Friday, November 09, 2012
Promises, Like Hearts, Must Sometimes Be Broken
As if I jinxed it by going public in this space, my relationship with The Cowboy became increasingly strained following his visit here, and after some discussion, we're scaling it back to what it was before it was anything else: a really good friendship. You really can't make promises about the future when you don't know what the future holds, and you really shouldn't rely on those kinds of promises when you good and well know that, either.
I said the first time I mentioned him that I had no idea where this was going, but that for as long as it lasted, it was making me very happy--and it did. Those of you who know me saw that first-hand. He gave me the happiest times of the last couple of years, certainly, and did so much to help, support, and encourage me. He wasn't, and isn't perfect, he's not some knight in shining armor, flawless and god-like--none of us are--but for where I was and what I needed, he was my HERO. Never forget that. I won't.
I am so grateful to have had this wonderful man in my life, and grateful that I still have him, if in a different capacity. We still love each other; we still care about each other. That makes the current situation more difficult by an order of magnitude; how much easier would it be if I could just hate him and be happy to be rid of him, to cut him out of my life entirely, like some kind of malignant growth? But that's not how it is. If I said the word right now, he'd be by my side in a heartbeat to take care of anything I needed him to. And the converse is also true. He will have my support in all that he does, with or without me, for as long as I have breath in my body.
The two of us together-together was AMAZING. Just absolutely dream-like and wonderful. Having him here with me made for the happiest weeks I have enjoyed since I can remember. I had peace in my heart, I felt secure, I slept at night... incredible things for me. And he says that he was happy every day that he was here with me, as well. But after that, it became clearer and clearer that the two of us together-apart... not so great. And during a fit of pique over some little meaningless something, I said it. "Just end it. It's for the best." And he said, "OK." (And for some reason, I was briefly shocked at how easily he accepted that offer...oh, the vagaries of the emotional brain!) And really, that was about all the discussion there was about it at that time, though there was much to follow. Lots of "are you sure" from both sides and "I think we're doing the right thing" from both sides, and plenty of reassurances to remain in each others' lives and get back to that place where we were great friends, having fun, talking and playing together, giving and receiving advice, listening to each others' problems and triumphs... it's not a bad place to be.
We've sort of left the future of the relationship open-ended. Who knows what could happen? But we can't put ourselves on shelves, hundreds of miles apart, waiting to "see what happens" with us, and possibly wasting years and missing opportunities. That's not fair to me, and it's especially not fair to him, a young, vibrant man with his whole life in front of him. And I am willing to take the lion's share of the blame for this decision because MY doubts about that very thing have dogged me from the beginning of this relationship (literally, on the very first occasion that he announced his intent, it was my first concern--I am this much older than you, I could never give you children, I'm not interested in a "fling," so where is this going, etc.), and they would never have gone away. If he had thrown in with me for good at this point in his life, I'd have been happy to be with him, yes--ecstatic--but also guilty over what possible opportunities I might be causing him to miss. I can't have any more children, and that was a BIG deal to me. And of course just the fear that as he hit his prime 10 or 15 years from now, he'd look over at me and see... an old woman. And have regrets. I couldn't bear that. For both of us, it's kind of a case of hurting now rather than possibly hurting worse later. Maybe we've already made a mistake... but I don't think so, and I don't believe he does, either.
I can't speak for The Cowboy, and I wouldn't presume to know his innermost thoughts on the matter. But I do believe him when he says that he will be there for me, as I will him, and that this is hurting him as well. He's a good man, and precisely what I needed in the aftermath of what I'd been through toward the end of my marriage. His energy revived me, his stolidness grounded me, and his love nourished me and reminded me that I DO deserve better than I'd been allowing myself. I thank God for putting him into my life at just the right time, despite the fact that I currently feel as if there is a huge, ragged, gaping hole right in the center of my chest, and it's bleeding.
As for me, I am good. Sad, so sad right now, but good. Just as I wish for The Cowboy, as he matures, to learn inner peace, calmness and centeredness, and heightened empathy, I will embrace the things that he has shown me that *I* need to work on, which mainly center around not living life from a place of chaos any more, because NOW I DON'T HAVE TO. Honestly... it took me over a year on my own and the ministrations of a stalwart Cowboy to SHOW me that. I really, really did need him. And I really, really do love him, and thank him for giving me what he did. I hope I left him better than I found him, as he did me.
It hit me this morning as I was out and about running errands, and that godawful sprain (the one that began on the jet-ski and then was re-injured a week later) was hurting like the dickens, as usual (yes, I've had it x-rayed, and yes, it is royally jacked up, but it WILL heal, it will just take a long, long time), and I just flat-out REFUSED to limp. Did it hurt to walk normally? YES. But did I do it? YES. I might still limp around at home, but out presenting myself to the world? I will not be a broken person, having people ask, "What happened, why are you limping?" Likewise, no more "What's wrong, have you been crying?" I'm not. Not out where you can see, anyway. I save that for mornings, when I wake up and realize what I've lost and it's all fresh and raw. Later in the day is when I can concentrate on all that I have to look forward to, and you will see my game face then. No limping.
P.S. Fellas? Yeah, I'm single again. But... just not right now, OK? I appreciate the attention, but... I need time for just me. I kinda like Belinda again, thanks in no small part to The Cowboy, but also just because of work that *I* have done, and I need time to get reacquainted with her. Thanks.
And now the closing cliche.
"If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, it’s yours; if it doesn’t, it never was." I let him go, yes. But I did it from a place of tremendous love and with a sense of giving, not taking. I hope he always knows that, and how much of a place he will always have in my heart.