That last blog post has proven to be the most…errr…productive? eventful?…thing I’ve ever written.
Backstory: I wrote that blog after a conversation with Mike. I had called him in the morning after a night of talking about engagements and weddings with my roommate. I was feeling confident and optimistic about Mike and I’s relationship. I called him up bubbling over with happy-go-lucky easy-going girly-girl love. His response was…not as enthusiastic as I’d hoped. I asked him what was wrong and he said he was worried about our future together. So funny, every time I’m confident in us he is uncertain, and every time I am uncertain he is confident. I told him to stop having doubts because we were fine and amazing and full of happy happy love! It seemed to work and he seemed to feel better but as soon as I hung up with him I realized it was too late, his doubts had crept into my happy happy heart and were starting to eat away at my confidence.
So I wrote that last blog post because that’s what I do when I’m feeling confused about my own feelings or state of mind: I write down whatever pops into my head and eventually it all makes sense. It worked, I felt a bit better. Then, in a brief moment of impulsiveness, I sent Mike the link to that post. He read it, poured himself an alcoholic beverage, and called me up for a long difficult talk.
End result: we broke up.
Now, it’s not quite as tragic as you might think. We are still friends and we still love eachother…we’re just not dating anymore.
I didn’t think it would make much difference, actually. I mean, we were already separated, I’m still allowed to call him and tell him I love him and miss him. But, surprisingly, it does make a difference, a big one. Just that simple little change in our title for eachother makes a huge difference and it depresses the shit out of me.. Knowing that I can date people now depresses the shit out of me. Knowing that he can date people now depresses the shit out of me. Having to sensor everything I say to him to decide “is that something that’s still acceptable now that we’re not dating anymore” depresses the shit out of me. Having to picture a future without him in it depresses the shit out of me. The fact that every romantic thing I see or hear and every story told to me by a married coworker reminds me of him only to be immediately followed by the realization that such things don’t apply to us anymore, depresses the shit out of me.
Of course, that’s why we broke up. When I realized I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life when I get out of the military, Mike told me to stop trying to come up with something that went fit inside of his future plan. He told me I needed to picture a future without him in it and that was the only way I would figure out what I honestly wanted to do all by myself, and that once I had that figured out we would come up with a way to put the two separate dreams next to each other and stitch them together. So I tried it, and I couldn’t do it. That terrified me. My whole life I have always had a backup plan, an escape hatch, a way to survive and be okay if everything in my world fell apart. And I suddenly realized that for the first time I didn’t have that. I had allowed myself to fully rely on this man and put the entire weight of my future on his shoulders and on my faith that we would never ever break up. And if something went wrong, I would be completely lost in the middle of the ocean with not even the smallest piece of driftwood to cling to. That was terrifying, unhealthy for me, and not fair to him.
So we broke up and now we’re taking some time to work on ourselves. He needs to focus on his career and stop letting himself get distracted by daydreams of me and our future together. He also said he needs to get stronger.
But I’m the one who really needs some work. I’ve been seeing a therapist and she has put names to a couple of character flaws I always knew I had but just never pinned down into words before.
Meggo’s Problem #1: I have never had a chance to experiment and make my own decisions and make mistakes. These are all things that are necessary to build personal boundaries and a strong sense of self.
Meggo’s Problem #2: I have no boundaries or sense of self. This makes it very easy to lose myself in a relationship and get absorbed into the other person. This is what allowed me to end up a slave to an emotionally abusive and life sucking marriage. My current relationship with Mike is the opposite of abusive, but this no boundaries thing is still a huge problem because even though Mike isn’t trying to control me or anything, just him having a strong confident personality is enough to cause my personality to wither and get absorbed into his. Like a tiny flower planted right next to a big tree: I’m not big enough to reach the light when someone so big and strong is so close to me. I need to be planted somewhere else for awhile, somewhere big and open, until I get big and strong enough in my own right to survive next to a big tree.
Meggo’s Problem #3: I don’t know who I am, therefore I have no direction, there fore I am generally unhappy and filled with feelings of stagnation and being lost.
Meggo’s Problem #4: I never took time to heal from my past marriage and to process all the thoughts and feelings I had from its failure, this means I brought all of that negativity and anxiety and anger right along with me into my new relationship.
Solution: I need to take some time for myself. I need to try new things, I need to make decisions, I need to make mistakes, I need to start accumulating a list of things I like, things I don’t like, and things that set me apart from other people. In this way I will begin to define my core self and to build boundaries around that core self and create a strong internal image of who I am so that I can be in a relationship and, rather than melting away into that person, keep us as two separate strong people working together to build a relationship within the space between our two separate selves. Along the way I will also hopefully find a goal for myself that will give me a direction to follow.
In essence, I’m going all the way back to the plan I had before I met Mike, the plan I set aside because he was more important, a plan that should never have been delayed or ignored.
It seems to be working. Already my head feels clearer and less filled with panic and uncertainty. I didn’t realize that I had created some twisted stepford-wife view of my future with Mike until we broke up and I could see a more realistic future: one that has me in tank tops and ripped jeans instead of a 1940’s dress and apron. One that has me painting when Mike gets home or running off to the bar to work instead of planning a 3 course dinner.
I’ll try to keep you posted on other developments as this goes on. WISH ME LUCK! I’m pretty sure I’ll need it…