The last twelve months of my life have been absolutely crazy. Insane. Stupid. Moronic. Just out and out a waste of time and energy and that’s time and energy that I can never get back.
So what do I? Should I sit here and go over and over it and think about all the smart comebacks I could have used in the many Facebook wars that I’ve had? Or the insults that I could have fired off at the people who were friends with those I didn’t like? Or better yet, what I should have said to my friends who refused to get involved in the drama and remained neutral in the whole damn thing?
The answer would be none of the above.
Absolutely nothing because it was all a great big, absolute waste of my precious time and energy. It took time away from my training, it took time away from my work and worst of all it took time away from my precious family and from myself. The one person I needed to concentrate on the most – myself. So that I could be the best possible person for my kids and my grandchildren and most of all so that I could be the best possible version of me. For me.
I’ve spent so many years needing to be the person that people wanted me to be. The mother who wouldn’t say the wrong thing for fear of upsetting her daughter so she wouldn’t take my grandkids away. Something that she did anyway. Nice work there LJ.
I’ve spent so long trying to eat the rabbit food that Michael wanted me to eat so that I could be the tiny, skinny size 10 wife that he wanted me to be. And the hours that I spent on the treadmill destroying myself so that I got to be that skinny bitch even faster. Where did that get me? Nowhere except 10 kilos heavier, one husband less and a lot more emotional baggage. Nice work there as well LJ.
When did I become so pleasing? When did I become so compliant and submissive? When did I stop believing in all the things I knew were right and start believing in all the things I knew that were most certainly wrong? Hmmm lets think about that.
When I started believing in the abuse that was hurled at me by the person who was supposed to have been in love with. You remember him? Michael. I can’t blame this all on him. I allowed him to guilt trip me. I allowed him to convince me that I was too fat for him and that he deserved some tiny little size 10 and I allowed him to shove me away at home and never take me anywhere unless it was to the gym. Because he was going to save me. He was going to tell me what to eat, when to eat it. When to exercise and what to exercise and then he was going to sit there in the living room and watch over me with an eagle eye while I did my cardio twice a day.
He even bought me a treadmill – for christmas.
And I let him do it.
And I was angry and defiant. This man had known me since I was 20 years old. We had always had a connection. For years and years when I had a problem it was him I called and it was him who went behind his then wife’s back to fix things for me. It was him who told me he loved me. And it was me who told him I loved him back and it was me who wanted to be with him.
If only I knew then what I knew now.
I was never going to be good enough.
It wouldn’t have mattered if I became the tiny size 10 with big tits and a tiny ass, I was never, ever going to good enough. He told me that. On a daily basis. He told me that I was a fat, ugly cunt. On a daily basis. That he hated me. Yet when it came down to it and he wanted to get his rocks off, it was me he went to bed with. And then when that was done – he went back to hating me and ignoring me. And then there was his trick of constantly telling me he didn’t believe in love and that if we ever broke up he would never get married again because he didn’t believe in it.
I’m angry now. But not with him.
I had never been one of those women who needed a man. I had never been one of those women who wanted to be showed off like a trophy. I had always been confident in myself. I may not have liked the fact that I was overweight and wanted to do something about it. But I had never been needy.
So what did I do? Instead of trying harder or training harder or eating better. I sabotaged myself. Or really if you look at it – I sabotaged him and our relationship. When he was gone I ate what I wanted. I ate what he told me I wasn’t allowed to have and I ate lots of it. Realistically if I had of followed the diet (and I hate that word) that he gave me I would have lost the majority of my weight in 18 months. But I didn’t and now almost five years down the track I’ve regained the weight and then some and now I have to start all over again.
I ate chips and chocolate and ice cream and I silently said a big FUCK YOU to him and I snickered and thought “Ha you can’t beat me, what you don’t know won’t hurt you asshole”. Ohhh but he knew, because the scales didn’t lie. And every week at the same time – he made me get on the scales – and oh boy did I hear about it. But it didn’t matter because I would promise him that I’d do better and then when his back was turned I did the same as usual and ate whatever the fuck I wanted.
