Yesterday was my birthday. My 33rd birthday.
While I spent most of the day alone in a hermit-like state, I did get up and manage to make it to my mother’s house where she had cooked my favorite meal and she also had a couple of presents for me. She was wonderful yesterday and while I am sure it about killed her to not celebrate my day in a more special way or all day by going and doing something fun, she truly respected my need for space. And she understood that this need comes from deep within and is nothing against her or something she should take personally. Her unconditional love, her support and encouragement have meant so much to me my entire life, but especially over this last year. She is absolutely the best friend I have and she is absolutely the only person on this earth that I totally and completely trust, that I totally allow myself to depend upon, and that I know will always be the one person in my life who will listen to me when I need someone to listen, who will cry with me when I need someone to cry with, who will laugh with me when I need someone to laugh with, who will hug me when I need someone to hug me, who will let me have silence when I need to have silence. She is the most precious earthly gift God has ever given to me.
Unfortunately life, many times, does not go your way… not even on your birthday and so with that said, the other birthday present I received was a notification from the wedding photographer that I still owe her the balance of our account because we cancelled… something called liquidated damages. I had given her the sob story of how The Ex had broken my heart and ended everything. I had already paid her almost a third of the total package and yet, here she was, on my birthday, demanding that I settle the account… what nerve! So obviously this feels like a double, or maybe even a triple, whammy. First off, she’s just heartless, cold as ice. Demanding that I pay off the adjusted balance AND in two weeks or the amount would double when the fact is, I didn’t cancel the wedding… The Ex did. Plus she’d made a lot of money for nothing just in the non-refundable deposit and the one engagement photo session I had paid for already. RIDICULOUS!! I was angry, furious. Well then, this all revived my anger with The Ex. That his irresponsible, immature, cowardly personality couldn’t handle a relationship and he had single-handedly put me in this predicament. What was wrong with him. I was angry and furious all over again. The third whammy hit as the softer emotions started to flood back in… I was supposed to be a married woman now, I wasn’t supposed to have another single-girl birthday, I wasn’t supposed to be left crushed to pieces barely recognizable to myself.
So the bill, which is something I thought was paid for and finalized, apparently is not. Admittedly, I’m still in a pretty deep depression over this whole mess that has transpired throughout the last year of my life. The emotions are still very raw and are set off by the least little thing. I still feel like I’m riding the roller coaster of ups and downs and side to sides, getting really jostled and beat up along the way. The hits just seem to keep on coming. Even in the aftermath…
I know I haven’t completely finished telling the story here, but I occasionally must take breaks to jump back to present day. And today, I’m very involved with present day. So the facts are that the liquidated damages the wedding photographer wants to collect, despite having been paid for a good third of the entire original balance, despite having done practically no work, despite having been told the wedding was being postponed nearly 6 months before the planned wedding date was to occur which would have probably been more than enough to re-book the date if she wanted to, is a lot of money. And if not paid in two weeks, will double.
Again, I must admit, that upon hearing the news yesterday I was angry and furious which culminated to a point where I just sat down and cried. I cried in hurt, cried in frustration, cried in anger… I just cried. I thought to myself, how can my heart ever heal when it is constantly broken time and time again with painful reminders that this whole thing didn’t happen? The crying wasn’t solely about the fact that it appears I owe more money, though the thought of that does make me so sick to my stomach I feel I could puke… no, I think mostly it’s just another thing reminding me that The Ex is worthless and my dreams went up in smoke. It didn’t work out as I had planned and the dream is dead. The plans I made are defunct. It just reminds me that I totally got the raw end of this deal. Not only did I get dumped in the end and left to sort through the emotional turmoil that in and of itself causes, but I also had to cover all the financial obligations, cleanup the wreckage of our unfinished relationship and try to find the reasoning of what went wrong and what happened which I just can’t seem to understand… and in the meantime… he got off scott-free…
In this relationship, I truly was giving my all, more than I ever had in any other relationship I’d ever been in. I was giving everything I had to try to make the relationship work. Any mistakes I made were merely because I’m human and I was tired, hurt and frustrated. Everyone makes mistakes, so while I guilt myself sometimes recalling moments where I feel I could have said or done something differently, I do, at the core, know that I can’t be perfect 100% of the time (nor should anyone expect me to be) and that if I had been with the right person, he would have been accepting and forgiving in those times I wasn’t at my best… and he wasn’t either of those. Instead he acted like a child, taking no responsibility for anything and leaving me to hold myself up, hold him up, make all decisions, make all plans, finance everything and so then it was all my fault when it didn’t work out, when everything came crashing down. Because how can an intermediary link in a chain be ultimately responsible for anything? How can a snowflake be responsible for an avalanche (paraphrased from Voltaire)? When someone renders themselves useless, often it is those very irresponsible people that also believe they are blameless… “When you blame others, you give up your power to change.” – Unknown
Well, when he ended things several months ago, he again, true to form, took no responsibility and left me holding all the blame. He left me with all the wedding bills, with no explanations, he acted the part of the snowflake. He took no blame, no responsibility… he had no realizations about what a real relationship requires. He just disappeared and I didn’t hear from him again. And you know, quite frankly, I was ready to start trying to move on so I took care of everything and did not hold him responsible for anything (something I now regret). But this final bill, this final jab into my already so damaged, fragile heart… this just pushed me over the edge.
As I researched and studied my situation, I recalled that The Ex had also signed that contract. This was the one and only contract from all the vendors that required the groom’s signature as well. If the relationship had worked and the wedding had occurred, my mother and I were happy to finance the majority of the event, however, now in this moment I am no longer feeling as charitable. Especially after the tortuous months leading up to the final slap in the face he dealt. Offering nothing and disappearing. So I’m going to try to hold him accountable for this final amount. I’ve sent him an email and a text that have received no response. I’m researching lawyers and the small claims court system. While the amount required to settle this account is a drop in the bucket compared to the overall total of money lost, I still think it’s principle over amount at this point. He left me with nothing, not a word, not a conversation, nothing… I gave him his ring back (which was the one and only investment he made in the relationship) and I was left to clean up the mess… just like every other heartbreaking moment of our relationship. It’s time he man up and pay up. I am hopeful that his signature on that contract will be binding and hold him responsible for something. As I continue to build my case I am continuing to wait for his response. I seriously doubt he will and I feel this might get a little ugly before it gets better. He was a coward then and I’m sure he still is, so we’ll see.
As for birthdays, this ranks as one of my worst… but I’m alive and breathing, I can take care of myself, I can get up and go to work everyday, I have a wonderful mother and lots of furry friends to keep me company so life could be worse… it could definitely be worse.