Telling The Hurtful Truth

We were celebrating together, and I knew that my feelings for him were real… scary real. So when he asked me, if I had seen someone since I had met him, I told him the truth. Yes. I had and I had been seeing someone when I met him.

I remember the details of that conversation so vividly, even though it was me that had drank most of the wine at dinner. I remember thinking to myself as I let the words escape my mouth “I could love him and I want him to love me the same way – with all my flaws. I want him to know it ALL.”

Maybe it was too much…. because with Eric I let him see every single good and bad part of me. I let Eric see all the ugly parts of me, and he had made me feel like it was okay to have those pieces of me. I never loved Eric, but I let him see all those parts of me that I kept neatly tucked away… and he loved me anyway. He loved the angry, the mean, and the ugly in me…. and he would chuckle whenever I brought out of worst temper. He would put me in my place and fight right back when I was being unfair.

Maybe it was wrong of me to think that I could have it all with Matt…. I thought that he would want to know all of me. I thought that he would love me even though there were some broken pieces and some pieces were ugly. I thought about trying to keep a secret from him, and I didn’t want to. I wanted him to see me. So, when he asked me if I had been with anyone since we had met… I couldn’t lie. I didn’t want to lie. I wanted him to know my heart.

I didn’t consider how selfish it was to just dump all of my baggage on Matt. I didn’t realize that I was hurting him, and that was truly selfish and cruel.

I don’t have an answer for whether telling a hurtful truth is worth it. I don’t know if keeping a secret is worth it. I don’t know if omitting these hurtful truths is worth it…. I have no idea.

The only thing I know is that I will always be haunted by the look that I got when I told the truth… even when I knew it would hurt him… and how I felt when I realized that he might not love me despite my flaws and the crippling insecurity that he might think less of me.

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On “those crazy ones”

I never really understood that “crazy” feeling at the end of a relationship. I had a friend, Tracy, in law school and she was a little crazy when she and her boyfriend broke up. I never got the details, but I shook my head whenever she was being a little crazy. Like the time she started crying in the middle of a bar because he hadn’t said hi to her… or when she smashed her phone into his face when he was talking to someone else, or when she would just start screaming at him in public. I just never really understood why she would behave like a “crazy” person… but I’d simply walk away. I just didn’t understand.

My friend Connie, she went off the deep end after she met Daniel. After they broke up, she flew half way across the US to scream at him in an airport, throw some things in his face, and cry on the phone with me for endless hours. It all seemed SO excessive… and frankly, crazy. I just didn’t understand what would ever push a person to be so angry and irrational.

And, I judged my friends for their inability to control their emotions and impulses. I judged all the women I met that behaved like that – the off kilter, emotional, hanging up the phone mid-sentence “insane” behavior… because I just didn’t understand.

But then I met Dylan, and by the time I was done with him – I finally understood why those women I used to judged behaved like that. Because, by the end, I wanted to get fucking crazy on him to prove he messed with the WRONG girl, and to teach him a lesson about treating women like crap. You don’t get to treat me like THAT and get away with it!

It’s not the women that are crazy – it’s the way the women are treated that make them react in such a violent, explosive manner. Being treated like crap makes you a little crazy.

So, I met Dylan on Tinder… he and I both had gotten out of fairly serious relationships. I was seriously unhappy, and I was swiping my little fingers off in hopes of filling the hole in my heart (even though I knew I was still in love with my ex). He was immediately enamored with me – calling to talk, asking to meet right away, and texting me. Then suddenly – he texted that he was back with his ex. And I understood… because I was still harboring hope for me and my ex. I wished him the best.

A couple weeks later, Dylan called me again – telling me that he was finally done with his ex, and he was sorry but he had been thinking about me. So, we made plans to meet one day after work… we hadn’t decided on a place to meet – just a time. But, a couple hours beforehand, he wasn’t answering my calls or texts… so I went home, annoyed that I had been effectively screwed with.

