A decision that may never matter

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been doing a whole lot of reading this week…. and especially in a particular support group forum.

Besides just being eerily exact in some places of our post-breakup story…. I really like the site for another reason.

When you first go in, there is a split… and there’s a particular area just for people who are dealing with a significant other that has this diagnosis, whether or not they are still together.

For the ones no longer together, there are boards for things like dealing with custody and legal issues and working with them as a coparent.

But for the ones who are still dealing with them as a current issue…. they have three different boards.

One is for those who have the goal of making the relationship work.
One is for those who have the goal of ending the relationship or of dealing with the aftermath of doing so.
And one is for those who are still deciding what they are going to do and what their intentions are.

This… is brilliant.

Because there is a lot of people who are on all three boards… and it does let your choice of home board be listed under your name so people know where you are at…

But the people know, upfront, that if you are posting on the board for ending things, that you probably do not want to be encouraged to just tough it out.

Likewise, if you are on the working on things board, they know that you have made the decision to stick with this person, and know that you want to be helped in that direction.

If you are on the don’t know board, they know you probably want pros and cons, experience and opinions from both sides to help you make that determination.

That’s not to say that people don’t change their minds… but it gives a guideline as to what you want from support.

This would have been so amazing to have a way to have done with friends during this whole mess. To have some way to indicate without creating any conflict that right now, I want support towards hoping he will return. Then later, that I wanted support towards letting go.

But, they honestly really need a fourth board…. one for "I’m all in towards repair, but they are all in towards running, so I’m sort of forced into the dealing with ending category when I don’t want to be."

Because… it’s actually a story repeated many many times on the boards.

Most of them got further along than ours did though… most of them, the "split" from being all good in the person’s eyes to being all bad had already happened and been a conflict before the end came.

I’m not sure if I’m glad that the prince protected me from that, or if it would have actually been better because then I’d have had more warning there was a problem at all.

But then, his hating me starting earlier would have probably just trigged my issues faster instead of giving me the time to detach and dislike him that I like to dream that it would have given me.

But, anyway, I’ve been reading on all three boards.

At this same time, the psychologist I’d been speaking with has sort of not too discretely hinted that I’m better off on the ending side… mentioning that he thinks I’m further along in letting go than I really think that I am, and that given that the "acute pain" stage has passed, that it will probably just take time, but that the healing will happen as it needs to.

So, I started off mostly in that section.

But the more I read there… while the people know the pain, I just really find myself wanting to push away from there.

The working on the relationship side is… well…. sobering.

These people know the pain just as well. Many of them have had repeated breakups and makeups with the same person… and mine isn’t the only one that’s had some of them last only for a day and a half before being dumped again, or had them be saying they were ok to resume (as friends in my case), only to actually flip right back into the silent treatment and/or answers that say exactly otherwise between the lines.

The undecided board is a tough read. A lot of the people are so torn between their love and their own interests and well being…. especially some of them who are dealing with areas that the prince hasn’t yet shown me.

And so, I’m left knowing that I probably got off very lucky. As many people have said, I probably dodged a deadly bullet, and he probably did me a favor.

But the more the past few days have gone on…. the more I realize that my heart is really with the people on the side of doing all they can to make things work in spite of the challenges.

As was in the background that I couldn’t fight off entirely in my spell of trying to push him away…. and as has risen back to the surface in a rough way since he got his heart hurt by the rejection…. I do love the man.

I have my eyes very much open to the fact that the people staying with their partners are walking a very rough road… and many of them have walked it with ups and downs for decades.

But that is where my heart is right now, even as I know it would be a hard decision that wouldn’t seem to make a lot of sense logically.

Of course…. given the situation, my opinion on the matter is completely irrelevant… the prince has decided he doesn’t want to be with me, and so I’m sort of forced into the place of having to let go and deal with the leaving aspects no matter what my heart thinks.

But oh, to have a time machine.

As the phrase goes… if I knew then, what I know now….

If only I’d had this board and this information…. if only I’d known what I was dealing with…

There are so many things that I would have done completely differently. Totally different approaches to things that make sense when explained using the knowledge of the issue, but that are completely not the route that I took assuming things to have been on a mostly healthy field of play.

Maybe it wouldn’t have mattered in the end anyway. If it wasn’t meant to be, then it wasn’t… and if it was, it would have survived anyway.

And, if the prince has even been told or otherwise stumbled across the idea of this issue being in play, I can completely understand why he wouldn’t want me to know about it. It’s the sort of thing you would fear judgement for having, the sort of thing you’d always wondering if people would think less of you or treat you differently.

