Saturday, February 19, 2011

Post 51- Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn't know.

Dear Journal,

I am continuing with the thirty day prompts, even though I am not doing them in thirty days. The next one is "Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn't know." When my husband asked me to continue writing these I told him that if I did it was going to be raw, honest and could hurt him. He wanted me to do it anyway. Here it goes.

The first part "Someone you need to let go"…

My first real love, Mike, is someone I really need to let go. Those close to me know all about Michael. The first guy I ever gave myself too physically. I loved him once and I suppose, like many people with first loves do, find it hard to let him go.

When you are young and impressionable what you find attractive is different than when you are older and grown. Things that once were important no longer are. I look back at Michael and think, "What was I thinking?" I don't find him remotely attractive. I roll my eyes at how immature he still is, all these years later, and I think that I am glad to have gotten away from him when I did. I would be trapped in a loveless marriage with an unfaithful husband.

Truth be told he walked away from me when I needed him the most. He cheated on me. We grew apart as we grew older. Yet, I have the hardest time letting go of him. I have the hardest time trusting, the hardest time believing people will stay around because of his actions, especially during deployments. Yet with as much as he hurt me, leaving me at Brian's funeral like that, I have the hardest time letting him go. Sometimes I look at his facebook page. Sometimes I ask about him with our mutual friends. It is like watching a train wreck. You don't want to look at the carnage but you cant turn away. Do we ever really let go of our first loves? Do they, no matter what they did to you, always keep a place in your heart?

The second part "or wish you didn't know"

I wish I didn't know you. I wish I didn't know you existed. Because as long as you are out there, and I know you are out there, I will always have those "what ifs" and it's scary. Because I will never know and I never want to know. I want to let you go. I want to never think about you again. I want you to be an imaginary friend.

There is a person in my life that I hold onto and I don't want to. I think that I have grown him in my head in such a way that it is unnatural, unhealthy. I think that to me it is more about the thought of him and not him that is hard to let go. Hm. Not making sense?

As you mature, your romantic taste changes too. For me, the idea of this person, no faults, perfect is totally unrealistic. I bet you anything I wouldn't be physically attracted to him if I saw him again. I bet you that in real life he would be a disappointment. I bet you that the way I have build him up in my head is not at all how he would be now. I think that we hold on to the past and as time grows we let go of the bad and only hold on to the good.

We had the most amazing conversations. They would last for hours and hours on end. He made me laugh, a lot. He made me think about things, feel good about myself, grow as a person. We dated, briefly, when we were fifteen, but then we moved thousands of miles apart and never saw each other again. So our conversations were phone and email. Anyone can say anything via phone and email, right? We knew we could never be together, the distance was too far so we stayed friends.

He was there through everything I went through, just on the other end of an email. I would tell him about high school, college, interning. When Brian died, when my mom died, when I was in the accident. I could shoot him an email and he would say things that no one in my life seemed to say, and it would make it better.

He is a great writer. The things he wrote in emails were inspirational. He would tell me to never settle for less then I deserved. He would tell me letting me go was the biggest mistake of his life. He would tell me how talented I am. How beautiful. How strong. He would let me know how much I had inspired him to do what he was doing with his life. When he wrote about his day I could hear him saying it, and I could imagine every little details, his words leapt alive on a page. He was eloquent and well spoken. Mature, educated, refined. I found myself looking for parts of him in every guy I dated. I would email him about the dates and the men and he would ask questions about them that made me really think things through. Everyone fell short of him. Or at least, the him I built up in my head to be, because from miles away and only conversing on the phone and internet, you can be anyone you want, and your faults can be hidden completely. I forgot what he was like in person after years and only knew who he was in correspondences. And no one is that perfect. I built him up to be this perfect person, and I know, realistically that doesn't work.

At one point as a young adult, he offered to move me to where he was. Confessed his undying love and support. I laughed him off. He had become a character in a story to me, not real, and I was not at a spot in my life where marriage or moving across country for a man I hadn't seen for five years was even plausible. Time kept going. Days passed. Years passed. We would not hear from the other for a long period of time and then suddenly thered be an email in the inbox with his name on it. I kept that email address for ten years, only, for him. I had all our emails in there. From years. I could read back and laugh at the emails we wrote each other at fifteen years old and the emails we wrote each other at twenty five. I could see us growing and changing and maturing.

We kept the friendship up for years, even after I got married, but because of being married I kept the boundaries tight. I knew what was appropriate and not appropriate to talk about. It was purely plutonic. He challenged me. He challenged me to be better. He challenged me to chase my dreams. I found myself thinking that I wished my husband could have conversations with me like we were having and I found myself looking for his emails. I knew then, it was wrong. I was moving into dangerous territory, and although we never crossed the line, although I never cheated, although I made sure to cut all communication with him off when I realized I was getting too close, emotionally, to another man, which is absolutely wrong and my brain started wandering into the "what if" zone. What if I had married him? What if I had never moved? What if we were together? What would my life be like?

What ifs are dangerous and they are unrealistic. I know that. If I could rewind history and never meet someone though, it would be this guy. Because I seem to have the worst problem letting go. I know that I shouldn't, but sometimes, I find myself comparing my husband to him and wishing I could take a part here or there from him and put that part into my husband. That is not fair to my husband, not fair to me. And I know, consciously, that of course his words were perfect, they were merely words, he never had to match actions up to them.

I spoke with my husband about the situation. And although I never cheated, although I never emotionally cheated, although I was doing nothing wrong, I still was upset. Because, I was talking to another male more than I was talking to him. I was letting another person influence my thoughts and decisions more than my husband. I knew that was wrong, whether it be male or female, my husband is my best friend and his opinions and feelings should hold the most weight in my life. My husband knows everything about my friendship with this person. Knew I ended it, not because he told me to, because he never asked me to, he trusts me completely, but because I knew I would not be comfortable with my husband having a friendship with another woman like that.

Recently, I ended the friendship with him. I completely ended it. He was hurt. He didn't understand. He didn't get it, since we were keeping things within the boundaries I set up for us, why we couldn't be friends. It was no appropriate. I had to do it for me, for my marriage. It was difficult. More difficult then I imagined. I met him when I was fifteen. When I was unsure of anything. We were at a State theater conference and we ran off together. We hid in the balcony of an unused theater for four days and talked. I felt like he was my "Dear Abby" for over thirteen years. I deleted the email account, completely deleted it. It no longer exists. I blocked him on facebook. I needed to let him go. Or well, the person I had built up in my head, go. I knew I needed to be turning to my husband with the things I turned to him with, I needed to write my husband the emails and dreams I had. I had to give it all to him, not just parts of it.

I spoke with two close girlfriends about my friendship, about my thoughts, about my fears. I told them about the nagging, "what ifs" that sometimes pop into my head. Both told me they were natural, they had the same "what if" thoughts at one point. What if they had married a different man, or an ex etc. That what is important is not the "what ifs" but the present that is important.

The present is easy. I love my husband. We have a good marriage, good communication and although we have our bumps along the road, which all couples have, we still have each other. I wouldn't want it any other way and I am blessed to have him. Blessed to have someone who puts up with the crap I give him and that is understanding.

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