Wednesday, August 10, 2016

the hardest part of ending is starting again

Yesterday, I got an offline:
[2:05] Xxxxxxxxxx: When's the last time you said something about me that didn't involve the word "manipulate"?
In our past few conversations, before he decided we were shattered, it did come up quite often. His manipulation of me to get what he wanted, or just to affect me in a certain way towards a certain outcome, or for all I know, just to upset me so he could score points in a mental tally. I truly have no idea, but he is right; 'manipulate' came up. Manipulation, manipulative, manipulated; it was all there. No breakup is ever easy.

There were, there are, good things about him. He's funny. He's smart. He's witty, which is even better. He likes many of the same things I do. He did fulfill needs that I am trying to figure out how to fill now that he's gone, and I don't just mean sex. Though he's really good at that, too. I do miss him, now that he's gone. I can't, and I won't, demean that. I do miss his conversation, his intellect, his presence, and that's not going to be easy to replace. I'm not going to try.

But, while I was sorting through all this mentally, and wandering the grid through various odd events, this happened:
[23:37] Xxxxxxxxxx: How manipulative am I today?
Wow. That's...well, I'd say very, because that is an alarmingly manipulative statement. I asked a love about it, in fact:
[23:38] Emilly Orr: The answer is, I don't even respond, right?
[23:39] Fxxxxx Axxxx: Yes
[23:39] Fxxxxx Axxxx: Because that is, ironically enough, manipulative.
[23:39] Emilly Orr: Okay.
[23:39] Emilly Orr: And I agree, know how hard this is for me.
Because ignoring conversations that people send to me? It has always struck me as unutterably rude, and disdainful, and cold. Not to respond to any conversation, even hurtful ones, bothers me, flat out. I don't know that it's ever not going to bother me.

I must have dithered about this too long, though, standing firm on my 'no responses' stance. Because a bit later he sent this:
[23:50] Xxxxxxxxxx: Anyway, if calling me manipulative is how you absolve yourself of any responsibility in your own mind, go for it. I've been called worse. See you around.
I'm not absolving myself of responsibility in this. I am broken in entirely the wrong ways to be with him, and none of that breakage is his fault in any way. I have issues that I'm working on, some with my therapist beyond the screen, some with my loves, but whether that work results in any cumulative change may take months, or even years from now. Right now, in this moment, there are too many ways to slip through my cracks and cause great harm, and that is no fault of anyone I'm with, it's just the fracture points from earlier damage. I am not as strong as I was. I am not as capable as I was. That is a disturbing thing to admit, a saddening thing to admit, but unfortunately, right now, it happens to be the truth.

I am clinging to the concept of kintsugi in these moments, because the Japanese have taken a very unique approach to broken things. If something of value breaks, that is the technique used to make it into a thing of value again. The fracture points become very visible, but at that point, part of the design, adding to the piece, not subtracting from it. It is no longer what it was, this type of repair work says--but it can still be beautiful, useful, and be of value.

And I am still of value--both to myself and to those who love me. I am of value in all worlds, not just one. And just as I do not absolve myself of responsibility, so do I not absolve him of responsibility for the breakup. If he had been willing to talk rationally, instead of lashing out, we might not be where we are. If he spoke first, without the need to cause pain, we might not be where we are.

But we are here, and there is no going back. We were equally at fault for the disaster of separation, and we both hurt, and I at least pine for what was, what will not be again.
[23:57] Mxxxxxxx Bxxxxxx: I am sorry he is doing this to you.
[23:59] Emilly Orr: It's who he is.
[23:59] Emilly Orr: At least he went past the seven days. I suppose that's something.
I suppose it is. For what little value that holds, for whatever reason, he did wait. It's something that is not negative, that I can carefully stack with all the other things about him that are not negative, that I did like, that I did, perhaps, even love...and then carefully move those into storage, where they can no longer harm me.

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