The problem is it's pretty hard to think about other women. I see them around, as I always have, and many are pretty, and look interesting. I try to imagine having a relationship with them, tentatively, like, what would it be like to be with someone different? My mind recoils. That's not her. It's not the woman you love. Why would I want to start a relatinship with someone when I'm already in love with someone else? (Ignoring that she left me, of course.).
I keep saying that I wish I could make myself stop loving her, but that's not actually true. My love for her is this one good thing, it's something that's true. It's something I've always been true to, at least. Everything has fallen apart, but the love remains. Why would I want to kill it? It made me so happy.
So, I'm awake at 9am, and I can't get back to sleep. Actually, when I woke up, I felt good for a few moments. I'd had a decent night's sleep, and I just felt refreshed and full of life. For a moment. Then, suddenly, it hit me again that she was gone, she wasn't coming back. I was so angry, so angry that I had let myself forget, even for a moment, because it meant seeing happiness for a second and the only thing worse than being destroyed is being destroyed but getting occasional glimpses of what life would be like if you weren't.
Maybe it's progress, of a sort. Tomorrow, when I wake up, maybe I won't remember for a minute. Then two. After a while, I'll only miss her once a week. I can't imagine this really happening, but it's pretty much all I have to hope for.
I had a doctor's appointment at 11am, to see him about chronic depression. See, I'd been depressed for several months before the breakup. She had been depressed for many years before that, and she finally got so crazy that she agreed to see a doctor (the same doctor) and he prescribed antidepressants. Her life got a lot better, or at least it seemed to. She wasn't as angry all the time. She didn't hate people any more. She didn't break up with me as often (just one big one).
The irony (there are many, actually) is that we had thought about breaking up before she went on drugs, and I was about ready to do it. She just pushed me away so many times, I had hardened myself to her. I was ready to break it off to avoid being hurt more later. She gave me an ultimatum -- marry her or lose her. I waited three days to decide. Finally, I realised that I loved her, and would always love her, even if she did hurt me. I asked her to marry me.
She was still depressed, though, and she panicked and decided maybe marriage wasn't best. I said, OK, we'll wait. Then she got really depressed, and couldn't leave the house, and cried all the time. She finally agreed to go on medication.
Suddenly everything changed. Life was manageable for her. Little things didn't make her uncontrollably angry. She stopped hurting me in all those little ways she had before. And, gradually, over the last six months, I fell deeper and deeper in love with her. She had stopped pushing me away, and I discovered just how close to her I could become.
I would tell her several times a day how much I loved her. How perfect she was. Every time we made love I told her afterwards how much I wanted to marry her, to spend the rest of my life with her. I just couldn't help myself. I was that stupid, giddy kind of in love like in the movies, where I wanted to climb to the top of a high building and yell out how much I loved her, how great she was.
Of course, this was the moment she picked to have an affair and dump me.
So, yes, it's fucked up to let someone else be your happiness, as she was mine. It leaves you pretty vulnerable if that person runs off. At this point, I have two options: I can either find my own happiness, or I can die.
Suicide has a bad rap. My mother has contemplated suicide many times, and she's a reational woman. Her reasoning, and mine, go like this: if you can't be happy in this world, there's really no reason for you to take up space. Void is better than misery.
This is good, solid thinking, but before I inadvertantly case dozens of net.suicides, let me point out the big IF in that statement. IF you can't be happy in this world. How do you know? When you're unhappy, it seems like it will last forever. I'd never loved anyone who loved me back until I met her, when I was 20. Before that I was massively unhappy, and figured (based on past experience and extrapolating forward) that I'd never have a real girlfriend. And, when things were bad between me and her, when I wasn't sure if I loved her, I assumed it'd never change. That's why I didn't marry her for 9 years. I never imagined it could grow to be as good as it was. Of course, I never imagined it could hurt so much, either.
So, my mom made a deal with herself -- she won't kill herself until she talks with a certain rational person, who then gets a chance to convince her that life has some possibility of getting better. (Let me explain at this point that my mom's not a wimp -- she's in an extreme amount of pain and is still suffering aftereffects from leukemia.)
This is a long way to say, suicide is a valid option for me. But, it's also the one that requires the least planning. I just have to pick a way to do it that's guaranteed to be final (if life sucks, being crippled rarely helps), and there's dozens for an enterprising boy like me.
Thus, without limiting my options, the only sensible thing for me to do is continue on like I'm going to recover, like I'm going to somehow grow back all the organs that are missing now that I have this giant hole in me. Then, maybe I will recover, maybe I won't. The question for me is, can I be happy alone, or can I ever find someone else I love? Either way, I'd better get ahold of my life.
To the doctor. He's a really nice guy. I wish all appointments with him weren't limited to 15 minutes, because I could really have used extra time. First he just asked me about losing her, and I cried, and he hugged me. What doctor hugs you?
I told him about trying to recover, and he told me that it was normal for me not to be eating and to be completely shell-shocked. He said it wouldn't go away for a while. I said my mom said she hadn't eaten for two weeks after losing her love, and he said that seemed about right, but considering I was already depressed, he expected me to go three. At this point I had a vision of a 3D bar graph in a book somewhere that has 'number of years in relationship' on one axis and 'how nutty patient was before breakup' on another, with the bars telling how many weeks the patient will skip food and not be able to function as a human.
He prescribed Zoloft, which has a 10% chance of causing anorgasmia. Doesn't lesson the need for sex, just makes you unable to come. I pointed out, with a certain unhappiness, that now that my lover was gone, I really didn't need any ADDITIONAL impediments to sexual release.
Well, he said, there's a 90% chance I WON'T have anorgasmia. This kind of glass-half-fullism is all well and good, but I doubt he'd be so pollyanna if I were playing russian roulette with HIS dick.
