Saturday, February 23, 2008

Reflections of a Breakup VII: Back in the Saddle

It’s been a long time since I’ve written any entries to this journal. My last piece differed from the previous entries in that it may have been a little more personal it should have been. At the time I had written it, I was in a really bad place. Uncertainty about my future hovered over me like a dark cloud, preparing to deluge my life with more misery than I had bargained for. Once again, I’d jumped the gun and overreacted to the possible scenario of not having the ability to buy our home, as its’ valuation came in unexpectedly high. I wrote the essay in the form of an open letter directly to my ex. In hindsight, it was surely an error in judgment, yet it set things in motion to where we are today.

When I first published my “open letter”, I was hesitant, but I submitted it anyway. I don’t know why, but I must’ve had an inner inkling that something would come of it, because I fell asleep thinking about it. By the morning, though, I had pretty much forgotten I had even written it, until he got home from work that night.

“I read your letter!”

(Dumbfounded silence from me.)

“Why? Why did you have to put it on the Internet?” he added, shaking his head.

I didn’t know. I had no answer. I was embarrassed, mostly. I didn’t regret what I had written. It was what I felt. But that question, “Why did you have to put it on the Internet?” kept echoing on and on in my mind. I felt foolish. Why would anyone do something like that? I’ve been thinking of how to answer that question for the better part of two weeks now.

I’ve always been an avid reader. I enjoy reading all sorts of written work. I especially value works that are honest and genuine, ones that come from both the heart and the mind. There is a certain authenticity to the writing that piques my interest, especially when the experiences and feelings depicted in the writing are ones I can relate to.

Writing has come to be another passion of mine, a natural extension of my love of reading. I have a lot of opinions and points of view and I find that writing is a viable vehicle for getting them out. Over the years, I’ve written many pieces on a wide variety of topics. I reviewed museums and cartoon cats for an alternative college newspaper. I’ve penned writing assignments for college on all sorts of both academic and social topics that have won praise from professors and peers alike. My Master’s thesis, “What Happened to the News?” was nominated for an annual university award for submitted dissertations. In recent years I’ve started a blog, “Rants” in which I share my views on issues I find newsworthy. I’ve more recently found outlets on amateur writing web sites, where I’ve found a new audience for my work. Like any other aspiring writer, I want to be successful.

Much of my writing is told from my experience, based on my views of the world. “Reflections of a Breakup” is the similar, in that I tell it as I see it, only it is based on my views of my own world. Writing in this manner is effortless, as I am only telling it the way I see it. It is my truth, right or wrong. Putting my feelings and experiences to paper is my way of working things out for myself.

When I started crafting “Reflections of a Breakup”, I thought I had a good thing going. I had a lot to get out of my system and I hoped that maybe it would be of some value to others, as the stories I read were valuable to me. Although I had seen our breakup coming for a long time, I hadn’t anticipated all of the feelings and experiences that would surface in my life. As time went and things started to change, I thought that it might be interesting enough to be read by others.

I was full of ideas. A twenty-year relationship between two men is not too common in the psyche of the average person. J and I, and all of the people around us, saw that we were not that different from any other couple. I actually consider myself lucky when compared to a married couple with children who are separating. Nonetheless, many of the experiences and feelings I’ve been facing are similar. Maybe some will learn from or identify with my story. Who knows? Like I said, I’ve got a lot of ideas and I’m sure more will come out as my chronicle unfolds.

Upon hearing that he had read the letter, and most likely the rest of the journal, I fell into a pit of uncertainty. Would have to end my little online journal? I struggled with how to move on. I had questions to be considered.

Can I still write as openly and honestly as I’ve planned?

How did he find out about this in the first place?

This one troubled me. Several of my friends know about this journal and have read it. Could one of them have given him the web address? Then again, he’s been successful before at finding things, like a password I had had once for a porn site (How did he figure that one out?) He gave no clue how he found it, just that he did. I can’t help but feel a bit uneasy. I’ve got to watch what I say from now on!

After wrestling with the question of halting this journal or continuing, I’ve decided to move on with my story. For whatever reason I choose to, it is of no one’s concern but my own. It’s my life and this is my therapy. Many bear their souls for the world to see. I share the same capacity for doing so. Why do we keep secrets anyway? We’ve all got these walls around us that we feel we must keep to ourselves in order to fit in. I’ve found that honesty is scary to people and many become hostile towards it. Who knows how we became that way, but we have. I could be naïve, but I think if we were all honest, the world would be better off. And I’m no angel in that regard. But I try!

I still find myself struggling day by day with our situation. It’s been almost six months now and we’re still under the same roof, each of us frustrated and anxious to move on with our lives. After the “letter”, we’ve moved ahead. We sort of came into an agreement and I’ve put my mortgage application in. Hopefully, both the end and the beginning are near.

Now that I can see it on the horizon, my feelings are more intensely awash with anticipation and sadness. On one hand, this is the first time in my life, at forty-three years of age, that I will be completely on my own, and the prospect that I alone will make the decisions that affect my life excites me. The future is what I will make of it. On the other hand, I dread the end, and the time left between now and then. Daily life has been so difficult! We live under the same roof, yet we’re in separate worlds. Sometimes I can’t wait for him to be out of the house and out of my life, and other times I feel nothing but sadness at the loss of my companion of twenty years. As time marches closer to the day when he leaves, I know it will be even more difficult. That day will be one of polar opposites; both the saddest and happiest days of my life.

So, I’m relieved that I’ve put the ball back into play. I realize that he’s probably going to read this, but at this point in time, I can’t worry about it. I’m doing what I feel I need to do. It helps me to get it out, and I hope it serves to inform, question, or even entertain anyone out there. This is my therapy and whoever is reading this, I want to thank you for listening to me!

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