Addressed to Mr. Gone

 

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I came home to his mail again. We agreed to have no contact for an extended period of time, to give me the space to heal. Seeing his name on all the envelopes felt like a dagger to my heart. A reminder of what is gone. I thought well, what now? Do I throw it out? That’s kind of cruel. Do I pass it onto mutual friends who he doesn’t even see that often? What if it’s important and he needs the mail soon? How do I stop this from continuing to happen?

 

I never considered the difference of the end of a relationship compared to the ending of one in which you lived together. The ending of one where you’re left behind in the house that you once shared. At the end of relationships, it always seems difficult to avoid bumping into reminders of that person. When you’ve lived together though, you find reminders constantly within your home, the place that is meant to be your safe haven from the world.

 

The mail was the beginning, the constant daily reminder. At first it was annoying, but it slowly built to be this massive representation of my pain. He wasn’t ready for a relationship, as he needed to sort his shit out. Needed to find his way into adulthood. Somehow diverting his mail within two weeks didn’t fall into the category of ‘sorting his shit out’.

 

After the mail begun to come in, I then started to find his belongings in cupboards and drawers. More stuff to work out what to do with. He told me that I could keep what was left in the apartment. It reminds me of him though. So, I’m left with another dilemma, do I throw it out? Seems wasteful. I’m also not sure I could bring myself to do so, it would concrete the reality that he is no longer here. Every time I find something I put it in his old sock drawer, a drawer that was left empty on his departure. Out of sight, out of mind right?  I don’t know what I plan to do with the drawer full of his things that are now apparently my things. How long does it take until I’m ready to go through it again? Will I eventually throw them out or make use of them, who knows?

 

I’ve been waiting to cry. To feel this turmoil and chaos within me. The last man I truly loved, when he was gone, I didn’t know how to cope. I stopped sleeping. I stopped eating. I struggled with the energy to leave the house. My panic attacks returned. I moved back in with my family for a brief stint because I didn’t know how to be alone. I was preparing myself for it to happen again. Getting my psychologists phone number ready on speed dial. Preparing what I would say to work when I couldn’t hold myself together to be there. Despite the mail and the continuing treasure hunt of his belongings, I’ve just been left with a calm emptiness. A background noise of sadness, but ultimately plodding along with life like nothing has changed.

 

Whilst washing my hair, the soap holder which was holding up the shower shelves snapped off the wall. Crash, straight to the shower floor. My first thought was this is usually what he’d fix, something that he would sort out. My second thought was this is it! This is the moment to break down and cry. I still didn’t though, not a single tear. I washed the shampoo out and went on with my day. It’s been a week and the mess is still on my shower floor. The ironic part is majority of the items from the shelf are his. I’m showering everyday with his loofah and shaving cream at my feet. I don’t want to pick it up, I don’t want to fix the soap holder – it’s not that I’m incapable. I am completely capable of driving to the hardware shop, buying a new soap holder and screwing it into the wall. It’s just that I don’t want to. This is his thing – and the second I do it, I am once again concreting that reality that he’s not here to do so.

 

How is it that there’s obviously enough discomfort for mail to irritate me, his objects to make me a hoarder and for me to share my shower floor with someone else’s loafer – but not enough to make me cry or struggle to get through the day? How is it that five years ago I spiralled into a dark place, and this time I’m stuck in some weird calm? It is that I am in a better place within my life? I love my job, my family, my friends. My world is so much bigger than a man in it. Is it that I’ve learnt the coping skills necessary to handle a situation like this? Is it that I finally love myself?

 

Have I actually, after all these years of struggling to show myself compassion, learnt how to fucking love myself?

 

 

 

 

 

Stuck in the Same Old Loop

Him: I’m just not looking for anything serious right now. I’m on a journey of growth to be the man I need to be. I just can’t settle down until I sort my stuff out. Not the insightful stuff like my deeply embedded commitment issues, more like a career and house that gives the illusion that I’ve got my shit together. That real soul-searching stuff.

 

Me: Wow, how deep and enlightened you are. I can totally handle a casual non-labelled thing. That is until I’m in too far and begin to realise that you will never sort your “stuff out” (whatever that means).  To then go crazy with feelings of instability and insecure thoughts that in turn spiral into a painful rage which forces ‘us’ to an end. Leaving me alone. Once again. In a pool of self-pity and hurt.

