We ended badly.
Sort of. We didn’t end badly, but the ending was bad. I knew it would be emotional and unpleasant — and it was — but not for the reasons I anticipated. (I drunkenly wrote it out the night it happened, but I can’t bring myself to look at it just yet. I need to get my head on straight before I do that.)
J and I were okay for a while, I guess. We talked here and there, but neither of us said much of anything. It meant something to me that we were both still trying to keep some connection while we figured out what that connection might look like after everything changed.
I was (and still am) trying to figure out what my new normal might look like in this place where he used to be. He was (and is) making a new normal in a new place where I’ve never been.
For a while, I tried to untangle the anger and hurt from the sadness on my own, but I wasn’t doing so well with the untangling. (It’s a truly massive snarl.) I never doubted that I loved him (and do love him), but I wasn’t exactly throwing hearts and rainbows in his general direction.
Small talk was difficult. I didn’t want to pretend I wasn’t hurt or that everything was fine, but I didn’t want to share my snarl of emotions with him either, for a variety of reasons. It’s not J’s responsibility to untangle me, he probably couldn’t even if he tried, and more than any of that, I suspected he would respond defensively. I was pretty sure he wouldn’t get it.
J left me. I mean, I know he didn’t leave me. He left here. But I’m here, and when he left here, he left me too. J seems infinitely able to separate the two, but since he’s the one who left, I imagine he’s in a much better position to do so. Being the one that was left (or the one in the place that he left, whatever), it’s not so easily separated for me.
The more time that passes since the moment I last saw him, the more I’m absolutely sure there’s no way to ‘be left’ — even inevitably, knowingly, and amicably — with your head held high. Lowering one’s head is a necessity as you watch the person you love disappear over the horizon. J is on to new and better and different. I’m still here where he used to be.
It’s humbling, and being humbled isn’t something I enjoy.