It’s been over two years since things ended, and I guess I’m writing this because I feel that my half never got proper emotional closure. I never fully got the chance to explain where my thoughts and emotions actually lay, mostly out of a childish fear of loosing you (both as friend and lover). I’ll do this for me though because it’s necessary, because it’s right and will finally put to rest those “old demons”.
When I started dating you, it was a complete rush. I’d never had a thrill quite like being with you, E. You got me to get out of my “safe zone”, to go to drag shows and go on crazy hikes, to make love in crazy weird places in crazy ways. It was all so much at once, and very much that “first love” kind of thing. You even got me to consistently journal, something I’d abhorred for ages out of fear of actually expressing a lot of those less-than-pleasant inner thoughts.
I knew it wasn’t meant to last. I probably saw that earlier than you, being honest. Things that light quickly burn out quickly, and somewhere a little less than halfway through the relationship, I realized that at some point reality would hit for both of us.We’d have to face the decision to give the relationship the balance and more mature side it desperately needed, or call it. I was aware of your more mercurial side, your shifting emotions, that actually being with me long-term was never really in your plans and (at the time) of your fear of commitment. You’d jumped to me so quickly from another man, which made my immature self incredibly paranoid. That and the feeling of being constantly evaluated. At first I loved how analytic your mind was, aware and sharp. Yet as time wore on, that analytic side wore on me. Feeling like one must “run the gauntlet”, that one is constantly under scrutiny and examination to prove their worth in a relationship isn’t healthy. Even just a few months in it was getting old.
I wanted peace and quiet sometimes. At first the constant dates and activities were fantastic, but after a while I wanted to focus on my school again or just cuddle and watch a film. It began to feel like I was a tool you used to get out into the world, a means of overcoming the social over-awareness you often said you felt.
Your constant assertion that you needed your own friends also came to annoy me to no end. You had dozens of wonderful people surrounding you, just waiting to make something of a connection or shared interest, and yet you treated their time and involvement casually and timidly. When you finally did begin to realize you had friends, I was at first thrilled then disheartened. You choose people who instead of challenging you by being different were brought close only to justify your insecurities, weaknesses, and choices.Yes-people whose sole purpose was enabling a mutual co-dependency, satiating your oft-stated need to “feel better about yourself”. I was most angry that you chose to make a certain individual who you knew had done lasting emotional damage to several people, was manipulative and cruel, who regularly bent the truth to suit their needs, your counsel and “best friend” post break-up. Ultimately and in time, it was just another sign that I was better off with significant distance from you. I do hold that we become the individuals we surround ourselves with.
There are dozens of other things, from watching you drunkenly start making love with another man right in front of me to lashing out the one time I did try to express my actual emotions. The latter was again clear evidence that you simply didn’t want to handle contrary input, that you required blind justification and support in order to stand by any decision.
There are my own faults, of course. I was poor at keeping my own space, and I could make a dozen excuses for that, but it’s still something I’m working on. If I were to root it in anything though, it’d be childish jealousy and possessiveness, a fear that I wasn’t enough and that I constantly had to prove myself to garner attention.
The “other woman” I spent time with was someone whom I regularly tried to push away. You stated that you saw her making me happier, but that was my decision to make and act upon. Likewise, your parent’s disapproval was something that I eventually ended up caring less about. That your own choices hinged so heavily upon the approval of two individuals who you’d openly admitted were in loveless marriage and an emotionally abusive relationship confounded me. It’s not that your assessment of my faults was incorrect. Of any individual I know, you still probably have one of the better beads on what my lesser sides are. I’ve come to value that input over the past few years, using your criticism to actually further myself as an individual. Egads! Utilizing criticism constructively, what progress.
Yet you often made focus my lack and after the half-point in the relationship, rarely emphasized my good. Not that I required that, at the time I didn’t know how to emphasize my good myself, and it’s stupid to ask someone to do something when you can’t do it for yourself. Still, it taught me quite a few things about the next time I approached a relationship; that my space and time were valuable, that my interests ought to remain mine and that I ought to stick by them, to be with a person who could come to know my good and bad, to be with a person who could then be honest about the latter when needed but always emphasize the former. That I should go slowly in forming a bond with another, and be more clear and concise in stating my own needs and wants, to be with someone who by and large could take care of themselves (emotionally and otherwise).
My current partner, who I’ve been with for well over a year and a half has made me very happy, and so has yours it seems. I’m glad for that, because it means that we both moved on and learned, though my curve just took a little longer to go “up”. The relationship is supportive and healthy, with a good amount of independence; you can rest easy. I’ve been taking care of myself well, and yes the music still is being made. I’ve made a series of decision to make myself a better person, to establish my own identity; from going back to college to pursue degrees in fields I find both professionally useful and more in line with my interests (and person) to working hard to get my own apartment so I can have that “me space” that’s so important.
Of course, the journey still continues. It’s not like just two years of growing up completely erases all those faults. Faults are as much a part of who we are, and I’d argue that people don’t change so much as get better at dealing with their lesser parts. At the core though, I think we’re mostly good, and at your core I see a happy girl who just wants to get out and have some fun. Enough fun to fill up a record book. Me? Well, still a lovable cuddly individual with a profound case of nerd, and still an avid runner.
I wish you well.