Posted on November 25th 2013, 3:31 am
Saturday was the Day of the Doctor. I can't help but think about how Jess introduced me to Doctor Who and that a year ago I hadn't yet seen much of the series. I may have only just begun watching it with her. Up until the November 23rd, 2013, I watched every episode with her. I very much looked forward to cuddling up with her and watching the latest antics of the time traveler, his companion, and the blue box. So, I guess to me, it was the day of my doctor. I had been really looking forward to the 50th anniversary special, but it became a bit more somber and sad for me when the day finally came.
I didn't actually watch the simulcast. Instead I chose to be distracted and around company. In this case, it was company I'd never met before. A local person who knows of me through Facebook offered up her guest room to me this weekend. She lives about an hour and a half away from where I presently live. So, it got me out of the house. Her name is Elle, and she's a very nice lady.
We spent Saturday evening chatting over drinks and food. It was a welcome change from what I had been expecting to be a very lonely and very sad weekend. I got to see her family's winery, her lovely house, and a lot of the farm land in and around the Iowa City area. I can't say that I was at my best as a guest though. There were so many times I was quiet, lost in thought and emotion. I guess that's to be expected though. Thanks to Elle for making my weekend a bit less painful.
In my time chatting with Elle, I did come to a realization. This whole breakup has been very painful all around, but I think the thing that hurts me the most is that I was never given the opportunity to fight for the relationship to succeed. I made several suggestions a week ago, but it was made clear to me then that she wasn't interested in that. She never gave me the chance. Instead, it feels like a week ago I was ripped out of the Nexus. In fact, I'm still waiting for the portal to my universe to open up so I can return to where I belong, because I feel like somehow I managed to jump universes a week ago into this hell.
I got back home today around 2:00 pm. As the evening went on, my mood went from mildly neutral to pretty bad in fairly short order. After Thursday, I felt like maybe the tears were mostly behind me. Tonight proved that wrong. I cried a lot tonight. I've been so devoid of happiness that I've been kind of shambling or shuffling around the house at a very slow pace. My feet have been kind of dragging along the floor as I move. It's a pretty sad state of affairs, and seriously, I think Kleenex needs to hire me to be their spokesperson for how much I've been using their product this week. I did eventually watch the Doctor Who Anniversary special, and it was great. I still wish I could have watched it with her.
There are other bad things I need to acknowledge though. During my downtimes this week, including tonight, I've had some very bad thoughts pass through my head. They've been fleeting thoughts only. I don't want anyone to worry, because I'm not by any means at risk. However, I have to at least acknowledge that I had those thoughts pass through my mind when at my lowest and weakest points. If I continue to have these thoughts, I'm going to find a counselor. I may do that anyway. I think it may help me cope.
I'm feeling very broken in so many ways. Having the person I love so much tell me she no longer finds me physically attractive is completely demoralizing and has really taken a toll on my self confidence and self esteem. I'm feeling pretty horrible about myself right now. I'd like to say that I fully understand how Jess's attractions changed and why, but I can't and don't. So, for anyone that has asked me the question of how that happened, I don't really have an answer for you.
A lot of people have also asked me what I'm going to do now. Am I going to stay? Am I going to move? The answer is that I'm not really sure yet. I've told myself that I'm not going to make any big or quick decisions right now. What I do know is that I'm currently in a lease until next August. I also have a job that's pretty good. I really would like to be closer to family and friends. I will write more as I think through things and make decisions.
So I guess things haven't really improved. They've kind of gotten a little worse tonight, but I guess there will be ups and downs as I get through this. Hopefully tomorrow is a better day.
Posted on November 23rd 2013, 3:10 am
It's very cold here. We had freezing rain yesterday, and every time a car drives by, I hear the crunch of ice under the tires. Each time I look over hopefully as if she somehow has decided to come back. I know it won't be her, because she's on her way to visit her family in Arkansas. But it doesn't stop me from my wishful thinking.
Yesterday, an old college friend of mine, Kevin, took time out of his life to drive five hours just to be there for me. I haven't seen Kevin in a good several years, and I'm so thankful for having him as a friend. He helped distract me from my pain and my newfound loneliness. We talked about old times, shared a few drinks, and talked about similar stories of horribly difficult breakups. It was exactly what I needed to help me feel a little less desolate.
