Trixie Gets Hysterical

I have done something very bad, and if I were hearing this story from me I wouldn’t believe it either.

I admit, last week I had reached an emotional breaking point regarding Bennett.  I hadn’t spoken to him in a while and the last we spoke, we argued over nothing….or better put, I argued with him over nothing and got myself very wound up.

Much too wound up.  Enough to make myself sick for days.

I had been battling a stomach bug, but getting entirely panicked and anxious only exacerbated my symptoms.  By Wednesday night I was vomiting anything that I put in my body.  If I wasn’t vomiting, I had diarrhea.  Sometimes, I had both at once.  It was not pretty.

I made the mistake of letting my misery take control.  I called Bennett in the middle of the night.

On a landline, at his lake home, while he was with his brother.

There was some logic here, as irrational as it may have been.  I figured he was staying the night, I know there is no cell service, and his brother knows all about me.  I thought he would be mildly upset.

I was way, way wrong.

Not only was his brother with him, but so was his niece and nephew.  The problem with this was that by the time I called him, I was full on hysterical and there was no calming me down.  I should have taken two ambien and knocked myself into sleep, it would have been the right decision.   But I didn’t make a good decision. I was sobbing like a maniac.  I had no pride and no self-control.

The conversation turned ugly.  Every time he tried to calm me down I felt like I was being chastised.  Or, I felt like he was more worried about getting me off the phone because his niece and nephew would wonder wtf was going on in the middle of the night.  Nothing helped and I could only continue to sob.  Until he told me to “calm down and shut the fuck up.”

That did stop me in my tracks.  I have never, ever heard him with any tone of voice directed at me.  I had clearly pushed him beyond his ability to control himself.

I hung up the phone and instantly regretted it.  We got off the phone around 12:30, by 12:42 I called the number over and over thinking he would have to answer.  I tried his face time.  I pressed the buttons on my phone in a frenzy.

Until I pressed the wrong one.

Months ago, Bennett and I were having a conversation about his wife getting phone calls and text from numbers he didn’t know.  We spent some time digging on line to discover who the calls were from.   During that time, I said “let me check your wife’e number.”  He  gave it to me and I saved it.  (Point to note: Bennett claims this never happened and I somehow got his wife’s number another way).

I saved her number because I clearly had ill intent….what other reason could there be.  There is none, it must be why I saved it.  I saved it under his number and not a separate entry.  His name houses 6 different phone numbers.  Hers was the last one and it simply said “other.”  In m y hysteria, as I was pressing his number over and over, I must have pressed hers.  I didn’t realize I pressed it because the name on the phone contact is his.

When the phone was answered, it was pitch dark (on my end too) and I thought it was him so I said “oh can you talk now?”  When a woman’s voice replied that I had the wrong number, I replied “No, I most certainly do not have the wrong number (I could see his name on my phone screen – I know I didn’t dial the wrong number!) and then I said “please put your Uncle on!”  I think she said, “you have the wrong number because my Uncle isn’t here with me” and hung up on me.

Thinking it was his niece with his phone and now being mad on top of hysterical, I dialed back.  This time I think she asked me who I was looking for and I believe I said “Bennett” and she said “he’s not here”  (things start to get fuzzy now because I  believe I started to realize I was speaking to his wife and not his niece).  I replied “yes, he is, he is in xxxx, city!” and when she asked who I was I replied “his girlfriend.”  At which point she said something like this is his wife and hung up.

I passed out on my back deck from disbelief and exhaustion.  Sometime later I woke up and made it into my house and into bed.

At 7:30 am a phone call from “No Called ID” came through.  I suppose I knew in the back of my mind that it was her, and not him, but I convinced myself it was him calling from the lake house.    As soon as I said hello she hung up.

I received a text from him some minutes later “M – you called Callie?”

There were a few more calls that day from unidentified numbers, which I didn’t answer.  He asked me not to speak to her should she call.  I separated out her phone number and blocked it.  Some other numbers came through and I gave them to him and it turns out she asked her children to also call the number, believing it was a foolish prank, and I blocked them as well.  My voice mail is a generic greeting.

He had a long drive home from the lake house and spoke to me for a couple hours.  He was strangely calm and seemed much more worried about how upset I was.

I was sick through Thursday and and Friday, still vomiting, but I think more from the virus than the anxiety at this point.

Saturday I left to the city to spend with a good friend and Bennett and I only had generic text Saturday and Sunday.

He told me Sunday night he was in a very bad way and worried about losing his job in the morning.  When he said he was horribly distraught, I assumed he meant his job, but it wasn’t.  He had started to believe I was intentionally malicious and was getting himself sick over the situation he had placed himself and his family in.

I spoke to him Monday morning after he spoke to his boss, to find out there would be lay-offs, but his role was not at risk.  He called me soon after and the conversation started out with blame, and believing I had been intentional in the phone call.  I understand why he wouldn’t believe me.  If it was me hearing this story, I don’t think I would believe me.

