Friday, 17 July 2015

Holding on Gently

PMT day. Again I’m feeling raw and needy. I’m sitting at home alone, typing at my husband’s desk. It’s Thursday evening.

Yesterday Red told his wife he’s leaving her. That’s just hectic for him. And on this very huge day of his, he needed me to back the fuck off him so he could process all the stuff he’s going through. I tried my hardest to do that: just get on with my life and let him deal what he wanted to deal. I so wanted to be that girl that can just comfortably release her man to the space he needs.

15/07/2015, 4:58 AM - Trudy Green: Hey you. Happy morning
15/07/2015, 7:18 AM - RED: Morning.  Things are hectic this morning.  Will message when left the house
15/07/2015, 7:26 AM - Trudy Green: Good luck
15/07/2015, 8:21 AM - Trudy Green: Hey you. If you need a debrief coffee I can meet you at Mugg and Bean. Having an admin day most of today so flexible. 
15/07/2015, 8:52 AM - RED: What is a debrief coffee?  Sounds formal
15/07/2015, 8:52 AM - Trudy Green: Not formal
15/07/2015, 8:53 AM - Trudy Green: Hectic morning. .. Maybe you need to connect a bit before you hit work
15/07/2015, 8:53 AM - Trudy Green: You ok?
15/07/2015, 8:54 AM - RED: I have an 'angst' feeling all through my body.   Home, work, just trying to regroup and figure it out.  Stay with me but a might need some room to move today.
15/07/2015, 8:55 AM - Trudy Green: I'm here Red
15/07/2015, 8:56 AM - Trudy Green: And I can be there in 15.... No pressure
15/07/2015, 8:56 AM - Trudy Green: You want to call?
15/07/2015, 9:07 AM - RED: Just a little space this am
15/07/2015, 9:08 AM - Trudy Green: Sure
15/07/2015, 9:28 AM - RED: You’re too special
15/07/2015, 9:29 AM - Trudy Green: Missing you tho
15/07/2015, 9:29 AM - Trudy Green: But I'll suck it up 

I managed to leave him alone. Completely. It was so hard to do.

15/07/2015, 1:37 PM - RED: How's your admin day going
15/07/2015, 1:38 PM - Trudy Green: Oh god
15/07/2015, 1:38 PM - Trudy Green: Serious withdrawal from you
15/07/2015, 1:39 PM - Trudy Green: I'm in a coffee shop writing a proposal for a business that doesn't exist yet
15/07/2015, 1:39 PM - Trudy Green: How are you?
15/07/2015, 2:16 PM - RED: I'm getting better. Thanks for giving me the space.
15/07/2015, 2:18 PM - Trudy Green: Thanks for managing it with me so carefully
15/07/2015, 2:57 PM - RED: A bit overwhelmed at the moment with all the things happening.  Just need to step back a bit to take stock.
15/07/2015, 3:27 PM - Trudy Green: So of course my instinct is to rush in and surround you and hold you and listen to you and think things through with you... so I'm sitting on my hands because you need to do this by yourself. I do understand. And I respect the space you need. 
15/07/2015, 3:39 PM - RED: F... Ck.   Why do you say all the right things?
15/07/2015, 3:41 PM - RED: Friday is arranged.  Hope it is still OK for you.
15/07/2015, 3:41 PM - Trudy Green: Shew. That's brilliant news
15/07/2015, 3:42 PM - Trudy Green: Yes it’s ok for me
15/07/2015, 3:42 PM - RED: Cool.
15/07/2015, 3:44 PM - Trudy Green: #happydance

