Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Said and (will be) done

Tim came over last night. Everything seemed pretty normal. He offered to bring over food. I was running late because I had to prepare the exterior for some painting that's getting done. He watched tv while I took a quick shower.

We continued to watch "Prison Break" as we ate. We peeked at the football score during the commercials, but Tim was very adamant about not missing a minute of his show.

When the show ended, I changed the channel to watch a little more football. Tim loaded up his laundry. The game was pretty lopsided so it wasn't exactly interesting. We caught up on general stuff, sharing thoughts about work. He also told me a sad story about seeing a rabbit get hit by a car after work. :(

Finally, I asked him if we should talk for a bit. I turned off the tv. Only the drone of the washer hummed in the background.

Tim asked what there was to talk about. It seemed as if he thought we had discussed everything already. First, I apologized for bringing it up while he was driving. He didn't think that was a problem. (Nothing seems to bother him.) I told him that I wanted to know how he was feeling. His facial expression didn't change as he assured me he was fine.

"So have you decided on something?"

"I've thought a lot about it. I've considered every possible... choice there is, be it not talking at all..."

"No, I don't like that..."

"To maybe us trying to date again..."

"No, not an option."

"I'm just saying that I wanted to look at the whole spectrum."

"An what options did you like?"

"None of them."

"None? Why?"

"Because I don't know what I want."

The conversation is a blur at this point. I think I kept telling him that I want to know what he wants, what he's feeling. I felt like he was always turning the conversation back to me rather than share his feelings. He defended himself saying there's nothing for him to share since he's fine with the way things are. We broke up, he dealt with it, he's moved on. He was very non-chalant but firm about it. I've sort of known that's the answer, but somehow it was still difficult for me to hear.

There's a sense of security in knowing someone cares about me. I know it's wrong because I shouldn't use someone like that. I'm lonely, and I don't like myself. Tim has offered me some stability.

Then, I started asking stupid questions. I stated, "So you would have broken up with me eventually."

"Maybe, maybe not. We're not that compatible."

"In what way?"

"I'm a very laid back guy. You're very traditional."

[confused and shaking my head at him] "What do you mean?"

"You need someone more serious, someone Chinese, someone who cares about saving money. You like to dress nice and decorate your place in a certain way. You like to keep your place clean."

"Clean? I keep my place clean? And what's wrong with saving money?"

"I'm just saying, you need someone more traditional, although they might prefer someone more... docile."

"No, they don't want me."

"There's someone out there. You should find someone who wants to do everything with you. A guy who likes to go shopping."

"Shopping? I don't need a guy to go shopping with me. You never seemed to hate going shopping with me."

"I rarely went."

"Exactly, it's not like I'd force a guy to go shopping with me all the time. I don't need him there."

And the conversation went on. I poked more holes in his portrayal of me. While I understand his perspective, I did not agree that those things embody who I am. Is that what comes across to people? He also mentioned needing someone who wants to hear me talk about things that he doesn't care about. He said that as friends, it's okay because he doesn't have to listen to it everyday and can walk away when it gets tiring (e.g. asking which outfits look good on me). He generalized about how it's important to that people sense what other people are in the mood for and (oh, I'm not remembering this right) knowing what topics suit to the situation. Yeah, that hurt. So all this time, he's just been humoring me?

In the end, I questioned whether these were such important things to him. He acknowledged that maybe they would have worked themselves out had we stayed together. He said that perhaps we would have influenced each other. I would have mellowed, and he would have changed in other ways. But that didn't matter now. Tim made it very clear that the time has passed, and he would not date me again.

If we truly love each other, the chances of it ever being resurrected completely faded away. I started to tear up. Maybe I shouldn't have asked him what he found so incompatible. It was all true in some respects, but it still hurt. When we were dating, none of those difference seemed to bother him. It made me think that there really is no one who will want me. It felt like a break up even though we haven't dated in almost two years. I sabotaged myself all this time thinking he'd be there if I changed my mind.

