My flow won’t be quite the same tonight as I’m doing this in a Pages document instead of on the WordPress posting page (the wifi at the laundromat isn’t working). So my apologies in advance if it’s not up to my usual standards.
[Ok, this letter thing is going to get annoying.Their initials are too close to the same. It’s confusing me and I know who I’m talking about. I can’t imagine how confusing it is for you guys. I am still going to call my ex AP. But I’m fairly sure that AB won’t mind me using her name, and if she does, I apologize and I’ll edit it sweetheart.]
Today I realized that I had never felt cherished, never felt like I was important in my relationships.
(My parents don’t count because they’re awesome, but they’re my parents and as awesome as they are, they just don’t count for this.)
I never felt that what I wanted and what I needed were as equally important as my partner’s wants and needs. I had never been told, in as many words, that I was important to my partner. I had never been told that my partner ‘adored’ me. I never felt cherished.
I do now.
Amanda not only tells me that she adores me, that I am important to her, but she also tells me that what I need is just as important as what she needs, that what I want is just as important as what she wants. She not only tells me this fact, but she also makes me feel it too.
In my past relationships, I have been the one who takes care of my partner, a literal representation of this would be how we cuddle. I have been the one who has taken the role of the cuddler while my partner has been the cuddlee. (I’m the big spoon to her little.)
But today, Amanda held me. She held me while I talked. She held me while I cried. She just held me and made me feel like nothing could get past her to hurt me. She made me feel like it was all right to have whatever feelings I was having, that there was no shame in feeling sad, or hurt, or upset, or angry. That there are no weak emotions.
One thing that AP constantly berated me for was for ‘being like a robot.’ Basically, not showing my emotions. Having no strong outward manifestations of what I was feeling. I had learned how to bury what I was feeling to protect myself. If I had emotions that AP could see, she could find a way to use them against me. So by protecting myself, I had inadvertently given her yet another thing to use against me. But using my lack of emotions against me hurt less than if she had used what I actually was feeling against me. If I didn’t feel or show emotions, I could keep my heart safe. Or so I thought.
I managed to overcome that particular obstacle on my own after AP and I split up, I began to feel again. I began to express my emotions again. I even cried. But recently, I had a realization about certain things about my relationship with AP that caused me to hide my emotions again. This time I was doing it to save myself from feeling the things that I had buried all those years ago. Burying my emotions wasn’t to save me from Amanda, because there’s nothing to save me from, I was still saving myself from AP despite the fact that she’s been out of my life for almost 6 months now.
Amanda can see through my ‘robot’ shell. She can still see the hurt in my eyes. She called me out on the fact that I looked like I wanted to cry but that I couldn’t. She told me it was safe to feel whatever it was I was feeling, that it was all right to cry. That she wouldn’t think any less of me, that she wouldn’t think I wasn’t strong. She then encouraged me to talk about what was bothering me. And I opened up. It was painful, the things I shared. And she called me out on my distancing myself even more. And I kept talking. The more I talked, the more I found myself feeling. The more I felt, the more I opened up. The more I opened up, I found myself crying. I found myself crying for those things that I thought I had lost. I cried for those things that I did lose. I cried for the things that happened to me. I cried for not seeing things for what they were sooner. I cried for all of the pain that I felt. I actually only cried for probably a minute or so, and there weren’t all that many tears, but considering that crying doesn’t come easily, any tears at all are like uber tears.
But what amazed me through all of this is how completely safe I felt. Despite going through and re-living some of the most horrible things I’ve lived through, I felt safe in Amanda’s arms. She reassured me that she loves me. Her eyes said more than she did verbally, but she said it plenty verbally too. She has this incredible way of making me feel things without saying them, but then she says them too, just to make sure.
Its how I knew she loved me before she said it. Its how I knew that I could tell her anything without fear of recrimination or fear of judgment. Because she is a very up front person. She says what she means, she doesn’t play games, if she says something, she means it. When she tells me that I’m safe, I know I am. When she tells me that she adores me, I know it. When she tells me that I’m important to her, I FEEL it.
I’m so used to ignoring what I feel, burying it so that I can stay ‘strong’ for my partner. And while I still WANT to be strong, I’m learning that hiding what I’m feeling isn’t me being strong, it’s me being dishonest with myself. By hiding what I’m feeling, I’m denying myself a part of who I am.
A song from the musical “Next To Normal” is how I’ve often thought of myself in terms of my partner. I have always tried my best to be what my partner needs, sometimes to my detriment, but I always try.
But as I listened to it tonight after my emotional afternoon with Amanda, I realized that she fits the lyrics better than I do. Well… maybe we can take turns. I do still like to be the strong one sometimes, and I hope that it still fits for me… But this was definitely the first time that I believed that my partner was…. well read the lyrics and you’ll see what I mean.
Our planet is poison, the oceans the air.
Around and beneath and above you.
Um, Henry, that’s true, and I totally care…
I’m trying to tell you I love you.
The world is at war
Filled with death and disease
We dance on the edge of destruction
The globe’s getting warmer by deadly degrees.
And this is one fucked up seduction.
This planet is pretty much broken beyond all repair.
But one thing is working, if you’re standing there.
Perfect for you, I could be perfect for you.
I might be lazy, a loner, a bit of a stoner, it’s true
But I might be perfect
I’ll make myself perfect
Perfect for you.
You square all the corners
I straighten the curves.
You’ve got some nerve Henry
And I’m all nerves
But even if everything else turns to dirt.
We’ll be the one thing in this world that won’t hurt.
I can’t fix what’s fucked up.
But one thing I know I can do
I can be perfect for you.
I can be perfect for you
Perfect for you
Now in no way is Amanda lazy, a loner, or a stoner. She works a full time job, she’s a full time student, she’s the secretary of a local non profit organization, and she has me. She’s definitely social as well, we do thing with her friends or my friends all the time. And by no means is she perfect, since nobody is perfect. But she is indeed perfect for me. She knows when to push me to talk, she knows when I just need to be quiet, she knows how I’m feeling even when I’m lying about it to myself. She can read my face and my eyes like most people read a book. And she knows my heart. She knows me on an intrinsic level that’s deeper than anyone else ever has even tried to get to know me.
I don’t know if I could be healing like I need to be if I didn’t have her here for me, if I didn’t have her to talk to, if I didn’t have her to hold me and tell me everything will get better. And when she tells me that it does get better, I believe it, even when I’m feeling the lowest of my low, I can hear the love in her voice and I have hope that things will improve.
Once again I thank whatever element in the universe brought us together now. Because I am so incredibly lucky to have her in my life.