Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Beginning to End: Soliciting Advice on Preserving Truth and Saving Face

This is the last I will say of this. However, I am actively soliciting advice. To begin the story, I wrote a note. (It used to be personal, now it’s just history. Show and Tell: Love Letter Edition!) It went something like this:
Sept. 19, 2010. 4:23am. 
 It felt good, a relief even, to finally have out in the open what's been making me so angry, nutty and not myself lately. I'm tired of feeling mean and crazy. The girl I've been as of late is just all the confused parts of me coming out in a horribly awkward and personally and cosmically unhelpful fashion. So I'm finally going to be honest. Tonight you showed me a side of you that I didn't think you had - and I kept myself shielded from what I thought wasn't there. And I realize now that I would rather regret what I did say, than what I didn't. (Because that's clearly flubbed me up so far.) So here goes (no laughing!): 
The night I met you, I was attracted to you instantly. Clearly that never stopped. Lately, I have made attempts to move away from the situation because it seemed really unhealthy for me; my emotions moving towards something I assumed I'd never have - cause you made it so clear that relationships and you were not friends (and my awful attempts of seeing if that were still true for me failed). Regardless, over the months that attraction has grown beyond the physical: You went from [last/nick name] to [first name]. And I started to adore all your silly quirks. And I started thinking of all the things I could do to make you happy and surprise you and realizing I couldn't because...you weren't mine. And you didn't want to be and thus I shouldn't be invested. I tried to find interest in other people and still I come back to the frame of mind that, for me, in this moment, in music and movies and jokes and laughter and penguins (and everything I ever wanted), you could be perfect. Your spoon fits mine.

There were a number of reasons I never brought it up. Good ones, I thought; like the "asshole" I thought I could never trust...but they are kind of meaningless now. And I'm tired of lying to myself now. Of lying to you and sending stupid texts that say something ridiculous instead of "I'm falling for you. Fall back." Of talking about you with choice friends and convincing myself that I'm okay alone. well, I was. You made me want something more - regardless of me trying to thwart the thoughts in my head because I wanted to date and be single and yadda yadda (oh, you hate Seinfeld). Only, I can't find anyone that makes me want them as much as you do - even as much as some may try. My anger of late is passion displaced and confused and bubbling. I want to be passionate how I'm best at it - and you brought that feeling and silly ideas of hidden notes back to me that's been lost for years. 
I'm not a girl that writes letters. I'm the girl who gets letters written for her - and poems and songs (I kid you not). This is a first for me. And I my neck probably far too out there with these words and I realize there's a good chance I'll just end up disappointed - and I'm slightly terrified and completely anxious, but i think my theory on regret lies in the right place. Because I want you. And I just don't think it's possible for you to spend 6 months with me on road trips and weekends together and fellow nerdiness and entire days just laying in bed and not feel a thing. This entire series of mistakes and making such enormous attempts not to get hurt which fucked everything up and got me hurt, is a clear indication that I'm too old for games. 
That young booty popper at the bar isn't. Worse yet, she's not a good story. Getting locked in a stairwell; that's a better story. Starting out as something that was nothing and having it both make us go "oh, this makes me want something more", is a story. (Yes, I'm claiming partial credit for that; we're good together: we laugh and it works and it's not work.) She doesn't know you. I do. And I appreciate all the inside jokes, and dimple pokes and and awkward situations and the groove in your bed that pulls me closer to you. And your kiss. And your laugh. (And do you know how many little notes I could have hidden?!) I don't know if you know what you want. But I do now. And I hope that you realize it's a really good thing and that you let me show you that I'm really an amazing girl; I've been wanting to for months.
Let this end have a beginning: Have dinner with me?

[Sidenote: Coheed and Cambria is a favorite band of both of ours and “Every end has a beginning” is their tagline: I wanted to end our physical-only relationship and begin something new. See what I did there? Also note: The 'booty popper' was a random girl he I later realized he just used in front of me to make me jealous. Ridiculous, childish games...Clue 1. He never talked to her again.]

Cute, right? Only I learned thinking you could never trust someone isn’t meaningless – and it never can be. And by god, girl, trust your gut and don’t waste a year.  We dated and he was not good to me and then I tried to run away from him and he pulled me back in. At that same exact time he came to get me back, he was starting to date a friend of mine (ours). Or what I thought was a friend of mine. Now she looks at me with suspect eyes, assuming I’ll want him again – which prompts me to fight to urge to laugh and scream and feel sorry for her a little: You couldn’t pay me to care for him again. Or be attracted. Everything about him is ugly: I sit here now embarrassed I defended him and my attraction for so long. I was wrong. Now it's weird. 

