I'm not sure where you are now or if you are even reading this. But my group therapist said this might be a way of starting to deal with the guilt. I think she actually thought of a letter I would never send, as I don't know where you are at, but I'm a digital sort of girl. Why handwrite something when I can type it, post it in LJ, and have the entire world read my crazy?
First off, there are not enough "I'm sorrys" in the world to tell you. I can't begin apologizing enough for the wrong I did you. Yes, sleeping with your husband was wrong. I never meant to hurt you by it, but of course that never does make it right, does it? How could I justify doing it and still have been your friend? Well...I think it is the sort of justification one can only make when they are twenty-two, which of course is a horrible one but one nonetheless.
So lets move on to second of all, how it happened. That might put some of this in perspective. It's silly how innocuous it all began, and yet looking back over a decade I see how deep the fractures were. I can't say for sure what it was on Patric's end. Patric, like always, has his own reasons and I don't presume on them. For me they were several. The most obvious reason, I was a broken person at the time, no matter how much I tried to fake it. I had no family, having lost that in a divorce thanks to a mother who didn't want me. I had no friends because I moved away from them to escape the family. And the one person I loved was treating me like shit and made me feel that way too. At the end of the day all I wanted was for someone for once in my goddamn life to want me. And Patric did. He wanted to make me smile, to make me laugh, to hang out with me, just to talk. And he found me attractive, which at that time meant the world to me, especially considering the shithead Jason was being. Patric gave me those things I wanted and needed. And I was foolish enough to believe that at the time I could take them without hurting anyone in the process.
Then there was the fact that whether I liked to admit it or not, I was horrible angry and jealous of you. That wasn't as huge of a reason as that sounds, really, more of a way I could justify why I did it. I was angry with you about Jason. I know you flirted with him, tried to make Patric jealous using him, and he ate it up. For you it was perhaps a character situation gone too far, but for me, watching it happen, seeing this person I had been madly in love with throw himself at you, a married woman, (before anything happened between Patric and I), and ignore me really sealed the deal in terms of Jason in my life right then. I hated him for it, and I suppose I was angry at you as well. After all, you had Patric, you could have any of those boys. You were smart, intellegent, witty, snap a finger and they would come running. And you had to take that one, the one who meant so much to me. Who was I, just some hick from Missouri. At the end of the day perhaps that was part of how I justified Patric. It isn't fair or right, and it's horribly petty, but to be honest I don't think I really realized it till many years later that I had been doing that.
In any case, it all started out mildly enough. Ironically it was Jason of all people who suggested I get drunk that night, mostly because I think we were bored and he'd heard stories of my misspent youth in Milan. If I hadn't, how things would have been different. I would have had the resolve to say no. But with the barriers down, I gave in to what I had been feeling for weeks. And when I was sober, I think I figured, "In for a pinch, in for a pound." I could have said no at any point. But I didn't. I liked the feeling of being special to someone, of being desirable, and wanted, and needed, and in a way cared for. But I wasn't willing to steal Patric away. For what it was worth, and it sounds ass backwards now, but the rest of his marriage vows he was willing to stick to till the marriage ended, no matter how desperatly he was unhappy. And you know what, I had no desire to break up a marriage. I told myself I figured you and Patric could work things out yourself, whether it was kicking me to the curb or what have you. And I told myself that it was okay that way, I could try to be the best friend I could despite the fact I was sleeping with your husband. The truth was I didn't not care about you as a person or a friend. I just...was a fucking idiot was what I was.
I was twenty-two and thought I could do anything as long as I didn't hurt anyone.
Years went by while we managed the oh so careful dance. Sunday mornings he'd come to my house in Hasting's Ranch. The rest of the time he was all yours. And we thought ourselves very clever for it. Frankly, looking back, I'm not sure how you didn't suspect us going further back. I kept that secret like the grave, Patric was less circumspect. Lest you think that we were totally shameless in this, I admit to a fair amount of guilt even then. A part of me wanted desperately for the two of you to work this out, so I could back out gracefully and take away some sense of reconciliation that you two worked it all out in the end, despite me. I think I sort of hoped that would happen.
It didn't. And then Rebecca happened. And then the rest happened. And I've been beating myself up for years. Really I don't talk much about it, Patric I don't think really understands the guilt I carry. Doing something like that...it wasn't me, it wasn't how I was raised. I wasn't supposed to be that sort of girl. I had honestly hurt someone I cared for and respected, and for no better reason than I was a neurotic fucktard who had a broken heart.
I wish I could say I learned from that lesson. I did in a lot of ways, I don't see myself every having an affair with any other married man, the idea leaves me feeling sick inside. But I didn't let Patric go. For ten years we've been attached at the hip, and I've poured every ounce of love and affection I've ever had into him. You can guess the result cause you've been there too. Yeah...it's not fun, and I've put up with so much worse and different crap. Guess you were a ton smarter than I was. Or maybe I'm just that emotionally starved and desperate.
The truth is I wonder some days if he's capable of loving anyone really. Perhaps he is, just not in the way I love people. And I should accept that and move on.
Anyway, that's the end of it, really. I don't have much more to say that I'm sorry, I was a stupid kid, and that I wish I hadn't hurt you. I hear from time to time how you are and what you are doing, and it saddens me greatly when you are hurting, and it makes me smile when you are doing well. I hope you've moved on past the idiocy that was the lot of us. You are too strong to let a group of self-centered kids take you down. As for me, I deal with the Patric mess, (yep, he put me in therapy, a fact I'm sure you would not be surprised by). But outside of that I've grown, I've learned, and I hope I'm a better person because of it. I hope I don't ever make those same, callous mistakes again. And I hope it gives me some perspective and a measure of forgiveness for others and their sins, since I've been there, I know what it is like. I guess there was wisdom that came from it. I like to think that from this I became a better person rather than a worse one.
And I hope one day I can forgive myself for what I did. That remains to be seen.
Wherever you are at and whatever you are doing, be safe. And if you happen to be reading this, good. If not, well, at least I've done what my therapist wanted me to, and hopefully it accomplishes what I want.