I can say I've made a little progress. Thursday I made it through the whole day without crying at work. I was still pretty emotionless, but I did regain the ability to smile, even if fleetingly. I was even able to laugh during the evening chatting with Kevin. So I guess that's good. However, for the most part, I'm still feeling pretty numb and flat. Though tonight, I've had some really emotional moments where the tears have come back. A few steps forward, a few back.
One thing that a few people have been saying is that if they were in my position, they'd be angry on top of all the other feelings. I'm not. I'm sad and I'm heartbroken, but I'm not mad or angry at her. I know how hard this has been for her. I know she's hurting and grieving as much as I am. This has been a devastating loss for her too. I know that she, in no way whatsoever, wanted to hurt me. Neither of us thought we'd ever be in this position. We shared tears together on Sunday night a day after she told me. No, I'm not mad at her. I'm just feeling hopelessly sad and alone now. I wish I could change how she feels, but I know I can't.
Strangely I'm still feeling dizzy. I'm starting to think the dizziness might be something other than what I thought it was. I may have to talk to the doctor about that. It has me a slight bit concerned. It seems a little worse today, but I think it might be because I didn't get nearly enough sleep last night. We'll see tomorrow.
I can't say that I've been looking forward to this weekend. Without anything to do, I've been feeling like this weekend was going to be hell all by myself. Thankfully, a local friend has invited me out to spend the weekend in the Iowa City area. There's a winery out there, and it'll be a good distraction. I'm looking forward to it. I'm also really looking forward to seeing my family next week. I've missed them, and it'll be good to be home.
Some of my conversation with Kevin surrounded what I'm going to do next. I guess the limits on where to go are no longer there. I had pretty much expected that I'd continue to go wherever Jess' career took her. Now, that restriction being gone, I can let my career take me wherever it takes me. My first thought, however, is Madison. I lived there back in 2001, and I really loved the town. There's a great tech sector, a few video game companies, and it's close enough to my family that it's easy to visit them. I'm going to keep that in the back of my mind as time passes and see what happens. I'm definitely not going to make any quick decisions though.
Lastly, the playlist that has been looping in my mind needs to be shared. Three songs continue to play in my head over and over. The first one is "Goodbye, my Lover" by James Blunt. If that song doesn't perfectly epitomize how I'm feeling right now, I don't know what does. The second is a song I hear in my head any time I get depressed. It's an instrumental piece from the film "The Prince of Egypt" called "Death of the First Born" composed by Hans Zimmer. It's a sorrow filled song that speaks to my pain. Lastly, a song I've listened to for years to cope with loneliness and sadness. It's called "Dante's Prayer", written and performed by Loreena McKennitt.
Again, thanks to everyone who's been reading, commenting, and being supportive. You've been wonderful.
Posted on November 21st 2013, 3:05 am
I know...don't blame yourself. Easier said than done. Unfortunately I can't help but feel this way. I can't help but feel like I did something wrong. If I didn't do something wrong, was it my personality? Did I somehow become a bitch? Was I being selfish? Was I not attending to her feelings enough? Was I being lazy? Was I being overbearing? Passive aggressive? or even just plain dull? Was it something I said? Or worse...was it something I didn't say or do? I'm sure everyone will tell me that's not the case, and rational me agrees. Emotional me does not.
When she told me after over three years that she no longer found me attractive, it felt like I failed. I failed her somehow, and I failed myself. I fell short. I wasn't good enough. It makes me feel less than...discarded like a broken or damaged item that's not up to standards. It makes me feel like no one would ultimately want this carcass left behind. Irrational as it may be, it's how I feel right now.
I think I may have trouble with relationships going forward. Now the past two relationships I've been in have ended very abruptly with no warning. I have a feeling I'll be a bit more worried, or even paranoid, that the person I'm with isn't happy. Will I be able to trust them not to hurt me in the end? Will I be willing to open up and be vulnerable again?
As far as today is concerned, the crying is not as frequent, but also not as predictable. I'll be composed, and then one stray thought will pop up, and tears. For the first time today someone took notice that I was sad. I was simultaneously pleased that someone finally noticed, and also unable to respond as I lost control of my feelings again. I would say it was easier to distract myself today, but the tears are still ready and waiting just under the surface.
