Letting Go Of Love – A Tale Of One Woman’s Struggle
Our lives are a series of stories. Some with happy endings, some that are completely tragic. What you are about to read is a true story, where names have been changed to preserve some identity of the characters.
I write this story as a means of healing, letting go, and a bit of my own personal redemption for being so naïve and clueless.
I also tell this story as a way to show that sometimes, the only way we learn, is by going through the Yuck. I would never have never known true self-love, emotional strength, and having the ability to have my eyes wide open, without this being a part of my life.
This story is about confusing what love is and what it is not, from the heart and mind of a woman who just didn’t know, or had the strength of her own convictions.
I will warn you though, this is only a partially written story, from the parts that hit me the most throughout this time line. As time goes on, more will be added to fill in the blanks.
My intuition though is propelling me to write what I have so far, just to get this all out to the universe and on the table!
Chapter 1 – The Backstory
Celeste loved spending time with her father, working in the garage, smoking and bullshitting their day away.
Her father, Leonard, was her best friend and childhood hero, only by law, he wasn’t her father.
You see, when Celeste was a child, she was raised by her birth mother and adopted father, who were not just cruel, but extremely abusive.
Leonard and his wife, Marie were kin to the adopted father and knew the type of man he could be. Every time they came to visit, they would see a new cut or bruise on Celeste.
Not only did they notice the physical signs of her abuse, but the mental as well. Celeste barely spoke, if she ever spoke at all, always with her eyes cast downwards or focused so intently on the television during their visit that they swore she was not in her body.
Finally they couldn’t take it anymore. Their first attempt helping her was a call to social services.
They helped for a while, but after a couple of months of “improvement”, the social worker left thinking they were rehabilitated.
Leonard and Marie didn’t know what to do. They loved this child with all their hearts, but with the time they were living in, there was nothing they could do.
So they waited until the day that Celeste turned 15. The age where the courts would allow a child to decide where they wanted to be.
A plan was executed, with the help of Celeste’s grandparents and a maternal aunt. Celeste was taken from her childhood home, to see Leonard and Marie. All the while, her parents thinking that it was just for a short visit.
The next day, after Celeste’s arrival to her aunt and uncle’s, Marie and her grandmother, Joan, sat her down and with empathy, explained to Celeste everything they knew about what was happening to her.
After struggling through the painful acknowledgement that people knew of her trauma, Celeste felt an ignition of joyful fire and hope when Marie asked her, “Would you like to come live with us?”
Celeste couldn’t believe what she was hearing. All of her prayers up to this point were being answered.
So, Leonard and Marie became Celeste’s guardians, parents, and saviors all in one glorious moment.
Chapter 2 – The Seed Was Planted
Leonard and Celeste were sitting in the garage one day on a warm January day, waiting on Celeste’s former brother in law to come and change the oil in her car.
She wasn’t really sure why her father suggested it was him to do it, since both Celeste and Leonard were quite capable.
Soon, Craig arrived, bringing his tools with him.
They exchanged normal pleasantries, and Craig set off to work on Celeste’s car.
As they sat there, watching Craig work, Celeste turned to her father and asked “Why in the world did you want him to come do this instead of us?”
Her father’s only reply… “I was thinking, that maybe the two of you could start spending some more time together. He has been a wonderful help to me, even after his divorce from your sister. Honestly, I always thought you two were more suited for each other.”
Celeste shrugged off his comment. She never really thought of him as anything other than her brother-in-law. Sure, he was ruggedly handsome, and had a kind disposition about him, but he had been married to her sister.
Leonard continued, “Maybe spend a little time with him and just think about it”.
Leonard had owned his own septic business as well, teaching Celeste the ropes in hopes that some day soon, she could take over and he could retire.
On one particular day, Celeste had to take the day off, and made her father promise he wasn’t going to schedule any jobs that day, not until she was available anyway to help.
He had promised, but Leonard was stubborn, and took a job anyway that day.
Those Cement caps were heavy and in order to be lifted safely, two people needed to do it. While attempting to lift one of these caps on his own, he tore a muscle in his lower back. He called Craig to come finish the job for him so he could go home and rest his back.
