- May 28, 2008
I understand what went wrong, and its too late to fix it.
There is still so much else good in life, good in my life.
Many interesting people, much fun to be had.
I have not been dreaming about her (at least, I don't think so, I usually don't remember my dreams though)
Tonight I did.
She was at my home for some reason. It was late. She was in the living room, I in my bedroom. I had been acting as if everything were normal, but I was roiling inside.
I'm not sure exactly what about.
Mostly I was angry.
Often, I am (angry) when I'm awake, in real life.
But, at her? at life? at myself?
I don't know.
I feel like she took from me my love. The feeling of love itself. I no longer have any love. I have nothing. (I have things, many things, but nothing to take the place of love).
I enjoy writing. I enjoy running, jumping, climbing, skating, singing while I bicycle. I enjoy trips to new places, meeting interesting people, going out at night with friends. I enjoy both of my jobs, I love that I help people, that I'm good at them, that it makes a difference, and not just to some corporation. I am proud of having a green business, of working for a non-profit, for helping to save the world in my own little way. I have been largely successful in my efforts to make my neighborhood a little better, making things happen, getting on the landlords case.
I have gotten an unusual amount of attention from women, something I'm not at all used to, and it gives me self-confidence and motivation. I've even been asked out, and she is fascinating and wonderful and fun and we share many ideas and I look forward to getting to know her better.
My relationship, my marriage was the most important thing in my life. I don't think that is abnormal or unhealthy. I think she was right for me. I think we could have been happy in the long run with the right changes.
And so it leaves me in this weird place where the person who has hurt me is also the person I most care about. Do I want her, or do I resent her? She hurt me more than anyone ever has. She made me more happy than anyone else ever has.
Even if she were not so closed to me, and was willing to talk about it, if she ended up wanting to work on it before giving up, how could I ever trust her? She said she was 100% sure. She said that over and over. If she changed her mind about 100% sure, then a commitment from her could never mean anything. I couldn't feel safe.
I enjoyed the feeling of being part of a couple. I considered her in my every decision. I enjoyed feeling love for someone. I never felt that before. I had felt care, infatuation, respect, but not love. And I feel like she robbed me of all those wonderful feelings. It may sound illogical, but not wanting her actually hurts worse than knowing she doesn't want me.
In the dream I was roiling inside, but I couldn't really tell if it was hurt, or anger at her, or at myself, or? I was in my bedroom, and I opened the backdoor and went outside in my bathrobe; the backdoor sticks (in real life), its hard to open and close and when it stuck I just started slamming the door, and then opening it equally forcefully and slamming it again, over and over. And I started screaming. This is totally unlike me. I have never done such a thing, and I doubt I ever would. That would be really selfish. Why disturb the neighbors just because I'm having a problem? I kept slamming the door until the awning, already damaged from the wind, started to come down. Aileen came outside to see what was wrong but I didn't acknowledge her. I tried to put my shoes on because I just wanted to get away form there, but there were rocks in them, and after I poured them out and put my shoes on, there was still one rock I had missed, and I took them back off and threw them at the awning, because I hated them, I was angry at my stupid shoes and the stupid rocks and my stupid house.
And I woke up.
And I couldn't fall back asleep.
It wasn't until around 5:30 that I gave up trying.
I made so many mistakes. It is just as much my own fault as hers. I was completely self-absorbed, acting on what I was missing, how I felt. I didn't know it. I thought I was being fair, objective, but I wasn't. I didn't realize how she felt, what she thought internally. I genuinely did care about her, but I didn't know what she needed. I didn't know how relationships work. So many things, if I had known then what I realize now, I could have done differently, and it probably would have saved it.
Everyone I know, everyone, has gone through serial relationships. They date, and maybe they have a boy/girl friend for a year or two. Some even move in for a while.
And they all seem to find it normal, expected, no big deal, when it ends.
You just move on.
Thats how she sees it. She expects me to just "let go".
Everyone else seems able to do this. She seems to have already completely moved on. Our relationship lasted 7 years, and I felt closer to her than I have to any other person.
Its been about a month. We hadn't had a fight, nothing bad had happened, she just decided one day. We had been working on our conflicts together.
She told me she never felt a connection to me. She was never "in-love" with me. To me "in-love" is very different from "love". You are in love when you meet someone new and exciting - its another term for infatuation. I didn't see her as my lover. I saw her as my best friend. I saw her as my partner. I was in-love with her, too, much of the time. It was a bonus. The times I didn't feel the infatuation, I cared about her just as much.
Is it that I am merely obsessive, or does no one else experience love?
She thinks that its pathetic that I still have feelings for her, that it shows I am desperate if I want to still have some interactions with her. No doubt she will read this, and it will be further proof to her how sad and pathetic and desperate I am.
