And there is the End
I’m sorry last night was hard for you. I’m sorry if this week has been hard on you. I thought you were doing well recently, but you seemed really agitated last night, and it made me scared of you and for you.
I’m going to tell you my thoughts. If you’re looking for one particular answer, this might upset you. But if you care about me, and not just the idea of me or the idea of being in love with me, please listen.
We have feelings for each other. A lot of feelings. Our relationship was long (my longest relationship ever) and intense, because we are both people who share a lot of feelings and try to be authentic around each other. And we have been in love, very deeply in love.
At a certain point in our relationship, stuff started to feel kind of rocky, but we worked through it. We had some fights in the summer. Being apart was hard, we were both lonely, and you were often depressed. We both struggled to find outlets for our loneliness and sadness. You kissed someone else and regretted it immediately. I picked fights with you and misunderstood the things you said. It was rough.
I was secretly worried about our relationship at that point, but when we saw each other again, it felt so good to be with you that it didn’t seem to matter for a while. But then stuff started to feel…itchy. I don’t know any better way to describe it. We had been in our relationship for a while. We were at the point where we were able to feel attraction for other people, and we both admitted to having some small crushes. This all freaked me out, and so I dealt with it by trying to ramp things up. I talked about children, future plans, commitments. These things scared you, and so you pulled back, wanted ambiguity about the future and to feel more relaxed about commitments. This sparked our first break-up, which I regretted with my entire heart and brain immediately. I spent the week and then tried to get back together with you. And you said yes.
But stuff felt rough that week, and after a few days, you suggested we break up again. Stuff was rough between us, do you remember? At any chance I got, I’d misunderstand something you said, criticize you. I was so angry at you constantly. We couldn’t be together without getting upset. Your way of dealing with this was to try to normalize things. You tried to keep things light and make conversation about daily affairs. I was so angry at you that I’d misunderstand everything you said as being a way to hurt me, another way we didn’t connect. I felt like you could never possibly understand me as a person and thought that maybe I’d never really enjoyed hanging out with you or talking with you. Although we still loved each other, even in this moment, you had the feeling that this was too hard to get through. On the night we broke up for the second time, you said, “I’m not sure you’d ever be happy with me.” I wasn’t sure either.
So we ended it again and tried to move on. After a few weeks, I started to feel happier: I had been spending all (I mean ALL) of my time and thoughts on you. I hadn’t been hanging out with Jessica or any other close friend much, I had been neglecting my school work, I had stopped pursuing hobbies that I liked, I wasn’t working on any school projects, and I had a spiritual vacuum in my life. Partly this was because of my mental illness. Before I started IOP, I had almost nothing in my life because of my depression. There was a lot of empty space! Two important things came to fill that space: IOP and you. Those were the two most important things in my life. But those aren’t adequate things to sustain a person. I became a bit codependent on you, unfortunately. If you were depressed or had a low mood swing, I felt achingly sad and worried, would cry, and would become obsessed with the thought that you were going to hurt yourself or die. This made it really hard for me to deal with your low mood swings, which are just a natural part of your life and your illness. I began to rely on you a little for my own happiness. If I was sad, I’d look to our relationship to make me feel better, and if it didn’t, I’d think something was wrong with it. This wasn’t an effective way of having a relationship!
Stuff went up and down for both of us over the next few months. We had sporadic meet-ups, some of which went well, and some went poorly. In some ways, our communication improved: I felt able to finally express my anger at you, something I had had a lot of trouble doing. We had sex and thought about getting back together. I wanted to, but didn’t tell you when I saw you again at the beginning of winter quarter. You said once again you’d rather stay just friends. I was sad. And we both continued to work on moving on. You (understandably) had a rough February and faced a bunch of romantic rejection. You wrote that note on your blog, I read it despite what you said, and despite the initial fight, the door got opened again. We hung out a few times because we both still have feelings for each other, as I’ve said, and we both wanted something to happen, although I was felt very conflicted and confused about it at the same time.
