I booked a counselor’s appointment last week when I was blindsided by the crushing emotion that prevented me from being functional. Well, the counselor’s appointment did exactly what it should. I had to dig in the dark corners and expose them and identify them and try to deal with them, or at least come up with a plan. I realized how incredibly bizarre my life has been this last 6 to 9 months. And how it makes sense that I wouldn’t be able to deal with all the bad that has happened and that my subconscious would wait until now to let me deal with it. And how amazing my brain is for allowing me to navigate all that insanity for so long without ever wavering in my commitment to my choices and my happiness. In fact, this one truth is what has helped me cope more than anything.
I talked with the counselor about everything. The deaths of my grandparents, my separation, the horrible way in which D broke up with me and my ongoing sadness and confusion associated with it, my sister and her crazy, my dad’s diagnosis and the fact that he’s spending so much time with my sister that he’s stopped communicating with me too, and W and the fact that I had the lovely opportunity to listen to a pocket dial conversation between W and F and had an absolute confirmation of the fact that she is the instigator of so much anger.
Yes, despite saying I wasn’t going to write about D any more, I have decided that I have to again. Since I am both a woman, and this is my space, I get to change my mind if I want to. One of the things that I talked about with my counselor is that not understanding is really difficult for me. The sudden change, the way he broke up with me, the absence of him in my life when there are still so many things I think of sharing with him on a daily basis and then realize he’s not actually part of my life anymore. It’s like my brain is dividing by zero and this unhealthy cycle of misunderstanding isn’t working for me.
This is because I’m a logical and rational person. If I understand something, I can accept it. I can’t understand this. She made the point that many people get stuck in the loop I’m in. They can’t get past an event because they can’t wrap their brain around what happened. She said that maybe I should create my own narrative, my own story, and make it true in my head to help me accept it. I said I was having a hard time because I don’t want to reframe our relationship. I want to remember it for how awesome and fun it was. She made the very cogent point that I can make up a story that forgives him, recognizes that he may have misunderstood something, and still makes sense to me. Of course, my brain went crazy with possible scenarios, from the logical to the bizarre. Here’s a few I came up with:
- First off, I really don’t want to believe he is fallible. That he could make a mistake. Our relationship was *really* that good in my eyes. I really love(d) him that much. So, the first scenario is probably the most forgiving to him. Because it’s completely outside the realm of reality. He was abducted by aliens. Not in the “beem me up” type of abduction scenario, but more of the Stephanie Meyer “The Host” scenario. (Yes, she wrote another book, it was much better than the Twilight series, even though her grammar was appalling). Where an alien being overtook his body and was acting as him, making decisions for him, running his life, without actually making a whole lot of sense. Said alien clearly installed itself into his body, couldn’t compute all the “logic” it had learned about our species, and decided to cut out the non-childbearing character. It was intelligent about the dumping too, because it didn’t have to face me, who knew that face and it’s expressions well, and it did it in such a way that if we ever got back in contact, I would forever doubt him.
- He’s depressed and overwhelmed. He had been feeling more “down” off and on since January. He always brushed it off as something he would get past, but I’m not so sure that’s the case. The overwhelmed comes from the external forces – the excessive social plans, frequently forgetting about things and rushing last minute, work getting busy, not being completely professionally fulfilled, and hardly having enough time to finish one major renovation project and taking on a second equally large scale project, on top of the normal daily life stuff, which includes a wife and kids and all the other adult responsibilities that he naturally took on. When he looked at his life and all those things he had non-negotiable obligations to, he naturally looked over his schedule and looked for the point of weakness, the one priority that could be discarded without affecting the other things in his life. That was me. He didn’t really not love me, or not want to be with me, he just felt like he had to, when there were other things that he needed to get done that were stressing him out. So, I felt like an obligation to him and for some reason, that obligation was too much pressure to value me enough to try to find a way to work around it. What’s unfortunate is that I would have gladly given him more time to get what he needed done. Fuck, I would have had every date be one where I was helping him get the stuff done. I would have understood. I would have moved mountains to make it work.
