Not long after that, something changed. We hit a bump in the road, but were able to keep going. The following May I got news of my diagnosis, and his response was "We'll make it through this." We? Wow.
And for a while I spoke with him al most every day. It wasn't the type of relationship that is "normal." We had to Skype, as he lived elsewhere.
There were times I wanted more of him, but was often oddly content with what I did have. There was something about our interactions that were calming and were some of the most normal during my months of chemo.
I had even told him at one point to please not stick around because of my diagnosis. I had heard stories of that happening, and while it would hurt should he choose to leave, I knew it would hurt worse if he stuck around for the wrong reason.
He stuck around. I fell in love with him more. I thought I really had something, as he wasn't going anywhere.
In December of last year, I went for a post treatment scan. The day I went for my results I found out he was sticking around because of my diagnosis. I was devastated. I told him I hated him. I was in tears all day.
We went from talking most days to not talking at all. He wouldn't talk to me. I wrote him several times, feeling like there were things I had to say. It overwhelmed him, and he pretty much told me to back off.
I had to find a way to cope. I not only lost someone I loved, I lost a friend, a confidant, a crutch. I was really devastated.
Earlier this year I got a new phone with visual voicemail. I did not realize it until then, but I still had his sweet Christmas-time messages. I had forgotten about them. I listened, and listened again. I was transported to the first moment I heard them. It was comforting to me on one level, and disconcerting on another.
He was no longer that person. He put a tremendous amount of distance between us. He acted like an ass. I wasn't sure how I felt. It was such an odd feeling. Complete in its own little moment, but incomplete in the bigger picture.
I had been so careful getting involved with him. I had been emotionally stunned more than once. I had reservations, but something about it felt pretty damn right. Logic was one thing, but my gut told me to do it.
And I got burned.
Since then I don't feel the same - on the surface. Deep down once I love someone that never changes. I have had some incredible love lessons in this lifetime. Each and every time I have loved, been hurt, and took a risk to open up to someone new, the reward has been great. At the same time, the pain when it dissolves , even greater.
I can distinguish things at a distance that I couldn't up close. "A" could have been right for me, but there were things not so right. Would they have become an issue? I see how even if he was a good guy, he also became representative of things that mattered to me. When he went away, so did they.
There are times I miss him, but there are also times I miss who he was to and for me.
He wrote me to tell me something today. He rarely says much to me any more, and what he wrote I wasn't happy about. With all that is going on with me, the timing sucked. He even acknowledged that fact in what he wrote.
I had no idea how I was going to respond, until I did. And while writing I felt the anger and disappointment I felt slowly bring replaced with love. There is so much power in speaking my mind, and saying what I feel. I even admitted to him about the messages I still have saved.
I still feel a bit emotional, but am in a much better place for having expressed myself. I had anguished over reading what he wrote. Could I handle it? The longer I delayed, the worse I felt.
Now I am "just" tired. I have a few things I need to do today, including my radio show at 4:00 eastern time. I don't feel like doing anything. I also need to pack. Saturday is the big move day, although mini moves and packing are happening all week long.
There is so much going on, the last thing I need is to get caught in some emotional storm - for long. I am trying to look at things like this as a gift that allows me to purge things, and maybe even heal and move forward. At the same time, they suck, big time.
There have been more than a few times in the last year and a half I have chosen not to deal with someone or something. I have chosen that because I can't handle one more thing. I just can't. It is almost interesting that some of the times I am most vulnerable are the times I get some of the worst interactions with others trying to "help."
Right now I am feeling at the limit. "A's" note pushed me over for a bit, but I have reclaimed a bit of myself by what I expressed. Maybe expression is what helps us be us. Maybe it is what helps us make it through the challenges. Maybe we have many more problems and challenges because we do not say how we feel, because we don't express ourselves when we need to.
I have had to express myself more and more - despite what others think. If we could all allow others their expression without having to get defensive in some way, or going on the attack, maybe we would be more peaceful and have more peace.
Expressing how we feel does not have to have at its core a mission to change or affect how another feels. Maybe the times it does, and it fails, are the times we get angry, or feel judged.
I have the "right" to feel however I feel, and the best gift anyone can give me is the space to express it without inhibition without a fear of being judged or needing to change or feeling wrong. And, the best gift I can give myself is to be able to express myself in the face of all of those things, any way.
The key I think is truly being true to oneself. There really is a lot of freedom there. The other day someone told me sometimes our communications need filters. I am not sure I agree at this point in my life. I think filters may in some way dilute our expression. This is not to say we shouldn't be mindful of others, but at the same time if we can't truly express ourselves, we are not being mindful of OUR self.
Something to continue considering.
So much of the sucky stuff is teaching me so much. I hope I get to stick around for a while to use it.