It all seemed to happen so fast. On Sunday, Leonard was sitting at the kitchen table, telling everyone he was fine and on the mend. By Wednesday, he was calling Craig to come help him go to the hospital because he couldn’t even seem to walk to the car.
That Wednesday night, Leonard called Celeste from the hospital, where they were telling him that a previous Staph infection they all thought was gone, was now running rampant through his body, activated by the tear in his muscle.
He told her how much he loved her and how proud he was to be able to call her daughter. He made her aware that he spoke to Craig, and asked him to keep an eye on her, to be of help if she ever needed help on her car or home
His last words to her before he hung up was “I hope you know and will never forget that I love you like you are truly my own daughter.”
Those were the last words she ever heard him say.
That same night, as if to acknowledge everything Leonard had asked of him, Craig showed up at Celeste’s door. Not profession his love, but as a means to be of comfort and solace to an uncertain moment.
Everyone wanted to believe he would get better, but deep down, Celeste knew. It was as if Leonard’s I love you was his way of telling her goodbye.
For 3 days, Craig never left her side, making sure she had all she needed, and was right there with her the moment she got the call. Her uncle, her dad, her best friend and savior was dead. (February 8th, 2003).
Everyday that lead up to the funeral, Craig was there, and somewhere in all that pain and anguish, Celeste felt a spark of something growing in her.
Craig was her comfort, the only time she felt she could function was when he was there with her.
As time moved on, that feeling of comfort turned into something, but what it was she wasn’t sure. Until one night, he called her on the phone to ask her “Have you ever stopped thinking of me as your brother-in-law?”
March 26th, 2003 was the first night they met each other for more than just to be emotional support for one another.
Chapter 3 – Celeste’s Home Life
Other than her father now being gone, Celeste couldn’t have been happier. She loved her little house on her 2 acres.
Her father was going to help her purchase this land and home from it’s current owner, but with his passing, this of course ended up falling through.
Celeste’s best friend was also her roommate, Janelle. In a month’s time of Leonard’s passing, Janelle met a man, got pregnant and moved out with this man, leaving Celeste and her children.
Craig would come over every chance he could to spend the night, or even help around the house.
With every deep conversation, with every bit of time spent, Celeste’s feelings grew stronger and stronger.
Craig would invite her over to his family functions where she was able to meet his extended family. He even took her on some of his business trips whenever her children were with other family members.
Then, late December of 2003, her landlord, decided that instead of allowing Celeste to rent to own the land and home she loved, that he wanted to just sell outright, giving her 30 days notice to be out.
Craig asked her to come live with him.
Chapter 4 – In the Beginning
While he never said it, Craig’s actions portrayed a man who loved Celeste.
He helped her move all of her and her children’s things into his home, and this act of commitment was what made her fall in love with Craig.
It was the day that they were about to leave on a small adventure with one of Craig’s friends, who Celeste was meeting for the first time, that she felt like it was completely safe to truly fall head over heals with Craig.
When Craig introduced her to his friend, he said to him, “this one is mine, you cannot have her.” She couldn’t help it, she knew in that moment that he was right, her heart, her soul were all his.
For the next four years, they seemed to be blissfully happy. He still never said the words, but she didn’t care… he showed every moment they were together he loved and cared for her.
Chapter 5 – Her Internal Struggle
Early in ….
One day, Celeste was driving home from a full day of work, contemplating her relationships with all these men.
She was feeling through the anger and pain she was feeling over finding out that her son’s father was getting married.
Her upset reached her core, making her wonder why none of then ever wanted her. Sure, she was great convenience to all of them, but never good enough to love, to cherish, to want to commit to.
Now, her and Craig had been together for 3 years and still he could not say the words “I love you”.
Deep down, Celeste knew she needed to leave Craig also. She knew that if he couldn’t say it, couldn’t acknowledge it, that it was not there.
He was good though, good at holding her right where she wanted to be, in order to continue to stay by his side.
He said all the other right words, showed her affection, and even held her through the night whenever he was home. He did make her feel like he loved her.
Still, that nagging feeling ate at her, telling her to let go and to move on.
