Catharsis, or A Breakup Tale

I guess I'm obliged to try and get some of this out in writing, though I hardly know where to begin. If you're looking for something silly and whimsical, I suggest you wait for my Scatterday post tomorrow afternoon. This post is anything but. See title.

These past ten months with Boyfriend have been full of peaks and valleys. I remember going back to school after the first time we kissed, ecstatic to tell Schneckleface all about it and the *DATE* we were going on soon!

There were so many firsts for both of us, and for the most part they were exciting firsts that brought me great joy. First time I ever slept over a guy's house. First time I went behind my parents' backs (for the record, that one was more exciting than joyful). First time I'd ever thought I could stick with someone forever, and wanted to. First time I ever planned on it. Among other firsts that brought confusion and even guilt for this quasi-conservatively raised Christian young lady - but let's not think about that just yet. First, a tribute to the things that made me smile... that still make me smile, and will no matter what.

Our first month together disappeared in a flurry of snowflakes and Christmas lights, which somehow seemed brighter than they had in years past. He was so worried about my present, worried he'd offend me since I was "very religious" and he, well, wasn't. For all that, he did a fine job. He even made it to church a couple times. He was so worried I would cheat on him that first month, and I was so glad I wasn't that person, so glad I wasn't bringing more pain into his life when he'd been through so much already (but it's none of my business to go into detail here). He always made sure to tell me how beautiful I looked that day, and I melted every time.

January: I dragged him to a ska show. He teased me about it but didn't complain (even when I got a bloody nose before ever jumping into the action).

February: I got a little adventurous in the kitchen, trying to bake the perfect Valentine's day gift (which involved way more red food dye than I ever should have fed him).

March: We took a long walk in the woods with every intention of getting hopelessly lost. The only thing I actually lost was my phone. It happened during a snowball fight, which I confess to instigating. Eventually we found both the phone and our way home.

April: I made it through the semester alive - quite a feat with the amount of pressure I was under - all thanks to him.

May: We took a road trip to New York to see Mae, another band he didn't care about at all, and get their scratch and sniff EP. It became a two-day tour of the city that never sleeps. We went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and had dinner with his godmother, who was one cool chica.

June: Our friends came home and much revelry ensued. All nighters. Rock Band. Mike's hard lemonade. Aaand the landmark 6-month anniversary, at which point I was more in love than I'd ever been.

July: His brother Dick took us on a spontaneous late-night road trip to New Hampshire for fireworks, which we set off on the beach on the fourth. I've never nearly died so many times in one night. By that statement, I meant the night of the fourth, but looking back I think I may have nearly died more times on the road trip.

August: I made and promoted the heck out of that video for that scholarship contest with a little help and a lot of support from him.

September: Not much to report, since I was back at school and he was home. We made plans to go to Sacramento for his music video premiere at the Sacramento Horror Film Festival. I was so proud! Oh, and that high school kid raising money door-to-door caught us hooking up in the hallway. Most embarrassing (but hilarious) moment EVER.

October: Well, here we are. Ten months and a break-up later. There are two things I won't say.

1. I won't say I wish I never met him. These are the things that make us who we are. The things that teach us what we need, what we want, what we can live without.

2. I won't say I wasn't in love. It would be a shameless lie.

I will say that it was time to move on. It had been some while since I'd felt the way I felt in June, when I convinced myself I was ready to give him that last piece of me that I had been saving - my virginity. But by the time I got on birth control, I was starting to notice the things I wanted that weren't there and decided not to give it up. Now I'm glad I held out.

I didn't want the darkness and fear he thrived on - the movies he watched, the movies he made, the heavy metal music and the image that went with it. It is my nature to love light and hope and beauty. I love the details that make this world so special. I love the care that God puts into them. Those weren't things he appreciated.

I wanted romance, poetry and love songs. I wanted him to bring me flowers for no reason. I wanted travels and beach days (which he disliked because of the way sand felt on his skin). I wanted adventures and asymmetry (which he couldn't stand, at least not in architecture).

I wanted to be challenged intellectually, spiritually, physically; instead I was only challenged sexually. He never forced me to do anything, yet I always had the sense that I was keeping from him the one thing that would make him happiest. For that I was, and am, sorry; or at least about the pain it caused.

I wanted him to act right around a lady, even when he was with the guys. I was sick of the rude humor and rude language, sick of the way he talked about other races and religions (even if it was only in jest, for to every joke there is a grain of truth).

I wanted to see him quit buying (or, as I saw it, wasting) time and go somewhere he really wanted to go, knowing good things were waiting to happen.

I told him that - that good things were waiting to happen - and in the end, even I couldn't stay his "good thing" forever.

I look at all that stuff I want and think, that's a lot to ask of one person. No one in the world can offer all that. No, but someone can offer some of it. From the beginning I wondered why I was so in love with someone who didn't fit a single one of my criteria, and you know what? It was a good fit. That's all I can say. I was happy, he was happy, and it worked - until now.