I guess it doesn’t matter now.
Because we’re not together anymore.
Eventually I got sick of being sad, of being angry, of feeling worthless and of being used and I told him I didn’t want to be with him anymore. I didn’t hate him and I didn’t want to lose him out of my life. I just didn’t want to be tied to him and to have to be abused mentally on a daily basis.
Part of me is angry at him. Because not long after we split up, he put a profile on a dating site and met a woman. He started dating her and at the same time he was dating her, he was sleeping with me. And boy, didn’t the pathetic needy part of me just love that? I was so pathetically needy that one night, while he was in my bed having sex – with me – she called.
And that was when I decided enough was enough.
The very moment the phone rang – he forgot about me. He got up, answered the phone, soothed her pathetic insecurities and then came back to bed and continued to have sex with me. And I let him. Yay go LJ. Smart move that was.
I can’t even continue to go thru the lies he told me. The worst one was when he told me that he loved her and that he had asked her to marry him and she’d said yes. Wait! Rewind a few paragraphs. This was the man who didn’t believe in love and was never going to get married again.
I was an idiot.
And even now I feel like an idiot because I knew deep down inside that after knowing him for so long that as soon as the next best thing came along – he’d make a run for it and he did.
He left Montana and I like we meant nothing.
And the weak, needy, pathetic part of me let it happen and pretended I was happy because I wanted Montana to still have her father in her life – right?
At least that’s what I told myself.
I wanted him still in my life – because part of me thought that if I really did it this time. If I really lost the weight and became a size 10 with great tits he’d love me. But I knew deep down he wouldn’t. He kept me around because I was and still am the keeper of his secrets. Always have been and always would be. I was deluding myself.
Am I angry at him still? Part of me is. Part of me doesn’t care. And I know that more than likely most of you will be thinking what the fuck is she talking about? I’m angry at myself for coming across as a needy pathetic cow.
I try so very hard these days to live a truthful life. I don’t need to be on Facebook and post fake pictures of myself. Because if people can’t be my friend because I’m overweight then that is THEIR problem – not mine. I might not like the outer shell that I see in the mirror but I know the person inside is a good person. She has her faults as does everyone – but basically I’m a good person. I’m an awesome mum, I try to be an awesome friend and I just try and be as real as I can. I learnt the hard way that fake pictures on Facebook and telling everybody how awesome your life is when its really shit gets you nowhere – except stressed and miserable and I’ve spent enough time stressed and miserable.
I know a lot of you can’t for the life of you understand why I forgave Michael for the things he said and did to me over the years. Here is where my confession comes in. Something I have never told anyone. Except for the amazing Emazon.
I lied to Michael.
We’d lost contact for a few years and when we came into contact again I lived in Western Australia and Michael was in Victoria. All the feelings we’d built up over the years came to a head and I told him I loved him. It wasn’t a lie. I had always loved him. He told me that he loved me. That he had always known that we would be together, but that he had always wondered why it took me so long to take the chance on us being together.
We made plans. For Montana and I to move from WA to Melbourne to be together as a family. We spent countless hours on the phone and on Skype. We spoke to each other hour upon hour upon hour and we became closer and closer and at that stage I truly believed and I still do to this day believe that Michael loved me.
At the risk of sounding like a bitch – Michael is very looks orientated. He looks good and he wants a barbie doll on his arm that looks just as good. And that wasn’t me. But I didn’t tell him. I let him love me more and more and we continued to make plans for our future. And I worked my ass off with my personal trainer in the hope that I could lose enough weight before it was time for me to leave for Melbourne that Michael would love the woman he thought I was.
It didn’t happen.
Things went awry and the date for me to move to Melbourne to live with Michael came around six months before we had planned. And I panicked. I was nowhere near ready weight wise for Michael to want me. When I left Western Australia I was 115 kilos.
