Yesterday I spent nearly the whole day writing. I wrote my heart and soul out. Onto pieces of lined school paper (narrow-ruled, of course). Two letters. One to my love Trey*, who is no longer speaking to me. One to my friend H*, to whom I owe a debt of gratitude and a thank you letter. Numerous emails, texts, and Facebook posts. I should be all out of words, but I’m not, interestingly enough. I’m full of them. Writing has been for me like pulling teeth of late. I haven’t been able to concentrate, and now I find that the words are spilling out of me. It’s like they’ve been blocked, like my feelings have been locked up, like they’ve been stuck–caged with no place to go but inward.
No one carries the blame for that. I guess it’s my disease. I never know when I’m stuck in it and when I’m me–what is it and what is me. And I have to find that distinction. I’ve driven Trey away. I really must learn this lesson before I lose someone else who is dear to me, though there is truly no one dearer than he. And I don’t mean to disrespect my other loved ones, all of you live in the same place in my heart with Trey. But when I’m angry, when I have a gripe, I lose all sense of perspective. I’m like a fucking pit bull with a bone. I really don’t understand it. I’ve worked so hard on letting go. Obviously not hard enough.
I’ve been working on this rut and this feeling for a while. I guessed it started at the time Trey left and my new job started. Damn though, if life isn’t strange. The day after I put my foot in my mouth so deeply it takes the jaws of life to get it out, my friend Zelda* calls and we have a three-hour conversation. That was a friendship I had simply left alone, because it wasn’t working. How freaky is that?
I’m reminded that I simply have to work harder than the average person in every area. I can’t slack when dealing with my mental illness. And I’ve been slacking for months. Well, for a while, I didn’t have enough money to get my medications when I needed them and sometimes I had to wait a few days before I could get refills. That has to have driven my system totally wonky. I’ve realize that writing this blog is more of an intellectual examination my illness, it doesn’t seem to help me with my feelings, and what helps with my feelings is to write in my journal. I haven’t exactly been seeing the marvelous Dr. M. on a regular basis either. So, yeah, my disease has taken over. Fuck–I let it take over. The number one thing on my list of tools is my medication.
For months now, things weren’t going well with Trey. After he left, they went downhill fast. The change in him was abrupt and painful. And our relationship, to me, was ambiguous. It wasn’t what it was. It was nothing close to what it was. And as I’ve mentioned it, I ended it several times, and then he said he couldn’t do it, and wanted to be friends. That was the middle of March. I said I’d try, but it wasn’t something I could do. I’m not really good at crossing those lines between romantic relationship and friendship. I’m sure we were both hurting a lot at that particular point. I regret having been very selfish and thinking about my feelings much more than his, and not having been able to be there for him during a difficult time. My feelings got in the way. I felt that then, I feel it now. I’m sure there was something we could have done differently, but at this particular point, it’s water under the bridge.
I’ve told him a bunch of times I couldn’t do this anymore, and “this” meant hurt the way I was hurting. He finally got tired of me telling him that, and the way I told him that. Of all things, this all took place in typeface–on Yahoo Messenger, over e-mail, and through text. I’ve been hurt and apparently incredibly angry about the things that have happened between us. Because I do not get mad at the drop of a hat. But when I do get angry, it burns hard, fierce, fast, and hot. I am completely caustic. And I’m learning that a person needs to take time with it. I know that intellectually. I simply don’t apply it. For whatever reason, I carry things with me for long periods of time. Do I want to be this way? No. And so, I’m going to have to take steps not to be this way.
But here’s how things transpired the other night. We were actually talking! For the first time in a long time. I hadn’t wanted to talk to him because it was just too hard. I had wished him a happy birthday and he wished me a happy Mother’s Day via text. We exchanged some more texts over the next day. We emailed, or rather, I emailed. He thought, after reading my post Driving Miss T. that perhaps I would be ready to be his friend. I don’t have our texts, and I suppose that’s not a bad thing, but here is an email I wrote. The reason I do this is to deconstruct what happened. So I can see the places I went wrong and hope that I can keep it from happening again. To get the sequence straight in my mind and not blame myself for what I am not responsible for (some portions deleted to protect privacy). Previous to this, it’s good to remember our last conversation, which was also in typeface, about me “clocking” him on Facebook, which was infuriating because we weren’t even Facebook friends at the time,
You should always let a woman have the last word. No, Tracy, I’m in no shape for a relationship at the moment. Yes, we live 2,000 miles apart. You don’t know what you’re going to do with your life. I don’t know what I’m going to do with mine.
