What, Why, and how I feel about it.

I have so many posts floating around in my head, but there’s one in particular that I think I have to write, largely because I don’t want to write it.  I’m not sure that makes sense, but here I go.  In a conversation with a friend who is new to polyamory a few days ago, I realized something about myself, and I need to work out if I can communicate it and process it.

We talked about how she’s transitioning from the world of being a swinger to the world of polyamory. The men she is interested have been swingers and the two she is interested in are both interested in seeing her exclusively, or as the exclusive other partner that isn’t her husband, anyway.  That part is really not important, but she was talking about how she is completely overcome with NRE for one of the guys but doesn’t feel as strongly for the other one, but he is sweet, kind, generous, fun and she is attracted to him and would like to date him too because of these comforting characteristics. (This really smacks of the difference in the way I felt about D and the way I feel about L).   

We were talking about the “exclusivity” thing and she asked me how I would deal with things if one of my partners had asked that of me when I was still married and I immediately said it wouldn’t be an option I would consider.  She said, “what if D had asked you?”, because she knew how overcome with NRE I was for him for our whole relationship.  She knew how deeply in love with him I was.  My response was the same: “I wouldn’t even consider it, but part of what I loved, appreciated, and respected most about D was that he would never have asked something like that of me.”

Then she said something about how completely I loved him and I said that the truth, as hard as it is to admit it, is that if he contacted me tomorrow and asked to date me again, I would say yes in a heartbeat.  It wouldn’t even be something I’d have to think about.  

For the last few days, I’ve been mulling this revelation over.  Part of it is how it “looks”; how people would react if I admitted it aloud; what they would think.  The other part is me analyzing the why of all things; trying to understand why I feel the way I do, despite my ability to look objectively at the way things ended.  The final part is trying to decide if it’s OK that I feel this way.

I’m not generally prone to caring about what other people think, but there’s something that triggers me when I think about how someone would feel about the fact that I would be willing to take D back after the intensity of the heartbreak.  In particular, the way the people who care about me most would feel. If they would feel less important or less loved because of my willingness to forgive D.  If they would be disappointed to hear that I feel that way.  If they would be concerned that I still have feelings and am pining after D.  I would argue that I’m not.  I think about him often, but it’s not with wanting or sadness, it’s just factual – I’m cognizant of what a great relationship it was and the memories I have are good ones, and if I’m completely honest, I just really miss him.  

That being said, I saw this article a couple weeks ago that resonated with me.  In fact, that seems to be a theme lately, articles that resonate so strongly with me that it feels like I was hit with a brick to the head.  This excerpt from this article, in particular, triggers the most powerful response from me every time I read it:

“…here’s another thing they won’t tell you about finding the love of your life: not ending up with them doesn’t disqualify their significance.

Some people can love you more in a year than others could love you in fifty. Some people can teach you more within a single day than others could teach you over the entire course of a lifetime.

Some people come into our lives only for a particular period of time, but make an impact that no one else can ever quite match or replace.

And who are we to call those people anything but the loves of our lives?

Who are we to downplay their significance, to rewrite their memories, to alter the ways in which they changed us for the better, simply because our paths diverged? Who are we to decide that we desperately need to replace them – to find a bigger, better, stronger, more passionate love that we can hold onto for a lifetime?

Maybe we just ought to be grateful that we got to meet these people at all.

That we got to love them. That we got to learn from them. That we got to have our lives expand and flourish as a result of having known them.

Meeting and letting go of the love of your life doesn’t have to be your life’s single greatest tragedy.

If you let it, it can be your greatest blessing.”