And then,  seemingly out of nowhere, he utterly broke down.  I listened.  I have never heard a man break down like this, it was horrible.  I didn’t know what to do except to listen.  Now I think I understand what he was experiencing with me when I was sobbing to him on Wednesday.

It stopped me in my tracks.

I think between the stress of our break-up, my phone call and his worry over his job he just had a nervous break.  He told me he had been sobbing like this all weekend.  He is a wreck.

I know at one point when I was mad that I told him I wish he hurt like I hurt – then he would finally understand me.  I know now, beyond a shadow of doubt, that he does hurt like I do, maybe worse because he is potentially harming his family.  I’m sorry I uttered those words aloud.

I’m sorry I don’t have the patience to control myself and my mouth when I have something on my mind.  I haven’t fully grasped how to control my emotional outbursts.  I haven’t learned that once said things cannot be unsaid and you need to roll things around on your tongue and taste them before spitting them out.  I haven’t learned.

And I am so disappointed in myself.

I am disappointed that I broke the man I love.  If I really loved him, would I have pushed him to this point?  What kind of person am I?

Why did I save her number all that time ago?  To cause intentional harm?

If I really loved him, why would I allow us both to stay in this horrible situation?

I am so upset with myself for allowing all of this to happen.  Mostly for hurting him.  I never want to hear that pain in his voice again.

When he was crying, all he could really say was that he never wanted to hurt me, that he let all of it get out of hand and go on too long, and that he was so very, very wrong for doing what he’s been doing to a woman who, despite being a poor partner and wife, doesn’t deserve what he’s done to her.  He was ashamed that she may find out this way that he has been cheating on her.  As I just typed this I realize that was the emotion coming across to me: shame.  He was horrified at the man he had become and just realized who he really was, and not who he pretended to be.

It was horrid to listen to his realization.

As I write this last line I know things are over for good, he needs to be away from me to repair what he can, as best he can.  He deserves that from me.

And I have to find the ability to control myself so I don’t end up harming myself again and end up in the hospital.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Broken Heart 

I realize my depression spiral is most likely related to Bennett. Everyone handles life circumstances differently. It seems the only two things that have ever pulled me deeply into depression are death and heartbreak.  I clearly do not know how to manage myself when it comes to romantic relationship.

Letting go of something not meant for me seems to be my ultimate struggle.  I am almost fully decisive in most areas of my life, except for this.

The pain of losing Bennett is different from the pain of losing Bobby.  It’s much deeper and more serious.   It worries me more.  I know I can’t allow myself to let go of my thin tether to reality this time and I think it’s what’s taking me longer to let go of him at all. The truth is, I still believe he is a perfect partner for me. I believe we would have an insanely blessed life together in every respect.  I need to get myself to firmly believe it’s never going to happen.

I think about the possibility of staying with him while I get on with the rest of my life.  I know that would be nice for a while before I end up mad and upset that I’m not his priority.   I don’t think he’s comfortable living two lives now that he has fully acknowledged there’s a real problem at home.   The times I speak to him, he sounds more confused than before.  Since he made the decision to stay married, I can feel how hard it is to hold back with me. Ultimately that makes me uncomfortable because it’s not how he acted the year prior. Even if all the things he said to me were wrong, it’s how the relationship was built and how I understood him. With those things missing, it no longer has the security it once did.

We have been talking and I have started seeing him again.  I know if I choose to stay here, I basically have to shut my mouth and not complain.  I don’t think I can do that – so why am I torturing myself?  I can sense when I do challenger him (with time mostly) that he pulls back and gets tense since he knows there is nothing he will do to change the situation.

My only answer is that the pain of being without him is worse than him not being in my life romantically.  I do realize that is lame, but I seem to be unable to extricate myself from this situation.

When I said I didn’t feel safe here anymore it’s because it’s the ONLY place I was safely able to lay out my crazy thoughts without backlash.  I know I am doing the wrong thing, yet I am not stopping.  Everyone is tough love on me, which is lovely in and of itself, but not when I’m confused and need help clearing out the muck. Is the only way ahead to simply shut every thought and feeling about Bennett out of my head and heart?  If it is, I am not yet able to do so.   I have gotten to the place where I am crying more than anything else. My temper is short. I’m distracted. And sad. Terribly sad. What is so wrong with me that, since post-marriage, I have chosen men who have been entirely unavailable to me?

I don’t have time for therapy. I don’t have time for exercise. My priority is my job and kids for the year ahead. I am working hard to establish my foundation in my new role. For me that means full dedication at the expense of other things.  I am, at least, starting to monitor my weight and making some progress in that area.

I spend my free time doing as much as I am able to take my mind off of him, yet I am obsessed over not losing him entirely.  Maybe I don’t know how to lose?

