The Reasons I Will Never Be Over My Ex

How long does it take to get over a long term relationship? You mean, that 8 years? You mean, like, my whole twenties? 

How long is it going to take you to get over your twenties? Do you even really want to? Probably not. So, I’m not going to “get over” my ex. 

Getting over her would be the equivalent of stripping me of half my identity. Taking away all the lessons. No, I don’t want to get over her. I want to integrate all that into a new way of being. 
If you didn’t get spend your twenties in a relationship, or in my case, a slightly different version of the same relationship over and over and over and over again…then maybe you won’t understand this answer. But it’s the only one I’ve got. 

I will never be “over” my ex. I don’t even really know what that is supposed to mean. I know that “we didn’t work out” and I know why. I know that we didn’t really have “relationship problems” we had unresolved childhood wounds that drove a necessary wedge between us so that I could finally heal. So that, hopefully, she could, too. I love her more for this than any of the memories that we created in our eight years of on again off again passionately toxic relationship. 
I won’t put a time stamp on my grief process. I’ve had months of anger, broken up by weeks of bargaining, I’ve hit the wall of acceptance just to swing back into denial. 
I’ve believed that she is my twin flame, a karmic soul mate, a false twin flame, a demon, a dark spirit, the only one who really knows how to love me, and that she never really loved me at all. 
I’ve believed that I wasn’t good enough, that I was too good, that I couldn’t make it work, that she wasn’t willing to make it work, that fear got in the way, that she resented my progress, that she would never face her shadow self or her true self, and that I actually had. 
So, no I won’t ever get over her. She wasn’t a goddamn speed bump, she wasn’t a hill or a mountain to climb. She was and always will be-the one who cracked me open, but couldn’t look inside. She couldn’t stay, so she asked me to go. I don’t blame her. I begged her to let me go or meet me where I was. I want to say she chose the easy way out, but nothing about this has been easy. 
I love her. Today, differently than I ever have before. Today, I love her the same way I am finally able to love me-for all the cracks and deficits, and for all the laughter and smiles. I love her for everything that she has been through, and everything we have been through together. I love her for everything that she brought to me. 

I love her because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t really be ME. 

So, I won’t be getting over her. I have placed her gently outside my pain. I have put her in a pocket of my heart where I will carry her with me always. Sometimes, you might see me drifting. It is her voice I am hearing-sometimes as my inner critic and I will still tell her to shut it, and sometimes as my cheerleader and I will thank her for finally understanding what we couldn’t seem to grasp back then. 

I don’t plan on getting over her, because I will not commit myself to an impossible task. I let her go. Cut myself free of the bondage that the toxicity of our relationship bred. But get over her? That just wouldn’t be fair to me. 

A Letter to My Future Partner:

Lover-

I can’t predict the future, but I know you’ll be fit just right. We will stand toe to toe, listen ear to ear and heart to heart. We will grow spirit to spirit and mind to mind.  

I’ve been preparing myself to be the woman that someone like you wants to love. Don’t be confused, this is not about you. I don’t even know exactly who you are; so, I’m pretty damn excited that I’m not trying to shove myself into a box that doesn’t fit my spirit in order to keep you around. No, I am expanding into myself; seeking only the infinite love that someone like you has for someone like me. 

When you grab me gently around my waist and turn me toward you, know that I have been practicing how to face things instead of keeping my back turned and that this action will require very little effort on your part, but effort nonetheless. And that effort will be matched with the glittering gratitude in my eyes to have finally found someone who understands the power of touch. In these moments, I will surrender myself to you. 

We will hold hands in private and in public. It just has to be, because when the lines on your palm and my palm come together we have destiny, love, life, and heart unified. We will kiss whenever we feel like it-in the rain, the snow, the sunshine, behind trees, under the stars, hello and goodbye, foreheads and eyelids-our lips will be our tour guides. 