Still, she denied it, pushed it down as far as she could, telling herself that things would change, and when they do, how wonderful her life will be when their life truly starts.
October 23rd, 2009, It was that night she knew. Her intuition screaming at her, filling her with so much pain.
She knew she should have left, that he never truly loved her. Yet she stayed and now, here she was, angry at herself for not listening to what she knew to be true.
It was Ray that said it out loud, confirming her fears and pain. He was fucking another woman, right there, in that moment.
She wanted to die. The man she wanted to love, wanted to be hers, fought for, cared for, and felt she needed, was with someone else.
She did the only thing she could, called Craig’s sister. There was no solace in it, because Sam could do nothing. In hindsight, she really didn’t seem to be surprised, nor really care.
The only one who could ease her pain, even just a little, was James. He just happened to call to find out when Craig was coming home and to see if we had plans.
He could hear the pain in Celeste’s voice. So she told him.
James comforted her with his own story of understanding that pain, since that is how Jen had left him. Only he came home from a business trip with her lover’s flowers sitting right there on the table.
Ray had told Celeste not to use his name, not to tell Craig that it was him that told her. But what the fuck was she to do?
In that moment, Ray was her only witness in that very moment.
So when Craig finally called her 3 hours later, all she could do was tell him “I know. I know and Ray confirmed it.”
Even with her conviction, her knowing, Craig denied it. Told her he didn’t understand why Ray would say such a thing, didn’t understand why his own partner would lie to Celeste like that.
She hung up and she waited.
The next morning, she couldn’t just sit still waiting for him to come home. She couldn’t go to work either. Her whole life felt like it was in limbo, waiting on the earth to just open and just swallow her up and end her absolute misery.
She loved him so damned much, to her core she loved him, and believing that they were meant to be together, so why, oh fucking why could he do this to her.
So she waited at the rest area, a place where he had to pass by on his way to delivering his trailer. It was an abnormally cold October and snow was everywhere which is odd for the Nevada desert this time of year.
There it is, she saw his truck coming down the road. The moment she saw it, her anger flared. Hitting her steering wheel and wailing with her pain, she screamed out because all she could see, was the place where he had been unfaithful to her just a few hours before.
She wanted to scream at Ray for being such a piece of shit coward, letting Craig put him in such a position, knowing he would have to either stand up for himself, or lie.
He chose to run instead.
After the truck had passed the rest area, she gathered her strength, and headed back to her broken home.
An hour later, she heard Craig’s truck come up the dirt road. The engines rumble stabbing her in the heart.
What was her problem? Why couldn’t she just do it, why was she letting herself take this abuse?
He denied it all, for weeks he denied it, even though he was so damned blatant about talking to this woman.
He locked his phone from Celeste, left the room every time his she called, and now, was even locking the bathroom door when he showered.
How could he think she would be so stupid to all of the clues. He already knew that Celeste knew.
She couldn’t just leave because what if. What if he just told her everything and confessed his confusion and undying love for her…
How stupid she felt for believing any of that.
Until al of that delusion ended that Christmas night.
Craig and Celeste went to Sam’s Christmas night to celebrate the holiday.
Right there, in the middle of dinner, Michele called. Celeste saw her name on the screen right before he snatched it and walked away from the table.
She heard him talking to her, speaking to her with tenderness and want, and yet Celeste sat there, being that physical presence for him.
It was then, that she finally knew what she was going to do.
That night, when they got home, Celeste sat at the end of the bed. Craig asked her what she was thinking about.
“Craig, you know I love you, have loved you for almost 7 years. I have decided on what your Christmas present to me is going to be since you couldn’t be bothered to get me anything. That is truth. I want your truth and that is all.
“In return for that truth, I give back a promise that I will end this and you will no longer hear anything about any of this again from me.”
And for the very last time… he denied his unfaithfulness to Celeste.
It was then, that she knew it was finally over. She had finally been absolved and was able to let go.
He was never going to admit to being unfaithful, and she was never again going to forgive him.
Celeste was such an uncertain woman when it came to letting go. She knew it was over and from that moment, she began making her plans.
