maybe i acted too swiftly, or maybe not quickly enough.

i just went back and read a post. it’s amazing the insight we have early on. i probably should have gotten my concerns about everything out there to begin with, but before i had a chance, he had already given me reason to doubt that they could even be concerns… anyway.

here’s the last few weeks/days for me:

i noticed a change in his behavior a few weeks ago. i don’t know why, possibly from boredom, but it still happened. i get that feelings change over time, but when you don’t give them a reason to grow, how could they? i mean they’re going to go one way or the other, but you have to fan the flame to a side, in my opinion. i let him fan them to extinction.

saturday morning i awoke to a Facebook message from my friend that said, “such a small world, i just hit on your friend nathan.” hm… great.

so i texted him and said we needed to talk. i was having a lot of anxiety about him no longer showing me affection the way he used to. i know why. his feelings changed, i’m not dumb.

he told me that he had been dancing/flirting with a girl the night before. i said okay, well i want to work things out if possible. then the story elaborated to, i got her phone number… immediately out of my mouth, “that’s fucked up.” point blank. we talked for a long while about how confused he was. that he didn’t want to lose our connection, he said everything was easy and that he liked me, but there was a part of our relationship that he thought might be missing and wants to believe exists.  that something might that is missing for him: something he’s not getting, or that he’s not giving. (true, at least recently) i told him of how i saw things, that people get hurt in relationships, but you can choose to move on or break up. that those were our options. i choose to stay, because although things aren’t perfect right now, there was some really good stuff already, and with a few changes some great stuff could come. that this could be a blip that like all relationships happen from time to time. i told him that i think he’s afraid to say things are good, even when they are because when things aren’t as good, he’ll feel guilty like he never meant them. of course he knew i was right. i told him the reason that’s unfair is that we can only deal with right now, and that saying those things and meaning them now doesn’t invalidate them even if feelings change in the future. he said if we stayed together he’d hurt me, and i asked why? because he’s done it before. and then if he had been hurt, yes. i followed with, but that’s the risk of any relationship. one i wasn’t willing to take for a while, but now i’m ready. he said he didn’t and hasn’t ever felt 100% in, in a relationship, and i said i don’t think anyone ever does, at least not 100% of the time. i don’t think those absolutions are fair.  he said you wouldn’t like me if you really knew me, and i said that was for me to decide, but since he never shares anything with me how could i? it was unfair to assume. he said he thinks that every relationship will end and it doesn’t matter how, but is only a matter of time. “that is exactly how i feel.” -erin byrnes. we talked about how married people i know still say that they don’t know if they’ll make it. and how i don’t always feel great, and i think that affects how i treat him. he said you treat me really good, to which i responded, yeah but i don’t tell you everything; that’s not the only thing on my mind. he said that even if someone forgives him, he still won’t be able to forgive himself. i told him that relationships take work, and that i knew he had to work on himself too, but he needed to decide if he wants me around in the process. he said that he thought it would be ineffective to decide anything now without spending more time together. i said that sounded good and  that we needed to change things if they were going to proceed. to which he responded something about “not feeling differently” which of course, freaked me out. we walked outside, because i had to leave and find something for the baby shower we had later. he said my perspective on things was unique and that he’d never had a conversation like this before, not even when he was separated from his wife for 6 months.

so i left and talked to beeks/cait. to which beeks said i should break things off… after i just said i was willing to work on things?? yes. okay… all the while getting texts from my friend saying that she was sorry and she didn’t know, and everything that happened the night before. that i didn’t deserve to be treated this way. that he had called me his “friend.”

so we went to the baby shower, and he followed me around like a puppy. it was at that point i wanted to run and scream and cry and be alone. i acted as calmly as possible, but bolted as soon as i could.

i dropped beeks/cait off and went for a very long drive. crying all the way out of portland, until i could stop for some cigarettes and a drink. it had finally all hit me. the intent behind getting someone’s number. the fact that i had known from the beginning of all of this that he didn’t want a relationship. that he was so damaged from his divorce, he convinces himself he never cared. all of these things came rushing to me. in between the hurt. i texted him on my way back to say i needed to talk. he said he could later that night, and promptly avoided me for 3 hours.