Whatever it is, I know it’s not healthy for me and my patterns are not changing enough.  I don’t know how people stay in affairs for years, but if that’s what I am setting myself up for – how do I even manage that?  How do those people not argue and simply accept the circumstances for what they are?   I always seem to need more and more and more.

Maybe I just need a lobotomy.

 

The Reality of our Actions | Thank You Ferns

One thing I love about blogging is the ability for a perfect stranger to say something that resonates so deeply within me that I can’t stop thinking about it.

Ferns did it yesterday.

Her comment hit me in such a way that it unlocked something I wasn’t able to get to myself, something that I know can help me heal.

Why was it that comment and not a thousand before, I don’t know.  She’s a better writer than I am so maybe it’s the words themselves that just seem to speak to me.  Either way, I can’t thank you enough Ferns.  And, it isn’t the first time you’ve popped in a smacked me upside my head to get me thinking differently.

Here’s  the comment:

“It’s easy to talk about leaving someone. Especially when you are giddy with the kind of high emotion that you’ve forgotten you were capable of. But when the person you are talking about leaving is someone you still love and care for and respect (this vs someone with whom everything is irrevocably ugly-broken), there is a reality there that is going to smack you in the face when you pull the trigger.

Saying the words out loud to someone with whom you have a powerful history, a shared and not-terrible life, a genuine and deep affection, and watching their heart break is a reality that most do not imagine. And if this person you still love takes even one step towards you, you will grab at it because it is awful-terrible to break someone’s heart and then turn away when they beg to try and mend what is broken. People who have lost their way are never closer, more honest, more real than when they are about to lose something they have taken for granted and forgotten about. It brings the value of it into high relief.

So unless it’s screaming fights and dead emotions, people will always try to rekindle those embers because memory is deep and strong and saying ‘no, not interested in trying to fix this’ to a long term partner whose heart you’ve just broken is not something most people will do or *want* to do.

The people who leave their relationships are the ones who have tried and tried and tried, who have had endless conversations and fights about it, who have genuinely concluded that there is nothing left, who have reached the end of their tether. Bennett is at step one in this process. Whether their reboot works out or not has nothing to do with you, and as you’ve said previously, nor should it.

All that to say: You are enough. You are just choosing the wrong men. You should stop doing that (sorry, made myself laugh, but man, you had the chance to get out as soon as you realised he was married, you didn’t even like him that much back then, were ambivalent, so yeah, learn a lesson, woman!).

Ferns”

Does her comment make my situation or feeling of loss any different?  No, of course not.  I just made me see things differently.

I really hated my x by the time we broke,  I had so much pain, resentment and emotional distress.  I tried everything to fix it and couldn’t.  There was so much fighting (and still is today).  I loved him deeply for so many years and I couldn’t let go of that love for so many years and kept trying and trying until finally something snapped in half and was irrevocably broken.  Ferns words “ugly-broken” just resonated in a way I can’t actually explain.

That has never happened to Bennett.  They don’t fight.  They had a young romance that blossomed into a family and eventually fell flat as many relationships do, but it wasn’t because they disliked one another, they just didn’t care to try any harder or perhaps didn’t’ know how.  There is much responsibility on both sides.

Bennett has said this to me many times “I know it would be easier if I hates her or we fought, but we don’t.”  They just ignored one another as lovers.  He gave up on her when he thought she cheated on him (if she did or not is debatable) and he stopped investing emotionally.

He always said he was absolutely certain when he married her.  He believed he would be married to one person forever (like his parents, though his Dad died young).  He wanted to emulate the perfect family that he felt he was raised in, and he did a really good job of starting out that way.  They just couldn’t sustain his picture perfect image of the romance and emotional connection.  They never had it then, so when he met me and realized I could give it to him, I think he was so far disconnected from at that point that he began to build our future in his head.  He had sustained the romance and emotional part of their marriage, it was never her strong suit, and then he gave up trying and maybe she never knew how once he stopped.  I was the same as him in the way I invest emotionally.

When I met Bennett, he was crushed under the weight of his perceived failure and his mothers impending death.  He felt no one understood him (claims he tried many times to speak to his wife, but she is never tuned in to him – and I get the impression that she’s not horribly bright but an extremely kind and gentle soul).

I do believe it’s possible he is my twin flame or my soulmate because of very distinct similarities.  There are just not that many people in this world that you can be so completely aligned with emotionally.  Regardless of if he is meant to be in my life long term, what we had was unusual and special, a connection unlike any other I have ever had in my life.

But, I now see you can (maybe) live without that connection if you can have many other things that you hold dear…and I think Ferns hit the nail on the head when that reality struck, when the words came out of his mouth, he could not actually break her.  And why should he, when she was begging him to fix it.  He suddenly saw their whole life in front of him and I strongly believe, was pulled back by the notion he wants to have that perfect marriage and family, and wants it so desperately why wouldn’t he try to make it work again.  I understand all that in writing, in theory, but my heart is unable to accept that he would want to live without the ultimate connection.

