The Briefcase

A few weeks ago, while Callie and I were vegetating on the couch, binge watching some of the TV shows that have taken over our DVR, we came across a commercial for a new show on CBS called “The Briefcase”. The premise of the show is that a family that is financially in need, is given a briefcase containing $101,000.  They are then told that they can keep all of the money, keep some of the money, or give it all away to a family that could use it just as much, if not MORE than they could.  What they don’t know is that this other family was ALSO given a briefcase with $101,000, and presented with the same information. Over the next 72 hours, they have to decide what they are going to do with the money. 

As the commercial is flashing for this new show, I had to do a double take, because who do I see?! None other that the very person I wrote a whole post about a few weeks ago. My first love. And of course, her love, and her nephews who they took in and have been raising for over 3 years now.  I almost lost it! It stirred up a few emotions.  Mostly sadness, because I know I wasn’t the best person to her.  I know that I hurt her, deeply, and I’ve tried over the past 10 years to reach out, make amends, own up to my infractions, and to no avail.  Never a response.  Dozens of instant messages, emails, phone calls, and texts have gone unanswered.  I figured, after years ( about 5 or so) of not having tried to reach out, I would take the opportunity, and the show as a segue to potentially begin some dialog.  So, I Facebook messaged her. Last Thursday. At 10:55am.  Probably one of the nicest emails I’ve ever written.  I told her how I had seen her in the commercial for the show and that I’m not sure what the outcome is, that they have loving and kind and generous hearts, and that the boys are gorgeous, and that they deserve all the best.  I still haven’t heard back from her. And honestly, I don’t think I ever will.  

It makes me sad, mainly because I’m pretty sure they are judging me for the person I was 10 years ago, when everything went down and when I was 21 and careless, reckless, selfish, and trying to navigate a world where I was in the midst of my first real heartbreak, living on my own for the first time in my life, in a new city, where I didn’t know anyone.  With undiagnosed depression and just breaking out and doing me, paving my own path. The person I am now, compared to who I was 10 years ago, is unrecognizable.  If they took a minute to engage, they’d see that.  Maybe they think I’m being disingenuous? Maybe they have a hard time forgiving and forgetting, which I TOTALLY get.  That concept can be sorta foreign to some people, even more so when someone feels a sense of betrayal and a certain amount of hurt. I get it…intellectually.  I’m just not that person.  I can let bygones be bygones.  

Watching the show last night, I got a little insight into their lives.  5 year struggle with infertility. Not enough money to cover bills.  Can only afford an apartment in a not so great section of Boston.  Raising two kids that aren’t their own and putting them through private school.  If only they knew how similar our lives are.  I don’t even WANT to be friends with them.  I just wanna know that the hurt that I caused them has subsided, for them to know that what they did to me is something of the past, and that both of us live full and happy and exciting and rewarding lives.  I guess this is just one of those situations that I’ll just have to let go of, even though its more about clearing my name than anything else. I don’t need them to validate that I’m a good person, but I do wish they’d give me that or at the very least aknowledge me, even if it IS to tell me to fuck myself.  I can take that! The silence though, that’s always tough.

The outcome of the show?! You’ll have to watch, but I will say, it was exactly what I expected from them.  Even Callie agreed. And I won’t lie when I say that both Callie and I shed a few tears for them…Congrats L & T on letting your hearts shine through…


15 thoughts on “The Briefcase

  1. We watched it too! They seemed lovely. My first thought when reading your post was that maybe she doesn’t want to open up the past. Maybe she moved forward and doesn’t want to look back? I am sure through the messages and emails they know are genuine and have changed. I bet they have seen your photos and know you have a family now too. You know you’ve changed and that’s what really matters. But now I need to know….which one was your first love?

    • I think that is absolutely the case. Leave the past in the past. I also know some couples that have an agreement that Ex’s are NOT friends, and I get that too. I guess because Callie and I aren’t those people, (and both of our ex’s are our best friends and we LOVE them deeply and wholly) that it’s just hard to grasp, I guess. But you’re probably very right in saying that. And Leila was the first women I was ever in a relationship with. She taught me everything I know about being a lesbian…lol! She’s very special, in general. A special soul for sure…

      • Yes! She seemed amazing. I watched the three episodes so far and the show annoys me. Why doesn’t everyone just go 50/50. Argh!

  2. I have a few thoughts on this post (not about the show but about your desire to hear back from her), but honestly I am so tired right now I can barely think so rather then comment now I am going to try really hard to remember to come back tomorrow and share my thoughts having been on the opposite side of an old friend trying to reconnect with me and while I chose to acknowledge the note from her, I ultimately decided not to meet with her as per her request on three separate occasions.

    • Oh, and in case I forget (cuz I might – I’m that tired right now), I do want to say that I think you are an amazing women and I really don’t think you need someone from your past to tell you that – focus on the here and now and remember that you are loved by so many for the person you are, and that’s really all that matters. 🙂

      • Thank you friend! I appreciate you saying that. Im really good about focusing on the present, and doing my best to stay here. Right now! In this moment. 2 years of DBT therapy showed me that. But for some reason, with her having ignored me for years and years, I feel kinda slighted! I KNOW I don’t need her to validate me changing and being a good person. The healthy and loving relationships that I’ve formed prove that every day, but there is something about rejection that just sucks! And not just rejection, but more a lack of acknowledgement. It’s not every day that people swallow all of their pride and say, “Listen, I was totally fucked up to you, and I’m sorry!” Although, the email the other day wasn’t like that AT ALL, the ones in the past have been. I’m curious to know more about your friend, and your choice to keep your distance. But props to you for addressing her and moving on. That takes lots of guts too!

