Friday, March 9, 2012

Chapter 11: Her Side of the Story Part 2

Greg flew to Chile in the beginning of February that year.  We had written back and forth every week without fail for the two months he was in the MTC, and when he left the country, he mailed me a huge box full of things he didn’t want to carry with him all of his mission.  He wrote me a letter saying that everything in the box was for me, that I should go through it and keep anything I wanted, and save everything else for when he got home.  At the very top of the box was his journal.

I should have thought twice before opening it, but I didn’t.  I had been a daily journal writer since I was fifteen, and Greg had read everything journal entry I’d ever written.  Plus, he had made it clear in his letter that the contents of the box were for me.  So, I pulled it out, sat down on my bedroom floor, and began to read.

It covered the six months before he left on his mission.  For me, those six months had been the best of our relationship.  We almost never fought.  We had more fun together than ever before.  We knew we were about to lose each other for awhile, and we worked hard to make every moment count.  I had spent every day of those six months falling more in love with him, and I had firmly believed that he had felt the same.

The first entry in his journal was written while he was at EFY.  It wasn’t about the great things he was learning or the way his testimony was growing.  It was about all the women he was meeting.  He listed them out individually and talked about how wonderful, spiritual, beautiful, incredible they were.  The first entry on the first page of my boyfriend’s journal was all about him checking out other women.

I should have stopped reading right there, but foolishly I thought, “He wouldn’t have sent this to me if it didn’t get better.  It has to get better.”

It didn’t.

It was an entire book full of all the things Greg hated about me, and all the things he loved about other girls.  He spent a lot of time talking about one girl in particular, someone named Darik that he met in Vernal.  He took the time to write down the flirty text messages they exchanged.  He talked a lot about how awesome she was and how much he loved spending time with her.  Just a few days before he left on his mission, he wrote several pages dedicated to listing all of my faults and flaws.  He said he wished we had never gotten together.  He said he was praying I’d find someone else while he was gone.  I don’t normally cry.  I didn’t cry any of the six-and-a-half times Greg and I had broken up before his mission.  I didn’t cry when he left.  But I sobbed all the way through his journal.

I stopped writing him after that, for obvious reasons.  I didn’t know what to say.  I didn’t write him off.  I just didn’t write him.  I couldn’t stop holding onto the hope that somehow his journal was a mistake.  I wanted so badly to be in the relationship I had thought that we were in for the last six months instead of the one he wrote about.  I made a thousand excuses for him inside my head.  He was stressed about leaving.  He was worried that I wouldn’t wait.  It was just anxiety talking.  But no matter how much I tried to rationalize it, the truth was the my boyfriend had been lying to me for months, and may not have loved me at all.  I might have been waiting for a man who didn’t even want me.

Almost two months later, my best girlfriend Marissa and I went to breakfast with an old friend from high school.  Let’s call her Amanda Horseradish.  Neither of us had seen her since the summer, even though we all went to college in the same city and only lived a few blocks from each other.  We met up at the restaurant, ordered, and started catching up on our lives.

First, Amanda asked Marissa about Reed, Greg’s twin brother.  That’s how Marissa and I had become friends in the first place.  When you date identical twins, you end up spending a lot of time together.  However, Marissa and Reed had broken up several months before Reed’s mission.  In Marissa’s version of that story, it had ended because Reed had started cheating on her with a girl from Vernal.

I couldn’t believe Amanda’s response to that story.  She looked shocked and said, “Oh my gosh! I can’t believe they both cheated on you with girls from Vernal.  I hope she doesn’t wait for him.  Is Greg still dating Darik, or did she dump him when he left?  It would serve them both right!”

At first, I thought, “No.  No way.  It isn’t true.”  But Greg had spent so much time talking about her in his journal.  And Amanda knew her name.  We hadn’t spoken in months, but she knew her name.  No matter how much I didn’t want to believe her, it had to be true.

He had cheated on me.  My skeazy, slimeball, jackass boyfriend had cheated on me.  And the whole time, he’d been telling me how much he loved me, how he couldn’t wait to come home and be with me forever.  He’d been begging me to wait for him.  He even wrote a letter to my father asking his permission to marry me when he got back.  And it had all been a lie.  Everything was a lie.  He cheated on me.  He cheated on me.  He cheated on me.

That time, I wrote him off.  I made it very clear that I never wanted to see or hear from him ever again.  Then I screamed my lungs out for awhile, threw everything breakable I had at the walls, and cried for about a month.

Then I stopped crying.  And stopped talking.  I stopped doing anything at all except going to class and getting excellent grades.  But if I wasn’t busy doing schoolwork, I didn’t do anything at all.  I guess I have Greg to thank for my perfect 4.0 college GPA.  I wasn’t interested in a social life.  I sure as hell wasn’t interested in dating.  I kept existing, but barely.

