“A Letter of Betrayal”
Fiction. Based on a True Story of Betraying the One You Love.
by Chelsea Wolfe
This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.
Trigger Warning: our program often motivates people to discuss their trauma. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, please, take a step back to address emotional flashbacks and trauma before continuing to push yourself. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline at (1-800) 273-8255
When I wrote to you last, I wanted you to know that I hadn’t forgotten how we got together. There’re tons more things I want you to know still. Our relationship ended because I chose to leave. Because of what you did. But I want you to know that I remember what I did too.
You told me the things you did were because of what I did. You needed to justify your actions. I get that. But you could only use that excuse once, not every time, and eventually your excuse was no longer a valid one.
I remember everything about that night. Do you? I think the problem was that we were never honest with our feelings because we didn’t know how to express them to each other. We were young though, fresh out of high school and trying to figure out how we fit into the world. I had friends—friends you didn’t like, you later told me. But you didn’t at the time, and so we went to Austin’s house for a mini get-together.
The plan was for more people to show up but it ended up being us two, Austin, and two of his male friends. Maybe that should have been a red flag for me, being the only female drinking with a bunch of guys. But I trusted Austin, and he knew you and I were together. So, we all started drinking. I was a big drinker then. I liked to have fun. There was only one time I had ever lost control, where I learned that I indeed had a limit to how much I could drink before I blacked out. Maybe the second red flag was I learned that lesson with Austin, back when he was still dating one of my best friends.
Did you remember that that’s how we met? Me and Austin? He dated one of my best friends and she lived with me for a few months until she turned 18 and graduated high school. She had family problems and she knew she was safe with me and my mom. I used to hang out with her and Austin all the time. We went to a lot of shows together and partied. The three of us hung out a lot. When they ended up splitting, Austin and I stayed friends, just friends.
I trusted him, but you never did. I don’t remember if you told me why. If you even had a reason other than a gut feeling. But I think you were also worried that I would think you were one of “those” boyfriends. The controlling ones, the ones who tell their girlfriends they can’t have any male friends. So, we went, and we stayed.
We all started drinking and playing games. Music was put on and we just hung out. The more drinking games we played, the more drunk we got. My tolerance was higher than yours, it seemed, because eventually you said you were gonna be sick. We rushed you to the bathroom where you spent close to twenty minutes puking your guts out. Then you passed out on the bathroom floor.
Austin was worried you would throw up on his carpet if we moved you so we didn’t move you. I stayed with you in the bathroom running my fingers through your hair. The others convinced me to leave you in there, that I shouldn’t have to sit with you when you were clearly not going to be waking up anytime soon.
I went with them and left you covered so you wouldn’t be cold. I left the toilet seat open in case you woke up sick again and I left a glass on the counter, so you could get water if you woke up. I went to the kitchen for water. I thought it was time that I should start sobering up. That way I could take care of you.
Austin and the others thought it was amusing of me. I thought so too to be honest. I never would’ve stopped drinking because of someone else before you. I loved you and you were going to need me. I thought that was what I supposed to do to be a good girlfriend. But Austin was making a new mixed drink and he wanted me to try. You tried to tell me later is was peer pressure that I continued drinking, but I know it wasn’t. I could’ve said no and I didn’t. I took the drink and tried it, it was good, tasted like cotton candy.
We went back to playing drinking games, and this is where things begin to become fuzzy for me. I was teetering on my blackout limit. I remember a stripping game being brought up. I remember saying no and that another guy had said he didn’t feel comfortable playing a stripping game because I was the only girl. But then next thing I know, I said it was okay and we begin playing.
This is around the time you told me later that you woke up. That you could hear us playing a stripping game and that you called your cousin because you were pissed at me. I didn’t blame you then for being pissed, and I don’t blame you now. I would’ve been too. But I didn’t know you were awake at this point and I– we– were all still playing.