I don’t know what I was thinking.
I was hoping that the love that had grown between us was going to be enough for him to overlook that I was nowhere near the woman that he wanted. It didn’t work that way. I was deluding myself.
He hated me from the moment I stepped off that plane. And that was when our relationship ended. And it was my fault. Before you all start firing poison darts in his direction I will give him some credit. He tried. He tried hard in the beginning to make our relationship work. He gave me a chance to lose the weight. He put all his years of knowledge into me and I still failed. I thought that the love that had grown between us was enough. But I was wrong. It was enough for me. But not for him.
In the end – we hated each other.
It was obvious to our friends who were uncomfortable around us.
It was obvious to the friends who owned the gym where we trained.
It was just obvious to everyone.
Yet I kept trying.
After we had split – things changed between us. Our relationship changed. We actually did things together. We liked each other. We loved each other in a way that made us best friends and allowed our daughter to have a father and a mother who didn’t want to kill each other.
All through this time (where we had split but were still sharing a house) the amazing Emazon, who most of you hear me talk about or who read about on Facebook was in my life. I had been having private 1:1 sessions with her and I can’t even begin to put into words what my sessions with her had opened up in me. But still, there was a part of me that was holding back.
Until I attended her two day workshop. Stand Your Ground 1 & 2.
For me to explain what those sessions did for me would take me forever.
All I know is that it opened up a part of me that I thought was closed forever.
Emma is a very amazing but confronting woman – she allows no bullshit. No blue noise. Just red women with red wings wide open. And most of you will know what I mean about that from my Facebook posts. The more I worked with Emma, the more I realised that I wasn’t in love with Michael. I was in love with the idea of him needing me. And boy was that tying me down.
She gave me the tools I needed to fight the blue noise and to confront the bullshit snow job that Michael was STILL doing on me – even though he was engaged to someone else and so was I.
The conversation went like this:
Michael and LJ in the car on the way to the gym
LJ: I need ten minutes at the end of training to do my meditation. It works for me and I enjoy it.
Michael: (snorts) yeah okay, you believe in your heebie jeebie, mumbo jumbo shit.
LJ: Why, you don’t believe in it? You’ve done martial arts you should know what I mean.
Michael: (mutter mutter mutter under breath) Its bullshit.
LJ: Really? If it’s such bullshit then why is it bothering you so much.
That was the day I started to see the real Michael. I started to realise that I didn’t need him. That even without him, I would be fine and so would Montana. We were strong, independent red women and we didn’t need anyone but ourselves. And if he couldn’t respect my boundaries then he could just – fuck off.
When my father died, she was invaluable to me and there is nothing I can say or do to thank this woman enough for what she taught me that day. Most of you know I learnt of my fathers death on Facebook. There was nobody there for me except Emma. She made time for me in her crazy schedule to help me through this.
By the time I met with her, my father had died, my family had buried him, had a wake for him and left me out of the whole shebang. I was angry and hurt and a mix of so many emotions I didn’t know where to begin. Even though my father had molested me for many years I still wanted to say goodbye. In the beginning I was determined to go to his funeral and I had security to come with me because I knew there would be a battle between my siblings and I. The day of his funeral I decided not to go. My parents had been married for over 50 years and even though my mother didn’t defend me against my father I knew in my heart of hearts that I had no right to ruin her chance to say a private goodbye to my father. So I stayed away. And texted her as much. I got no response and I never expected one. I felt a bit cowardly afterwards. Almost like I let them keep me away. Especially when I found out that myf family had organised police officers to stop me attending the funeral.
As per normal when I saw Emma, she had me answering my own questions. We talked about my dad, Michael, life in general and how she had been waiting for the longest time to see red wings in my eyes and how she didn’t want me to let them close.
And she made me see just what is the title of this blog post.
Freedom – I was freedom because I didn’t allow myself to get caught up in all that was going on around me.