I also think Ferns is right in saying that when the worst happens, you are at your most open, more real, more honest….I got the impression that he saw that within his wife and needed to do the same for himself – be real.  I know from our last conversation a week ago that they were trying to understand how they got to such a broken place.  If two people can talk through those high emotions without fighting, and be accountable for their actions, it would require focus.  I think he must be giving her that focus now, and he can’t distort it to me.  I can understand that, even if I don’t like it because he promised me that he was never going back to his marriage.

I realize I am rehashing most of what I have already said, but, writing through trauma has always helped me sort myself out and it keeps me from writing to him.

We have “broken-up” three times now.  Each time hurt.  But this time feels very different to me.  The other times we broke and I knew he was in pain from parting from me, I knew how deeply he loved me and how hard it was to be without me.  This time his focus is elsewhere and I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself.  I try to remind myself that he does love me, but this was the best decision.  I question it though, constantly….I question how much he loves me and that’s a terrible thing to do to myself.

Thank you Ferns for giving me so much to think about, it means so much to me.

And, you are right and can laugh….I laugh at myself.  My attraction to Bennett still amazes me for many reasons, but I guess that’s the mystery of it all.

 

Getting On With It

In a rare instance of strength towards a break up, I came home tonight and deleted all his text messages from my phone.  I read an article today that said the worst thing you can do is go backwards and read and reread things that are no longer valid.

So, I deleted him.

11 months of text messages.  Hidden away.  I can go back and read them with some effort, but I can’t access on the phone.

I also took down my little trinkets and cards I had kept up at work.  Tucked those away in a drawer.

I didn’t delete my photos, but if find myself looking at him with longing, well, they will go off to a safe place too.

Interestingly enough, when I did this over a year ago with Bobby I transferred everything to an email I can no longer recall with a password that is entirely gone from my mind.  So, that goes to show you how literally removing these little reminders from your life eventually fade from the foreground if you take an active part in making it happen.

I woke myself up from a dream about us the other night.   I dreamed we were talking it all through and somehow I was being convinced to wait yet again. I woke myself up angry and had to shake it off.  Clearly my subconscious is strongly connected to him.

I try not to let my wand wander too much but I find it nearly impossible not to think about it as soon as I have a free moment.   I know the mourning has set in because I could cry, I just don’t.

I’ve been asking myself a lot more soul-searching questions this time around.  My biggest internal debate is just my inability to understand “why” or “how” he can do what he’s doing.  I know I just need to move into acceptance and allow myself not to know everything, but I am not there yet.  Please, I would appreciate no cliché replies about moving on, I know what I need to do, but it doesn’t stop me from thinking about it obsessively.

His last words to me were to tell me he will always love me, I will always be his one true love and no one will ever replace that.  He is sure of it.  I feel bad if he has to live that way and be married to someone else.

Ann and I discussed and I realize that he made me a lot of promises and led me to believe (willingly, I wasn’t oblivious to anything) that there was hope for a future for us.  He even spoke to her because he was terrified of losing me.  Yes, he is a jerk for doing this, but he was a jerk for cheating in the first place and I loved him despite his jerkiness.

And then he got cold feet.

So be it.  I am just writing to process as it’s the easiest outlet not to torment my friends with endless questions of doubt and continual sadness.  I am very, very lucky I have such an amazing role in my new job to consume me.  Without it, I would be lost.  My closest friend also broke it off with her long distance boyfriend after 18 months.  She is so good about “he showed me one sign of not wanting me and I’m out.”  And, she is, just like that. I wish I had some of that resilience and self-confidence.

I sit and wonder how he imploded so quickly.  I know I won’t have any answer that will satisfy me.  If he was speaking to me he would simply tell me he was confused and he still loves me, but he isn’t leaving his family.  There is nothing more, but I’m not yet ready to finish my own psychoanalysis of how he can live with these lies.

 

Lying to Yourself is Never Good

Bennett spoke to his wife.

Yep.  Caught me by surprise too.

Here’s what happened.  We had mostly stopped speaking and seeing one another and it was pretty hard on both of us.  His 22 year wedding anniversary was April 29 and I knew in my head that if that date came and went and he never had the talk with her that I would just be waiting forever for nothing.  I had set my mind to finally moving forward by early April.

I wasn’t doing terribly good or bad.  I had some days where it hurt if I missed him and other days that went by without much thought.  I decided I wasn’t ready to date, so I had stopped.  There was plenty to fill my time and I felt pretty good about life in general.

The short version is that he called me the morning of his anniversary crying.  I had never heard him so broken and it was upsetting.  We continued to talk or text throughout the day but my stance was clear, no more after today.  I was done.    I became more upset and he became more erratic causing an argument and me telling him I pretty much hate him (I know, childish, but there it is).  The text stop in the evening and I didn’t hear from him until the next evening.  The text read:

“I spoke to my wife, are you awake?”

