This post has been a long time coming.
I fell in love with Beaut. At least I think I did. Does it count if it wasn’t fully reciprocated? I am not sure what to call months and months spent in a non-official relationship, with a guy who has the most (justified) intense commitment issues I’ve ever seen. A guy who has said he loves me, but is not in love with me. Oftentimes I would cloak myself in the wonderful cuddly feel of his affection for me. I would then watch him suffer deeply, torn between his desire to find love, and a rigid inability to believe in his capacity to survive the risk of trusting someone and exhibiting vulnerability. To be fair to him, knowing his life story, I understand why he has built such a fortress around his heart. But it makes me sad to see him struggle between his emotions, reason and his fears.
I’m not sure how much of his sufferings these past months were caused by the perpetual conflict btn his desire to remain safe and unhurt, and the wtv-kind-of-love he has for me. I know he said he was not in love with me. But he was something with me. I’m choosing to trust my gut, and my gut tells me that what we shared was real and lovely. It wasn’t enough, though. And that makes me sad.
I gave him all of myself, because I could. Voluntarily. With no strings attached, only requesting that we share our happiness together, because it was good, for as long as we could. Repeatedly he told me he couldn’t bring himself to be in a relationship with me, or with anyone. Repeatedly I told him that was ok – I was not asking him to be in a relationship. I was asking him to enjoy our time.
I’ve waited for him to relax around me and trust me. And I have seen small tokens of his growing trust. But everytime he trusts me a little bit, he then withdraws completely. Again, I don’t know how much is me, how much is life, and how much is the warring parts of his brain and heart that find vulnerability intolerable. Everytime he withdraws, I cry.
He has so much going on. Life has not been good to him thus far. On top of difficult circumstances growing up, he has been unfortunate in the people he has known, and has suffered a few betrayals from individuals that should have been trustworthy. These have left him with permanent deep scars, emotionally and financially. For his precious daughter, he is trying to get his shit together to be the father she needs him to be. His love for her is so true – it makes my heart sing seeing them together. He is struggling to get his career to a stage where he can provide for her well, not just to the best of his abilities. His mental and emotional anguish is almost palpable. I recognize some of the signs – sometimes I worry he is sinking into a bad depression, so much of his pain is familiar, a worse version of what I’ve experienced myself in my dark times.
He has told me he loves me, but he needs to withdraw and isolate himself to try center himself and get his life back on track. This withdrawal is not just from me, but from his close friends and family too. I get it. That was exactly my own impulse when my life was spiraling out of control. Being around ppl, any ppl, even the ppl I loved, was intolerable. I could not bear for them to see me in all my unraveled tortured mess. Every interaction was exhausting and raw. The burden of appearing normal sucked up all my energy. I needed space and silence. I too withdrew from the world – and that was under circumstances that, comparatively, must appear privileged and plush compared to the inferno Beaut is dealing with.
I didn’t know, then, how much it hurts to hear the words, “I can’t make space for you in my life.” To hear the pain and exhaustion in the silence following those words.
I didn’t know how hard it would be to honor those wishes. I don’t want to. I just want to cuddle with him, kiss away the pain and tell him it will be alright. We will see this through. I’ll have faith for him, even when he doesn’t have any. I’m here for him. We’ll take this one day at a time.
Except we aren’t a we. We never were. The way I must be there for him is by stepping away and granting him the space he needs.
I didn’t know I could cry so much about a guy who never was my boyfriend.
It grieves me that life has dealt you such a shitty hand of cards, and I admire your perseverance and courage in dealing with it. There is a heroism to every day life, and I am constantly humbled by how much of it you exhibit. I wish you success, happiness and peace, and eventually love, in wtv form you can find it. It makes me sad that I could not bring you the same joy, growth and healing that you gave me. I will always have space for you in my life – you just have to ask, please don’t let your pride ever stop you from asking. I appreciate your honesty in all our interactions. I value what we shared, and I’ll always, always, cheer you on.
With all my love,