Justice – Because I was taking action against my family wasting police resources by stopping me from attending the funeral of my father.
And most of all
Love – Because I showed my mother unconditional love by allowing her to say goodbye in peace.
The reason I even posted this tonight was because I was angry at myself for keeping so much hidden and secretive. Because I wasn’t being honest with myself or my friends about situations in my life and because I was so tired of leaving Michael (who today is one of my closest and most trusted friends) to take the blame for something that wasn’t all his fault.
While we’re on the subject of the truth. I keep getting questions from friends asking me when the wedding is going to be. It isn’t. Not for a long while. I am still dealing with other baggage from other parts of my life to start a new life with someone that is cluttered. We are still together. I still wear my ring but for now – I live at home with my beautiful daughter and he has his place and we spend a few nights together a week. For now? That is all I am able to truthfully give without feeling resentful or guilty.
I’ve always lived my life in public. Especially with my old blog. This time I am taking less chances and sharing only that which I feel comfortable with. I’m happy not being the centre of attention. I have made friends with people who were once enemies. I’ve forgiven those who have done wrong by me and I have forgiven myself for the wrong I have done them as well. I’m happy just being Lisa.
I have recently made up with a very dear friend who lives in the US. When I was going through my selfish, woe is me, I am the Queen of the world phase I gave her an ultimatum and it didn’t work and for the last few years we haven’t talked. The other day I took a chance and reached out to her. At first she politely replied that she was busy with life and had no time to devote to fixing our friendship. The selfish Lisa would have lost the plot. THIS Lisa understood and simply told her so and that I wished her well. Somewhere, somehow, someone is looking out for me because later that day I had a friend request from her and we are slowly starting to talk. So Deb, thank you for accepting my apology and I look forward to building a new friendship with you.
When I looked at the title of this blog I knew that I couldn’t leave it as it was until I had unburdened myself of the truth of the situation with Michael. To be freedom, justice and love I have to let it all go. And with this post I have.
That doesn’t mean I am removing any guilt or wrong doing on his part. It just means I am explaining what he was up against and WHY we didn’t work.
I have an amazing father for my little girl. A best friend who now understands and accepts my beliefs regarding the Emazon World and I am surrounded by awesome friends who I may not speak to every day, who I might piss off every now and again but who still love me and I am looking in the mirror and realising that when the day comes that I am ready to make the changes I need to then I will know.
And I’m pretty sure its going to happen soon.
As it says: I am Freedom, Justice and Love.
And I’m very lucky.
It’s been just over twelve months since you left us. I knew there was a reason I stopped at the cemetery on the way home from Bendigo to see nan. I wonder what your mum would think if she knew the disgusting mess our family is in?
People not talking to others. Some talking to others but then continuing the conversation behind another’s back and some just being straight out liars and doing nothing but pretending that they were innocent in all of this.
She was a beautiful soul and all she wanted was for her family to stick together and despite the promises you all made to her, I guess it was just easier to lie. Am I right? I’m pretty sure I am.
I wish I had of been able to speak to you before you made your escape – scott free.
I wish I had of had the opportunity to ask you why you molested me as a child and why you let TWO of your brothers do it as well. What did I do dad? What did I do to you that you allowed it to happen and you didn’t defend me?
All my life people told me that I was daddy’s girl. That I was number one in your eyes and that none of your other children would ever mean as much to you as I did. Right now that makes me scoff. Because truly, I don’t believe it. A daddy who loved his child as much as you were supposed to love me? He wouldn’t have hurt me like you did. Number one in your eyes? You would have protected me from your brothers. You KNEW what they had done and how they had done the same thing to your nieces and you STILL left them alone with me. A child. An innocent child who you promised to love and protect.
But you didn’t.
Not unless I was prepared to stand up in front of our entire family and tell them all that I made it up. That’s unconditional love right there eh? Not!