Tim kept trying to encourage me to go out and spend time with other people, to try more dating things. I just shook my head. I told him that not seeing him wouldn't change anything in that I would just be at home. Sure, not seeing him changes potentially changes my mental state but not my activity choices. I pointed out to him that I haven't spent time with him for almost three weekends. He denied it at first but agreed once he recounted his weekend activities.

Later on, Tim repeated that he is fine. Comparing our social activities, he reminded me that he goes out with different people. He added that he's busy with work now but will eventually try some dating things. He assured me he does flirt with girls, at ultimate and at work. Life's all good for him.

I didn't know what to feel. Part of me desperately wanted to reach over and hug him and feel him hugging me back. The other part of me just wanted to go to sleep so I didn't have to feel or think anymore. My other negative thinking lead down a road of: being alone for the rest of my life, wanting to die, marrying the next guy that asks me, moving away, yelling at Tim, quitting work, disappearing for awhile, giving away all my belongings, etc.

Tim acted as if we'd just had a regular conversation and popped up to take care of his laundry. I pretend to be okay the rest of the night. We watched an episode of "Gilmore Girls" that I had promised would be quite funny. It cheered me up a little.

My emotions and thoughts are still simmering. I don't know what to do next. My gut reaction is to not see him at all. As painful as that sounds, it might be the only way. I'm scared, however, that it'll be more harmful than good for me. Loneliness can be very detrimental to my health (other than losing some unneeded weight ;)). I fear crashing mentally. This all seems so ironic given that I'm the one who decided to break up in the first place.

I know that our level of intimacy must change. I no longer can confide in him. It's not appropriate given our history and my feelings. I must be more guarded around him for the time being. His other comments also make me less comfortable talking to him because, now, I'll always be wondering if I'm boring him. :( It would be good if I could act a little more quiet (but that's going to be a major challenge with my mouth).

I have a few weeks to think about it. Perhaps I'll call in sick after my brother's wedding so I can have a few days of reflection and adjustment. I'm pretty uncomfortable today. My disposition might soften after vacation (of course, he'll be there too...). Regardless of what happens, things are never going to be the same.


mini said...

i'm sorry pandax. hopefully, tim will continue to be the good friend that he has been. it must be so hard to know that he's closed the door on you guys completely.

Nicky said...

Ouch. Letting go hurts, doesn't it?

Time is the answer. And other men. And exercise. And, perhaps, a little bit of retail therapy. That's my recipe for moving on. And letting yourself feel lousy about it, until it doesn't hurt so much anymore.

Good luck. Your girlfriends (real and virtual) are standing by you.

Pandax said...

Thanks gals. It's nice to have all the support. I'm probably more disturbed by the comments I perceived as somewhat hurtful (though probably not completely intentional on his part). Time will tell.

Retail therapy is not allowed for awhile... you didn't see my credit card bill last month. The REI sale was too tempting. I'm still returning stuff that I can't justify keeping. ;) Xmas gift shopping, however, is still permitted. :D

M-in-Van said...

You are soooo not over him. There is no way this man should be in your life anymore. Did you know that 10 years after most marriages end, one or both of the former partners is still deeply in love or deeply angry at the former partner? (Love and anger are flip sides of the same coin -- they both indicate emotional involvement.) You weren't married, but you formed an emotional bond, which is a real thing that you have to deal with. And it can take years. I went through this with an ex girlfriend and I eventually had to tell her that I couldn't have any contact with her at all, for awhile. Later we had a semblance of friendship, but I needed a year plus to process my feelings and sever that attachment. And I am a guy. Females are wired to feel more deeply than males (that's how kids survive the first few years, because the female develops a strong emotional attachment with their children and sacrifice everything to help them grow up successfully. Men in general are much less interested because they don't feel as strongly as women.) I highly recommend you read the book "Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends" by Dr. Bruce Fisher. That was a lifesaver for me and many others. Bottom line: you need to get a life. Your own life. An incredible life where you fully live out the amazing being that is you. By the way, you are an incredibly good writer. If you could gain a little distance from and perspective on your own emotional involvement in your life (i.e., an ironic sense), I bet you could make a fortune writing fiction about relationships. Your stuff drips versimilitude!
~Mark in Vancouver