Well, I finally got what I wanted, got my answer. The story is now complete, and so it can be told.
As you can probably guess, the answer was no. No, she does not care at all about what happened to us. She admitted she feels no emotion towards me whatsoever, and that the reason for this was because she has learned to be able to deliberately ignore it. Yes, she came back here intending to give our relationship a chance by purposefully feeling nothing towards me. I've been lied to again. So how did this happen?
Go back six months. I was unhappy. Adele and I really had been trying to make it work, but it got very bad. No more than a couple of days could go past without one of us talking about leaving. I tried a few times, and failed every time because of Willow, but I knew it wasn't a good environment for him or for the unborn baby. Maybe eventually I would've managed to convince myself of that and carry it through, but it never got to that because I was handed another option. The very thing I'd dreamed of but never thought would happen. I did truly love Adele, and I still do, but I never stopped loving and longing for somebody else. You could say it was wrong of me, but I couldn't help it. I wasn't entirely sure who that person was - the Shanna I'd last known was not somebody I could ever have feelings for, but I still remembered the one I'd met before, the one I'd gladly given my life to. The one who was the reason I'd done everything I had done. I never could properly separate the two, and then one of them reappeared. It acted like the one I loved. It told me it had been wrong, that it needed me, that I was everything. I couldn't say no. I told Adele, and she told me not to come home. So I didn't, and then she left.
I put all my trust in the good Shanna. I knew the other one was there too, but the good one was all I could see. For a while, at least. She told me she wanted to leave properly this time instead of just running away, and I respected that, but told her I would need her support and reassurance until she came back. I would be okay after that, but just for this short period, I needed her to be there for me... but she wasn't. She let me down again and again until it got to the state that I really doubted there was any point in her coming back. She failed to be there for me and I got hurt, but I got through it without her help. Still though, I thought it was just because she was far away. She'd never been very good at keeping agreements but I always put it down to just innocent forgetfulness. It wasn't her fault, it was just who she was. It always upset me a little, but I could live with it. It had never been a problem when she was actually with me in person, she'd been nothing but caring then.
So she arrived. That night after I brought her back from the airport, she started putting her stuff away. I sat and waited for a bit, and eventually gave up and asked 'are you mine now?', but she carried on... doing things. I waited patiently until she'd finished, and hoped that at last we could have some time together... but she was tired and wanted to sleep. I was disappointed, but agreed. The next morning and few subsequent days were a bit uncomfortable, but as I wrote at the time, where do you start with something like that? It was a distinct contrast to what I'd been lead to expect before she came - we talked on the phone and she made it seem like she was completely comfortable with me. She wasn't, she wasn't happy with physical contact at all. Still, I could kind of understand that too. She hadn't realised how she would feel, it was an understandable mistake, I could give it time. I waited, and things seemed to get better. We did things together, enjoyed each other's company. Things got more comfortable, and at Poole Park Fest, she kissed me.
It seemed she was comfortable around me again. We talked more, and this is when the actual problems started. She had issues with past. I thought we'd agreed that this was something new, and what either of us had done wouldn't come into it, but it did. She said she couldn't deal with the fact I'd been with Adele, yet didn't seem to think that what she'd done was of any importance. She still wore the ring she had used to get rid of me in Scotland, the one she showed to me and told me that she and Chris were 'engaged'. She confused me by what I can only describe as teasing. She was still being selective on what was 'okay' physically, and I was again respecting her wishes. But then, she would suddenly do something I thought wasn't allowed, but then just as suddenly stop it from going any further. She did this repeatedly for days and it really messed with my head. I didn't have a clue where the boundaries were any more - it just seemed like she could do whatever she wanted and I could do nothing.
We had sex. It was damn good, but I couldn't help feeling that it hadn't meant anything to her. I wanted it to be a reconnection, being reunited at last with my first. The next time was the same, and the next... and then there wasn't really any more. It wasn't right, it wasn't meaning anything. She would just act like nothing had happened, get dressed again and go to sleep. That was another thing that upset me. It's special to me to sleep naked with my partner, always has been. It's part of a larger feeling of possession - when we're out there with the other people, we act as separate people, but when we say goodnight to everyone else, go into our own private space and close the door behind us, our day in the rest of the world is over. That is our time, and there should be nothing between us. She'd told me before she came to stay in 2005 that she'd always worn clothes to bed, but the very first night she arrived, our very first night together ever, at my grandparents' in Oxford, she slept naked with me willingly, without me asking her, and did so every night for the rest of the time we were together until the day she left me. But suddenly no more. She said she'd always hated it all along and didn't want to any more. It upset me just to sleep like that, though possibly I could have got used to it eventually, but to be given everything in intimacy and then have it all taken away again the second it's over, like it was being rationed to me, I was being fed just enough to keep me happy. It's mine! It has to be mine!
