The Equation

There was something wrong with my entry this morning before I left work, something I couldn’t even put my finger on, but now it’s lunch and I’ve had some time to think about it and I know what it is. I called out Argo on her sunshine and chill, but I didn’t call out myself, and that’s even more important. Because this blog is about me and the things that happen to me out in the world, but it is also an internal monologue designed to keep me thinking about how to move forward in the world. From the very beginning, it was shit like #myhero #teamargo, and then due to a whole bunch of factors, I pushed her away *first.* The first time was when I realized that I had feelings for her that went beyond normal friend shit, because when people have opened up to me in the past, I just want to fix everything. Make everything all better. I know exactly why that crossed my Eros wire, but it is too personal to talk about here and had nothing to do with the few bones she threw me in the way of flirting. That was just funny, and all it would ever be. It felt good to feel cute in her “presence,” but the real issue was much, much, much, much deeper. I cut off all contact, which she told me she never thought I’d do in a million years over e-mail, that I’d tossed a friendship away like it was nothing, and my only response to that was, “is this the kind of energy you want coming at you all the time? Maybe I should have asked that question.” Because, here, in order, are the things I did after I ended that relationship (the first time, anyway):

  • write about it
  • cry about it
  • regret it
  • feel ok about it
  • write about it again
  • cry about it again and wish I had more Kleenex
  • create a Spotify playlist called “Argo” and have it play continuously in my head.
  • Smile to myself that she’d probably hate it.
  • write about it again

I needed to let go of a piece of me that was diving into waters in which the relationship couldn’t stabilize, and I thought it was better for me to be in the storm alone. I didn’t toss anything like it was nothing. Then, she and Dana did some processing and a few days later, we were back in contact because I couldn’t decide what my better judgment was. In some ways, we needed each other. In others, I know for damn sure that any heart she’s ever broken still isn’t over it. She’s just the sort of person that when her light shines on you, it is like there’s no one else in the room.

The compromise was that I would stop talking about those feelings if she’d just allow me to flirt with her in a non-threatening way. That lasted 40 minutes, because she stepped over my comfort zone and any work I’d done to be able to let go of those feelings returned tenfold. But I didn’t tell her that part until much, much later. I will say for the record that to her, it probably was an innocent flirt. But it was too much to handle for me- I could dish it, but I couldn’t take it, and I feel stupid now that I didn’t think of that when I said I wanted to flirt with her in the first place, because her wordplay is so sharp that what did I think was going to happen? That she was going to sit still while I had my fun? I don’t think my feet touched the ground for three days. What I meant was “let me flirt with you, but for the love of God don’t flirt with me.” Totally double-standard and shitty, but probably the reason I didn’t think it would be an issue is that I didn’t think flirting with me would ever occur to her. #dumbassattack

So my hot and cold came from those feelings, because I alternated between wanting her close and not being able to handle it.

I can, now, but this is after YEARS of sitting with it. It helps that she’s ghosted, because I don’t have to worry one way or the other whether there is sunshine or chill on either of our parts…. and because I’ve pushed her away so many times that I had time to think on my own without going to her for comfort. You can’t get over someone and keep looking back across the river to make sure they’re ok. I see her quite differently now, and for that, I am grateful… even if the reason why is a healthy amount of fear.

Why wouldn’t I fear someone who consistently saw the worst in me? Why wouldn’t I fear someone who’s threatened me with a restraining order even though the most that’s ever happened between us is lobbing shitty e-mails at each other and nothing else? I’d hoped that the message was clear. I want as much to do with you as you want to do with me, and the things she views as harassment were (I thought) ways to get her to retreat, not get any closer. If she wants to take all of my shitty e-mails to a judge and claim that I threatened her, I could do the same. We were angry at each other, with no way to bridge the gap, so we just upped the ante until I went all in and she came in Kings full over Aces because she was hiding one up her sleeve.

But the thing is, I wouldn’t. I promised that I would keep all of her confidences, and I have, except for the ones where I thought Dana was permitted to be in on them. She told me that she was going to pull back on telling me things I couldn’t share with Dana, and then got mad at me that Dana knew some things she’d said after that.

It was things like that which kept my tail between my legs, because of course I felt horrible for processing with Dana even though I could only plead ignorance. Pleasing both of us was a moving target, and neither of us felt like we could win with the other. But the thing is, I am not as hard to please as she imagines. I would have been happy with my e-mails being seen as an entire narrative, and not just bad or good. I would have been pleased for Argo not to pick out one line she disagreed with and just hammer me on it as opposed to taking my letters for everything they were. I would have been over the moon if Argo had remembered that I was trying to be kind to her when she cut off our shoots of green. It wasn’t that long ago that I sent her a tongue-in-cheek gift in which she said it was the first time she’d laughed since last week. It wasn’t that long ago that I’d sent her a present which she proclaimed divine. But none of that mattered. Not any of it. Nothing mattered except that something I’d done bothered the shit out of her, and instead of being willing to talk about it, she just said, “I’m done.” There was no compromise, there was no benefit of the doubt, there was no anything except the insistence she was right and I was wrong. Period. The End. She said something to the effect that just because I didn’t hear what I wanted to hear, that didn’t mean she was wrong. I didn’t want her to tell me what I wanted to hear. I wanted her to take both points of view into consideration, just as I had. I could acknowledge the “you bothered the shit out of me” part, but I could not get behind it being intentional, because it just wasn’t true.

Thoughtless, certainly, but not trying to cause harm or unrest or any of those things. I am tired of screaming into the void that I don’t want to bother her, and I’m sorry for anything I’ve ever done along those lines. I’m sorry for every second I was unkind. I am sorry for every moment I pulled away when she needed me more, not less, even though I needed it for self-care. I’m sorry for every moment she’s said she regretted ever letting me into her life, because her truth is so far from reality. When she told me I needed to get a grip on reality, I told her I thought I had a really good one given all the shit that’s gone down, and I think it’s the only thing I’ve said that really rang true to me. Despite all of this, I am still just me, trying to live my life in the unenviable position of the over-thinker.

I blame myself for everything, just everything, even though I’ve been assured it’s not all my fault. But that doesn’t help when I’m trying to fall asleep… which is why I take sleeping medication that knocks me out so I don’t dream, and I take it as soon as I get home from work so that the day ends and begins early.

My biggest regret is that kindness didn’t win.

But you can’t win them all. Sometimes you just get up from the table.


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