|On the beautiful Lost Coast of northern California.|
|Camping somewhere in the Sierra Nevada mountains.|
In the spring of 2011, sometime after we had become friends on Facebook, Hili made it clear that she was interested in me...even though she was married and living with her husband. And by "making it clear she was interested", I mean that she invited me to meet her in Hawaii and live together. Not once, but twice.
The second time that she suggested we meet in Hawaii, I did move there. Except that she changed her mind after I'd had already moved there and was waiting for her to join me. But then we spent the next eight months still making plans to meet, even though she was still married and still living with her husband. She continued to make it clear that she had feelings for me, was interested in a relationship and planned to leave her husband. At one point she told me she thought she loved me, although we had yet to meet.
And then, all of a sudden, she informed me that she was recommitting to her husband, just a few days after we had last talked about our plans to try to meet somehow. With that I suggested that we should probably cease our communication. But she wanted to stay in touch. I later decided to unfriend her on Facebook. And she was the one who would send me another friend request a couple of weeks later, saying that she missed being in connection with me. And she still wanted to meet in person.
Finally we did meet in person and spent a couple of weeks together in California, during which time she told me she loved me and had fallen in love with me. She told me that she wished she had met me before her husband, but that she was in too deep and couldn't leave him.
After meeting in person, we continued our long-distance communication together, which continued to be more intimate than would normally be considered acceptable considering that she was married. At one point we engaged in an online conversation in which she told me she wished she could be with me, that she felt as if we were married in spirit, that she felt stuck in Europe living with her husband, that she wanted to travel with me sometime....and then out of the blue, for no apparent reason, she sent me a fully nude photo of herself.
As to be expected, this created a confusing situation, which she then dealt with by blocking me, asking me to never contact her again. Just a few days before we had supposedly been married in spirit, and suddenly I was completely discarded and blocked out, thanks to a difficult situation that she had created by blurring the lines and leading me on. And yet she dealt with the situation with zero sense of understanding of how she had created the situation in the first place. And she has dealt with things as if it had nothing to do with her ever since, treating me as if I'm a dangerous stalker for trying to contact her and find some sense of resolution, after she irresponsibly ripped my heart out and then discarded me so suddenly.
And there's so much more to the story than that, so much more. The extremes that Hili has gone to in treating me with the most intense heartlessness, saying the most hurtful and uncaring things to me, even to the extent of warning people to watch out for me, when I've never said anything that deserved that, when I've been in a kind-hearted space of simply desiring healing this whole time. I literally can't believe what she has done. I can't believe it. I am a deeply caring, sensitive, loving, gentle, conscious, considerate, respectful person who cared about her immensely, as a person and a friend. And I'm left feeling completely misunderstood and judged in the harshest way by someone I've only wanted to say goodbye to from a place of mutual love and kindness.
Hili, I ask you to consider how you might have felt, if everything that occurred between us had been exactly the same...except that it was all the other way around:
...Imagine if I had been the one who was married, and you were single.
...Imagine if we met online, and after some time I made it clear that I was interested in you.
...Imagine if, despite the fact that I was married, I invited you to meet me in Hawaii to possibly live together. Not once, but twice.
...Imagine if the second time, you agreed to move to Hawaii to finally meet me in person. And so you did move there, expecting me to leave my wife and arrive there soon thereafter to be with you.
...Imagine if, a couple weeks after you had arrived there and were waiting for me, I then sent you a message letting you know that I had changed my mind and was staying with my wife.
...But then, I made it clear that I wasn't really with her romantically anymore, and I was still interested in you, and I still wanted to meet you somehow another time.
...Imagine if we spent the next eight months (while I was still married and living with my wife) in close communication, sharing more and more of ourselves with each other, with a mutual agreement that we wanted to meet and explore the possibilities of a relationship together.
...Imagine if during that time I told you that I thought I loved you.
...Imagine if you rearranged your life plans in order to make our meeting finally happen.
...And then imagine if, completely unexpectedly, just a week or so after we had been making plans to be together, I told you that things had changed and I was now planning to commit to my marriage.
...Imagine if you were surprised and hurt and heartbroken over this, considering how close we had gotten, considering that we had been making plans, considering that you were making life decisions based around meeting me. And so you wrote me and suggested that maybe we should cease our communication, since our sharing had clearly gone beyond just being friends.
