In reflection over the fallout of this situation with Hopkins, what I wanted was for him to care. What I got was contempt. It's not apathy, but it still hurts.
One of the contributing factors (of a great many) is that I could never quite figure out how to change into something that appealed to Hopkins. I've reached the point in my life where I have accomplished a great deal. I am mostly secure in my identity. I do not need to change to satisfy some abitrary parameter set by someone else. I am me, take it...or leave it.
You know what? That's okay...and this is why: I am
difficult to know. I have been insulted, abused, defamed, and generally
treated like crap by a lot of people. I insulate myself in a shell into
which almost no one is allowed. It is a monumental risk to feel, much
less show emotion, and open myself to potential ridicule. I got burned. Moving on.
I read a quotation yesterday that summed it up for me very nicely: "I don't miss him. I miss who I thought he was." I've missed Hopkins, as he was when we were in high school, for two-thirds of my life. The sweet, shy kid I knew evaporated somewhere in the intervening years, and that's the greatest tragedy- or he's trying awfully hard to convince me of it in the most negative ways possible.
I carry that version of him, the one who broke my heart at seventeen, with me always. Maybe he thinks I'm unworthy of him, but who is he to judge? Not wanting something or someone doesn't determine their negative worth, it only defines one in their terms. I don't have to accept those terms- ever- I just have to accept myself.