Another couple weeks later, Dylan called me again…. apologizing for messing with me, but telling me he really was sorry and he hoped we could be friends. He told me this incredulous story about his ex changing the passwords on his phone, deleting my messages, and deleting his facebook account. I gave him the benefit of the doubt – told him I understood, and yes… we could be friends.

On and off again texts for several weeks, before Dylan called to tell me that he wanted to meet me. He was driving towards my neighborhood and wanted to finally meet. I agreed, mostly because I was curious and because he seemed like he really needed a friend and I wanted to be a friend. We sat and talked for hours – great conversation, laughs, and made plans to see each other again soon. We spoke almost every day for a couple weeks.

He told me about his job, the things he wanted to accomplish, about all of the things he was busy with… but every time I brought up seeing each other again – he would say he was really busy with his new job. He promised he wasn’t blowing me off – just busy, and he didn’t want me to drive to see him… he was a gentleman and he wanted to come to me. It was cute.

We spoke on a Friday, a few days later, – he was telling me about his week, and how he was a little stressed out. He mentioned that his ex was finally moving out of his apartment. My stomach was in knots as I asked – and he told me that they had broken up the very day we first met. I felt like I had been betrayed because he had made it seem like they had broken up much earlier and he had spent time getting over her. We had been talking for a couple weeks while he was still living with his ex… in a one bedroom condo.

We talked about seeing each other during the next week, and he asked if I wanted to be with him and if I was sexually attracted to him. I candidly answered that I was interested in him, but was a little confused because of the timing of his break up and our meeting. I told him that I felt he really needed to be single for a while before we explored the possibility of a more serious relationship between us. I explained that I didn’t want to be a rebound, I wanted a true relationship built on trust and friendship. I asked how he felt about me…. what he wanted…. and how he planned to get over his ex and move forward. He told me he was swamped, but promised to talk about his feelings with me the next day. He told me he wanted to see me again soon, and he couldn’t wait until we spent more time together in person.

Dylan called me at 3:00am, ostensibly to continue our conversation, but I was fast asleep. He was busy the next day, and the next, and the next – with only time to text short messages promising to talk with me soon. It continued for a week, before he stopped answering or calling or contacting me. I thought maybe he was busy… but simply stopped trying to reach out. I was tired from this back and forth and nonsense.

After three days of silence, I received the text, “I hope you’re not mad at me.” To which I replied, “Of course not… how are you?” and Dylan proceeded to text me “Good, I just wanted to let you know that I’m dating someone now, and I’m not sure how this affects our relationship.”

I beg your FUCKING pardon?!

He continued, “Well, I thought it was going to be an easy break up with my ex, because you and I were getting along – but after you basically rejected me last week it wasn’t so simple. So I met someone else, and I’m with her now.”

Dylan, then, called and tried to make me understand how him dating someone else was MY fault. He didn’t understand why my feelings were hurt. I tried to explain, telling him that I felt like he had been playing me the whole time and been inconsiderate to my feelings – especially since he insisted that he wanted a relationship with me. I felt misled.

And then Dylan said, “You’re being selfish. I’ve been going through a tough time, so you should understand. Your feelings aren’t at issue here. I just went through a terrible breakup. You should be more understanding. Stop talking AT me! You’re being crazy. You fucked me up”

And with that – every single rational, reasonable fiber of my being exploded into a bright red RAGE. I wanted to scream and shout, and punch him in the fucking face. Instead – I said “You fucked up. Don’t talk to me again” and hung up.

Because…. why did I screw up?! I tried to be supportive and understanding the entire time. I didn’t get angry when he stood me up. I didn’t hold a grudge when he was too busy to hang out. I tried to understand and be cool…. and no matter how cool, rational, and nice I was… he tried to convince me everything was my fault. When he deceived me about when he broke up with his girlfriend, that he was still living with her while we were talking…. I’m fairly certain he lied about everything – and I’m fairly certain he tried to cheat on his girlfriend with me. I don’t even know if they actually ever broke up. And, NONE of this was ever my fault. His fucked up relationship and how he treated me? NOT MY FAULT. I refuse to let him bully me into feeling like this was my fault. It is NOT MY FAULT.

