This is the last time I'll be posting on this blog. Since the relationship is over, I thought I would say goodbye officially and then let it all go into the ether.
Thelma and I didn't work out for a lot of reasons, many of which are between the two of us. One of the big ones is that I could never get past what happened in January, when we split up the first time. I remained afraid of her anger and her tendency to lash out physically when she got mad. Maybe because I grew up in that kind of environment, I never trusted her not to hurt me again. I knew in my heart that she couldn't do anything to get that trust back from me. It was just gone.
Unfortunately, at the end, her family got involved and really lashed out and hurt me, too. They never really wanted me there, and because of things that were said and done, I believe that all along I was the scapegoat for everything they didn't like about her and her "lifestyle". It had to have all been my fault, right? They threw all kinds of names at me (and psychological diagnoses...it was ridiculous). I felt every word. It really, really hurt. If they're reading this, I hope it gives them great pleasure to know that they threw further hurt onto a woman who is as hurt as a woman can be.
They said that I invited my ex-husband down to spend Labor Day weekend with us and that surely I could understand why that would hurt Thelma. Well, that wasn't true. He asked if he could come down that weekend and pick up his cat, who was and is very sick. He didn't want me to have to drive up to MD to bring her back. He was then going to go on further into the mountains and camp or get a hotel for a few nights. He simply wanted to either meet up somewhere close-by or drop by and pick up his cat. He didn't plan to stay at the house or interfere with us in anyway. (Though she had been in his house twice with me, never thinking that maybe it would rattle his nerves a little.) Sean was going to come with him, too (our son), and spend a few days with us while his dad went off camping and exploring the mountains. Paul's girlfriend was going to be out of town with her family that weekend, so she couldn't come. All of that got the final argument started. It was a molehill turned into a mountain for sure, and he felt terrible that his idea for picking up his cat and combining that with a little mountain vacation resulted in our nasty break-up. I was accused of cooking it all up, but that was simply not true. I think it was all an excuse to be angry with me and to try to further isolate me. It backfired, if that was the case. I said to her, "I am not going to shut out the father of my children, and I need to know whether or not you can live with that." Apparently, she couldn't.
But regardless of her feelings, motivation, or actions, I loved Thelma. I loved her for most of my life. I loved her in spite of everything. Part of me still loves her but never wants to see her again. I don't trust myself to be in her presence and not want to grab her in my arms, because the love was so real and so deep on my part. It's just better this way, with me in a completely different state. We brought out the absolute worst in each other; I'll never know why.
I wanted us to bring out the best in each other, but the control and trust issues started the first time we went out to a bar with her friends. She got mad because I was talking to the only man at the table (a married hairdresser). He was as much of a stranger to the conversation as I was, so we began to talk about microbrew beers of the area (at the time, I was really into them). He let me try "Fat Tire," which was made locally, and I ended up ordering one. That got me into big trouble. I should have run the other way then because of the red flags that went up, but I thought it was a little sweet that she was jealous. That was the tiny thread I pulled at which turned out to be the thread that unraveled the entire garment. She seemed to see that incident completely differently than she saw what else happened that night, with a pretty woman (who was crazy for her) trying to unbuckle her belt right there at the table and then following her into the stall to help her when she went to the ladies room. I suppose I wasn't supposed to be jealous about that? I truly don't understand how one compares to the other. I was having a conversation and a beer. No one's hands were on me. I wouldn't have let anyone do that to me, but she did. It was the old double-standard.
From then on, it was obvious she needed to keep me away from other people, because she couldn't trust me or anyone else. She often talked about the "outside world", saying that if we let the outside world in, they would ruin our relationship. Having always been a social creature, I didn't realize what I would be giving up, being so isolated. The whole situation ranged from lonely to scary, depending on how badly we were fighting at the time.
If only she had been able to see how much I loved her and that I would NEVER have cheated on her. Even now, I'm not involved with anyone. I'm healing.
There is a saying in recovery: "Hurt people hurt people."
