thinking out loud
None of my friends are picking up their phones tonight, so I guess I’m just going to revert back to my MySpazz days and think out loud here. Who really needs friends anyway? I really just need to say things out loud, after all.
My ex and I have been having some growing pain moments lately. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it, but we’ve had this sort of weird interaction lately that is both distant but overly chummy for what things actually are. Since breaking up for the second time, I’ve been pretty clear that he is simply not it. He’s never going to be it. I’m done being frustrated and angry with him for not being it. I’d like to be friends, but I don’t know if we will ever really be friends.
For the past few weeks, he’s been his typical emotionally unavailable self–letting me in to a degree, but mostly playing the stoic card. It’s a confusing game he plays because he’s inconsistent. (Apparently, that’s a typical emotionally unavailable man move). Sometimes, he’s just wonderful. And then it’s like pulling teeth to connect with him. It makes me hate talking to him, and I find I’m always on the verge of ending all contact. I don’t do well with this kind of interaction. Never have. Even when I was the one doing it!
I think I mentioned the other day that he announced on Twitter that his aunt might have cancer and didn’t tell me for about 2 weeks. Despite talking to him several times. He didn’t know I already knew, and I acted like I didn’t when he did share. I tried not to be annoyed by it, but it deeply annoyed me. Mostly because he has been tiptoeing about trying to get back together. He has awkwardly flirted with me (which I engaged a little, I guess, because I felt bad), and at some point last week, he announced that he was definitely coming to visit me in San Jose once I’m all moved out. I was a bit annoyed by that because, when we broke up, I told him that I didn’t want him to visit. At least not for a long time because of the circumstances of our break-up. I don’t trust him, point blank, and I feel like we need to be in a friend-zone relationship for a while before we can handle a visit. Also, I’m going to be in school full-time and working full-time from the time I get there on. So, I’m not really going to have much free time. It kind of pissed me off that he just blurted it out instead of asking me. But then, that’s him and why I don’t want to be with him.
Last night, he was acting pretty weird. When we had talked before, he had mentioned they’d be getting final word about his aunt’s possible diagnosis on Friday. I had asked then what kind of cancer it might be. He had been really flippant about it and said it was “lung-y.” I remember thinking–“Oh, crap. That’s bad.” Because it is. I expected him to say something yesterday about it. But he didn’t. He had texted me some weird crap in the morning that he thought was funny, and we had pretty okay dialogue that wasn’t too annoying for most of the day. Hours later, he started telling me about all the people who died–Robert Loggia and Scott Weiland. I made a joke and said, “What are you? CNN?” Which is not really something he’d ever get offended by. He got super weird and said he was just making conversation and: “Fine. I’ll shut up now.” I responded back that it just seemed random and there wasn’t much of a conversation to be had about it other than, “Oh, that’s too bad.” Which it is, but why are you texting me about it like it’s 9/11?
He never responded and was silent all day. This morning, a friend texted me to let me know he’d just found out about his aunt and posted it on Twitter. Seeming uncharacteristically emotional. Well, duh–of course he was. But he’d said nothing to me. I wanted to reach out to him–and would have in any other circumstance–but if he wanted me to know or wanted my support–he would have said something TO ME. I figured I’d give him space and let him reach out. Hours later, he texted a sentence–the diagnosis. “Stage 4 and it has spread.”
I’d like to think I’m a sensitive, good person. But I was mad at him. I wanted to be there for him, but I felt disrespected. The thing is–supporting other people who are going through difficult times is not some easy thing for me–like some people must think. Sure–I am ALWAYS there for my friends. I ALWAYS reach out and offer support. Always. But I make a choice to do that. Always. Being an HSP and being me–someone who has lost all her family during the holidays–I am so aware of the emotions people go through. But–for me–it IS a burden. It hurts. But I am not an asshole. I know what it’s like for people to abandon you when things like this happen. It happened to me. So, I always try to be the person I needed back then. No matter what the cost.
But I realized that I couldn’t this time. I have bent over backwards to love and understand this dude. I have been so patient. I have tried and tried and tried to support him. And it takes a toll. I realized that if I offered my normal level of support now and he did his typical machismo thing, I would end up hating him, and I might not reach out to the next person who needed me who could actually accept my love. You have to learn what your limits are, and I had hit mine.
So, I decided to respond in a detached way. I said something like, “That’s too bad. I had feared that outcome when you mentioned the type.”
It was exactly how he would have responded. I realized that after I sent it and felt awful. I wanted to swoop in and fix it, but I knew it really wouldn’t matter. So I didn’t. He came back telling me they’d try experimental treatments. I had to respond to that because–well–I can’t cheerlead false hope. I witnessed how torturous that dance is when my own aunt went through treatment. And I really wish they’d never even considered it. Even when I’m detached, I can’t not give my opinion. So, I gave him the tough love answer, even though he probably wanted to play pretend, like always. I just can’t do that. He was silent after that. I sent a text later that went unanswered.
I hope my irritation with him didn’t come out in the communication, but it did. I’m sure of it. Even as I carefully chose my words. Part of me feels like this was a huge missed opportunity. That maybe this thing will finally get him to feel something rather than run away, but my experience with him tells me he’ll keep running. The other day, I figured out why his stoicism is so painful to me and feels so difficult. It’s because he’s essentially who I was when I was 7 years old, and for the life of me, I have no idea why. My emotional breakdown and shutdown happened because my father died. Severe trauma. What the fuck happened to him? You don’t get like this just by growing up.
I wish I could have that conversation with him. I wish I could talk to him about why I respond the way I do to him–why I’m sometimes so fed up. Why I feel like I can’t be myself with him. Why I can NEVER support him and therefore NEVER actually love him or be with him. I want to tell him all these things now. Because if I don’t, I don’t think I ever will. I’ve given up.
But it’s not the time, right? Like all interactions with him, it’s just a waste of time. He won’t hear me. I’ve circled this drain before.