None-the-less, I'm going to take the little pills, for a little while at least. It should help me through this crisis, and maybe it'll help me be a more whole person than I ever was before. In fact, I'm going to take my first pill right this second. 1:29PM. Gulp. Did it. I've taken my first step into a larger world. Funny, I don't feel any different.
Hey, maybe I'll cheer up and then cheat on my girlfriend. D'oh! Beaten to the punch.
I pointed out to her on Sunday that, although I could understand her falling in love with another man, there were really two things that I thought she'd done unfairly.
The first was, she didn't tell me as it was happening. I've had fascinations with women during the nine years we've been together, and she's been fascinated with other guys. When you're in one of these crushes, the other person seems like everything good, everything you are missing from your relationship. I know this.
I also know that if you tell the other person, the fascination evaporates, almost instantly, and what you're left with is a cold, hard assessment of the other person. I've been amazed when I realised, time and again, how little I was actually going to get when I thought I would get more.
But she didn't tell me. She let it grow into flirtation, an affair, and beyond. Now, of course, he may be the man for her, the man that makes her truly happy. And, if that's the case, so be it. But he could also be just a crush, and she could be throwing away her life with me, her love with me, for nothing. Either way, she could have told me. I like to think I would have let her continue to be his friend, as she let me be friends with the women I was once fascinated with. (Although it would take her years to stop saying "bitch!" quitely after every mention of any of their names.)
So, it's not the affair I mind so much, it's the fact that she hid the affair. Not like this is a surprise, I've always prized honesty above all else. I've always thought that absolute, complete, unflinching, no-sugar-coating honesty is the basis of any real relationship. And, in fact, I believe this even more so now.
But, I don't want to demonize her. I've hid my fascinations for a little while, too. I lied about them. I always came clean before anything happened, but then, I wasn't unhappy with her, and she was unhappy with me. I think she wanted it to grow into something she couldn't control.
The second thing I think she did wrong is not give me a chance to make my life better. Part of the reason she was unhappy with me, or at least as I understand it, is because my life had "become small". Well, of course it had. I've been depressed. Just as she was. If you don't have the energy to do your job right, to make your house a little nest for you and her, to even rake the damn leaves, your life gets small.
But I put up with her small life for 8 years. I didn't need her life to be big for mine to be big. I didn't ask that of her. I went out, I made a successful business, I built stuff, I made my life be exactly what I'd always dreamed. And she stood still, and in the end she blamed me for it, because I had made her too comfortable along the way. Well, she made me comfortable, too. But I still had a burning passion, and I still acted on it.
This is beside the point of my story, which is that I told her that I thought it was unfair for her to not wait until after I'd gone on antidepressants before she decided to leave me. She thought about it. and agreed, and said she'd wait a month if I wanted. But when I asked her if she was waiting because she loved me more, or because she just wanted to be fair, it was clear it was the latter.
Well, fuck it. I'm not going to be anyone's pity-boyfriend. I told her to go with him now, and then if it didn't work out, she could come back to me later.
Sure, this way I don't get her for another month. But, if she comes back, she'll really be mine. I'll be the one she loves, and she'll won't spend the rest of her life pining for her dream man.
And, if she doesn't come back...
Well, extrapolating into the future based on the present, life will really, really suck. But at least I won't be in this life-denying relationship where I know that she's only there because she feels like she owes it to me. Talk about a good way to destroy yourself.
At least, this is what I tell myself. I also think, she could be in my arms right now, and maybe I could just turn off my brain and my doubts and bury myself in her and everything would be all right again, or if not all right then at least not as painful. Maybe I wouldn't cry every hour.
I'd been going back and forth about the whole hope thing, because on the one hand, I really, really want her back. I love her more than I love myself, more than life itself, all that gushy stuff people say but that you just can't understand until you feel it, or maybe you can't understand it until you lose it.
On the other hand, I need to heal if she doesn't come back, and I don't want to be one of those pathetic guys who waits and waits and waits for his one true love to come back long after she's gone on to a much happier life. Mrs. Dimsdale, that was the character's name, right? I'm not good with names, she always remembered them for me. Brain sharing.
On the other hand, it helps me so much to pretend she'll be back. Yesterday I asked if she'd consider coming back if things don't work out, and she said yes, and I was practically euphoric. It's amazing what can make you happy when you hit rock-bottom.
On the other other hand, I read that last sentence and am disgusted with myself for being so pathetic.
On the other other other hand, I believe that relationships are messy, and take lots of work, and I still love her so much, and if this is just a fascination on her part, I don't want it to screw up the best thing that has ever happened to me by not being ready to take her back.
On the other other other other hand, if she comes back to me, I can't be a sniveling worm that she's deigning to take back -- it has to be on my terms. No, I'm not going to make her crawl, in fact all I am going to make her promise is complete honesty, always. If I live my life just waiting for her to come back, I'm not really going to be in a position to make her promise anything, am I? (Please don't ask me what the value of a promise is from someone who has lied to you -- or, if you do, ask her, too, since she's the one running off with the lying, cheating dog. Oh, that was a cheap shot. Bad Wil.)
The consensus seems to be, I need to think and act like she isn't coming back, because then if she does come back to me, I'll be the whole person that she wants to be with, rather than the half person that she left. And then she'll never have to look at another man. That's the theory, anyways.
The problem, of course, is if I believe that IS the way to get her back, then I start thinking that I will get her back that way, and then I become dependent on that.
But, the doc said, don't live life for her to come back. Feel the pain of her leaving, learn to live with it, then, in a month or so (must allow extra time for my depression), start to build yourself a new life.
Meanwhile, he said, you'll be more miserable than you could ever imagine. Ah. Good that this is normal misery, then. I was worried.