Drowning. Again.

A very sad thing happened to me this week.

I was in a pretty good place. I did three workouts this week and ran once. I was doing well at work.

I had texted with my ex last weekend and congratulated him on a bike race.

Then, Tuesday night, he texts me and tells me that he has read my blog, and wants to cut all ties with me for the second time since I left Albuquerque. It wasn’t mean or vengeful, it was a sweet message. I won’t repeat it here, not because I think he’ll read it; I think it’s safe to say he’ll never read this blog again. I will say that it was clear to me that he had read some things that hurt him, that he had continued to hold out hope, perhaps of some sort of reconciliation, and that now he wants to leave us behind for good.

Part of me is happy that he wants to now move forward, but I didn’t realize how stuck he was. I didn’t know that he still harbored hope that we would reunite. I thought he was on his way down a healing path the same way I am trying to be. I thought we were in touch because we were friends, and because our familiarity with one another is a comfort while we try to negotiate new lives apart. I told him this in a return text. I never heard back.

I know that he read about a recent romantic entanglement I had. I know this because virtually no one reads this drivel, and in the statistics I can see the “hits” on any particular article by day. On Tuesday of this week I can see all of the articles that he viewed. So I know what he knows. That is not the way I wanted him to find out. The entire time we were together it was always an arm-twist to get him to read anything of mine, so I’m surprised he took the time. We’re also not friends on Instagram anymore, where this stuff is linked. I didn’t even know he knew I wrote regularly. Maybe I mentioned it at some point, but I don’t remember.

I don’t lie. Not very often, anyway. I’m really bad at it. But I remember what it feels like to be caught in a lie, and that’s exactly how I felt when I received M’s late-night text on Wednesday morning. It was a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. My heart raced, and I felt embarrassed. I felt like I had CHEATED.

It’s been over two years since our relationship ended. I know that I’m allowed to explore new avenues of sex and love. I didn’t just run out and bang the first guy I saw. It took me almost a year to even think about sleeping with someone again, and there were very few feelings involved when I finally did. Did M think I was saving myself to get back together with him? I’m a lonely single woman, and the bloom is definitely almost off the rose, so I’ve got to make connections while I still can and want to.

I know I’m justifying my dalliances here, and I’m also fully aware that I don’t have to. I’m just working out my feelings.

I didn’t cheat. Not once in the 24-and-a-half years we were together, and certainly not now.

I’m not responsible for his feelings. I know that, too. I also know that I’m not responsible for his healing. But I feel a world of hurt for my friend because I care about him very much and I know he’s in pain. I know that pain, I’ve been there too. It was inevitable that one of us would move forward more than the other. Or move differently, I guess. His way of healing is probably healthier than mine. He works through things. I work around them. He seeks solace on his bike and with his cat. I seek solace in the company of others and noisy distractions.

So I’ve officially lost my best friend in the world. I’m extremely sad that we won’t talk anymore. The loss is profound, and it feels even worse than the last time we cut ties, when I first left New Mexico. I’ve been on the brink of tears all week, my concentration is ruined again, and I feel like a husk, like something that will simply fall to bits and blow away in the wind. Maybe that would be for the best. What am I without this friendship?

It also pains me that he held out hope. I was as clear as I could be that we were done. I moved several states away for space and clarity. It pains me to think that he didn’t believe me. It pains me to think that he didn’t think I was capable. It pains me to think that he must have thought I made the decision easily, because he thought it could be undone. It pains me to know that he didn’t believe in my agency, in my ability to think for myself and make decisions for my own benefit.

But I don’t blame him. I must have given the impression for so many years of being someone who didn’t have agency. I misled him. I misled him, and myself, for half our lives. It’s a tragedy on so many levels. I was taught to be disingenuous, and so I was. I betrayed us both, and I am paying the price.

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