I would rather walk through fire than let anyone hurt my little girls. Any of them. I’d fight to the death to make sure they were all okay and protected. Even if it meant that they were the only family I had left. I’d rather that then know in the back of my mind that they were being hurt and that I allowed it so that I could be accepted in that fucked up thing we called a family.
Yet I still miss you. I miss your stupid crooked grin and your dumb jokes. I miss the way we could talk and most of all I miss knowing that despite the fact that we were not talking I still had a daddy on this earth and that I could see him. Even though he told me he hated me and wanted nothing to do with me.
I never got to say goodbye to you. It might have been an angry goodbye, but it still would have given me some kind of peace and closure. Some way to move on without this gaping wound that I carry in my chest.
It could have been a sad goodbye. Because I had finally worked out a way to forgive what you had done to me. I might never have forgotten but I could have forgiven. And I know deep down inside that my heart is big enough to do that.
You weren’t perfect – but who is.
You weren’t the best father in the world – but who can be.
You had your faults but I know that deep inside you were capable of love.
I know that when you died I said that I was glad and that I was happy that you died in pain and agony – but that’s not true.
I hope, that despite it all, when you left us, you did so quietly and peacefully.
I said I’d never tell you I forgave you and that I loved you – but that’s changed.
It’s been a year daddy and I forgive you.
I love you and I miss you.
And I wish I had of had the chance to say goodbye.
So this is it dad.
This is the last time that I will write to you or about you. I can’t let you take up anymore of my precious emotions that I have so many people to share them with.
I hope that you’ve finally found your peace.
Because I’ve found mine.
Will you marry me? She agreed with all her heart - but couldn't understand why at the very moment she said yes - Noah's face came to mind...
That was what came to my mind this morning as I was packing to come back to Melbourne. Because if I tell the truth, it was what happened to me. My heart agreed to marry someone else, but all I could see in my mind was your face. Because it was supposed to be you. You and me.
Not Michael and I. Not David and I. Not me and anyone else that I had been a relationship with. But you and me and you weren’t there.
I scared myself this morning. I was filled with a fear I haven’t felt in a long time. As we were driving out of town, we went past what was left of our former place. And I looked away. Because I couldn’t for the life of me allow myself to cry in front of this person and give them a chance to ask what was wrong. Because I wouldn’t have been able to explain.
Why was I feeling that fear. Because as the title says for a moment I thought I forgot to remember. Your face pops into my memories at various times during my days. But this morning as we drove away I closed my eyes and I couldn’t see your face. And there was nothing but pure panic. And then I heard you. “don’t panic angel girl I’m still with you” and I started to breathe again. But then came the anger. Pure anger and I wished I could see you so that I could tell you everything I had been through the entire weekend.
But where are you? I don’t know do I? Or do I?
I have your address and I have had for the last five years. Why do you think I moved to this suburb? Because I know that your house or at least what used to be your house is a mere fifteen minutes drive from my house. I know this because I’ve been there many, many times. I don’t ever knock on the door. I just sit there in my car, just a short distance from your front door and I hold my breathe and hope and pray that you’ll open the door and walk out. At least then my curiosity would be satisfied and perhaps, just perhaps I could continue on with my life. With my wedding plans and my ability to live a life without you consuming all of my thoughts.
But what if your not there? What if your not here anymore. What if you’ve gone and I never got to say goodbye. I wouldn’t know where to go to say goodbye. If you are gone? Where is your body resting? Where would the place be that I could go and sit with you and talk to you. Because I know that you’d hear me.
You would. Wouldn’t you?
I remember, so clearly, that feeling in my stomach on the day you sent me to find out just what you had done. I was stunned. I don’t think there is anything in the world that could make me feel that kind of stomach churning shock, pain and heartbreak. All I knew is that I still felt the same about you and I still wanted the rest of my life to be with you. I was sitting in the State Library of Victoria and I must have turned a horrible shade of grey because I remember the librarian asking me did I need some water. I didn’t. I needed some air.
