Friday, 8 June 2012

And then we talked.

"I'm not going to sweeten it for you - last year completely shattered me."

We sat in armchairs at the back of an otherwise empty pub, save for a couple of regulars at the bar. Him, a pint of beer. Me, "better make it a stiff G&T, please". Low music filled in the gaps when we just sat there, looking at each other with something amounting to disbelief that we'd both just met, having moved two roads away from each other.

"No, I know. I deserve it. I'm so sorry. I don't know what happened. I still don't. I just got freaked out."

There was no anger, no shouting, no resentment. That's the thing about cutting off all contact with someone entirely for so long; you've already been through all the emotions.

Over the last year, I'd often wondered aloud and on this blog when the pay-off would be. Friends often congratulated me on being able to pretend he didn't exist, but there was always a nagging doubt in my mind: what was the point if he does exist, yet you never really got any answers?

Now, I realise cutting off all contact means you can sit there and talk eighteen months later, and when the time comes, you want to talk. Not because you want them back or because you're aching for someone, but because you're alright now. And when you're alright, it means the talk isn't peppered with digs, asides, tears and hurtful words fuelled by shock and rage.

Cutting off contact gives you self-worth, confidence and the ability to get on with your life - you put your efforts back into being you again, and concentrate on making solid friends instead of amends with someone who was the opposite.

What it doesn't give you is the knowledge of what was real (something flicking in his brain, like a switch) and what wasn't (anything of substance with another girl, him not wanting to contact me, him dancing on a cloud of glee somewhere, etc).

We left the pub after a couple of drinks and circled around the block. We passed by my flat and his, remembering travel stories and swapping tips about the area in between the relationship chat.

"Did you ever feel..." he began, as we neared the top of my road.
"Like I wanted to beat the absolute shit out of you? Yes."
"Er, I was going to say...the opposite. Like, did you ever feel like you wanted to chase and try and sort things?"
"If things had been different, I would have tried. If you'd come in all apologies and wanting to work things out and making a huge effort, then I probably would have done. But you weren't "there", and I couldn't risk it. I would have been jealous and couldn't have trusted you."
"I thought about doing that. But my head just wasn't there."

We stopped near my flat and stood opposite each other.

"It's been good to see you."
"Do we...stay in contact? Or would that be weird?" he ventured.
"I wouldn't mind staying in touch. But it could be weird. I don't know."

Then we hugged, a huge long hug that lasted minutes rather than seconds, and I felt tears about to slip for the first time all evening.

"Ok. Right. I'm going to go now. See ya later."

And with that, I walked into my flat.


Blonde said...

Oooooooooof. Now there's a headfuck. Hope you're ok. xxx

Melanie said...

A headfuck but one that would have been a lot worse if attempted sooner... I have been contemplating doing the same sort of thing with my ex, I will begin work very close
To him soon and it would be a matter of time before we bump into each other. But I think you're right... It needs to be a longtime so you can go through all those emotions yourself and be able to hold a conversation without the bitterness... Well done for getting through it :) hope you got the closure you needed/wanted

em said...

Wow. I thought you were brave contemplating the drink {I refused a lunch recently and that was something that was over 4 years ago} But to hold strong and not let the tears fall in front of him - massive congrats.

If you think you can be friends, and it won't mess you up - sometimes I think that's for the best. xx

Dominic said...

I wish I'd been smart enough to do the "cut off contact" thing myself in the past.. sounds like you'll have a better outcome than I did as a result

Congrats again on getting through it!

Brennig said...

we kept in touch for a couple of months, then she got offended and upset that, just as I left deep despair and depression for a happier, sunnier place, she became wracked with guilt at what she'd done to me/us. We stopped seeing each other when she realised what I'd been going through.

Anonymous said...

Oh god no...

Please hurry up and fall in love with someone else before you go all silly and end up trying to make a go with it with him.

Breeza said...

Definitely congrats on getting through it. That's rough. I hope you're doing well!

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Blonde - I'm awright. But yes, bit of a headfuck.

Melanie - I think you're right, any earlier and I would have been all ragey. It was good to sit there with my sensible head on.

em - I think so much time has passed, and we really haven't spoken at all between when we broke up and now. There were a lot of unanswered questions.

Dominic - I'd recommend it to anyone.

Brennig - I think that's a sensible course of action. They have to live with it for a bit. It's not our job to be unhappy, we've done nothing wrong.

punctuation - Tell me, how many times have you read about me going "all silly" on this blog? I'm handling this the only way I know - by sticking with my gut. It's served me extremely well in the past.

Breeza - I'm doing very well today :)

modelofamodernmajorgeneral said...

Tell you what, you're a better person than I am. There are areas in the RN I don't go to because I know my ex works there. And that's even after I've been married for 5 years.

I think mainly it's the anger rather than the sadness that drives me.

I really rather hope you had a cuppa when you got inside, remembered what an ace person you are, and then had a little cry. Keep your chin up lass (and we've confiscated $25 million of drugs recently, if that'd help a little!)...

Blonde said...

Punctuation: Dude. Not cool.

j said...

Well done! I am not sure I would have been able to be as mature and composed as you were.

Redbookish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Redbookish said...

Gosh! You are far more grown up than I am, and I'd guess I'm about your age and a half ... Very impressive.

Sorry -- deleted my last comment because of massive thick thumbs typing. Baaaad.

Anonymous said...

Tough. Such a major hurdle to face. But well done for coming out of it with your pride and your heart intact!

Jo and the Novelist said...

Post-relationship relationships... NIGHTMARE. Yes, I pretend that they just disappear too. End all contact. It's just better that way. But that day - the day of the unsuspecting reappearance - is coming. I fear it. Well done for dealing with it so well :)

Ellie said...

Holy headfuck!

Robbie said...

Careful Jo.


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