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.  

Imaginary conversation

I’m sure that everyone in the world has conversations in their head. Imagines how a conversation would go if you could say all the things that you want to the person who hurt you or someone you love. Tonight, I’m going out with some of my friends from work to an event that D and his wife also have tickets to.  I doubt they are going to stay away and I’ve been playing over and over in my head how the situation will go.  Will D or his wife come say “Hi”?  Will he ask to talk to me?  Will they pretend I don’t exist?  

I hope his wife comes to chat with me, because truthfully, I really like her and as much as we can’t be friends right now because I have this giant pain in my chest caused by her husband, one day soon, that will disappear, and I’d like to continue being friendly with her, and I’d like to say so.  But I’ve been thinking a lot more about how it would go if he came over to say “Hi” and asked to talk to me.  If he said “Sorry” or tried to explain.  I am really angry at him right now and I think I’d be really blunt, possibly outright mean.  In my head, it goes something like this:

“I’m sorry too.  I’m sorry  I misjudged you.  We had six months together where we never had so much as a heated discussion.  I’m going through a difficult time in my life and I was talking to you about what was going on.  The fact that I was having a rough time doesn’t preclude you from talking to me about your problems. You say you didn’t want to add to my stress, so you didn’t talk to me about what was going on with you.  You fucking told me you were having a hard time with how busy it had been at work and how socially busy you were during April. You never gave me a single clue that your moods had anything to do with me or our relationship.  I gave you a perfect fucking opening to talk to me about things when I asked you for a little more communication a few weeks ago.  I have tons of people in my life who are going through way more difficult things than I am. We support each other. I talk to them; they talk to me. That’s how relationships work.  Part of my job as your girlfriend, something I very much wanted to do, was be your support.  You were having a hard time.  You intentionally didn’t tell me about it for worry that it wouldn’t be supportive of me; you didn’t want to add to my stress.  You fucking lied to me about what was bothering you.  You did so, somehow justifying that it wasn’t adding to my stress and you didn’t process your shit in the meantime.  You let it build up.  To the point where instead of fucking talking it out, you got so stressed that the only thing you can do is decide to, immediately, with no warning, or sign of difficulty, end our relationship.

It’s obvious to me that your problem wasn’t with me.  It was supporting me while I was separating from F.  Fuck, that’s completely understandable. My life has been crazy.  I have so many people in my life who support me.  If you had just told me that it was too much for you, I could have gone to them for support.  I don’t have to talk to someone who is unwillingly supporting me.  I have people who want to be there for me. A lot of those people, in fact.  It required a fucking conversation.  “Hey, I’m really having a hard time hearing all about what’s going on between you and F.  Do you think that I could take a break from it for a while, it’s really bringing me down.” That’s how that fucking conversation would go. And because I love you, and I’m an adult who knows how to actually be supportive of others, I would have happily backed off.  

Let’s talk about this part from your classy break-up email:  “I do know that, although I enjoy spending time with you, when we’re apart I experience a lot of anxiety and doubt when thinking about our next date and about longer term plans. Last night I realized that, at some point, our relationship changed for me from something I want to do into something I feel obligated to do. I don’t know why that is. I don’t know what caused that change. But I do know that it’s not the basis for a healthy relationship, and that it’s not fair to you or me to continue like that’s not the case.

Here’s the thing about relationships:  When you enter into one, when you commit to a partner, you are obligated to them.  Feeling obligated is part of a fucking relationship.  It is absolutely part of a healthy fucking relationship.  Otherwise it’s not a fucking relationship. You said you enjoy spending time together. The anxiety and doubt in between? That’s what’s driving the obligation feelings.  You know what you do? You identify the fucking source and talk to the person you’re in a relationship about those things. You work out together how to make it less work.  To enjoy it more.  Fuck.  You don’t think: “Oh, I don’t know why things changed for me, clearly I have to dump her.” That is what’s not fair to me.   

I keep thinking about how you said in those first days we were getting to know each other that it had to be easy and fun.  That finding the connection was what made it worth it.  It never occurred to me that it wasn’t the connection that you wanted, but the easy and fun.  That the minute you had to work for a relationship, you would pull the plug.  I get it. You’re married. You have all the obligations and commitments that come with that.  You have kids together, and sometimes you have to do things just because you are obligated to.  Again, that’s because it’s a relationship where you have committed to each other.  All relationships are work at some point.  All of them.  Even poly relationships. Some would say even more so in poly relationships, although I wouldn’t say that’s the case in my experience.  But at the first sign of work (a sign I didn’t even know about), you bailed. You failed me.  And you know what that reaction tells me? You don’t want to be poly.  You don’t want an actual relationship. You want something easy, fun, and simple. No commitment, no work, no struggle or communication.  You know what a relationship like that is?  Not real. It doesn’t fucking exist.  

I feel sorry for you.  You gave up a good thing because you were too fucking lazy to work for it.  I am worth so much more than the way you treated me.  You discarded me like I was disposable when the first sign of a challenge came along, after 24 hours of fucking reflection. You never gave us a chance.  I see that now.  I am so much better than the way you treated me.

Finally, you are a fucking coward. An email?  With no warning?  Out of the blue, late on a Monday night, with the subject line “I’m sorry”. I am better than that. Take your sorry and shove it up your ass. I am way too fucking good for you. Fuck you.”

Well, writing that out helped. I’d never say all those things to his face, but imagining telling him off is giving me great comfort right now. Every day is getting easier. The lump in my throat and pain in my chest and knot in my stomach are all diminishing with every passing minute.  I had no problem sleeping last night after my first night of insomnia.  I had fun this morning at my 40th birthday photo shoot and will have fun with my friends tonight.  One day, I won’t even remember this.   

This is my first experience getting dumped.  Oddly, I find it way easier than dumping someone.  I’ve always been the one to do it.  I’ve always been horribly worried about hurting the other person, so much so that it affects me for weeks and I am quite concerned about the person’s well-being.  In some ways, being angry and knowing it’s not me, but it’s him, is quite comforting.