I don’t know how to be your friend, Tracy, I’m sorry. It hurts. It keeps me from progressing. I’m not like you.
I love you from the bottom of my heart. I promised to come get you in September if you weren’t already here. I know enough about you to know that I want you here. That I can be faithful to you if we have a plan. I am committed to you. I don’t give my heart lightly, Tracy. Were we kidding ourselves? No. If following your heart is something impractical, something to scoff at, then scoff all you need to, but I won’t join you.
I can change that and be only your friend. But I don’t want to. I’m going to hold out hope that some time in the not too distant future, you will decide you still want to be with me. Or you may not. Till then, till one of those two things holds true, I’m hanging on, from a distance.
I don’t need to talk to you to maintain my love for you. Love is a choice, an action. Would I rather talk to you? Yes, of course I would. But you feel whatever it is you feel. I understand you need time alone, and I’m giving it to you. It may not be in the form that you hoped for, but it is in the form that I can handle.
I don’t know how I can give you what you want, Tracy, without being wounded more.
If you have ideas, I’m always willing to hear them, my door is always open to you. We’re not on the same page, though, love.
And then another (can we say compulsive?)
I have to work very hard every night not to call you, but I still sleep with the phone on my chest. Sappy, I know.
My post today and yesterday? They were about coming out of the place I was. I don’t need for you to agree with me to know that you told me about that sister of a friend working out with you. I’m still disturbed by you not admitting even to the possibility of having said it, but I’m not going to let that get in the way.
I’m going to bed in about an hour. I’m willing to give being friends another try, if you’ll stop talking about the fact that we’re only friends. I want to refuse to let go of you, even if it means we are just friends. But I feel like you’re playing with my feelings for you, sometimes. I know you aren’t. I know you wouldn’t do that purposefully, just as I hope you know that I’m not playing games with you by saying you know where I live. And I guess I really think that no contact is the best solution to the problem for me. If you love me and want to be with me, you’ll tell me. If you don’t, you won’t. At some point in time I will be in a better place. And I will want a close, healthy, loving, strong, intimate relationship. I want to have that with you. I realize you don’t have that to give right now and neither do I. That you’re not saying you will never be able to, you’re just not in that place now. But I’m saying I’m willing to work towards it, and you aren’t.
I would love to be there for you when you need a shoulder. I also know you have all of your brothers and sisters and mentor and the like, and that you really don’t need me. It seems to me that it matters little to you whether we talk or not.
My post was about a lot of things, and one of the first things I wanted to do after I came to the realization about the place I was in was to call you and tell you that I’m sorry for having been such an ass. I think about you with a lot of love always, regardless of where my head is.
You say that it’s hard to care for someone if you can’t talk to them. Yes, that is true. Because caring implies acting. At the very least the act of listening.
So, I propose this. For today, and I don’t know about tomorrow, because I’m not like you, I have my ebb and flow, today, if you wish, call me when you are going to sleep. We don’t have to talk, or you can talk to me, and I will just listen. Today, tonight, I know that I can have a conversation with you without being hurt and angry.
If that works for you, or if it doesn’t, please let me know now. Otherwise, I’ll assume we’re still on the path of not talking. That’s the best I can do today, Tracy. I’m sorry if it’s not good enough.
We texted that night, I believe. And I said I wanted to go to sleep with him. What I meant was, we used to go to sleep with our phones on. One of us would wake the other with snoring, or the phone would disconnect after 2 hours, 3 minutes and 16 seconds. Okay, call it sappy if you want to, but it made me feel so comforted. We had a misunderstanding about what kind of sleeping together we were talking about. I’m pretty sure this made me pretty mad. It felt like a purposeful misunderstanding on his part, that he wanted what he wanted and inserted it into my innocent idea. Okay. I’m not a young girl and I am nowhere close to innocent, but my desire for comfort was. And even if he did try to turn my desire into his, I have a choice, right? I’m not as casual about sex as many people are. But I still felt disrespected. So yet another email from me (rolling eyes at self),
You got some sleep.
I’m going to share my thoughts with you this morning. I didn’t sleep. Not because of anything we said, but because I need to pick up my sleep medication. Urgh.