So… I’ve managed to calm down in the several days since this blew up in my face – but I have to say… I finally understand. Those women? Not crazy…. they just acted crazy because of the way they were treated. I never understood… but I do now, because after dealing with Dylan and his psychotic behavior and feeling like I had been treated like crap…. I wanted to do every single thing those women did, plus some. The urge to burn down someone’s house has never been such a delicious temptation.

Moral? Those crazy ones you see being irrational, erratic, and a little nuts? It might not be their fault… It might just be that someone treated them SO poorly, they just can’t control themselves. Because, god knows, it took every single ounce of strength for me not to go absolutely apeshit on Dylan.

And yes, Dylan, if you are reading this? FUCK YOU! and no, I will not delete this post (be glad I didn’t tag your entire stupid hyphenated name in this post) and if we ever run into each other? Yes, I will fucking embarrass the shit out of you, you spineless fucking waste of space.

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Dear Matt;

My love… you’ll probably never read this letter but I’m writing it anyway.

When we first met, I wasn’t sure about you. But, you were a perfect gentleman and so funny… so when you asked me for a second date, I said yes.

I was a little broken when we met. I was sad, and trying to get out of a complicated situation. I was unhappy and angry with a lot of things; and I felt like I couldn’t escape it. So when we met, and your bright smile and happiness made me forget a lot of why I was so angry and upset… I felt like I wasn’t so bitter anymore. And after meeting you, the crappy things in my life started to turn around a little. I got a job that I wanted, I passed a really difficult exam I had been struggling with, and I had you. I felt like I was getting everything I wanted, and I felt some of my anger and sadness dissipate.

Your sweetness towards me was unconditional. Even when I was mean, angry, and stressed – you stood by me. You believed in the good in me, even when I couldn’t see it. You would kiss me, make me laugh, and then grab my hand to march off to the fun you had planned for us. I loved when you would surprise me with a kiss on the cheek, and hold my hand.

So, when you told me that you would be away for the summer, I knew I could wait. I knew you were worth it… after all, you were the person that brought back so much happiness in my life. But, things started falling apart. A few weeks into the summer, I began to realize the job was miserable…. and I missed you so much more than I could have imagined. The unhappiness and anger that I had when we met came flooding back.

I tried to focus on you, because I knew that you could make me happy… and I know how selfish that was to depend on you to cheer me up, and take away all of the anger and pain I had. I became absorbed in how to solve my miserable job situation, and becoming more and more unhappy with your absence…. You know what I regret? When you finally came home to me…. I was so angry and sad and frustrated – and I took it out on you. I was mean and cruel…. and you just let me be. And, I knew my behavior was alienating you – and that distance I felt between our hearts killed me. And I acted worse and worse because I wanted what we had back – those perfect moments together before the summer started.

I never considered how difficult your life was too… how much you had to work, and try, and struggle. I was only focused on how hurt I was and how angry I was. I don’t know if I ever asked you about what was happening in your life – and if you told me, I don’t know if I really listened the way you listened to me.

We broke up twice… and each time you took me back. I knew I was being irrational, and unstable – but I just couldn’t stop acting like such a petulant brat. My anger consumed me…. and it made me neurotic. I was convinced you were lying to me, convinced you were hurting me on purpose when we misunderstood each other…. I was convinced you would leave me. I wanted more from you, and I know you couldn’t give it to me. I expected you to rise above and put me first. To love me more than you could…. to make me happy again. I expected more from you at every turn, even when I knew you were trying. I kept thinking about how much I had to work and suffer and make time for us – not thinking that you were doing the same.