Otherwise, the sinking feeling, tingling, and dizziness is still present. I'd say now I'm just feeling empty, as if a part of me...the best part of me...is missing. My left hand feels naked without the ring on it. As a memory, I'm wearing the ring I gave her on my right hand. It's still strange though. Sometimes I feel a slight panic like maybe I dropped my ring or forgot it, and then I remember that I didn't. I'm also starting to feel a profound loneliness. I've been so used to having someone to come home to. I don't know how I used to be ok with the emptiness of my homes prior to my relationship with Jess. It's too quiet.
I feel like my brain is starting to accept that she's gone. The past few days my self concept included her and was still inseparable from her. Trying to consider separation was like pulling on a rubber band and having it snap back into shape. Today when I think of the future, I'm starting to think about my future alone and how I'll move forward. I guess that's a good thing, even though it doesn't make me happy.
Over the next few days, friends have offered to come and provide me with some company as well as offer up things to do. I think that'll be good. I could use more hugs. I may not get to post tomorrow night, but I will definitely post again Friday. Thanks again for all the messages of support.
Posted on November 20th 2013, 3:28 am
I told Jess on Sunday that I hoped that what she was experiencing was a dark night of the soul. Not in the religious sense, of course, but still. If you're not familiar with the term, in religion, it means someone has a spiritual crisis with their faith. I meant essentially that I hoped that Jess was experiencing a crisis of the feels when it comes to our relationship, but ultimately would get through it. It's a wishful thought on my part, but understandable I guess.
As I get through this, I want to really get out all of the detail of what I'm going through and feeling. Today was interesting. Yesterday I was able to keep myself composed throughout most of the work day. I felt more flat and numb then. Not the same today. I had a number of times that I almost fully lost my composure. I had to get up twice to step away and get myself back together. Otherwise, it was a bit of a constant struggle. Throughout the day, many messages of support came in, and I had a hard time reading them without getting emotional. I was a lot less focused on my work, despite trying so hard to throw myself into it. Thankfully my appetite came back.
I hadn't expected the physical sensations that also hit today. I got a bit of dizziness and tingles throughout my body. I think it's my body coming off of the adrenaline from the fight or flight emotional state this weekend. It's almost like a tipsy state where you've had a few drinks and your vision seems a bit wibbly wobbly. I also noticed that sinking, weighty feeling of depression that I'm all too familiar with. I haven't felt it in a very long time, but I know it well. I've decided that I'm just going to let all these feelings happen and experience them. There's no sense fighting them if I want to heal.
There were other little thought based things I noticed today, too. Like I'd be reading something, or something would happen, and my first thought was "I should share this with Jess later today when we talk about our day." That's followed up with that pang of reality. It's so hard because it just happens. There's no preventing it. There's the reminders too, when you're doing something and something pops up that reminds you of something she did or said at some point, but all you feel is this pain of knowing you'll never be experience that thing with her again.
I noticed how the energy has been sucked out of me. I move through the world so slowly now. I feel like I have no reason or desire to move any faster. I wonder if any of my coworkers have noticed, but my guess is probably not. In general, my understanding is that people are too busy attending to themselves to notice that kind of thing. No one there knows me that well either, but I'm definitely not acting like the person they have been working with up until now. So, who knows? I also wonder if anyone can see the sadness on my face. My eyes, my shoulders, my head...all feel heavy, and it feels like I have huge bags under my eyes, even though I'm sure I don't. I think a part of me wants someone to see and ask me what's wrong, but I guess I don't really expect that.
It's strange because there are so many things that up until now have been an accepted part of my life through her. There are people I knew through Jess that I'll probably never see again. I used to hear about things going on at the University that she works, and the research she's doing. I won't hear about that anymore. In fact, I won't have a tie to academia at all anymore. There are shows that she introduced me to that now only remind me of how much better they were when I watched them with her. I probably never would have started watching Doctor Who without her.
It's weird the things you miss, too. I miss waking up to her getting in the shower in the morning. I also miss the sound she made when she saw a photo of a fluffy kitty. I miss watching her fall asleep on the couch at 8:00 while we watched YouTube videos. I miss the way she would lean forward to imply that she wanted me to scratch her back. I'll miss watching her surround herself with Magic: the Gathering cards spending an entire weekend building and tearing apart decks. I'll miss her love of Lego too.
