What is the right way to be? Is it who I’m needed to be, or is it just “me?” In the past, I have become who I believed I was supposed to be, for the person that I partnered with I have learned that making oneself fit into a cookie cutter often leaves bits chopped off, or gaps.
Being disconnected from the way K did a few days ago was painful, because it felt like it was also a condemnation of the quality of which I love. As if to say: she felt she’d be better off without my presence in her life, despite her intention to protect me from a perceived future calamity. Said calamity is a growing possibility, but admittedly, not yet set in stone. What I do know, and she came to discover, is we only have the time we have. How we spend that time is ultimately ours to decide. I do not still feel hurt by this, mind you, because she did miss my presence in her life and did not like the feeling of my absence. This turn of circumstance has allowed me to be much more rapidly introspective about the whole thing.
Now, however, I find myself being “clingy.” I got let go of once, I’d like to ensure that it doesn’t happen again due to some sort of neglect on my part. Am I not hearing her? Am I not there for her like I ought to be? Am I telling her how I feel about her enough? So, naturally, this is a sort of panic reaction. I’m noticing it, I’m doing something to regulate the urgency of this unproductive prerogative. I do need to establish that the lines of communication should be wide open, because we only succeed together in total honesty.
I hurt her too a few months ago, when I she felt stifled her sharing about what she was going through with her cancer treatments. This has had a lasting effect, and now there is a barrier of hesitancy between us that distresses me. I understand why she feels this way too… I’m still grappling with how to be in my role in our relationship, given the torment of her every waking moment. I long to “do” something but sometimes the only thing the “do” is be there, talk, laugh and try and move the time along. Share something, have a distraction to engage in. Most importantly though, is proximity, and physical comfort. This is the thing I can’t do, which makes for the source of my emotions. It’s a tough role to mark our first 6 months together, but I’m working my way through this just as she is.
This rant has a point. That is: we are humans trying to survive a particularly stressful circumstance. I struggle, she struggles, I help her up sometimes and other times she’ll help me. Partnerships are built on being equals when you can be, and allies when you need to be. The brand of love I bring is the unconditional variety, which makes me both vulnerable and naive. I long to be loved back the same way, because having someone that close who will protect you when times get tough is the core of surviving this world. Allies are essential to success and establishment of identity. Whether its friends or partners, we need people to reflect back to us who we are, and what space we occupy in the world.
K is my partner, and even if she wanted to brave this thing alone, she still has me, and I’m going to the edge with her if need be. I’m loyal to her cause and I’m desperate to have her in my life for as long as I can. Losing her artificially was toxic, and losing her for real is still a possibility. I would like to do what I can to help her through this particularly dark time. I’m counting on having her, but I know I could lose her. I will take every precious chance to be in her orbit, however distantly. For who she is, for what she believes in and how fiercely she fights… I believe she will emerge from this hardened.
Who am I? I’m still me. I only have a switch that goes from LOVE to OFF and right now that bad boy is stuck open. I only know one way to be a partner, and that’s in admiration of the one who chose me, and a respect to myself to keep that person she loves still vital, healthy and not crushing myself into a cookie cutter mold. Staying honest to myself helps me stay strong and aware of issues when they emerge (being mentally ill: issues always emerge). I can only control who I am, and who I am is a work in progress.
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