15/07/2015, 6:47 PM - RED: Thanks.   Had a pathetic talk with wife.  Not a talk at all, best I could do was tell her "I am planning to move out.  We will then deal with the rest later".  Her response was "oh ok".
15/07/2015, 6:47 PM - Trudy Green: Shew
15/07/2015, 6:49 PM - RED: Not proud of myself.   Also had estate agent phone today to ask me if I wanted to sell the house.  Bit of a reality fuck. I said no but gave her my details.  I will need to take this step.
15/07/2015, 6:51 PM - Trudy Green: This stuff is hard. And that makes it impossible to deliver flawlessly. It comes from a deep sore space. Clumsy in execution is to be expected.
15/07/2015, 6:51 PM - Trudy Green: Don't judge yourself harshly Red. You're dealing a lot
15/07/2015, 6:53 PM - RED: I am mindful of this
15/07/2015, 6:54 PM - Trudy Green: He learns fast
15/07/2015, 6:54 PM - RED: A lot to deal with and let go of.
15/07/2015, 6:57 PM - Trudy Green: And there's a big grieving part in that

But instead, I struggled like crazy. Crazy crazy. So much Narc abuse stuff had started pouring into me. I was convinced for a while that he was actually a lying cheat and was using this ‘space’ I was giving him to pursue another woman – that he asked me to back off so I wouldn’t be hounding him and disturbing him while he was spading someone else. Then his photo disappeared off WhatsApp and I thought that meant he had blocked me on WhatsApp – again…maybe to stop me busting in on another tryst with another woman. He hadn’t. But that took me a while to figure out.

And then I managed to soothe myself about that picture, reminding myself that this wasn’t John-the-Narc, and actually a gentle and honest man who actually liked me and wasn’t going to cheat on me. And that he was going through a really rough time and needed some space for that.

And then the next hole I fell into was that I had come on too strong for him. And that he was backing the fuck off me because I wasn’t giving him any space to breathe. That my neediness that comes out at the first hint of abandonment was going to send him running for the hills and that I had shown him too much of me. That I had made it too easy for him to access me. That my vulnerability was too overwhelming for him. All of this creating intense conversations in my head. All of this I’m determined to not let spill into his space. And then feeling lonely because I’m alone with these feelings.

I had sat on my hands for hours, just willing myself to leave him the fuck alone. And even though I was really really busy, I just couldn’t get him off my mind. Picking up the phone and checking it every few minutes in case I hadn’t heard a message come through. I was also dying to know what had gone down with him. Wanted to get in my car and rush across town and take him for coffee. Talk with him. Unpack with him. Soothe him. Rescue him from his pain. Telling myself the whole time that he’s a grown man who is wanting to deal this stuff alone for now. And that I need to respect that. And give him his space. And leave him alone. Little needy broken bird and my inner nurturing woman were both beside themselves though – just aching to go over there. I know the right thing for me to respond with to that is reassurance. Calm the broken little one. Tell her I’ll keep her safe and that everything is going to be ok. But I didn’t manage to do that very well. It felt like abandonment. It wasn’t. I know that. But it felt like it.

I guess this is part of my clumsy and slow healing process. I have progressed far enough to recognise my own triggers when they come up. To know the pain is generated inside me, and not at all by the person ‘out there’. This isn’t Red stuff. It’s mine. I get it. But I can’t really manage it yet. It’s all messy and hard and debilitating for me. It takes me out of the game for a while and my heart hurts like crazy. Projections and false thinking and pain and trauma all washing around in a cocktail of PMS hormones and I find it so difficult to find a kind and loving place for myself.

In the evening we finally began to connect again. We played a sexy WhatsApp chat game with each other (flip…he’s GOOD at that), and then moved into the logistics of our meetup on Friday night. And then I started sharing with him my yearning of having a profoundly deep sexual connection with him.

