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March 26, 2006


If your browser has ever happened upon this page before, you probably know that I'm involved in a relationship with a guy that makes me happier than I've been in ... ever.

I didn't know that someone could accept and love me, faults and frailties, wierdness and weaknesses, history and hysteria, without judging or blaming me. I've always been told that if I just 'snapped out of it' or 'got on with my life', I would be better off but I've never been able to explain that, while some things are easy to 'snap out of', others can snap you in two. And while I would love to 'get on with my life', there are still moments when I am caught, virtually clotheslined by circumstances that make me have to stop, catch my breath, and get my feet under me again.

I've been lucky enough to find someone that understands that and that is willing to wait while I get my shit together. Though, at times, I know he wishes he could do something to make it better, I also know that he knows that's not how I want it. I've become very independant over the course of 41 years of fending for myself and, while it would have been nice to have some help along the way, I don't think that would have made me a better person. Maybe less tired or cynical, but not better, and certainly not the person that I am today.

Bearing that in mind, there is also something to be said for companionship and therein lies the crux of my dilemma. There is a little matter of 150 or so miles between us. Yes, this is a long-distance relationship which, normally, would be intolerable but, somehow, we have managed to make it work for coming up on 2 years now.

Yes, it's hard. Yes, I get unbearably lonely during our time apart. Yes, it's horrible depressing to roll over and into a depression left on a pillow that still holds his scent but will not hold him for another month. I often resort to burrowing myself into and under the covers, even though I have an unnatural fear of being smothered, just so that I can be a little closer to where he last was. Yes, I suffer withdrawl which starts before he even leaves .. I am trying to be better at hiding that. BUT ... and this is a HUGE BUT here (even bigger than mine ...) ... it is most wonderful when we are together.

I would say it's nirvana but they are overrated ...

Between our monthly visits, we are in touch almost constantly. At work, I can email him and vice versa. From the time I get home from work until I go to bed every night, I can reach out and message him. If one of us has something to do that will take us away from internet access, the other is only a phone call away. That reassurance, that connection, does wonders to ease the cold sweats of withdrawl. We don't call and email constantly ... frankly, sometimes I think the break away from the computer is a welcome relief for us both but, inevitably, something will happen that will make one of us laugh or cry or just wish we could share it and the phone will ring, not because we HAVE to call but because we WANT to share. That's nice.

At this point, I feel I would be remiss if I didn't mention that this is not my first long distance relationship. The other, thought it lasted longer, was not nearly as successful and definitely not as healthy. Nightly conversations that lasted hours, that sometimes felt like a chore and most times were emotional trainwrecks, would leave me depressed, grumpy and sleepy the next day. I neglected my needs and my health, along with those of my kids, to try to bring happiness to someone that did not know how to be happy, all on the promise of an eventual someday, That someday, like the horizon, never got any closer, no matter how hard I swam for it and, frankly, I very nearly drowned trying to reach it. I swore I would never let myself be led on for so long without some kind of hope. I have too much to offer, too much potential, to waste away waiting for someone that could never get out of his own shit-hole long enough to realize that there is more to life than living in a bottle, staring at a screen.

While this relationship is a universe away from that one, I have many insecurities from that relationship and most others before it that still rear their ugly heads occasionally. One is the need to be reassured that I matter. I've been inconsequential most of my life and, while I matter to my kids in a dependant, clingy sort of way, it's nice to know that my existence matters to someone else, someone that has my best interests at heart. This manifests itself, often in an ugly way, when I feel I'm being used or taken for granted. Luckily, it's usually only the people at work and my family that have to face my wrath when they start trying to walk all over me. T is very conscientious of my feelings, more sensitive to them than I am used to, something that I wonder at and appreciate more than I've ever been able to tell him.

Another insecurity is a very real fear that I'll be forgotten, left waiting alone, loving someone that has long moved on, hoping for an eventual togetherness that will never happen, that was never going to happen. I couldn't stand pretending to have a future, to have happiness that only exists in this electronic world while outside of it I was totally alone and lonely. The desperation if I could not get to a phone or computer (or pay my bill which was, sadly, one of the worst things about sustaining a long distance relationship ... I paid Sprint more every month than I paid for rent some months) was immeasurable. How I was so irresponsible, I don't know, but in my defense, I was in the grips of a desperate, toxic addiction.

I have to say now that the worst thing about a distance thing is the reliance we have on technology to sustain us (me) between visits. I'm grateful that we live in a world where distance shrinks magically with a keystroke but IM conversations can not convey tenor and emotion. An emoticon just does not do justice to how I'm feeling, ever. I have no choice, it's all I have. I rely on those damn little smiles and hugs and when I go to bed without one, I feel unsettled. It becomes habit to sign off the same way every time and, while I'm usually the one to send them along, every once in a while, one will come my way (or not) and I'll just fall apart. Silly, I know. Beggars can't be choosers, as my mom would say.

Which brings me to my last point. Yes, the sigh of relief was felt from here. I don't really think I'm a beggar, not like I used to. I'm seeing that I have something to offer, not only to the world, but to another human being that might make their life better, happier, more fulfilling. I'm smart, sometimes funny, coherent (once I've had coffee), and I have a good heart. I'm loyal and loving, selfless to a fault, and I think I make a good partner. At one time, I thought I deserved to be hurt, to be forgotten, to be cheated on, to be used, to be left waiting alone. I thought I deserved what I got with my last relationship, as well as what I got with my marriage.

I don't think like that anymore, not most of the time. I'm not a beggar, grateful for any attention paid to me. I know I deserve more and I'm willing to wait for what I think is worth waiting for but I'm not going to lie and say I'll allow myself to be strung along or hurt again. If I ever get clingy, or impatient with this virtual existence, it's only because I've tasted love IRL and I know how great it can be. I'm anxious to keep that going now that I've had it.

I'm grateful, yes, that I have a wonderful man in my life but I think he may think I am pretty ok, too. Every time he lets me know in some small way that he is thinking of me or that he feels even a bit of what I feel for him, I'm reminded of how lucky I am and how far I have come and how, maybe, just maybe, I deserve happiness, finally

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Prosemonkey published on March 26, 2006 11:25 PM.

Refraction was the previous entry in this blog.

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