A Look Back

Soon it will be a year since the biggest, most mature, yet equally heartbreaking breakup of my life. It’s eerie as it is a huge fucking relief. To think of the letters burned or tossed, gifts or clothes that will soon be donated, and I even checked my texts… I found that old conversation dating back to about a month after the breakup. When we tried to talk and it failed. When he attempted to lay groundwork for winning me back and I rejected it. I read every single fucking text. I read and I cringed. I saw my sincere efforts at trying to stay calm and losing my shit on him when he would throw me moon sign jargon.

I thought about leaving it in my saved iMessages but I told myself no. I can’t keep rereading those messages every other month and visiting those feelings. Even now I am itching my chest like I am getting hives thinking about how lovesick I felt at the time. How I had to fight every instinct that told me to contact him or reminded me of how much I loved him. I thought it would take so much longer for those feelings to fade and it makes me kind of sad to think how I thought that love was everything I needed. I worked my ass off to get over him and now I am but it’s not like I’m magically cured of all ills. It still aches like my wrist does even though it was back in high school when I injured it.

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Definition Pending

It’s so easy to write off people especially when they make mistakes.

During my tumultuous relationship with my ex who was both physically and emotionally abusive, quite a number of my friends or even acquaintances were eager to label him as this: Batterer, abuser, bad guy etc. They said he’ll never change, he’ll always be in this person who would use his anger in the most frightful of ways. I knew that he had this strong reaction to certain events or words. It made me cower and retreat. I was always so careful with my words and actions should they lead to an all out match between us. But I would see him as more than this man who would fuck up and hurt me so. It sucked and it wasn’t right that I stuck it out so long. That I kept trying to fix myself because I thought that I was the reason he would explode. Sometimes I triggered him and other times I would escalate.

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I want you, but I don’t need you

I am still going to Nashville, I am going with the guy and that is ok. I am trying to learn to relax. It’s really fucking hard. I haven’t been taking care of myself as I should. I’ve been overwhelmed by a possible job prospect and my current work. It turned out that actually talking it out with said involved person… it helped. Seriously, what the fuck. I am used to passive-aggressive, emotionally abusive, escalating and/or violent confrontation. Instead, I was met with him asking for space and then he requested to see me a day later.

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I returned from the holidays, so ready for my apartment and my bed. I couldn’t find a notepad and that’s when I discovered a Valentine’s Day letter from my ex. He made it for me almost two years ago. That’s when I decided, I’m ready… I need to get rid of these letters underneath my bed. All those love letters, apology letters, I’m-not-giving-up letters, I’m-not-violent-I-want-peace letters, it’s fucking time to get rid of this shit. I don’t want my future daughter or son to come snooping in my things to find some bullshit letters from an ex that I am not in love with anymore.

It’s over, it’s done. It needs to stop.

My ex’s letters weren’t bullshit in his mind, he meant every word but as I reread some of them–I can’t believe I fell for it. So hard. That’s what upsets me. That I put myself in that position by living with him and that there was no way for me to see then. There was no way out, it was a cycle that would keep going. There was no exit for us at the time. How foolish I was to think that I couldn’t escape!

I read these letters that are love but most of them are trying to rationalize his actions. They repeat the words “I love you” but love is more than words. It’s a behavior. I read our inside jokes and the romance, but it’s not what I needed. I needed far more than fucking letters saying that I was loved and cared for. I needed safety, consistency and a healthy relationship.

I’m pissed that I tried so hard and it didn’t work. I don’t love him anymore. Part of me may always care and wonder about him, I wish him a healthy relationship not just with himself, or family, but a significant other.

Not a single fiber in my being wants him back. I wish I could erase him but that wouldn’t do me any good. I learned a lot from him. There were good memories there but it wasn’t enough. The love was not enough.

Crescent City and beyond

Last week, I flew to New Orleans and it was far better than I expected it to be. I was worried and stressed. I thought, this is too last minute, too impulsive, too unplanned… It went smoothly up until the last day where my couch surfing host cancelled last minute and I was stressed then got a hotel, spent way too much money and… still made it back to Chicago alive and not regretting any other part of my trip. Perhaps 4 days or less in New Orleans is enough, but I still couldn’t believe how wonderful it was. I saw the level of poverty there but I also saw the shameless hustle of people in that city. The rich history, the food, and the beautiful scenery. I sat in Louis Armstrong Park chatting for hours with my friend and finding myself feeling that sense of this is what was meant to be.

No matter what happens beyond that holiday, I’ll always look back in fondness and pride that I went for it. I did it and I experienced the newness; a completely different lifestyle for one week.

I came back this past weekend with a bit of those post-holiday blues and reminiscing about all those new memories I made. Even in New Orleans, I thought about my past and yes, my ex. I didn’t let myself ignore those feelings. How I missed missing him daily. I knew that I wasn’t missing him all the time like I used to. The distance and the lack of communication is quite present. He is no longer part of my daily life. I recall experiences we have together and I miss them. I miss him. It’s this strange paradox of I miss him and I don’t. I miss his smile, his laugh and his embrace. I miss his gentleness from the beginning of our relationship. I don’t miss his sexist comments, judgments towards me or my friends, or that temper that brought out the worst in both of us.

I took good with bad and thought that’s what love is. It’s more than that. So many elements make a relationship function and it’s constantly evolving, it’s ongoing. I am still moving on. I am not over it. I’m not, not in the least. I’m honest about that. But I’m not clinging onto those golden moments of our past. I see them, I cherish it and I wish there were more. But there isn’t. Beyond that, I have no idea what else there is. I want to reach out and say more, but nothing comes to mind. I guess I want to catalogue and detail those beautiful true stories that occurred so that way the awfulness in between doesn’t taint everything. How can you have that beauty without the tragedy? I’m still mixed up and that’s how it’s going to be for awhile.