She's such a great cook, and I will never get to have some of those dishes again. We made a mean Thanksgiving dinner together. In fact, we really knew how to team cook a dinner. Food will never be the same without her. She has that ability to taste something and instantly know what's missing. I don't have that. Jess was also the first person I ever had alcohol with. I avoided it for so many years, and eventually I decided that I was ready and wanted to share it with someone. She introduced me to so much and just made me a better person.
All in all, today was a little better than yesterday and a little worse at the same time. I miss her so much. I want to say thank you to everyone that commented, sent me a note on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, called me or texted me. I am so thankful that I have so many wonderful friends that are willing to be supportive of me through this. You're the best.
Posted on November 19th 2013, 4:02 am
It's been a while. If I ignore the short stub of the update on the interview from January of 2013, it's been almost 2 and a half years since I posted anything. If there's anything I've learned over the years, it's that I need emotional outlets. This blog has served as that outlet during various periods throughout my life, often times during great loneliness and difficult struggles. Over the past few years, my life has been full and I've had a partner to be my emotional outlet. So I didn't post here, because I felt like this blog wasn't necessary for me anymore. As it happens, I just entered another of those difficult times that brings me back to needing the emotional outlet again. I've been with a beautiful, wonderful, and amazing person for 3 and a half years, and that relationship came to a very abrupt end this past weekend.
I'm devastated. I'm destroyed. I can barely function. I've never felt so much pain in my life. All my friends have been telling me how I'm the strongest person they know, but I don't feel that way at all. I'm struggling, and I have no idea how to move forward with my life. I feel so very alone and isolated now. I plan to take time each day, as I grieve and heal from this massive hole in my very being right now, to write my experiences and thoughts down.
Before I move forward though, I should move backwards. There's a lot that hasn't been shared about the past few years of my life, and it helps to bring you up to speed. Jess and I had a wonderful relationship. We met back in March of 2010. We moved in together back in 2011 when she got a job in Menomonie, Wisconsin at the University of Wisconsin - Stout. We've lived together ever since. After that first year, change was in the air for Jess' job. She is an academic, and academics go where the jobs are. I'm a software and web developer. My skills are more flexible. I got a piece of advice years ago from my good friend Audrey Fessler. She told me that if the situation arose in which the person I love and I could potentially have to live apart from each other, we should take every opportunity to avoid that. I took that advice to heart and I followed Jess wherever she went. That road took us from Eau Claire, Wisconsin to El Paso, Texas.
We bought a house there together. Jess' job wasn't going to be permanent, but it would be for at least 3 years. We figured in that time, we could improve the house and sell it by the time we left the area. That plan fell by the wayside when we found out that one of her colleague's was accepting a position at Iowa State University. He asked her if she wanted to come with and continue doing research together. We thought about it for a good long while, but eventually we decided that it was a good idea. You see, She had proposed to me back in 2011. We could finally get married.
We tried to sell our house, which didn't go that well since we hadn't built up much of any equity yet. It was very stressful. In the end, we ended up going with a property management service to get the place rented. It took several months to find a tenant, but eventually we got there. So, one year after we moved to El Paso, we headed for Des Moines. With the move, I ended up switching jobs. I had been working from home while we were in El Paso, and while that sounds awesome, it was lonely. Eventually we started settling in to our new life here in Iowa.
That's a very brief description of the last few years of my life. I can very easily say they were the best times of my life. This Saturday at 1:00 saw the end of that. I had just gotten off the phone with my folks. That's when Jess told me we needed to have an awkward conversation, and that's never a great thing to hear. As the conversation began, it was becoming more clear that it was my worst fear coming to life. It was the talk...the breakup talk. At first, I thought maybe she just wanted to get something off her chest. I was completely blindsided when she said that she wanted to move on. It felt like someone knocked the wind out of me. I never saw anything like this coming. No signs had been given that anything was wrong. She never said anything. It was very...very hard to hear.
