Wednesday, January 6, 2010

When in time a feeling goes away...

... and for a while all that's left is the memory of the feeling... but then... eventually... even the memory of the feeling grows indistinct... there is no need for grief. It's time for joy.

Ten years ago, 2000, I was engaged. I was deeply involved in the most intensely passionate and personally overwhelming relationship I will probably ever have. I lost myself, we lost ourselves in that relationship. He and I. When we came into each other's lives, it was our shared desire for death, that probably most glued us together. We had nothing, nothing but amazing potential and the crushing expectations of our parents and our need to rebel against them. Both of us by underachieving, but also by him dating a white girl with blue eyes and blonde hair, and me by dating a Hispanic boy with green eyes, us both, by living together unmarried in a blatant "fuck you" to the religion of our families.

We tried to escape the bonds of this world and fall up into the nameless unknown through drugs and dance, and music, and film, and writing, and horrible jobs, and sleep deprivation, and every other way we could, by losing ourselves in each other. We shared plates (one plate at dinner for two people), cups, showers (I rarely had a shower by myself for the majority of our relationship), we only spent maybe a week total of nights apart, practically everything was held in common except toothbrushes and clothing.

At one point, he over-dosed himself and I nursed him through it. His body over-heating from the chemicals, I poured cold water over him and helped him cool down and vomit until his violent fever broke. I held him through the rabid dog dreams that took him far away from me in their jaws and shook his body like a limp rabbit before throwing him back down roughly on the shores of life. Another time I held him above water when he tried to drown himself in a pool shimmering with rain that shone golden under streetlights. I swore time and again that I would never leave him, that I would always love him.

This turned out to be the crux of the problem. At the beginning of us he had lied to me about who he was and he did not believe that I would love him if I knew the truth. He did not believe that he was worthy of love. He believed that my love was false and would not continue because I loved the person I thought he was, that he had led me to believe he was. He did not want to live a lie forever, but he was afraid to lose my love by telling me the truth.

We started fighting. He fought to make me leave, maybe because he was testing my love. I fought to stay, and against the pain he caused me. I fought also, because I was worried that we would never be more than just surviving and because I started seeing our potential wasted. I would drift away sometimes because he would hurt me, and then out of fear, he would fight to bring me back. It was a strange, back and forth pattern, we did not want to be apart, but we did.

Then, he began to lie about small things, which movie he saw, who he was out with, where he was, maybe he was testing me finally, with whether or not I could love someone who lied. Maybe he wanted me to break up with him so that he did not have to break up with me because he thought I was stronger than him in that way. Regardless, in return I became vigilant and wary as I began to uncover the little lies. I began looking for falsehood in every move he made, and it was too much for us. He could not bear my utter and bare-faced, brutal honesty. He lied and he believed that I lied too.

Anyway, the truth finally was spoken and the truth was finally the thing that broke us... I could not bear the fact that he lied about the fundamental nature of himself of the man he led me to believe that he was. I asked him to leave. I made him leave. He left. I did not know what to believe if he could lie about both his complete inner nature and also about the small things that he lied about. I still loved him, always and forever, but I didn't know who I loved anymore... or if he had ever truly loved me.

He left, but he only retreated a few blocks away. I think we could have gotten back together, but I couldn't stop throwing it back in his face. His failures, our failures. The lies.

I couldn't stop. I was too hurt. I was not able to deal with what happened appropriately. I was too young and inexperienced with life and other people.

Eventually, he really left. He cut me off years ago and went away. We have not spoken since.

I wrapped myself around my pain, around the vacuum left in his wake, I believed that that lack defined me.

All this time, my heart has been mending itself. I was struck with grief about two years ago when I first heard that he was married, I got drunk, did some stupid things, and wrecked a relationship I really wanted to work. I have been afraid that I would never fully heal.

I have loved other people. I do not know if I have ever learned all of the lessons that relationship had to teach me. I should have.

I will never completely empty myself in service of another person, a lover, like I did then. I want to stop being so bitter, always bringing up the failings of the people I love most. This is what killed us in the end, why we could never be friends, why I will never hear from him again... and I am desperately, horribly sorry.

I have found myself doing it again. Injecting poison into a person I loved because he hurt me, by throwing how he hurt me back in his face at every turn. The thing is, once someone has committed an action that hurts you, it's over. The incident only lasts as long as it lasts. The ramifications of the action may reverberate, there may be fallout from an atomic bomb, but it's your choice as to how you react to that hurt. You can hold on to it and embrace it until it informs your every movement, or you can react at the time, and then step back to protect yourself and rebuild.

To truly be able to forgive and forget, or at least forgive and never mention it again, that is what I want to be able to do. My son needs it from me, and, if I ever have another lover, that man will need me to be able to do that too.

