Today, I am sad. I realize that, while I share so much of my life with my readers, sadness isn’t an emotion I have readily put out there. Truthfully, it’s not an emotion I deal with easily and I prefer to channel my sadness into anger. But, today, I am sad and I think I need to face my fears and share that. (It’s the first time I have published a post off schedule!)
When I wrote Disappointments and Hesitations, it was true that I was hesitant to be with CC after he had let me down at such an important time. I knew in my heart, though, that I wanted to believe he wouldn’t do it again; that his apology was so heartfelt and when he said “I don’t ever want to let you down like that again”, I believed him. While I haven’t seemed to find the relationship yet that has succeeded, I have learned a lot from my failed relationships. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is forgiveness. Relationships are a learning experience and people are going to make mistakes. When we learn from those mistakes, we grow and improve and everything that CC had shown me up until now gave me reason to believe that this would be the case. Until later that day.
CC told me that he felt that I believed I was settling by being with him. He tried to explain why he felt this way but, to be honest, I’m still not sure. Maybe I should have been more sensitive about some of the things I joked around with but I never felt for a second like I was settling by being with CC. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I felt so lucky that I sometimes had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I have had the misfortune of dating a lot of people who never understood me or even tried, who looked down on me or judged me and some who just weren’t very nice to me. CC was attentive and understanding. He thought my quirks were cute. I never had to fight CC over the remote or over what to do for the night. To me, it just felt like we both rolled with the punches so-to-speak. When one of us felt like going to dinner, we went. When someone wanted to go to the movies, we did. I felt comfortable with him pretty quickly and I thought that he had felt the same.
For those of you who are fans on Facebook, you saw the letter CC left on my door one day with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. I included the letter in the photo here as well. In this letter, CC tells me all the reasons I am beautiful; from being strong after all I’ve been through to my fear of condiments. I laughed, I cried, I gave it two thumbs up. It is the most touching thing a man has done for me in a long time because it showed that he took the time to truly try to get to know who I am and to understand me for me. That day, I fell for CC, despite all of the efforts I made not to. After all of those things I have been through that have made me so strong, the truth is, I’m not. I am terrified of being hurt again and so afraid that the next time may be the one that finally breaks me. There are still nights that I think about some of my past and I cry so hard, I’m afraid I may drown in my own tears. To open myself up to another human being and to put myself out there shakes me to my core. And I am so afraid that my past is going to prevent me from ever finding true happiness with another person in my future. And those are the days I cry until I simply run out of tears.
CC actually listens when I talk. And trust me, I talk. I don’t have an off button and I can’t help but wonder if some of the times he kissed me were just to shut me up! And when I say he listens, he really listened. He remembers things I don’t even remember telling him. CC made plans for us for Valentine’s Day when I forgot it even was Valentine’s Day. He is a snuggle whore and there is nothing in the world I love more than snuggling. He pays attention to everything, like the fact that I sometimes breathe in right before I’m about to put food in my mouth and I make myself cough. The day he pointed this out to me, I was floored. How did he ever notice that? While he may not be perfect, no one is. And I learned that CC is truly a kind, compassionate, giving and wonderful person. And there aren’t a lot of those out there lately. He is also incredibly intelligent which is, hands down, my biggest turn on. He created this product that I still don’t know how he learned to create, and built a successful company out of it. I don’t think he even realizes how absolutely sexy that is.
A couple of weeks ago, CC told me that he wanted to start seeing each other more often. My fear immediately took over and I explained how I wasn’t ready to jump into anything serious yet and I needed to be sure before I committed to someone again. While the conversation never came up again, we had started spending more time together. We started having the daily phone calls and cutesy text message check-ins throughout the day. While I didn’t want to talk about it or say it out loud, we basically were in a relationship. And I couldn’t have been happier. I knew from the very first kiss in the rain that I could possibly fall and sure enough, I did. For a guy who replaces my car headlight when it burns out. Who kisses me on the top of my head when we’re watching TV and makes me forget who I am for a second in time. A guy who brought me around his family, who missed me after being away in Florida for one day. I fell for a guy who was everything I never knew I always wanted. And I allowed myself to be happy.