She was a very hurt person, molested and maligned by many members of her family, and yet she needed approval from the very people who had hurt her. I never understood it, and she didn't seem to really want help for it. I wish she would have gotten some help, because then we might still be together. I just couldn't go on, wondering if she really loved me, wondering if she was just using me, wondering what was going on behind my back (and now I know that something was). She had a need to isolate me, to have me all to herself. Maybe that was the best way for her to keep her stories straight. Maybe it was the only way she felt she could trust me, because she had been so badly hurt. But in the end, I couldn't live that way. It was putting a great deal of stress on me, and I found I could only communicate with certain people without getting into trouble.
The last few hours together were terrible. On the one hand, she said, "If you leave here, you're walking out on the best relationship in the history of the world." I don't think so. I wanted it to be, and I think she wanted it to be, but it wasn't. We fought all the time.
On the other hand, she said, "Good! Now I won't have to put up with your illnesses anymore!" And before I even left the house, she posted on Facebook that she was finally, happily single and that she couldn't take the drama anymore. Okay. Well, neither could I.
But you know? That really hurt. I had been in the ER the day before for heart problems. Now I'm on medication for them. I've also been referred out by my primary care physician to a rheumatologist who specializes in lupus. I seem to have some kidney involvement, which may be part of the reason my blood pressure was going up. Neither my lupus nor my heart was going to get any better with the kind of stress I was under. I needed to rest. I needed quiet. I get plenty of that where I am now - in my ex-husband's townhouse.
Yes, that might sound odd, and it has caused him some problems, I'm afraid. But we truly are only best friends. He has his room and privacy, and I have mine. We weren't romantic with each other before, and we certainly aren't now. I'm gay. I have no interest in being with him or with any other man. But he will always be a part of my life. We had two children together, and we lost one. Anyone who is going to be with either of us has to understand that we have a bond and don't intend to block each other out. That doesn't mean we have a "relationship"; it means we're going to always be there to help the other one out, if needed. It means we'll always be there for our son. It means we will talk and joke and stay in touch. That's all it means.
I'm paying toward fixing the house up and paying off the last of our shared debt (which includes, now, a new AC and furnace - they died a couple of weeks ago), and then he'll be moving into an apartment and I'll take over the mortgage on the townhouse. He's a decent man, and I did a lot of things to hurt him in the beginning of our separation, right after we lost our daughter, no less. I have made my amends to him, my son, my friends, and anyone else who was hurt as part of it all. Thankfully, he accepted my apologies and amends.
I just knew at the time - May 16, 2009 - that I had to go and be with Thelma. I loved her so much that I didn't care who I hurt. I just wanted to be with her and live the rest of my life in her arms. It devastates me to know that's over and will never be. She has moved on already, whereas I am taking my time to heal. I don't plan on dating for awhile. Right now, I can't imagine being with anyone else. She was the love of my life, no matter how it turned out. I don't want anyone else right now.
I'm just resting, getting well, writing, and working. Grad school started last week and is a joy to me. I've become a bit of a workaholic, trying to keep my head up as I battle the grief over the relationship. Nothing will ever compare to how I felt in Thelma's arms. She and her family can say whatever they want to say about me, but I know what we had. I know what we've lost. When I stay busy, I don't hurt so much. It's when I'm trying to go to sleep that all the memories come flooding back in. Only time will heal this deep wound, but I figure if I learned how to go on without my daughter, I'll learn how to go on without Thelma.
It's so hard to write this. No one may ever read it, but I needed to write it. I needed to have a good cry and sit here with the feelings of grief and loss of our relationship.
Yesterday I took my feelings out into the garden and ripped up old plants, dying plants, and weeds. I put in new life and mulched it all. I watered it and watched the droplets fall like tears from the leaves. I sent my innermost thoughts down into the roots to nourish them and to become one with the plants. My ex said that I looked like I was enjoying myself, though we both know I pushed myself a little too hard. Being in the sun and heat isn't good for my lupus, but I needed to get out there and do that gardening. It was good for my soul, if not for my body.
Someday, maybe Thelma will send light and love my way instead of hatred and anger. I am trying to send light and love her way. I'm trying each day to let go of my hurt and anger and just remember how good things were when they were good. We gave it a good try, and even though it ended, I will always remember how it felt to be in her arms. And I will always love her.