Relapse: Unnecessary Turmoil

I feel stupid, and weak.

Yesterday, I woke up late at night unable to sleep. After some time awake, I managed to get back to bed at about 9 AM. I slept until around 2 o’clock in the afternoon yesterday, which is when I heard Danica moving about the apartment.

We talked a lot, mostly quietly and without anger. Eventually, she started asking me to reconisder. That is, to reconsider ending the relationship. Her face when I said no broke my heart ten times over what I’d already been feeling.

For hours, she cried, and I could not keep my own composure at times either. There were few hugs at first, but later I tried to lighten the mood somewhat by ushering us to the kitchen to have a bite to eat. I offered to make her some food but she declined. We nibbled on a plate of leftovers together. Things were beginning to seem okay…that is, the mood wasn’t so bad anymore, even though the situation was the same.

But then, more crying, more begging. She was sobbing inconsolably, so I asked if she wanted to lie down. She said yes, so I held her as she walked to our bed. There, she sat with tissues in hand still crying. So I placed a hand on her back and lay next to her. I was exhausted, too. Finally she calmed a bit and lay down. I held her.

Then, she kissed me. I gasped a bit, asked why she did that. She said she needed to do that before she left. (She was planning on spending the night at Randy’s because she couldn’t bear to be here.) Then she kissed my neck, and my earlobe, and my cheek, etc. I admit that I wanted her very much. I didn’t want to want her, but I did.

When she kissed me again, I started crying and pulled away, and she tried to calm me. Before long, she had undone my pants and was giving me a blowjob. I tried to pull away from her twice, asking why she was doing this. She didn’t answer, and before long I just gave in. She climbed on top of me and we had sex.

Of course, afterwards when she was preparing to go again, I felt like an idiot because I could feel my heart ripping in two again. I knew the moment we were done that I had put myself in a lose-lose situation. I couldn’t really bear being home alone and I couldn’t continue to be with her.

Much, much discussion ensued with lots and lots of uncontrollable sobbing fits. Mostly me this time. She told me a bit about why she was unhappy when she was in the relationship with me: she felt that she wasn’t getting enough credit for getting the job she has so she can pay rent to live with me. She said she’d been trying very hard and just felt uncredited. She felt I’d been dismissing her. She said that she was uncertain of my commitment to her; that’s why she kept asking about marriage. She said she didn’t know where this relationship was going, or what we were doing together.

I bawled and kept saying, “Why didn’t you tell me,” and “You never told me,” and, “I didn’t know,” and “I tried talking to you so many times” between all the tears. I swear I thought my chest would split right then and there.

She kept asking me to reconsider the break up every so often, starting with words like, “If it’s too hard….” These just sent me into more crying fits where I would not be able to speak intelligibly. She pointed out that it would probably be detrimental to the relationship if she left for Randy’s that night. That is, that the break up felt pretty final if she would go, but that if she would stay then I had possibly reconsidered. She didn’t say it quite like that, but the net effect felt very much like, “I know you’re in pain: tell me to stay and I’ll stay and console you and you’ll feel better. Tell me to go, and I guess we’re definitely over.” And, I admit, I wanted her to stay very badly. I was just so…weak.

Finally she mentioned, before I had said anything deterministic, that she would still want to see other people if we were back together. I asked her why she wanted to be seeing other people. She told me that it was for a reason she mentioned much earlier in the night: she needed change and newness and she wanted to know “what it’s like to know people“ fully. In other words, how they fuck.

That’s when I stopped crying so hard. I started asking her a lot of questions, mostly because my brain was fried and I just wanted to understand what she was saying and see if I could make sense of all the contradictions. I know she didn’t mean to do it on purpose (well, I hope she didn’t), but I felt utterly manipulated. I was afraid that all of this, all of tonight’s “truthfulness” was simply this moment’s truth and wouldn’t be the next moment’s truth.

I regretted having sex with her even more. I felt pity for her, not cruel judgment or a mean-spirited, derisive arrogance, but sadness that she was so desperate not to lose me and yet so unable to change the very things in her that consistently made her push me away. Especially since she seemed to know exactly what those were in some moments. Sadly, in others, that awareness would slip from her mind like a leaf flowing down a river.

