Learning to Let Go... - Bubblegum Crisis (Epilogue)
First Iíd like to say thanks for everyone who offered their support or leant their views to my last set of posts, either here, or in PM, or in person. The reflections, advice, and support were invaluable to the decisions I had to make.
Itís been a couple weeks of continuously feeling torn over what happened, and then torn over what I should do. Iíve looked back on a relationship to find a long pattern of neglect that I wasnít expecting. Iíve figured out that Iíve not yet broken my pattern of pursuing unrequited love far longer than reasonable, and that Iím apparently still tenacious in holding on when no one else is. I think tonight Iím finally in a place of resolution where I can start working on stitching things back together.
Though it was our days off, again my gf didnít want to see me. It was another in a long line of avoidance it seemed, and I canít say I was impressed. It wasnít a good time, but it seems it hasnít been a good time forever, and it never will be if I just let it alone. But then today, she texted me to say she had some time to talk today. I managed to talk to my metamour NN first though.
Initially I had hoped to get the answers or perspective that K was unable or unwilling to spend time with me to explain. And letís face it, sometimes our lovers know us better than we know ourselves. The discussion with NN was extremely helpful, and mostly confirmed for me many of the suspicions I had, and he was able to fill in some gaps that I had previously ignored, or glossed over. I also wanted to see where he was, since his relationship is suffering under many of the same behaviours...however heís got some advantages that I didnít have, like daily contact to keep on top of things a bit better than I ever could. My concern was to make sure that I wasnít looking at cutting out at the same time as her primary, that her state of mind wouldnít be impacted badly by my departure, and whether she actually wanted me gone, or if she just didnít know how to ask me to stay.
The next part wasnít easy, and I didnít want to do it, but it needed to be done. Every conversation with K was a chore for her, something that sheíd try to avoid. Something which would stress her out, and in dealing with her current cluster of crises, having me around was just causing tears and heartache for both of us. Her because doing what she wanted to do would hurt me, but avoiding hurting me was too much hassle, and me because I couldnít expect her to hold up her end of things anymore. If she was going to be true to herself, she needed to be free of the expectations that my version of poly would require of her. Our current ideas of poly were incompatible for the moment, and we were in an untenable position to try and hold onto.
I donít like giving up. Iím a stubborn bugger, and any of the worthwhile projects that Iíve completed in my life have been through perseverance and stick-to-it-iveness. Iíve always gained more knowledge and strength by overcoming the things that were hard, than I ever did from those that were easy. But it also means that Iím not good at letting go when itís genuinely required, and Iím very glad I had some people around to help me recognize that.
So I gave my gf what she wanted...freedom. I want to support her and help her through things, as I would any friend, but I can no longer do that under the pretext of her lover. And Iím also exhausted of being the only one trying to make this work, and tired of feeling like the bad guy because of it.
I let her go with love, and will leave the door open for a later time if our mutual needs ever again intersect. And she still loves me in some way...even though her actions scream that I have no place in her life right now. Iím a lot more comfortable knowing she has a good network of people to help her out, so my presence is superfluous. And she was able to affirm for me that weíve both been able to learn and grow from the experience of being together, and while Iíd have liked to do more for her, Iím content at that.
And then I got to swallow. Looking back, I thought it was 6 months ago that our relationship hit the skids. Perhaps as many as 9 and we didnít actually make the 1st anniversary... but it now seems it may be that our relationship never recovered the move between coasts. Thatís a long time to be ignored, put off, neglected, taken for granted, etc. All the crap that came from reading her actions was still there, and mostly confirmed in any way that mattered. And she didnít care...not because she wouldnít want to, but just canít. All she could do was feel guilty if she had hurt me. That just seemed counterproductive when I was trying to help her out by removing stress, not add it. She doesnít have time for me now, so she doesnít have time to worry about how I felt on things. I did let her know I wasnít upset about the sex, and the flings, mostly so my being upset couldnít be written off as simple jealousy.
There should be no mistake. I am hurt, upset, angry, disrespected,...betrayed (a strong word, but when it comes to a breach of trust and honesty, what else is there?). Not to mention a little contemptuous for being the only one willing to put the effort into doing the things that might be difficult. Yeah, Iím pissed. For some reason I could always empathise with the Riley character on Buffy, the 5th season when he left, feeling incredibly un-needed. But this experience has really driven it home. But what purpose would it serve to lay on the hurt and guilt in return? Especially on someone I still care about, and who is ill prepared to deal with any of it, and uninterested in trying. Damage is already done, but itís not overwhelming for me, quite survivable, and I DO have the capacity to carry & bury it. Sure, Iím tore up plenty, but so what...Iíll stay true.
When and if she decides she wants to know, and or wants to try again, when sheís ready to find out, then Iíll tell her. (Although I donít currently have any faith that sheíll ever voluntarily reach that point)
There was still so much left unsaid, even of things that she could or should know right now. But she was spent, and I needed chicken wings. I took her to her door, said my goodbyes, and left her with NN.
The whole thing has been a learning experience, as any relationship is. Iíll itemize the specific lessons later. I think Iíve given all I can for this one, and done everything I can think of to keep things viable. All I can do is hope that it was enough that she (or those reading this nonsense) will not think any less of me for finally hitting my limits.
In the meantime, Iíll just take a bit to suck back, reload, and figure out what happens next. Iím not afraid another relationship, but Iím also not in a rush to replace anything, and I figure it prudent to take a personal inventory.
The mostly unrelated morale of this story: You can plough through anything. Roll with the blows, donít submit, and learn everything you can to become better for each obstacle, challenge or experience. Eventually, the hard things become easy, and the impossible things just become hard.