I just recently got an award for working one year at my new job. That's given me some time to reflect on things. It's been one year since I returned home. To say that I did anything more than flee from Michigan and my ex, Becky would be an overstatement. I fled in complete and utter shame. In this past year, I've had a lot of time, perhaps too much time, to think about everything that went down. To think about the future and where I go from here.
One week before Becky told me she couldn't marry me, there was no outward sign that we were headed for the end. Sure there was trouble, and things were stressful but from my point of view things were looking up (if only slightly). We sat together and watched a sunset on her parents' property on Dixon Lake. Her neighbor even commented on how in love we looked.
I think the matter of fact way she said it, or maybe the way I became a non-person afterward is what made this whole thing the most difficult. I don't know when or how but she had become the center of my world. Everything in my world revolved around her, and my ambition was directed at trying to make her happy.
I can't say for sure if they were panic attacks but in the time between the break-up (August 25th), and the time I left (September 3rd). When I returned, I was broken. I tried talking to her a few times. Tried to keep it up. But it just hurt so badly. Plus her responses grew ever more exasperated that I wasn't getting with the program. The one question I want(ed) answered is why?
In the year since then, I've come to the conclusion that if I got an answer that was satisfying emotionally, it wouldn't be satisfying intellectually and vice versa. I wish that I could have answers. I wish that I could call a mulligan. But if wishes were fishes no one would go hungry.
The thing that has brought this in sharp relief is the workouts I'm doing with a gal, we'll call M. M wants to be a LEO, but is worried about the entrance exams. I can sympathize. M is also a lesbian who just broke up with the only person she ever dated. In trying to console her some of my own issues came out. How can I ever trust a woman again? How can I ever feel comfortable enough to ask a woman to marry me? How can I trust that it's not going to end with little or no warning? I'll constantly be looking for the slightest sign that it's ending and I'll constantly be on guard. I tried to tell M, then I still don't have this stuff figured out. Really, no one does. The best advice I could give M is that the only way to cure the pain is to go through it.
That's what I have done. I've gone through it. The pain was horrible. I wanted nothing more than to just check out, but as a guy, I just don't ever get that luxury. I am needed. I am not still resentful about that. It's annoying that somehow if I don't do it, it won't get done, but I've come to accept that that's just the way things are.
I'm in a better place now. I can't lie, I still feel like I'm trapped in that empty room in the barracks. Perhaps even more so because I am surrounded by the wreckage of my dad's failed ambitions. I'm still incredibly, soul-crushingly lonely, a state given my extreme trust issues isn't likely to get better any time soon. But . . . things are looking up if only slightly.