After the talk, I understandably got emotional. When it got to be too much, I had to leave. I got in my car and drove off and started bawling in the car. I found myself just yelling in emotional pain, screaming "NO NO NO NO THIS ISN'T REAL!!" and trying to see as tears streamed down my face. I don't think I was in control of what I was even saying. The emotions were that strong. After I drove for a while, I tweeted that my world had ended, and several folks were reaching out to me to support me. I didn't have any destination in mind. I was just driving. I eventually stopped in a parking lot and cried. After a while, I calmed down a bit. She and I eventually started texting, and I decided to come back home so we could talk a bit more. Once I got home, I asked a lot of questions, and there were more tears from the both of us. Eventually it got to be about 7:00 and I decided to go to bed early in the hopes that I could sleep the nightmare away. That didn't work well at all. Jess slept on the couch. I should add, I didn't eat anything after breakfast on Saturday. I just couldn't.
The truth is that she still loves me, but her attraction to me has apparently faded in the past several months. And while attractions and interest in intimacy are cyclical in a relationship, for her, it seems more than that. She thinks of me as her best friend. She says I'm wonderful and an amazing person. However, now she thinks of me more like a sister...which is something you never want to hear in a relationship. My feelings for her had only grown stronger recently, which makes the pain of heartbreak even more difficult.
Over the course of the weekend, I felt as if I was in the movie "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" where memories were starting to vanish, only it wasn't memories, it was my future. All the plans starting to fade away and leave emptiness in their wake. We had so many exciting plans that we had discussed, like going to San Diego Comic Con together, Disneyworld, GDC, making video games together, settling down somewhere, eventually building a house and enjoying our lives. All of that vanished leaving me wondering where to go and what to do with my life now.
Sunday was rough. In the morning, I came downstairs and had coffee with her, but it was through tears. We talked a little, but there was a lot of staring into nothing and silence. We were both pretty numb. I eventually decided to leave and try to distract myself. That lasted for a few hours before I ran out of ideas and came home again. At this point, I was drained and numb. Jess and I chatted more and we both went in and out of emotional states. In the end, I decided that I was going to treat the night as my last night with her. We had dinner and had a drink together. It was the fleeting calm in the storm...a mirage of happiness before the end. This morning, as I left for work, I said goodbye knowing that she would be gone by the time I came home.
Today she left. As much as the emotional part of would love for her to stay here in the same place, the rational part of me knows that's not a good idea. We had discussed that one of us would have to find a place. So, with that, she's staying at the house of one of her colleague's while she finds a place to live. This is my first night in this place alone. It doesn't feel like she's really gone. It feels like she left for the week to visit her family or went to a conference. I imagine as the days pass, that feeling will fade. While I was at work today, I had many pangs. Little thoughts kept popping up, like "Christmas is just around the corner" only to a moment later remember that I would be alone this holiday season. I would remember that I'd likely never see her family again. I won't get to watch movies with her anymore or play video games alongside her anymore. Just little things that would pop up and sting. Thankfully my work kept me distracted and numb throughout the day.
Now I'm sitting in this empty house, just me and the kitties. It's very quiet, and it feels very lonely and depressing. I used to tell Jess that when we were at stores walking around, and she wandered off, I'd sometimes, just for fun, toy with the idea that she was actually not real and that I had somehow made her up entirely. In that land of make believe, everyone was just all elaborately playing along with my delusion. Of course, she'd come back around the corner and all would be right with the world. Now, I will probably toy with that idea again, only this time, the delusion will be that she is still in my life. I find it weird that a small part of irrational me is like "Maybe it's all just a practical joke gone too far," but when I think through the reality of that, I know it would be completely preposterous.
I know I'm going through denial right now. There's a part of my brain trying to protect me that has me convinced this is temporary, and that she'll be back soon. The rational part is telling me that's not true. I still hold out hope that she'll change her mind. Even though she's hurt me, I'd still welcome her back with no hesitation. I just wonder if time apart will see another change of heart. In the meantime, I'm just trying to make it through each hour. I don't remember how to live alone anymore. That'll take some adjusting.
To add insult to injury, I know absolutely no one in Iowa other than my coworkers. I have a huge support group in other parts of the country. It only adds to the feeling of isolation. To all that have offered support and kind words to me via the interwebs, thank you. You really have helped me feel loved.
I will end my thoughts here for now. More to come in the next days. If you're read this far, thanks for sticking through.