And now we come to last night and today. You’ve been feeling agitated all week, hating the silence, wanting an answer. I’ve been confused and sad and putting off thinking about it. It obviously came to a head last night, and then you had to talk. I get why that happened. At the same time, it did feel invasive for me. I also felt like you were placing the responsibility of your thoughts onto me. When you said you were having trouble finishing your paper because you were thinking about this so much, I felt like you were saying, “it’s up to you, you have to answer me and settle this and it’s your responsibility I am thinking about this stuff so much and that my feelings are so intense right now.” I am the proximate cause of your feelings, but I am not ultimately responsible for them. You are.
Look. I know how much you feel about me and you know how much I feel about you. I’m sorry the door keeps getting opened and closed and opened and closed again. I’m sorry I read your blog and I’m sorry to write this now. But I don’t think we should be together.
Stuff about you:
I think you have forgotten some of what really didn’t work in the middle of our relationship and it’s making you see and remember me in an idealized way.
I think if we got back together now, it would be harder and more prone to hurt than it was before, and I think you need to keep working on yourself and trying to find your own path and your own ways to grow before you tackle such a difficult relationship.
Stuff about me:
I am not sure I can be with you without becoming codependent again. I don’t know how to be with you without tying my mental health to yours, and that makes being with you painful.
Finally: I don’t know how to just be comfortable with you. I like you. I have intense feelings for you. I find you attractive. But in the moments between, the moments of just hanging out? They never felt right to me. I know that must be really hard to hear. I think that’s part of why our relationship got so hard as it got older. We needed to get to a place of just enjoying each other’s company, and while I know you felt like that with me, I didn’t feel like that with you. I don’t know why that is exactly or if I expected to much of you or if I could have learned to feel right around you. But I didn’t, and I don’t think getting back together now would be the best way to work on that.
I’m sorry. I can imagine how painful this is, as I wanted to get back together with you and you told me no. It hurts.
I hope it is helpful, though hurtful, to see this communication. I remember early in our relationship, you said the thing that was hardest about Emma was not getting to hear from her why you broke up. I promised not to do that, and I keep my promise. I was not trying to do that to you this week, either–I just meant I needed to not be deluged by a flood of communication. But if you need to email or message me, Andrew, I’m never going to close the door completely to you. It’s ok and you can do that.
I hope you are all right.
I’ll be fine. Sometimes things happen in my life that I don’t like or don’t want or don’t want to think about. But in the end, if I want to experience the good things that this life has to offer, I need to suck it up during the bad and celebrate for the good. In the end, I choose life. I choose the love and the despair and the beautiful and the ugly. And it will always come to that outcome. Even if in the thick of things, I start to question that conclusion, I will always come to my senses eventually.
I’m not sure what happened last night. It was like the last two years had never happened and I was stuck in the same place. I was frozen with fear and hopelessness and helplessness. I sat in the shower and stared at the wall. I screamed. I panicked and panicked because I was panicking and the SI was so strong in my head that I could barely think. But that’s all me. That’s part of my life. And in the end, I put aside the SI, turned my phone off, and slept. And while I was falling asleep, I just repeated, I choose life. I choose life.
I will be alright. I can promise you that.
You’re right about so many things. You’ve always been good with analysis and introspection. I, on the other hand, seem to recognize these things happening in my life, but I’m so impulsive that I can’t stop myself from falling into the same patterns and making the same mistakes. I have been idealizing you and our relationship. I’ve been focusing on just some rose tinted idea of how happy you made me. And I’ve been ignoring the parts where things were awful. I’ve been telling myself the lie that if I just open up enough, say the right thing, that everything will work out magically. And life just doesn’t work that way.
And you’re right, last night I projected all of my own anguish and pain onto you. I tried to make you responsible for how unhappy I was. And for that I’m sorry. If nothing else sticks from this email, please let I’m Sorry sink in. I am so sorry for the mood swings, and the emotional deluge. I’m sorry for fighting for the past, when the present was clearly different. I’m sorry for bringing up all of my problems and making them your problems too. I’m sorry.
Thank you for taking my calls. For sending me thing email. Thank you for dealing with me when I was the most abhorent. Thank you for all you’ve done and all the patience you’ve shown. Thank you.
I wish I knew why I was unhappy. I wish I could be normal. I wish I didn’t feel things so intensely. I experience the impulsiveness as a drug, I’m addicted to the highs and the lows and the rush of moving between the two. And I need to work on that.
I’m sorry for hurting you. Thank you for letting me in. I promise that I’ll be working on this for a long time.