A Fondness for Figments

I’m feeling a little blue. I’m getting a stiff back, so I know my mattress needs flipping. I’ve just done that, and have changed my sheets besides. If anything reminds you you’re single, it’s changing the sheets.
You’re changing them because it’s been long enough. It’s time. Not because you got hot’n’sweaty and did wrong-but-so-right things.
It’s sorta sad, but not because I can’t handle being single. Been here, done this.
What makes me sad is having to remind myself that I’ve made the right move. We both decided to end the relationship, for somewhat different reasons. My reasons are not really ones I wanted to express to him, but that I’m sure he’s aware of. It’s kind of hard for me to admit it, though. I’m getting a little chokey just thinking of putting it down, because it feels like casting judgment, but the judgment’s long been done, so I might as well.
See, the guy I’ve broken up with isn’t good for me. In fact, he’s somewhat bad for me. He’s depressed, he’s self-obsessed, constantly distracted, and inattentive. It’s not good. It’s also not who he really is. But it’s who he is today. And I can’t begrudge it as I know what’s preceded it.
The trouble is, I’m trying to keep alive a memory of who he was before all that shit. A guy who was an upbeat skeptic with weird quirks and a cute smile, who won my trust and a bit of my faith for a while there.
The latter guy’s still around in ever-so-brief flashes, but they’re not the present. They’re animated flashbacks, maybe (hopefully) flash-forwards.
Keeping that memory alive is fucking with my resolve that the right choice has been made. The guy I just broke up with, well, he’s not really good enough for me. I’m a caring, attentive, loving woman, and I need that back. For his own reasons, he couldn’t provide that. I may understand, but I can’t live with that. No one really ought to have to.
I really, really hate having to choose between who a person is versus who they once were, but we all have to make those choices. I don’t believe in staying in a relationship longer than I have to, because if I do, it eats away at me. I’me constantly reminded I’m less attractive to them, for one reason or another, than I used to be. I’m forever wishing we could talk like we did in the old days. A whole lot of thoughts run rampant, all the time. I find when I’m unhappy in a relationship, I don’t live in the present. I get analytical and think of anything but that moment.
At this moment, I hope that old guy makes a return and when we revisit things, it’s a hit. That’s what I hope today. Do I expect it? Um. Hope ain’t faith, ‘nuff said. Get it?
Six months from now, who knows where the fuck I am. Six months from now, what if I’ve landed the job of a lifetime after what is, inarguably, the most challenging time I’ve ever faced? Who is THAT woman, huh? Who’s she? How’d she get there from here? That’s what I wanna know. I ain’t got no answers, and they’re a damned long time in coming.
I just don’t think this shit’s going to keep me down. Nothing’s ever done so before, but I’ve never stood all the way up after a fall-down, you know? I’ve never WANTED it this bad before.
How do I go from who I am today to who I am then, to wanting someone I was with a year before? I don’t know. I don’t know the path to take for that journey, and I don’t know what my life holds.
I know that I feel sad. I mourn for what mighta been, and what now might never be. At the moment, I hope I feel like I can go there again. It was a comfortable relationship when it worked. It was funny, irreverent, open, playful, and good. Then it changed. Sigh. I digress.
Now I’ve gone way off point, so let’s just get out that big ol’ hammer and nail this one down.
If your relationship is shit, and you spend more time thinking about then than you do of tomorrow, then maybe it’s time to admit that the person you’re with isn’t the person you fell for. Put on them boots and walk the fuck on. Life’s too short to live in the past. Don’t be scared of your future. Respect it, cherish it, ‘cos soon it’s gonna be your past. Futures, you can change. Pasts, well, they become baggage or cocktail-party stories. If you’re in love with a memory, you’re making a mistake.
I saw my mom die at 57, and the last thing I need to forget is just how short life is. Why spend it doing the wrong things, right? That’s my motto. (I’m also opposed to doing the right things wrong.)
So, this I need to remind myself every time I’m sad I’m alone again: Beats the shit out of hanging out with an almost-boyfriend who’s depressed and can’t let me in. As a friend, I’ll cherish him. As a boyfriend, I was sometimes wanting to smack him good. And the future, well, who knows. I think, either way, some good stuff’s on the road and is headed to me. I’m just gonna keep up the good fight and hang on to the faith. Cogito ergo sum.

8 thoughts on “A Fondness for Figments

  1. roscoe

    So true…been on both sides of that one and you made the right choice…

    Being single has it’s moments but I havee yet to meet someone who truly wants to be all alone…saying that, nothig is more depressing than being with someone when you know you shouldn’t be, they suck the soul out of you for whatever reason!

    Lie is good…and somedays, well somedays it’s so friggen great you feel like your 10 feet tall and bullet proof 🙂

  2. Lat/long1981

    You’re doing the right thing, tough as it may be. I envy your maturity and smarts in dealing with this.

    I’ve gone through six years of marriage before recently finding out I have adhd and depression. It has taken an immense toll on my wife. I was very attentive to her in the beginning, which could have been a result of the adhd and my craving for stimulation. I would curl up on the sofa for hours and just pet her face, learning every freckle and feature. The same with listening to her stories, both happy and sad ones, I was all ears.