It seems to me, Tracy, that we’re both trying to take care of ourselves. One of the ways you’re trying to do that is to be friends with me because my friendship adds value to your life. Or it did. Our friendship was always based in a working towards something more vein. It wasn’t ever just purely friendship, except maybe at the very beginning.
You need to take care of yourself first and I need to do the same. If there’s anything leftover after that, then we have something to give to each other.
Please know this…I cannot see wanting a phone bone with you at any point in the near future. I’m not a sex outside of a relationship person. Please understand and respect that.
What I’ve been trying to tell you is, if you are ever interested in picking up where we left off, you know where to find me. If you really need to talk to someone, call me. But I’m not interested in a comfortable friendship with you. Like I said, that’s your happy place, that’s what you want and need. It’s not what I want or need.
I’ll be there for you if you need me. I won’t be proud if I need you. But I’m not likely to call you for a casual chat. I’m sorry I can’t be what you want me to be. I won’t close the door, but I’m not likely to step through it either. That’s the best I can do for today. I’m sorry I can’t be consistent.
We talked, then we were chatting on Yahoo Messenger. He said something that was hurtful, and I let it hurt me. He had been stingy with me, emotionally, which is his prerogative. I could have ended the conversation, if it wasn’t pleasing me. When I complained about what he said, he told me to get of the fucking pity pot. That’s when I ended the conversation. It was like a matador had waved a red cape in front of my face. I said I was out, but with a lighted fuse. Trey, who has always been gentle and tactful, gave me another shovelful after I had asked for some affirmation of care. I asked him why he wanted to talk to me. What he said was, why wouldn’t he want to talk to me. I wasn’t a negative. I said okay…and something else like glad to know how important I am to you…and that’s when I got the pity pot comment. Not just the pity pot comment, the fucking pity pot comment. I was crazy hurt and then I got crazy mad. To me, Trey had just taken the gloves off, just hit below the belt. If I’m talking about the weather and it’s hideous, I feel okay about using profanity. But in a disagreement between me and someone else? Profanity is abusive. It means we’re on.
I called him when I got home, and asked what the rant was about. He said it wasn’t a rant, he was just expressing how he felt at the time. I then saw an offline message he sent,
Look, If u didn’t matter to me…..DO U REALLY THINK I WOULD BE GOING THROUGH ALL OF THIS???? Let me help u with that……………..HELL FUCKING NO!!! I don’t have the time to waste on people I dont give a shit about!!
Then he sent an email,
My friends tell me what I NEED to hear, not always what I WANT to hear, & I, in turn. try to do the same! I AM NOT GOING TO TIPPY TOE, OR EGG SHELL IT WITH U, I JUST CAN’T.
More profanity. I’m pretty sure this is when I let it rip,
You go on being who you are, saying what you please however you please, and not taking responsibility for the hurt you cause, okay? When you get out of your “it’s all about me and how I feel and I know best phase” let me know. Meanwhile, I’m busy taking care of my stuff and working through my mom’s cancer.
I have my own shit to deal with and I don’t need you bringing me down in the name of what you think I need to hear and your abusive way of putting it.
According to you, it just happened. I asked you why you still wanted to talk to me and you told me I wasn’t a negative, why wouldn’t you talk to me. Am I supposed to apologize to you because you said something hurtful to me, then on top of it, you tell me to get off my fucking pity pot and then I should be grateful that you’re giving me this great advice because if you didn’t care about me, you wouldn’t be wasting your time with me?
What kind of delusional trip are you on?
But no, it was just something that happened, right? You were just expressing yourself. So that’s what you’re like when you’re not tippy toeing? Not walking on eggshells? Thanks, you can keep your sage advice to yourself. There is no cause and effect there. Going from A) asking for an answer to why you’re talking to me to B) Get off your pity pot is not a direct correlation.
Or have you just been masking your kindness and judgmentalness all along? “People who are brutally honest get more satisfaction out of the brutality than out of the honesty.” – Richard Needham
Along with some really great texts, I was really on a roll,
Me: I am tired. I have had a very long day and tmw will be the same. My mom is in a lot of pain and it’s breaking my heart. I wanted to talk to you but you are not available. Good night.
Trey: I AM NOT DOING THIS!!!! One minute u tell me to go f myself & then u want to talk!! No, not happening! I’m sorry 2 hear about ur mom! She’s in my prayers.
Me: No problem.