15/07/2015, 9:59 PM - RED: I would love to.   Not sure if I can at the moment.  Yesterday and today hit me hard.  Reality set in. I need to sort out my shit.   I want you around but I might not be able or capable of committing to the level you want.
15/07/2015, 10:00 PM - Trudy Green: Shew.  I really want to understand more about what happened
15/07/2015, 10:01 PM - Trudy Green: But I'm not asking for any commitment that you can't do
15/07/2015, 10:01 PM - Trudy Green: I know the year you're about to have
15/07/2015, 10:01 PM - Trudy Green: I know the risk I run is being your rebound or transition relationship
15/07/2015, 10:02 PM - Trudy Green: I'm fragile too.
15/07/2015, 10:02 PM - RED: Nothing new happened.  I just knew I had to tell my wife.   The realisation was that the dominoes would fall.   No more delaying or going back.
15/07/2015, 10:03 PM - Trudy Green: I think we will bring each other some joy and comfort in tough times
15/07/2015, 10:03 PM - Trudy Green: So a lot happened. Inside you
15/07/2015, 10:04 PM - RED: Yes, it’s good to have you around.  I might run when feeling overwhelmed or pushed into a corner.
15/07/2015, 10:04 PM - Trudy Green: I'll try not to push
15/07/2015, 10:06 PM - Trudy Green: Just be kind and honest with me please.
15/07/2015, 10:07 PM - RED: You’re happy to go down the Zambezi on a tomato box boat and take all the rapids as they come.  I will want to stop a lot and hold back.
15/07/2015, 10:09 PM - Trudy Green: If I trust the Zambezi. And the tomato box.
15/07/2015, 10:09 PM - Trudy Green: But I hear you
15/07/2015, 10:13 PM - Trudy Green: I'm serious about that honesty bit though, Red. I have been so deceived in the past few years that it has become my biggest fear. Of being gullible and trusting and being lied to. You feel like an honest man to me. Which is why I'm here. But if I'm lied to, I'll be gone.
15/07/2015, 10:13 PM - Trudy Green: I can deal anything so long as it's the truth
15/07/2015, 10:22 PM - RED: I like you a lot.  That's the truth.  Can I get in a boat and down a river at full speed and let the water take over. No. I want to stop and sit on the bank to see if I am doing the right thing.  I can't go down another river and make another mistake. You need to know this. So be aware that I could stop at a bank any time.
15/07/2015, 10:23 PM - Trudy Green: Makes sense Red
15/07/2015, 10:23 PM - Trudy Green: What would that look like for me?
15/07/2015, 10:26 PM - RED: You sensed it last night.  And gave me the space.  The challenge for you is not trying to force me back on the boat too quickly.  But you might get frustrated and give up on me.
15/07/2015, 10:27 PM - Trudy Green: Hmmm....You're right about the challenge for me
15/07/2015, 10:28 PM - Trudy Green: But if you are able to help me understand what's happening I should be able to play in the boat by myself for a while
15/07/2015, 10:29 PM - Trudy Green: I do want to be that girl who is cool with that. Your introverted stuff will always need solitary recharge time.
15/07/2015, 10:31 PM - Trudy Green: I have such an insatiable need to rush in and fix. It's a real labour of love to hold back.
15/07/2015, 10:31 PM - Trudy Green: For me I mean.  For me to hold back
15/07/2015, 10:32 PM - RED: I see that.  I appreciate it and need the help.  I though tend to push away if overwhelmed or pushed into a corner.
15/07/2015, 10:34 PM - Trudy Green: Ok. Try tell me if I push you there please

He seems like a really kind and emotionally mature and aware guy. And he’s telling me clearly and truthfully where he’s at. But even through that, I start to feel pushed away and rejected a bit. And I know he’s trying to tell me gently at some level to just move back a bit. That he is overwhelmed and needing space to sort himself out. And in my grownup space I get that. But so much of me is actually 5. And 5 year old me really doesn’t want to yield any space. Wants to rail against the gentle push away and crawl up into his lap and beg to be held and protected and cherished. And I need to hold her and protect her. And not try to give the baby away to him again. He’s probably the guy most likely to be able to hold the baby that I’ve met, but I’m trying to do it while he himself is hanging on by a thread while his life crumbles around him. I cannot push him to rescue me. Just stand near him and let us both support each other to the best of our abilities.

I tossed and turned all night, trying to distract myself from my spiraling thoughts and pain with podcasts that would take my mind into other places. But by the morning, I could feel a lot of pain and sadness creeping in around my edges. Old pain. Triggered by his need for space and distance. His healthy need to protect himself a bit with distance created my needy abandonment stuff. Sore. Hard. Natural. I forced myself to not contact him first thing in the morning. Leave him alone a bit. Give him the space to feel like he missed me enough to get in touch again.


