On Jumping In and Regret

Both feet
(from Versification of…)

“She made a choice
She decided to jump in
all in 
with both feet
excitedly
but nobody seemed to care that she jumped
and the water was colder than she expected
she made her way to the edge
exuberance waning
as she climbed the ladder to get out
she took one last look at the pool
still seeing how nice it could have been
then lifted herself out out
wishing she’d just toe’d in.”

I remember writing this over a year ago, and I remember why. That seemed so long ago, written about something entirely different, and so minor compared to how I feel now–yet the words are just as true for my situation now. It’s a funny thing, reading something you wrote yourself and connecting with it later on another level.

We open ourselves to vulnerability when we give ourselves to another person. This was not my first dance, and I had thought I was wiser and would make better decisions. Instead, I found that I could be hurt on a much deeper level. In one respect, it can be wonderful to learn your own capacity for emotion; but the flip side is hell. Stupid emotions.

I’m going on with my life not just because I have to, but because I want to. I have so many possibilities open to me, and I’m going to explore them all. Nothing will stop that.

But what bothers me is the depth of hurt that I still feel. Every person has to live their own life, and I do respect that. I cannot make anyone’s decisions for them, and I cannot make anyone feel a certain way; we are all allowed to do that on our own. Yet even knowing that, and even having experienced real loss before, this I can’t seem to get past. I would think that my own adult understanding would have helped, but it doesn’t. So what does all of this mean? If this was a lesson just to prove to me that I wasn’t as untouchable as I had thought, it is only making me moreso now in the protective wall I’ve tried not to build but realize is there, anyway. We’ve all been duped in relationships–and it’s usually our own voluntary blindness that aids that; but I can honestly say there weren’t any of those signs–and I’ve looked back enough to make sure. I was so against relationships before this, that I was hyper-aware of making sure I wasn’t making that same mistake of glossing over things that could be indicative of problems later. Until, of course, the end, when he backed off with no explanation, no apology, and no willingness to talk anymore. (If I’d seen that first, the story would definitely have been different!)

What bothers me most is that I’m still affected; still hurting. I’m moving forward, doing what I have to do, yet the slightest event can trigger the pain to be as fresh as when I realized what was going on (and still fought it). As fresh. Un-fucking-believable. Going on four months since he said anything real to me, and it still hurts. Aren’t I supposed to be too adult for this? Especially since, in the grand scheme of things, this is nothing? There are so many terrible things happening all around me, yet this hurts? I’m ashamed of myself because of that. So many people are out there suffering with real problems, and this is one I can’t shake?

I am not a weak person. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being single. My future plans never included a partner. And then I met someone I thought was different…my match, I suppose. It was all different. Effortless. Real. Like it should be. And I jumped in, all in, totally, with both feet. I introduced him to my kids, my family. I let him in further than anyone else. Anyone.

I have a few regrets, as everyone does; but right now I regret nothing as much as I regret that he ever came to see me a year ago. How dare he take down a strong woman?

How dare a strong woman let him?

I laugh at myself a lot lately; especially when I think like that. I know how strong I am (or how strong I thought I was), and I know that I will get past this. But I want it to be done with now. I cannot accept or forgive myself this weakness. And I’m fucking tired of those stupid, fucking triggers that take my breath away with pain, that surprise me with how raw they make me feel. I had one of those moments yesterday (of course, it always happens when I’ve just congratulated myself on the steps I’ve made in getting over it), and it took hours for that painful, hollow, empty ache to even lessen — I know exactly how long it took; I would see the time and could not believe it was still as strong. Obviously, I’m still feeling it now…somewhat. (I can be the Queen of Understatement.)

I want it to be over. I want it to be done. I hate (HATE) feeling this. I hate being hurt. I hate not knowing why he did this, or why it had to happen at all. This is so fucking stupid. I have better things to waste my time on. I am so tired of this; so fucking sick of myself.

A good friend showed up at my house this morning and she just sat there, patiently listening to me yell at myself. (My friends have such patience with me.) Before she left she actually said to me that I was the strongest person she knew.

I told her she may want to set the bar higher.

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