This Evolving Stuff Takes A Long Time

“There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how
unpleasant, are necessary in order to learn what we need to learn; whatever
steps we take, they’re necessary to reach the places we’ve chosen to go.”

So, after my “Wooden Jesus” blog the other day, I’ve spoken to the man with whom I had the relationship. He contacted me after reading it, which was hard, but I suppose I can’t say I’m surprised. We ended up talking by phone and getting a bit more clarity on each other’s perspectives and, I think (I hope) ending things at a point where the good memories can eventually shine through. We’re both in agreement that we’re not at a place where it’s healthy to attempt to be friends. Right now there is too much history, too much left unresolved and a lot of healing that needs to take place.

After we spoke I had such a massive weight of anxiety and emotion sitting on my chest and it took a really long time for me to calm down enough to attempt to sleep. It gave me ample time to think, however.

He claimed I misrepresented myself by acting as though we could sleep together without obligation. My first impulse was to reject that. I have always tried to be honest and I felt certain this was no exception.

Yet as I peeled away the layers late at night, tossing and turning, I exposed what I think is the unvarnished truth.

Sleeping together wasn’t the issue. Thinking we could hang out as “friends” when we’ve never been only friends was the problem. It would have been more honest and more brave to look at him and say: “I don’t think I can be your friend. Even though things weren’t perfect between us and I’ve realized we’re not the best fit romantically, I still have feelings for you. I’m also angry at you about a lot of things. The fact that you think you CAN be my friend, that you don’t appear to be in emotional pain over the loss of me, hurts me deeply and opens wounds from my past. It makes me feel rejected, “not enough”,  all over again. It makes me feel weak and as though there’s something wrong with me, because you seem just fine and I’m still struggling. Sometimes I want to be part of your life; I’m lonely and wounded enough that the idea of accepting the pale substitute of friendship sounds better than being completely alone and never seeing you again. Although, I know on a soul level this won’t serve me and will always leave me with my heart in my throat at the end of the night, aching and feeling insecure, angry and resentful;  to admit that makes me feel like I’m giving away my power. So, as much as I hate the thought of losing you completely, I think it’s best that we don’t attempt this.”

I didn’t say it because I was scared. I didn’t say it because it made me feel pitiful and vulnerable. I didn’t say it because the thought of being viewed with pity or indifference, or initiating a confrontation over my remaining anger, made me feel like throwing up. I didn’t say it because I didn’t want to completely say goodbye if there was a choice and I knew that saying any of that would have been a goodbye, again.

It’s not like all this was running through my mind, just like that, on a conscious level. I wasn’t purposefully dishonest, yet I was trying to be nonchalant, non-attached, invulnerable and still keep him in my life. My inability to admit to myself that this hurts and believe it didn’t make me weak or diminished was my fault. My mistake was bravado and hoping the bluff of “I can handle this and I don’t need you to love me” would turn into truth. My mistake was in still being tied up emotionally in a relationship I ended in May, that hadn’t filled my needs then.

So was I dishonest or misleading? Perhaps, but not in the same way he believed me to be. I did NOT think when we went home together that it would mean we were a couple, or that he had obligations toward me as a “couple”. However, I did want some sign that he cared, that I was special to him, even if that didn’t mean we’d be together. I DO think we have an obligation to the people in our lives we care about, whether they are friends or lovers. I DO think the small gestures we make are a sign of whether or not we value them, whether we’re sleeping with them or not. I still stand by my assertion that the sex wasn’t the issue; this break would have happened (needed to happen) even if we hadn’t slept together. If there was dishonesty, it was in refusing to admit that I couldn’t handle just friendship or that I was still angry and hurt over the spring. If I misled it was because I felt too vulnerable and scared to say: “I still have feelings for you that I don’t know what to do with, but I’d kind of like to see you sometimes. I don’t know how that can work though and it’s probably not a good idea.”

I’ve been working so, so hard on myself. Trying to evolve into a more spiritual human being, striving for honesty with myself and others. I don’t think what I wrote in my blog was wrong, because it was very much how I was feeling about the situation. I don’t even think those feelings were wrong…but I wish I had been more honest with myself from the beginning. If I had been, then I probably could have been more honest with him. Then we could have either worked together on it…or not. Wishing doesn’t make it so and what happened, happened. Who’s to say it would have been better or worse if I HAD processed all this up front? But at least I’d feel better about the process, even if the end result was the same.

Some people ask me why I would risk exposing myself on the internet by publishing my private thoughts. This is the reason: Because we’re all trying to make choices and we all screw it up sometimes. Everyone gets angry and loses their tempers, or are terrified of rejection. We all can feel vulnerable and try to bluff our way out of it, so that we appear invincible rather than fragile. If we do get rejected, we certainly don’t want anyone to know if we don’t bounce right back up or if it hurts like hell. Afterall, doesn’t that feel like the other person has power over you, just a bit? Being the one to love more feels sucky–I’ve been a hairline trigger away from a breakdown since Monday night, just from trying to process all of this. I put this out there because I want other people to know they’re not alone. I’m human and fallible and scared and a wreck sometimes and that’s okay, it’s just part of the journey. Right now, this feels sucky, but it won’t always. Even though I hate the thought of walking away from him completely and it feels like a failure to not be able to stay friends, it was what needed to happen. Then again, I’ve realized the fact that I still even wanted to be part of his life, after the Spring, is a sign I’ve got a lot of work to do on my self-esteem and my ability to say: “Enough is enough” when people don’t treat me with value. I said it in May, so I’m improving, but then I wavered. Part of me has wondered if I hadn’t published the blog, if I could have pulled off the friendship eventually. And that is also part of why I wrote it. Because now I no longer have an “out” to keep doing something that hurt a little all the time, even though I was always glad to see him too.

Evolving takes time and I’m gonna screw it up occasionally. Still, it is the screw-ups that teach us the most about who we are, who others are and how we want to live our life. It’s the pain that is the growth process. I have no doubt I had to experience this in order to get to where I want to go. So I’m going to try to be done with beating myself up, wondering what I could have done differently. Enough is enough.

2 Responses to “This Evolving Stuff Takes A Long Time”

  1. I’m sending the Christmas card to my guy that is exactly the same as your situation. Pathetic me is even sending a gift card. “Sometimes I want to be part of your life; I’m lonely and wounded enough that the idea of accepting the pale substitute of friendship sounds better than being completely alone and never seeing you again” These words are never truer, I understand completely, I hope I find the strength to say Enough is enough too! Great courage!

    • Trust me, I understand. This has been grueling and emotionally, I’m still not over it all. I hope you are able to make whatever decisions bring you happiness, whatever they may be. Sometimes it takes awhile to figure out what decision is the right one. Thanks for reading and for the comment. I truly wish you the best! You’re not alone in your situation. Hugs.

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