And honestly, he didn’t know a whole lot of the details of my past struggles for that same reason. I got so tired of having it thrown in my face by certain people every time I had a very valid issue that they didn’t happen to like.

He did know some of the basics…. that I’d been on meds before…. that I’d had some issues with anxiety attacks that were messing me up in college….

But he didn’t know the darkest places.

I think that I would have changed that too.

There’s not much that I can do about anything now though, but just try and understand… try and heal the still hurting spots… and just pray over both of us.

But I’ve sort of realized that the door that was open, then closed, then uncertain…. has crept open on me.

Even knowing much more about the extent of the mess than I did previously.

It still doesn’t matter at all.. his door is still closed anyway.

But good to know.

The prince’s missing puzzle piece

So, I’ve been doing a lot of reading and thinking the past couple of days, in a couple of different directions.

Part of what I’m reading is about the issue the therapist said was "strongly suggested" by the prince’s actions both during and after the relationship.

Some of it seems to fit like a glove… other parts of it don’t seem to fit at all.

So the more I read on the informational aspects, then more I really wasn’t all that sure what I thought about it.

Coupled with the fact that it struck me as odd that the therapist would go there. In all of my rounds of family of origin stuff, and of battling trust issues, every therapist has always been of the stance that what the other person does or doesn’t do isn’t their concern or even yours, and so they generally never really say that sort of thing. I’d written my account of what happened with that in mind… only mentioning what was going on with him when it explained how I was reacting or why.

So… it was kind of a maybe thing in my mind… but become less of a yes as I read.

Then, I found a certain mainly informational site that has a message board area. I’m not even sure how I found the area, as it wasn’t well marked when I went back to the main page.

In that message board, was an area for people dealing with being in a relationship with someone struggling with this issue.

And there… I found a certain thread.

Titled "I don’t want to hurt you".

I clicked into it…. and there, to my shock, was my story with the prince…. told by a number of different people as being their story.

this whole thread covered the insistent "i would never hurt you" conversation with him… not long before he did so.
the lack of connection that his actions are going to do so until after they’ve already done the harm, and the feeling awful about it afterwards.

the whole "all i do is hurt people" theme.
the "run from me before i hurt you".
the "i’m dumping you because you deserve better.
the "i’ll always be there for you" all the way up till an abrupt ending.

and the "i cant be (something you dont need them to be at all and never said you did)".. in my case, being an emotional rock and being able to provide financially, neither of which are anywhere on my needs list.

and the concept of splitting… seeing everything as black and white, all good or all bad, so if they dont love you, they hate you and everything you do is bad.

and, in other threads, i read of splitting happening very abruptly… easily within the 4 day span of ours…. and of it being triggered by a new job, by things getting serious, and by a minor correction being given. It had already happened by the time I confronted him about the no call-no show, but the other two are well in play… and the emotional way I reacted in feelings of being rejected could easily have done it even if it hadn’t.

Every one of the posts in that thread was telling our story… in one part or another.

I had a pretty big grain of salt on before i started reading the forum… but this thread just about nailed so many of the weird contrasts…. so many of the things that I couldn’t wrap my head around understanding.

I still don’t understand it.

But, at the very least… I know that I’m not the only one who has dealt with the baffling. I’ve found a tribe.

And, honestly, there is still only about 1/3 of the traits of the issue that I’ve ever seen from him. And about 1/3 of them don’t really fit him at all that I know of.

The other 1/3 I’ve heard about… and know that he’s had issues with previously…. and I still feel like he’s trying to protect me from seeing that side of him. He could have very easily shown several of them during the past 4 months, but he hasn’t. I’m the only one who has just completely lost control over myself emotionally and made myself look (and feel) awful and mean.

I’m not sure whether to take that as a sign of caring…. that he really doesn’t want to hurt me… or as a sign of fearing I would run away from him if he did show me those sides (even though I’d been ok with them when he’d discussed them. It’s not like I wasn’t aware the issues existed previously on this group.)

But, even with only the partial match…. the part that does match is so exact between my story and theirs that I feel like I have my explanation.

I have my answer on why it doesn’t make sense… and realize there’s a really good chance that it makes just as little sense to him.

I have the puzzle piece that I kept looking for and being upset that it was missing.

I’ve very glad for that.

Maybe I did know.

So, I’ve been thinking about the last emotional spell, from sitting calmly on the other side of it.

Always so much easier to see things in it when you are calm and it’s in the past. Part of why I like having blog documentation of some of the messier things.

And what I came to notice…. was the two topics. The two emotional needs… the two ways I was really hurting.

One, was that I needed to feel more like I mattered to someone…. that someone would miss me not being in their life.

The other was the need to feel like someone really deeply cared about me.