And so, because no good deed goes unpunished, here I am. I emphatically and most likely overbearingly explained to CC all of the above and that I was lucky to be with him. I apologized for anything I may have done to make him feel that I didn’t think he was good enough and I still do believe that I was lucky. But still, I’m now getting the talk about how he doesn’t want a relationship and that he doesn’t want to have to work so hard. I didn’t think we were work. In fact, I was surprised at how easily things seemed to just hum along. Is it possible that I was oblivious to what was really going on? I’ve always been the one who worked hard at my previous relationships. Maybe this time, CC was the one working hard and I didn’t even realize it. Maybe it only felt easy because I wasn’t the one doing the heavy lifting for once. Or maybe that’s just his way of letting me down.
I know I’m not perfect. It’s clear that I have a very complicated past that will be with me until the day I die. My finances are a mess, mostly as a result of my current profession but I’m working on that. And dating someone who blogs about your love life, well, it isn’t easy. And I can’t help but wonder if these issues have more to do with CC walking away than the reasons he’s claiming. I can certainly understand if reading about my disappointment on the world-wide web upset him. But no relationship will ever work if two people don’t communicate openly and honestly. I am certainly capable of not blogging about certain issues. The people in my life will always come first.
I’m a woman who likes answers and closure and, when things don’t seem to make sense, I tend to dig until they do. That being said, I may have morphed into some clingy, hyper, overkill version of myself in an attempt to understand where all of this truly came from. Because I really did think that we were both very happy. After all, he was the one who wanted to spend more time together. You just don’t say that if you aren’t interested in having a relationship. The truth is, I just want an ending that comes with the dignity and respect that I think what we had, however short-lived, deserves. And yes, I want to talk about it.
When I was in college (a time long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away), there was a boy. For privacy reasons, let’s call him Staten Island. When Staten Island and I first met, he was attentive and very clearly interested in me. I wanted nothing to do with him. It was obvious to me from the beginning that he was trouble; the tongue ring, the frosted tips in his hair which was, of course, spiked, the way he dressed and spoke and the guys he hung around with. I wasn’t interested in any of it. And then, something happened. Staten Island persisted, despite my constantly brushing him off. I remember in the winter of freshman year, just before the winter recess, being incredibly ill. Staten Island left his friends, where they were all playing football outside in the snow, to bring me orange juice and something to eat. He stayed next to me that night to make sure I was okay. I still remember that we were watching The Wedding Singer. It’s funny the things the mind recalls. That was all it took for me to realize that maybe I was wrong. Sure, Staten Island was a little rough around the edges and participated in some recreational behaviors that weren’t quite my style. But he was kind and thoughtful and was certainly trying hard enough. It was then I knew that I wanted to give him a chance.
Suddenly, as soon as I was interested, Staten Island wasn’t. We were from two different worlds, it would never work, it’s not you, its me kind of thing. I was baffled. What had changed? In true freshman immaturity, I dealt with my confusion by pounding shots of vodka with my roommate and talking it out. And then it came to me. With my new-found, vodka infused courage, I marched myself down to Staten Island’s dorm room, shoved him up against the wall and screamed at him. I screamed at him that his problem was that he finally found someone he cared about and that it scared the shit out of him. Rather than take a chance, he was going to walk away. Staten Island and I dated for two years after that. And, while we had our ups and downs, we were a pretty happy couple. At the end of the day, we simply weren’t right for each other but I wouldn’t give back those years for anything. I can count on one hand the number of people in my life, past and present, who I think truly understood me and he was and still is one of them. Staten Island would always know what part of campus he could find me in based on what emotion I was feeling. There was a small grassy area of campus with these weird metal structural designs that I would always go to when I was overwhelmed and really needed to think. In the three years I lived on that campus, no one else ever knew about that place. But Staten Island found me every time. There was just this deeper understanding that some people go their whole lives without ever being fortunate enough to find.
