Thursday, March 14, 2013

I'm ok, really!

It's almost disturbing how "ok" I actually feel, in light of my relationship with Archer ending just two days ago. I'm not sure I understand it.

I saw him last night for a moment. I was happy to see him. His manner was brusque, except for one moment in which he was concerned for me and his voice softened. Then the cold swept back into his face and he was gone before he left. He looked so sad, so pained, that I found myself blinking back tears. Deep breath in, deep breath out, refocused on the things I could do something about; I let him go.

I wanted so much to comfort him, to be the shoulder he cried on. He wouldn't have appreciated that sentiment, then.

Later he texted me. It seemed a sort of explanation, or even apology; he was having himself a solid mean drunk, and should be left alone.

Fair enough. I appreciated the heads up and I left him alone. Even when I got a garbled text much later that I desperately wanted him to clarify, I put the phone down and went to sleep. In the morning, I let myself respond. Have you ever heard a proud man eat crow? It should have been more uncomfortable for me than it was. Instead, I felt a pang for the hurt in his voice, and I wished I could take that pain away from him. I wished I could make things clear for him, though they aren't really clear in my own mind. I wanted to wrap him up in love.

The idea of being without me, he said, was more than he could bear. It hadn't been as easy as he thought it'd be, the way it had been in his past relationships. It hurt too much.

I, on the other hand, have never been so unscathed by a breakup, relatively speaking. After that first night, I felt stronger, calmer than I have maybe ever. Why? This had been the healthiest relationship of my life (which, admittedly, isn't saying a whole hell of a lot) - surely I should be mourning it more strongly, with more pain.

In contemplation last night, I realized that I was just grateful for the clarity. I'd been aware of his gradual emotional withdrawal for six months. I'd felt every reason that hid under excuses, and the lie of it had been a more powerful rejection than if he'd just said he didn't want to do (whatever it was at the time), like he didn't trust me to handle my disappointment and hiding the real reason was supposed to soften the blow. As though de-prioritizing me were less hurtful than saying, "I'd rather not do (that) today." None of that was intentional. It's merely human. We don't want to hurt the ones we love, and when we're irrational, we do irrational things. The stress of witnessing his unacknowledged retreat was ended when the retreat was acknowledged.

This morning, during our conversation, I saw the other side of my relative ease: I didn't see him as 'gone.' He wasn't my boyfriend anymore, but I still saw as my best friend. A best-friendship that had been released from the bonds of 'girl/boy-friendship' which had strangled us. A friendship with the gags and onus of... something I can't quite identify, yet... removed. It was liberating.

So feeling good about gaining clarity and not losing my best friend has actually made this a good week for me. We'll try this again, Archer and I. And we'll keep the lessons of this week in mind. In my eyes, these lessons have quickly risen to "guiding principle" status.

Down to my Bones, Archer. Always.

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