What this article did was make me realize that it was OK to no longer be with the great love of my life, while still thinking of him as my great love.  This really falls into the second thing I’ve been mulling over – the “why”.  I think that the reason I’d take him back is because he’s the great love of my life.  I’ve never been that completely in love with someone.  So much so that I was completely blindsided by our break up.  That makes it sound like I wasn’t aware of obvious problems, but the thing was, there were none.  I’ve been over it every possible way and there wasn’t a single thing that could have indicated to me that there were issues.  He’s that person I most loved in my life, and so for that reason, if he asked for me back, I would take him back immediately.  It’s in my nature to forgive, but that’s at odds with the fact that  I do not usually give people a second chance when they have hurt me.  Forgetting isn’t my nature.  In this, I’m different.  I wish I could understand the why of that. I guess love is just that strong an intrinsic motivator and remembering the incredible experience that dating D was is far more important than colouring it with negativity and rewriting history. 

Finally, I’m still trying to decide how I feel about the fact that I’d take D back.  I feel like I’ve done a damn good job of moving on from that heartbreak.  I’ve cried and processed and let go of my anger, hurt, and resentment.  I’ve hugged him, chatted with him, and didn’t feel anything but the same type of happiness I’d feel with seeing a good friend I hadn’t seen in awhile.  There was no hurt, sadness, anger, or even love that made itself known.  I wish I could be a person who could say “but he didn’t value me, so I hate him and never want to see him again”, because that anger would bring me so much comfort.  Anger is a great substitute when the truth makes us feel weak.  No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t hold on to that resentment.   Once I realized that he, as someone I loved, was making a decision so he could be happy, I had to let go of all that and just understand and accept.  

So how do I feel right now?  I feel like this is still a new situation for me. I’ve never left a relationship still thinking the person I was with was an excellent human being, the best kind of person.  Or thinking that everything about the relationship, except for its ending, was incredible.  So, I guess I feel weird.  Like this is uncharted territory and I don’t know how to proceed in navigating the emotions I’m feeling.  

And why did I write this?  Because it’s part of my process. It’s part of being honest with myself, knowing my own boundaries, understanding my strengths and my weaknesses.  Apparently my strength is forgiveness and my weakness is D.

Truthfully, I wouldn’t change anything.

Because, “If I let it, it can be my biggest blessing.”

 

 

Protection

This last week has been pretty great.  I’ve had a few pretty excellent first dates and a fantastic late date with L.  A and I have spent more time together than we have in months as his wife is out of town so he was a little more available than he has been.  It’s nice to see him recharged.  He’s been burning the candle at both ends for months and the last few days he’s been more relaxed than I’ve seen him since February.  It’s pretty great to see.

I’m going to forego talking about the three great first dates (that all ended with a first kiss in the same parking lot, which cracks me up) and the one really not great one I had last week and talk about a realization I made yesterday while having dinner with A.  Somehow the topic of X came up, probably because I’ve been chatting with him quite a bit recently.  I talked about how I still have a thing for him, but we’re skirting around the issue of our intense magnetic attraction.  As the words came out of my mouth, I realized that skirting around the issue is intentional on my part. That by keeping him at arm’s length, I’m protecting myself.  Protecting my heart.  

This got me to thinking about the new men I’m dating.  How I feel about them.  I remember the all-encompassing feeling of New Relationship Energy (NRE) that I felt when I was dating X and when I started dating D. I remember the excitement when I got a text and the anticipation of the next date and the overwhelming pleasure of each touch, be it holding hands or kissing or more.  I remember how I couldn’t get them out of my mind and I loved every bit of that sensation.  I realized that I don’t have this intense, overwhelming NRE with the new guys.  It’s not like I can turn it on or off, but I think that part of the reason I am not overwhelmed by NRE is just protection.  I’m protecting myself, my heart, from taking the risk inherent in dating someone new.  

