirting things. He kept sitting down next to her and putting his arm around her. I called him out on it and told him to stop. And when she got up and sat in a chair, he followed her and squeezed in the chair and put his arm around her again. He actually asked my permission and told me he was going over there to talk to her. About me.
Then Harvey's husband stands up in the bar we were at last weekend and starts doing his Christopher impression. I also didn't know there was an impression among my friends. I had stopped taking him to Harvey's parties because he would always get too drunk to the point where he was falling down. I wasn't even falling down on my birthday. I felt a little protective Christopher during the impromptu impressions.
My friends insist I can do better. They say I deserve to be driven on a date. I deserve to be treated like a lady. It shouldn't always be me doing things in a parent-child relationship. They say I deserve someone who can take care of me. That last remark rubs me the wrong way a bit, because if anything, I have proven I can take care of myself if I'm taking care of others. I run my own house, keep with with my finances, set my own goals. I don't need someone to swoop in and do it for me. I just want some emotional support when I feel overwhelmed. Maybe that's what they mean, for me not to try so hard all the time.
Anyway, I agree with them. Whenever I watched 16 and Pregnant, I always saw a lot of similarities between Christopher and the teenage fathers who are little more than sperm donors. I remember the episode where one girl was actively giving birth and the father said he was bored and asked the girl to scoot over in the bed. While she was having contractions. And I distinctly remember thinking that that would be something Christopher would do. He doesn't see other people's emotions, only his own. When I told him that something was wrong with me medically because of my thyroid medication, he said he needed to get checked. He showed no concern for me. I don't have a thyroid; my life is dependent on drugs and it scares me. And he didn't care. I recognize he isn't a partner. He isn't someone who would ever support me in the way I want to be supported.
So I had to choose. Do I want the possibility of the life I always imagined I would have, or do I want Christopher?
I chose something that may never happen.