relationshipping

The flip-side

Truth or tactA heartbroken me walks home from a party.
It’s a long walk.  But when your heart is alternately in your throat and drag-flopping on the pavement with every step, an hour is a fast pass.

I’m still in love with my ex.  We got married a few weeks ago so I could stay in the country and tonight we’re finally going out for the first time as friends, to celebrate the marriage.  The other day she saw me getting sentimental about marriage and set me straight with, “You know this is just a visa marriage, right?”  I kept staring at the screen then, nodding, “yeah.”

Ouch.

But I’m excited; we haven’t gone out together in this new city yet and I’ve been looking forward to getting ready with her.  It’s a good way to break friendship ground.

Then she asks if it’d be cool if we meet up at the party instead because this guy that she’s been non-stop texting just asked her to dinner.  Goddammit she’s into him.  It’s been like two days since they’ve started talking but I can tell she likes him, probably more than she even knows or is willing to admit.

“If that’s what you want to do…”
“Are you sure?”
Of course I’m not sure but I’m not supposed to have to tell her that.  She’s supposed to know that we had plans to go to this thing together.

“Just…go.”

Before she’s even out the door, the tears fall fast, heavy and loud.
I try to will her to come back but with every stupid second that hollows me out I have to face that she’s gone.

***

I scan the room for her, as her friends have been asking where she is.
She’s never been one to be on time exactly but if she says she’s going to be there, she will.  Finally she comes up to me, bright smile and looking as fucking beautiful as ever.  Damn her.
…and him.  Great.  Of course he’s here.  I hate him on sight.

I get interviewed by the promoters of the club, my trusty friend helping to translate every so often.  I’m proud of myself for answering most of the questions in my non-native tongue first time out.  I scan the room in-between chatting it up with random folks here and there.  I can’t help but wonder where she is, I want to tell her about my interview.

I see her.
On. His. Lap.
Making out.

***

I’m tired of attempting to answer where the hell she disappeared to.  I have no idea but saying that is an embarrassing admittance that— that I don’t know where she is, like I used to.  She isn’t holding herself accountable to me.  I hate this realization.

I’m spent.  I’ve drunk but I’m not drunk.  I’m hurt.  I cry.  I had such expectations of this night; one of celebrating a new chapter for us, married best friends who love the hell out of each other.  This was supposed to be the most fun night yet.  We used to have such a blast going out, getting drunk, talking and laughing…god we used to laugh hard together.

Memories start to flood and the tears flood even harder to keep up with the flashback onslaught: falling in love, moving in together, knowing this is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with, trave— and I have to sit because feeling the heart break can’t be done standing solo.  I sit on a curb in the early fucking morning.  I sob.

Of course I don’t hear his footsteps.  I don’t hear or notice anything until I feel the back of my head jammed forward onto some guy’s dick.  He forces my mouth open and rams it in.  If I had a gag reflex it’d be in full revolt but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to vomit.  Except I can’t because the shock, my empty emotional self, this whole fucking night has left me void.

I don’t care anymore.
I didn’t think it could get worse.
It got worse.

***

Eventually I tell her about the assault.
She’s shocked and feels absolutely terrible.  She cries for me and keeps apologizing as she feels indirectly responsible.  She asks if I need to talk to anyone, that I should talk to someone; of course she’s available but she understands if I just want to get as far away from her as possible after the hurt she’s caused.

“I’m more hurt by you and your actions than having to suck some guy off.”
“Oh.”

Yeah.

Living with the ex?
Sure, that can be a rough ride but getting over her is plenty hard enough.

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relationshipping

Denial vengeance

Inpatientis a thing and it is NOT fun.

We go to the show and my <10-day ex tells me, “The singer’s totally checking you out.”
“Really?!!”

That’s awesome for my self-esteem.  I look over to their merch stand and as I make eye contact with the singer, she walks to the bathroom.  My ex follows her.

They emerge some minutes later and my ex tells me about her conversation with the cute singer:
I told her I liked their set, that we came from Memphis to see them.   She asked who ‘we’ meant, I pointed to you and said, my girlfriend.

Oh.

Except we’re broken up.  And you have a crush.

My ex continues:
Since we’re not going to have sex, I’m going to see *** (her crush).

Slam my heart against the wall a little harder, why don’t you?  Just like that my ex has simultaneously cock-blocked someone I could have some random fun with AND informed me that she’ll be driving two hours to see her crush, leaving me no way to get around this small unknown town for the night.  Awesome.

