How do you let go?

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I settled down for bed tonight with an Ativan, dim lights, and some quiet surfing on Facebook until I was drowsy. Then I snuggled into bed with BunBun, one of the kittens, and some quiet music; hoping this time I’d drift off peacefully. It’s been a busy day filled with grocery shopping, swimming, taking the kittens for a walk, writing, and phone calls… by all rights I should be tired. My eyes fluttered shut and I thought, “L never found out about the kittens and now he’ll never know. I won’t ever be able to tell him how sweet Jeremy is with Lara… how Smudge tries to nurse off my stuffed animals as she goes to sleep.”

No one ever taught me how to go on living around the empty space in my heart. No one ever explained how to encourage it to close. There’s surgery for physical holes, what do you do for the emotional ones?

L and I talked every day… all day… for years. Every time messenger chimes, I think it’s him. We talked about everything from meals to philosophy to his hopes and fears about transitioning to my hopes and fears about writing. And we weren’t scared to get downright weird with each other. We were each other’s soul dragons… and then we weren’t. And it hurts so much.

Dear L,

It’s been almost two months since we talked. It seems like almost a lifetime. I’ve bought new (to us) living room furniture and two adorable kittens. You’d love the kittens. Not so much the furniture but, then again, they aren’t really my style either. They are comfy though.

I’ve worked on my novel, scrapbooked, camped, and organized a trip to Niagara Falls for Jeremy and myself. Just 18 more days until we leave. It’s a trip you would love, complete with a tour behind the falls and a trip to a butterfly conservatory. I remember how you talked about your trip to Ontario. If we were still talking, I’d buy you a surprise from the Hershey’s chocolate store. I still have stamps left over for all the cards I knew I’d write to you.

Jeremy’s furious with you but they’re the one who got to see the aftermath of us breaking up and me being blocked. I don’t know what they did with the stuffed cat you gave me. I’m pretty sure they simply hid it but I haven’t asked. They’ve changed pronouns too, which makes a kind of sense since they were your pronouns first. You were the first man they’d trusted in a long time so I guess their anger is understandable. I know you were happy when they put you down as stepfather on Facebook. It was a huge step for them. You were mad at me in June. Did you think of them? I guess they were probably just collateral damage in a war none of us wanted.

It’s so hot these days here. You’d hate it. Forty degrees with the humidex and 30 degrees before that. It’s humid enough that I was carrying cold drinks home in a plastic bag and condensation was forming on the outside of the bag to drip on the ground. Kind of like my own personal rain cloud but smaller and less pretty. Everything feels sticky and uncomfortable. I have to peel myself off chairs and I’m pretty sure falling outside on the pavement would result in 3rd degree burns.

Jeremy’s been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which explains their rages and depressions. Their medication is helping so much. Jeremy bought me the laptop I’m typing on and we’ve both applied for subsidized one bedroom apartments. It will take a few years before we each move and they’re hoping we move into the same building so we can hang out regularly. They talk about it every day.

I don’t know how you could promise to love me forever and change your mind. I don’t know how you could promise to be my friend then block me for asking for the friendship back. I guess I’ll never know and that’s one of the hard things. There’s no closure, no way to say goodbye.

I wish our friendship could have gone on forever. That I could be there to listen to your voice deepen and watch as you grow your first beard. That we could joke about trash pandas and dream about a trip under the northern lights. That we were still swapping good night pictures and counting down for a visit this October. I found the perfect birthday card for you too. The reminder’s off my phone to get you a double chocolate doughnut before I leave.

I hope you’re doing well and have finally gotten reimbursed for your travel expenses. I hope your kitties are treating you kindly and your back is doing better. I hope you’re happy.

Love always, me

p.s. How do I learn how to let go, especially since you’ve already walked away

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8 thoughts on “How do you let go?

  1. Well, I for sure don’t know how anyone deals with these things. That includes how to live with it, as well as how to, theoretically, let go. Do people let go? I guess in some sense yes.