I’m not sure how I feel about this.  With X, it’s an active choice.  I can’t take the risk of dating him and falling so madly in love with him again.  The wound caused by our romantic relationship ending is so recently healed and that memory is enough for me to to not want to relive it, but keep him at a distance where I can be in control of my emotions and protect my heart.  With the other men though, it’s probably more of an unconscious choice.  I think that I am naturally protective of my heart just now because of the fresh scar that D left on my heart (the one that is superficially healed but requires some time to heal beneath the surface and still has some lingering pain associated with it) and that’s translating into a lack of NRE.  Don’t get me wrong, I like these men, I want to spend time with them, they are all pretty incredible and I’m very attracted to them, but I’m not all consumed by NRE for any of them.  

This realization takes me on two different emotional paths.  The first is happiness that I can protect my heart and still embrace new relationships.  That I’m a bit more in control than I was last fall when I fell so completely in love first with X, then with D. The second is a bit of sadness in knowing that I’m not putting myself all in, wondering if it’s because the part of me that feels that intense emotion broke along with my heart or if it’s just because I haven’t met the right person.   Along with this is the mourning of the loss of that wonderful emotion and wondering if I’ll ever have that intense fun and excitement of falling in love, and being so certain in that love, again.  

I think more than anything, it shocked me that I suddenly, mid-sentence, realized that I was protecting myself. That I’d put up barriers that I was previously unaware I could erect.  That I had donned an armour built on heartbreak and hurt and disappointment.  That somewhere, in all that has happened, I shed a little bit of my optimism and positivity and freedom for a little bit of safety.  The broken heart is like a terrorist preventing me from enjoying everything I should in life due to fear.  The threat of hurt is not paralyzing, but a very real, recently experienced source of fear.  Right now, it’s protective, but I need to be cognizant of when the protection becomes limiting.  

Ephiphany

Today was the most amazing day.  I had an enormous epiphany that was the final puzzle piece on processing the end of my relationship with D and that gave me so much perspective about what has been going on with F.  I’m in such an amazing place and it’s really impossible to explain how happy this epiphany has truly made me.

First, I’m going to share a conversation that happened between F and I today.  The time has come to tell our kids about our separation.  We’ve been waiting until school is done because our oldest has a lot of separation anxiety when big changes occur.  I really didn’t want to tell her that her entire world was changing and then send her off to school.  This Thursday being the last day of school means that it’s time.  So I messaged F to try to set up a time for us to break the news to them together.  This is how it went (I’m pink; F’s blue):

This is the last week of school.  I would like to tell #1 (and the other kids) about us separating.  This is something I think we should do together.  How would you feel about doing it after school on Thursday before you go to your first night shift?

Tell me how you see this looking? I was planning on spending some time packing for camping.  How much time do you think we need? Do you think you’d be able to come back at 4pm, and we could do it then? Any thoughts on how to present it to them?

I can definitely come back at 4. I think we should sit the kids down and just tell them that mommy and daddy still love each other, but we aren’t going to be married to each other anymore, and that we are going to live in separate houses.  We should tell them that we were fighting all the time as they know, and we get along better when we don’t live together.  I think we should tell them that we still both love them and we are all still family even though mommy and daddy aren’t a couple and that mommy and daddy are still working as a team to be their parents.  We should tell them that they will still see both of us lots and that it’s OK to love us both and it’s OK to miss one of us and miss when we all lived together.  I expect #1 will react very badly, and have a lot of questions.  

To add to that, #1 was asking me last night if I like W, and asking me if I think you love her or me more, etc.  She knows something is up.  I told her that my feelings about W don’t matter because you chose her and it’s not my decision.  She tried to argue that you chose me first and that means I’m more important and I basically deflected the situation.  Be prepared that she’s going to need your reassurance that this decision was both of ours, not that you left for W.  I absolutely will not ever tell the kids that you chose her over me. I promise you that.

Just to clarify there, I did not choose W over you. She actually has nothing to do with this. You asked for a separation. But I agree that this is not something they need to know.

Are you sure you want to do this when you’re going to have them by yourself for several days?

I think #1 already understands. She’s a smart kid. Of course they’re going to react against new partner(s), and want us back together, that’s natural.  I think we need to try and minimise the conflict between us that occurs in front of them.

