I get it. I broke his rule and am now suffering the consequences. His decision was unilateral, and it was obvious from our brief conversation on the 19th that he had made up his mind before we even spoke, and there would be no changing it. I really didn't say much once I could hear his quiet anger. He didn't yell, but his disapproval is still weighing heavily on me; it's a constant pit in my stomach, choke in my throat, and pressure upon my entire body. He said he understood my need to process, but that he has a right to privacy and that is very important to him, so our relationship is over. He's not wrong. He does have a right to keep his own issues private. I have to tell you that the fact that I hurt him by writing is killing my soul today. I honestly feel horrible.
In the 6 years of previous dating, I never wrote much about him. I wrote about concerts or activities we went to, but didn't say anything if things were down. There have been other down times, so why not write about them? Because he was always willing to talk and communicate. I had been so completely cut off from his life recently, and my one or two friends with whom I was allowed to speak to had no answers for me. I was tearing myself apart. I knew I was overwhelming him. I knew I was freaking out. I had to get out what was haunting my very existence. I felt better after each previous blog. I felt like I had released a bit of the anxiety that had been plaguing me. I really was trying to solve the problem. I wanted to work it out. I told my one friend just hours before talking to him that I just wanted peace. I wanted to go back, hit reset, and figure out a way to move forward together. I still figured it was a long shot, but I wasn't expecting absolutely no negotiation during our discussion. It is just over, and his request when we spoke was that I be kind and respectful. I feel that I had tried very hard to be both of those things. The previous posts weren't hateful nor were they full of blame towards him. I think I haven't been as kind or respectful to myself, and I certainly don't have kind or respectful thoughts towards myself now either. He said he knows he has non-fans amongst my friends, but no one has commented either publicly or privately about him negatively. The comments I have received have been for me to try to recognize my own value and that relationships are just all hard no matter their length. I tried to write my own story. Any examples I gave were generalistic, and there were many things left unsaid. My intent was not to hurt or harm, but to figure things out as best as I could alone.
He started by saying he had read my blogs and 2 things really struck him. He said that I couldn't retract all those things I said I wanted even though I personally really had let them go. But, what struck him most was the 70%. He thought I deserved 100%, but with him in the picture I would never be able to have more than 70%. I did say that I still don't believe that 100% is possible. It's a fairy tale, a myth. No one gets everything they want in a relationship and to set up the expectation that that's all any of us deserve is unrealistic. There has to be give and take, and there are always going to be things that each person isn't going to care for in the other. But I certainly am not going to force someone to be with me if he truly doesn't want to be. Begging in desperation doesn't do anybody any good. He didn't want to say anything else for fear it will end up here. Again, I get it. I didn't honor what he had asked, but the reason I started writing here is because I didn't know what else to do. I know I could have written in a private journal, but that doesn't work for me. I had to share my story for me, not to blame him or hate on him. I don't hate him. I still really love him and honestly still want to work it out, but I also clearly hear that is never going to happen.
He did ask me what I wanted at the start of the conversation. I said that I missed my friend. I didn't want to fight anymore, and I just wanted to work things out. I am not really sure why he bothered to put me through all of this when he had already clearly made up his mind. From his perspective, I think it was his way of letting me have my say, even though it wasn't going to make a difference. At the end of the conversation, he said he still really loved and cared for me. But those words feel empty to me. My definition of loving someone doesn't mean I give up on them when times get tough or when someone does something I don't like. That is bound to happen in any relationship. Love for me is unconditional. It means working together and not giving up on each other or shutting each other out. He said he still wanted to be friends, but I'm not sure how that is going to work out when he is now constantly worried about the privacy issue, which is something I only violated when I felt I could no longer turn to him. If we could have worked out, my only reporting back to you all would have been that we are going to work together to make things better.
Today, I'm just overwhelmed with my own grief. I know that in the end if he doesn't want to be with me, then I shouldn't want to be with him. But right now, I feel broken and torn apart and like there really must be something inherently wrong with me. I feel like a total failure. I think there is something wrong with me and my ability to carry on a quality relationship. I'm pretty sure I'm the worst person, and I am wondering how anyone is going to ever want all the things that are me. If I was the best relationship he ever had, why am I not worth fighting for? Why can't I ever get past this certain point in any relationship? What is it that I'm doing incorrectly? What do I still need to learn?