I didn’t really put my life back together until I moved to Anaheim in January 2009.  I got my personality back while I was there.  I made friends, the best friends I’ve ever had.  I loved my work.  I loved the city.  I started really living for the first time since Greg left.

I also started writing to Greg again.  I had been angry with him for so long, but I hadn’t stopped loving him.  The more we talked, the more apparent it became that I wasn’t over him, despite how awful things had been.  He insisted that despite what I heard, he had never cheated on me.  To this day, he insists that nothing ever happened between he and Darik.  And to an extent, I believe him.  I believe he didn’t kiss her.  I believe there wasn’t a physical betrayal.  But there was an emotional one, and in some ways, I think that’s worse.

We got back together after his mission. Despite everything, we still loved each other.  But it was never the same.  Not because of Darik—I never think about her if I can help it—but because of his journal.  I never knew if he was saying one thing to me and something else about me.  I don’t think I ever really trusted him again.  I tried to, and I really wanted to, but I never felt safe.  I never felt like our relationship was something secure that I could count on.  I never believed in his feelings for me.  I had done that before and had it ripped brutally away.  I couldn’t have taken that a second time.

We managed to have some great times together anyway, but it was hard.  He was in Denver.  I was in Roosevelt.  We were lucky if we saw each other once every two months.  Things were great when we were together, and absolutely awful when we weren’t.  Unfortunately, we spent most of our time apart, which means we spent most of our time fighting.  By the end of that first year, I think we hated each other at least as much as we loved each other.

We tried so hard to make it work.  We kept talking about the future, about how much better things would be when we were in the same place.  We dibs’d a wedding date in June.  We picked out engagement rings.  But it wasn’t enough.  Things had been too bad for way too long, and no matter how much I might have wanted to, no matter how much I killed myself trying to make things better, I couldn’t save it.

I broke up with him on December 26, 2010.  No one believes me when I say that, but it’s true.  I guess everyone knew that I was the one who was most invested in the relationship.  Everyone knew that if one of us left the other, it wouldn’t be me leaving him.  But it was.  He forced me into it.  He told me straight up that he had no idea if he wanted to be with me anymore.  He said he wanted to date.  He said he didn’t want to marry me.  But he wasn’t planning to do anything about it.  He made me do it instead.

The worst part of the whole thing was how much happier he was after we broke up.  His life got better.  He had more fun.  He dated a lot.  I tried not to talk to him, but I got to hear about all of his escapades anyway.  His life was better without me in it, and without him, I felt like my life was over.

It took a year and a half of being apart, and six months of total silence between us, before I finally stopped hating him.  We’ve made peace now, as much as you can after something like that.  And looking back, I wouldn’t change it even if I could.

I loved Greg more than anything else in the world, and losing him was devastating for me.  My life did not take the instant upswing that his did at the end of our relationship.  It took much more time.  But my life has gotten better.  I’ve grown up.  I’ve learned a lot about myself, and about my life.  I’m dating someone new, and he treats me like gold.  It’s a new experience for me, and I’m doing my best to appreciate it.

And Greg is gone.  He’s far away in North Dakota, and God only knows if our paths will ever cross again.  It’s entirely possible that they won’t.  I suppose it’s kind of a sad ending for a love story—the passion died, the lovers parted.  A huge piece of my heart will always belong to Greg.  As long as I live, I will love him.  I wish I could say that, despite all the heartbreak, our story would someday end in “happily ever after.”

But not all love stories have happy endings.                                                  LeeNichole White

Greg again: 

This isn't over. 
The Oilfield Romantic

Okay, it's been pretty intense up to this point. We might go for some light-hearted stories for a minute or two.  

Our options for the next story/post:

A Drunk Girl/Gay Bar
B Sh*t my dad says/Killing wild animals
C What we did for Reed's bachelor party
D Another video of me playing something on the guitar and singing

Just post which one you want on my wall on FB. 


  1. Very interesting read.

    Makes me think of the tried-and-true words from no one other than the Heartiste:

    "Talk to women about their most cherished loves. You’ll notice something. Scorned women harbor their deepest love for the men who gutted their hearts."

  2. I know I'm reading this 'behind' datelines .. but if I had an option on A,B,C,D ... I'd want B first, second choice C. ;-}

    Lee's story is a great study in what 'we' (humans in general, women more often so) 'accept' from others, especially our significant other - - - I do believe it's based on our own flawed self-image and so often feeling 'less-than'. (Even as she cites how she's dating someone who 'treats her like gold' ... she admits she's 'trying to appreciate it' ... :-/)

    There are plenty of times when once again ... I really wanted to pull you aside by your ear, boot you in the rear, and yell at you something like 'who ARE you??' And yet you are .. G2. Thanks for sharing. Love you.