Trey: U can just leave my self-righteous, opinionated, know it all ass by myself, I cant give u comfort. I wont b answering any future communication. Take care.
Trey stopped here, but I was just warming up,
Me: No problem.
Me: I asked you for comfort yesterday and you gave me shit instead. Not likely to ask anything from you again, am I?
Me: You’re being enormously hypocritical, which of course, is your prerogative.
Me: But that’s okay when it’s you doing it, isn’t it?
Me: I thought you were a better person than this. Ego and pride and fooling yourself are what I see now. You’ve earned the right to say what you want however you want, is that it? And lord help anyone who calls you on it. You can do that to others, but to have it back? Oh, no.
Me: Don’t answer your messages. It’s not a problem. But if the Trey I love ever makes a reappearance, I’ll still be here to welcome him with open arms. And I will talk to this Trey that I don’t know.
Me: I love you and want to be with you. That isn’t likely to change any time soon even if you are doing the male version of menopause.
Me:I will still be here if you want to talk or need me. Take me up on it or don’t. You can’t make me go away tho you see to be trying awfully hard. :p
Me: Pennie says he loves u 2 and damn it Thomas is calling again. I want u here but am happy to wait til ur impersonation of a donkey has run its course.
Me: Perhaps for Halloween we should dress up as the main characters from dumb and dumber. Guess which u get to be? for fighting. Dumb and dumber. Instead of loving which is all I really want to do when it comes to you. Sigh.
Me: Waiting for my love to come down off his high horse. I knew u Taurian were being particularly stubborn of late.
Me: I suppose if you don’t ever return to the Tracy I fell in love with and I never do hear from you again, I’ll know that you weren’t the person I thought you were. But I will have faith that kindness, compassion, tolerance, and being loving and fair and rational are attributes you possess.
Me: And I of course will be introspective and tote up my sins and apologize for them. I not only can admit when I am wrong, but I don’t mind looking at events to see where I went wrong and what my part was…and apologizing. Not too proud, not too sure I’m right and it’s pretty valuable if I learn from it.
Once I’m wound up, it takes me a long time to come down, obviously. That was the 18th in the wee hours of the morning. When I got up, I wasn’t particularly angry anymore. I was incredibly sad. I spent yesterday and today beating myself up for this. I guess what is true about this situation is this: Trey said things that were unkind. One could use the words cruel and abusive too. They certainly didn’t follow from the question I asked him. And my response, saying “Fuck you!” was probably disproportionate, though it didn’t seem so to me at the time. I said things that were unkind, and one can use the words cruel and abusive too. I could have left it there, but Trey continued it with his texts. I carried it through the goal post, down to the locker room, and out of the stadium. We both could have disengaged at any point before saying hurtful things, but we didn’t. We’re both human beings.
I have apologized many times since to silence, and that’s okay. I have no expectations of hearing from Trey again. That’s not okay with me, but I have no control over it. I will say it here, I apologize, Trey! And I really mean it! I have done as much as I can. Time to stop beating myself up. Time to stop being angry, because actually, writing this down just made me angry all over again. Time to forgive myself. Time to forgive Trey. As H* said yesterday, all I can do is leave the door open to him and live my life. That is exactly what I intend to do.
I have just a few more thoughts about this matter at this moment. One is about how the ego, superego, and id were in my thought process yesterday. Swirling through my mind were what I wanted, which was just to be with Trey, in his arms, no need to use words to express feeling, so that’s the workings of id. Then there was all of this thought about what I needed to do to take care of my part in this matter and take care of myself. That would be the ego, trying to take care of what is truly important. And then there’s the superego, or the parent, and I hate that voice with a passion. That is my raven voice, the voice that tells me that no matter what I do, no matter how I do it, I will never ever do anything right, I’ve ruined my last chance at a relationship, I’ve totally fucked up my life, and so on. Gotta love Freud.
I also thought about this with regard to my family history, my history with anger, and my illness. Anger was a frowned-upon emotion in our household, in some respects. It was a “shit rolls down the hill” emotion. My father could get mad at my mother, but mom couldn’t get mad at dad. Mom and Dad could get mad at us, but we couldn’t get mad at either of them. And we siblings could practically murder each other, so long as no one was looking.