...But imagine if I said that I still wanted to be in touch with you, because I enjoyed our connection so much, and so you agreed to continue communicating with me.
...Then imagine if, after seeing me post photos of myself happily in the arms of my wife, it hurt you too much, and so you unfriended me on facebook.
...And then imagine if, a few weeks later, I sent you a friend request again, saying that it was making me crazy to not be connected with you.
...And so you accepted the request and we continued our close communication, and continued with our plans to finally meet in person.
...And imagine if this meeting finally occurred, and we had a lovely time together, and discovered that the friendship we had created online was also something tangible in the real world.
...Imagine if, during the time we were together, I told you that I wished I had met you before my wife.
...Imagine if I told you I loved you and had fallen in love with you, but that I had to return to my wife and commit to my marriage.
...And then imagine if, after spending time in person, we continued our close connection online, communicating on a daily basis.
...Imagine if you wrote me a letter expressing your true feelings for me, sharing your romantic longing for me.
...Imagine if I responded and told you how beautiful your words were.
...And imagine if, in the course of one of our regular communications, I told you that I felt as if we were married in spirit.
...Imagine if I told you that I wished I was with you, because I felt stuck where I was with my wife.
...Imagine if I suggested that maybe we could travel together sometime in the future.
...And then imagine if, in the course of this same in-depth intimate online exchange between us, for no apparent reason, I sent you a fully nude photo of myself (knowing full well your feelings for me, because you had clearly expressed them to me).
...Now imagine how your feelings would be activated by my doing something like this, how your longing to experience a loving relationship with me would be stirred, how your feelings would probably be swirling and you would be left wondering if I really wanted to leave my wife to be with you (as I had already suggested before).
...And then imagine if the next day, I sent you a message apologizing for sending the photo and saying that I had made a mistake in doing that, and pushing you away in the process, telling you we might never see each other again.
...Imagine how deeply heart broken you might have been after I did something like that: get your hopes up, awaken your longing for a partner and to be with me after more than a year of deep sharing together, tell you I want to spend more time with you and even travel together, play with your heart and your feelings by sending you a nude photo of myself for no reason that made any sense, other than my having feelings for you. And then the next thing, I write you and take back everything I'd said the day before and basically cut things off with you. How do you think this would have felt if it were you?
...Now imagine if, feeling overwhelmed with heartbreak over this sudden, unexpected twist of events, feeling as if I had been responsible for opening up this heart connection even deeper between us, only to all of a sudden push you away and cut you off, that you then sent me a letter in which you expressed more of those romantic feelings for me that you had expressed before, and also included nude photos of yourself.
...And then imagine if I called what you had done "manic" (even though I was the one who had sent you a nude photo first).
...Imagine if I told you I never thought I would see something like that on facebook (even though I was the one who sent you a nude photo on facebook!)
...Imagine if you apologized profusely for what you had done in a moment of intense heartbreak and sorrow over feeling as if you were suddenly losing someone you had really cared about.
...And then imagine if you tried to explain to me that maybe, just maybe, my sending you a nude photo of myself and saying all these things about us being married in spirit and wanting to be with you, when I was married, had perhaps played a role in creating a confusing situation.
...And then imagine that, in response to your suggestion, I blocked you with a cold, heartless message, including a sarcastic remark, and asked you not to contact me again.
...Imagine how you might have felt at this turn of events with someone you had spent over a year creating a heartfelt connection with (to the extent that I was the one who had referred to us as married in spirit). And now, all of a sudden, you were blocked without a chance to reply, with no sense of resolution, feeling misunderstood and confused, with your heart ripped out and the connection between us suddenly taken away in the most unexpected way, the door slammed completely closed.
...Imagine if you were left completely shattered and crushed over what had happened.
...And so, you tried to reach out, from the heart, in a gentle, respectful way, simply asking for the chance to leave things in a place of resolution with me after what had happened.
...But you were ignored, you were blocked out in every possible way.
...You were left more heartbroken than you'd ever been, feeling terribly judged and misunderstood, and not given the chance to straighten things out in any way with someone you only cared about.
...Imagine if, when I finally wrote back, my words were cold and heartless and I only asked you to leave me alone.