Where was she going to live? Her entire world was in his hands because she put it there, that she had no idea how to make the next move.
Her relationship was over, but there they both were. She didn’t want it to end amicably and he having the ability to ride off into the sunset happy with his little truck driver girlfriend.
No. So Celeste called her early one morning.
Good morning Michele, my name is Celeste. Do you know Craig Fergeson?
It sickened her when Michele came back with “No, I have never heard of him”
Celeste went on “You can deny it for sure, but I am just calling to make you aware, that while he has been calling you and sleeping with you, he had a live in girlfriend here who he has been lying to. Just thought you should know.” And she hung up.
Next thing she knew, Craig was calling her. “Did you just call Michele?”
Yes she said, I just wanted to make her aware that you had a live-in girlfriend, that is until now, and that she could have you.”
Not only did she then hang up on Craig, but she continued to make her plans.
February 1st, 2010, James and Carrie invited Celeste over for a movie night and drinks. They wanted to cheer Celeste up and give her a night of relief from all the grief.
Once the move was over, Carrie went home, but James asked Celeste to stay. They talked about letting go and new beginnings. James told her how happy he was now that he was free.
Just as Celeste was about to leave, a feeling overcame her. James was across the room, staring at her and she could feel the buzz in the room.
Celeste hadn’t felt this much passion in such a long time and it was intoxicating. He said her name softly and she turned around.
The moment their eyes met, it was all over. They met somewhere in the middle, crashing into one another in such a heated kiss. All of her pain, anguish, and pain went into that kiss. Yet he never skipped a beat,
Celeste ended up against the very door she was about to walk out of, but never did she lose all her control.
As he moved his hands down to begin undressing her, that is the moment she stopped. As much as she wanted to feel wanted, to feel passion, to just feel, she knew she couldn’t take that last step.
Her relationship had been over with Craig since Christmas day, but nothing had been made official yet. Before she was going to let herself go any further, she had to make this end official.
So, out the door she went.
Sunday, February 7th, 2010. Celeste drove quietly while Craig sat in the passenger seat all the way to drop Alexandra home to her mother’s.
As soon as Craig got back in the car, Celeste spoke.
Everything she help on to since October 23rd, came out. Everything! Her proof, what Ray said, his lies, Craig’s lies, her conversations with James, her pain, all of it. For 45 minutes she spoke, and then, as she pulled into the drive way one last time, she said:
“Out of all this, all I ever wanted from you is to love me, to grow with me, to marry me.” And then she went silent.
She stared at Craig for what seemed like an hour, until finally he spoke… “That was never my intention.”
Relief for what she was about to say washed over her, “Then there is nothing more we need to talk about.”
Celeste got out of the car, walked into the house, and began packing.
Craig walked in only shortly after her. He stopped Celeste and asked her to sit on the couch with him.
He stared at her for 2 hours, until the moment that he had to leave for work. For the first time in 7 years, he initiated the most intense embrace she had ever felt from him. As he left, he said “Why does it feel like that was the last time I will ever be able to do that.”
Honestly, it wasn’t quite the end to Celeste and Craig’s story. For a few months after this last night, There was drama and tension.
While that was the last night, craig and Celeste were ever together, there was still a few months left of drama.
It was only the day after though, on February 8th, 2010, just a few hours later at about 9:00 am that Craig called Celeste.
“I love you” he said, “and if you stay, I will marry you tomorrow.”
Anger hit Celeste so hard. There was no fucking way that after all she went through, the lies, the pain, the torment, was she going to allow him to do this.
With all the power in her voice she told him “7 years, Craig, 7 years I wanted and wished and hoped for you to love me. And now, ONLY AFTER I finally don’t want you are you professing your undying love and want for me to be your wife?! How fucking dare you! My answer is no, not because everything in my body wants to just make this all go away, but because I wanted you to love me. Not because I am leaving, but because I was everything to you. NO.”
She hung up but immediately wanted to call him back, tell him yes, tell him that he is all she ever wanted.
So instead, she called James.
The moment he answered, she told him what happened, and all she wanted to do was forget it. James told to her to come see him, right then and there, come meet him.
So she did.