Day One: Friday
I felt defeated.
I skipped the gym, lunch with friends, and went into hiding in my office. I spent an inordinate amount of time on Twitter (which, from a self-professed social media whore, is saying a lot). I was looking people in the eye less and less, there was no spring in my step, and my voice was flat. Online I could keep a good attitude, no one could see me crying. No one could see the pain in my eyes, the discomfort in my wan smile, or the growing sense of vulnerability and deflated value.
People noticed that I was behaving differently. It was obvious that something was different about me, something was making me uncomfortable, and taking away from my happiness. The gas station patrons eyed me with a wary caution, the FedEx agent asked me what was wrong, and my coworkers had to deal with tear-shined eyes and monosyllabic replies. I used email more than ever, because I didn’t want to be bothered to interact with anyone more than I had to.
Before that, however…
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“Mornin’.” He sends her a message.
“It is, yes,” she replies. “I need to resched if you’ll allow.”
“Aaahhh, no way. Really? :(“
She feels badly. She knows he had plans for her. Devious, painful plans about which he was very excited.
She also knew he had been working hard to put it all together. And now, on top of everything else, she was disappointing him.
“Yeah, I am sorry. I am not in the right mind for play tonight. I wish I had a better statement, but I always promise honesty.”
“What does that mean? Explain.”
She wonders if she can explain. She’s not even sure of her own understanding of what is going on. It was new but it wasn’t. It had been… how long? She’d been going through this, in degrees, for quite some time.
She had been bouyed up and then crash-landed so many times she was not just a little surprised at how hard this was. Even more frustrating, she was giving it – giving him – power over her through her own, self-imposed emotional turmoil.
How do you tell someone this? How do you explain all of this to someone who is in an amazing relationship of his own and how can you think they can begin to understand? How do you admit, when you are strong and intelligent and vibrant, that you feel weak, vulnerable and dulled?
“I am in a bad mood, I am tired, I am heartbroken, I feel abandoned and abused by someone who was supposed to love me. I know it’s not your issue, but it’s mine and I won’t be in the right headspace to be a good partner.”
She wondered if he would consider this too dramatic. He doesn’t like drama (who does? she wonders) and while this isn’t dramatic or over the top, it’s not his pain, it’s not his experience, and it’s not his problem.
He didn’t make her wait long for a response. “And I told you I’d be there for you and this sounds like a perfect opportunity for us to build trust. I think you should still come over and we can modify my plan a bit. Sound okay?”
“I just don’t think I can handle it. I am not trying to be an ass, and I hate breaking plans.”
He persisted. “And do you think if you couldn’t handle it and you fell apart on me – crying or whatever – that that’s not a good thing? I mean, it’s what we were after in the first place.”