What I wasn’t wrong about was her going back to him. Once someone tells a lie, tis only logical to assume another is to follow suit. In the days that followed me finding out, I listened to what he had to say. He said he was sorry: I believed it (then). He explained it to me in a way I knew was to try to make him look innocent if the other girl ever asked: A lot of "I don't know's" were offered. But you just don’t do those things if you’re “just friends”. My brain is larger than a pea.

I knew she would go back because (momentarily) stupid women went back to my dad all the time. And after he dropped me when I was falling apart after my grandmother passed away in January, I was that stupid woman – even dumber yet, for going back when he came back for me (when he was starting to see her. The timeline is not completely clear). In the days immediately following the fallout, I talked to him. And I listened. And I expressed that I really wasn’t sure what to do; my main concern being that if/when they started dating again, I would become a threat to her and our friendship would not be allowed. Two things: 1. He said “We’ll I don’t think that’s going to happen; she’s not even talking to me right now”, and 2. He said, “I would never let someone else come between our friendship”. (He later retracted the latter statement. To say I was at all shocked would be a complete and utter lie.)

I did not buy either one of these things. I wrote this "final" note - to end the story - about two weeks after and we had talked on and off, but never sent it because my horoscope told me not to (shut up, the stars are powerful beings!). I'm glad I didn't (cause only the sharp-tongued parts are true anymore):
August 2 2011. 7:21pm.

I'm sorry, but you are no longer welcome in my life.
I want you to know that I truly appreciate you owning up to the things you've done. But I realize it doesn't change them. And it doesn't change who you are or what you had and have become to me. Oe one level a horrible person that drug me through their mistakes with nothing to show for myself on the other side of it; And on the other, someone who has and could mean a lot to me - I take friendships with people I have become close to and shared stories with you like I have, very seriously. Casual conversation at a bar wouldn't be fair to me. Or you. I'm worth more than that in any type of relationship I have vested myself in (at any point in time). I'm not willing to be just another friend. I deserve more.
I was happy before you. You made me question everything about myself. I can't put myself in a position like that again, unless I know you've really changed. And I don't think you have...yet. I feel sorry that you don't seem to grasp that you need to understand the "why's" to change. And I need to understand why and know you understand to believe you will be the man you have the potential to be. And the friend I deserve to know.

I realize I cannot believe your ah-ha moment(s) of late because you are unable to identify what made you be that way. If you cannot identify what needs to change, how can you ever guarantee you won't be the horrible person you have been?
I can't put myself in that situation anymore. Your apology is appreciated, but it is hollow.

I suggested that you need to take some time to yourself and you asked if it was for me or for you. Honestly, I think you and your "best friend" dating is a horrible idea - especially on a foundation of lies and distrust. I have been right about many things and this will ruin your friendship - much like it has ruined ours. I think she was lonely. I think you were...you. I think you are afraid to be alone and terrified to be attached: It's a terrible cocktail that ends up hurting people I believe you truly care about, but don't understand how to navigate your own feelings. I think you need to take the time to work on that and it can't involve other people; it's not fair to them.
So, to answer your question, I was coming from a place of pure, selfless friendship when I suggested you work on yourself. I had taken myself out of the equation when I genuinely inquired about your life. It hurts my feelings that you would assume I would attempt to manipulate advice for my own gain. I gain nothing from that. Find yourself, then date her as the man she deserves to have in her life. I have good advice. The evidence of it spanning a decade. And if you were willing to take the time off to work on yourself, I might trust you have the right frame of mind for motivation to change and become the man you can be - but aren't (yet). I would be inclined to existential chats on sidewalks, but anything short of that won't work right now.
I'm a good person. I'm a strong person. Has this hurt? Like hell. And does it hurt to say I cannot have you in my mind, in my heart or in my life anymore? Like bloody hell. But I just cannot shake the feeling that you're going to end up being the same old you and I'm going to be right again when hearts break, friendships are unmendable and you are finally alone - and the true existentialism cuts like a knife through your chest. Because, I know you think it has, but it hasn't yet. I can't be part of that process because I know I will be cast aside (again). It's with love when I say: It's time to grow up; and when you do, I hope that I can be around the corner someday...waiting. Because you are a kindred spirit of mine and I'm going to miss you like hell. (I already do.) 
My tears glisten in the light of the street lamp.