I thought I would hear bells of joy but instead I was more curious than anything.  He explained their short conversation.  He started with their anniversary passing by with “no notice and no love, and he was gravely unhappy, didn’t she feel the same?”

Well, no she didn’t.  She felt this is how he wanted things.  He didn’t want romance, or sex or anything.  That his ED problems were because he wasn’t attracted to her therefore making her not want sex.  She was caught off guard and blindsided entirely.  They stopped the conversation because she was too upset.

Unfortunately, Bennett chose a horrible time to tell her because her mother (whom she has no good relationship with) is in town and staying with them for a week.  He admits he should have told her before but he was so panicked about losing me (it finally sunk in, I guess) that he seized the courage and ran with it.  They can’t really spend time together talking until after next Tuesday or so.

But, talk and text a little they have.  Enough to drive him into even more desperate confusion.  He expected her to say “yes, this isn’t a good marriage and you are right we should call it quits.”  But that’s not what she’s saying, she’s saying “how do we make this work?”  She’s showing feelings for him that she hasn’t shown in many, many years.  Her entire existence is being threatened and she’s not about to let it go without a fight.  he thought this was going to be much more black and white.

I can’t blame her.  This comes as no surprise to me.

The love each other, perhaps they have forgotten how much.  It’s a shame how that happens in marriage.  We grow stale when we don’t work at it.  They have never had good communication, this is only the second time in many years that he admitted to being unhappy.  The first time it happened she begged him to stay as well (and obviously he did).  They are both relatively passive, and neither wants disruption to this level so it’s most likely they try at it a few months, or years and it all slips back to where it is now.

Or not.

I don’t know.  No one has that crystal ball.

He isn’t running into her open arms, it’s not that, but he should explore how he feels about her and if there really is opportunity to save a 22 year marriage and make a new one, a healthy one out of the destruction it is.

When he began to cry on the phone last night, I knew he was crying because he needs to let go of me and he’s finally realized he can’t have his feet planted in both worlds.

He needs to determine where this marriage is going.  And if he stays, he needs to invest.  Bobby did it.  It seems I am very good at showing men what they should have in a good relationship – within their marriages.

He insists he is unsure she is actually capable of going it on her own and he feels responsible for that.  Part of me believes this because she was totally oblivious to their disconnect over the past 5-10 years, she admitted this to him.

If they connect emotionally, the sex will follow.  Regardless that he’s not currently attracted to her, for Bennett, most of that has to do with emotional connection more than physical connection.  If she can tap back into his heart/head, the rest will follow for him, even if it’s less sexual than he prefers, as long as he feels he is being loved and getting attention, I believe he will stay.

I know the feeling in my chest.  My heart has finally broken now.  I was lying to myself since the original break-up in January and hoping against hope that something might change.  This time I wasn’t blind to the things I was doing to myself, but did them all the same which was foolish.

Some healing had started, but not the real, true, deep mourning that needs to happen in order to move forward.  I guess it’s time for that now.

We said our goodbyes this morning.  I can’t be part of what’s about to happen in his life.  If they ultimately land on separation (which I doubt) then he can call me and tell me and we can go from there.

Otherwise, my only priority it to heal my heart and move forward.

The weather outside here reflects my current state of misery.  Cold and rainy. 😦

 

No Conversation, No Surprise

I was more anxious about hearing from Bennett the next day than anything. I knew deep in my heart the conversation wouldn’t happen and I sort of knew why.

I didn’t mention in my last post that I said something to him the evening before in his way home that would irritate him. And I knew it.

Was it self-sabotage?

Was I intentionally playing a game?

In hindsight my only answer is I acted irresponsibly. I threw a die and the hand that was roll wasn’t in my favor.   I haven’t done enough soul-searching to understand my motivation.

I didn’t think what I said would stop him so maybe it was a test?

He told me he was so thrown off by it he couldn’t concentrate on his intended action of speaking to his wife.

So, I handed him excuse in a way.

I don’t know why he bothered to contact me today. He knew it would be an argument. He knew I would be upset.  I told him that was my breaking point as I knew it would be. Had we not started communication again I wouldn’t be expecting the text with “we had the conversation” and I wouldn’t be disappointed in him any more than I had been.

But that’s how it went down.

His claims he is still done with his marriage. I disagree with people who expect him to invest in his marriage again or his wife to even want that. He is not interested in being lovers again, though that doesn’t mean he finally leaves her.  He would probably end up cheating or just leaving in the next year or two.   What do any of us know, it’s not our marriage. But considering I am closer to it than you are, my opinion is they won’t be rekindling it.

I am not placing the blame on myself for his inability to act. I just gave him one more excuse. And he took the bait, I suppose.

Much like the end of Bobby, I don’t feel anger or regret. Simply, loss. Pure loss. The pain of heartbreak surfaced again but I know it won’t linger.  I really don’t think it’s a game for him. He said one thing today that hit the ball home for me…

I said I was disappointed in myself for allowing myself to believe in him.

