Sunday, July 17, 2011

It's hardest at night.

One year ago today, we were in New York, celebrating our half-anniversary with cannoli, prosecco, and purple orchids.

Two months ago tomorrow, he broke up with me.

One month ago tomorrow, we had our last face-to-face meeting. That day, I learned that he had been seeing someone new for two weeks. That means he only lasted a week and a half after dumping me before he went to someone else. In his defense, the other guy asked him out, but it was still a very uncomfortable revelation. I almost wish I didn't know who the other guy was, so I wouldn't be tempted to stalk his Facebook page every day. But I do know who the guy is. Never met the guy, but I know his name, where he works, where he's from, what he studied in college, whom we both know... And that he is now dating the man I thought I would someday marry.

Lately, I've been watching a lot of Sex and the City reruns on E! Because of this, I can't help but feel like Carrie, with Lomond as Mr. Big and the new guy as Natasha, the beautiful socialite Big meets and marries so soon after breaking Carrie's heart by giving up on their relationship. So naturally this Natasha-type's existence has been difficult to deal with.

Equally difficult to deal with were that meeting's other revelations. Apparently, Lomond had not been entirely honest with me about his reasoning on the day he broke up with me. The potential long-distance thing wasn't the real reason at all; it was just easier, more convenient. Really, he had been stewing on his issues with me for months without ever saying a word about them to me. I realize that this is how some people function, but it goes completely against everything I ever told him about my mentality. I have social issues. I think I'm mildly autistic. It's something I have worked very hard to overcome by studying social interactions like a subject in school. I have made great progress over the years to the point that most people don't really notice it anymore, but I still cannot always read people's emotions. He and I discussed this on several occasions, and on each occasion I always made sure to let him know that he could and should tell me about anything about me that is bothering him. I can't improve myself if I don't know I'm doing something wrong.

Any time I could tell something was bothering him, I always asked him what was wrong. He usually said it was something with his family or general "looking for my purpose in life" stuff. Not until our meeting last month did I learn that quite often he was actually thinking of things that bothered him about me but which he was too chicken-shit to tell me about: our 6-year age difference, the fact that I don't go to church, my social missteps, my involvement in faire, how confident I am in my sexuality, to name a few. By not bringing up problems until they were bad enough to end the relationship, he gave me a false sense that our relationship had no major problems, so that I was completely blindsided when he ended it. I would call that his biggest offense.

The age difference never seemed like such a big deal to me. I imagine it was probably exaggerated in his mind when I had to move back into my parents' house. I can get that I seemed younger than I am, living with my parents and having neither a job nor a driver's license. What bothers me most about this is that he never gave any indication that this was an issue.

The religion comment I feel was a little out of line. I realize that as a seminary graduate and church organist, religion is important to him. What he failed to recognize was that I went through years of disillusionment, disbelief, and tears, feeling that I could never be accepted into a church (or heaven, for that matter) because of who I was and whom I loved. I experimented with other belief systems, syncretism, and the like but nothing felt quite right. That was before I realize there was such a thing as an "open and affirming" church, at least not ones that maintain the traditions I love so much about church. Although I am eager to visit such churches and potentially find a spiritual home there, not having a means of transportation has limited this pursuit. I can't comfortably go to these churches with my fundamentalist mother. I'll save a more detailed description of my spiritual journey for another post, but it's safe to say that I am getting closer and closer to belief in Christianity all the time, which makes Lomond's religion comment seem a bit like a "How dare you?" moment.

The social missteps I have already addressed, and faire is something that makes me happy. I never tried to force him to like it, and I could tell that he didn't really get it. That didn't bother me. But it did bother him that it makes me unavailable for eight weekends in a row every spring. That's a common issue in relationships where one person does faire and the other doesn't. Not really sure how that could have been dealt with.

As for being secure in my sexuality, I think that was a jealousy issue. I came to terms with being gay when I was 17 and I never looked back, confident in my belief that there was nothing wrong with it. Meanwhile, I think he still has doubts about it as he approaches 29. While I can't fault him for that, as the journey to acceptance is different for everybody, I will not apologize for having reached the destination so much sooner than he. I tried to help him on his way in a non-forceful manner, but I could tell he was never quite comfortable being in public with me in the capacity of boyfriend, even in gay-friendly environments and among complete strangers we will probably never see again.

I was dealing with the break-up much better before that meeting last month. Since then, I have struggled with depression, obsession, insomnia, binge eating, and more recently loss of appetite. Most of the time I am at least comfortably numb, dedicating time and energy to other pursuits - nutritional consciousness (a more accurate term than "dieting"), baking, gardening, knitting, reading a new webcomic, watching movies, and listening to a lot of music, especially Lady Gaga's Born This Way album. As a result, I have lost five pounds in the past month, have a few new favorite movies, and know how to knit socks. I've also enrolled in a teacher certification program, which I should be able to start by the end of next week.

But as the title of this post suggests, nights are difficult. Since I stayed an extra year at the Unnamed Baptist university, most of my best friends moved away a year ago, and now having graduated, they've pretty much all left. That left me with Lomond and his group - small but tightknit and fun to be around. With the breakup, however, he got to keep the friends, since they were his to begin with. That leaves me vary much alone. Lomond was not just my boyfriend, but my best friend as well. His abrupt absence from my life, combined with separation from almost everyone I spend time with aside from my own troubled family, makes it very hard to stay home alone every night. That is when I can't sleep because I am thinking of him with "Natasha", when I feel unwanted and unneeded, when I hope my parents can't hear me sobbing into my pillow because I feel so painfully lonely.

This certainly isn't a daily occurrence, but when it does come to the surface, I just feel like I have no control. Tonight it was triggered by the knowledge that he was out with "Natasha" and our his friends on our sesquianniversary. I'm feeling better now writing this, having analyzed things, put them into perspective, and figured out what is bothering me. I have decided on the advice of one of our friends that on Monday (Lomond's next day off from work) I will have a serious conversation with him about how we're going to make this friendship work, including some of the thoughts I expressed in this post. Here's hoping we can come to some sort of agreement and that our friendship is not a lost cause.

I leave you with my music therapy du jour: