Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Nowhere Fast

Well, things have been quiet. I haven't written her back or tried to contact her since her last letter on Saturday...and I'm pretty sure that, since she hasn't heard from me by now, she thinks I'm mad at her again...which, I'm not. I know that what everyone's been saying - that she was trying to test the waters & make sure her safety net was still there - is at least partially true, but I don't believe that she did it in a selfish or thoughtless way (well, maybe slightly thoughtless, but sincere, nevertheless). She doesn't have a selfish bone in her body that I know of, and I know she probably feels as bad as I do right now. But that still doesn't exactly do me a lot of good...

Elaine & I patched things up. I can't blame her at all for getting mad at me; if I were her, I'd be so sick of hearing about it that I could spit. She's right, tho...and so is everyone else; I need to just let it go. Some of the things you guys have written in the last couple of days have illustrated that for me pretty well, too. So, yes...I hear you, everybody. And I appreciate...more than I can tell you. I just wish I was better at actually listening; as my old 7th-grade teacher said: "You hear...but you don't listen!".

Somebody said before (and not for the first time) that it seems like I'm addicted to the strife & struggle of it all; that somewhere deep down, it's been ingrained in me that love is supposed to be hard, and difficult, and dramatic, and stressful, and always just out of my reach. That I'm used to pining from afar; whether about her, or Kara, or whoever (actually, though, those two are the only ones who really fit into that hypothesis). There is some truth to that...maybe more than I realize.

And they might have also been right when they said that might have been the reason that I broke up with Roxanne in the past....because it was all laid out for me on a silver platter. If I had made that commitment, I wouldn't be able to wish upon a star anymore; there's be nothing left to pine for. I'm sure there's some truth there, too...and it's as good an excuse for what I did as any I've been able to come up with (mostly). I don't think that's the whole of it, but it's certainly not totally off the mark.

Somehow, even though I'm just as much to blame, I'd really like to be able to say this is all Kara's fault...but it isn't.

The truth is, I still don't really know why I left Roxanne when I did. I've realized a few things while writing this project that have helped me understand it, but if she were to ask me again tomorrow why I did it, I still wouldn't be able to explain it in any way that would satisfy her. The best way I can explain it now is that, at the time, there were things going on in my life, with my health & with other factors, that I simply couldn't bring myself to drag her down into, no matter how willingly I know she would have gone. But I'm aware of how weak that sounds, and I don't expect her or anyone to accept that as an excuse at face value.

Those factors eventually faded, though, and my health recovered. It took my head a while to catch up, but by the time it had, it was too late. And ever since then, I've been adrift in this ocean of emotion, with her as my island off in the distance. And I had swam out way too far to make it back in time...

Since then, I've done all the things that one is supposed to do to get over someone. I've dated other women (not for a while now, but for a good while afterwards), I've tried to dive headfirst into concentrating on my job, I've kept my health up (for the most part), I've made up for lost time with my friends & family, I've apologized to her & tried to make amends...and yet, here I still am. I just can't seem to find that damn 'off' switch.

I was doing pretty well for the last few months. After the last round of this game in October, I had made a conscious decision to move on with my life & just let Roxanne move on with hers. I was tired of trying to make up for the past, and I decided to just let us both try to live our own lives...and I had done pretty damn well, I thought. Many of you guys here on the Project had commented on how much less wallowing I'd been doing, and even Kristin had patted me on the back for it recently...and those pats don't come lightly.

And then, the letter came last week, and it was like I instantly hopped into a DeLorean, gunned it to 88 MPH & went right back to the past. And, since then, I haven't been able to hardly think about anything else. Maybe it was some kind of cosmic test, where just as I was starting to get over her (sorta), she reaches out to me more than she has in years. If it was a test, I failed it miserably.

So, at this point, I guess I need to just face the fact that positive thinking is just not gonna be enough. I'm simply not going to get over this, not without either some kind of concrete closure & resolution, or years of therapy. And I can't afford the therapy. But I can't keep feeling this way, either.

As long as she's over there & I'm over here, it's going to go on, and on, and on, with no end in sight; and if I don't perpetuate it, then she will by writing me again the next time she misses me, whether she means to or not. I think that by now, it's the only dance both of us know anymore. So, the only thing I know to do, aside from trying one of those wacky stunts they do in the movies or joining the peace corps, is...well, hell...I dunno. I'm fresh out of ideas.

