Courage, my word (part 1)

This past week, I wrote on Sunday night. I wrote on Monday night. What I worked on was weeks in the making. A letter to Mr. Right Now. I made it sound like it was all done and wrapped up with a bow, didn’t I? That’s what I had been telling myself for a few months. Here’s a brief timeline of outside facts:

  • Mid-September: Lunch date with break-up on the menu
  • The day after the lunch date until November 1st: Very little contact, with him avoiding me like the plague at work.

At first, I felt really strong and at peace with my decision to end it. There were a number of things that didn’t feel were a good fit between us.And who was I kidding? How could I juggle full time work (with a long commute), a tiny girl, a delicate co-parenting relationship, a self to tend to, beautiful friendships, and this. What was this anyway?

Well, that was part of the issue. I wanted to define it and he did too. I sat in Orion’s office in late August and said: “This feels like an affair, even if I’m not cheating on anyone.” I wasn’t coping well with just How much he loved and wanted me, when on my end, I was still emerging from marriage breakdown and its attending feelings of brokenness. I felt quite overwhelmed when he let me see the depths of his feelings for me, and didn’t respond well on those occasions. I kept him separate from the rest of my life, and at some point, decided that we would wrap this up sooner than later. I lined up all my reasons and broke it off.

I missed him, of course, but felt my logic was airtight. I was SO much better off on my own.

Yet over the last 3-4 weeks, missing him took up more real estate in my mind. In late October, our agency had a day of recognition for the employees. While he had done an outstanding job of not running into me at the office, on that day we were sitting one in front of the other in the large hall. I said a few things to him and congratulated him on the award he received. And my body screamed at me all day to find a way into his arms. For his part, he looked like a guy who was hurting while trying to play it cool.

I think something inside me gave way on that day; like a damn with some structural defects breaking and letting the water rush through it. We texted a little bit back and forth the next day, but he was brief and distant. I had landed in a place of confusion; an uncomfortable place of deep confusion.

I interrupt this cheesy love biopic to ask a question. Have you read Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Merton? It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I can tell you that it was mine. I read that book over the last month, and it was instrumental in making me rethink what happened with Mr. Right Now, and most (all) of my past intimate relationships. The piece I want to highlight here is this: I recognized myself entirely when Glennon described the schism between what was going on inside her and the life she was living outside, especially when it came to her marriage. What impressed me most was her description of how she is healing from that dis-memberment by consciously working on reunion, by bringing her insides to the outside.

Speaking my  truth was something I had worked often and hard on in the past. In truth, I feel that I’ve done well to bring my authentic self to light. Yet in my most intimate relationships, my default position is to quiet myself down to make sure life on the outside “goes well”. This is what I did with Soybean until it ruined us; and this is what I had done with Mr. RN.

When we were together, Mr. RN told me on a few occasions that he perceived I was terrified of him. It made me angry when he said so; it felt like he was crossing a boundary. Plus, I was trying so hard to let this new love breathe; and this reminded me that I was scared. The letter I sent him last Monday was based on the following question: What if I had told him what terrified me about him?  What if I had talked about the real rubs inside the relationship, instead of making nice? What would have happened then?

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3 thoughts on “Courage, my word (part 1)

  1. Oh boy, I bet that was QUITE a letter. Knowing how beautiful your writing is, and how beautiful you are… I know there’s another chapter already available, and I am fighting the urge to read it and just savor this one. I wish I could have your courage, part 1. I have a nice, safe relationship and yet still can’t manage to get my words out…

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