I gave in to temptation and texted him. I know it was insane, and I had this crazy notion that somehow we could talk – not to start or re-start anything between us, or rehash the past, but just talk like friends. The friends that used to ask about one another’ s families, or talk about stuff on the news, or just have interest and care for one another. But I am not ready for this. He is not ready, either. We may never be, or one or the other of us may never be. It wasn’t an unpleasant interaction, in fact very neutral. But his response to my text was carefully worded and tactful but for once, I read between the lines.
When I said I missed him, and ‘would he talk to me?’ he responded saying he was away and wouldn’t be home until later. At first, I thought that meant he was hinting I should call him later. But then I read the rest of the text and he said he was working 13 hour days and that didn’t give him much time to talk. What he really meant, I realized, was that he really doesn’t want to talk to me, and I can’t talk to him just because I want to; that is one-sided and pathetic.
I was not surprised at his response that he didn’t have time to talk since when we were romantic partners he wouldn’t or couldn’t make time or room for me in his life then. I thought that maybe he missed his friend, but he made it clear he doesn’t want or need to be friends with me, especially when his ego is still tied up in the fact that I was the one to break up. I am sure he thought I was playing games or something but I really wasn’t; just being unrealistic about my ability to put aside my emotional upheaval and talk as friends. He always subscribed these ulterior motives to me that didn’t exist. He always thought I was trying to manipulate. Sometimes I wish I knew how to do that, but anyone who knows me knows it is just not in my DNA. I am honest and genuine and transparent to a fault. In fact, he derided me for “wearing my heart on my sleeve.” He was just used to drama, and it only exhausted me so I refused to play.
I know it was dumb to text him, and I am kicking myself for my lack of control and willingness to fling myself headlong into something so potentially self-destructive. How did I think it wouldn’t be hurtful to do this? But I am human, and it was a quiet and lonely Sunday afternoon and I guess the holidays are making me particularly vulnerable. I had just put my Christmas decorations out and was trying to decide if I wanted to even bother with a tree this year and suddenly I just wanted to talk to him so badly – just chat- just connect.
My mind was swirling – why do I even want to talk to someone who treated me neglectfully and coldly? I guess it is because there is still this maelstrom of memories cropping up in my heart that won’t be denied – I am spellbound by the ghost of him – remembering when he caressed my cheek and kissed my forehead. When he texted me love poems during the day, when he showed up at Easter with a lovely picture for my kitchen wall that was perfect for my décor. When he said that he loved my shape; that I was adorable. Even more when he said what he loved the most about me was that I had the biggest heart – that I was beautiful on the inside and outside. (Man, this guy had me in the palm of his hand) When he texted me how proud he was of me when I prepared a special reading for church. Maybe it should have been a small warning sign though, that he wasn’t there when I read it.
In fact, he was always more comfortable, and our relationship more successful, from a distance. (Can you say “emotionally unavailable?) For years, before we were involved, we were friends and he would call when he was driving a truck over the road and we would talk for hours. When my marriage imploded when my soldier husband walked out on me after returning from his tour in Iraq, I cried over the phone while he listened and comforted and cared. I thought that foundation of friendship was going to serve us well when much later we moved into a relationship.
He had always traveled a lot for work but I knew we would talk just about every day, and he never failed to call when he was on his way home. I missed him, but I was willing to deal with the travel – it was his job and there wasn’t much choice. But I did want to be the one to be there to welcome him home, but he had no interest in sharing our lives by sharing our living space, so again it was from a distance that I loved him. Near the end, he was spending more and more time by himself or with buddies at his trailer at the lake. We talked every day and he would tell me how much he was thinking of me and how much he missed me, but yet I was here and he was always somewhere else, not for work this time but by his choice.
I was so careful to not cling – to keep my many outside interests thriving so he would never become my whole world – but damn it if somehow that didn’t happen anyway – at least emotionally because I always wanted more than he was willing or able to give. He gave me a beautiful ring, but couldn’t articulate what exactly it meant. I was still thrilled – I knew it wasn’t an engagement ring and I didn’t want it to be necessarily but it did seem to be indicative of some kind of deeper promise or commitment. But one day I asked him if he had told his mom or sisters about giving me the ring, he said it was none of their fucking business. So I let it go.
It is fascinating to me that I was able to let so much go unchecked in the relationship, but I am having such a hard time letting go of it all now. I have to make myself remember the ugliest moments – the mockery and patronizing and comments that chipped away at my confidence – the many, many nights I cried myself to sleep over this man who does not deserve my tears.
I saw an article online the other day entitled, ‘The Formula for Happiness,” and I was skeptical, but in fact it was pretty on target. Three things: Let it Go, Acceptance and Gratitude.
I know I need to do the first thing before I can fully embrace the other two, so here I go. I was happy before I met him, I can once more find my joy. I just need patience and to treat myself with as much tenderness as I once gave to him. But no more texting, no more pity party, I can do this thing. Thanks to whoever is listening to this craziness and reading my blog. You have no idea how much it really helps. You are helping me to “let it go.”