The two are similar…. but, the biggest way I can tell them apart, is that the first one was what kept me in the friendship with the prince when I saw the first signs of his depressed side, even before the love and caring factor was anywhere in play.

That was what I was getting out of the relationship…. those two factors.

I can meet a whole lot of my own needs by myself and through less deep friendships and mentors and the like. It’s something I’ve learned to do since I was young, given my background. I don’t need him or really any other deep relationship to fulfill the vast majority of my emotional needs.

But those two… are ones that just can’t be fulfilled that way. You can’t just re-parent yourself through those.

Those are two player needs. One’s that I’d once written off as never going to be fulfilled and gotten used to the hole…. only to spend 6 months completely having it filled and never really stopping to fear that someday it would be back open and hungry from being used to getting regularly fed.

I still don’t know what to do about them just yet, but I’m aware of it…. that’s a step in the right direction.

But, you know what the really interesting thing was?

Remember the meeting, way way back just after a month into this? The one where I went into it having been told he didn’t ever love me, only to have him change course and tell me he was ok with a lower level relationship?

I vividly remember one part of the conversation.

I remember telling him point blank "I know that you did deeply care about me," To which he replied "I do care about you", and then I told him "I know that I was important to you", to which he replied "You are important to me" (present tense.. part of why I remember it so well was analyzing that later…)

Then I told him "That’s what I need from you. It may not be what you’d label ‘love’ right now, but it’s in the ballpark. That’s close enough for me. If we were planning to go to the alter, it would be different, but right now, that’s enough." (From there, he sort of flipped out about my mention of marriage… so it totally took a different turn, and I’d regretted mentioning it at all… so that was the end of that topic)

Way back then, I’d actually directly told him exactly what I was getting from the relationship and what I wanted from him again…. and yet, never actually stopped and noticed that I even knew what it was that I was needing critically yet. I just knew I was seriously hurting, in agony, and that I wanted him back more than anything in the world.

4 months later… I’m just now figuring it out and getting back to that and looking at how to fix it.

Sort of weird how you don;t even realize sometimes that you knew something already without really knowing it.

Calming and moving forward

Things have calmed from yesterday.

Sometimes, it just seems like everything gangs up and everything aligns just wrong to hit every raw nerve and all of the old wounds that are still a bit tender… and yesterday was just one of those days.

Gotta hate those days where every issue and hangup that is normally under logical control decides to all run loose at once. That’s basically that entire last post… and several of the others in the last week show them off well too.

The "build a giant brick wall against everyone" urge is an avoidant coping thing. I know it doesn’t work. I’ve tried it. But it sure feels tempting still in the middle of those times.

Life goes on. Humans are humans, they fail each other. Hurts are hurts, you heal them as best you can, and then you stop poking at the still tender areas.

Easier said than done.

And sometimes, things are still going to hit wrong and land right on one of the still somewhat sore places.

Or sometimes even every last one of them.

I don’t know how to fix the issues with certain friends, or the family issues, or the issues with the prince.

But I do know…. that was not the solution… and that I’m still going to be ok anyway.

Sometimes life really hurts. But the past can’t be changed, and today is a new day.

I may not have what I want. I may not even have what I really need.

But I’ll keep doing the best I can do with what I’ve got, and keep moving forward as best as I can with what I can do with today.

Because that’s really all you can do… no matter what life looks like.

Maybe everyone is right

Today has been one of those rough days where I’ve needed to cry all day, but had to function at work. Never works well… end up being just on the verge of tears off and on all day, and on edge.

There’s a couple of things adding into it… which aren’t really things I feel like going into publicly.

But mostly, it’s a culmination of a lot of the things I’ve written about recently ganging up on me.

The feeling of disconnection.
The feeling like the vast majority of the people in my life wouldn’t miss me beyond what I do for them if I suddenly were to be pulled out of their lives without any sort of tragedy involved.

The feeling like most of my friends are far more important in my life than I am in theirs.
The feeling like I’m pretty much alone and on my own.
The feeling like I’m unloveable on a human basis.
The ache of missing the way the prince made me feel loved and valued even with all of his own issues that he was struggling against and trying to keep hidden.

The feeling of just wanting to be there for him and the hurt of having him not wanting me in his life at all, paired with the hurt of feeling like when I was most struggling with issues, nobody took me seriously or ever wanted to be there for me.

Most of this is all old news… old stuff… stuff I’ve worked through before… but it’s ganging up on me anew.