Me asking for a separation is mutually exclusive from you choosing W over me.  It doesn’t matter though, you made your choice and that influenced my choice. It’s OK, I’m not blaming her, I blame us.

I do absolutely want to do this when I’m going to have them alone for several days. #1 will need the extra time with me to talk to me and be close to me so I can help her process. I do not want to wait until just before you take them for the weekend or just before she goes on her trip.  And honestly, I don’t like having to avoid answering #1’s questions.

I tried a few times to write a response to your comments about, “choosing W over [you]”. This isn’t what happened — but I can understand how you may feel this way, given we haven’t had any real conversation about the causes of the separation. On one hand, I feel like the time we spent together means I owe you explanations of what happened, and that you deserve to hear my perspective.  But on the other, I think you’re not ready to listen, and it will only cause more anger and conflict. So I’m going to leave it there.

I think telling them on Thursday puts me in a difficult situation, in that they (especially #1), will have a lot of questions that I won’t be able to answer until Saturday, when we’re off camping. But I’m not seeing a lot of great alternatives.  Telling her just before going on her trip would be a nightmare, and I agree that doing it on almost no sleep before going camping is also a bad idea.

I also don’t like avoiding answering questions, I’m glad it will be out in the open, although I suspect they have worked much out themselves in their clever little heads. I am worried about how this is going to affect them, but remain far more worried about how us remaining together would have affected them. At least we know how we’re going to screw them up now.  Everyone screws up their kids somehow, this will be our way.

I want to say that I’m not angry at you for this.  We are not a good combination together, and became (or maybe always have been?) toxic. That doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, any more than it makes me a bad person. It just means the combination of us doesn’t work. I wish you happiness in the future, and hope that you can find someone who meets your needs better than I could. I hope that you’re doing ok.

No matter what,  your perspective and my perspective are going to be different.  You have a dialogue, I have mine. Somewhere in the middle is the truth.  If you want to tell me what you think happened, I will be happy to hear it.  But as you said, it’s not necessary.  I hope to one day be friends again, because it will be good for the kids, and honestly, most of the time, I like you.  I think that you choosing to have W in your life will complicate our friendship, but that is the choice you have made.  For what it’s worth, I’m glad you are happy with her, even if I don’t like her and I’m concerned about the influence she will have over our kids in the future.

Honestly, I may have been the one to ask for the official separation, but you left our marriage a long time before I did.  I was just the one to pull the trigger, but we were both done.  I dislike that you keep saying “You asked for this”.  I didn’t ask for this, but I did choose it, because it was the right decision, and I suspect you wouldn’t have chosen yourself.  I think that when I look back at our relationship, there is a theme that presents itself. I don’t like to say toxic, because it wasn’t all bad. There were some really great times.  The last six months were awful.  I thought at one point that that awful was new, but realized that it wasn’t new, it was just more frequent.  When I thought back through our 14 years together, I realized that the dysfunction had always been there, it just took the addition of 3 new people in our lives to expose those cracks in our foundation.  When we didn’t acknowledge those cracks or even try to repair them, it crumbled. It crumbled in a horrible awful way because we were both too stubborn to acknowledge our roles and work together or pull the plug sooner.  Stepping off that roller coaster was the best thing I could do for myself, for you, and for our kids.  It was the best thing for our marriage to end it.  You and I both know that.  There are times when you and I chat now that I remember why I married you.  I’m glad I have that back, because it had been nearly a year since I felt that way. It helps remind me that I do want to parent with you because you are a good dad.  I think as things settle down, we will get better.  There will be challenges that we haven’t faced before, but in the end, I believe we will do what is best for the kids always.  

As for me, there will never be some”one” for me.  I am polyamorous – acknowledging that and embracing it was life changing in the most amazing way.  What it means for my future, I don’t know, but I’m really really really happy knowing who I am and living the life I was meant to.  It doesn’t make it easy, lord knows I’ve suffered a lot in the last six months, but it is worth it to me.

