(con't from prev. post)
guilt has had its presiding place in my programming for longer than i can know. i was raised very conservatively and into a dutifully-followed, oppressive, guilt/fear-based western religion. what shit wasn't shoveled onto me during The Fallout by angry, judgmental, and some hypocritical parties (i/we made a very convenient scapegoat for some who merely needed to point the spotlight in a direction other than their own heaving, filled-to-bursting dark closets), i shoveled onto myself. the foundation was already laid; at two points during the first 8 months, i found myself on the bathroom floor, suicidal. i hadn't wanted to leave J for Z, not per se, but i felt so ashamed of the pain i'd "inflicted" upon J that i decided to lay in the bed/grave i'd made for myself rather than stir up more shit or hurt anyone else. i was not happy. i was not living. i was a zombie. i learned that Broken Heart Syndrome is an actual medical condition that often feels like you're having a heart attack. i didn't sleep (i've never been an insomniac), i cried daily for weeks at a time, i became borderline alcoholic. for a while, i didn't think i deserved to live - and i didn't know what i WAS still living for.
and i never told Z the full truth of it until later. i tried to put up a good front, be a trooper, squash my feelings, hide, force myself to conform, etc. you name it, i tried it. when all i should've done was follow my gut, get out of the relationship with Z, and spend as long as it took (months) on my own, hiding out and healing. i just couldn't do it. "you made your bed; you lie in it."
people....please never do this. if you're doing it now, for any reason, realize that you're just fucking yourself and your life up further. there is NO GOOD REASON for the hell you're putting yourself through.
fast-forward to now.
time IS a healer. eventually i came out of it. there was a lot of very confusing back-&-forth, in&out between me and Z; plenty of pulling away and hiding (later, when i respected myself enough to allow myself the space), and eventually i pulled through and saw the sky again. (literally. sometimes the only thing that kept me breathing was lying out in the yard or the park and listening to the wind through the tree leaves, watching the clouds in the sky pass over slowly, and thinking how small and insignificant all this was in the big scheme of things - that no one was going to die as a direct result of any of these decisions i was making or needed yet to make.)
it was at this point i started realizing that Z and i DID have a lot of fun together. we DID have a lot in common. and he, being a very strong, bold, opinionated and outspoken creature, was starting to rub off on my week, "wishy-washy", just-nod-your-head ways. his influence in my life was helping me to build the courage i'd always needed just to live my life in the ways i'd (vaguely) dreamed. he was GOOD for me. no, it didn't mean i had to try and force myself to feel certain ways about him. no, i didn't have to act like the perfect gf when all i wanted to do was tell anyone who spoke about "commitment" and exclusivity to shove the fuck off. (!!!) it didn't mean i had to kiss him when i didn't feel like it, or try to reciprocate feelings when they just weren't there.
i started going with the flow of how i felt. turned out i really liked having him in my life, even if i didn't want to wear the label of "girlfriend." (it's a mental thing for me - just having the label slapped on something tends to cause me to try to fit the mold or model. old programming. working on it.
) i loved touching/teasing/fucking/pleasing/loving him - even if i didn't necessarily feel "in love" with him, even if i didn't NEEEEEEED him ("or i'll die!"), even if enough of the time i'd rather be without him, alone, or with friends, or even spend a little time with my ex(es).
i LOVE Z. and i don't have to have him. i just want him to be happy, like I want to be happy, and to share the parts of our lives that it makes us happy to share. what's wrong with that?! why does it need a label? who says it needs to fit certain criteria, or that it lacks anything?
it's perfect the way it is, and it simply is what it is.
i know this post has still left holes in "the story." if you've read this far, i want to apologize for the fact that the post could easily rival War & Peace in length (and boredom potential), as well as to THANK YOU SO MUCH for reading it at all (or at least skimming!).
community of this kind and these interests is hard to find 'round these parts... it's really good to be able to put all my cards on the table with people who have, in some way, been there before (and/or are there now).
i seriously welcome any discourse: questions, suggestions, good books, good quotes, any kind of inspiration/motivation, similar stories, as long as it's honest.
go enjoy your day!