I've been having a rough few days, and so today, I wrote a letter to myself. It is what it is, and I'm not asking for pity or anything. This is just my effort at being...me. As broken and crazy as I am. I don't have much else left to hide. And if I can't be truthful about what's going on with me on my own blog, then this thing is pretty much crap, then, isn't it?
Sometimes, when things are over, they’re just that: over. There isn’t a part two, no sequel in the works, no reboot or do-over. It stands alone and there is no hope for the story to keep going, because the story has already stretched as far as it could go, maybe even a bit longer than it should have been.
As much as it hurts, and as much as you need it to continue because you don’t know anything else, it can’t. You know that much.
For your entire adult life to date, he’s been there. It isn’t easy cleaning up after him – it’s not just photographs and stuffed animals this time. There are earrings, bracelets, necklaces, trinkets, shoes, clothes, his shirt you used as a sleeping shirt for the last five years, your ipod, the camera you use to take pictures; he is everywhere. He’s in your memories and your dreams. Closing your eyes, he appears as a burned image on the inside of your eyelids. What can you do? It seems childish to go through and throw all of those good memories into the trash. But it’s even more naïve to hold on to them…just in case.
It has to be a bad dream – a nightmare. The last few days couldn’t have really happened. You’ll wake up and reach over for your phone, and he’ll be there on the other end, happy to hear from you. He won’t be cold or harsh, his heart won’t be hardened, he won’t insist that his feelings have changed for you and that it’s been a long time coming. His last true good memory of your relationship won’t be from five years ago, and he won’t find you irritating. He’ll be sweet and his demeanor soft and inviting. He’ll tell you he misses you and wishes you were there with him. Won’t he?
You know he isn’t lying to you. This time, for the first time, he’s being truthful. No, he’s not baring his soul to you, because he doesn’t trust you with it anymore. But it’s still the truth. You know all this, and you know that you can’t force love, but, God, do you just want to call him and beg for things to be different and please come back because it’ll be good from now on, promise. Don’t do it. That’s exactly why he can’t trust you with his vulnerability anymore. You take what he tries to give you and you warp it and manipulate it until you get what you want out of it. You know he’s susceptible to your tears and heartache, and you know that if it’ll stop your hurting for a little bit, he’ll do what you want. But it won’t be real! It won’t be him. And he’ll just resent you more and more.
Yeah, it hurts. You feel lost and broken and you get in a mind-numbing daze when your brain forces you to shut down for a while to stop the pain. It hurts it hurts it hurts. You don’t get it and you wish it would stop, but the fact is that it’s there and you can’t change it.
Feelings change, people change. Didn’t you tell him that yourself? It’s the way of the world. What’s that Robert Frost poem say? Nothing gold can stay. You have been blessed to have him for so long, and you probably took advantage of it and clung on for longer than you should have, but there’s no denying that you were blessed. Be grateful. Remember him fondly. He did his best. You did your best.
It’s easy to fall into a state of self-loathing and doubt. Could you have done anything differently? Were you so awful that he couldn’t bear to be with you anymore? If you had only done this or that, would things be better now? Stop it. You are who you are, and you did things the way you knew how, just as it was for him. There’s no help or benefit from dwelling on what might have been. As much as you wish it were true, there is no forcing someone to love you. It either is or isn’t, and here, unfortunately, it simply isn’t.
Don’t act the victim and feel bitter that he got to break up with you and he got to end your online games and he got to do have the final say. He had to be one to do all those things, because, let’s face it, you would never have had the courage to do it in his place. It needed to be this way so that you could see that it was time to let go. You know better than to be the creepy stalker ex-girlfriend, and this way, you remember that.
So, okay. For now, you hurt. For now, you have lapses where you want to lose your mind and call and beg and grovel. For now, you feel as if you’ve lost an integral part of yourself, without which you don’t know how to function. But think of it like this: you think you’re drifting afloat a barely inflated life preserver in the middle of the sea, and there are moments when bouts of seasickness make you want to vomit and lose the will to live. It’s tempting to just let go and sink. But then you notice a thin rope attached to it leading somewhere, and that rope is the knowledge that there is nothing you can do. So you leave that alone and keep floating. Then there’s another rope, and maybe that one is pulling you somewhere slowly. That one has the strength of 20 ropes, because it’s your friends who care about you. Slowly, when you’re not blinded by the loss of your ship, you’ll see that there are hundreds of those tiny ropes attached to you, and all is not lost. You’re saved and going somewhere and you’re going to stay alive. You can’t see it, but you are. You are. And when you’re hurting again and wanting to just let go, look around yourself and see those ropes. Focus on those. Focus.