There will be days I am dark and stormy. You’ll know, but you won’t be afraid of my storm. You’ll make me tea, or pour me a good beer, and sometimes we will have to pour one out to get the one I really wanted. But you won’t be upset that your guess was wrong. You’ll hold my hand and wait to see if it will bring a smile or an onslaught of tears. You will never know for sure. You’ll do it anyway, knowing that either option is just another flowing expression of my love. And your love will keep me safe in place. 

We will challenge each other. We will push each other through the fear, because we know that in the other side of that is something we really, truly want. We will celebrate every tiny victory, and every failure. Let there always be ice cream for this. 

You will have bad days, and good days. I will ask you questions on all of them. Sometimes you’ll be annoyed, but you’ll never ever tell me I talk too much. You already know that the best way to shut me up is to kiss my lips and give them something else to explicate. Even a shhhh can be a movement toward love. I promise to always meet you there. 

We will say “I love you,” in so many ways. The words themselves will build their strength through holding space and gratitude. We will use its silent power to always bridge the gaps that inevitably form between two people just trying to make it through this thing we call life. 

You will drift away from yourself. I will drift away from myself. We will put each other back on track. We will know when we need space it does not mean moving away from each other, but a deeper need to connect to our Self so that we can connect more deeply with each other. We will know when it is time to find an adventure together. We will be all in, even if that means stepping aside for just a little bit. 

You will know my history, and I will know yours. We will use all the heartache to open to each other as we learn the true power of vulnerability, and that when we are with the right person there is no more need to build walls. Emotions will run hot and cold, but we will always push toward that perfect balance of warmth between us. It may not happen quickly. There may be days or weeks that we just cannot seem to get the temperature right. Adjustments we will make.  

We will make it a point to hug each other every day. Even if our schedules get so hectic we don’t see each other during the waking hours. Because you and I have both learned that distance can only be bridged when we take the action to make contact. NOBODY cares if I’m sleeping-hug me so that you never forget how much you like to. And even if I’m afraid to hug you after a long stressful day, I will because I came to this life to give and receive love and hugs are the simplest expression. 

We will make love. Often. And sometimes not often enough, but we will never allow that to disrupt our passion for each other. We know that life gets in the way sometimes, but we will talk about the sex we aren’t having until we can bring it back in. You won’t be afraid to wake up a little extra early or go to sleep a little later. There is no right or wrong time to have sex, there is only creating the space for it to exist. You will know this, and we will always create space for loving each other wholly. 

We will cook together or not cook together. Sometimes we will eat together and other times there will be a prepared plate waiting for our later than usual arrival. Meals will be important and will not be consumed in front of the television. If the only time we get to spend together is for dinner-we will make sure that it counts as contact. This is a relationship built on quality. 

We will have a garden. One for flowers and one for fruits and vegetables. We will struggle with this, but we will be determined to help it grow. We will pour our overflowing love into it. We will not be afraid to get our hands dirty. 

We will always make an excuse to get outside. We will sleep in tents until our bodies can’t handle it anymore. Then we will buy a camper.  We will look at the stars and not need to talk about them. Maybe we will talk about them. It doesn’t matter. We will gaze up taking in the natural phenomena, and you won’t bring up the word “phenomena” because you’re tired of hearing about phenomenology. Instead-you’ll shift your wonder into sounds of “ooohh” and “ahhhh,” and I’ll give you a phenomenological lecture anyway. 

When you take my picture to post or not to post, but to put me into a framing mechanism so that you can go back and access that moment whenever you would like; I will thank you. I might even laugh at your attempt to contain me, but you’ll already understand the value of a moment, and the relationship between space and time. I will meet you with the words that shape my world and my soul to show you that we are all art, we are all expressivists, and we all deserve to create and keep precious memories. 

Our home will be filled with books, plants,  and photographs. We will know the value of adventures: intellectual, physical, and spiritual. Some we will share, others we will have on our own. Some over the course of weeks and others in the course of an hour. We will never settle our growth, but we will create a place of peace and serenity to always return to. This is what we will call our home. 