I left everything where it was and I don’t know how I managed to get outside. I know I told the librarian that I would be back. When I got outside I just started to breathe. I just breathed through the absolute shock and amazement at what I had read and I prepared myself to go back in there and read the rest like I promised you I would do.
Newspaper after newspaper. From Queensland where the incident happened. To Victoria where your trial took place. The first thing that hit me was the headline “Jury Handed Gloves In Trial To Examine Murder Weapon “. I truly thought as I read that it would change the way I felt about you but it didn’t. And thats when I knew that what I felt for you was real.
I hugged you when I visited you that weekend and you looked at me with those stunning blue eyes and you asked me why I was there. I couldn’t give you any answer other than that things had not changed. Nobody knew. Not in my world. Just you and me. And I didn’t care. I knew that my feelings for you had made me into a less judgemental person.
I wanted to hear your side of the story. Why you had taken someone’s life. I know what the prosecution had said and what the newspapers had reported but I needed to hear the truth from you. My John.
We sat at that table and watched my little girl sleep in her pram while I held your hands and we talked. It felt like our own little family because god knows you adored her as much as I did. It was almost like she was your own. It was quite cute to see the big burly prison guard’s pushing around this little baby in a pram. Those were the days of minimum security prisons in the country.
There was so much information to process and we talked for hours. You told me your story, most of which was what was reported by the newspapers. And then we got to the elephant in the room. WHY the jury was given gloves to wear to examine the weapon that you gave to the police when they arrested you.
It’s still a little bewildering to me that my gentle invisible baker could be capable of such violence. But I knew in my heart that it would never happen again. Your life had been changed forever and not only by spending so many years in jail but the sentence that you would suffer for the rest of your life by constantly waiting to see how much of your life outside you would see.
You had stabbed someone. Not once. But many times. You had stabbed him so hard that the boning knife had pierced
right through him that it was poking out the other side. You were covered in his blood when you handed yourself into the police and told them what you had done.
You’d been at the beach. A normal every day thing for you and you’d met some people who were having a party and you were hanging with them. The party went back to a house, I can’t remember who and truthfully its irrelevant. After lots of drinking and partying you’d decided to stay there and sleep and a guy had hit on you. More than once. You’d told him you were not interested at all. When you slept, he made his move. You woke up and something inside you snapped. The first thing you grabbed was that damn knife and you stabbed him to death.
He had HIV.
You were covered in his blood.
And now the life that you had taken was forever linked with yours because you didn’t know if you’d contracted it.
I think you were stunned when I told you that it didn’t matter to me. That I loved you just the same and time after time when they took you to the hospital to be tested I met you there and I always managed to get a few minutes with you and each and every time your results came back as negative.
But now I don’t know if they are still negative and you are alive and well and living in the next suburb.
Now I don’t know if they came back positive and you are alive and sick.
I don’t know if you are healthy and married.
Or if you are back in jail.
Or if you are – dead.
I know nothing except what we went thru together for all of those years.
I know nothing but what your letters say and your picture shows and what my red box of memories contains.
Your sister was the one who told me your address. I found her on Facebook. But when I look for her now I can’t find her. If I could then at least I would know something.
But for now – all I can do and will continue to do is sit down the road from your house and pray to whatever God there is that you will walk out the door. Or I can get out of my car, walk to the door, knock on it and hope that you answer.
The question remains – what would you say to me if you did answer the door?
Would you say the same eight words that you said in your letter?
Would you even know it was me?
Would you even care?
Of course I would.
I’m so glad that today I didn’t forget to remember.
I just hope you still do.
I wish you were here.
I keep thinking the things I never told you… I keep thinking the things I didn’t say….
Wonder if I’ll see you tomorrow?…. I’ll wonder if I’ll forget today?….
No. No is the answer to the last two questions.
That door. In the picture is what kept you from me for all of those years. And in a way it still keeps you from me now. Even though all that resides there are memories and ghosts. Ghosts of years past. Ghosts of letters past. Ghosts of visits come and gone. Ghosts of promises made but not kept. Ghosts of – you.