    As the stimulation and “newness” wore off, the depression and self-centeredness kicked in (I also wasn’t balanced according to my tripartite idea of love I talked about in my last post).

    Too often now, during the turmoil, we both say “if we had only known”. However, we have made a life together and produced an amazing human being. My 2 year old daughter is the love of my life.

    Steff, you have made a strong, brave, and correct decision. I would not want any other woman going through what my wife went through for so many years. A “normal” man is bad enough let alone a depressed and self-centered one!

    Don’t get me wrong, it can work, as we are attempting to do now. It is just extra tough. As I labor to replenish her “love tanks” they are constantly in danger of being sucked dry at any moment. Each “small” mistake for me is now magnified by the last six years of turmoil and my wife is constantly on the verge of packing it in.

    I am dealing medically with the adhd and depression. My major problem, however, lies in that “eye” I have on the past and the feeling that I wasn’t “balanced” when I got into this relationship in the first place. If my levels of Eros, Philadelphia, and Agape love were equal, I’m convinced the adhd and depression wouln’t be an issue.

    While no one’s relationship can be as screwed up as mine I at least hope there is some area of relevance that may resonate with you and your readers. Helps for me to vent anyway!


  3. Anonymous

    Instead of taking sideswipes at him (bad for you, not good enough for you) to build your spirits, how’s about you build your spirits without the shots? Read your description of him and then read your words (that sounds like a descrption of you). Does those shots really take any of the sting out of your pain? If it does, what does that say about you?

    Turn your aim away from him and back at yourself and see how you fair. Just like everyone else, I wish for your pain to ease, but do it at your own expense. Just trying to help here, hope this does.

  4. Sabrina Morgan

    It sounds like you did the right thing. What you’re describing – the analysis, the second guessing, the hanging on to what you remember them as being like – I did that for the larger chunk of a 7 year relationship. It’s painful to watch love turn to contempt.

    You’re both doing what you have to – for yourselves and each other. It’s what’s most right but that doesn’t make it easy. Take care of yourself Steff and remember people care about you out here.

  5. me

    Anonymous dude, do you really think bloggers – especially public bloggers – don’t “read (their own) words” with care and consideration before they hit “Publish”?

    It takes insight and courage to be honest and restrained.

    Steff, never having been married (and I remember some of your thoughts about marriage), what scares me most is the level of commitment it implies, especially in the context of your current blogpost.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging you (heck, you’re not married). I’m just saying, but for the grace of God, I could be that newly-married wife who thinks she’s found the love of a lifetime – and then sees it all go to pieces because he broke his leg.

    It is sobering thought. And that’s reality.

    Some would leave, some would stay. I can understand the reasons for both and I wouldn’t know what I’d do.

    – me.

  6. scribe called steff

    Anonymous, I’m not taking swipes at him.

    We may have broken up, but I care about him because I know he’s a great person. Who he is NOW, a depressed, non-communicative, inattentive guy, is NOT good for me. No. That’s not a swipe, that’s fucking reality.

    Who I’ve been — stressed out about work, etc — has NOT been good for him, but then, he’s depressed, and nothing’s good for him.

    I was writing about how *I* am coming to terms with the end of the relationship, and if that means reminding myself that he of last week is not he of five months ago, then so fucking be it.

    Besides, he’s staying away from this blog, he claims, for a few weeks, so I can vent.

    I told him I wouldn’t vent, that I’d just be matter-of-fact. He wouldn’t argue with any of this.

    But who he was isn’t gone, it’s just obscured, hence why he remains in my life at all.

  7. lat/long1981

    Interesting that someone would claim “sideswipe”.

    Steff, you made it clear you were feeling blue and you had a stiff back.

    Enough for me to know it’ll take more than flipping your matress.

    So you spilled your guts to “the world”. You’re worth far more than the world IMO.


  8. Anonymous

    I ended a relationship with someone I was dating recently. I also knew that I didn’t want to be friends with that person anymore, either. Probably the first time I’ve ever done it in my life, sans “hey let’s be friends” or “hey let’s do this again sometime” etc etc. No more investment for me – why? The relationship I was having with this person was not the kind of relationship that I know nourishes and fills me. Tastes good, less filling. You know the drill. So I ended it. I do feel sad that I don’t get to have fun with this person anymore. That I won’t see her face anymore. That I won’t feel the special ‘click’ I used to when we were in tune with one another and it was on. In short, I miss her. And yet, I know it was the right thing to do cuz sadness at not being with her anymore and missing her is NOT the same as feeling shitty about a bad relationship, or another darn fight, or misunderstandings, or hurt feelings or repeated disappointments. I get to look back on the fun we had and appreciate it for what it was, when it was, and while it lasted.

    Kudos to you for not only knowing yourself, but taking care of yourself – which can sometimes be (as we all know) like pulling fuckin’ teeth. You rawk.

Comments are closed.