he came over to my house. i don’t remember everything i said because i was fairly drunk by this point. i told him that i had time to process, as i said i would and that i was pissed. i said it’s pretty clear that you don’t want to be in a relationship and that i wish he would have just said that. “i don’t want to be in a relationship.” i’m unclear of where or how i got to this point, but i told him i had written somethings that i needed him to hear… so i launched in:

this is all very premature, but i needed to put this somewhere to figure out my own lost feelings. i want you to know how deeply i care for you. for a long time, i couldn’t figure out why, but here are some conclusions i’ve drawn:
my mind: it’s attracted to your quickness, complexity, spontaneity, wit and will.
my body: it aches to be touched by you.
my soul: it wants to never not know you.
i think the reason for my desire to run is to free myself of having to care. to protect my heart when i should be opening it. i’ve always logically traded easy hurt for hard, but that’s not living. it’s not loving. it’s not sharing. i’m trying very hard to trust the care you’ve already shown me. i want you to feel loved completely.

you make me feel wanted. i’ve always felt like people need me, which in the past has attracted me to them, but makes me concerned for when i inevitably let them down. i can’t handle people that need me too much. i’m not sure you need me at all. i know you wouldn’t do a single thing you didn’t want to. i know you want me around. that’s an awesome feeling.

we just spent the weekend in LBC. i had an amazing time. can’t believe i was so worried to go, i should have known it would be great because i got to go with you. there are people from my past that have sent me reeling when i spent too much time with them. with you i can’t get enough. i want to be there, to have you to myself without distractions. i don’t feel that way about a lot of people. you are very special to me.

i think what’s tricky about this situation is that for a friend i would absolutely forgive anything. i let a lot of things slide because i didn’t know where that line is supposed to be drawn with us. i didn’t give you expectations because i don’t expect anything of you. i expect things of myself instead, and i let others do the same. for a long time i didn’t get into relationships because i knew i would cheat on people. so to me, you let yourself down there. i don’t want to be with someone that doesn’t want to be with me and i think you need time to be less confused, to identify how you feel and i don’t think that comes of being with me. i had to decide to be able to be in a relationship. it si what i want, but i’m not sure you’ll be able to trust anyone until you can trust yourself.”

as i talked, i watched him sink further and further down. curling up in a fetal position, knowing that all of this was hurting him, because he cares? because of guilt? both probably who knows? i watched myself break him down.

i told him i wanted him to know all of this because he needs to know that people care. that he will care. i went on to say more things about how i loved him as a friend and wouldn’t treat him badly because it didn’t work out. he said i shouldn’t feel bad for him. i said i did because if this is how he approaches life, it’s going to be a lonely one. he said i didn’t deserve to be treated like this, i said he was right. and he does care about me. to which i said “not enough.” he said i am incredibly filled with love and that he thinks there is something missing in him because of his divorce. i hugged him and cried and said it wasn’t true. that he just needs to work these things out… after a little while he left.

i cried myself to sleep.

i layed in bed awake and alone for a long time on sunday before going to hang with beeks. i told everyone what happened.

then i texted him.
me: my brain is stupid and won’t listen to reason. i need to know why you don’t want to be in a relationship.
him: hi, sorry i’m not ignoring you – i was kinda holed up in my room and not looking at my phone. i have just gone from relationship to relationship without figuring out what i want or need. i think i need time alone to figure a lot of things out.
me: i think that’s a really positive step for you. happy to hear it.
him: i am really so sorry about how all of this went down. i do really are about you and know that i have hurt you. i feel terrible.
me: i hope you don’t beat yourself up too badly. i’m going to forgive and forget; i want you to do the same.

then i watched more tv. played a game. took benadryll and went to sleep.

yesterday was hard… i thought about how i let him have all the control. i didn’t give him any rules, because i selfishly wanted to keep him for as long as i could, knowing i would get hurt because that’s what we both thought. i let him think it was okay to treat me poorly and not give anything. i just want people to want to do it themselves, but that’s not okay either. i say he doesn’t communicate, which he doesn’t, and then i don’t communicate my needs, very unfair of me. i acted so “good” so that he wouldn’t have an excuse to leave. it worked for a while, and it was downright manipulative. instead of letting him decide if it was too much, i forced him to accept me. that is shitty. i feel as though i may have broken him in some ways, but i think they’re for the better. i think i recognized he needed someone to do it, so i took it upon myself to make him recognize that he does care for people, even if he doesn’t think he does. that he needs to start loving again to live. out of all of this: i forced him to start talking and thinking in a way he never has, which is really great for him.
i forgot that working with E would remind me of my friend, because she was my coworker and teacher here. that so much of E’s life was with her, which only took me back to saturday. my intention for yoga though was to forgive and forget, to let go of the sadness i feel. to give my love back to the universe.
i also recognized i haven’t been truly alone and able to love myself like i love others in a very long time. it’s time for me to do that.

today is hard. i realized that i love sensations, good or bad. i’m addicted to them. to feelings. to chemicals. i need some space from those too. it takes three months to rewire your brain. that starts today for me.


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