The belonging (or lack of it) theme continued. Really petty things that honestly shouldn't have ever been an issue, but they all added up. At the Bournemouth Air Show she wouldn't let me take a photo of her. Why? I could see her, with my eyes. If she didn't think she looked good, I could respect that. I could promise that no other person would ever see it. But me? I should be different. I'm not 'other people'. There should never, ever be a time where she doesn't want to be seen by me. She didn't want to merge any of her things with mine. This particularly bothered me on the computer. I keep things like music in D:\Music, videos in D:\Videos, photos in D:\Photos. She insisted on keeping 'her' things in a folder with her name on. Again, I could kind of accept that, but she did it when it came to things that clearly weren't hers. We could go out for a day and we'd take pictures with my camera, and she'd get back home and file all 'her' pictures in 'her' folder. The fact that we could spend a shared day together, and she could then separate the pictures into 'yours' and 'mine' I found ridiculous. They're ours! It just went on and on, and in the end I challenged her that she didn't really want to belong to me. She just said she didn't know what I meant, and no matter how much I tried to explain, that didn't change.
I put it down to her new 'strength'. She told me she'd changed, and was stronger now, more independent, didn't need anybody else. I told her that I was pleased for her, but that I thought a bit of dependence was good in a relationship. As I got upset by all these things, I felt sure it was just her trying to prove her independence, perhaps to herself or perhaps to me. I tried to talk to her about it, ask her if that was the case, explain how I felt about it all. That got nowhere either. I started to become convinced that she just... didn't care. She never expressed any emotion towards 'us'. Nothing.
I lay awake many nights trying to think of simpler and simpler ways of explaining my feelings. She always said she didn't understand what it was I wanted or was trying to ask for. I talked to her, sent her emails, text messages, wrote her a letter, I tried wording it every way I could. Every time we would talk though, she would just suddenly declare that she was tired and needed to go to sleep, and I would let her, and another day would have gone with no progress. One night, after she went to sleep, I went downstairs and read old entries about us from my diary, and thought 'this isn't who I married'. I took off my ring for the final time and haven't worn it since. Oh and how I miss it. I can't describe how good it makes me feel to wear it. I feel such pride in showing the world that I belong to somebody. But she didn't want to belong any more, she wanted to be herself now, she was 'strong'. I explained to her as best as I could why I'd done it, what I felt was missing, and what I thought would help. Nothing happened.
Then there's the final, and probably terminal thing: she told me she didn't want children with me any more. She's changed her mind on this more times than I can remember. Before she left me, I knew she wanted children. We talked about it a lot, and we were kind of trying, or at least not trying to avoid it. She wrote to me many times about the future she could see for us and our family. The first time that changed was in Scotland, when she was trying to get rid of me. She told me she'd never seen children with me. I ignored that, and indeed after we got talking again about her coming back, she'd reverted to saying she did want them with me. When she actually got here though, that changed yet again, and suddenly it was all off once more. She couldn't leave it at that though, oh no. She then went on to tell me that all the times when we'd talked about it before, and been 'trying', it'd been just because she was lonely. She never really wanted a child, she just thought it would keep her from being lonely when I wasn't home. That was... devastating.
She was also home when I learned Merlin had been born. I told her and she ignored me, literally, like I hadn't spoken. Just carried on playing her game. I could understand she was upset, given that I'd had a child with somebody else, but so was I, so I left and went upstairs. She came up later and said things vaguely along the lines of 'well done, got what you always wanted now', and told me she hated him. Well that made me very angry and upset, but her response to this was 'well I'm not going to let you ruin my evening', and to go back downstairs and play more games.
Skim quickly over the next couple of months: things got gradually worse. I continued to struggle to explain my feelings, and she continued to completely ignore them. She told me I just had to accept who she was now, and that was my problem not hers. I begin to realise that I don't really like who she is now, but I kept trying to help us anyway. I tried and tried to talk to her, but as it repeatedly failed I got more and more distant. I started resisting contact with her, not wanting to be close. She responded to this by, you guessed it, doing absolutely nothing at all, and then she started avoiding me in return. Since I'd stopped being affectionate towards her, she didn't want to spend any time with me anymore so started spending all day and night with her friends from work. I made a few last efforts to beg her to make some time and talk to me. It was ridiculous, I had to make an appointment for the end of the week when she had time for me, but I was desperate and I accepted. Then she let me down.
