Time Deepens Some Wounds

A few months ago, I posted about the dramatic ending of my last serious relationship. I don’t really believe in the “one true love in your life” concept, but Dru was the closest I’ve ever been to that. Even though we had a somewhat rocky relationship over the years, I was always inspired to find a way to make it work when it wasn’t working and be present and enjoy her company when it was beautiful. No matter what conflict arose, I always believed she was worth the effort to find common ground. There wasn’t even really much conflict. Most of the time, we were happy with our lives together. In the end, I realize our paths diverged long ago, and no amount of tenacity or perseverance on my part could bring us back together.

Yesterday, I saw her for the first time in eight months. I had done some work on her website last month, and she offered a massage in exchange. She is the best massage therapist I’ve ever met, and despite all the drama, I was happy to trade with her again. Given the way things ended between us, I expected her to give me a quick massage, that she would be cold and distant, and it would be the last time I ever saw her. In hindsight, I think that would have been much easier.

She was warm, open, and caring – all the things that I fell in love with from the beginning. When she hugged me, it was as if nothing had changed and we were still the happy couple I remember us being. It was not a quick “light tap on the back” barely-a-hug. It was an intimate “remember how great we were” hug. It was a “hold me close, don’t ever let me go” hug, a “kiss me like you’ll never see me again” hug. It totally took me by surprise. If you had asked me if I was over her last week, I would have said “no, but getting there.” Now, I’m right back to grieving the loss of the relationship, as if it happened yesterday.

Of course, I understand that there’s no going back, that even if we were to try it again, having gone off to date other people for a while and found that unfulfilling, we probably haven’t changed enough individually to find a healthy balance together. It would be easier for me if she were happy with someone new, but she’s not. In fact, she’s in the same situation I am. We both want something real, deep, and profound, and we have yet to find anything even close since we found each other years ago.

I told my step-father last night that I feel like a battered wife. I always thought victims of physical and emotional abuse had low self-esteem and were unable or unwilling to take action to improve their environment. Now, I understand exactly what it feels like to feel such strong love for someone that even after being treated like shit by them, I’m willing to forgive them and keep trying. At the same time, my heart is shouting “she still loves you deep down,” and my head is shouting “you’re only going to be miserable if you continue to pursue her.”

So, regardless of all the love I feel for her, and as much as I might want to have her in my life again, I can’t be her friend. It would never be enough for me. I would forever be thinking of how much I want to kiss her any time she’s near me. The irony of it all is that one of the reasons she gave me for wanting to break up in the first place was that I’m not romantic enough. I guess she doesn’t know me at all. For now, I’ll have to be content to love the one I’m with, since I can’t be with the one I love.

One thought on “Time Deepens Some Wounds

  1. “I always thought victims of physical and emotional abuse had low self-esteem and were unable or unwilling to take action to improve their environment. Now, I understand exactly what it feels like to feel such strong love for someone that even after being treated like shit by them, I’m willing to forgive them and keep trying.”

    I always thought victims of physical and emotional abuse were weak and stupid – even as I became one. I can’t speak to physical abuse, but emotional abuse is in some ways worse: You have no pictures of the damage to show, and your self-esteem may be quite well intact when you begin a toxic relationship. I liken it to dying of a thousand paper cuts – until one day, someone asks you why you aren’t seeing the obvious clearly and you hear yourself respond, “Because there is no me.”

    You may indeed feel love for your ex-girlfriend, but there are a lot of us who prefer almost anything to loneliness – so much so that we’ll take on whatever we have to in order to avoid it, and then because of what we’re willing to suffer and the lengths we’ll go to to avoid failure, we call that thing love. Kudos if you’re recognizing the need to make a clean break and move on.

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