I remember Austin wanted to make things interesting. So winner got something. I don’t remember much of why I agreed to keep playing. Or why I even agreed in the first place. But Austin won the next round and he wanted to feel me up. I agreed. He started with grabbing one of my boobs and it seemed innocent enough, but when he slid his hand down it was like I had cold water thrown on my face.
I was done. I told the guys I was done playing and I got dressed. The others agreed, they were getting tired. I told them I would help clean up after I checked on you. You were awake, standing by the sink when I got to the bathroom. You weren’t on your phone, you were just standing against the counter trying not to fall over. Despite throwing up, you were still intoxicated. So I helped you to the living room, helped you get on the couch. The others cheered that you were still alive. You could barely talk while we cleaned up. I’m not sure if it was because you were pissed or because you still looked like you were going to be sick; maybe it was both.
We all went to bed and the next thing I knew you were shaking me awake telling me we needed to go. The house was dark because everyone was asleep. I was still beyond drunk, but even I knew we weren’t okay to drive. You made me look you in the eye and told me we needed to go now. I knew then that you knew. I grabbed my stuff and followed you. I don’t know how we even made it home. You needed me to stay awake, though, because only I knew how to get back, I had to direct you onto the highway, then we had to turn around and start again because we got on the wrong entrance. You weren’t mad, just needed me to focus. So we got home and we argued quietly. My mom was still asleep, it was still early in the morning.
You got angry because of what I did. Which is understandable. But then you started saying things that I didn’t understand. To this day I don’t know if you were telling the truth, or you lied, or it was a misunderstanding. I don’t think it matters anymore. What’s done is done.
You told me you needed to get me out of there because you woke up when Austin covered your face with a blanket. That when you moved the blanket away you saw him trying to touch me while I slept. You told me that he kept covering your face to do things, but you kept removing the blanket and eventually he gave up. I confronted Austin about what you said but he denied it, not that anyone would admit to doing something like that.
We struggled through this, neither of us knowing what to do. I asked if you wanted to break up, I would understand if you did. You said you didn’t, that you were hurt, but you wanted to work things out. We talked things through for a couple days before we decided on what we actually wanted to do. We wanted to work things out. I asked if you were sure you could move on from this, that I wouldn’t blame you if you couldn’t because I didn’t think I could forgive myself for hurting you. But you wanted me and I wanted you. Your only condition was that I stopped being friends with Austin. I agreed. As my way of apologizing, I stopped drinking too, unless we were with your cousin and his girlfriend on the weekends. But even then it was nothing compared to how much I usually drank.
Maybe we should’ve ended things then though. You never moved on. You told me that was why you did the things you did. Because you couldn’t get over that night and that it kept bothering you. If we had, though, we wouldn’t have our daughter, so I can’t bring myself to regret us choosing to try to work things out. Even if things did end badly between us.
I apologized numerous times for that night. It didn’t help though. But it was also not an excuse for the things you chose to do either, to keep repeating your choices despite knowing what they were doing to me. You asked me why I did what I did and I told you I didn’t know. I was being honest. When I asked you why you did the things you did, you tried to tell me you didn’t know but then you told me it was because of that night. I wish you had been honest with me about that. We could have ended things when you realized you couldn’t move on. That would’ve been best for both of us. Instead we let our karma eat us alive until we both on the verge of losing our minds.
I betrayed you and I will always regret that. I will always be sorry. I understand you were hurt and were still upset about it. I understand wanting to hurt me in a similar way to how I hurt you. But that doesn’t make it right. It took me a long time to understand and accept that. If you couldn’t move on then you should have made it clear. Instead you chose to make me hurt in every way you could. Two wrongs don’t make a right. I betrayed you, you betrayed me. Does it make you feel better? Was it worth it? Did you get what you wanted?
I hope in some way you did. Because if you didn’t then it was for nothing. I think that’s worse in a way. Regardless, I forgive you for it. Doesn’t mean I wont forget. But forgiveness is what allows me to move on. Maybe you could try it too one day.