(This post is part of an awesome series of awesome 25swf guest bloggers- read about them here!)
Five months after we broke up – We’re sitting in my living room. I’ve just given him a Christmas present. A really cool Christmas present. Why? I can’t say. I don’t know. And he’s given me nothing, except his best sad eyes. And he asks me if he can give me a hug, which of course leads to us… well, forgetting. Choosing not to remember, rather. But it doesn’t go very far at all this time before we stop, collect ourselves, and sit back down. We’re not doing this again. We’ve been here before, a few times in the past five months, and we know exactly where it leads – straight to my bedroom. And afterward, for him, straight to the door.
So instead, we sit and talk. I tell him he knows me better than anyone else. He says that he forgot that detail, during the course of our relationship. He says he also forgot that the opposite is true, that I know him better than anyone. He says maybe it’s easy to forget those things when you’ve been with another person for so long. I agree, but inside I’m thinking, I never forgot that. I won’t say it out loud though. “I never forgot that,” I hear myself say out loud. “I’ve never forgotten that.” Yes.
I tell him that I think I’ve been deluding myself into thinking maybe we were just on a break. I hold back the fact that maybe one reason I’ve thought that is the multiple times he’s come over to tell me he misses me, he loves me (but not like that), maybe things could work out, and from here, well. All roads lead to sex, ladies and gentlemen. He tells me that he doesn’t want to hurt me. (Um… too late…) I tell him, “It doesn’t matter if it hurts, as long as it’s the truth.” I say that.
He looks me straight in the eye. “That’s true.” He takes a breath. “I think about marriage, a lot. And family, a lot. I think about that stuff, all the time, about the type of family I’m going to have, and what it’s going to be like when I’m married and have kids. And the truth is, I could just never imagine you in that scenario.”
I can’t believe I said it doesn’t matter if it hurts. This matters. This hurts. This hurts like I need to open my insides and remove those words and fold myself back together, because maybe that will hurt less. Because we were together for two years and the whole time, and even this whole time, the only person I can really see in that future with me is, of course, him. And I say to myself, but out loud, that I guess I just need to accept the fact that I’m not able to be loved by him. That for whatever reason, I don’t measure up to his standards. And I believe this. And he agrees with me.
I wish I felt differently. I used to feel differently. I used to feel like it was him who didn’t measure up, who wasn’t good enough for me. But those words, those words. They gutted me.
**Update** I wrote that above part 3 weeks ago. But in terms of my current mental/emotional state, it might as well have been 3 years ago. I can’t quite say what happened, what turned the switch. But I finally got angry. Really and truly angry at him. I stopped letting my friends and family members carry the anger that I wanted to feel so badly, and I claimed it for my own. I strongly believe that the anger stage is the last stop before true emotional healing can begin. The key is letting go of that anger when the time comes. And I want to take you with me through that phase of my journey, but I don’t have all the words to describe it yet. I was broken. He broke me some more. The bubble burst, and I hated him with all my heart. Then, on a day not so long after I hated him, I stopped hating him. I’m not sure what replaced the hate, or if anything did at all. I still get angry sometimes when I think about him, but it’s… less potent.
Most of you don’t know who I am, and I’m not going to be able to give you an orderly account of my life and relationships up to this point, mainly because I’m still sorting some of it out for myself. For now, let me say that even though I’ve been through the love-wringer at the ripe old age of 23, I still stand by this fortune cookie quote I received one day after my most recent breakup:
“Time flies. Suns rise and shadows fall. Let time go by. Love is forever over all.”