#Everytime #WhenWillILearn? #PatternsRepeating

I Can’t Do This On My Own

I love you, I really do – you’re my favourite person to spend time with. It hurts though, I am in pain and I don’t know what to do. I feel stuck, lost and confused. And alone, I feel like I am in this alone.

 

I don’t want to continuously talk to those who are close to me about it cause they’re protective of me, and I don’t want their view of you to be skewed. I can’t talk to you about it, cause whenever I try, your default is to become defensive, and you tend to interrupt to rant at me (hence the letter).

 

You rant about where you are at in life. What you need. How hard the last few years have been for you. Somehow me trying to express how I am feeling, turns into the victimised story of you. What about where I’m at in life? What I need? How the last few years have been for me?

 

The other night you told me that you never get to be selfish, and it’s your time in life to be selfish without trying to make others happy. That you need space to sort your shit out. And you know what I get that – but the selfish comment just didn’t leave me. It’s your turn to be selfish? Maybe in other relationships in your life. In our relationship though – I have continuously put my need for security aside for your needs. You needed to break up with me to be with her, you then needed support because she never turned up and you fell into depression, you then needed somewhere to live (and a place for yourself on my lounge room floor), you then needed space to find a job in your career – and now with a job in your career and the upcoming residency with your friend, you need space to ‘sort your shit out’. During that whole time, I have needed security. I have sacrificed my sense of security to be there for you. I have sacrificed parts of my identity, parts of my self-esteem and allowed myself to be gossiped about and friendships risked defending you. All my choice to do so yes, but still a choice to sacrifice these things for you and only you.

 

I acknowledge that you do a lot for me also, I don’t want you to think in expressing all of this that I am forgetting all the good between us. It is by remembering and appreciating all the good and some of the amazing things you do that makes this so painful. You are always there to help me when I need practical help – whether it is to clean, pick me up, help me fix something around the house, care for me when I’m unwell, cook for both me and my friends and more. You do so much more for me than any man in my life, but it is this that confuses things. We keep defending the notion that we are just friends, but it doesn’t feel like friendship. My other friends don’t treat me like this. They say actions speak louder than words, but the words of our relationship say we are friends and the actions say otherwise. It confuses me, I don’t know where we stand. If either of us were to have another partner, our relationship couldn’t continue the way it does, as it would be inappropriate….  All the cuddles would be inappropriate.

 

I don’t know how much longer I can keep being this accommodating woman that lets you continue to call the shots of our dynamics. It is slowly destroying me. I have tried so hard to hold strong for you – to understand your perspective and be empathetic to your needs – but I’ve been neglecting what I need in the process. I can’t keep feeling too guilty to fight for what I want and need, because you’ve had a hard time of it recently. I’ve been allowing myself to live in the shadow of another woman and consequently have that turn me into somebody that I am not. I have never been the insecure or clingy woman in my relations with men – never. I don’t like being it – I don’t like lying awake at night wondering where we both stand in your heart and if I’m going to wake up one day and lose you to her.  I don’t like living in anxiety and fear. This is not who I am…. I am losing who I am.

 

I know I can’t force you to want a relationship with me – but I keep feeling like it’s your way or the highway. You choose what our relationship dynamic is. I feel like the only options I have is to accept these dynamics or lose you all together. So out of fear of losing you, I just keep accepting them, discarding my own needs and wants and sit with the pain. I’m so scared that if we keep working like this that we will end up like you and her; a situation filled with resentment. I don’t want to resent you. I don’t want us to end up being cold. I fear that this is the path that we are going down.

 

I know you don’t tend to be a big picture person, but where do you see this going? How do you see this ending? What is it that you want from me? To sit by your side going along with whatever you need for the rest of your life? Cause that’s what it feels like. How many years does this I just need to be selfish phase go for?  I feel taken for granted, like you see me always holding your hand no matter what you do or who you date or whatever your future may be. I can’t be sitting around as your fall-back girl for the rest of your life, waiting for you to acknowledge what you really have in me.

 

I just don’t know what the fuck to do. I don’t want to lose you, I don’t want to continue sitting in pain and feeling underappreciated, I don’t want to force you into doing something you don’t want to do – I’m fucking trapped.

 

I need your help to understand deeper than ‘need to sort my shit out’ so I can try find a way out of the trap. Please. I don’t want to be confused and lost trying to find my way through our relationship alone. Relationships involve collaboration. I can’t do this on my own.