Then, finally, in an attempt to alleviate the pressure on myself and our relationship, I quit my miserable job. I was happier, and you seemed happier to be with me. I started getting interviews for jobs I really wanted, and that would put me on the right track. Things were going well… and it seemed like a really good job offer would be forthcoming. I was excited and happy… and the day I was set to receive a formal offer, the company was abruptly sold by their parent company. My offer disappeared, and I was back to being depressed and angry and resentful.

We tried for a few more weeks…. and when you told me you would be away for almost 4 months again – my heart broke. I knew we wouldn’t make it… I knew I couldn’t handle it again. But most of all, my heart broke because you told me how unhappy you had been and how you just needed the time to heal and be happy again. That killed me.

I knew I had to let you go, because my unhappiness was only contributing to your own and I couldn’t have that. We’ve never had good timing – and I think if you and I had met in another time in our lives, we would have one of those epic love stories. But it’s just not meant to be… timing was not our friend and my unhappiness bled into our relationship.

You taught me so much about being a good partner – because you were a great one to me, even when it hurt you. Our relationship taught me a lot about me too and what I want in life and relationships. You pushed me to be a better person, and for that I will always be thankful. I will always be thankful for you trying to pull me out of my unhappiness… and I will always be grateful to have met you.

I love you dearly, and I hope you find someone who can be your light, your love, and make you happy.

-H

And Just Like That

I woke up this morning and my first thought wasn’t you… and I was thankful.

Just like that.

When I look at you

Sometimes, when I look at you, I’m surprised. I wonder – who am I, and why am I here, with you?

This weekend, I brought you along to see my college friends, and they loved you. They were impressed with you, and how sweet you are with me. Ben, my long time friend, gave me the thumbs up with you…. and later that night when I was lying next to you, I just kept thinking “Do I love you? Do I even like you as much as everyone else seems to?”

I think I like the idea of you – you’re sweet, smart, and everything I like in a man… but maybe you just aren’t that man. So… when I look at you, I wonder. What is happening? Why am I here? and…. most of all – do I love you?

Someone told me that if I don’t know, then I don’t – and maybe that is true. But until I’m sure, and until you tell me otherwise… I will be here looking at you and searching my soul.

How Did I Get Here

…. I’m having one of those days where I just wonder where I made the turn to end up here. Do you ever have those moments where you are like…. how the FUCK did I end up here?

I had that today…. my favorite telephone buddy called me and I had nothing to say. In fact, I just wanted to take my terrible mood out on him and tell him to fuck off and never call again because in my 10 year plan, he wasn’t included. No… No distractions were included. The meandering wasn’t including. So. How. The. FUCK. Did I get here??!

That’s all. I thought I’d share.

Chip Chop

I sat in the chair, watching as she combed my hair down straight… and thought “Just cut it all off” but instead I smiled and said “A trim, please. Maybe 3 inches?”

Why?? Why? Because, as much as I hate to acknowledge it, he likes my hair long. No… he LOVES my hair long. The first time he saw me after a hair cut, he bemoaned my shorter locks. He pulled the rubber band out of my hair, running his fingers through the barely shorter locks, and told me “Never do that to me again” before kissing me softly.

So, why, after a failed relationship with another man, am I thinking about what he likes? Why do I care about his opinion? We don’t talk every day, or every week… but he always calls and I always answer. Why? I don’t know either. There are so many Whys.

We’ve never been in a relationship… and yet we are. Whenever something happens, he is first to know… I share my heart with him. Maybe it’s because our hearts, souls, and minds connect with each other that we can’t seem to let each other go… and maybe he is the reason that I’ve ended three relationships, and still can’t cut my hair off.

I wonder about this.. it’s a small sacrifice. Long hair vs. short hair. Such a small thing that isn’t important at the end of the day, but I wonder about these sacrifices that I make without realizing or thinking about it. Am I simply hurting myself? Or am I putting someone else’s happiness before mine? Should I even make these decisions because of someone?

Then I think… he almost took a less prestigious job with less pay to be closer to me. I was against it, but I still wonder if he had made that sacrifice. It’s a scary thing to think that I could influence someone to make such a huge sacrifice without even asking… what if I had asked?