As for the conversation with the kids, the reality is that we are not going to both be with the kids for them to ask us questions together. That’s the very basic fact of what we are telling them.  It will take them time to process. If #1 needs to talk to you, I can call you and you can talk to her. It will be OK.  But this isn’t screwing up the kids.  Screwing up the kids was what we did from November to March.

I wouldn’t focus so much on W. It will be a minor miracle if that relationship survives our separation. Also, you really don’t know the first thing about her — you never got to know her.

I think we will be able to be friends and make this work amicably. We’re obviously going to have disagreements, but I think it’s important to both of us to maintain a strong parenting relationship moving forwards for the sake of the kids.

I think sometimes that the children helped keep us together.  Suddenly we had these amazing little people that we were in love with, and we saw that love reflected in each other. I also feel I have some responsibility for not having the self esteem to leave the relationship earlier –  but, at the same time, I’m glad we had the four amazing kids that we had.

I’m glad that finding polyamory has made you happy. I also think that kids are very resilient, and will deal with this.

I’m not focused on W at all, apart from the instigation, rumours, and general defamation of my character that she likes to partake in, both to my face and to others who will listen, I couldn’t actually care less about her.  I just don’t want her to hurt the kids.  My separation is with you, and I work very hard to focus on what you and I need to do to work together, but it’s also obvious that a third person is influencing things. I’m fortunate to have partners who don’t get involved.

I, too, am glad that we have the kids we did, the frequent pregnancies and crazy changes we experienced certainly inhibited us from really seeing what our relationship was.  We looked at events instead of happiness as a whole.  I, too, acknowledge my responsibility for not leaving you earlier.  I think that the fact that I wasn’t living authentically meant that I settled for something that didn’t make me happy for a long time.  I truly thought we were good when I proposed polyamory last August.  I didn’t doubt my love for you.  I’m sorry that I hurt you along the way and that it took me until now to know myself.  But how amazing is it that we both know that we weren’t happy and can pursue what we really want in life?  With the best kids in the world to join the adventure?

Thursday at 4 it is.

“But how amazing is it that we both know that we weren’t happy and can pursue what we really want in life?  With the best kids in the world to join the adventure?”

I like that sentiment.

The journey we take together is apart.  That’s OK!

I have no idea what that means, but good luck!

Hahaha. I got too philosophical!  

I meant that we have had a life’s journey together that brought us to this point, and now we are on parallel journeys to create the life we want, still together because of our wonderful kids, but apart.  

It made sense in my head.

I like this conversation. Thank you.

Me too. You’re welcome.

There is so much awesome in this conversation. From both of us presenting our feelings and listening and accepting the other’s perspective, to the acknowledgement from both of us that we are doing the right thing by separating, to the discussion of how to have a difficult conversation with the four people we love most in the world, to the support and encouragement from each of us to the other with regards to creating the lives we want.  

The second thing I want to write about is a conversation I had with a coworker today.  He has chosen to leave his wife in the last few weeks.  On paper, they have a great marriage.  There really isn’t an obvious reason he’s not happy that an outside observer could identify, but he’s not happy.  He doesn’t find his relationship fulfilling and wants something different.  He’s been trying to explain this to his wife and she doesn’t understand it.  Of course, she is trying to understand and is making her own conclusions about why he’s doing what he’s doing. She’s concluded that he’s depressed and that is the reason he blames their relationship for his unhappiness.  It’s such a natural thing for a person to do – to try to understand something because it’s hard to accept without understanding, and to make up a reason that makes sense to them.  In fact, I did that exact thing, actively, as part of my process of mourning the loss of my relationship with D and less consciously as part of my processing the dysfunction in my relationship with F.  I sat in my office, listened to his story, and said: “It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, as long as you are making the decisions that make you happy.”  

