To anyone following my life, it’s been two weeks now, and I need to vent somewhere. [EDITED]
It’s hard to listen to the radio. Most songs are fine—I bop around imagining myself partying in college or something fun. But sometimes that damn Pink song comes on, or songs make me think of walking away with a smile, or a fuck you.
It’s hard to remove him from things that I’ve associated with him—elephants, Hercules, last summer. It’s hard to decide where I want to keep him in my memories, in what light, with what things. It’s hard to preserve and appreciate the good, when I still feel bad. It’s even harder to defend the bad from well-meaning friends.
It’s hard to see his tumblr likes with an itty bitty handful of couple things or sex gifs and know that those are no longer referring to me. Admittedly, my tumblr likes concern him more often than not. That, however, is pretty misleading. My mood is usually positive, but my dashboard sometimes not so much. If the shoe fits, you know.
It’s hard to decide if I’m changing his image to fit my needs or if his image is really changing or has already. It’s hard to decide if I should change it. I’m on the brink of admitting it isn’t this him that I even want, but I’d probably do it anyway in a heartbeat.
It’s hard to decide if I wish I didn’t ask him if everything was still alright that day, dropping off his pink vest for prom. How long would we have held on after that? If I had let the conversation go a little earlier, would we have gone to prom together? Would that have been fun? Would he have decided that such a vicious end really was worth the month? Would the month be worth it? Did he even deserve the month, at that point? Should I feel guilty or empowered by questioning his deserving? How relevant was the timing of his decision? Would I feel differently if it had occurred a few days later? Am I finding comfort in that blunder, something easy to pinpoint that was a mistake?
It’s hard to decide how I deserve to feel, how I actually feel, how I think he should feel, and how he actually feels. I was badly hurt, but I hurt him, but not purposefully. He did not communicate, but I didn’t ask, but I wasn’t given the chance once I knew. I was tossed around the last month and a half, but he let my illness toss him around in the winter, but I didn’t realize the severity and he audibly lost concern by the end. I went through a very rough patch and often changed my behavior, but his friends admit he’s changed, but I still see the signs of him. We should both move on, but he should probably feel guilty for this, past just the timing even, if he’s as genuinely good and concerned for me and others in general as he thinks he is, and I think he does, but I can’t be sure, but it shouldn’t be my business whether or not he feels badly, or if he cares, or if he hates me, or if he, in a noble voice, understands my struggle, but, with a pat on his own shoulder, understands that he was strong in his decision.
It’s hard to be bitter. It’s hard to want it all to just go away, but to hear things, to remember things that just make me want to shove everything back in his face, break into his perfect bubble and remind him how hard this is, that perhaps having a mental illness is harder than being in a relationship with someone who has one, that perhaps having one’s heart broken is harder than breaking someone else’s heart.
It’s hard to be both bitter and understanding. It’s hard to decide how to react. It’s hard to decide where I want us to go from here. Do I walk with dignity and let it go like it didn’t mean anything? Do I thrash like I want to, like he perhaps should have to deal with? Do I want to be friends? Can I look him in the eyes after this? I understand that falling out of love happens. I understand that he had good intentions in our demise. In my calmest moments, I really get it. But I sometimes think that when I broke someone’s heart, I understood that it was my job to then lie on the ground and take the stomping. I thought I deserved the the guilt. To a degree, I still think did. It seems like, and I’m not alone in thinking this, as a side effect of the past several months is needing reassurance on subtle social things, the things he says and does now, little encouraging text messages for example, are almost solely to make himself feel better. Of course, we should all make ourselves feel better. But shouldn’t he grapple with that? Should it be easy to get over doing this to someone? Is he just keeping up appearances, in terms of being sympathetic or in terms of being as stiff as I sense? Sometimes I just want to make him feel badly for how I felt, as bad as I imagine I would feel if I did this to him, as bad as I did and do feel for treating him the way that I have, especially in winter, not that his treatment was entirely my fault. But how do I ignore someone who’s ignoring me? How can I impose that feeling without turning myself into the bad guy? I can’t. I shouldn’t regardless. Is that feeling there anyway, hidden, already? Is it wrong of me to think like this, or just part of the process? Often I feel guilty for it, other times I don’t.
It’s hard not to know how to react, which path is the best.
None of this is to say that he is a bad person, by the way. He is not a bad person. He isn’t perfect, and he arguably made some pretty mediocre decisions, but he’s human. I know he’s sorry. I know. I wish I could squash my insecurities or have some confirmation, but having known him as long as I have, deep down I know that no matter how hard he tries to remove himself from this, it’s affecting him. It’s hard to keep telling myself that.
It’s hard to want be his shoulder. I’d rather advise and comfort him than shove everything he’s given me into a shoebox. It’s hard to want to understand, to be comforting and make things easy, but in doing so, disregard my own feelings, maybe.