...Imagine if you tried your best to accept the situation as it was, to not take it personally, to be at peace with knowing that you cared about this person and only wanted everything to be okay, but there were some things you couldn't change. But still, this situation weighed on your mind and heart regularly.
...Imagine if you then heard from friends that I was saying terrible things about you. That you weren't who you appeared to be. That you were even dangerous and a predator, because of your attempts to communicate with me after I blocked you out. Try to imagine the inner anguish you might have felt over hearing these things coming from someone you loved, talking about you to your own friends, warning them to watch out for you. And you were somehow supposed to just accept it and move on, with someone you loved speaking about you like this.
...And as if all of this wasn't painful enough, imagine if I kept in touch with your best friend, while I was speaking of you so horribly, and you knew that your friend who I had introduced you to now had a connection with you and I was communicating with them, while you were totally shut out. How do you think that might have felt?
...Imagine if in some of my other replies to you, trying to get you to go away and leave me alone, I said terribly insensitive things to you: such as I'd never really cared that much about you (even though I was the one who called us married in spirit). I told you that our whole relationship had been wrong (and with no apology or acknowledgment of my role in creating it, even though I was the one who was married and looking for another relationship). I suggested that you had somehow disrespected my wife (even though I was the one who was cheating on her). I called you irresponsible and obsessive for trying to get in touch with me (even though I was the one who spent a year pursuing a relationship with you, while I was married). I told you to do yoga and "change your neurons", because this had nothing to do with me. This was your problem. You were the one who made a mistake, not me. I was being clear with you all along about us only being friends. I used to think you were a decent person (but not now).
...How do you think that you would feel?
All of this is true, exactly as it happened...except that it's all the other way around.
You said that I'm the one who made a mistake. (Which I deeply and sincerely regret.) But you made mistakes too.
You made a mistake when you went looking for another relationship while you were still married.
You made a mistake when you told me you in India that you were returning to your husband, and showed so little understanding of the expectations that would have been created between us in the past eight months of making plans to meet up and explore a relationship together. That was the first time (of so many times) that you broke my heart.
You made a mistake when you didn't recognize that it would have been best for us to go our own ways at that point, after creating a very intimate connection.
You made a mistake when you told me, in person, that you wished you had met me before your husband (in the car when we were leaving the Lost Coast).
You made a mistake when you sent me an unsolicited nude photo of yourself, when you were married and already knew full well that I had feelings for you.
You made a mistake when you treated this whole situation of cheating on your husband and breaking another person's heart as if it had nothing to do with your words and actions, but was only my problem that I had to deal with.
I've been through five years of the worst emotional and psychological pain of my life over this. It comes and goes, but at times I feel just as bad as the day you blocked me. I just hate leaving things like this, knowing that you view me as this terrible person, when I am love, I am a sensitive soul, I am gentle, completely harmless and a very conscious, kind-hearted, well-intentioned person who only wants healing for both of us.
All that I've wanted this whole time was resolution. Peace. Understanding. Forgiveness. Healing, so that I could move on and feel better about what happened. I've never written you asking to be with you or anything in that realm. I've also never written you an unkind, harassing or threatening word. That is not who I am, that is not where I'm at around this. All that I've wanted was for everyone and everything to be okay. At the very worst, my letters have been heavy, and difficult to read because of what I was going through.
But I was sincerely trying to communicate to you how painful it was for you to be saying the things you were saying about me and doing the things you were doing, when I was already dealing with a severely broken heart. My attempts at communication with you were simply trying to point at that you played a role in all this (which it seems you've never been able to see), and that the way you were dealing with it was causing me a heck of a lot of pain.
When I wrote on your facebook page, which you then took down, all that I did was try to explain some of the things you did, mentioned above, that I've been incredibly hurt by. I even wrote that comment on your page on a post that no one had liked or commented on, so that no one else would be likely to see it.
I don't want to cause you distress with all this. But you've caused my incredible distress by how horrible you've been. I haven't been calling you names or threatening you or saying crazy, out there, weird things. I've tried to communicate very clearly and responsibly, from the heart.
And yet you've treated me like a dangerous psycho, which has only left me feeling worse and worse and worse and more wanting to somehow fix this and not leave things in such a terrible place for the rest of our lives.
Hili, you were not being clear, okay? That was the whole problem that created this situation. You were the one who was married. You knew that I had feelings for you. And yet you were the one who crossed that line between us that day, by sending me an unsolicited nude photo of yourself.