There will be one, maybe two children. We will laugh and cry together as we realize that parenting is like super fucking hard. But we will look back on all the stuff we have been through, and know that this is just another challenge worth taking on. Because we know now that the most important lesson this life has given us is to know and believe in the power of creativity. 

We will be madness and we will be chaos. All of this will be apparent by the smiles we wear plastered on our faces almost all the time. We will be fueled by laughter and we will honor our fear. I will meet you, and you will meet me. Together we will grow, always. Together, we will build an adventure and call it our life. 

Until we return to the stars. 

Whoever you are, I hope you come in soon. I’m waiting for someone like you. 

-Love

Excuse Me, There’s A Reason For This Madness

She was right in thinking that turning our past wounds into excuses isn’t healthy or good. I actually made a lot of excuses for her because I knew her history. I wanted her to feel safe. Ultimately, it wasn’t as productive as what I can now understand to be the truly loving work that happens between two people. 

The primary difference between a reason and an excuse is accountability. 

A reason is a logical and objective explanation of cause and effect. An excuse places blame on something external. 

To break it down simply: 

reason=responsibility 

Excuse=escape

Excuses add bricks to the walls we build. Reasons carve out doorways. 

To relate that to some of the situations that WE have encountered I would argue it as a temporal thing. Of course we are shaped by our past. But if we bring up the past as a justification as to why we are behaving a certain way in the present-that is an excuse. If we are able to identify the current problem objectively and take accountability for our contribution to the current shitty circumstance then we have found a reason things have taken the turn they’ve taken. With this, reasons help find solutions for better actions in the future. Excuses keep us tethered to old patterns of behavior by handing our power back to the painful circumstance that shaped our world view. World views are allowed to change, and I think they should often. This is an indication of growth. To be clear, there are many indicators of growth in life, but I am speaking specifically of emotional growth. 

I have been doing a lot of work to understand my old childhood wounds, and working to heal them. In other words, I have been thinking about this a lot. 

They say that nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to learn. I guess I knew there was more learning to be had with her. So, I’m grateful to re-open the door, and the pain. 

I’m not going to say that I have never made excuses, or that I won’t do it in the future. However, I do find a certain sort of liberation in understanding the critical difference between these two modes of thought. 

I’m trying to decipher which of those were reasons or excuses. It still ends up being a temporal thing to me. As children we are easily impressionable, and it takes a lifetime to come back into our true selves. My goal in this life is to unlearn all the negative bullshit that has been projected on me from external sources, and people who can’t or won’t be honest about their pain. 

She said that she doesn’t understand how it [love/relationship] could work with someone else if it didn’t work with me after being together for as long as we were. Time invested doesn’t mean shit if the walls are still there. 

We can’t change our pasts, but we can change our reaction to it. Listening to her last night showed me that she is still in the victim role. We are often victimized as children. But we don’t have to stay there as adults. She said that she doesn’t mind being the hardass at work because as long as she can justify the value for the greater good, then she’ll do the thing that other people don’t necessarily want to do. I think that is totally fine, admirable even. Yet, it ultimately comes down to motivation. 

The work persona and the personal life persona are slightly different. When the “love of your life” tries to explain that they are not happy in the relationship it is not an attack on you, but a demonstration of love; a person who really cares about wanting to make things better. I know I put a lot of things on her-thinking if she could do something different then we would be better, and this often kept me from taking responsibility for my own shitty (codependent) habits. 

I don’t want to be codependent anymore. It is self destructive, and it keeps me in a constant position of powerlessness. I am not powerless. 

Those walls we build to keep us protected from the threats of the external world are not safe heavens. They are prisons that deny us the true freedom that comes with real love built from vulnerability. Each brick in that wall is an excuse. Reasons are what will pull them down. We can hide and run for as long as we would like. I know that I am finally ready for something different. 

