Letter to My Heart: Breaking up and growing up

9 years ago


I guess first off I'm going to say I'm thankful for the good that has come out of the hurt that you and I went through this past fall.

It's amazing how many of my friends came up and stepped up to the challenge and opened their arms and their hearts to me and you. I'm thankful for the fire it lit under me to get moving and shake up my life. And I'm thankful that it led me to C., my roommate who gave me a chance and a clean start in October. Packing up and moving is a good way to clear out a lot of cobwebs and open up some light into dark dusty places. Good things have been happening for me, and ultimately, yes, I am doing well now.

Together we've come to a place of... I don't want to say forgiveness, exactly, and certainly not for him, but it's a place of acceptance, of releasing the sour curls of smoke in my chest that wrapped around you. A place of breathing, of looking back over my shoulder and saying, "Yeah, okay, I see what happened there, and I'm not letting that happen to me again."

There were plenty of instances before this, ones you catalogued and ticked away as deep hurts before my mind drew the lines between them all and read the map. Hurtful and drunk things he said in public, my feeling alone in a crowd even when standing next to him, the constant need to compromise on my part and never on his. You were seething and you were scared, because you knew long before I did that this was all going to come down upon me.

You and I know this, Heart, but it looks like not everyone does: If you have been out of town for two weeks, and you say to your girlfriend's face, when she asks you to spend the long weekend away at the beach with her like you did last year, that you "just want to be home" and "want to sleep in your own bed", you do not then ask Twitter what's going on in the city that night. And you do not let Twitter know, at 4 am Saturday morning, that man! your cool new city friends throw the best parties and you are so tired but so happy and can't wait to do it again tomorrow! Meanwhile, your girlfriend is alone, having only seen you twice in the past two weeks, reading it all on her one-week-old iPhone and wanting to throw it across the damn room because her heart is breaking.

And that was the worst time, Heart, the worst thing, but I knew as I cried in that hotel bed that this was Not Okay. It was absolutely not okay. It was flat out wrong, and hurtful, and ridiculous, and stupid. You knew that, I knew that, and that was what hurt most -- we knew how much we were hurting, we knew that we did nothing to deserve this hurting, and we knew that he had no idea that he was doing this. Or worse, he did know and he didn't care. Either way, it was wrong and it hurt.

But still when it came to what I half-heartedly jokingly called the "Come to Jesus" talk, the talk that I was going to have with him to make him see his ways and repent, it was me who was a weeping crumbling mess, me who promised I could change, I would change, just give me and us a chance. Yes, I'm an introvert, but I can try to be more outgoing! Yes, I know you like spending a lot of time in these divey smokey bars, and I'll try to enjoy them more! Yes, I know I have been compromising on everything already to suit your needs instead of mine, so let me just continuing doing that while quietly resenting you for it! I'm totally the problem here!

You know, of course, Heart, that it wasn't us who needed to change. I know that now, but you always knew that. I asked him to be there and to take care of us, to take care of you. I asked him to take care of you, be more gentle with you, to just THINK of you every once in a while, because that is the most basic prime function of being somebody's partner, to think about someone other than yourself, and instead he threw you right back in my face and said he couldn't. And so I took you, tucked you under my arm, and I went home.

So I'm being careful with you now, Heart, and honestly I think we've been doing okay. It has been so refreshing to take it easy, to spend time with my friends, to enjoy being on my own. I know you're pulling yourself together. And it takes time, and we're working on it.

Which is why it's okay that we're reeling from this new development.

The first boy who really, truly, got you, and who has even been here for you and me in the past couple of months as a good friend, is getting married. Not for a while yet, but he proposed and she said yes. And it's strange and surreal, and I know that you and I have never really thought about what's going to happen as we grow up and we grow away from those we've loved before. Because yes, we're growing up and we're moving on... and they are, too. And it's okay. It's hard because it's the first time we're dealing with this. I'm a bridge-burner and a link-snapper, but I am still going to find out when it happens again because it will happen again. And it's okay to not know how we feel about it. I am letting you know: we don't always need to have an answer as to why we feel, sometimes we just need to feel. It's okay.

So yes. I'm breathing. I'm listening to you. I'm letting you tell me what you need, and what we both need is time, and space, and care, and peace. And I am going to give you that. Some day someone else can give you that too, perhaps, but right now, it's you and me, kid, and that is fine with me.

And, by the way? Thank you.



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