Sunday, February 12, 2012

At Rope's End

Last night marked the end of the current relationship between me and Chris. I don't know if it will blossom into a new relationship or not. We had decided that we would spend some time apart. So he took a job contract about 600 km away. He's been there for about two months and last night we came to the big night of what to do about our relationship. We've had two months to think about it and contemplate on what we want in each other. Honestly, I think we over-engineered the process. We complicated matters and topics so much so that it made it difficult to actually think about anything. That's a side point.

The conversation started like any other of our serious talks. I tried to keep us on target of what to talk about. It ended with Chris telling me that it's over. He cried. I remained quiet and contemplative to the outside. Inside, I was roaring with emotion and thoughts on how to keep the relationship. How can I save it from a destructive end? I tried. Like a chess master at a world tournament, my mind raced to see each and every move along with the opposition's moves for a victory. I, then, excused myself to go take a shower. A place for just me and my thoughts. There was something I was missing. I couldn't figure it out. I put the drain cover and laid down in the tub to feel the shower beating on my chest and the water filling the tub around me. What was I missing? Something is not right like a move in the chess game that I couldn't envision. 

Then it hit me, my pride, my dignity, my pervasive narcissism all stood in the way. They all stood at my front door, preventing me from leaving. I wanted to leave. I remembered some words that my best friend told me a few weeks ago. She told me that I needed to open the door to be with him again. I was the one that closed the door and only I could open it. This was all my fault. I thought I hated him. All my pain was being projected out onto him. It switched. I felt love for him again. I felt the transfer of hate back to me. I wasn't projecting anymore. Then the words that Chris was telling me made sense. All the pain, all the frustration were my fault. I was the asshole who plagued his life. He saw something inside of me and loved me because of it. How did I ever miss this?

I began to panic. How can I save this?! My thoughts rushed back a few days ago at a dinner party. A good friend of mine wasn't paying attention to the things around her plate. She was energetically talking and moving her hands. In the middle of a hand movement, she accidentally hit the plate of cookies next to her. They were on a direct trajectory toward the ground. She did a fancy ninja move and ended up grabbing all the cookies and the plate, so nothing perished. She exclaimed loudly, "I'm a hero! I just saved dessert!" Everyone laughed and I chocked up with a "You can't jeopardize the cookies and then save them and call yourself a hero!" More laughter followed with a grumpy look on her face. This was the exact same situation. I'm the one who fumbled the relationship and put it into peril. I can't save the relationship only Chris can save it. The only thing I can do is ask him to. 

I got out of the bath and realized that any pain only begins to heal with an apology. This knot appeared in my entire body trying to prevent me from apologizing. I know that I needed to. I needed to conquer this in order to ask for forgiveness and continue our relationship. The knot welled up more. "It's not my fault, it's not my fault," the knot insisted. That's when I realized that pride, dignity, and pervasive narcissism were standing at my door. I saw them there. They probably have a valid reasoning for standing there. It was probably some old and antiquated defense mechanism from childhood days. I don't know. All I know is that I needed to leave the figurative house. 

I left the bathroom, ready for bed. I closed my emotions off again, instinctively. I went into the bedroom and grabbed a pillow and two blankets. I was going to sleep on the couch and give him the bed. I preferred it that way. He was standing there, semi-crying, telling me that it is fine and that he will sleep on the couch. Standing there in the bedroom holding my linens, I looked at him and felt the surge of freedom from the trio (pride, dignity, and pervasiveness narcissism). The freedom was scary. I didn't know what to do with it. So I apologized, "Hey, listen. I know that I have been a complete ass in the last year and that I've hurt you loads. I'm really, really so very sorry. I'm sorry for hurting you and sorry for treating you horribly." He broke out into more sobs. All this crying makes me shell back up. It triggers something inside of me that goes numb. Again, it is probably some antiquated defense mechanism. He doubled over and sank to the ground in the doorway, sobbing. I walked over, trying to come out of my shell, and pulled his head near my thighs. He sobbed more. I told him, again, that I was so very sorry. After some uncertain amount of minutes, I pulled away and said that I needed some time and needed to go to sleep. It was a little awkward. He came to sit by me on the couch at some point but I was quiet. I didn't know what he was thinking. Was he thinking to change his mind? Would he save the relationship? He eventually left and I fell asleep quickly.

I had some very targeted dreams about the different ways of the relationship ending. I woke up some point in the middle of the night and couldn't fall back asleep as the cats played around me.

When we were both awake, it was really awkward. I wasn't hungry so I didn't eat anything. I took a shower almost immediately after he came to sit next to me on the couch again. Perhaps the shower could again give me some clarity by washing away the mud-thick thoughts. Standing there, I thought of nothing, just the impending doom on the relationship. I sank into a sadness. I got out of the shower and muddled around the apartment. The awkwardness was still prevalent. I avoided contact with him in case I said something stupid that would convince him to continue to leave. My mind still racing, I started to make tea. He jumped in the shower. I stood there while the tea steeped but only blank ideas came. I prepared my tea, put on my jacket, and stood out on the snowy balcony. I stood there gazing out on white rooftops and snow-covered grounds. Drinking hot tea in the absolute freezing cold is amazing. The feeling alone of cold and hot. The juxtaposition of the warm house and the freezing balcony. It was all so surreal. I loved him. The thought process came back. My mind started churning out productive, non-looping thoughts. I loved him. I'm so calm and secure when he is around. That's all I need. I don't need a superstar or a socialite. I just need a home with him. 

I felt that surge of freedom again. This time it was strong and brought tears to my eyes. I heard a faint echo in my mind telling me "You need to do this. Not to just ask him to save your relationship but to begin to free yourself from the confines of your life. A freedom from father, a freedom from mother, a freedom to live." Then the echo gave a warning, "You have just created your childhood. Mom and Dad are at an impasse and you are the only one to save it. You are the only one who bring Mom and Dad back together again. Whatever the outcome, blog your thoughts and remember not to let this be cyclical. You needed this to happen, to enlighten you about your feelings, your misdoings, and how much you actually loved him." The echo stopped and I heard its reverberation getting fainter and fainter. What's the next step then, after apology? I had already apologized, sincerely, so pride is taken care of for now. Dignity. That's the next thing at my door. I need to ask for him to save the relationship. Tears came to my eyes again. I need to sincerely ask him. I went back inside.

He came out of the shower and prepared for the day. I was on the couch staring out in nothing. He came into the living room and asked if he should leave and meet up at therapy in a few hours. I remained silent. I knew that I needed to say it then. A very long awkward pause happened. I told him to sit on a stool. He agreed and sat down. The words were not coming up. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever said in my life. All these feelings of fault and pride and dignity welled up in my throat preventing me from speaking. I managed, "I don't want this to be over, this can't be over."  Then the emotions started playing dirty and making me cry. I coughed through them speaking ever so slowly and meticulously, "I've treated you horribly in the past year and I have disappointed you and me. I know that I can change to be the man that you and I want me to be. If this is completely over, know that you haven't hurt me, I have hurt myself." I broke into some sobs and tears. It was painful. The most painful thing I have done. After some cuddling and sobbing, I told him he needs some space to think as do I. So I picked up my computer and headed out. 

Now I'm sitting in a coffee shop wondering what the future will be. Our therapy session begins in 30 minutes. This croissant I'm eating is making me ill. Is it next week yet?


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