Divergence: 26 February 2021

Two railroad tracks diverging

It took me a little over 20 minutes to get to The Place Where I Work this morning, and I seemed to hit almost every green light heading into the city until I hit the city centre itself. When I arrived at work and opened my car door, the smell of popcorn invaded my sinuses. The next few minutes, with me turning off the security alarm and scanning the QR code on my COVID tracer app, made me want popcorn. A lot. Amazing how an aroma can affect us, our memories, and our desires so deeply.

In yesterday’s blog about my depression over the last few days, I wasn’t entirely and fully honest. This is also an ongoing theme in my counselling sessions, that I’m very good at editing myself for the world to see only the best parts. In undertaking that editing, the full, true, honest, flawed me never comes to the surface. That is something I need to keep working on.

Late on Tuesday night, I was scanning through social media as something I wasn’t finding extremely interesting was blaring on the TV, and I came across a photo. In the photo, a happy couple embrace. That happy couple was The Man I Once Loved and his new wife; they were married recently.

I grew more anxious that I did upset. I really am not super sure why I had that reaction. Maybe the suddenness of it (which I don’t handle well post-depersonalization) shocked me and that caused the anxiety? I don’t know. I also did get a bit angry.

Putting my hand up here about being a dick (at least in my mind). Reflecting back on it today, with a few days of distance between the shock and letting the emotions settle, Why was I angry? Because he didn’t tell me. Because it was on the anniversary of the quakes. Because he didn’t even let me know he was engaged.

And I put him in a no-win situation in my mind and in real life. Years ago, I told him that sometimes when he spoke about a new lover that that hurt me or made me feel very uncomfortable. Last year, I told him I couldn’t deal with the topsy-turviness of days of us communicating and then months of not communicating, like suddenly he fell off the face of the Earth, and I told him I needed time, space and distance.

So, to be brutally honest to myself — and I accept this — I can’t have it both ways. I can’t ask him to leave me alone but also tell me he’s getting married. I can’t ask him to not talk about the lovers in his life, have him seemingly respect that, and then get angry when he doesn’t tell me he’s engaged. That’s not fair on him.

An interjection: I don’t hate him. I don’t even know her, so she’s a blank slate to me. Yes, I get angry at him for the way he has treated me some of the time, especially the hot potato / cold potato ordeals. But I don’t hate him. And it would be really immature of me to have any sorts of feelings towards her when I don’t even know her. That’s not fair on her, him, or me.

As I got ready for bed on Tuesday night, the truth emerged to me, as it has many times before, but this time it felt naked and raw and final.

I can’t keep doing this to myself.

With the courage of a few wines under my belt at the time, I blocked him on everything. Social media, phone, the whole nine yards.

This time feels very final. Unlike the times before it, where my heart would soften, and my resolve would wane, this time I think my good old German stubbornness will help me keep me standing my ground.

2021 has been a year of change for me in a lot of ways so far. My emotions seem to be coming back. I haven’t always been slumping into depersonalization every five seconds. At The Place Where I Work, after being somewhat underappreciated, I’ve taken several steps back so that work is not the main focus in my life any more. And even though I have been anxious, and I still am uncertain about my abilities as a writer in a class full of talented people, I have started my writing course and writing journey to help make me happy again.

I do love The Man I Once Loved, and I do miss him.

But part of being an adult, and I think a big part of growth, is to let someone you love go when the grass is greener somewhere else for them. He’s made it clear his yard is greener, and I’m a little slow to see that, I guess. And I have let go of him before. But this time seems pretty final.