I needed a place to put my pain where it can be forgotten. For a while I was putting it out on display in full. But it turns out that that's not ideal so I recently created a "dead letter" blog, anonymous and unconnected to me in any way, where, like in post-secret or something I can put whatever things I feel or need to write there, and no one who knows me will be able to read them or find them. It was important to do that. I can explain myself there and I feel better. I'm not cured, by any means, but I am trying with everything in me, to be able to separate my emotions from my actions more.

I do not want to hurt the people I love and/or care about to the point where we cannot be in touch anymore. To this end, I have sometimes, over the last few years, cut contact for a while. In my mind it was and is better to just STOP, than it was to accidentally, keep chopping them up and slicing them and holding them over the fire.

I'm tired of losing people.

This is the lesson, my ex-fiance taught me, the hardest lesson... and it's taken until now for me to really be able to accept the lesson.

A friend of mine who knew us both found his wedding pictures and sent them to me. I was afraid to look at them at first, but went ahead. I didn't feel hurt, or pain, or anything really. A regret that I was responsible for so much unhappiness in his life, and a regret that we are no longer friends. That was all I felt. Otherwise, I was fine.

I wish I could tell him that I'm sorry, thank you, and I'm glad that you're happy. That's all I have left to say to him after all this time. In this case, I am going to believe that it's the thought that counts.


  1. Your story is beautifully intense. I've got a fetish for the ups and downs of intense roller coaster relationships. They're almost like a drug, they infect your whole being and while you're in its wonderful. After a while though it always seems to fall apart. I know I'll never be able to settle down with someone that gives me that emotional high because of all the heartache involved; I'll always want it though.

  2. Oh shut up, Christopher.

    H: I think that you were suffocating and, you know, you never really did anything.

    He was trying to DJ, do film work, he wasn't content to sit around. And you always made a big deal about the relationship, creating panic over simple things, and thinking of yourself as the mature one. If you could've seen yourself.

    And now you write like a goth teenager.

    This whole posting is unfair to Roland, and Kyle's betrayal with the pictures (who else could it be? Didn't he get married? Didn't you "tease" Kyle around a bit?) is as pathetic as your faux-romantic past.

    And you know he'll have to respond or something now, right? I'm sure you'd just hate that.

    But isn't the torture, H, that he wouldn't really be able to?

    Just saying you did wrong and he did wrong and you were a couple of crazy kids is the silly of silly. Nothing like pouring a little Shakespeare flakes on bad chemistry to make you look like the victim here. If you were still single without children, what would be the tone of this blog about Roland? Would you overlay it with as much delicate fabric?

    Thanks for the update, though. That Texas heat really turns a decade into a summer.

  3. Wow Francis,

    I think I vaguely remember you; didn't you steal Pee Wee's bike and lie about it being in the basement of the Alamo?

    You have alot of misguided pent-up bitterness and need to get over it. If you don't think so, think for just a minute about how you found my blog and why you replied basically anonymously to it.

    I really doubt Roland would ever respond to anything I wrote or have written. He's over it. Like we all should be.

    Just for clarification though, Roland didn't DJ; he played with records on the professional decks that I bought him. I tried to get him to play gigs and get him connected to people who could get him gigs, but he refused. He also didn't work on any film projects whatsoever after he graduated. Last I heard, he's in school for engineering or something and I'm happy for him.

    How is sending pictures a betrayal? Who cares? And no, I never did anything with any of Roland's good friends. I dated an acquaintance of his for a while, but that was years after we'd broken up.

    Also, I can tell you haven't read any other blog entry I've written because if you had, you'd know that I AM single. Yeah, I have a baby and he's the light of my life, but just because that's the case doesn't mean I'm not single. I'm ok with it.

    Anyway, I hope that you have a REALLY nice day.

    Bye FRAN-CIS.


  4. Christopher,

    Thanks for replying. :) I appreciate your words.

    I'm tired of roller-coaster relationships. They were all I knew how to do for a while, but I've learned better and I've had enough of them. There comes a point when you just want someone to come home to. Someone who you can trust to love you no matter what and who makes your life pleasant the majority of the time and whom you can also make happy. There comes a point when you want a friend and not a sparring partner. And, truth to be told, wild and crazy make up sex isn't that great in comparison to being able to snuggle in with the person you love, trusting that they'll be there when you wake up, still loving you. I'm trying to let go of the drama. Both the kind that I cause for myself, and the kind that comes into my life from the outside. I don't always succeed, but I'm getting better at it.

    Thanks again for replying, Christopher. I looked at your blog a bit and I'll keep checking it. :)


  5. I thought I commented on this the other day, but I guess I didn't. I was too enthralled! What an incredible piece. Glad we crossed paths. Looking forward to reading more.