Hello again! I know, it’s been a really long time. It’s been a long, hard summer, in so many ways. I’ve sat here and tried to write so many times, but have dissolved into tears, or just been too numb to make words, or too angry, or just despondent. I’ve run the gamut of grief over the loss of my relationship with V – six years of friendship, of loving, of D/s, of all-the-kink, of highs and lows – swept away in an instant. I’ve been through denial, made negotiations in my head, raged at myself, at him, at the situation. I’ve cried until I had no more tears left, and then cried some more.
What I haven’t done is contact him again after he said goodbye, though it’s a daily test. We’re still friends on Facebook, but I manage my consumption of social media judiciously, so I am not faced with seeing how wonderful his life is without me, how easily he’s moved on and how effortlessly he has discarded our relationship. I want him to be happy – I haven’t stopped loving him – but when making himself happy has resulted in so much sorrow for me, it’s not something I need to bear witness to on a daily basis. I’ve learned about establishing boundaries for my mental and emotional wellbeing – and about adhering to them. And…I’ve started to move on, finally.
For awhile after he left, I dated and played with and sought out partners to fill the void. I missed our D/s and the connection it forged. It was a constant ache, that loss. It had been such a constant in my life, and had gone so deep, for both of us – or so I had believed. He claims now that it hadn’t been that way for him, that the need and desire for D/s was just a symptom of his ADHD/OCD/traumatized mind. I can’t deny him his experience, all I can say is that it seemed real to me, and it hurts deeply to know that it was all, in his words, “manufactured,” by a mind that was/is unable to access his own feelings. Hearing him say he can’t say he loves me, or anyone, and doesn’t know if he ever has, was pretty fucking brutal after hearing it every day for almost six years; after feeling it every day of those six years, as well as the steady connection of our D/s.
I’m getting over it, moment by moment.
I still miss our morning and afternoon phone calls, I miss debating ideas with him and I miss playing Words With Friends and the Train Game with him. I miss loving him and being loved by him.
But, as the tagline says, there’s always an “after,” isn’t there? And here I am, now, in the aftermath. And I’m okay. I have survived, and I am ready to move on. And moving on in part means reclaiming this space and making it mine once again. The reasons I stopped writing are as varied as the reasons I stopped running – reasons I didn’t fully understand until I sat down here to write again. Yes, sorrow from my relationship ending, but also a sense of…disenfranchisement?…with this space. Part of it was a feeling of shame for having used this space in a way that hurt someone I cared deeply for, resulting in the loss of that relationship. But there was also the residual feeling that sharing myself here – and the need to do so – was somehow shameful. I’d never felt that before, and it’s taken me a long time to work through it. I still am, frankly. As with running with a playlist in my ears that reminded me of him, this space has a lot of echoes of our relationship, so it bears treading lightly. But also like with running, I can change the playlist and find joy in running, and in being here, again.
So where does that leave me? I go back and forth. Some days I want nothing more than to spill my guts here, to write about inconsequential things or consequential, to cry in these pages when my heart still aches for him or to congratulate myself when I see myself moving on. Some days it feels hard to face the changes in my world, and talking about it only makes it worse; other times I am sure it will help to bare my soul as I have done so often in the past.
Back and forth.
I do know that I feel less and less ache as time goes on, and think about him – wishing things were different or that we had one more chance – less and less. But it’s still there, the desire to reconnect, to see him and talk to him again.
I resist the pull.
I go back and forth with what I want my new life – life without him – to look like, as well. Days are that I am sure I will never want a D/s relationship again. I have friends that I can turn to to scratch the most basic of my BDSM itches, and at times that feels like enough. Other times, just fulfilling the physical needs is not enough, and I long for more, for deeper, connection. But at least my first thought upon awakening isn’t of him, nor my last thought before sleep. I still do wake in the middle of the night and miss feeling him curled around my body, though; the smell of his skin, his scratchy face brushing against mine, the way our kinky thoughts and words fueled each other. I miss knowing he was there, at the other end of the phone in a text message.
I guess this is the way it feels to have your heart broken, to love someone who no longer loves you. How very different this ache is from losing someone to death.
Last night I went to a play party with my friend T, and we had an amazing scene. Funny, before that moment I’d been thinking, “Maybe I’m over this kink stuff.” Ha – not even close. She and I have such good energy, and I have lovely sore spots and bruises to remember it by.
Today I had brunch with another friend and tonight Adam and are I seeing Alannis Morissette in concert for my birthday. I thought my birthday might be sad – an acknowledgment that I’d never celebrate another one with V – but it wasn’t, and hasn’t been.
There’s always an “after”.
6 thoughts on “Another “After””
It took him six years to understand that he does not love and this relationship is not for him?
It’s a lot more complicated than that – but yes, these things only come to light recently.
In my opinion, this is called wasting time.
Or living a life and learning from it. We can’t know what we know about ourselves until we do. I don’t blame him for taking the journey that led him to his realizations about himself-I’m just sad that our relationship couldn’t somehow have survived them.
No good experience is a waste of time. Every one of them has the potential to change us for the better and help us grow down a new path.
That is a good way to look at it. There IS always an after…and that after is what you choose to make it.