I wish her the best in all that she does. No matter how much I still want it to be her that I share my life with, I’m FINALLY beginning to understand that no matter how much she has to offer someone, she does not have what I need. 

I came to this life to face and conquer fears. This is not easy, and it often leaves me in a state of anxiety and frustration. I’m learning that this energy can be used to propel me forward. I don’t always know what steps to take, and she’s right, sometimes I just need someone to tell me where to go, or what step to take. I’m looking for the person who always wants that first step to be toward them, and if they can see that I’m too scared to take it, then they step in closer toward me. I’m looking for the people who want to stand next to me when those arresting moments happen. The people who want to encourage me to take a step and do so by stepping toward me and not away. I want a person who isn’t going to look at my discontent as a fault, but for what it really is-a yearning for something more. Because this is the kind of person I want to be for myself, and for my partner. 

Comfort zones are great, but nothing ever grows there. I don’t want my comfort confined to a zone. I want safety. I want to be uncomfortable so I know I’m moving forward. I want risks and failures and movement. I want more and always more. 

I have been stuck for the past year. Sure, I moved to another state. Sure, I got into a phd program. Sure, I’ve done a lot of growth internally. I’ve retreated into my quiet space. I’ve wrapped myself in a cocoon. I’m ready to emerge from it, and I have no idea what the next step is supposed to be. What I do know is that I can’t be with someone who sees those cocooning periods as withdrawal. In my mind, they are not that. It’s about growth and understanding. I suppose I can admit that it would be helpful if I could articulate this process a little more clearly. Self-awareness usually comes from mistakes. 

Part of this creatively analytical mind I have brings forth a whole lot of daydreaming. As I work through the possibilities of where I want to go and what I want to do, I take my time. When I decide what I want, then I will take the action steps to get there. I’ve spent the larger part of the last year hung up on her. No matter how many people told me not to be. I asked her about these things, and she made excuses as to why we could not have those things that I thought would bring growth and togetherness. “I just can’t see it happening.” And “When do you think you’ll actually have time for a kid?” Were the excuses she offered. And even, “You talk about these things like they’re something you want in your own life, but you’ve never said you wanted them with me,” like, who else would I be talking about? See, external circumstances blamed for her own inability to create something new. The reason was fear. To be fair, she’s admitted that, but it didn’t change her perspective. 

The facts are there, and pretty clearly laid out. We aren’t compatible people. My primary hang up was that I had decided the direction I wanted our life to go, and she all but denied that possibility with no wiggle room. This threw me into a tailspin of uncertainty and disorientation. Although I wrapped my mind around it BEFORE I left-the mind is a tricky place to be. There are things I left behind that I associate with security and safety. Our home. Our home life. Dual income. Comforts. And of course, my dream of having a family. Ultimately, she WAS right; I don’t need her, specifically, to achieve those things. I just need someone who is ready and willing to take that risk with me. 

She told me that she felt like the only reason I wanted her to move with me was for financial assistance. But we never even merged our finances. Her money was hers, and my money was ours. She is the one who told me to just take out the loan, and be a normal student. She never, ever indicated that this would be something WE could figure out together. Then, more recently, she said that after she got the first paycheck from her promotion, she wished she had her “spouse” there to share it with. I got hung up on the shift from accusation to celebration, but that’s a moot point. This is just more of the same. Her narrative shifts, and makes no sense in relation to the previous plot points. 

Ultimately, none of this about money for me. It’s safety and security. Emotional support. Comfort. I realized that I have those things on my own. In fact, I have those things built with a much more solid foundation here than I ever did there. This is the reason I left, and took responsibility for my own life. I needed something different. Something that did not exist in that space. I don’t need to beat the dead horse. We both know I’m not going back. 

I’m finally finished with the push and pull. I can see how that whole game was fueled by excuses. I pushed when I was triggered. I pulled when she didn’t react the way I needed her to. The reason I left is because she does not have what I need-openness, vulnerability, strength, and emotional security. Just excuses piling up bricks in a wall that I will never be able to break down.