About a month ago I started living excuse to excuse. I was constantly relieved to find reasons to stay at school instead of coming back to be with him, because I hated it when we hooked up and didn't know how to say so. Somehow I knew it would break us and I didn't want that. I knew I was being selfish. I loved him (though maybe not quite as I had before) and needed him, so I clung to what we had, even though I knew what he needed was something I couldn't give. Time and time again I heard him talk about the people who had hurt him in the past and how he was moving past it, leaving them behind.

I didn't want to be left behind.

I hated the idea of hurting him and it seemed to me that the hurt of ending it would be greater than the hurt of staying together without having sex, but in the end only he could decide that. He finally got me to talk about what was bothering me after a month or more of knowing something wasn't right. I said I couldn't keep saying I'd be ready soon, soon, soon, when clearly it was going to be some time before I was ready to share that kind of intimacy with someone. By then I was so far into the valley that I had no desire to try and become ready. I had been trying for months. It just wasn't there. I wasn't in love anymore. I didn't say so, but that's how it was.

I left the ball in his court, and tonight he ended it. Even though I'd seen it coming, it hit me hard. I was crying. He was crying. My God, I made him cry - I didn't think I could. That was what killed me, seeing him like that and knowing I had caused it. I knew I would be okay if he was okay and made him promise he would take care driving home. I was so afraid he'd crash, accidentally or on purpose, or that he would hurt himself some other way. I couldn't live with that.

After he left I more or less dissolved into a sobbing, shaking puddle on the floor. I think part of it was adrenaline. Part of it might have even been relief. But the greatest part of it was sadness. I knew I wouldn't be hearing from Boyfriend for a while (although we're going to have to figure out the Sacramento situation, since I'm officially uninvited). I mopped myself up enough to call his dad and ask him to keep an eye on things tonight. Hanging up, I felt marginally better.

The chapter ends like this. I still love him, just not the way he wants. I want nothing but the best for him and I want to be a part of it if he'll let me. I haven't written him off as a romantic possibility, but he's got changing to do if we're going to try this again, and in the meantime, at twenty, I've got people to meet before I can think about settling down. As for my first love, time will heal him, and when it does I hope that we can be friends.

At least one good thing has come of this: My sister is actually nice to me when I'm miserable. Granted, there's nothing comforting about "well, it was God's will" - it still fucking hurts. But this strange peace I feel says she's right. It was kind of her anyway, and after that she gave me music and said good night. Thanks, sis.

Until the sun wipes the sky from grey to blue,
Miss Rex


emily said...

I'm sorry. It is such a hard thing to call closure to a relationship with someone you love in one way or another. Although it is cliche, time does make things better. Time and ice cream.

Mr. Condescending said...

I have slowly learned that opposites do not end up really working in the end. I bet that if you had given up your virginity, you would have felt SO much worse.

Find a guy with the same interests, and fall in love again!

jenniferin said...

I'm so sorry my dear:( I wsh I could be there for you in person right now, but know that I love you and i'm only a phone call away

boredomabound said...

I'm sorry to hear about this, but I'm glad you seem to be handling it the right way. Sorry I've been wicked busy lately, but I'm here whenever you want to talk. I can't wait until Thanksgiving when Gill comes home and we can all be together again. <3.

Brijenieve said...

Aw hon.

Nathan Day said...

I'm sorry to read this.

Opposites can compliment in some cases, as it can fill the voids you couldn't fill yourself, and possibly could open you up to new things you'd have otherwise never tried or even witnessed, but there has to be some mutual match ups. From what I could see the last time I visited, even my sitting next to you seemed to make him uneasy, which showed something. He really liked you, which I can imagine made walking away from it all that much harder, but as I can reflect from my track history that sometimes it needs to be done to move on to the next step (despite my lack of belief in fate and all that jazz, I really have no better way of stating it).

Either way, I can say you're definitely handling it a lot more maturely than most (by the way the writing sounds anyway), and I'm glad from the sounds of it it was somewhat mutual as opposed to a one-sided breakup (such as cheating and what-not), which I can say is much heavier on the collar to carry. If you need someone to talk to, I really have near-zilch a life, but what I typically have to say is the opposite of helpful if I recall correctly.

Here's hoping for the best, even though it's from a pessimistic faithless person waiting around each turn to be proven wrong.

- Nathan Day

One Sassy Girl said...

This is one of the best written posts I've read in a while. And while it may annoy you to hear me say this, I'm amazed at your insight and how untainted it is with dramatic emotions. I never could've been so articulate at your age. But enough about age, on to the heart of the matter. You're right in every way - some things are good but not meant to be forever. And some things are deal breakers. When it's the right person, no check list will be needed. It's just right.

K a b l o o e y said...

I agree with sassy; you have emotional intelligence far beyond your years. In a strange coincidence, you are the second young woman (sorry to sound patronizing -- the other person was 18) to deal with a breakup with a maturity I KNOW I didn't have at 30, much less 20. I stopped by to thank you, but want to offer a hug instead.

Anonymous said...

I will crush you.

Anonymous said...

I will destroy you.

Anonymous said...

I will fucking bury you.

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