As those words came out of my mouth, I had my epiphany.  I realized that what I was saying applied to D too.  It doesn’t matter what I think or feel or even why he did it.  It doesn’t matter that the decision he made for himself hurt me deeply.  He made a decision for himself because he decided it was what he needed to do to be happy.  While I was more heartbroken than I’ve ever been before, the love I had for him allows me to be very happy for him now that I understand that he knows himself well enough to make decisions for his own happiness.  

As I sat thinking about this revelation, I realized that it also applies to F.  We have walked a path together and at the fork in the road, we chose different paths.  Those paths are now parallel, because we always need to be near to our children, but they are our own individual paths to walk that we each get to choose for ourselves.  We get to make our own decisions about what makes us happy, who we bring along on our journeys, and how we get there.  

This epiphany meant that I suddenly felt very happy for D.  I suddenly felt very happy for F.  Even more, I felt very happy for myself.  We are all making decisions that make us happy and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.  

Revisiting D

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.  
  3. 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.***    

 

 

 

 

 

I cried

Today I cried.  For the first time since my heart was suddenly figuratively ripped out of my chest, I cried.  It was simple.  A friend is selling something that D and his wife need.  I offered to connect them.  And his wife wrote this to me: …I miss you. And I’m sorry.  I don’t understand, and I don’t want to know what happened. I just want you to know….”

And I cried.  I cried because I don’t understand.  Because I’m sad. Because I love him and I miss him.  Because it was so amazing. And it’s gone.  And I don’t understand and the person who is closest to him doesn’t either. And then I cried more because I thought I was good.  And I felt weak and stupid and fragile.  And I cried because I want to be angry but I can’t be angry anymore.  I’m just hurt and sad and I can’t wrap an anger blanket around myself as protection any more.  It’s the second time in my life I’ve had a broken heart.  Like everything I tackle in my life, I thought I could power through.  Force myself to heal and move on.  Then with that message, I got a reminder that I’m not always in control, despite wanting to be.  And I cried.  Because I should.  Because I’m human.  

Three things and done

The last time I talked about D, I ended by saying that the relationship was amazing, but the ending wasn’t.  As I’ve processed my heartache and come to a really good, logical place, one that prevents me from being angry at all and has me wondering if friendship will ever be a thing for us, I find myself thinking about the very best of the amazing parts of our relationship.  The things that when I think of, I’m still flooded with that amazing emotion that enveloped me in that moment.  Truthfully, there are so many good memories, it’s hard to narrow them down.  There were so many nights on the couch where we just held each other and watched a movie, running our hands over each other’s or running our hands through each other’s hair (or lack thereof).  There were so many lunches and suppers and drink dates where we sat and talked and held hands and just connected.  There were so many super fucking sexy times in bed.  I was trying to narrow it down to three.  Three memories that if I only had three to hold on to, what they would be.  It’s hard to do so.  By a narrow margin, these three won out.

  1. The Robbie Burns night when A goaded me into coming and D was so happy I was there.  The reaction on his face when he saw me.  The way he said “My mind is blown!” and the actions he did as he said it. Many times.  His wife giving me the bed for the night.  Standing in their kitchen, D hugging both of us and telling us how much he loved us both and was so very happy.  Drunk chatting until all hours of the morning including D talking about picturing us together and how it would look 20 years from now.
  2. The night we first said “I love you” to each other.  The amazing IKEA date, supper at his favourite bar, walk, coffee, and that amazing, long, perfect kiss goodnight.  The way my heart pounded so I thought it would jump out of my chest.  The way I felt when he first said “Goodnight my love”, and the way it felt to whisper “I love you” in his ear.  That amazing feeling of having him say it back.
  3. The night I gave him a long massage.  I got chocolate flavoured/scented (it’s kind of awful, but he just thanked me for not picking cherry) massage oil and massaged him from head to ankle (I have a foot thing).  What followed was hours of foreplay.  It was sensual and soft and when that was done it was hard and sexy and amazing.  I felt like I was showing my love through each touch of every body part.  It was so….complete.  

