Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Week.

It was a week ago, almost to the minute, when M told me -- reluctantly, but unequivocally -- that he didn't want to be together any more, "like we were."

I’m avoiding people (except for a few very close friends I feel comfortable crying in front of). I don’t feel at all stable, and I don’t want to do some cliché breakup ritual where my friends take me out to get drunk and badmouth M. I don’t want anyone to be angry with him on my account. I still love him. I still think he’s amazing. How could I not still love him? He was so sweet and loving and generous to me. I’m not angry. I can’t let go of this irrational notion that we just had a misunderstanding that we can clear up. None of this is rational, so why not? Okay, so maybe that’s not likely, but at the very least I hold out hope that we’ll be close again in some way. I don’t think I’ve ever fallen out of love.

A few friends, either because J has talked to them or because they’ve read my blog, have sent me notes of sympathy and support. I keep repeating the refrain, “I have nothing, I have nothing,” but what I do have is very sweet friends.

What I hate most is that I regret the last 7 months. I wish it had never happened. I wish I had never met M. I wish I could erase it. Nothing is worth feeling as awful as I feel right now. But what that means is going back to a time when I sincerely believed I would never fall in love again. And that makes me crazy with grief.


What it comes down to, and M even said so though not in so many words, is that he lost interest in me because I’m basically a loser whose life has ground to a halt at 49. Okay, that's not fair, he didn't say that; he said that it made him panic to see that I didn't have anything else in my life but him. I had nothing to offer him. I grabbed onto him like a life jacket because he’s young and ambitious, talented, successful, etc. He has lots of friends and interests and confidence and promise. What would he need with me? What would he need with a washed-up artist who fell short of every dream he had, whose every frame of reference is in the past, who can no longer envision his own future? You’d run too.


Tonight I took out a piece of scrap paper and wrote “Wednesday” across the top, then “1. buy groceries,” and “2. edit HSD script.” HDS refers to the video I’m making based on my high school diary, which I've barely touched in the last week. And I haven’t wanted to do any cooking to speak of, so there’s nothing fresh in the house. I can’t keep eating chips and beer and takeout. I have $300 left on my food stamps card. I’ll buy a bunch of stuff to make salads -- M didn’t care much for salads, so making them and eating them won’t remind me too much of him, and it’s so hot now already that even turning the stove on makes the house uncomfortably warm.

If I can accomplish these two small tasks tomorrow, it’ll be some small step forward.

After I made the list, I cried harder than I’ve cried in the last week, realizing that it’s inevitable that I must leave my life with M behind. That I can't be with the man who brought me such joy, that all the wonderful things I looked forward to, the life that I was so sure was about to happen, will never happen.


xoxoxoe said...

OK, this is going to sound as if it comes from left field, because I'm not just offering consoling support, but maybe a slight kick in the pants...

Instead of regretting the last 7 months, maybe you should look at this break-up and this relationship, as shaking you out of who and what you were and your perception of yourself, and putting you where you are now. A necessary journey.

You love him because of his promise - he sounds a lot like your vision of your past self, who you think you were, who you want to be again. Maybe you were hoping he'd short-cut you back to that place, that person. Maybe that was too much to hope for and scared him off.

I still think about the only man I ever truly gave my heart to - ten years after we broke up (the second time.) It doesn't sting as much now, but that "could have been" thought never truly leaves you. But I would never regret a moment we spent together, or the extremely painful moments I experienced afterward. That's what makes up love and life.

You may think it was "easier" to have not opened your heart before, but that resistance probably took as much if not more, effort. Your tears today may be about the loss of that illusion as well as your love.

You're an artist Steven. You will put some of this into your work. You already are through these heart-wrenching posts. It's weird and tragic that's how it works, but it's OK, too.

I hope you can find a way to be back in each other's lives in some way, and that it doesn't hurt as much when you get there. That will probably take some time. And it may not be as much time as you'd like. But I was able to. It does happen.

xoxoxo e

Steven said...

Thank you for the kick in the pants, Liz. Most of what you say is right on.