I spoke to O today about the way that I’ve been feeling, explaining how birthdays and celebrations are important to me, as are words of affirmation, and also asked him to let me in more, and to open up more about his thoughts and feelings. He took it all really well. At first, he was a little teary eyed – I think he may have thought I was going to break up with him, which was a sweet response and I made sure to tell him before I left that I wasn’t mad at him, and that I really care about him. He apologised for not making an effort with my birthday, and said he would try more with the words and also opening up. I’m really glad I talked to him. I know that he never means anything by the things he does or doesn’t do, that it’s just a learning thing because I am his longest relationship.
I think it was a good conversation, I felt heard and my feelings acknowledged. I hope I communicated in a way that made space for dialogue too. The way he responded says that he’s committed to making this work, and I love him all the more for that.
I feel sad and anxious about me and O again. I thought I would see him tonight but he’s made no efforts to arrange anything. I had hoped he would suggest something nice to celebrate my birthday. I don’t think it’s good or healthy to keep feeling like this. But I’m scared to talk to him about it because of the fear that he’ll confirm my fears, that the reason he didn’t make any effort is that he doesn’t care – about me or about us. What then? We’ll probably break up if that was the case. I don’t want to be single again. I’m scared of being alone. But what’s the alternative? To stay in a relationship where I’m constantly questioning, constantly anxious about how he feels about me? That doesn’t sound very pleasant either. It doesn’t feel very pleasant right now.
I really love O. I feel the emotion rise with intensity whenever I’m with him. He hasn’t said it back yet and I’m really not bothered because I know he does things in his own time but I don’t want to overwhelm him with the pace of mine. So I’ll keep catching these words that I want to say. He knows how I feel and that’s enough for now.
Gah, I actually saw J today. I was sitting in the window seat at a cafe, drinking my coffee when he walked by. We made eye contact so I’m pretty sure he saw me too, then I looked away before we acknowledged each other.
I feel… okay? This is what I text my friend earlier today-
…It was strange, I felt a dissociation between my present self and my past self. I felt surprised and a slight tinge of sadness but I don’t think those are present feelings. It’s like my present self is empathising with a past self or like my body was reverting to an old habit of feeling that way towards him. When I saw him I thought he looked very ordinary, like any other human being walking down the road but it’s the knowing he wasn’t an ordinary person to me at some stage in my past that I’m sad for.
So this is where I’m at. My present self is okay. I know that all I’m feeling are just remnants of what I once felt but that’s still sad, remembering how much I loved him and how deeply I felt that loss. I’m in a different place now, I don’t love him anymore. That’s good! That’s growth.
I read some of my posts on here to a couple of friends tonight. The early ones are quite cringey. Not being in that space of intense hurt anymore means that I can’t relate anymore and instead of reading them as meaningful, I read them just as the words they are.
Tonight I went to a Sofar Sounds gig with O. It was really lovely.
The last time I went to a Sofar Sounds gig was with J, and I did find myself thinking about then, and how it is now. I’m okay with that, and I think it’s probably natural to do so – natural to have experiences and think on past similar experiences. I was a little anxious about tonight, knowing how in love I was the last time, and how that made the evening that much more special, being able to enjoy it with someone you really care about and who really cares about you.
I guess in a way, the same could be said of tonight. I am extremely fond of O, even if the feelings aren’t as obvious or showy as they were with J, I think there is a great depth of feeling that I could have for him and each day draws me deeper and deeper into those.
Maybe that’s why I felt a peace about tonight that I didn’t expect to feel. I thought this evening, being back in a similar space, would trigger me to lament over that past relationship but instead, it made me feel more at peace with my current relationship. I keep worrying that the feelings and the passion with O doesn’t match what I had with J, and thinking that this must mean it’s less than, or that something’s missing. But it doesn’t.
I’m learning slowly that love and like take different forms – sometimes it’s hard and heavy, other times slower and softer. Neither bad, just different. Tonight was still special, made all the more so by being able to share it with someone who I really care about, and who really cares about me.
I haven’t written about him in a long time. Mostly because I’ve had other things, other people on my mind, because my life has been filled in other ways- not because I haven’t thought about him.
Truth is, I still think about him most days, and not just once or twice. I still wonder what he’s doing, where he is, who he shares his life with now. I thought I wouldn’t anymore, especially now that I have O in my life. But I do. And I want to stop but I don’t know how or when or why I can’t. The thoughts manifest into dreams and I can’t escape him even in my sleep. I like to think that I think about him less as more time passes but honestly, I don’t know that it is. That scares me. How much longer will this failed love haunt me?
I believe that we carry all the tenses of our being, that all the past versions of who we were shape the who we are. Maybe it’s that the past versions of who we were roll into who we are now, that they’re intrinsically woven together. The girl who had her heartbroken is so familiar to me still, it’s hard to differentiate what was then and what is now. I can still draw up the pain of rejection and unrequited love and feel it keenly. Certain songs will instantly knock me back to that place of brokenness and hopelessness.
The one thing that I keep coming back to is knowing that I did all that I could. I said everything I wanted to say and that’s all you can ever do. There will be people who don’t reciprocate the way you feel and that’s life. But I will never have to regret not saying enough. If there’s any regret, it’ll be on him.
Some months ago, I couldn’t fathom a life that didn’t perpetually mourn the loss of him. Now I can recognise that the loss is an event in the past and while my present self can remember what that awful time was like, I’m not currently experiencing that loss at the moment. I’ve been reading The Body Keeps the Score and learning that we need to integrate painful past experiences into our present so that we can live freer futures. So that’s progress right? I’m part of the way there! One day I won’t think of him anymore, in the same way that I don’t think about my first boyfriend. I’m not there yet but I will be, one day.