(another old draft that never made it out, I won’t have it, everything is getting either deleted or posted)
I am struggling again with focusing on anything other than my ex and the break up. Since I saw him unexpectedly a week ago I’m back to a restless uneasy pull towards him. Feeling that things shouldn’t be like this, that it should just be able to dissolve away as the silly misunderstanding it all was. I wish I had the experience to know if this was what I’d normally be like after a break up, although as with everything I get the sense it doesn’t actually matter. It’s just steps in the long haul towards being able to feel someone very important to you doesn’t matter at all. And I fight it because I can’t bear the idea of making someone unimportant, it feels like such a horrible negative thing to do. Everyone should be important. Also cause my self is still tied up with him trying to make him and my feelings for him not important feels like making myself less important too.
Then on top of that I just miss him. I spend a lot of time trying to focus on the things that weren’t perfect in the relationship to persuade myself losing him was for the best, so it doesn’t hurt so much. But the truth is I was very happy, though he thought I wasn’t, and leaving or losing him was the last thing I wanted. All the trying to be angry and focus on the negatives is simply the only way I know how to make it bearable that someone I loved walked suddenly and unexpectedly away and despite my best efforts to stop him he seemed relieved to be out of it and to have no interest in getting back in.
What bothers me most about it comes and goes, but circles around a few basic things.
1. That people I thought liked me suddenly stopped liking me and as far as I can tell it was probably cause I stopped self censoring as much around them as I had been, in other words I was trying to be more me and they didn’t like me. They didn’t want to know what I was thinking or feeling, they liked me being quiet and cooperative and fitting in and not being a bother. It’s a huge self negation and it’s hard to move past.
2. That I felt I had no control over what happened, that people weren’t telling me what was really going on but discussing things without me while making assumptions about what I thought and felt.
As in all interactions I think you have to seek balance to be safe. If you don’t feel more or less the same level of care for someone you are in an unsafe position. So if someone has moved you from important to not important and isn’t going to change that back you need to be able to match that as swiftly as possible.
But it’s hard because the whole thing took me so very off guard. The events keep coming back to me with the same feelings of bewilderment and unreality that they did at the time.
I understand where I am now and bits of why and that there’s not much of anything that can be done about it. But most of all I feel like I had no control over what happened and that’s what brings me back to it most. The feeling of helplessness. They say people deal best with things that are predictable and allow them to feel in control, no matter how bad they are, and are most damaged by things that are unpredictable and make them feel helpless and out of control.
It’s an interesting argument, it certainly makes sense to me. All the anxiety, not understanding what was happening or why or what I was supposed to do about it. Feeling helpless and confused and afraid because I didn’t understand what was going on with people or why, so had no way of knowing what they were going to do or say next. Behaving in ways that made it worse because of that, but not feeling able to stop because of the confusion and what felt like random emotional attacks and not really knowing what I was trying to do to fix it cause I didn’t really understand what was actually wrong.
When you feel like you have no control you keep looking for the control. Where did I get to make a decision? Where did I have a choice? Can I somehow turn it into feeling like I had some control? Without control you’re in the realm of the unknown and we all know the fear that comes with the unknown.
But I didn’t have any control. It all happened out of my hands and without my knowledge and I suspect it was largely over before I even had half a clue what was happening and all the scrambling I did to try and understand and fix things was as futile as the kid who’s trying to keep their parents together and thinks they can have any effect when they don’t understand what’s really going on.
I don’t understand how or when I went from trusted to untrusted. I don’t know how or when I went from welcome to unwelcome. I don’t know what I did to make people so unhappy they wanted to get away from me and protect themselves from me by pushing me away. All I know is it mostly happened before I knew anything was going on. While I was wondering how best to integrate my life around my relationship, what would work best for everyone, and looking forward to finding out how it was all going to work, I was somehow being misinterpreted and edged out of the picture behind the scenes.
What I do think is that I misunderstood what was wanted of me. I tried to do what I thought was right but I was working from the wrong set of rules with the wrong idea of what we were trying to achieve. I was trying to create a life with people when I think I was supposed to see things as a nice but ultimately dispensable sideline.
The end of my relationship was one of the most surreal things that’s every happened to me cause it came about at a point when I was feeling very confident in the permanence of the relationship. Up there in shock value with my fathers death and being thrown out of the states the same day as 911. The latter was the least surreal of the three. I knew there was a chance things would go wrong on the states front cause my boss hadn’t got his shit together on the paperwork front and as for 911, I’m good at big disasters. I find them oddly explicable and I feel in control through the fact that no-one else has any more control than I do. Also the complete inability to affect what’s happened gives me a strange sense of safety, there is absolutely no way I could prevent something like 911 or a tidal wave or an earthquake. There is no what could I have done, what could I have changed.
My fathers death was like a cross between the two. It had the same uncontrollable inevitability as a natural disaster. No-one could have seen it coming, no-one could have stopped it, if someone had been there it wouldn’t have made any difference. The sense of loss was more like my break up though, but there was no going over things looking for answers, no guilt or confusion or anxiety or blame. Just simple sorrow.
It may seem strange to say that my break up is harder to deal with than my fathers death, but anyone who was around me for both will know that it’s true. I’m aware that the pain from one will last far longer than the other, but there were only brief moments when the pain of my fathers death was as intense as the loss of my relationship and it was under control in a very short period of time. Because at all points in my fathers death I knew what was happening and I knew I was doing what I was meant to do and there was nothing more I could do. And because my dad didn’t choose to leave me and everyone in my family pulled together and did the best they could to support everyone else.
So what do you do about a situation in which you feel you had no control? I don’t have an answer.
I’m not sure there is an answer. Just like a kid who can’t change things or make things better cause they can’t actually affect the situation, it is totally out of their hands. I’m not a kid, but in this situation I’ve also not been able to take equal participation in the decisions made. Nobody told me anything was wrong till it was really wrong and even then noone sat down and tried to talk to me about it or explain it. I was dropped in the middle of a crisis with no warning it was brewing.
I don’t know how to let it go and stop worrying over it, resenting it, wanting back my chance to be heard and included and react to things knowing what’s actually going on.
When your life goes out of your control so does your ability to deal with things. And you get hurt far more than you would otherwise. I guess it’s our job to try to stay on top of things, but I’m not sure there’s an answer to how to deal with it when things get away from you. I guess you just keep trying to figure things out until you feel like you know where you are again.
I gave up too much control, I thought I was safe to. I thought I was in a safe space and maybe also I was lazy and didn’t want to rock the boat. A lot of what’s hard to deal with is being back where I started, the culture shock of spending a year living a different life and suddenly having it all evaporate. I didn’t like being alone before, I like it even less having not been. I can’t have back what I had. I don’t know how to look forward to finding it somewhere else.
Having no control has left me more anxious than before.