One night, I went in to her room and told her I thought there was no hope left and it was finished. I left, and she went to sleep. All of this is already documented. When she lied to me and left me, I tracked her down, bought a ticket, booked a hotel and followed her. I stayed day after day just to be given the honour of a few hours to talk to her and try and work things out, only to be rejected time and time again, before finally being abandoned completely and having to come home defeated. When I went into the room next door and told her I couldn't take any more, she rolled over and went to sleep. That is the difference. That is why I am right.
You know what happened after that, I've been whining about it the last week or two, but it all finally came to an end tonight. I came home from work and was surprised to find that she was actually there. She even spoke to me, to ask if I wanted anything from ASDA because she was going. I didn't, and she said she'd 'be back soon' and left. I wanted to talk to her about how she was feeling, so I waited. And waited. About an hour and three quarters later, she returns as if everything is normal. I asked her why it took so long, but let it pass. She acted kind of nice to me, made me a cup of tea and offered me some of her cake. I asked her if she was happy.
She is, apparently. She asked what did I expect, for her to be upset? I said that yes, I did, but she just repeated again that she wasn't. I asked how she could be so emotionless about it, and the answer I got was that she only doesn't show emotion to me, and that she only loves people who love and respect her, and I don't respect her. She told me that she knew right after arriving back here that she couldn't handle being with me. I told her that it was deception to carry on pretending to me that she wanted us if she knew she didn't, but she ignored this. I told her I didn't love the person she'd become, and she said that I hadn't changed at all and she didn't love me any more either. So, that was another lie, that she'd been constantly insisting that she still loved me all this time.
I just can't believe this person. Words cannot express the hatred I currently feel. The deception is just... incredible. Some people have problems being honest all the time, but I swear, Shanna and the truth are mortal enemies. Everything she ever says directly contradicts everything else she's ever said to you before, sometimes only minutes ago, and when challenged she'll defend both stances as if they're somehow compatible!
I tried to contain my anger and just told her quietly that she shouldn't have come, and she certainly shouldn't stay. I told her I want her to leave. She asked if I was throwing her out on the street, to which I told her that of course I wasn't, and suggested that she be gone by the end of January. I asked if that was long enough, and she said yes. I replied only with 'good', and went to have a bath. About twenty minutes later, she went downstairs and the front door slammed behind her. I've no idea where she's gone, or why, since I explicitly said that I wasn't forcing her to leave right away, but it's her choice, so whatever. Interestingly, I asked why she didn't go back to Scotland, and she said she didn't want to. So it seems like I was a way out of there for her. After all the bullshit she gave me about how life was so much better up there, and all the justifications she gave me for persisting in wearing that ring (she never did take it off), she doesn't want to be there any more than here.
So we're here once again, but you know what? This time, she separated the good and bad. She held up the good Shanna, the perfect one, the one I would do anything for, and she exposed her as the lie she was. She told me again and again that everything I had ever loved in her had been an act to please me. She had never wanted any of those things, and she had never really wanted a family with me. It wasn't real, and it is gone. Dead. Forever. The beautiful memory I was clutching onto does not exist. As for this person we're left with... she needs to get far away from me, the sooner the better. The only remaining mystery is the big why behind all of it. Why did she leave her home and come to live with me, if she never wanted to be what I thought she was? Why deceive herself and me, for what gain? This, I honestly believe, even she does not know the answer to. Some questions will never be answered, and I think that will bother me for the rest of my life.
For now, I just want to scream OH JESUS THE WASTE, THE FUCKING WASTE AAAARGH! A bit like last time really. Seven years! So much I have put into that relationship, for it to end in this way. You know almost anything would be better. Maybe we tried but just didn't work out, or something happened that meant we couldn't go on, or even a huge disagreement that ends in us walking out on each other. But oh no, instead I get told how everything I ever believed in was a lie.
At least the one 'good thing' that comes of this is that I get to repeat the cycle again, though even faster. I'm too angry to be upset, so stage one was over almost as soon as it began. That should mean that I have a week of ultra-motivation ahead of me. And that I can finally accept that it's better this way. There really is nothing left to love any more. I will mourn the death of my loved one, but she is gone, if she ever existed for more than a fleeting moment anyway. Beautiful dreams I have had, but dreams they were. I am free.