relationshipping

Happy September, year 3

year 3
The winds have changed in Tokyo, seemingly overnight.
The skies that were muffled in grey and dropping rain show fall’s turn and reveal a remarkably clear blue sky; the inescapable light reiterates that I live on an island.

America is about back-to-school excitement amidst a Labor Day weekend as Japan doggedly goes back to its school/work routine now that summer vacations are undeniably over.

I sit and contemplate what to write.

It’s quiet.
Insanely quiet for a city that is the most populous in the world.  The sliding doors are open to let in crisp, post-rain air and I have yet to hear a car honk but I can hear their tires on the pavement.

It’s been 2 years in this city, on this island.
I told myself I would wait 2 years before I cast judgment on Tokyo because:
Year 1 would be new and full of adjustments: culture shock, exploration, figuring out everything (turns out I would focus more on figuring out my relationship as S transitions).
Year 2 would allow for a sinking in of the former (or The Breakup Year).

Year 3… seems to have a full-circle theme.
I consider a recent Saturday: S and I go out to a trans party-event, we meet up with our respective good friends and the person I’m seeing is welcomed by S.  This last bit is huge, as friendliness between them has been a HELL. OF. A challenge, with 100% animosity coming from S for quite a while.  Regardless of the why, the turnaround is a notable event.  The last time S and I were out together it was disastrous so this night is significant progress.

We move on.

The arc of a new story has broken, as evidenced by impending events:
S’s BF will visit from the states, during which time I will check in to a separate apartment and check out a new Tokyo hood.
New significant people, new locations and potential moves begin to beckon.

Current mood: curious and anxious for future tidings.

 

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relationshipping

The joke

My eyeballs need cocaine

is on me.
Again.

So there’s nothing like time and distance to get over someone.
I excise the other from my life to move on.
It really helps.

I think I’ve got recovering from heartbreak down— yea!
I create emotional distance through physical distance.
I make sure our worlds don’t collide and my brain-heart is trained: the second I sniff voluntary distance (from me or the other), emotional detachment follows.

As usual, when I’m pretty confident that I can get through one emotional puzzle, the universe throws a giant hamster ball in my path.
I get a conundrum wrapped in the guise of a three-part love present.

1) I fall for someone.
2) I fall hard.
3) It’s. Long. Distance.

Of course it is.
Motherfucker.

I have trained my instincts so well that this situation is a mindfuck.
What— get close to someone when they’re countless miles and time zones away?
Are we really establishing a foundation over text?!
This sounds stupid and I shake my head at myself.

Except for the damn love, people.

And we meet so seldom that every time feels like the first time.
What am I doing?

Usually I fall in love and into a relationship like the oldest lesbian U-Haul joke we all know.
I need to learn how to pace myself in a relationship but I don’t know if this— the complete opposite— is the answer.
But it sure as hell is a lesson in a different kind of patience.

I tell myself to stay in the moment and relax when we meet even though my brain knows the moment has a very short lifespan.  There are so many thoughts, stories, feelings of the mundane and extraordinary I want to share but when I’m confronted with T minus 150 minutes and counting— I am rendered mute because my heart beats in time to the tick-tick-tock of the countdown clock.  And what are words when I can actually touch this person?  Because we’ve been wording 6,000 times over for the past too many days.

I give in to the clock; I acknowledge but don’t begrudge its presence.
I experience the moment since this moment is what I have.

I am grateful.
And excited.

And terrified.

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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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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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