When she went to the bathroom, I finally got up off the sofa where I was laying in a fetal position. I waited for her to finish and then went to the bathroom myself. I kept telling her I was tired, that I needed to sleep.

It was getting late, just past 9 o’clock, and I remembered that she had expressed a desire to spend the night filled with distractions like pizza and movies and music with Randy earlier. I felt tired enough that I could just collapse and go to sleep, so I crawled into bed. She followed me to the bedside but didn’t join me on the mattress. I scooted myself over to her and gave her a hug. She hugged me back, and said, “Oh, Mei, what are you doing?”

I told her I was giving her a goodbye hug. I told her I wanted her to go and have her night of distractions with Randy. I wanted to go to sleep believing that she would be happy and not think of me, that she would be okay tonight.

I cried more as I told her to hurry before it was too late, to leave before the subways would start running local. I cried as I told her not to come back into the room if she heard me crying, that I would try to cry myself to sleep if I had to. She kissed me on the forehead and told me to take care of myself. I told her to do the same. I sobbed loudly as she closed the door.

Then, I fell asleep.

When I awoke for the first time, the house was quiet. I could see no light and hear no sound coming from the living room. I closed my eyes again, and fell back asleep.

When I awoke for the second time, the torturous flow of thoughts would not stop flooding my mind. They were not just thoughts about the night, but random images that had no right to invade my privacy. They finally forced me out of bed.

It was just past three o’clock in the morning when I got up. I turned on my computers and started writing an email to someone I had met in the #polyamory IRC channel on UnderNet. Most of the email reads nearly identically to this blog entry. (I copied and pasted the email to use as this entry because I am too emotionally drained to go through this night again.)

The end of the email I sent reads like this:

I decided to email you, because I want so badly to see a new message from you in my inbox. I don’t know why that is so important to me. No, maybe I do: I feel so alone and so weak. Throughout this entire letter, I have managed to maintain some composure and write, but as I type this sentence I’ve started to cry. And now I don’t know what to do.

…I can’t stop crying, and I don’t know what else to say, so I’ll just send the letter. I’m sorry for being so…I’m sorry for doing this; I don’t feel like it’s fair to ask you to keep talking with me. I don’t expect you to reply promptly or anything. You needn’t reply at all if you don’t want to.

I just don’t know what to do. I don’t know if I’ll be okay. I’m afraid that if I see that desperate, frightened look on Danica’s face one more time, I would want to die just to stop it from ever appearing again.


10 replies on “Relapse: Unnecessary Turmoil”

  1. Even though it doesn’t feel like it, please know that you are doing fine. Everything you described about your feelings in the face of this pain is ABSOLUTELY adequate, makes sense emotionally, and clearly truthful and complete. And as long as you do not cheat yourself of being aware of the full brunt of the pain, frustration and what seems to you like weakness – with integrity and willingness to express that to whoever is willing to listen (hopefully primarily YOURSELF) – by talking or writing, – then you are going THROUGH the experience, assimilating its lesson, and making sure to finish the business. Dodging and avoiding this experience by either getting into “silence treatment mode” or drugging yourself to numbness, or devaluing its impact, or acting up a rage, or giving into a bipolar episode, either manic or depressive, or drowning yourself in distractions… etc – would leave all the heavy pain load in your heart and mind to haul, the business unfinished, and all your energies would be sapped to manage this burden.
    Let yourself BE. You are sorrounded by love, admiration and respect.

  2. I whole-heartedly agree with Nick:-)I replied to your e-mail! Just remember to be kind and patient with yourself!!



  3. You’ve got love and support all round you, May. Chose the healthy path. You’re a smart man. What you were receiving was not love, not really. Nick is right: let yourself be and feel this. Follow this path. Going backwards would be causing yourself more pain. This will pass, and you will come out the other side stronger for it. I know it doesn’t feel that way now, but you will.

  4. Thank you. I’m feeling much better now, and overall, much more optimistic.

    Of course, this is a swing. And I’m expecting to swing back to tears. The important thing, I think, is that I’ll be ready for it when it hits me.

  5. I wholeheartedly agree! Having been through this pain more than once, it is ALWAYS best to do what is best for you, no matter how hard that is.

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