  2. I know this post is from months ago and probably you’ve already figured a lot of things out by yourself, but I’ve been on my own process and stopped reading the blog for a while. Your relationship and your vreakup remind me A LOT of a relationship and a breakup I had almost exactly a year ago. The relationship had been going for years, it was even longer than my father and my stepmother’s relationship. We were extremely close and pretty much everything in the way you describe your relationship reminds me of that one story. Now, however, I lived it the other way around. I was the trans one who’d angst over being trans or Gqueer, she was the asexual one. I was the one who got andgry and did not wanted to see her ever again, she was the one who told me she did not knew what happened and kept insisting on talking when I did actually not wanted to see her ever again. I was the one who walked away and knew it could never be the same again, she’s the one who insisted on talking. Each time I read you talk about this I remember that and wonder if it would be of any help to get my input of what it was like for me in such past relationship. Of course, I’m sure many things MUST be different and I do not know how much my input would really help, but I keep having this “if it could do SOME good, maybe I should try”, kind of feeling.

    I don’t know about you, (more than those things I read about in your blog) but in our case I was the one carrying a lot of weight in the relationship. I didn’t told her how hard some things we’re for me because I felt responsible of being able of carrying it all on my own. I wanted to do so. Also, since she was already feeling down I did not wanted to be the one breaking in and complaining AND/OR bringing bad news. It was emotionally exhausting. If I felt bad, I did not wanted to break those bad news to her in order not to make her feel worse, and If I felt fine, I felt guilty of feeling that way when she was miserable. It had a lot to do with being trans* and a lot to do with being in a long distance relationship. I was in a “everything is crumbling down” period and I felt even more useless because of the distance. I couldn’t phisically help (give a hug, drop by her house and help her on work or house duties or whatever, and wasn’t in a point in my life were I could actually deal with such a complicated relationship. I knew she was depressed, I was too, and knowing we were BOTH depressed did not helped at all, on the contrary. It made me feel even more miserable to know the person I cared about was also feeling like a piece of sh¨t.

    I felt fully depended on. I had to be strong for both of us. I had to somehow make her happy when I could barely even understand (or believed) making myself happy. i felt responsable for making her life better, and I was barely even able of making mine better.

    We were in different moment’s of our lives, I kept thinking. I had already understood It would always be harder for me to relate with everyone else, took the challenge and raised my shoulders. I did not care for not fitting anymore. On the other hand, transitioning (at least for me) was at the same time making me feel better and miserable. Transitioning from F to something closer to Male has it’s weeeeird contradictions. I felt that, by admitting I COULDN’T change my inner gender or decide it, I was somehow becoming less manly. Admitting you do not have control, from a patriarchal society point of view, might seem feminine. Even if you can change it. You should “endure it”. Be tough. Somehow manage it. Keep the lie ’till the end. Not give in. Im pretty sure that’s why estadistically you find less transguys than transgirls. Transguys are also there but are less willing to admit, to themselves or to the others, they weren’t in control. Feminism (ironically) does not help. You keep asking yourself over and over which of your uncomfortabilities with your body has to do with the fact your trans* and which of those have to do with your view on women. And it’s INSANE to sorta figure that out. There are some questions you do not even want to start asking, let alone answering. At this point in time I still do not now if I am a transguy or genderqueer and I’m not actually sure I’ll ever know. I’m not even sure if I want to ask anymore.

    It’s angst time. Transitioning is suposed to be about releasing yourself (and it is!) but at the same tame F to maler is damn angst!!! Over and over and over again. Eventually it settles. But it’s damn complicated. It’s a little bit like walking in a rope like in the circus. Not to much to the left, not too much to the right, you’ve gotta… keep the balance. In a very slim road.

    (You can do it! xD)