It’s hard to deal with the moments where I remember that I love him. Something triggers a memory of lying against him, of hearing his laugh, of fishing, of Christmas together, and I swoon. At first it’s the pleasant, familiar, butterflies, and then it sinks to something deeper, something that requires a surprisingly subtle shift, something that feels like nausea, embarrassment, depression. It feels like the good things don’t belong to me anymore, but it’s still sitting in my living room, staring at me while I go about my business.
It’s hard to feel like there are things unsaid. It’s hard to accept the fact that I could always probably come up with something to say. It’s hard to deal with the big misconception about the situation—concerning my self-esteem. While it seems like asking for him back, despite him admitting that he no longer loves me, is a sign of the poorest self-worth, the opposite is true. A few months prior, I would’ve thought that I completely deserved to be left to rot in the dust, happy for him that he finally got rid of me and my pathetic problems while I wished I could genuinely contemplate crashing my car as I fell asleep. That scenario would’ve been a whole new kind of ugly. But where I was mentally in early May, I decided that I wanted him in my life as best I could, and that maybe I could make him happy again. Making myself as vulnerable as I did by asking for him back, exposing my emotional underbelly to the nasty undertone of depravity, was one of the bravest things I think I’ve ever done. I saw my happiness, I saw myself improving and remembered the way we used to be, and I was not going to let it all go that easily. I didn’t care what anyone thought. Even being in the relationship that month, when I had established the fact that he no longer loved me and he was often distant and unreadable, I still mostly kept myself together and thought well of myself. Now I’m reaching the stage where I accept that things didn’t work, and I still have to be ok with myself anyway. It’s a hard process.
It’s hard to explain. It’s hard to love someone who doesn’t love you, who maybe even looks down on you now. It’s hard to cope with all of this nonsense in the middle of recovery, when I should be focusing on myself. Don’t get me wrong, though; I am focusing on myself. I’m happy, maybe happier than I was. Is that the effect of losing him? I don’t think entirely so. It might be the effect of losing the drama concerning him, but his smile, and his warmth, and his voice in my life was not negative. I still maintain my convictions. I still disagree with his decision, but I understand. I just wish he didn’t leave with such a spring in his step, perhaps. But even reading through this it feels heavier than I’ve felt recently. The themes of this rant aren’t constantly running through my head like I have let problems do in the past. This is just a culmination of the little thoughts, a summary, maybe a way to find the conclusions.
It’s hard realizing that a day passes and sometimes I don’t miss him at all until I really think about it. Some days I have a revelation: I’m fine! Maybe I don’t want him after all, maybe I want to get past everything and be friends, maybe I’m just ready to put it all behind me, maybe I’ve just been making myself feel all of this because I think that I should, that after all this time I don’t want to just drop my feelings, my investment, like he did, if he is doing so at all, which is hard to decide, because some days I’m really objective and forgiving. But some days it’s much worse. It’s hard grappling what that means. It’s hard swinging back and forth between hating him, missing the old him, loving all of him, and wishing it would all just go away, whatever that means. None of it feels good.
This week, I received a letter that I wrote to myself at the start of junior spring, when he and I had just begun our journey and when college seemed eons away. It was like I knew exactly what I needed to hear. It was the right balance of celebratory and comfort I could have never realized would be so vital. “Everything you’ve ever dreamed of, through every slaving homework night, every moving day, every tearful meltdown, is all in front of you now… I can’t give you the best advice. But I can ask you to remember where I am now. Remember the battles you’ve fought since then, the battles I’ve fought by now. Remember the people who have helped you and the experiences that have shaped you… Remember these things and go forth with confidence in the person you are, with humility to reach your full potential, and with that bounding spirit whose dreams have inspired the determination that has allowed you to read this today.” Senior year was rough, but I made it, little me. I even have that spark back, I think. I bet we’d both be sorry, though, that he isn’t here to really finish the final lap and enjoy the sunshine.
Being generally emotionally steady recently is a blessing. This post is a bit misleading; really I’m smiling more than I have in a long time. But this is hard. Just when the bad began to clear from my head, it gets smashed with a baseball bat. But I’m ok. I have no desire to fall back in that hole, and despite such a catastrophic event, I haven’t. That’s pretty remarkable. It’s been a long time coming. I have a long way to go with this, obviously, and, as much as it doesn’t feel like it sometimes, he does too, I think. He’s a good person. When I miss him, I miss him a lot, and every time I think about him, however bitter or angry, there’s one butterfly that refuses to fly away. I don’t mind it there, usually, despite the trouble it’s causing. He was my high school sweetheart. We did some fantastic things together. I’ll give him a butterfly or two. I wish we could help each other. I wish I could be a positive presence in his life. I don’t want him to hate me. I don’t necessarily think he could justify hating me, but still. It’s the butterfly and my insecurities. This is a hard situation, and in the end, I’d like us to both walk away happily, whatever that means. I don’t know. I don’t know much, but I know that this is hard. But I’m ok. Day in and day out, my world is spinning, and it’s spinning pretty nicely. I don’t know how to feel about it, but I don’t always have to feel about it, if that makes sense. I don’t know. I don’t know.
Bottom line: I’m doing so much better personally and, all things considered, in this situation as well. This is baby stuff, right?