His reply “I believed in myself.”

I think he did, for a moment. Then he lost his courage. And that’s fine. Fine for Bennett and fine for me.

So that’s the end of that.

Hanging On, By A Thread

Quick post because I don’t have time, but I do have enough time to send a text and I am trying to avoid that.

Received and email today from Bennett – interesting choice on his behalf that it wasn’t a text or call – which said:

I’m dying a slow death….however I’m determined to deliver a progress report shortly….and I know I’m breaking protocol but I don’t care

I haven’t replied, but boy is my heart itching to reply.

Where are all my cheerleaders?!

I do have a first date tonight, and then a new one for next Friday.  Both mature, well-established and very communicative….both good starts.  Let’s hope I like them to take my mind off Bennett and his progress, or lack thereof.

My only concern, which is not overriding my ability to go on a date, but the thought is there: if I start dating, or even having sex, I know Bennett will be terribly upset with me.  If I was in his shoes, and in his situation, I know I would be thinking “does she really love me that she couldn’t wait for me?”  While I know most of you here will simply say “he’s married! he can’t have expectations!”  I get it, I know it.  But I also know him better than you and I know this is what he will think simply because it’s what I would think.

And, maybe, just maybe the inkling of a thought crept into my mind that this is why he’s trying to communicate with me…because he knows I am getting ready to date, he knows I’m on the dating apps and it’s just a matter of time.    He’s desperate to ensure I don’t turn away from him.  Because, I really believe, once I do turn away – there is no going back.

And maybe that’s why I hang on so long to these men, because I hope beyond a reasonable hope that they will come to their senses and realize what they have with me.  I know that makes me sound like I am full of myself, but I do think that.  I do know that what Bennett and I share is unique for so many reasons, and maybe he finally realizes how bleak life will be without me.

 

 

A Title Eludes me

It’s strange to me how, when you have been blogging for close to 2 years, that experiences somehow start to form the words of the post in your mind.  When I had the time, I was able to capture all of these thoughts and get them down and out quickly, even in real-time.  Now I don’t have the time, energy or even motivation to dedicate to the blog…but my head still thinks of life moments as titles to blog posts.  Makes me laugh sometimes.

Today a title eluded me, however.

I’m a jumble of things at the moment.  Entirely overwhelmed at work, but not complaining, just trying to figure it all out.  The frustration is creeping in of the inability to move as fast as I would like.  I’m sure it will all work out, but I am consumed.  I love it though.  I love throwing myself into projects like this.  Process, people, product…all the things that make me tick.  I am so blessed with this role.

My kids are making me crazy.  Maybe no crazier than usual, but still crazy.  Their life is so good and they have no idea.  I’m too busy to devote much attention to my older kids at the moment, but the youngest still seeks me out in the quiet moments of the nights or weekends…even if it’s just to have a little chat about the newest YouTube video he’s found.  I’m sure we will find out way once my schedule balances out a little more.  I hope so.

Of course, the most pressing emotional thing on my mind is Bennett.  The short story of the past week or so is that we reconnected and quickly fell back into a normal cadence.  It lasted a few days, we slept together twice, and then I said I couldn’t do it.  Clearly, concisely and with love….I said we are not to be in contact until something changes in his situation.

It’s too easy just to stay with him and ignore the frustrations I felt apart from him, because when I’m with him, it feels fucking fantastic.  It’s all the in-between I can’t manage.

Here’s the thing: I believe, strongly, that he believes he will make a change.  I really do think he believes it.  When we met this past Monday, for a drink in a public place, he could barely hold himself together.  I can see the pain in his heart expressed across his face, I know this hurts him.  He is not the type of man to cry, and he has admitted to crying.  I truly cannot face that pain because it’s too much of a reflection of my own.  We each need to go through this without the other for support.

He has asked me many times now exactly what he “needs to do” in order to either speak to me or see me again.    At first I thought he was looking for a set of rules or some guidance, but I think he has finally arrived at the point where he is saying out loud to himself, articulating his reality.

I know he’s frightened to death, I can see the fear.  This upsets me.  it upsets me because he is breaking up a seemingly intact family (should he move forward) and I do think there will be a lot of heartbreak and difficulty for all involved. In a way, I think we all bench other people’s situation against our own experiences, but his separation experience will be nothing like mine.  I have said it before and I will say it now, I am unsure if I could break up his family (if it were mine) because I found love.

It is also the first time I have true empathy for his wife because I believe she will be blindsided and unprepared, according to what I know of her through him.  I don’t like feeling, in any way, responsible for this – even though I know I am not.  His reasons for leaving his marriage are his own and I may only be a catalyst.

