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Archive for August, 2012

Two and a half years…

… and the unexpected sound of gunshots on TV can still make me break out in a cold sweat.

PTSD sucks.

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Well, it’s over.

My first relationship since the death of my husband lasted three months and ended with an exchange of emails. It’s been pretty obvious from the change in your behavior that this is not the right time for us, I said. He agreed. He said he was “sorry it’s going down like this” and that he’s not happy with himself at all for the way he handled it. That makes two of us.

Compared to the pain of my husband’s suicide, this hurt was like stubbing a toe. The sudden startling pain made me cry and I hopped around swearing for a little while, and then I limped for a little while longer… and I’m gonna have a little bruise there… But I’m OK.  Better than OK, even.

Last weekend I went to hear some live music, a solo performance by a talented guitarist and composer in a small, intimate venue. At the end of the first set he did a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” which is one of my all time favorite songs (though I prefer Rufus Wainwright’s version). It moved me to tears, especially when the audience was singing a softly echoing chorus of hallelujahs back to him. There’s a line in that song that always reminds me of my late husband:

“Remember when I moved in you, the holy dark was moving too, and every breath we drew was hallelujah…”

Yes. Making love with my beloved husband was like that… every time, every breath was hallelujah. With New Guy it was… well, it was fine but the earth didn’t move, let’s put it that way. Now I know that it takes time with a new partner to get to know each other’s bodies and really understand how to please each other, and I think we could have gotten the physical stuff right if we’d kept at it. But there was something missing — passion, intensity, depth — that was there the very first time my late husband kissed me all those years ago. And sitting in a dark room, softly singing hallelujah, I understood that anything less than that would be settling. And I’m not ready to settle.  I’m not willing to accept that I only get one chance at that kind of passion, that kind of connection. I’m going to keep looking until I find it again.

It’s time to ramble on.

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I guess I should explain why this long-distance thing is so hard right now. It’s not the geographical distance so much as the emotional distance I’ve been feeling for the last three weeks, ever since I returned from my visit with him. For several weeks leading up to my trip, we texted or chatted online every day. He was attentive, flirtatious, romantic – calling me things like “baby” and “sweetheart” and his girl. He would call me just to hear my voice.

We had a wonderful time together. Everything just seemed to fit. On my last night there we were curled up in bed watching TV and he looked over at me, smiled tenderly and said “I am so content right now.”

It feels like everything changed as soon as I left town. For the first week he still texted me every day, but there was much less show of affection. He wasn’t using the endearments anymore or signing off with x’s and o’s. Then the texts became fewer and further between. He’s been avoiding my phone calls, or at least that’s the way it seems – we’ve only spoken once in three weeks. He’s had some major stuff going on in his life the last week which I only know about through his posts on Facebook.

Something is not right, but I don’t know what changed or why. My heart is very heavy.

My inner teenager is convinced that it’s somehow her/my fault. This is her worst fear come to life, to have sex with a guy and then be tossed aside. She’s been wailing about how she/I obviously wasn’t good enough in bed, fretting about what mistake may have been made that chased him away. The rational adult side of me is worn out from trying to calm her down and keep her in check – and, at the very least, keep the goddamned phone out of her hands.

He’ll be in town for a few days next week. His mother is in the hospital, so the reason for his visit is not a happy one and he’ll be busy with family. But I’m hoping we can at least have dinner and a mature adult conversation about where things stand. My inner teenager vacillates between hoping that it’s all been a big misunderstanding that can be worked out once we see each other again and just wanting to dump his sorry ass for putting me through three weeks of emotional turmoil. The calmer, more rational voice in my head says that perhaps the best thing for both of us would be to agree that the long-distance thing isn’t working, put the relationship on hold and try again after he moves down here… if we’re both still interested.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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