I am sad. But if I was ok with going from most significant person in each others lives to friendly acquaintances over the course of one week (that's when she first expressed that expectation, though it has been a month now) that could only mean I never really had strong or deep feelings for her in the first place.
And she is ok with that, which I guess means its true when she says that she never had strong or deep feelings for me in the first place. She had told me before, about a year ago, about how she had been blocking out all of her positive feelings for me when she first moved out, as a self-defense mechanism. But she is absolutely confident that that is not what's happening this time.
What I thought to be a relationship was all in my head. We were roommates who had sex regularly, and traveled together.
We called that a marriage.
But I actually believed it.
I am stupid.
She tells me we don't have a complicated relationship because we don't have any relationship. Its over, period. She has no need for closure, because its all past tense.
We are still married. That makes a relationship. One of us wants a divorce. That makes it complicated. One month ago, yes, that's technically past tense.
I'm not over it. I'm not ready to date. Frankie had some crazy timing, just happening to meet me a couple weeks after I was available for the first time since I was 21, right when I needed some distraction, some cheering up, some self-esteem, and to be reminded that there are other wonderful people out there. But it might have been better, more hopeful, to meet when I didn't still miss my ex so strongly - maybe when I didn't love her anymore. (Except; I'm not sure that will ever happen. I didn't love Aileen just because we happened to be together. I wanted to be with her because I loved her, because of who she is. I think I will love her until I'm dead.)
On the one hand, I feel it might not be fair to get into any kind of relationship, no matter how casual, with anyone. But I was totally upfront and honest with her, she knows I have feelings for my ex, that I believe our differences are reconcilable, and she still called back, she still interested in spending more time together after last time.
(Have I not learned anything from friends, books and sitcoms? What kind of a jack-ass talks about his relationship with his ex with a cute girl who asked him out on their second date? I really am stupid!)
She is certainly not the settling down type. She travels, she meets new people, she is in love with life too much to be tied down. I don't think there is any realistic chance of her falling for me, so I don't think I need to worry anyway. She is experienced, and smart, and its probably pretty obvious where I am right now.
It lets me know that I can.
But I don't want to.
I want what we had.
I want my best friend back.
I want to go on a trip with her, to somewhere new, and see what there is to see.
I want to lie in bed next to her at night, talking, and then put my arm around her before we fall asleep.
I want to watch Lost together, and tell her to be quiet when she keeps asking questions out loud when she knows I don't know the answer.
I want to rub her back, because I know how much she enjoys it. I want to give her an nice hour long back rub, without any hint of sexuality, with the lights dim, the music soft, something nice smelling nearby. I want to be the cause of her pleasure.
I want that far more than I want sex. But of course I miss that too.
I want to talk about our feelings, tell her what I think about, and I want to listen to her.
I want to talk about everything that happened, and why. I want to apologize for my mistakes and hear her forgive me and I want her to apologize for the things she has done wrong so I can forgive her. So I can let go. I want her to open up to me just enough that I can find out for myself if it really wouldn't work. I want to know that its over because we aren't right for each other, and not for any other reason, so that I can let go as completely as she has.
I want to know that we are fundamentally incompatible, regardless of reactive-attachment-disorder, so that my question of would I even want her back if she were ready to consider it would become irrelevant, because only then could we go back to being close friends without feeling so uncomfortable every time we interact.
We never dated each other.
We met as classmates.
We got to know each other as friends.
That friendship grew as we got to know each other, and there was no romantic expectations or intent. It was much more real than romance. I believed then, and still do, that romance inevitably fades, but a strong friendship does not. Just because we can't be life partners, I don't want to give that friendship up.
I don't know why exactly I'm writing this, and why here. Am I writing for her? I would hope not, since this will likely just make her have even less respect for me. I know many people will read this. Feelings and thoughts like this are supposed to be private, secret, right? This stuff is for diaries and therapists. Actually, I think I will go to counseling myself. Imagine that? I can't believe how much I have changed. How much she has changed me.
I write because its always been my way of letting go. Because this is interfering with my life. Its getting in the way of my work, of my side volunteer projects, of spending time with friends, of my writing. Much of the time, when I'm working, when I'm talking with friends, when I'm biking around, or reading, whatever, I don't feel like half of a couple, I am just me, like I was before I met her, and life is so incredible! 9 times of 10, at the end of the day, I can feel that there's something missing. We were separated for a year, but it felt different, because it was supposed to be temporary. We had agreed on that, and I trusted her.
I have a date with a friend today. Maybe that's why I'm writing this. Because I don't want to use her to make me feel better, or to bring her down any. I just want to enjoy her for who she is. So I need to get this out in advance, get it out of the way.
Only, I have finished writing, but, unlike most times, I don't feel any better.