Reflective Advice

Oh goodness, you’re about to talk about your ex, aren’t you?

Yeah.

But it has a point.

So, my dad is telling me about a conversation he had with an old neighbor of ours about losing a spouse, and having to make a choice about either staying in that space, or unlocking yourself to continue living your life. In a moment of deep open-ness, my dad told me why he moved from our first house to the second one. He told me that mom’s energy was all over the house, and he couldn’t continue living there or attempting to move on and bring company there. Since it was something they both worked hard to get, he says it just hurt him to stay there. He could feel her/see her shadow at the doorway, watching him. He told me that it wasn’t anything scary or malicious, but he just felt like he’d never be able to move on until he got a fresh start somewhere else. So, we moved in March or April of 1989 into our new house.

Now, it’s been years since we’ve lived there. We moved in with grandma about 10 years ago, and remained when she left for TN. Anyway, he was telling me about how he gave advice to our neighbor, and how suddenly the neighbor realized maybe he needed to move. His wife died about 10-11 years ago, and he’s still living in the same house. He barely uses the space, and he says he still feels married to her.

The talk with my dad was helpful, so now he’s making choices. I think that’s great. My dad is always giving somebody advice. It’s usually me, and I usually follow it to a certain extent. He does it out of the goodness of his heart. Anyway, then he lays down this one piece of reflection from the conversation that hit me like a huge rock. It made me face one of the feelings I continue to battle with to this day.

“You know, it’s hard when you want to talk to someone and be with them, and they’re just not around for you to do it. You just can’t do it, and it eats you up inside. It really hurts. You think about them, you love them a lot, you want to be with them, and you can’t…”

Aw. Aw Dad.

Now, the context of this has to do with losing a spouse or a loved one you hold dearly. Although I know he was leaning closer to a person who is no longer here, I felt like it could be applied to the death of a relationship. I think that’s why it made me think of…the other person. It made me think of the choices I made to keep myself from them, and to prevent them from contacting me–whether either party REALLY wanted to or not. I decided to do it for my own sanity, emotional health, and to stay drama free. There’s something about them…US…that boils my potato in all the right and wrong ways. So hours after I let that talk marinate, I found myself split between “yeah, I feel that way about them but I know having things as they are will be good for all involved…” and “dude why the hell are you taking a great moment and trying to apply it to half of a person who crushed your feelings like a grape?”

Both sides were right. Which seems so impossible, but there was good and bad in the relationship. I was young, dumb, and really entering a stage of depression I did not realize was ripping me apart. So when I decided I was too ugly and too unworthy to go out, they thought it was about them. And when I got dumped, I snapped and my lesser self came rolling out. When we got together and came apart and got together and came apart, the lessons were not learned. On top of all that, I started to become this examinate, paraonoid creature. I felt like…”hmm….maybe they don’t even want me/never wanted me in the first place. Because of my appearance, I’m available and an easy target…so…”

I mean, a lot went through my head. I wasn’t looking for craziness, or some opportunity to drag them through the mud. Or a pity party. I just felt like that reflective moment touched on the side that really missed this person. Because yes, all crappy things aside, there are moments where I wish I could talk to them. There have been moments where I wish the past could be the past, and we could just hit reset and not have pretense and agendas. Just two people, one friendship, possibly an artery clogging box of tacos.

But things that are meant to be will be. Things that are not will sail off into the night. So it bothered me, it hurt me, but it made me realize that things are just as they’re supposed to be. All that blocking of emails and forgetting of numbers and purging urges to communicate were the right thing to do. And whatever they did to purge themselves of me was the right thing for them to do. It kept happening for a reason.

It also made me think of the things I did not do. The things I wanted to say, and the affections and sentiments I wanted to put into that relationship. It was my first serious one outside of a computer, and I thought it would last forever. So in my time with them, yes, I was pretty sure I was looking at my husband. When it ended, I was brought down to Earth with a thousand wounds to lick and heal, and endless stitches to put myself back together.

I only applied dad’s words to that relationship, though. There have been others, but none of them laid such a spiritual impact. It also made me realize I wanted way too much from one person–especially trying to get that kind of “special love” my mother and father had. I was full of fear that it would never happen. That I’d never have someone genuinely love me, need me, care for me. Sometimes, the paranoid side tries to make me feel like he didn’t ever love me…I hate when she does that. I’ve been used by other people, but I don’t think he used me.

We had our time, our season, and it ended. It’s just that I dug a little special hole for that person, and well…kinda gave them their own little spot in the garden for the rest of my waking life. Which is corny and problematic, but forgetting them just can’t happen.

Oh goodness. I am a mess.

Still, I look forward to finding a new love someday. Learning from all these mistakes and giving this new person all of me without the baggage of the old me. Especially not the girl in her early 20s who had no sense of self, no sense of purpose, little drive, and allowed herself to be ashamed for being an openly sexual creature. (now when I say “open”, I don’t mean butt naked in the park just doin’ it!! I mean open enough to be a sensual little perv flower. This annoyed my ex…somewhat. I barely remember. I just recall he said “all you do is talk about sex, sex, sex, in one of his world famous, now long-forgotten emails.) She wasn’t grown yet. She was still maturing, and should have been expanding her mind, reaching higher goals, and spreading her wings. She should have never given up when things got tough. She just didn’t know how to work on turning things around.

In all of that reflection, I suppose that I realized how wrong I was about a lot of things. How…maybe the outcome would have been different, but a lesson needed to be learned. So when the right guy comes along, I will know better. When love gives me another season, I’ll make the best out of every moment. And whatever happens, I’ll have to hold on fast and true to what matters most–me.

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