How in the world can you say that you were being clear? How can you tell me that I'm the only one who made a mistake? How can you be so insensitive as to tell me "the only thing I can think of you now is sending me those photos"....when you are the one who sent me a nude photo first! I could say the exact same thing to you: the only thing I can think of you now, is sending me that unsolicited nude photo of yourself. How does that feel?
Now, imagine if the person saying that to you had been the one who sent you such a photo first?? It's absolutely mind-boggling how you've dealt with this with so little awareness of your responsibility here. What do you think is going to happen when you send nude photos to a guy that has already expressed romantic feelings for you? And why is what I did a violation, but not what you did? Most would probably agree that what you did was worse, because you did it first. When you were married. You made a mistake of your own that created a very confusing situation.
If it were me, and I was married, and I sent a nude photo of myself to a woman who I already knew perfectly well had romantic feelings for me, because she had told me so...then I really don't think I would judge her, at all, for responding by doing the same thing I had done first and expressing more of those feelings.
But you have judged me in the most extreme and harshest of terms. And it seriously hurts, as it has for five years.
I am terribly sorry for everything that has happened. This situation has caused immense pain and turmoil in my life, and in yours. But can you possibly try to understand how dealing with this the way you did, as the problem was that I was this horrible terrible scary guy and you were innocent of any wrongdoing, only made things so much worse? You were basically cheating on your husband with me, okay? Your statement "I believe I was clear with you" says so much, and really explains a lot: all this time you've thought that this had nothing to do with you.
I am not the horrible really bad scary guy you've projected onto me. For God's sake, we spent time together. You told me multiple times how safe you felt in my presence. I am a conscious, kind-hearted, sensitive, caring person.
And yet, somehow you went from one day telling me you felt as if we were married in spirit, to just a few days later contacting my own friends, warning them to watch out for me. From one absolute extreme to another. For what? For what, Hili? Because I sent you some nude photos, after you sent me a nude photo first? Really? I deserved to be treated as if I were dangerous for what I did? How could you do that to someone? How could you treat me like that? How could you make such a huge mistake, and then have absolutely no awareness of the mistake you made that caused this?
I am so incredibly sorry and regretful of everything that has happened. But I know where my heart has been through this. I've only been wanting you to understand. But it seems clear that you've never understood your involvement in this. I don't blame you. I don't judge you. One of the things that hurts so much about this, is that as far as I'm concerned, we're both deeply heartfelt, sensitive, conscious people. And I'm feeling the pain that both of us have gone through over this. And I just want it to stop for both of our sake, for everyone's sake.
I wish that I hadn't written you again that one time around New Year's, after we had somewhat patched things up. The reason I did, is because I ended up hearing some more of the things that you had been saying about me. And I just couldn't believe it. It ripped me open all over again. I still have no idea how or why you came to such extreme conclusions about me, based on what I wrote you in my various letters. I tried to be so conscious. I simply tried to communicate to you that it hurt to leave things so unresolved, after the closeness we had experienced. I was only asking for your understanding and forgiveness...which is all I'm asking for now.
And yet you've been so harsh in your replies, so harsh in your judgments of me. The postcard I wrote, that caused so much trouble, was written with the purest of intentions, straight from the heart, just wanting everything to be okay, for all of us involved. I wrote it on a postcard because I thought you wouldn't open a letter from me at that point. Obviously I didn't expect that someone else would be reading your mail. I was hurting like crazy, and tried to write the sweetest thing possible to somehow get it through to you that I just wanted things to be okay....and do you remember your reply? You wrote back with literally one of the most scathing messages I've ever received from anyone in my life. At least you followed up with an apology. But it still hurt like crazy and left things feeling completely mixed up and unresolved, like almost all of your replies.
All that I want is healing here, for you and for me. I understand that this has been a horrible experience for you too...but can you consider that perhaps, if you had approached this situation with some awareness of your own mistakes, that you might have dealt with it a little differently and thus there might have been a different outcome?
All I'm asking for is a sliver of kindness...just to be able to move on knowing that you're not thinking of me in such terrible terms for the rest of our lives. I simply want to know that we're both sending positive light into this and to each other in some small way, and to move on. I want to move on. But I don't want to leave things like this.
In peace, Gabriel