Tribble. You know those cute fluffy balls of fur from star trek that multiply if you give ’em even the tiniest bit of affection? Well, love is like that. It is not like a jar holding 10 units of love, and when you give it all away you are left with nothing. The more you love, the more love you have.
That being said, I’ve had one of my crazy epiphanies again and decided to make you all happy by sharing it. (Yeah, I’m the greatest!)
I’ve been feeling kinda down this last week or so. Hurt and lonely and pretty much like a hedgehog – all those pointy sharp thingies pointing outwards protecting me. Keeping everyone at bay. Scared to death to get hurt ones again. Everyone is always leaving me, better stay alone and so on. You know the deal. So, I took a shower. A long one. I don’t know why, but I usually relax and get my thoughts straightened out the best in the shower. I guess I am not the best at conserving water though, since I tend to really loose track of time when I’m there in my own little shower world…
Anyway, I felt absolutely terrible, thinking about how my ex hurt me, feeling even more terrible because I should not feel terrible about that anymore – I mean we broke up over a year ago! Talk about sad and idiotic to still be upset about it! I have a tendency to over-analyze my feelings and to rationalize them instead of just feeling. Then when I try to feel what I feel, I tend to get all upset and anxious and really, really self-judging if what I feel do not coincide with what I think I should feel.
So, being upset with my ex a year after we broke up, is not acceptable – according to my self-judging critic. I might be allowed to still be a little angry and hurt, but not to the cause the level of anxiety I have been feeling this last week.
Thinking back though, I realized that when I do get to this level of anxiety, it is usually due to some unresolved issue. Due to something that is so hard for me to accept, that I cannot even think it. I also know from experience, that once I get myself to dig that thing up, allow myself to think it, then I realize that it wasn’t that big of a deal really. It just went against what I had rationalized that I should feel. I tend to forget; feelings seldom listen to reason. To get this block dissolved and whatever feelings I have buried up in the open, I need to put my inner critic on pause though. That is tricky. Sadly, it usually means I have to go through days of anxiety before I am so exhausted I just can’t take it anymore. Then I take a long, warm shower and then it might manage to force me to relax and then my inner critic might finally be silent for a while.
So, after first spending some time feeling what I rationalized I should feel (angry, hurt etc) , I got so tired I just wanted to give up. Not like dying, but like never feeling anything again. So I just did. I just stopped myself. Then I realized that once again it is my conflicted feelings that causes me to lock up and feel all hurt.
Yes, I do feel hurt. Especially because my ex said that she never felt I let her come close. She also said she felt like I just waited for her to leave, that I never expected our relationship to last. That is not true. I’ve never let anyone as close as I let her. She was also the first one ever that I actually expected to stay, no matter what. When I finally broke up with her, I still expected us to get back together, because in my mind back then, that was how it should be. That she felt that I felt and thought the complete opposite, that hurt me deeply.
I am also angry at her, because she did not speak up. A relationship cannot work if you do not talk to each other. She said, she had never been able to talk to me. Well, I had difficulties talking too, but at least I tried. I am angry with her for not even trying – she told me afterwards she gave up even trying already in the beginning of our relationship – something I have had difficulties to accept. If I had known that, we would never have lasted as long as we did. A relationship cannot work, if you do not even try to communicate.
So I rationalized that it is okay that I feel hurt and angry, but also that since it’s been a year, I should have been able to accept it and let it go by know. What confused me even more is that I think I have. I get a little irritated and at times I’d just like her to answer the question “Why?” as in why did she stay with me? How on earth did she ever imagine that our relationship would work on those premises? And most of all, if she did not know how to talk to me, that meant she did not let me close to her, so should that not explain why she felt I did not let her close to me? A relationship between two people requires that both people work to make it work, after all.
So, I have this rational feeling that I did feel, but they are starting to fade away, but for some reason I cling to them. I cling to them as a defense shield. I realized, that they are safer for me, that facing what I actually feel. At the same time, clinging to anger and hurt makes me miserable.
Then, somehow, a thought came to me. I do not know from where, I was starting to get so tired at feeling anything, and at think about feelings. So this crazy thought came to me, asking me that if she was so horrible, why was I with her? Well, because I loved her and because she actually ain’t that horrible. She’s actually quite nice. Kinda slow in her actions, and I had a real hard time getting her humor, but other than that she is a really lovely person. She’s kinda “the girl next door”. And she’s an excellent cook. Great at hugging. She has a great deal of patience, which a person wanting to be in my life really needs.
So, what happened to this love? I then find myself asking myself. The critic in me tried to stop myself, coming with arguments like “she lied to me by not telling me she could not talk to me and thus making our entire relationship a lie” and so on. My inner critic did not have enough strength anymore though, so I continued to think about love, and loving my ex.
That was when I put the thought out there, in my head. I finally thought the words. I still love my ex. I am angry and hurt and I love her. At first, I wanted to scream. I mean, that is pathetic, my inner critic told me. It did have even less strength now then. So now that I had taken the lid away, opened the lock, and realized what the conflicting emotion was, it all came out and I realized it was not conflicting.
You see, I have been genuinely happy for my ex, when she found a new girlfriend last winter. Which I have explained with being so angry with her that I don’t care if someone else “has” her. It is not that though, I realized. I am happy for her, because I love her, and I want her to be happy. I hope this new person makes her happy. I did not, and to be frank, she did not make me happy either. Love is not always enough. It should be, but it is not. We were and are so different. I love her, she makes me angry, and she did make me at times more miserable than happy. It took me until now to realize that and confess it though. Someone you love should not be able to make you miserable. I was though. I felt I had to change all the time. She always held me back. I know I can be impulsive, and it is good for me to think before acting, something she thought me, but there is a time when you spend too much time thinking before acting. I spent quite a lot time feeling chained down.
I guess she felt I made her life loose control and get all chaotic though. I run from place to place, so to speak, from her point of view. Not realizing that from my point of view we were crawling through mud.
So, we made each other unhappy. The two of us together, is not a good thing. I love her, I want her to be happy. I also love myself, and I want to be happy too. I can’t see us together AND happy, so we need to be in other relationships. If she is happy with her new girlfriend, I am happy for her, because I love her. As for me? Like I said, love is a tribble. That I love her, does not mean I cannot love anyone else. As a matter of fact, the more I love, the more love I have to give others.
I love my friends too. I don’t think they know how much. I love my cats. I love my mom and brother. I love a lot. That does not mean there are not room in my heart for loving more people. Or that the love I am capable of feeling for them would in any way be diminished by me also loving others.
Love feeds on love.
I love my ex. I hope she is happy. I love myself and now that I got that lock away, I feel content again. I have a lot going for me. For the first time in my life, I have this last year been trying to figure out what I want with my life. I focus on me. It has been hard, I am kinda lost, but this summer have been incredible. I have not felt this good for years. I have a lot of plans and projects, all of them that helps me feel complete.
I do not have a romantic relationship, but I have friends. And who knows? Maybe I’ll meet someone, someday. That is not the focus of my life though. I have never wanted a clingy and needy relationship – that was one good thing with my ex; she always gave me space. She was not clingy. In my point of view, a good relationship is when both are content with being alone, having their own life and do not need the other one, BUT they chose to be with the other one because they WANT TO (not need to) and the relationship gives both that extra in life that you can live without, but you’d rather not.
Love feeds on love.
And PS. With “love” I do NOT mean “want to have sex with”! Sex and love have surprisingly little to do with each other.