For the first time in months–I don’t know how many days, I don’t count anymore–I looked back at his window. And for the first time ever, he was there. I burst out laughing. Because I saw him exactly as he is to me now. A small man. A distant figure so crouched over his own words that he never truly saw me.
I will always remember this day. I laughed all the way home. Because today, on May 19th 2014, I realised that I do not love this man anymore. He has hurt me too much and not given enough back for me to keep loving him. I know he didn’t mean to, but he made me feel small and weak and needy and undesirable. He made me feel like less of a woman. And I keep coming back to Maya Angelou.
It doesn’t matter how much I loved him. He didn’t make me feel good.
Everyone has been admitting that they could never understand what I saw in him. And while I understand where they are coming from, I know exactly what I saw. I saw his potential, I saw the man he could be. And maybe that was my mistake. Yesterday I told him that he never failed to disappoint and he suggested I lower my standards. But I refuse to do that. The standards come hand in hand with potential. And if he can’t–or won’t– reach them, then I’m not interested.
I learnt a lot from this relationship. I learnt that love is enough…but only if both of you think so. I learnt that I love fucking deeply. I learnt that I believe physical and verbal affection are the bare minimum, not a luxury. I learnt that I am so much stronger than I thought. And I learnt that sometimes all you can do is let go–and that there is strength in that–but you cannot let go until you are ready.
The break-up itself was amicable, even if it wasn’t mutual. I focused a lot on understanding where he was coming from. Another lesson: I am a giver. It took me a long time to get angry. Other people had to point it out to me. I was so busy trying to understand him that I didn’t have the energy to stand up for myself. Another lesson: giving to others should never take away from taking care of yourself.
The aftermath has made us bitter. I don’t know why he is bitter. And then, maybe he doesn’t care enough to be bitter. For me, every time I saw him, I was so overwhelmed by grief that it was all I could do to keep my shit together. He said he could see how I was feeling just by looking at me. He said this like it was a bad thing. This is another reason why I cannot love this man. I am a vibrant, passionate, deep, raw, emotional, feisty woman and I will not fucking apologise for feeling so intensely. I know I can be ridiculous and irrational and psychotic. I know I have gone to places so dark they still scare me. I’ve felt more loneliness in my twenty-nine years than a lot of people experience in a lifetime. But I would never want to be like him–so capable of controlling emotion, rarely ecstatic, never devastated. That’s not real and it’s not fun. What is the point of feeling if it doesn’t sear you?
It has taken me a long time to admit that I have suffered a lot in my life. Finally, almost thirty, I can show myself the compassion I give to others so easily. Finally, I can appreciate how much I have endured, even if I felt pathetic while I was going through it. And now that I am learning to embrace my pain, learning to see the silver lining while the clouds are still forming, I am grateful that I feel so much. Because he might never be miserable but, shit, I have lived.
And now, as I write this, I can’t stop smiling. I feel fucking triumphant! Because I did it! I was tired when he met me. I was tired a long time before he met me. Tired of fighting my own mind, tired of being positive, tired of having to endure. I was a broken spirit. And then, just as I was getting my shit together, he gave me one more thing to survive. And I did. After five months of agony, I can say this: I pulled through (again). And I’m over it. I’m over him. I am so over him.