The past two days have been a whirlwind and an emotional rollercoaster. I have still not fully processed everything and I still have things seared into my memory and other little moments are bubbling up to the surface.
In addition to the emotional upheaval and drama with BFD, I have been dealing with a crushing reality about LP: I think we’re done. I do.
I know I may be overreacting (and I am definitely pre-menstrual), but I just feel it. Despite our wonderfully intimate and loving call late Monday night, I feel separated from him at a time when I need to feel connected to him.
Plus, his ex is using their child as a bludgeon, interfering with his ability to create a life as much as she can. Their custody arrangement is flexible and the kid goes back and forth almost every single day. That means she essentially controls his life. Still.
Somewhat disingenuously as we had set only a general “we’ll be together this week,” I texted him early Friday afternoon to say, “Were we on for tonight or tomorrow?” Forty minutes later, I heard back:
“Huh??? Did we discuss that? I have [the kid] both nights”
Here is the rest:
Me: Yes, on Monday night, we made general plans to see each other. You were confirming [the kid] schedule, but we were on for the weekend. 1:53 PM
LP: Well then i am sorry – i am having a very rough time balancing work and [the kid] and life right now 1:55 PM
Me: I’m sorry, too. I know it’s been rough on you, and I feel like a pest for even reaching out at all. 2:00 PM
LP: Sorry to make you feel like a pest 2:01 PM
Me: Sorry to be one. I want to be an alleviation of irritation and stress for you, not the cause. 2:08 PM
Me: Should we try to reschedule for Sunday or do you need some time to get things back into balance? 2:21 PM
Me: hey, i was just calling to check on you. you seem really stressed. i hope you and [the kid] have a great weekend and that you’re able to unwind a bit. 5:00 PM
So, there you have it.
Though I have not had LP’s voice on here before, it’s not an out of character text exchange. He can be, especially during work hours, very matter of fact. It’s not cold exactly, but it’s not warm either. He’s stressed out and distracted.
More importantly, despite his desire for me, which is deep and unabiding, he cannot balance out his life and his priorities. I am not a priority, which I shouldn’t be at this point.
The difficulty is that I get easily bored and I want him to be available to me. I want to have sex with him. I want to fall asleep in his arms. I am okay having to split time with the kid. I don’t want to see him every day, but I want to see him every week.
That is not happening, and I am not certain that any of it can happen, no matter how much he does want it. Because he does, just not more than he has to work and wants to be there for his child. I am okay with that. I don’t think he’s a bad person — in fact, I think he’s a great person. I am just not willing to wait forever for him to realize how he has to handle the reins. He is afraid right now and he is allowing himself to be manipulated, knowingly, to do the right thing for the kid.
I know that, and again, it’s part of what I love about him. But, it puts me in a difficult situation. While he is putting himself and his needs so low in priority, he is incapable of being the man I need him to be in our relationship.
So, I am stepping back. That does mean, to a certain extent, that I am downshifting how I think about him. For now, he cannot be my first thought if I need an escort or a party arises. He goes from being on the cusp of being my boyfriend — we’d had extensive conversations so he knew that sex = exclusive and monogamous — to man I am dating.
I had tears in my eyes during our text exchange because I know the truth. He’s not ready, though he thinks he is, and I am not ready to wait, though I wonder if he thinks I will.
It felt to me like a valediction. His silence, speaking volumes.
I am probably overreacting. This has happened before and it’s been okay, but he’s suffering and my presence is not helping. I know that. He needs two things — my loving support and my understanding. I know that, too.
Could this all be hormonal freak-out? Yes. But I am not sitting still. I am moving on. I am keeping a connection to him, not cutting him off or anything, but I am going to be dating other people . . . including perhaps BFD.
I know, I know.
BFD would not be the boyfriend either, but I may see if his Damascus Road conversion is real or not. I am not trusting what he is saying or doing right now. It’s nice that he finally appreciates me and see what I always wanted him to see about me — that I am strong and dynamic and successful and that I can be the person he has been looking for. He said to me at one point, “you are now my personal attorney” and I thought, motherfucker, I have always been your personal attorney, you just never allowed me to assume the mantle of handling things for you. The personal attorney thing is about connections, not about work. He said he always wanted to have someone who would be one phone call from anything he wanted. He is an idiot because even the depressed Planner was still capable of managing anything he ever needed. Ugh.
For more than a year, I could have made his life easier, less stressful, and he never appreciated me. He tried to turn me into something else, never seeing who I actually was, although I was with him on the mistaken journey. He thought he knew better about everything and all of his failed thinking is coming back to haunt him.
I was happy that he needed me because I knew (a) I could help, and (b) I was gaining his respect by doing it. He needed me at the single lowest moment of his life and there is real power in that, which I never had in our relationship. I liked having power over him and power in our relationship. Frankly, he liked it, too. He wanted me to act to do and I never did.
The truth of it all is that I am single-ish again. I hope I am wrong about LP and that he regains some semblance of control and figures out how to integrate me into his life. In the meantime, I am keeping all of my options open, including BFD.
BFD and I spoke late yesterday. He was definitely feeling better. He asked what I was doing this weekend, which is needless to say something he’s not asked me in a so long I don’t know if he ever did. I told him my plans to the symphony with N canceled, so I was not yet sure, but open, as was he, so he said “we should do something tomorrow.” Really? I said, okay, maybe a movie tomorrow. We talked about the workout I was skipping and then hung up. We spoke again once more and he’s chagrined but better.
This afternoon, I shot him a revised offer via email, but he responded back that he was not feeling well and countered for tomorrow afternoon. Knowing him as I do, we’re not on for tomorrow either, and I am already seeing A and possibly BP. Still, I accepted, knowing it costs me nothing since he will most assuredly cancel on me.
We are becoming friends in a way we have never been. I am still thinking of him very much as my ex. I am also accepting that I am his best friend. I am wary, but open to him. I do not forget that he walked away as I cried two weeks ago, that I then sat with LP and felt him hold me so tightly I could feel his arms on my ribs as he whispered in my ear.
I know who I am, for the first time in a long time. The last few weeks have been eye-opening for me and I am much less self-involved and much more open and loving to the people in my life. I feel different, more me. Part of that is the breakup with BFD, part of that was the loving warmth and acceptance from LP, but most of it is me getting a fucking grip.
I have no idea if I have a future with LP, and I fear I do not. I have no idea if BFD could be a changed man, understanding he needs to be tethered and corralled in order to be fully free. I have no idea what the next few weeks or months will bring.
What I do know is who I am, what I want, what I will never settle for. I am happier being single than being in a relationship that makes me deeply unhappy. I am not settling for less than I deserve, but I am also not closing any doors. I need to make no choices. There is no rush.