And apparently I'm fresh out of sense, 'cus I'm pretty sure I stopped making any a while back.

You guys see why my friends are so frustrated now?


Blogger Jamy recalled...

You know what you have to do but it's too painful to say it out loud.

No more contact. None. For a good long time--at least a year.

Use that time to allow yourself to fully accept the loss. To be sad, cry or do whatever you need to do to let go.

I truly believe you can move on. It feels worse this time because you are that much closer to the real end. That is most painful.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 1:30:00 PM  
Blogger Empress recalled...

X, jamy hit the nail. The ONLY way you're ever going to be able to move past this is without any contact from her. She's not available, and in her own words, is in a commited relationship. Put yourself in her gf's place. How would it make you feel to find out your significant other was doing what she's doing? Because it certainly isn't innocent.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 3:23:00 PM  
Blogger Caro recalled...

i hate to say it, but no contact sounds like the right to do. at this point, as grey as the issue may seem, you need to look at it in black and white. only yes or no questions. no "what ifs," no "but," no "maybe." that shit's been eating me up for months now--and it just gets to a point where you get tired of it.

ps. your friends love you.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 4:06:00 PM  
Blogger ExBF recalled...

I think that's the route I'm gonna try to stay on for right now...and thankfully, it's probably the easiest one, at the moment, as well. The only question is, do I tell her that...or do I just do it?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 4:10:00 PM  
Blogger True recalled...

We know far too much on that subject - pine or get out there are have actual contact with other humans.

Tough questions. Just remember there are no wrong answer.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 5:04:00 PM  
Blogger Kellie recalled...

I say yes, softly. I softly because I have no idea how I would be able to get the words out myself and because as soon as I got them out, I'd want to take them right back, and how do you recommend something to someone when you wouldn't even be brave enough to do it yourself? But yeah, I say ask her not to contact you anymore. If the inkling is in the back of your mind that she'll be contacting you, you'll be looking for it. You won't just be grieving and healing.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 5:06:00 PM  
Blogger Jamy recalled...

Normally, I would say that you just do it. But given the long and conflicted nature of your relationship, I would warn her that you won't be responding to future emails. One short, kind note should do it. She won't like it but she will understand.

I did this with an ex and I didn't tell him. I just stopped making contact with him. He'd send the occasional flare up and I ignored it--it was always email or a card, so that made it easy.

Eventually, I contacted him and now we talk from time to time. It might have been better if I'd left it alone, though.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 5:09:00 PM  
Blogger Empress recalled...

X, definitely tell her not to contact you again, explaining that you need to get on with your life, and once you are in a better place, you'll contact her just to see how she is. You need to be completely clear with her on this. No matter how you sugar coat the words, it will seem harsh to her, but if she truly cares about you, she'll abide by your request. If she doesn't, then you'll see she's not the person you think she is.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 6:38:00 PM  
Blogger Windrider recalled...

Hi X,

I really think that you've answered all the questions for yourself here, and quite well I might add.

But acting on the answers is going make you hurt like hell and suffer for a while... A lot like being the fox caught in the trap and knowing that to get away you are going to have to sacrifice a part of your very being to do so.

Its the end of a 17 year hope/dream you have had to be with this woman in a meaningful, long term relationship. That carries with it significant emotional gravity, and to me is no different than the death of a loved one. Because in a huge way, thats exactly what it is.

Not to be cliche but you have 3 choices here:

1.) pain
2.) pain

3.) pain..

If you keep the dialog running between you two its going to eat you from the inside out each time you open an e-mail from her and get even the slightest grain of hope that things might work out between you.

Its like being attached to each other with some big psychic rubber band. Its also 100% guaranteed to keep you from moving on, and will always snap you right back into an unwanted emotional state unless it is severed.

The "slow fade" is the wrong thing to do on this one. And it won't give you the biggest thing you need to really start getting over this once and for all and that is CLOSURE. This situation screams for it, and without it will be like a record that keeps on repeating itself.


Thursday, March 16, 2006 12:01:00 AM  
Blogger ExBF recalled...

Well, nobody can ever accuse you guys of just telling me what I want to hear...


Still no contact...

Thursday, March 16, 2006 2:11:00 AM  
Blogger Brooklyn recalled...