16/07/2015, 7:13 AM - RED: Morning you
16/07/2015, 7:14 AM - Trudy Green: Hey!
16/07/2015, 7:15 AM - RED: Hey
16/07/2015, 7:15 AM - Trudy Green: I'm struggling a bit this morn
16/07/2015, 7:16 AM - RED: Oh no.   What's up?  Sore, tired, other
16/07/2015, 7:16 AM - Trudy Green: No. Just our conversation last night
16/07/2015, 7:17 AM - Trudy Green: Hit a vulnerable button for me
16/07/2015, 7:17 AM - RED: Research shows, sky news, if you on your phone more than an hour a day,  then you are depressed.

(He’s not being an ass here: we’re just both typing simultaneously, as one does on WhatsApp sometimes. So there is a tough conversation and a playful one happening simultaneously)

16/07/2015, 7:18 AM - RED: Now they talking about mindfulness
16/07/2015, 7:18 AM - Trudy Green: Oh. I'm only on, like, 16 hours. ...
16/07/2015, 7:18 AM - RED: But to you.  What was the button.
16/07/2015, 7:18 AM - RED: You 16x more depressed than the average woman
16/07/2015, 7:19 AM - Trudy Green: Feeling like I've shown too much. Been too much. Like I should have been more circumspect and careful in how I've engaged with you
16/07/2015, 7:19 AM - Trudy Green: My shit
16/07/2015, 7:19 AM - Trudy Green: Triggered by your shit
16/07/2015, 7:22 AM - RED: Apologies, did not mean to hurt you.   Want to chat or do you need space
16/07/2015, 7:22 AM - Trudy Green: Of course you didn't mean to
16/07/2015, 7:22 AM - Trudy Green: You just told your truth. I'm telling you mine
16/07/2015, 7:23 AM - Trudy Green: I'd love to chat. But on Friday. When we have time. And you can hold me. And I can hold you back
16/07/2015, 7:23 AM - Trudy Green: And I really really need you to hold me.
16/07/2015, 7:24 AM - Trudy Green: And such is my demon that even telling you that feels dangerous and hard. ..
16/07/2015, 7:24 AM - RED: That would be good
16/07/2015, 7:25 AM - RED: What is your main demon?
16/07/2015, 7:26 AM - Trudy Green: Fear of abandonment.
16/07/2015, 7:26 AM - Trudy Green: That's the headline
16/07/2015, 7:26 AM - Trudy Green: What's yours?
16/07/2015, 7:28 AM - RED: Withdrawing into my self
16/07/2015, 7:28 AM - Trudy Green: Which happens because of what fear?
16/07/2015, 7:29 AM - RED: Not sure, I need to figure this out.
16/07/2015, 7:30 AM - Trudy Green: Yup. I have the words because of my year of therapy. ....
16/07/2015, 7:30 AM - Trudy Green: I'm going to shower: family dispatched. ... House to myself for a bit
16/07/2015, 7:32 AM - Trudy Green: I'm going to try and manage myself kindly and bravely with this. I'm suddenly afraid. And afraid to say I'm afraid. My heart is very afraid of being broken again. And part of me wants to run like hell.
16/07/2015, 7:32 AM - RED: Should I come over and join you
16/07/2015, 7:33 AM - Trudy Green: Would love that
16/07/2015, 7:33 AM - Trudy Green: Although I have the tiniest shower in the world. ..
16/07/2015, 7:34 AM - RED: That's the best.   Just thinking about taking you up against the wall.

And so descends the conversation into playful sexiness again.
It’s night time now. The day is past and Red is out with his daughter for dinner. I tried to call him in the day. He didn’t take my call. He was out driving alone. But didn’t feel the need to call me. I must really try to find my peace about this. I met this man less than two weeks ago. We like each other. His marriage is crashing around him. I’m just in recovery. We’re not soul mates. Yet.

I’m lonely. And sad. I miss him terribly. But I also know that this missing is not about him. Once again I have found somewhere to place that childhood yearning for my absent dad. Abandonment. Loneliness that comes from a lifetime of being lonely. Yearning that comes from dealing stuff alone always. It’s natural. I must love myself better on this one. 

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