It’s a damn shitty, gross feeling to know that as I’m sweating stale beer and starving, my ex is out talking to, kissing? fucking?! her crush.  Love has no rules and new love doesn’t suffer fools gladly; it is too young, wild and headstrong to pause for words like consideration and other people’s feelings.

Insomnia hits.  My stomach growls because I want greasy, hot, melty food (preferably of the starchy variety) to sop up my show alcohol, but I can’t NOT think about my ex potentially fucking her new someone and that instantly nauseates me.  I stare blankly at the TV.

3:30, 4, 4:30AM.

Thank god my little compadre pooker is with me; her familiar muzzle and warm little body comforts me.  I hug my little Izzy dog and we try to sleep.

5:30, 6, 6:30AM.

Sleep never comes but my ex comes back to drive us home.

She looks exhausted and I almost offer to drive the first bit so she can crash but I just. don’t. have. it. in. me.

I think a fuck of a lot the whole way home.

We had a remarkable decade

but

I have no regrets of an ending of us.

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open relationship, relationshipping, trans talk

I’m the Q

You are a slutpuppy“Bless your heart but you are so not a lesbian,” says S.

The fact that we can have this honest conversation is huge.
The fact that S can have her sense of humor about a hurtful point of conflict is even huger.

Until this moment, S would often wonder why I couldn’t stay attracted to her if she’s still the same fabulous person on the inside and I was in a lesbian relationship for a decade.  In her shoes, I’d wonder the same thing but the best truth I’ve got is: the attraction cooled to something tepid within me and tepid is a pretty lame concessionary temperature for a love relationship.

I nod and recollect, ” ***(my long-term ex before S) said the same thing when we were dating.”
S shakes her head and pats my own.  “It’s really LGBT-supportive and I love you for it but you are not gay.”

I concede this point.

Before S, I maintain that I fall in love with the person, not the gender.  Although that statement pretty much announces my bisexuality, by mentioning gender, I qualify being a lesbian and/or having been in a lesbian relationship.  It’s as though I can’t commit to simply being gay, even though I was in a lesbian relationship for a decade.  No wonder my long-term ex wouldn’t call me a ‘real’ lesbian; it took over half the length of that relationship before I’d say was a l-l-lesbian.  
Then we broke up.

As S transitions, I am forced to dissect how true this ‘not the gender’ assertion is.
It’s not so true.

Without a doubt, my relationship history defines me as bisexual.  However, every person I have dated since S and I have open-relationshipped and broken up has been male, which then makes me feel like a bit of a liar if I call myself bi in the present.  But the second I identify as a straight girl, I have a feeling the universe will find a way to have the last laugh.

So.

In my apparent quest to self-identify, I’ll go with queer.
I’m the Q in LGBTQ.

Because one sure thing is that my past, present and future sexual identity and experiences sure as hell (will) fall outside the hetero-defined mainstream.

Thank. God.

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relationshipping

I say, Give me the real

The other day

so it’s only fair that I give back said real.

And currently, this is the real:
We each found love post (visa)marriage and it has been the hardest thing.

I’m not friends with my exes.  With one, we aren’t not friends but we certainly aren’t a presence in each other’s lives.  And to get to true peace of the end of what was basically a common-law marriage, I had to exercise a total break.

With my ex-GF/wife (whom I will refer to as S from here on out):
I choose to break up.
And it is the most difficult thing.

As S transitions, there is no less love but the rapid-heartbeat, make-me-melt love gives way to a more protective, almost maternal love.  It isn’t the end of a honeymoon phase as this is 1.8 years into our relationship.  Romantic love turns agape love.

I move on, emotionally, while she is still in love with me.
This then becomes the most difficult thing.

I feel guilty for moving on, I wish I could ignore my stupid heart.  I don’t break up unless it is undeniably time because that look- when I look into her beautiful eyes that read only such deep heartbreak…well, that breaks my heart every time.  And knowing that I’m the cause of an agonizing heartbreak makes me feel pretty damn rotten.  There’s just no getting out of any meaningful relationship without hurt.  The deeper the love, the more fucking massive the hurt.

She finds love, which confronts me with a slew of unexpected feelings.
And this makes me a most difficult person.