It’s scary… because I’m simply annoyed by my longer-than-desired ponytail. So I wonder… what would a bigger sacrifice would feel like?

We Broke Up

And I feel free.

I think a lot of it had to do with me, more than him. Our timing has always been shit – and I think it was a relief to know that we are finally on the same page. It was the most civil break up I have had. I cried a little, I was scared to let go… but in the end I am happy I did. I’m happy that we will be friends, and we had a civil end to our relationship.

I’m sad, because we tried so hard and because I wanted it to work so badly. But… I’m also happy knowing that I’m not holding him back and I’m not holding myself back because of him.

It’s a weird mix of emotion – but I am happy and free.

I truly, truly wish him all the best in life and the future. I hope he gets everything he ever hoped for and more. I hope for all good things for me… and all the good things for myself too.

Maybe this is part of being a mature person… or maybe we just understand each other. Either way. Happy.

The Truth About Silence

Silence has always been an important part of my life. My parents used silence in different ways. My mother’s quiet silence was terrifying, and always signaled her displeasure at something I had done. My father’s silence was measured and his attention was always focused on work… so when he broke his silence to speak, his words were golden.

And, me, as a curious child I loved the silence of the library because I could sit quietly and discover a world outside of my own. Silence meant that I could escape into the pages of the books surrounding me… I loved silence because the truth always seemed apparent when it showed itself.

In high school, I learned quickly that words are not always the best way to demonstrate truth in an argument. Instead, steadfast silence in the face of irrational, angry, and nothing-to-lose arguments always won out. A teacher once asked me why I didn’t stand up for myself in a barrage of insults from a classmate, and I remember thinking with such clarity how foolish my teacher was to not understand that jumping into the jumble of angry words and fighting didn’t make me any more right. I calmly told her, “I don’t need to explain the truth. It is the truth.”

Over the years, I have felt silence around me, and understood that the discomfort that people feel with silence speaks to a deeper underlying discomfort with the thoughts in their minds. I, too, have felt discomfort in silence when my mind is busy with unhappy thoughts, so I understand the inability to sit in silence.

I’ve recently found that the same silence that I have embraced as a child and as a student, is the same silence that I despise in relationships. With all that happens in life, when seeking a partner in life, I have discovered that silence is something I dislike and makes me unhappy. I want there to be communication between us, verbal or otherwise.

I’m seeing someone who is silent on the topic of his emotions, his life, and anything outside of telling me how beautiful I am to him. It’s been silence from him over the last few days, and I realized something in this silence.

I care for him deeply, and I love him for a lot of reasons. But, I don’t love him enough. There is something to be said about love that overcomes the once insurmountable, and I don’t have that for him. When I see him, he needs someone that loves him for everything he is and will become. He needs someone to help him become the man he wants to be, and I know that I am not that person for him. I want to be that person, because he healed me when we met when I was broken and sad. I want to be that person for him, but I can’t because I feel pieces of myself erode trying to be that person.

With silence comes the truth – maybe that’s why we live in a constant barrage of sound and stimuli. We flood ourselves with music, color, and distraction so the truths that hurt us are drowned out. I think I tried to do the same with him… I tried so hard to chatter away the silence, and to be the person I wanted to be for him and that he needs in his life. But the truth of the matter is that I don’t have it in me, and I’m too selfish to give up so much of myself for him… because I just don’t love him enough.

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Making Moves – The Right Direction

I thought a lot about life… a lot about things that I want and things that truly make me happy. And when it came down to it, my job was the top of the chopping block. So… I quit.

And I feel this IMMENSE gratitude for every single person and thing in my life. I am that flipping lucky that I can just wake up one morning, decide that my future involves more happiness, and QUIT. No… I don’t have another job lined up. I just quit.

So, this is my little reminder to myself. I am lucky, and with this immense luck comes the duty to do better and be better and do something amazing.

I’m percolating on some ideas – but this is me. Doing something better, and bigger with my life.