There is such a large part of me that wants to start grabbing for bricks and concrete…. to just wall myself off from the world. To just realize that there is never another human that’s going to deeply and truly care about me, and so, to stop letting myself care about them. To just write off everyone… to just give up hope completely… deciding that I’ll offer to them only to that level at which they offer to me, and realize in so doing that I’m essentially ending a whole lot of my relationships. To just say that if they have little concern for me, then I owe them just as little concern, and know that it won’t even matter likely because they tend to have tons of people in their lives…. they all have family who cherish them.

So many of my friendships it feels like I’m the one paying a dollar to get a dime, but not having sources that will give me any better of an exchange rate.

So it really isn’t helping to have that sort of feeling going on at the same time that I’m feeling like it would be worth everything I had to go back to getting what I really wanted from the prince.

And wanting to kick myself so hard for ever having said a single word to him about the pulling away. Maybe it wouldn’t have made a difference and things would have exploded anyway, but maybe if I’d been happier then with what I would be thrilled with now… rather than being focused on the sudden unexplained drop in levels… maybe we would have been able to make it through it enough to make it where he’d at least want to try before writing me off.

But… I know… building that wall isn’t going to help.

It might make me feel better now… but it isn’t going to fix anything. It will only make the disconnected feeling that much worse.

I know the answer is in building a different type of connection than the ones I currently have. Finding friendships that are more of an even split and that feel the same about me as I do about them… that value my being in their lives.

How to do that, I have no idea. If I did, I’d have done it with my current friends.

And sort of makes me feel like maybe they are right and I just don’t have that much to offer to anyone. Like maybe the fact that I do care about them really does’t mean much of anything… maybe the prince is right that it isn’t worth a place in his life at all, and I ought to be grateful they at least somewhat claim me and haven’t done the same.

Because if I were really worth much as a friend, I wouldn’t be the one always doing the calling… always doing the bending to work with their lives… always being the one who cares about what is going on in their worlds when they don’t seem to care much what’s happening in mine.

Maybe I’m just too screwed up for human relationships in general.

I still find myself wanting to just cry to god, asking for one human with their setting set just specifically weird enough to deeply and truly love me. I rather liked the human I had and the connection we had… but since I wasn’t able to be to him what he was to me… I just want one. If a different one actually exists, I’d be ok with that.

But when I do so, I always feel selfish and whiny and weak and pathetic.

I feel like the nation of isreal begging for a human king even when they were warned of what would happen if they got one. They were told there would be big problems… but they wanted one anyway.

I know it’s not exactly the same thing.

I know the need to feel loved and cared about is a basic human need… something that in an ideal world everyone ought to have without having to beg and plead for it.

But it still feels selfish and needy to be asking for it.

And honestly, so does going back to asking for friends again.

It feels like I’m asking for something huge and impossible… the 4 year old living in poverty wanting a pony for her birthday.

It shouldn’t be that way.

But then, life shouldn’t be this way.

I know god sorts all things out in the end… but still…

This just sucks.

It just does.

It sucks and it hurts.

And I’m going to bed… and seriously hoping tomorrow is a better day.

Sliding

I feel myself sliding backwards.

Things had been moving forwards… moving on… letting go…

Accepting that while he once told me I was his world, that things have changed now and I’m now not someone he desires to have in his life at all.

Things were looking ok again.

That took a sharp change again… back into the world of missing him.

Back into the pit of hurting.

I can feel it not just in my feelings, but physically.

I’m tired. I have no motivation, towards anything. Sleeping and eating that had been getting better have again been getting worse.

I want to just curl up and cry… and as you could probably tell last night, the tears are starting to come back.

I know why it’s happening. There are a couple of factors in it.

I can feel it happening.

I just can’t shake it off.

I like to think that I can… that I control my own emotions. And most of the time, that’s true.

But it feels like I’m sliding back into the place where it isn’t. Which is frustrating.

I just can’t force the feelings into being what I want them to be, as much as I try to just ignore them and push through it back into the process of moving on.

My heart just is back to not being there.

It does me no good to be back in that place. It does nobody any good.

But it’s back to hurting.

This sucks.

Wisdom and the whys

So, that gave me a bit more in the way of answers… or at least a reason why looking for answers was just going to be an exercise in frustration.

But it’s sort of highlighted a bit more that part of me really just wants to ask god "why?".

Even when I know that there is some good that has come of it on my side…. and I know there will be a plan and a purpose…. and I know that when you look at things logically, it looks like a favor from heaven to get me out of harms way.

I know these things.

But part of me still just wants to ask why.

Why let me get a taste of what it felt like to be loved, just to take it back away from me?

Why let me feel exactly what it was that I’d been missing… what it was I’d learned to live without and to have accepted as my life to not have… if I was just going to have to let go of it and hurt so much worse for knowing what it felt like to have held it in my hands?

