Jessie asked me recently if I believed in ghosts. I thought about it for a while and answered that anything is possible; that I believed that some people either leave such an impression or leave “before their time” that sometimes the spirit hangs around a little while longer than the physical body. I was replaying the conversation in my head earlier last week and started thinking about other types of ghosts — not necessarily those of the departed, but things that continue to haunt you or affect you even if they’re no longer around you or are a part of your life.
A friend commented about how I skipped over a very painful part of my life here in my blog: my fsckhead ex. As much as I hate to admit it, Willem (or “Vil” as we called him) was a significant part of my life for a long time. We were very good friends once. We’d go out, have a good time, go clubbing together. He was one of my goth buddies, but also a techie, a geek, someone to whom I could relate outside the clubs. He was a programmer, like me. We “hooked up” in late 2000 — a mistake, I admit it — but I’d always been sweet on him. Before Jim, I was the happiest with Vil than I had ever been with any other guy. However, Vil had his own ghosts that haunted him … various problems that he had hidden from me, his dearest friends, even his own family, for years. I tried to help him. Hell, at one point I tried to force him into a drug rehab. He refused to acknowledge his problems, he refused any help or treatment of any kind, he lied, he cheated, he stole, and in a short time destroyed everything around him.
In the end, when I had nothing more to give him, and nothing more could he steal, he fled the country. I have not seen him since. I had received an email a couple of years ago from him. Last I heard he was in prison somewhere in South America. I asked him not to contact me anymore. I made it clear that there was nothing he could ever say that I had any interest of hearing. I’ve since changed my number and he doesn’t know where I work, where I live, or even that I’m getting married. He had the gall of suggesting we see each other, I told him that if he valued his life he’d stay away from me, and my friends and family.
You could say he was a ghost that haunted me for a very long time. He stole a lot of things from me — the most important being my pride and sense of self-worth. It took me a long time to get them back, to exercise that ghost.
Yes, Jessie, I believe in ghosts … and still “see” a few of them from time to time …