Hope can be the best and the worst thing.
Strap in…this is going to be a long one.
He came over…which i will go on to, but first, my therapy session. We discussed what had happened (the break up) since the previous week, and then onto my relationship history. My therapist made a point of saying, even though i probably already knew this, she wanted to point out that I have ‘exceptionally high emotional intelligence’ and self awareness. She is right. I knew it was higher than most peoples, but to have a professional tell me that was lovely to hear. It’s why therapy works for me. I am a HSP, Highly Sensitive Person. My nervous system is wired to pick up more than the other 80% of the population does. It’s a biological difference. It is a wonderful trait that comes with some downsides – my superpower is also my kryptonite. Over-arousal being one of those downsides. Too much stimulation wears me out. Being a single parent and emotionally caring for my Mum and Ex, while trying to complete a degree was a recipe for disaster. It had to all end this way. Now i know what happened and why, i can do something about it. I can’t take on too much, as much as i’d like to. I am a social creature…and the difference between the healthier relationships and those with my Mum and Ex is boundaries. Because of my natural care-giving nature i can give too much to the people I care about. I need to learn where my boundaries need to be and that it is not my job to fix/help anyone but myself and my children.
Anyway, back to him…while it’s still fresh in my mind and not some tangled mess. Something to look back on and remind myself when i’m feeling less strong and sure of things. I was taking a little nap, as i felt a bit poorly and wanted a boost to get me through my jobs for the day. His message tone woke me up. He said he was going shopping and realised i had a lot of frozen food at his and wanted to know whether i wanted it. I said if he didn’t then yes, i do. He came to drop it off. He asked me how i was. I shrugged my shoulders and said, i’m not going to lie, a bit rubbish. I asked him if he wanted to come in, but reassured him he didn’t need to.
I told him i missed him…’I’m not going to lie, i’ve missed you too’ was the response.
I told him i was still really confused, because from my point of view, everything was fine until that Tuesday, when i went round, woke him up (because he’d missed his alarm and his daughter was late for school). After i had woken him up, I had laid down next to him and had a nap, because i was exhausted (barely slept the night before with bad period pain, kids and the cat waking me throughout the night). When he woke up i could tell i’d done the wrong thing from his point of view, because i know his moods and behaviors inside and out. I apologised and scarpered pretty quick. From his point of view, he’d been woken up and was then expected to apologise for not being grateful. He went on to explain that I need a lot from him, needed more from him than i articulate…and brought up the day previous to that (his son’s birthday)…the one i thought was absolutely fine. I reminded him that he had rang me that morning. I was poorly and even though he’d kindly offered to get stuff for me if i needed it, i’d declined his help. He went onto describe how he’d then had to deal with me crying in the street (same day). I reminded him that we bumped into each other by accident, and I had just been on the phone to a particularly difficult woman from the job centre, and i’d had to defend myself to her which had stressed and upset me. I didn’t ring him to tell him this. It was a natural occurrence. Even if he was just a friend i’d expect a little compassion. I didn’t ask him for help or to worry about me. I stated that i would get a sick note from the doctor to deal with the job centre and was considering asking for an increase in dosage of my meds. I was dealing with my shit. In my opinion, he is not seeing things clearly. His memory of what happened and his perception of my needs are inaccurate. Which leads me to…his meds.
I said there was one other thing i needed from him. The strip of meds i lent him until he got his. He told me he still has them. I saw the flash of terror on his face…a micro-expression that would be lost on most people. For me, I saw a terrifying subject. Gently, i probed. I asked if he had his own. No, he’s not ordered them. I asked him what his ambivalence was to taking them. He explained that he doesn’t like how he feels on them. That he feels numb. ‘How am I supposed to motivate myself to do stuff if i don’t feel anything?’. My mind flitted to the sexual dysfunction that has plagued our two year relationship. I know he wasn’t talking specifically about that, but it has been a raw subject for him in the past. I didn’t mention this.
I reminded him there are other anti-depressant medications he could try…or he could try talking to someone. ‘I’m waiting for counselling’.
I told him i was going to give him a hug. I gave him several quick hugs before he eventually left. I held back during the hugs, my heart was not completely open. Guarded for both our sakes. The last hug threatened to bring me to tears, so i playfully told him to go before i started blubbing.
After therapy i messaged to say it was nice to see him, that i felt much better after our chat, that i was well and would see him on the school run.
I went to my friend Jewel’s house to walk to school with her (she’s now my support bubble). I told her everything that had happened and how i felt about it.
I’m over explaining…almost like i am trying to explain enough to justify myself. Don’t get me wrong, i do hear myself…hear how it all sounds. But there is too much history to create a fully contextualized picture of what has gone before and where we are now.
So, the bottom line is this. I feel better now i know what is going on in his head. I have not done anything wrong and have stood up for myself, as much as his current MH state can tolerate. He just has no ability to function in a relationship at present, and for the foreseeable future. I can see and understand that. Even on his meds things weren’t perfect…but i knew that the external stressors objectively took almost all of his energy, but was happy with what he was giving me for that time. He knew this. He has said many times in the past that he feels like a terrible boyfriend. I do want more, but don’t expect more than he can give me while ill. I accept the end of our romantic relationship, as much as i feel sad about that. But to lose him from my life completely feels like a crime. I know it will take a while to transition to friends, and space will be needed for both of us. But we have both said a million times that we are (aside from our kiddos) each others very best person in the world.
Perhaps after some time apart we will feel differently. But i doubt it. I believe, truly believe, that he’s my ONE…or at least one of my ones (who knows how many soulmates we have)…and I am his. One entry, in the future, i’ll share our origin story. It’s romantic…or at least i put a romantic spin on it.
My mum used to say to me, ‘those who want don’t get’ which is absolute bullshit. It took me years to realise this. It’s those who put themselves out there that usually succeed. I want him, the him that he is when he is well. We make an excellent team. We were the envy of all my friends…deliciously loved up (except the 4 occasions he has gone off his medication – then he pushes me away and retreats into his man cave). But i’m not going to put my life on hold. We’ve had our talk, we know where we stand…me not changing my mind about the break up, him defiantly un-medicated and struggling with his life.
My hope is that when his health is stable and his life less stressful (he’s planning on representing himself in a work tribunal) that he will see things differently. I don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t want me. My self-esteem is pretty good these days…i know my value…i’m a catch. When i’m ready i’ll put myself back on the dating apps. But, if we do still love each other by the point he’s ready (mentally and lifestyle wise) for an adult relationship, and everything that comes with it, then i’m in.
In the mean time…i feel lighter than i have done in ages. I’m going to do my jobs tomorrow. All the important ones. Hopefully i wont feel as poorly.