I stuffed and stuffed and stuffed my anger. Being nice was important in a girl, I got that. I never really truly blew my top until I was 33. I remember the day clearly. I was eight months pregnant with my son and MCF was going to India. I really wanted him to go. His family was unhappy about us getting married, and he was going to calm the waters there. I encouraged him to go and I helped him prepare. Then on the morning he was to leave and we were doing the final packing, I blew up (for me, at that period in time, that involved saying I was angry). All of the sudden I was so enormously pissed he was leaving me all alone in my eighth month of pregnancy. I was as shocked about it as he was. Then later in the day, the dogs had been out in the mud and they came inside and one jumped on my new bedspread, and I screamed. I haven’t been the same since.
I wonder, what is my relationship with anger these days? I thought that in therapy I was getting to a place where I could focus on myself and leave what others do behind. I guess I was wrong. I realize I have a lot more work to do. And then, there’s my illness. What is its contribution? I believe that my relationship with anger is at issue here. Histrionic Personality Disorder means I frequently have turbulent relationships. I imagine that combined with OCD, the impact is fairly significant. I have been working on not letting what I perceive as injustices derail me. I have been working on not letting what other people do sabotage my efforts. What I do know is clearly I wasn’t in a place to be able to handle a relationship that hit a rough patch. It was fantastic when it was going well. But the minute it wasn’t, all I wanted to do was escape the pain. Ambiguity is very painful for me, and from my point of view, what Trey felt for me had to be in question because he was behaving so differently. I know that is OCD. Uncertainty is to someone with OCD what kryptonite is to Superman. I wonder if wanting to let go of the relationship when things were not going well was the equivalent of an OCD handwasher trying to get rid of the germs (obsession) by washing hands (compulsion)? I’m sure that when I see Dr. M. on Monday, she will help me decode my illness’ contribution to this mess.
On the one hand, I felt relief yesterday. Being in conflict is very difficult for me, and our relationship not being in a place that felt good to me caused me a lot of anxiety. I feel relief from being someone who I don’t want to be, a contentious bitch. I feel like an animal which has had its paw caught in a trap and gnawed it off at the joint to get out of the trap. Better an amputated limb that can heal than in pain in a trap with a damaged. Let me make it clear that Trey was not the trap, but the place I was in with my brain and this relationship. But more than that, I feel like I have lost my best friend. Because in essence, I have lost my best friend. And not just my best friend, but a really wonderful man with whom I hoped to have a future. Because above all, Tracy has been wonderful. Sure, he’s made mistakes, but we are human.
Whew. Enough for now. I’ve not run out of words, I never do, but stick a fork in me, I’m done for today. Time to get ready for the pre-Rapture orgy. Hmmm. I wonder what I should wear? (for all you humor-challenged folks, that was a joke).
1.) My lovely children, there are no children more beloved on this planet.
2.) Trey*, I do love you , I apologize, and “lo siento.”
3.) H* for talking me through this yesterday. Thank you for your care and tact.
4.) For Peppermint Patty, and she knows why. Thank you.
5.) For Lady and Pennie, who will undoubtedly be my comfort from here on out.
“Forgiveness entails the authentic acceptance of our own worthiness as human beings, the understanding that mistakes are opportunities for growth, awareness and the cultivation of compassion, and the realization that the extension of love to ourselves and others is the glue that holds the universe together. Forgiveness…is not a set of behaviors, but an attitude.”
“Love yourself–accept yourself–forgive yourself–and be good to yourself, because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things.” ~ Leo Buscaglia
“Don’t allow your self-forgiveness to be contingent upon somebody else’s readiness or willingness to forgive you. They may get something out of holding on to anger that they aren’t ready to let go of. They may be too frightened or wounded to let go of their anger. Feeling angry may be an important part of their healing process at this time. Allow others to be where they are. Respect their right to feel the way they feel.”
“Forgiveness is the only way to break the cycle of blame–and pain–in a relationship…It does not settle all questions of blame and justice and fairness…But it does allow relationships to start over. In that way, said Solzhenitsyn, we differ from all animals. It is not our capacity to think that makes us different, but our capacity to repent, and to forgive.” ~ Philip Yancey – The Unnatural Act (article, Christianity Today, April 8, 1991)
“The less you open your heart to others, the more your heart suffers.” ~ Deepak Chopra
“Genuine forgiveness does not deny anger but faces it head-on.” ~ Alice Walker
“Sincere forgiveness isn’t colored with expectations that the other person apologize or change. Don’t worry whether or not they finally understand you. Love them and release them. Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time.” ~ Sara Paddison