It’s been 13 days of no contact with Argo, and it gets easier with each passing night. I have decided that I am not dark and twisty, I am adorkable, something I couldn’t see when the thing that was being reinforced for me is that I was some kind of dark and twisty stalker, which I never was to begin with, but it made a great story. We both e-mailed each other really shitty things that neither one of us could have said had there not been a wall between us that led us to see each other as Internet trolls and not real people with real feelings. There are so many things that I wish we could have talked about face-to-face rather than trying to pick up what the other was saying over mere black and white text. I went way overboard trying to push her away, and it is something that I’ll have to live with, because mentally ill people have a habit of needing love and support and asking for it in the most inappropriate of ways. We turned on each other, rather than learning to take care of each other, and I have said this before and will continue to say it until it finally clicks in my brain… that so much of this strife was caused by not being able to see real tears, real emotions, real anything. For instance, there have been times I have cried like a wounded animal, alligator tears because of everything I have done and left undone. I would give anything to put back together something that will not go. So, no contact is best for me, because I feel like I got shafted. I was moving forward in leaps and bounds, and it only took one conversation to undo it all and I was put back in that big ball of anxiety that no one has ever had the ability to create in me. People cannot “make” me do anything, but that was my reaction…. to crawl into a hole of depression and wish like hell that I hadn’t been so damn independent. That I’d done more to consider her feelings at a time when I really, really should’ve.
But there are things that you only see in retrospect that you do not see in the moment, and this was one of those times. Thoughtlessness does not equal dark and twisty, but had I taken the time to realize that it might come across that way, I would have found other ways to grieve…. other ways to process that didn’t include discomfort on the part of others. I am normally one of those people that considers everyone else’s feelings first, putting others ahead of my own needs, and in not doing so this time, I really stepped in it without even knowing what I was doing.
Going exploring was not meant to hurt anyone, and knowing I did hurts me. But I cannot ignore the fact that when I came clean, honestly and truly, it wasn’t enough, and it never would be. I don’t want friends in my life who constantly harp on my bad side without recognizing the good, and it took that huge of a recognition to realize it…. that I don’t feel happy when Argo comes down on me, that I don’t feel happy when I regress into the person she wants me to be, because I do get angry at being mis-identified and it only takes a few words of dripping sarcasm and condescension to make me go to that place. Being pinned inaccurately is the easiest way to tap into my feelings of injustice, and once that happens, I cannot release myself from anger easily. I pop off without regard to others’ feelings, especially when I have already taken them into consideration and it does no good whatsoever. I couldn’t apologize for something I didn’t think was wrong. Period. But I apologized over and over for not taking her feelings into consideration, and I thought that was the whole point entirely. I recognized how she felt, but it wasn’t enough.
I struggle with the concept of “enough.” Both when I feel I haven’t done it, and when I’ve had it. How long was my past going to be held over my head? How long would it take to be recognized as a friend instead of a foe? How long would it take for both of us to just fucking relax? How long would it take until others’ words meant just as much to me as hers did? I feel like this year was a lesson in “enough,” because I expressed my feelings of unhappiness and all I really got back was “have a nice life.” It wasn’t the response I expected, but it wasn’t out of character, given the fact that when I’ve tried to be vulnerable, I’ve gotten RPGs designed to hurt, and they do…. immensely.
I don’t move on easily or quickly, and all of these feelings are swirling within me as I try to piece together how shoots of green came apart in one day flat. And then I decided that whatever impressions she had of me were ones that took place over a medium that only projects seven percent of a person at best, and the other 93 were going to be lost to history. I had to regain my sense of confidence that I was funny, lovable, and the last person who’d ever want to hurt someone else when I am feeling well and healthy.
I was not feeling well and healthy, and as far as I can tell, she was pretty emotionally crispy herself. The right thing to do would have been to have coffee and cry it out, but I am not invited to that, and I’m ok with it. I have had enough of trying to glean information that would help me on my journey with her as opposed to the “you’re a shitty person” bandwagon that has been held over my head. I have this feeling inside that if we’d ever met, none of this would have happened, because there wouldn’t have been this wall between us in the first place. There wouldn’t have been this anonymity that allowed both of us to freak out at people we didn’t know, but thought we did. Reading people is not the same as seeing them, truly seeing them for who they are.
Argo said something about it not being a good idea to go by her house just to see it, and I said honestly that I would never want to do that to myself. Not having that relationship where I could knock on the door and say, “let’s go for a beer” would emotionally wreck me even more than I’ve already allowed myself. I feel that I have proven over and over that I do not want any more of a relationship with her than I already have without it being mutually agreed upon, and those words haven’t sunk in, even though they are God’s honest truth.
But I can’t make Argo feel anything, just like she can’t make me feel anything, ether. My responses are my own choices, just as hers belong to her. My response now is nothing. I wouldn’t hurt a fly, much less someone I care about as much as I care about her. Getting angry and popping off like an Internet troll is just one of the many services I offer, but it doesn’t come without a huge amount of regret and deep sadness at the way I behaved. I pushed her away, my heart broken at my own hand, and I accept it wholeheartedly. But what I do not accept is that being angry is the only part there is to me.
We both hurt each other, deeply, and I don’t think I recognized how much.
Making new friends that see all of me is important, because they see that 100 percent… taking in that I am sad and grieving and hilarious all at the same time. Because grief is hilarious if you let it.
I am just not willing to open myself up for more. I promised Argo that I would always be an open and loving heart for her, but it was up to her to use it…. that I didn’t feel like I had the right to ask for anything, and I wouldn’t. But there is no hope in that statement, because I know what she thinks of me, and I know what I think of her, and they don’t match… and perhaps never will.
I promised that I would keep working on my hot buttons, so that if they got pressed, I wouldn’t react in the same way. But that is my work to do without her, because again, you cannot own that you need no contact and then go back across the river for comfort…. because it won’t be. It will be more button-pushing to get me to go away, and of that, I am sure. It will be more grief and rage and silence at good things and johnny-on-the-spot with e-mail if I’ve done something wrong. Even being nice to her is fraught with the possibility that I’m still wrong.
I can’t live like that anymore, and I won’t. I care, deeply so, but not enough to put myself in that kind of harm’s way. I divide myself in two and talk to her based on the tapestry of words we’ve already said, going back two or three years to avoid pain altogether. I miss her hilarity, and I miss the days when checking in meant real conversation and not idle chitchat, although that was fun as well.
But what I do know is that it’s time to stop wrecking myself.
It’s been 13 days.