I loved you: without the resistance of my intuition, I could have - but you never gave me the chance I deserved. And I'm still having trouble processing how you didn't care enough then, when I needed you, when I was supposed to mean more to you, but the prospect of just friendship now is worth putting up with so much. (If you find out the answer, I'd really like to know.) I think you were confused. I think you still are. And scared. And that there is sadness in many of your smiles you hope will preserve an image. It's not okay to be disingenuous: Or lie. It's okay to cry: And love: And hate. I hope you realize that. I hope you take the time to find yourself. And then come find me. [...] With present logic, I cannot risk myself again only to be turned away because of your mistakes. It's too selfish. And I'm too forgiving.
Find yourself, then come find me. I can't put myself in a position to keep you in my dreams anymore. They have become a nightmare.

[Sidenote: I remember a lot of dreams, he used to be in a lot of them and however random they were, I'd share them. That was that reference. The street lamp: Also a reference: During our existential talk on his sidewalk in late July, he thought he saw tears welling up in my eyes in the stream of the streetlamp. Thing was? I wasn't actually crying...whoa, that just got way more appropriate than I realize.]

Reading this now I feel embarrassed again. I was way too nice. ::chuckle:: That guy’s a dick! No, seriously, I read over this and wonder how I was so blinded. However, I did feel sorry for him - he is clearly a lost soul and a troubled child refusing to grow up. And it's going to hurt when he finally does. However, stepping away from sympathy, this person is so undeserving of my time. I say this now with the realization that my prophecy has come true and I think little has changed between the two, which means, nothing about him has changed. He's fed her lies. And he's the same old asshole, forgetting what it felt like to be sorry. Undeserving of even pity. I wouldn't wait for him now, even to hold a door. Clearly, whatever rose-colored glasses I had been sporting, have since fallen off. I have mourned my friend; he's gone (if ever existed). And I have nothing left to say.

What bothers me now is that we share many friends, and what she and they (the friends that lied to me and hid this all, or rather believed lies and didn’t confront me) think I am. I honestly don’t know what he told her went on between us: Whatever it was, was to save his ass, which means I look bad: Like I followed him around for months. Wherein people acted like this and he let me misplace blame. When the truth is: HE RAN AFTER ME. And even though I was foolish to go back after he hurt me in January, if I had found out he with someone the way he was with me while dating, I would have never taken him back. I can only assume she would be the same.

And thus, something is amiss. 

I so badly want to say: This is what really happened, because he clearly told you something else. What an awkward position this is: I don’t want anyone to think I’m trying to break something up or get in the middle. People’s mistakes are their own to make. But I want my named cleared. (And were I her, I'd hope the me in the situation would speak up.) How do I make that happen – and the truth be known – without creating controversy and upheaval? I don’t want that. I just want to be me and not these stupid stories – whatever they are – that have made people - who I never thought would treat me strange - look at me like a five-legged dog...and to the other girl, a superfluously-legged dog that wants to hump her beau’s leg.  I wouldn't want to hump that leg again, even if it was slathered in chocolate covered bacon and money. Please refrain your suspicions. I've done nothing wrong. I was wronged.

So, here we are. I want to say: I think you were lied to more than you think and I am no reason for suspect eyes. I'm innocent. How do I express this without controversy?


Elliot said...

You can't give someone something that they don't want, and it's extremely difficult to make someone believe something they don't want to believe. For some people, time, experience, and pain will do the job even if a person's words can't.

Just as you felt you could be the one to get through--to change a guy you knew was flawed and conflicted, this other girl may feel the same way. She may feel this guy is the best she can get and is willing to take the risks. She may defend and be defensive against any stated flaws or perceived slights. She may disregard your advice for the same reason you ignored your own, but at least if you tell her, she'll have the knowledge to make more informed decisions.

To awkwardly tell her the way you feel can't be worse than having a friend eye you suspiciously, based on rumor (lies?) and emotional jealousy. That said, I have to wonder how a friend ended up dating a guy you were (apparently intensely) involved with during or immediately after your relationship with him. Those details might be something that they would like to clear up as well.

Regardless of theory, I can easily believe your analysis of your boy--It sounds very familiar to me. I don't know if your friend will listen, but if you care about her regardless of her current disposition towards you--if you care about strengthening or rebuilding your relationship, I'd say call her, invite her to get together if you want, and try your best to relate your experience and to wish them well regardless of your own experience with him. I imagine your friendship with her can survive despite her relationship with the guy so long as the both of you are honest with each other.

Remember your own statement that it is their mistake to make and sometime short term 'mistakes' can lead to long term successes. I hope that your friend has not already marked you as an enemy based on the boy's words, and can see your words as being at least good-natured ones.

Either way it goes, I'm sure it will all work out ok :)

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