- He felt he had to fulfill a support role in my life with the stress I was going through, and that’s where the obligation set in. He could have just talked to me. I would have happily talked to other people about my stress if it was too much for him. I feel like sharing with him brought him down and I didn’t realize it. That my sharing of the daily ridiculous that was the early days of my separation wasn’t the same to him as it was to me. He felt stressed by it, while I was just sharing it. He didn’t need to internalize it or even listen to it. I could have taken it elsewhere. He just needed to say it was too much. And that he misjudged me and didn’t think he could ask me to stop.
One of #2 or #3 are the most likely scenario, although a combination of the two is also not unlikely. I seriously wish I was lame enough to believe in aliens, because #1 would be so much more comforting. There are a few more less generous scenarios that have gone through my head, but the reality is that I don’t believe that he is a bad person at all, so I can’t go there. I just can’t, even when I was at my angriest, which I certainly am not now.
I think about D less every day. But I still think about him often. When I’m alone, when I’m not occupied by my million responsibilities, he slips into my thoughts. My kids took it really hard when I told them that he wouldn’t be coming to visit anymore, and then he didn’t come up anymore. I had hoped that he was gone from their reality, when in the last two days two of them brought him up. One, my 3-year-old, who loved him most, asked if he was coming to visit last night, and the 7-year-old asked me to do some internet searches she’d done with him so we could laugh and learn about the same thing. The hurt that I felt early on when they brought him up wasn’t present, but it wasn’t completely absent either.
I’ve been confiding in some close friends about the hard time I’m having. About the tears and the sadness and the hurt. While I think I’m coming out the other side of this sadness now, there was a point where I was concerned that I was slipping into depression again. So I asked them what they thought. How I would know for sure. They responded in so many of the ways I needed. Reassured me that my feelings were normal, that the fact that I was concerned I was depressed again probably meant I wasn’t, and that with all I’ve been through, being sad was a very normal, natural emotion. It was amazing. And it hurt at the same time. They focused on my relationship with F. How I would be mourning its loss, and the loss of that love, and the awful that’s happening there. Don’t get me wrong, he drives me fucking crazy, but that’s not it at all. It made me sad that my best friends didn’t recognize, understand, or acknowledge that the hurt for me is coming from the break up with D, that to them, this relationship, that was so very important to me, is insignificant. It’s like the few pictures I have of us together are the only proof that we were once were a couple. That we once loved each other. That we were something that really truly mattered, that was amazing, and real, and powerful, and should have lasted. Because to them, my hurt is coming from my separation from F, because he was around for 14 years. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
I would love, more than anything, to hear what it really was that led him to send that email over a month ago. I would love to hear from him why he threw me away like garbage. I would love to see him again and hug him and get lost in his embrace. He always smelled amazing and had a way of moving in for a kiss that made me feel like he was bracing for the earth to open with the connection that was about to happen. The truth is, although it’s not as acute and painful and awful as it was a month ago, I miss him. I would give so much to stop missing him and just be able to look back and enjoy the memories of our time together fondly without feeling. But the truth is, I’m still having a hard time with the fact that he’s no longer a part of my life. Things happen that I want so much to share with him and then I remember that that isn’t who we are anymore. And my heart breaks again; remembering that he isn’t part of my life anymore hurts. Every time.
***I’ve spend 6 days writing this post. I feel weak, and vulnerable, and lame for still feeling so much for D. I feel like I shouldn’t feel these things. Like I shouldn’t hurt, or need comfort, or want someone to hold me while I mourn and grieve and cry and rage. I’ve put on a brave face for over four weeks. The fact is, I’m not brave, or strong, or resilient just now. I’m hurting and weak and I’m also brave and strong and resilient. Strength comes with hurt. Right now, I’m getting stronger.***