So now we start round 2 of no contact.  I have my phone on mute notifications for him so I don’t keep looking at every ding of the text message.  I leave this weekend for another business trip and will be preoccupied, which is very good for me.  We made it through 5 days, so I’m hoping for much longer this time, so we both have time for healing.

I have no question within myself how much I love him and how strongly I believe we could be good for one another.  He is a rare man and I have learned so much from my time with him.    Where Bobby excited me beyond my limits, Bennett brought me back to earth and reminded me I can have both sensuous excitement and the stability of every day life.   Bennett showed me where I want to be in a realistic fashion, showed me what every day love, passion and friendship could look like.  He reminded me of my core, which I was all ready to give up in the Bobby relationship.

I like what I found with Bennett and I like who I am becoming.  I am in a very good place in my life and, even if it took me almost 50 years to get here, I am grateful for the paths that led here, even when they were bumpy.

I think I have finally learned a little better how to take care of myself first.

 

In My Head: The Days That Follow A Breakup

I truly am having a hard time writing about this breakup.  The words flowed so easily after Dan (R) and Bobby. The emotions gushed like a geyser from the depths of heartbreak, but not this time.  This time is something very different, I feel cold, sort of mean, and maybe more angry?  It seems like all my feelings are out of order and I can’t actually gather my thoughts.

Honestly, I feel dead inside, which is way worse than feeling the pain of heartbreak.  Every day that passes it feels like something is closer to snapping and breaking for good.

Friday

He wouldn’t say goodbye, he says he can’t live without me.  I was crying and said I would miss him.

I drank myself to sleep through periods of heavy tears but had no desire to reach out to him.   I found that to be interesting that I didn’t feel that kind of desperation, just overwhelming sadness.

Saturday (day 1)

I was surprised / not surprised there was no goodnight or good morning text. He said he understood I needed to say goodbye, and I see he understood my request for no contact.

I was so tired and depressed I could barely get out of bed. But I did. Had my hair done and met a friend for dinner.

I got so drunk, really drunk. But we didn’t even talk about him all night. I told the story and we moved on.  I was surprised I didn’t need to dwell on it.

Getting that drunk was a massive mistake because I made myself sick. Not a fun night.  But, good to get out for so many hours today.  Thank goodness the day passed so quickly.

Sunday (day 2)

Friends checked on me which was nice. Other than being sick most of the morning I was doing ok. I found a series to binge watch and that kept me engaged all day in a dark living room.

I occasionally wondered if the ping in the phone was him but found my heart didn’t  drop as I expected when it wasn’t him either. I guess I don’t really expect to hear from him?

I’m sort of surprised he hasn’t contacted me by now. I think?  I’m not really sure what I feel. This absence is weird. Almost 7 months of speaking to him more than any other person in my life and now silence.  It’s so strange.  I sincerely feel like I am missing a limb right now.

I’m also more mad than I had been. All those words and declarations of love, all meaningless ultimately.  I do believe that if he loved me the way he said he did, then he would be able to find a way to be with me.  And if he doesn’t, he must not be the man I thought he was.  I am questioning everything right now.

Still some periods of tears.  Not terrible. A clear understanding that I am much better coping through this breakup. Knowing I will come of it stronger does somehow help…not sure I could understand that last year.  My belief that he truly believed how much he loved me helps.  I know he believes we can be together one day, but he won’t change and he will convince himself that it’s all just too difficult to change his life.

I imagine his life just going on as normal, maybe more than mine. He is clearly better at compartmentalizing than I am.  That sort of makes me mad too.  It’s not a real mad, I’m still too sad to be angry.

Actually, to be honest, I’m going to bed more baffled than anything else.  Did I expect he truly meant he couldn’t live without me?  Ha. Imagine that. Maybe I do allow myself more hope than I should. Everything just feels off kilter without him connected to me every minute of my day.

Monday (day 3)

Still off kilter and feeling empty, plus my period made an unexpected early appearance this morning and made a mess.  Just feeling disconnected and lethargic.  Found and app to download our text so I can save them and get them off my phone so I don’t go down the path of looking back too frequently.  Still a bit in disbelief he hasn’t contacted me at all.

Rightly or wrongly it really makes me wonder if he is hurting being apart from me as much as he said he would.

I wonder most about  all the things he said about me, about us, about being in love and I am trying to reconcile those things to his absence.  That’s the worst, knowing it’s gone, he’s gone.  He gave me so much peace deep inside, I never felt such a depth of love from anyone since I was 17 years old (and what do you know of true love then?)  When I was anxious or worried, he calmed me and I fear having to be without him.

I’m not afraid of being alone, now I am afraid of being without him.  That seems significantly different to me.

Why don’t I feel the need to reach out like I have in the past?

I also slept through the nightly relatively soundly.  What scares me most about this absence of emotion is that it’s so different from my past experiences….I do worry that I am burying something deep down.

I worry I am simply a simmering volcano.

Do I believe that somewhere, deep down, he will call, send a song, tell me how miserable he is without me?  Or am I too afraid not to know how he feels in order to reinforce my own feelings?