    So, back to the relationship, it also made me feel angsty. Knowing she was asexual did not helped. Sure, sex hadn’t been a problem so far, but I wasn’t asexual. I wanted sex in a loving relationship, and letting go of that was also a process. Of course, I would not stop loving her because of that, but I needed to step back and reorganize myself. I was faced with a choice. Either I gave up the idea of having love and sex (like I have dreamt of originally), or either I gave up on us having one. I honestly had to think about it. Sure, sex is just sex and I could get sex anywhere else (maybe she wouldn’t mind, after all, wouldn’t she get for me it was something I needed?) but I would have to resign to the idea of having love and sex separatedly. She did not seemed to understand this was and issue. We loved each other, didn’t we? Everything would be all right. Well, yeah, it would, as long as we both WORKED to make it alright! That’s sort of how it is. It wouldn’t fix itself. One of her conceptions kept being something around “It’s all about love, sex is not important” But in my case it was. Of course, not MORE important than love, but still important. I did not wanted to put pressure on her, but she was making hard for me even to talk about it. Even worse, she seemed to think since it hadn’t been an issue SO FAR, it wouldn’t ever be an issue. And it’s not like that. Sure, I was trans* and had disphoria and wasn’t really comfortable with sex at the point, but I was also very aware of my own sexual needs and sometimes I even had to deal with all the post-angst it would give me because, f*ck it, my body also had it’s necesities.. Sure. I was keeping it as closest to cero I could at the time, but I eventually expected that to be over, as soon as I figured out a way of dealing with miss damn disphoria.

    A couple of months after she and I had started talking, I had a sudden realisation: We werent the same. Not in all of the things I considered important. This was waaaaay before knowing she was asex or understanding I was trans. But from that moment on, that realization grew bigger and bigger. For her, our similarities seemed to be enough, for me they weren’t. And the more I tried to keep up with her and resign to our differences, the worst it was since she was constantly speaking of how we were the same. And maybe I did not thought exactly that. Differences kept being added to the next one. Different life plans. Different sexual interests. Different ways of dealing with people. And each time we had a problem like that (important) I wanted to talk about it and find a way to sort it out. She on the other hand said it would be allrigth since we were already pretty alike!

    Well, no. It does not work like that.

    All that, plus the added responsability/guilt I felt over her, plus my transitioning, came to the point where I was just about to explode. I did not wanted to fight. I tried my best to avoid it by avoiding her when I felt angry. And then she complained. She complained about me not being around since she needed me at the time.

    Oh, really?!!

    I pretty much send her to hell at that point.

    I cooled my head after that. I was mature enough to know it wasn’t her fault. I was mature enough to recognize MY own faults in the matter. I was not mature enough for controlling my anger anyway. I couldn’t. I was waaaay to mad. Waaaaay over mad. I just did not wanted to talk to her. AT ALL.

    It’s been a year since that. At this point, we barely talk to each other. I’ve tried explaining all this to her, but I’ve not really succeded. I sometimes still wonder, when I’m about to go to sleep, how similar we really are. Are we really all that similar? Sure, we have some similarities.

    I’m pretty sure now I do not want to date her again. I’m not sure of what to do of her either. I’m aware now I cannot deal with some aspects of her personality. It’s not that I’m better, it’s just I can’t deal with that. Those aspects of her personality that made us impossible to talk to each other and fix things. I’m also aware she’s always been like that. I do not know what to do of that after all. Is it bad to let her go? Some may say it’s sort of a waste. Maybe it is. I do not know. I wouldn’t care anyway if it weren’t for the fact I made promises to her. I hate breaking promises, but, how many of those can I really keep?

    I don’t know. She’s still on my facebook anyway, but after all this time of having everything to say to her, I don’t seem to have anything else to say anymore.

    Well, that’s it. I do not know if this is helpfull at all since your case my be other entirely. I know (from your writting) that even if many of the circumstances are very similar, in some things the main actors are pretty different, but sometimes similar life experiences help. If this manages to somehow help you (or anyone reading this in similar circumstances) then it was worth writting it, and anyway, had to try it. Hope you and Jeremy are doing fine. Hope you find a way of overcoming it (You can do it!). There’s always a way but not necesarilly always the same for all people. I know as long as you find a way to be in peace with your inner self and outer world, then you will. So focus on that. That would be my advice.

    Rain.

    P.D: Hope you find the huge post exciting and not annoying. I actually love when someone gives me a long reply, but they might be very annoying when someone is WAY OFF the line with their assumptions.

  3. Hmm it looks like your website ate my first comment (it was extremely
    long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly
    enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to
    the whole thing. Do you have any recommendations for rookie blog writers?
    I’d definitely appreciate it.

    • Thank you 🙂 I think the biggest is to keep writing. Also, get your voice out there. Read and make relevant comments on other blogs. If someone finds your comment interesting, they’re more likely to follow your link back to read. Just avoid asking people to read your blog while you comment. Good luck!

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