Staten Island and I are still friends to this day, over a decade later. While we don’t see each other often, we’re there for each other when it matters. I did everything I could to make sure I was at his Fire Department Graduation. And when I had cancer, Staten Island drove all the way from Staten Island to Long Island to take me to my surgeries and take care of me after the fact. A few years ago, he admitted to me that when we had first started dating, he felt like I had pressured him into it. I guess even someone 5’2″ can be intimidating when they’re drunk and screaming. Staten Island went on to say, though, that he was glad I did what I did. He told me that he learned a lot from me and from our relationship and he learned that you have to take chances, that you can’t just walk away or give up on something because it might be scary or hard. Just like me, Staten Island wouldn’t have changed anything.
So here I am a million years later,a million miles away, in a similar situation, wondering what my next move is, or if there even should be one. Part of me thinks that I should give CC his space and give him time to, hopefully, miss me. And then there’s a part of me that feels that I should fight for what I want. When CC left those flowers with the note at my door, it touched me in such a way that I knew I wanted to hold on to him. I knew I had been fortunate enough to find another person I connected with in a way words just can’t explain. I can’t help but wonder if I need to make a similar gesture to show him just how much he means to me. That maybe he just found someone he actually cares about and it scares the shit out of him. Could that speech really work for me twice? And, in a way, maybe that’s what this post is all about; my grown up version of vodka-muscles.
I’m quick to post about my problems, disappointments, let downs. They make for good writing, after all. How often do we see happy things in the news? Sad but true, people are attracted to mess and heartbreak or anguish. I haven’t been so quick to post about the things that make me smile from that deep place inside. Although I do post short little blurbs on the According to Murphy Fan Page on Facebook, I don’t post them here and gush about them. Truthfully, I think I’m a little bit more private about my happiness. I once dated someone for months without anyone but my roommate knowing. I really liked him and I felt that once people knew, once it was out there, it would inevitably disappear. I’m always afraid of jinxing a relationship and that, by putting it out there, I’m going to lose it somehow. I hold my happiness close to me, I hold on for dear life. Almost like if no one knows it’s there, they can’t take it away from me. I’m learning, however, that maybe I hold on a little too tight; so tight in fact, that I don’t even let the person responsible for my happiness know how I feel.
So here is my grand gesture in the only way I truly know how. My words are all I have. The past two months have been the happiest I remember being in a long time. I’m not a clingy person when it comes to relationships but, since Army Boy, I have noticed myself being that way more and more. Until CC. I didn’t feel like I needed to be clingy with CC. He genuinely wanted to be around me, to spend time with me, regardless of what we were doing. He wanted to take care of me when I was sick and he was happy to just hold my hand. At least I thought he was. It’s been a long time since I felt truly appreciated and loved by someone in that way. And while he may have messed up by bailing on my event, I think that maybe I’m the one who messed up most of all. I don’t think I showed him enough how appreciative I was of him and of who he is. I didn’t tell him enough and I certainly didn’t bring him into my world the way he brought me into his. That small part of me that was scared to let him in because I was scared to lose him may very well be the reason I wound up losing him after all.
I have so many thoughts swirling through my head over all of this and maybe I’m wrong about everything. Maybe I have a day job for a reason and I don’t know as much about people and relationships as I think. But I do know this: I was incredibly lucky to have someone who not only cared about me but cared for me. I knew it at the time, I wasn’t ungrateful at all. But I may have held back and not shown it enough and I am truly sorry. I’m learning that the protective wall I have built around myself may be not only keeping others out but may be keeping my true thoughts and feelings inside, away from the people who need them.
One of the thoughts that has been swirling around in my head today is that sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between missing someone and missing the idea of them. As if maybe it was possible that what I missed was having someone to text about the little things that went on during the day. Or to have dinner with when I got home tonight. The truth is, I miss CC. For all of the creeps and crazies I have dated in the past, I finally found a genuinely wonderful man. And I may have genuinely screwed it up. I can only hope that he reads this post and that he finds a way to forgive me as I have forgiven him. I would like a fresh start to give as much as I have taken from this relationship. And I’m not afraid to call it a relationship.
“Hold me now It’s hard for me to say I’m sorry I just want you to stay” ~ Hard to Say I’m Sorry, Chicago