Katie and Josiah: A Story of Love, Heartbreak, and Real Forgiveness
We're working on a second Truthtellers book, and like the first, this book will be filled with accounts from folks who are daring to get real and messy by practicing Radical Honesty with the people in their lives.
By telling these stories and sharing our honest to goodness ups and downs, we hope to inspire others to be bold and expressed and bravely vulnerable as well.
The brave subjects and authors of these tales are helping us prove Brad's favorite motto true, "Radical Honesty. Works pretty good most of the time!"
Below is one of these inspiring stories, written by a friend of Radical Honesty, Katie.
I just had quite a roller coaster ride of experiences and emotions and I want to describe it all to you and in doing so digest it a little more for myself...
Josiah (the dad of my little girl, Josie) and I broke up about 2 months ago and we were getting along great. Not all that much changed really- we were still living together and sleeping in the same bed. I felt different though, and I started to like him and love him a lot more after we broke up- which for me meant giving up all my expectations of how he should be in relationship to me, and feeling constantly disappointed. We even had sex a couple times. I felt sad too, plenty of times, and I judge I was doing a good job of just being sad, being in my experience and in my body with whatever came up.
A couple weeks ago he moved his bed to a temporary apartment above the restaurant he chefs, while he waits for his new place to be renovated. I felt heavy in my belly and cried some and we hugged and were sweet to each other. He still comes back to my house 2 1/2 days a week to hang out with Josie and sleeps here. I liked how slow and gradual we were proceeding, baby steps, and letting Josie get used to the changes slowly as well.
Then on Tuesday night, Josiah told me that he is dating somebody, that he likes her a lot and they've been seeing each other a lot. He was wearing a heart pendant that she gave him. I took it fucking hard. We talked on the porch that night for a couple of hours. I felt lightheaded and dizzy when he first told me and i think i was in shock. I was so surprised. I had been feeling closer to him than ever and then suddenly I imagined we were a million miles away.
We talked about a lot of things that night, and I told him to fuck off a lot, every time he said some flowery bullshit like "I am not leaving you, I will always be by your side" or "I think about you and Josie every minute of my day". I asked him how many times they had had sex and found out they've been fucking twice a day for the last two weeks. The same day that he moved his bed out there was the first night they had sex. I was a bit bewildered, and mad, and sad, and we talked about all of it that night on the porch and smoked a ton of cigarettes. We hugged a lot too and talked about me meeting her. I told him I liked being able to have sex with him whenever I wanted to and we even talked about having a threesome with her.
The next morning I woke up fucking pissed and super hurt. I could barely look at him or talk to him. I imagined me and Josiah spooning each other in his bed the night before they started fucking in it. I taught a long day of lessons and felt like a zombie during most of it. He cooked me some really good dinner. We talked again on the porch that night for hours. I told him that I'm scared that I am no fun without him. That I am never going to meet anyone new. That if he can be happy with someone else, I make it mean that there's something wrong with me. I stayed with my sensations. Again, we hugged and cried and smoked cigarettes. Before I went to bed, I said, are you going to have sex with her tomorrow morning, and he said yes, definitely, and I'm excited about it. I felt sick to my stomach and said "gross". I imagined him being gone for the next five days, screwing her brains out, after spending these two days together talking + hugging + crying + getting mad at each other + saying everything we think (and smoking lots of cigarettes) and I felt gutted.
Josiah went down in the basement to play guitar and watch TV. Before I went to bed, I thought, I should probably resent him "properly", in Radical Honesty fashion. Then I thought- FUCK forgiveness, I want to be fucking mad at him and I want to hurt him. So I went downstairs and told him that. That I wanted to hurt him, that I was thinking of ways to punish him for this. He said, “Like what?” And said he didn't think I had it in me. I said, "How about you get all your shit out of this house by tomorrow morning and don't ever come back here. Whatever's left when I get home tomorrow I will throw away." I was not really angry, just stone cold trying to see what might hurt him. I was also trying to delay him so he couldn't have sex with her before work the next morning.
So the next morning, in full awareness that I was lashing out and trying to hurt him, I said "You are the worst thing that ever happened to me, I wish I had never met you, you have done nothing but hurt me over and over again in every possible way. I want your stuff out of this house so make your plans and don't come back here". I don't even feel embarrassed about saying all that stuff. I'm glad that I went with where I was at instead of trying to act "mature" or something. And I said to him- I'm being an asshole right now because I'm in pain, and I can't bear for you to be happy while I'm in this much pain so I'm trying to hurt you on purpose.
Last part-best part! Yesterday, he said he was leaving work to come over with a moving van. We had a long text exchange (text- not a good idea, I know) where he told me that he was really shocked and surprised by my reaction, that he was really sorry I was hurting so much, and he didn't think sleeping with this girl was gonna be that big a deal for me. I had been on a date with someone and made out with someone on a recent trip, etc. I believed him. I told him I felt worse now than when he cheated on me 3 years ago, because at least then he wanted to be with me and repair our relationship.
He showed up without the moving van and we sat on the porch just looking at each other. We talked and smoked some more cigarettes. I told him that I still wanted to be able to have sex with him sometimes. That I like him so much more now than I have in a long time. I even thought to myself, I could really stick it to this other girl by fucking him right now. He said he would talk to her about that. He said what can I do for you, and I asked him to sit on the couch with me. We sat there for a long time, with me curled up in his lap. We held hands and I kissed his neck. Josie crawled up in our laps and gave us both big hugs and said "Mommy Daddy Mommy Daddy" and we all cuddled and squeezed each other. I think it might be the first time she's ever seen us like that. It was the sweetest goddamn moment I've had in a really long time.
So that's my story. Even though I didn't do it "right" we went through all of our shit and came out the other side. Now i imagine that Josiah and I are still in relationship, a new relationship that we are creating from scratch (and he promised to buy me a bottle of champagne when I get some "fresh action"). We will always be a family and I want us to be good and loving friends.
We hope that you’ll be as inspired and excited by Katie’s story as we are. Maybe you’ll see it as a little messy or embarrassing or scary.
Do you also see it as a success story, like we do?
Freedom is a psychological accomplishment. Only truthfulness will set us free. Many of us already know that in our bones, but we don’t always muster the courage to do it – or remember the incredible rewards!
This book is the best reminder of those rewards you will ever come across. Honesty is the source of the ongoing renewal of love. We have the evidence.