I feel like right now I am kind of just whining. I am sorry if it comes across that way. I am trying to hold myself together. Going to work on the 20th was hard. I spent much of the day trying not to cry. I was ok as long as I had students in the room, or if I was around other people. Any time I was alone with my thoughts, I was just a pile of mush. I almost didn't write this blog because of the fear of hurting him more. But the brutality of again not being able to discuss anything was physically crushing me. I have had comments that what I have done in writing my story shows great courage. While I certainly don't feel courageous, I appreciate that others feel like they can learn something from all of this. It was never my intention for it to come at the expense of someone else. As a teacher, it is what I strive for. I have never been that person always perfectly poised and graceful. I'm a dork. I feel like I bumble through life always Taking the Long Way. But sometimes, I think that bumbling dorkiness is what makes it so I can't be part of a relationship. I become an embarrassment and a liability, which is what I believe has happened here. Again, I get in the grand scheme of things I broke his rule by being public; my embarrassing revelations have threatened his credibility. And for that I will always be apologetic. However, in that same grand scheme of the world, what I did or anything leading up to writing publicly by asking questions doesn't feel like it should be a deal breaker.
When I am not sure what to do with myself, I look towards mentors and other teachers to help me. I think of the famous WWJD - What Would Jesus Do? saying. I think Jesus would have offered forgiveness. I know he would have offered forgiveness to the other person, which is what I tried to do by changing my mindset, but that was never going to be received or acted upon by the other person. I have learned from my past that if only one person wants to work on a relationship, there is no relationship on which to work. I think I now need to work on the forgiveness of myself. Of course, if you know me at all, I have thought about what would Elizabeth Gilbert do? You know, ironically right now, she is going through a tough time and separation from her guy. She hasn't said much publicly, but I am sure she is writing privately. I suppose that's where I went wrong with my struggle is that I made it public. Even though my intentions were good, I still ended up hurting someone I didn't want to hurt. For that I will always be extremely apologetic. I have recently also turned to studying Dr. Brene Brown. I have watched her TEDx talk: The Power of Vulnerability a handful of times now. I definitely need to watch many more times. I am apparently fine with showing my vulnerability to others; my struggle here lies in not thinking that I am enough.I have to learn to love myself. Today is not that day, but I'll work on it. A good friend just this morning talked about a friend of hers who never felt like she could keep herself in a relationship, so she started dating herself. She would take herself out to do the things that she really wanted to do regardless of having anyone accompany her. In doing so, she found herself and then found someone who loved and appreciated her as well. Not a bad idea. Maybe I will give it a try.
I don't feel like I have to run out and find my next dating victim any time soon. I don't have a fear of being alone or doing things by myself. I have always been overly independent. I think dating a firefighter would be a good plan for me. I have never been good at having someone who is always around or constantly at my side; I could be completely accepting of a schedule that had someone unavailable for longer shifts of time.; ) He mentioned that now I could have you all start setting me up a little too facetiously. I really don't feel ready for that at all.The thought of setting up a dating profile or even going on a date right now makes me feel physically sick. I think for now, I'm going to continue to teach, do karate, hang out with my kids, and maybe pick up another job to help pay for that new furnace and air conditioning and maybe a trip to Italy with a student group next summer! Maybe I'll actually keep writing about all those things that I have been meaning to write about but haven't the last couple of years. Things that don't involve whining about my dating misfortunes! I have already been formulating my next posts: more about vulnerability and that darn 70% consensus rule.
Again thanks to all of you for your love and support. I really haven't had one person say bad things about my (former) guy; it has all been support towards me and helping to build me up. It has meant more to me than I could possibly say. If I have hurt anyone by my words, I am truly sorry. That was never my intent. I'm just trying to keep some semblance of sanity in my life. And now, I suppose we are all on this journey together because I seem to have found my writing voice again, and you have become my audience. Thanks for reading!