It’s not fair.  It being the inevitable grief that comes with a significant ending to an incomparably more significant relationship.  It’s not fair for either of us because grieving is just plain hard.  When I chose to break up with S, I knew I was shutting the door on unconditional love.  I could have someone who would love and cherish me no matter what, who wanted nothing more but a permanent future with me because that equaled a bright hope and happiness.  Stupid, stupid heart.

I am no longer her person.
Her face lights up so brightly, voice softens, mood transforms and her heart visibly melts when she receives a text or call from her love.
Before this incredible, new love, my loss wasn’t so palpable; as I moved on, she’s been working through one hell of a terrific heartbreak until her new beautiful person.

This isn’t jealousy.
S is a beautiful person through and through and I want love to do right by her, in a way that I could not.

This is the realness of feeling the loss of the love I gave up.

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random love

Good grief

The other dayis another familiar.

You need to try to master the ability to feel sad without actually being sad.

~Mingyur Rinpoche,
(quoted by Laurie Anderson, November 21st 2013 issue of Rolling Stone)

I believe in the good grief.

There was a five-year period in my life where I grieved.  A lot.
There were deaths and a most significant break up.  One terminal illness was such an intimate part of my life, I might as well have been in bed with it.

A dear friend recently shared a death experience.  The feelings, confusion and questions brought on by the grieving process- how and when to deal or not deal- makes me think, look back and consider who I was then and who I am now as a result.

Grieving is inconvenient.

I realize that the sly workings of grief overwhelm at the most unexpected moments.  I think I am okay, I feel myself smiling because I feel a genuine, warm happiness from within when suddenly, my heart is hollowed out and I gasp, in shock that I am felled so immediately and completely.  It doesn’t matter that the tears don’t fall because I’m wrecked from the inside, can’t catch my goddamn breath and there goes my plan for the next few hours because I must simply feel out this pain.  I am immobilized.

Except this time when I look around, you aren’t there.
This time it’s the death of us that I grieve.
There’s no you to talk to, cry with, come home to.
It hits harder, sadder because before, with you, sharing the grief was so…unlonely.

Time can help.

But it’s not the ultimate panacea.  My heart still breaks 2, 5, 8, 10, 13 years after the fact.
It’s not as raw but it still hurts and…truth?  Sometimes, every so often, it is as raw.

Sometimes it takes a friend from long ago to identify changes within myself.  It seems that I am more open and caring.  But then again if I didn’t evolve after confronting childhood demons, heartbreak, grief, and probing and challenging relationships, what a waste of life experience on me, no?

I can sit in death’s aftermath, maintain a clear line of reason and be optimistic about the future, even, but I can’t not be sad when I’m feeling the sadness.

Feel sad and not actually be sad?
I’m working on it.

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relationshipping

Should I delete him?

Should I delete him

Asks my friend.
Me: Do you really want to get over him?

pause

Her: Yes.
Me: Then yes, delete.

I take one course of action to get over someone and thus far it has been 100% effective.
But I need to qualify that I have not been married with children.

The Rumi, aka Don’t Look Back, method:
1) Delete from contacts
2) Delete all text history
3) Delete or hide them from FB (and all other social media you share)
4) DO NOT respond to non-essential, emotional bullshit solicitations (i.e. requisite conversations about unjoining finances are an unfortunate necessity but responding to explanatory emails about his/her feelings blah, blah, absolutely not).

Too harsh?  What, like love-hurt isn’t?

Because this is what I know when it’s over but I’m not over them:
It fucking hurts.
The sorrow, the anger, the goddamn grief.

For instance, after a long-term relationship ended, my ex of not even a week was already dating someone, a specific someone they started talking to prior to our breakup.  That felt awesome: decade long relationship, one-week turnaround.  And a few weeks later, when their new someone came to our still-shared house to spend a lovely weekend with ex (because that new burgeoning love period is brimming over with so much damn infatuation), as my dumb luck would have it, I got to hear new someone be given a fat fucking orgasm by ex…goddammit y’all.

I thought I was doing so well.  I processed through writing as decade-long memories flooded me, Dylan on repeat in the background, and spent priceless time with invaluable friends who listened to me, quietly sat with me or simply joined me for a whiskey, give or take an occasional cry.

I thought I was getting a handle on the can’t-hardly-breathe stage and moving towards taking it week by week.

A few more weeks pass, my ex has left the state to live with said someone and I am told that they plan on getting married within a month.

Wow.

There’s an annoying last step that completes my method:
5) Time.

Sweet, slow, tortuous, curious thing, time passing.

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