Tuesday (day 4)

Happy to be heading back to work and a very busy work week ahead.  I made dinner plans for every single night this week to ensure my mind is off of him as much as possible and I have no reason to be reaching out to him.

I woke up confused that it’s been 4 days since I’ve heard from him.  I can’t knock the feeling of literally losing a piece of myself. I’m miserable, but able to function.   One step at a time I keep telling myself.

My friends who know say I’m strangely accepting and calm, but think it’s a weird kid if calm. I agree. I feel weird.

I’m too busy at work to think let alone be emotional. I have a lot of work, more than I can handle and it’s no joke to find every ounce of strength to prioritize.  I look for text from him but don’t have time to dwell.

I did need a break at lunch so quickly stepped out with a friend and was able to talk through it with her. She doesn’t think it’s over. She’s met Bennett and thinks he is waiting for me to reach out first.

Dinner with a Long lost friend and lots of alcohol gets me through the rest of the night. The laughter was wonderful and there was no trace of discussion about him.

Tomorrow is another massive day at work and I like the utter exhaustion right now.

Work doesn’t allow me much reprieve and  is a massive help for me.  My only concern is my exhaustion: from a heavy period and restlessness related to him.  I still feel numb and empty…not much else. I keep turning over in my head “how could you say all those things to me?”  But saying and acting, we know, are two different things.

He said that maybe this was the kick in the ass he needed.

 

Wednesday (day 5)

I recall when I could barely get through the days of no contact, and not that these are slipping by all that quickly, but I’m not drowning in sorrow because I have so much work in my head there’s little room for anything else.  I am forcing myself to take a mental break to write.

I suppose I wonder more than anything what’s going through his head.  Does he feel the pain of absence?  Is he distracted?  Is it obvious or is he able to manage easily enough?  Or is it just relief, knowing he wasn’t going to do what he promised me in any case?

Some friends think he’s waiting me out, to see who buckles first.  I’m trying to stay overwhelmingly busy this week but it’s taking it’s toll on me since I’m no spring chicken any more! lol.  I am really tired, my period is excessively heavy and I can feel exhaustion creeping into my bones.

I take the time to think about how I would feel if I heard his voice right now, or held his hand, or kissed him and the emotion is unidentifiable.  What’s the point if nothing can change?

And…..just like that the phone rings and he leaves a message.  And then later, another.  I wasn’t around to answer either call at work but I did text him to let him know I received them.   

So, 5 days of no contact and while I admit my heart jumped at the Sound of his voice, my resolve hasn’t changed. 

I think I’ve come a long way.  

 

Patience: NOT My Virtue

I can’t keep my mouth shut. When something bothers me, I have to say it right away. I try, so hard, to filter and it doesn’t work. I have to get it off my chest.  It a bad habit. One I wish I could overcome for once and for all. 

Some times are better than others and I have a little self control. Other times I’m really good at saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.  

I decided that I need to practice. Maybe each time I think I “have” to say something I can write it here.  I try, really try, to think of good advice ASV once gave me: what will you get by saying that? (Or something along those lines).  What’s my expected outcome?   

Does anyone have good pointers on how to do this?  How do you control your emotional thoughts to have a logical conversation?  Or maybe, to have or avoid a conversation?

My dilemma right now is probably obvious: I am very frustrated as the other woman around the holidays even though I knowingly accepted this role. Making things worse are the death of his mother, creating an additional influx of family, friends and gatherings.  Deep down I understand this is no place for me, even if he was a free man,  this is family time.   

Bennett had a very good life. Other than not having a true martial relationship, everything is very good on the outside.  He has built a good life for his family.  I don’t truly see him leaving this life for me. Regardless that he has no intimate relationship with his wife, they are good partners and good parents together.  He plays his part very well.  He said this creates self-loathing within him but I’m not so sure I believe or truly understand that.  When I got to the point that I felt self-loathing, I got out of my relationship.  

I agreed to stay through January. I want to enjoy my time, I just don’t know how to actually do it without losing my patience.  

I’m getting dangerously close but I know there is no point in pressing him. I don’t actually believe he will make a change and I feel I just need to plan my own exit strategy come the New Year. 

But how do I not explode in anger, bitterness or sadness in the meantime?   How do I maintain my patience and composure for the long game?  I have come to keenly realize I am not good at planning long term (in all facets of my life) but very good at short term, tactical response.  How do I focus on my actual goal of self care and self preservation?  

If Bennett and I are meant to be, how do I focus on the result and not the path to get there? 

How do I keep my patience when I’m turning into a boiling kettle? 

I don’t know and I don’t like the angst I am feeling. This isn’t his fault because this was my conscious choice. Just like it’s my choice to make it through the month ahead. Regardless of his actions, I need to have control over mine no matter the outcome. 

I wish I had some kind of secret key to my head!