Not In Kansas Anymore...

Click your heels, and see if home is where you hang your hat, or somewhere else inside yourself as this simple, postmodern girl takes on L.A.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

So that's it, we're done. We broke it off tonight, after I had spent all day just absolutely miserable. I knew it was what I had to do, but the more the day wore on, the more weepy I got about it.

Then there were the emails. All "I'm sorry" and "I miss you" and "I'm thinking of you alot " and finally, one he signed, "Love you, hon. I really do." That one put me over the edge. Why? Because I hit some sort of wall inside myself that was like, "I can't DO this anymore." I'm fucking wrung out from the huge horrible ugliness of yesterday, and can't even get it together to leave the house, and crying and all this shit, and after informing me last night that he really thinks I might be better off with someone else, driving it home, making sure I understand, WELL after I told him , "you know, I think I'm falling in love with you", and reminding me today to "think about what I said", NOW he says, "love you." ???

Doesn't that beat all? I just had this image in my head of this thing being pushed and pulled between us, and I'm always the one left holding the emotional bag. Does that make sense? I doubt it, but I just felt like, every time I step out and away and try to put my foot down and set a boundary for MYSELF, he's on me like a sad pup. I'm sorry for all that mess. I'm missing you. I can't stop thinking of you. I want to snuggle with you. I'm going to quote this love song. I'm going to say something suggestive of growing love for you.

I don't think he means to be manipulative, I don't think he's conscious of it, I don't even know what it all means, really. I doubt he does himself. I just know I don't know, because he's Mr. Mystery Man, where every time I think I know what's going on, we're "Just Dating", or "you're being pushy" or "I don't like....." Ugh.

If I had to harbor a guess, I think it's when he feels vulnerable or put on the spot at any time, with any kind of demands to declare his feeling or behave or WHATEVER, he pushes away, gets defensive, gets cagey. And then when he sees me back off and get remote because I don't want to play games, he just can't bear it. I DO think it comes from genuine feeling, versus just sick thrill out of seeing me suffer or enjoying the game. I don't think he enjoys it. I can see it on his face, and I can see it when he's upset about something that's gone wrong. I just think he doesn't know what else to do, and HAS to be in control all the time. Absolutely fucking has to. I think he probably feels way too vulnerable if he's not.

Says the pot, calling the kettle black. I know. I know. I was advised that this might say this would end up being a power struggle for Who's In Charge? Once again, those who said as much were right. I can say ( in that oh-so-snide-and-self-righteous-way) that I was willing to share it. I conceded alot. I'm trying ot handle my vulnerable times better. Hell. I'm going back to therapy to do it.

So anyway, I couldn't take it anymore and just called him and he came over. I told him I hated the way he talked to me. I told him it was rude and demeaning and insulting, the whole thing. That there wasn't one thing I felt I could have done right last night- be submissive, be dominant, ask how he's feeling, tell him how I am, fight with him, sit and listen, try and paraphrase, try not to paraphrase and use exact words, try not to fight at all, NOTHING worked. And that I didn't know how to talk to him in conflict. I didn't know how. And that I just couldn't figure it out, didn't know what to do. But that I never wanted to do *that* again.
That's when he decided to start Round Two, by asking, "why are you telling me this?"