I miss D.  Things happen in my life and I still catch myself thinking “I should text him to tell him”, and then I realize he’s no longer that person to me. He removed himself from that list in a horrible way. Writing out the above three scenarios hurt.  It brought up the pain that I thought I’d waded through.  The secret of course, is that I haven’t been thinking in detail about any of those things, but acknowledging and moving on.  Writing them out meant thinking hard about the love we shared. What was amazing.  What we’ve lost.

And I’m done.  I’m putting D to rest.  He’s gone from my life.  So he’s gone from this blog too.  I’m still a little sad about that, but the sadness too will end.    

A good place

On Friday, I decided I was taking this weekend to myself.  To be alone and reflect and do some self care.  As alone as one can be when having to keep four young kids alive, anyway.  Saturday and Sunday, I spent in my yard.  I planted most of my garden, mowed the lawn, trimmed the trees, weeded flower beds, and worked.  I got dirty, sweaty, and hot; it was amazing. My kids ran around naked and played in the little paddling pool and got wet naked bums and went shooting out the slide into the pool. My little man learned a bunch of new words this weekend and came and grabbed my hand and dragged me to the couch for a cuddle, which melted my heart.  My girls were lovely, fun, and full of spunk.  The kids played with the neighbourhood kids.  It was easy and relaxing and fun and I processed. Oh how I processed.

I’m in a really good place. The knot in my stomach, the lump in my throat, and the pain in my heart are gone.  I’ve worked at accepting that I may never understand why D ended it the way he did and that I may never understand what my part in it was.  I’ve concluded that I can say it was not me, it was him.  The anger and hurt have dissipated and I think about D far less every day.  So much less that I am forgetting I’m angry about the way he ended it and happy memories float in instead.  As is always the case with me, I can’t stay angry or hold a grudge.  I process quickly, and I’m confident that in no time I’ll just be looking back at everything but our break up with a fondness for how amazing it once was.  The truth is, it was amazing. A relationship ending does not mean it was a bad relationship.  It was a great relationship.  It just had a bad ending.

In among the hurt that I was dealing with last week, F threw me another curve ball in our separation.  A and D had both been suggesting for a long time that I was being too nice.  So, I stopped being so nice.  I’m playing hard ball to his curve ball and he’s upped the passive aggressive bullshit and I’m tired of it.  So I’m going to just let it go and wait and see and try to enjoy my kids and the time I have with A. I need to let go of all the hurt and anger and just be. Take things one step at a time.  Lean on my people and just do stuff in the meantime.

Part of what I did yesterday was reactivate my OKCupid account. I really like getting to know people, talking to them and seeing where things go.  It’ll have to be a pretty strong connection to even get me out on a first date, but there’s no harm in chatting, right? I’m truly not “ready” to date, but I also don’t know when I will be, or if the good time will ever come.  I’m going to play things by ear and see where they go.  I’ve had a lot of messages on Fetlife in the last weeks and am still chatting with K, who I will almost certainly date one day.  The reality is that A’s schedule isn’t going to lighten up in the foreseeable future and we’ve fallen into a good routine with our one in home date every week and stealing a moment here or there otherwise.  I don’t want him to feel pressured for more than he can offer either and that means I might have to get my rocks off elsewhere periodically. I’m polyamorous, so it’s a little odd to have just one man in my life. (If someone would have told me I would write that sentence a year ago, I’d say they were nuts!) I’m just going to be open to possibilities right now and see how things go.

Either way, I’m back to being happy with the life I’ve chosen for myself. I know the decisions I’ve made were right and even though the pain of polyagony has been abundant as of late, living the life I was meant to live and accepting myself as who I am is worth every bit of pain.  I could, however, use a bit of a break.