      • It took me a little longer then I expected to come back, but I didn’t forget – that’s an accomplishment for me. 🙂
        So, my best friend for years (I was her maid of honour in her wedding – we were close), stopped talking to me. She stopped answering my calls, ignored my emails and even a Christmas card 6 months later wishing her well and letting her know I missed her. I was beyond hurt. Then a few years later, coincidentally about a month before my wedding she tried reaching out to me. She sent me a facebook note (at a time when I still had facebook) explaining why she stopped speaking to me – short form is that she always felt that our lives were a competition and she couldn’t compete with me, her examples were that I moved away from our home town and she didn’t, I went to university and she didn’t, I travelled and she didn’t, etc. She concluded her note by saying that she would like to be friends so long as I wouldn’t make it a competition.
        So, I never saw any of this as a competition, simply my life decisions weren’t the same as hers. And, more then anything I am not about to be friends with ANYONE who is going to put conditions on our friendship, we are either friends through everything or we are not. That said, I didn’t tell her any of this. I simply responded with something along the lines of I wish she could have told me this a few years ago and I’m not prepared to discuss it over via facebook. She then proceeded to try to meet up the next time she was in the city I lived in – she tried three times, and I declined three times. (I do need to note that she tried to meet up 2 days before my wedding, as if I had time to meet up with anyone at that time – honestly, part of me has always thought the only reason she reached out was that I was getting married and she wouldn’t be part of it, we had talked for years about being each others maid of honours). We have not spoken since.
        Ultimately, I spent a lot of time soul searching on her request to meet up. I talked it through and through with Mr. MPB, a few really good friends, and my step-mom who saw our friendship through the years. Ultimately, I decided that I wasn’t prepared to open myself up to continuing our friendship, I was deeply hurt by her decision to cut me out without any explanation and I was not prepared to be friends with conditions. And I decided for me, meeting up meant that I would have to bring up old hurt for her benefit, not mine. She would be given the opportunity to feel better by trying to save our friendship, and I’d be the one saying no to it. So, I knew I wasn’t going to come out of the conversation feeling better about anything, she couldn’t fix my past hurt, and I simply was not (and still am not) willing to put my heart and soul into a friendship that is not reciprocal.
        Anyways, I realize I just wrote you a small novel. I’m not even sure if it made a tonne of sense, but if nothing else I hope you can see how me, the person who chose not to re-open the door really thought it through. It wasn’t an easy decision and often times I still wonder if I should have handled it differently. I do wish her well in life, I really do, but I also know that our lives at least at this point are not going to intertwined. And quite frankly, now a few more years later, I have a lot bigger priorities in my life that deserve my attention.

  3. If they are judging you for who you were when you were barely an adult, it’s their loss in knowing a beautiful soul who has come a long way! I wonder, though, if they just don’t have the desire to re-open old wounds. Or maybe the whole “exes aren’t friends” is a household ‘rule’ for them. You can sleep easy knowing that you have apologized, reached out and extended kindness. And if they don’t respond, then at least you know you’ve done the right thing.

    • Thank you Lindsay…And that’s totally where I am now. I’m good knowing that I extended the olive branch, if you will. I know who I am now! And that’s ok if they never know the “new” me. I’m a better person for it, and that makes the rejection a hundred times easier to deal with. And besides, when I have a ton of really great people like you guys to talk to about it and your “virtual embrace”, yeah, that helps!

  4. I’ve gone through similar situations where I just want to clear the waters and not have people feel ill thoughts about me. I was a pretty selfish person for a chunk of time and I’m so embarrassed about it now. I guess it’s a good lesson that we can’t change the past and sometimes the damage we do is permanent. That being said, you are awesome now and I think it’s great that you reached out again even if it goes no where.

  5. I have a huge amount of admiration for you. I have to say though that I’m the one like your ex in my situation – andI think she has really changed for the better but it actually doesn’t feel good to be told that she is great and treats someone else well when she was terrible to me. Maybe she feels similarly? Breakups are hard to do even after they’re done! Xx

  6. Oh, that really sucks that she won’t even hear you out. Something’s are just meant to be left alone though, I guess I understand both sides. I bet the whole ignoring you thing is getting old. I am the type that absolutely HATES being ignored, it’s my biggest pet peeve. Sometimes in life you just have to keep pushing through ad leave the ones that won’t see you through alone and focus on everyone that does know you now. I can tell from your blogs that you have a good soul. Don’t worry about it 🙂

  7. Good for you for a valiant effort to make amends. If I were her, not knowing the specific circumstances of course, I’m not sure I’d respond either. I’ve had similar reach outs from exes and I tend to ignore them. I don’t want to pick at old scabs, I guess.

  8. You reached out and made amends. You have to forgive yourself and move on. I am a totally different person as well. I have hurt several people on my way to my current self struggling through depression and accepting myself and who I am. I felt like I was reading about myself for a moment in your writing. The hardest part is forgiving yourself and letting go of the guilt. It sounds like you are in a happy place in life. I totally relate. It sucks that no one can give us a glimpse in the future when we were our younger selves. I feel like it was a lifetime ago and I have closed the door on that part of my life. Granted I haven’t had to see anyone flash on my television screen so that could certainly jolt me back to the past a bit, but you have the right spirit to live in the now – a happy time – and enjoy the moments and smiles you give to the people around you.

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