Me: I thought you might want to know how I was feeling, like you might care?
Him: What do you want me to do with that information?
Me: Well, I thought it MIGHT go toward fixing some damage.
Him: How are we gonna do that, Jess? How do we do that?
Me: Well, I guess we figure out how to talk to each other, or try understand where the other one is coming from. Clearly, I may have been mistaken on that.
Him: There's no trying here! We are too different. You really need someone to be able to work this shit out with you like this. I have no interest in it. I did that for 4 years with my ex and I have cut that part out of myself, you know? I am just tapped out with it. I have nothing left to give in that way.....I'm so sick and tired of that, I would rather die alone. I mean it.
Me: Okay, then, I guess we're done.
Him: That's what I'm saying.
Me: I got it.
Him: I mean, seriously. If this is a part of relationships, as they work, then I want no part of it. I have never seen this "talking it out, and you said and I said and I felt and blah blah blah" thing work. Have you?
Me: Yup. Works pretty well, actually. Not in this situation, apparently, and last night was an instance that it doesn't work. It doesn't always work. But I've had it work alot.
Him: I have NEVER seen it work, or produce progress. I have sat in seminars, read books on it, tried it, and it always ends up like it did last night.
Me: Hmmm. I hear you.
Him: I mean, you can say it works with your friends, Jessica, but they're not fucking you, they're not in this kind of relationship with you.
Me: True.
Him: I just can't STAND it. I cannot deal with it. I mean, I know I was an ass in there last night, I didn't help things get better. But whenever anyone- ANYONE- starts coming at me with some kind of construct or an "I said/you said/what I meant was/no what I mean was this" I guess I have this raw nerve. I have this visceral reaction and I cannot do it. I cut that part out of myself with a rusty knife like a spoke out of a wheel. I will. NOT. do it.
Me: How do you solve things, then, Anthony? I'm honestly asking. I think there alot of ways to solve problems in relationships, or conflicts. Talking it out is one way. There are others. I'm not saying its the only way. What's another way you like to use? What else works?
Him: I don't know. I haven't a clue. All I know is that I can't do this. And I could be totally wrong and die alone. But that's where I am right now. And I think you need someone to be different than that.
Me: You're right. I do. So.
Him: So.
Me: That's it. We're done.
Him: Okay then.
Me: It makes me sad.
Him: Why does it have to?
Me: Because I liked you! I had feelings for you! I had hopes!
Him: I liked you too, I had hopes too! But I know that we're in two different places, and we tried and it failed, and that's it.
Me: Yeah, well, that's sad.
Him: It is what it is. Life and death. That's all there is. The rest is just what we put in between.

This was followed by a lengthy rant on how he "wasn't really part of this world, anymore, anyway", as he was living like "an exile, gone and back, gone and back." I could practically hear the subscript: "I'm a loner, Dottie, a rebel...." from "Pee Wee's Big Adventure". And upon reflection, I saw him compartmentalizing it all away so he could leave it behind and feel nothing. Except I notice with him, that never really works. He puts it into a box called "Live While You're Alive and Enjoy It, Dammit" and then gets more and more pissy and distant.

EX: He wanted to know if I wanted to be friends, and I said, probably, as I genuinely liked him, but I didn't really wanna see him anymore while he was home. But I told him to sit a bit and chat and tell me what was up for him next. He did, but it was like asking him to do dentistry, and included another defensive rant on how he could get blown up tomorrow, so it doesn't really matter, etc. This from the man who isn't sad, or Mr. "That's It".
I finally turned it around by telling him how much I believed in his talents and gifts to the world, and how I had faith that it would come together for him, the artmaking, the warrior archetype, all of it. He said, "Thank you for saying that. " He got up to leave and I said, "hey, now. I need some time. I can't see you for the rest of your stay, but..." ( "I know. I know. You said that. I know." ) " me when you get in in December and tell me how you're doing. PLEASE be safe. Don't get blown up. I'll keep you in my prayers, for what that's worth to you, and know that someone in the States cares about what happens." I leaned in to hug him, and he hugged me back and said, "Be happy, honey. Just be happy. Life's too short." I said I would and he left.

I wondered if I just brought it home to him that he can't have The Girl and The Job, and if he was feeling a bit resigned to his life and if he was sad about it. You kinda had to be there to listen to him talk the way he was to know why I ponder that; it's certainly not out of arrogance believing he was madly in love. There's no answering it, I know, and I could stand around wondering. I probably will. But I doubt if I'll ever know. I don't even know what it meant to him, really. I believe he genuinely cared and certainly liked me a great deal. Beyond that, the truth lives inside of him and it's unlikely we'll ever get it out.

As for me, I'm hella sad. I'm heartbroken. I see now all the guys this year who came before him, as skinned knees. This one went deep. I don't get connections like that often. But as he said to my saying that, "just because there's a connection doesn't mean it's going to work." ( Thank you for stating the obvious, Mr. Men-Are-From-Mars, et al.) . I miss him already. In a twisted way, its sorta lucky for me he doesn't even live here half the time. I don't even have to worry about THAT awkwardness or any wacked out attempts at reconciling in an "I May Hate Myself In the Morning, But I'm Gonna Love You Tonight" country-song kinda way. Clean break.

It sucks nonetheless, and I know it's gonna be awhile. Sadly, I'm getting used to it.