Monday, February 17, 2014

Getting to the "Other Side"

More times than not I have been told that I don't handle things very well. So many people think that once things sour with a relationship, you should call it a day. Many never get past the bitterness of the end. Most don't want to. Often there is a lot of pain, especially when the end is not one of your choosing.

Things sucked when things came to an end with the guy I call "A." There have been a few blog entries about him since the end of what we had was called. I suspect there aren't too many that think that kindly of him and how things came to pass.

The two biggest issues I had with things were my request that he let me know if he decided he did not want to be in a relationship with me. I asked him not to stick around because of my diagnosis. This request he ignored. The second was how he choose to act at the "final" curtain. He couldn't handle my anger (even though he did feel me justified) so he just shut down completely. We went from talking most days to not talking at all. He totally pulled the rug out from under me.

Throughout it I did my best to handle how I felt. I cried. I wrote. I felt things. I didn't know how best to be, but I was just however I felt I needed to be. I wrote him more than once so that I could express how I felt. He shut that down after a time, too, but at least I got out what I needed to say. I felt like I expressed what I needed to. I felt complete. Not happy, but complete.

I couldn't change how he felt or what he felt, and I couldn't understand what the hell happened, but I didn't need to. I needed to find a way to cope with what was suddenly my reality. I had to find a way to stand without my crutch.

More than once I wondered when we were still connected how I would be if he walked. I had come to depend on him so much. He gave me such great comfort by just being who he was. It wasn't so much what we talked about, as much as it was the feeling of support and comfort I felt knowing that he was there, in my corner, and I knew I could depend on him. He had been amazing, all throughout my experience of chemo, and as I got my port. I had come to love him more because even though I told him to go if he had to, he didn't seem to be budging. How lucky could I be?

I think I knew the end was coming. Things hadn't felt right for a while. When I indirectly questioned things, he was adept at side stepping my concerns in a way that I felt I could just keep going as if everything was OK.

There were times after the bottom fell out that I wondered if he ever really cared about me. Was it all just a facade? Was I delusional? I suspect it was my way of coping. After all, logically it would seem that if he truly cared about me he certainly wouldn't have just picked up and walked away so coldly. Right?

Over the past year we had a few messages back and forth. Nothing was ever all that significant. I felt a bit like I was walking on hot coals. After all, he had been pretty much on the attack back then. I didn't think I was doing anything like he seemed to think I was, but I didn't want to do anything that could be misconstrued. It wasn't worth the potential aggravation. I had enough I was dealing with.

On occasion I wondered if we could ever find a way to be more than just a token message, or two, friendly. I have done it with others I have been interested in so I knew I could do it with him. It was what I had been striving for when I wrote him what I did when things had fallen apart. Apparently, though, my words fell on deaf ears.

The fact was I knew I had to just leave things be. But I also knew that I had to say things to him sometimes if they showed up to say. Once in a while I would share something with him because I felt nudged to do so. There were times I was like, "Really?" I felt kind of stupid, actually. Odds are any outsiders trying to help me would have likely have told me to leave things alone. He wasn't initiating anything so that likely meant he wasn't interested. So I never told anyone what I was doing. I just did it.

Several key events in my life passed, silently and without anything from him. Most would likely think it speaks volumes. I just observed, and kept doing what I had been doing. If something felt like it should be said/shared, I did it. Once in a while I would hear something from him, asking how I was doing. But for the most part he was pretty silent and/or reactive to me/my messages.

The fact was I was also a bit scared to talk to him live again. The last time we did that was horrible. He was horrible. The energy between us was horrible. He was on the offense, possibly because he felt defensive (although that is really a guess on my part). I tried not to cry as we spoke, and act like I was OK, even though I was anything but. I was trying to keep my cool. I did not want to feed any fire that he seemed to have going.

It was horrible. I know. I already said that. But it was. It left me feeling like sh*t. If there was any chance I was going to get more of "that" I wanted no part of it, and I wasn't going to give him anything that could be misconstrued, if I could help it. At the same time, I wrote things I hated to write. Why did I have to tell him some of the things I did? I could so hear the voices in my head of those who would have told me how stupid I was, if I gave them a chance. Even though they weren't present, they still managed to make me question myself.

But just like so many other things in my life, I have learned to listen to my inner voice and nudgings. I have learned to do what feels like something that should be done, even when it makes no damn sense logically.

In what happened, there was some good that occurred. I felt like what I went through and shared could likely help someone who is either in his, or my, shoes at some point. Even though he may have been around for the "wrong" reasons, he was an incredible support for me while he was around. I am grateful for it when I am not at odds with the part of me that wants me to believe I was stupid for believing what I did.

Part of this experience of life has a lot to do with "letting go." So many things I have had to let go of over the years. So many things and so many people. It has never stopped sucking. What has changed over time, though, is how I respond to it. There are things I don't want to let go of, and I wouldn't by choice, but just because I don't want to, doesn't mean I won't have to.

As long as I am in touch with the part of the situation that is about LOVE, I know I will somehow manage to do the right thing. When I love someone I want nothing more than for them to be happy, and if they're not going to be happy with me then I can't make it happen. If somehow things continued, it would make both of us miserable.

I would be less than honest if I didn't add to this conversation the part about my mortality. I wonder sometimes how much time I do have left. Is it "fair" for me to want to be with someone if I can't stick around for a while? On some weird level, it makes letting go that much easier. But it is still not "easy."

I keep thinking I need to let more things go. I will leave everything behind when "the" time comes, and at that point there will be no choice. It seems more powerful to make the choice while I am still here.

I am very grateful for all that my situation with "A" has taught me, even though I am still a bit raw around the edges. We spoke at length recently, and it was amazing. My friend was back. The bitter, harsh shield of before was gone. As we spoke, pain came to the surface, and I was crying. But I was grateful for the tears. It felt like a release. It felt like there was stuff that needed to go, and the conversation was giving me the opportunity to allow them to come out and leave. I had no idea how much pain had been stored away in my attempt to cope.

I share all of this as a way of saying that despite how we want things to be, and in spite of the way some think things "should" be, life has a way of twisting and turning in the ways that it wants to, and if we let it, it can bring us through the pain and to places of great appreciation and understanding. It is a package deal, though.

I would not have gained as much as I have if it had not been for the pain I have experienced. Some people believe that those in our lives play the roles they do so that we gain what we are meant to gain. Sometimes those people get to be quite the villain in the process.

We get to choose how we will be after the blow. It seems to me that there is magic to be had in being able to go with the flow and where it takes us. That often likely means doing the things that we and others would likely ridicule and judge.

I had told "A" I hated him when the wheels fell off. I might have said other things, too, but I don't really remember now. I know I was in a form of shock at the time. I was devastated.

When we spoke recently, I told him exactly how I felt about what he had done. I didn't hold back. To his credit, he has come to a place of understanding regarding his actions that allows him to hear me without being defensive or offensive in his defense. He has taken responsibility for his actions, even though I am not sure he fully understands what happened, either.

I may not have liked how things were, but in the process of coping with him and his actions and words I tried my best to look within and deal with myself and where *I* went in relation to everything. It was the only person I had any ability to affect. It was the only person I could even remotely attempt to understand or control. In some way that gave me some sense of peace.

We spoke again today, and I thanked him for allowing me to have my friend back. He has essentially dropped the wall that prevented us from finding the friendship plane after what happened just over a year ago. It is really all I could have asked for/hoped for if he ever decided to walk away from the idea of a relationship. It only took a year+ for us to get here. But the fact is that we have found our way to the beginning, and even though I have some mixed feelings, I am incredibly grateful for where we are.

I really missed my friend.

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