Thursday, March 16, 2006 8:59:00 AM  
Blogger PrincessMax recalled...

Hey, just rereading you post after I read the comments. Why not join the Peace Corp or something drastic like that? Nothing permanent. You can always come back. But why not put yourself in a different physical space for awhile to give your heart some room to grow away from Roxanne?

You know I moved to a little island in the Pacific Northwest for a year for exactly the same reason. Things were so new, I had something else to focus on and explore besides my own pain. Like getting someone to stomp on your foot to help you forget the migraine. But, you know, without the cringing connotations that a pain-based metaphor is bound to produce.

Anyway, you can make movies anywhere, can't you? Why not find an exotic place to make them with all sorts of new experiences pushing in on you that require little to no effort to access? Go for it.

Thursday, March 16, 2006 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger Girl Turned Sideways recalled...

oh darlin you need closure!!

BELIEVE me it's a closure thing. as long as she's out there, keeping you at arms length you are going to hover on the brink of sanity. it's the only thing that will ever get you anywhere. you can't run, you can't hide, you can't just close up and stop living - and nor should you have to!

the unfortunate reality is that she's not going to let you go that easy. she doesn't need the closure, as she is the one who knows where everyone stands in this arrangment.

i know you probably don't want to do it, but i think you need to tell her that you love her and you always will, but you cannot do this anymore. she needs to let you go if she cares about you at all, and if she's not going to initiate the split, then it's time you learned something from this project, gather the strength you can, call elaine over for emotional support and just sever the tie once and for all. you don't have to be mean about it, or punish her for hurting you, you just need to for once in your life, take care of YOU. you need to be selfish in a way, just to get yourself to a place where life is in your control and where someone else's emotional baggage does not act as a detriment to your own sense of worth.

as long as you hover, and walk on egg shells, trying really hard not to rock the boat too much in case she decides it's time to come back to you, you are going to feel like this. i know you don't think she has a selfish bone in her body, but step back and look at this from a macro perspective. this whole thing is EXTREMELY selfish. she's intelligent enough to know what she's doing - a goddamn monkey could tell you what's going on. but you're her safety net, and she's abusing you. if she really cares about you the way she says she does, and the way she should, then she should stop tormenting you.

Ex, it's time to take some responsibility for your life. you don't have to be the victim, you don't have to beat yourself up over the past errors you have made, and you don't have to live in "what if" land....but only YOU can make that choice and move on. there's a whole big world out there for you to embrace, don't let your past keep you down.


Thursday, March 16, 2006 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger Karin recalled...

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say...what are you doing?!? Don't let her go. You love her and want her. I say go for it. Sweep her off her feet and go for it. Nothing is ever going to happen if wait on the sidelines. She gave you opening - take it. Take that chance and love her.

Thursday, March 16, 2006 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger The Mrs. recalled...

Hang in there ex.

Thursday, March 16, 2006 4:42:00 PM  
Blogger Manda recalled...

i think you're finally doing the right thing. if it's meant to be, it will happen, without you jumping at her feet.

and thanks for the words of wisdom.... i'd missed hearing them from you lately.

Thursday, March 16, 2006 5:22:00 PM  
Blogger Priscilla recalled...

Ok, so I'm obviously a bit behind and I haven't read ahead so I don't know how you dealt with the Roxanne situation, but I agree with Empress, you need to tell her to stop contacting you.

In your post, you said that some suggested that you might be addicted to the struggle; that you believe that relationships should be difficult and dramatic. I was actually thinking the opposite.

I was thinking that perhaps you think that relationships are fated. That you may go through a lot of pain, but in the end, everything is packaged in a neat little box. There is always this sort of fairy tale ending. Relationships with people with whom you have such an amazing connection - who may or may not be the One - are supposed to eventually work themselves out. So its not that you are addicted to the pain, but that you believe that this connection can't just be a coincidence. The connection with Roxanne is THE connection, and you just need to wait around for the fairy tale ending. You are going through all of this drama because you can't give up your idealistic dream.

Anyway, that's just an alternative perspective. If that is the case, I don't know what if that is the right way to approach relationships and if it isn't, I don't have the solution. But I thought I'd just offer it up anyhow.

Thursday, July 13, 2006 10:36:00 PM  

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