I drive around here and every corner I turn down I am assaulted by memories. Of you. Of me. Of us. They come out of nowhere and I find it hard to drive when my eyes are full of tears. And you put them there. With eight tiny words YOU sentenced ME to a life sentence and now, all these years later I may as well be prison because my heart feels like its there. And it has every day since you said those words to me. I’m supposed to be getting married. My plans are at a standstill. My relationship with Michael? Destroyed and in pieces and even though your not physically here you may as well have been. My relationship with David? At a complete and utter standstill. And I don’t see it changing anytime soon.
I could make the decision to lock you in the deepest recesses of my mind but I know that you’ll make your way back to the forefront. You always do. The day he put that ring on my finger, all I could think of were the words you said to me and everything that we went thru day after day, week after week, year after year.
At 3.30am this morning while I was driving back to my hotel after a night out, I found myself back at the gates of the prison and I sat there. And I cried because I knew that slowly slowly as they tear that place down I won’t have our memories anymore except in my head. And its not enough. I want more. I need more. Because I don’t even know if your alive anymore. I have no way of finding out. When you left. You did it well.
The other place that we had. Also gone. Closed and destroyed. Yet another prison. Yet another set of memories. All the times we laughed about the tree wrapped in a doona jumping the fence. You – the invisible baker and your run of the prison. Memories of my complete and utter bewilderment when you called me and told me you were taking a job in the prison bakery. Memories of you laughing at me when you told me that it meant you could call me at anytime of the night because you had access to the phones working in there. So you became my invisible baker.
I’m sitting here typing this and I can hear your voice in my head. I can hear you telling me about your crazy plan to be moved closer to me. You created a drama to have yourself moved to a maximum security prison to be closer to me. To save me eight hours of driving after they took you from Bendigo to Yarram. I remember being at the prison in Bendigo the day they moved you. I remember you smiling. I remember your hug and your kiss. And I remember you looking at me, looking straight into my eyes with your blue ones and telling me “smile pretty girl, I’m doing this for us”. Then you let go of me and they took you away.
Now its just me and my red box of memories. Eight hundred and seventy two letters. Are all I have left. And a photo. That’s faded and old. And the memory of your smile in my mind. But what wipes that way a little more each day is when I read those eight words in the 872nd letter. The very last one you wrote to me. Eight tiny words that replay in my head over and over and over. And it never gets any easier to read. I’ve tried. I’ve read it constantly and told myself that you did it for me. But you didn’t. You did it for you because you couldn’t handle what you knew was coming. And I’m sorry that my love for you wasn’t enough. I wonder if maybe something I said or did made you think it wasn’t enough.
Do you remember the first time we met? I do. Its burned into my memory. I remember it was totally by chance. My bloody insane need to help people. All those years at Uni so that one day I could work with people like you. A chance visit to Bendigo prison to interview two people. Someone that had spent their entire life in prison and then someone who had made a horrible mistake and had a chance at rehabilitation. You being the later.
I never knew that day just what it was you were in prison for. Part of the interview process was that I wasn’t allowed to ask you what you had been sentenced for. It was that instant bond that we formed that day that finally allowed you to open up to me in your letters and tell me what you were there for.
I remember talking to you on the phone after I had read your letter and telling you that it didn’t matter. You very quietly said it did. And you asked me to do something for you. You asked me to research the newspapers, to go to the courts and get the details of why you did what you did. So I granted your wish. I spent hours pouring over newspaper reports from five years before I met you and although I was shocked – it never changed how I felt for you and I told you that. On the phone, in a letter and in a prison garden where I visited you. You’d taken someone’s life to protect your own.
You’d taken someone’s life to protect your own. I can’t understand how you felt but I knew you took someone else’s life to save your own.
We talked forever and ever about it and then you dropped the bombshell.
Although you still had ten years left to go in prison, what you had done had left you with a life sentence.
And me too.