Why heal the blind for 6 months, only to return them to darkness after they’ve adjusted and gotten used to living by sight instead of by feel?

Why take that which I’d wanted most…. but that I’d surrendered all through the "everyone is getting married" phase and the "everyone is having babies" phase… and seem to take the perfect version that I’d never been able to find on my own, wrap it up like a gift, and let me cherish and enjoy it so much… just to have to return it again?

Why take a starving kid who was getting by on just the essentially for so long… let her get used to having her tummy full of just what she could never have and was always dreaming of before, and then go back to beans and rice abruptly?

I can’t help but think back and remember how happy I was.

I look back at times that I know were really tough… working 65 hours a week and still trying to keep everything together… and read a post from just before new years about how much it felt like I was getting to rest from the weariness…. getting to have my head above water without having to struggle… able to just breathe and let the sun warm my body…. and know how much that’s exactly how it felt emotionally.

And I read to the end of the post… to my dread of returning to the water, and I want to go "why did you make me? and why through a very rough and unexpected shove rather than letting me get prepared and get used to it gradually?"

I remember waking up the morning after out first official date… feeling so loved and having been held and cuddled and kissed to my hearts content the night before… and I remember that the only thing that came to my mind to pray the next morning was just "thank you… thank you" over and over… and I want to blame myself, wondering "did i not thank you enough for him? did I not appreciate him enough? did i not realize he was a gift from you that i could have never found myself enough?"

Did I not love him enough? did i love him too much? did i not try hard enough?

What did I screw up enough that was so awful that it was worth taking him away over?

I’d gone through so much with my family’s issues… I could have survived his too and would have willingly done so if i’d have gotten to keep him.

why let me feel the gentle, sweet kisses to the top of my head… the sweet innocent affection that shot straight to the thirsty heart of a lonely child…. if only to let the desert have the territory back again?

I know the logical reasons…. but theres still an emotional cry.

I get that he has major issues…. he can’t handle a relationship… but.. it’s not like these are things that suddenly developed in him. it’s not like they didnt exist in him while we were dating too. it’s not like they werent there when my heart was getting fed and then suddenly arrived as the reason it had to stop.

i like the phrase one of my friends used at one point.. telling me "you are about as high maintenance as a goldfish." when he’d said he needed to focus his attention on his job and his boys. i’m someone who hasnt had much… who thrives on independence… i didnt need much. i loved getting the emotional support, but really, all i needed from him was to feel loved, to feel like i mattered to him, and his presence…. and he was absolutely nailing all three of those, issues and all.

i have no illusions about the fact that things would have been messy at times, would have been rough at times, would have been dark at times, and won’t have been as stable and calm all of the time as they had been for most of our relationship.

but why couldnt i have gotten to keep my being loved and walked through it with the guy i’d do about anything for?

it’s not like i havent walked through the dark times of having issues myself, all alone… i’ve been there. i’ve done that. why not let me help him with the love i would have given anything to have when i was in those times?

i’m crazy enough to have been eager to do so… why not just let me?

ive had to let go of so many things that seem unfair…. so many things it seems like i’ve gotten the field stacked against me… had so many things that i;ve worked so hard for turn into dust instead of materialized dreams…

why could i not just get to keep one without having to let go of it again? just one?

he felt so much like everything ive ever wanted, given to me with a yes that i couldnt believe i was actually getting to hear… a happiness that was finally mine to feel without having to dig for the good things and focus and focus to make them into something…. a healing of a lifetime of hurt with every time he willingly held my hand and with every time the sound of his voice alone made my heart melt….

why did i have to just completely have it taken away from me? i was ok with the costs of keeping it being some possibly very hard times… i wanted to have it anyway! it was priceless to me… even if nobody else wants it… nobody else saw it…. and nobody else understands why I would want the messiness.

It was mine… finally my chance to have my time… but only for just a brief moment. Just enough to awaken a long dead craving.

I know god has a purpose. i know he’s more interested in my well being in the overall picture of things than he is in my momentary happiness.

But can;t the two please be the same thing for a while? Do they always have to be opposites?

i dont ask for the world. i dont ask for power, popularity, or wealth. i walk as trustingly as i can through times when i have no idea how the bills will be paid, times when what seemed to be what i was supposed to do turned into a seemingly dead end… many rounds of getting the short end of the stick on things… and it seems like rough time after rough time in recent years.

is asking to get to keep one comfort for the journey, realizing that it comes with costs and willing to pay them, really something that cant have been worked into the plan?

i still wouldnt have given up the joy knowing how much the pain was going to suck afterwards.

but it still hurts to give up and let go, yet again.