It’s Friday, and in two sleeps, I will get to hang out with Manfingy, who’s been gone since March 25th. I am all kinds of excited and also anxious. There’s a smidgeon of ‘what if the tenderness and affection we expressed over the wires while he was away evaporates when he’s here in the flesh?’.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that jazz.
Those of you who are new to me will need a bit of context: Manfingy and I lived together for ten years. We broke up in February of 2014 (his choice) and I moved out in June of 2014. We spent the first few months afterwards trying to get over one another and move on. We’ve spent the last half year or so resting in the knowledge that, at the end of the day, we really love one another. Now, we’re just trying to work out what the hell we are to one another. Joint therapy, lots of drives and talks and dinners, lots of come here/go away on both our parts.
The past few months have seen us saying ‘come here’ a lot more often. We say things like “I’m not done with you yet.”, and “You’re my person.” We have dinner together every Wednesday. We snuggle. Once a week or so, he spends the night. We text daily. It’s a thing. But what it is is unclear. Where it’s going is equally unclear.
The uncertainty of it all is pretty heavy, and if you read yesterday’s post, you’ll know that I have a very complicated relationship with uncertainty.
My knees want to jerk myself out of uncertainty. That would look something like me forcing the issue somehow. Ending it altogether in order to avoid the discomfort uncertainty brings me. Moving to another city, province, or hell even another country.
I’ve been sitting in it instead. Feeling it. Sometimes numbing out over it, but mostly, I’ve been feeling it.
It feels like, no matter where this leads, it’s leading somewhere…
Much like an art journal spread can start out looking like a hot holy mess until everything comes together and the heavens open and the light shines and the angels sing, this, too might end with a hallelujah chorus.
What I know for certain is the uncertainty, as uncomfortable as it is, will not only NOT kill me, it WILL make me stronger. It is making me the kind of person who can rest in a thing until clarity comes instead of closing a door with no certain outcome that might lead to joy in favour of a really empty, sad door that comes with certainty.
It’s crazy to choose certain misery over uncertain but possible joy, but certain misery is the devil I know and I am struggling to resist the lure of certainty.
When I first moved into my own place, I spent a good three months having panic attacks pretty much nightly. The voice in my head kept telling me that I would never be loved again and I was going to die alone. For someone like me, someone who experienced early rejection and emotional abandonment by her parental units, ‘never being loved and dying alone’ is pretty much the worst possible outcome.
Whenever I would start to think along those lines (and I thought along those lines often and with fucking gusto), I would sink into a deep despondency. Hopelessness, despair, and a desperate need for relief from the burden of those feelings were my constant companions.
But it eased.
My therapist kept encouraging me to be with it, to let myself feel it, to acknowledge it instead of denying it and stuffing it, and as much as I hated sitting in it, I sat, and it did, eventually, ease. I spent October, November, and December coming up out of it. January was spent *actually enjoying my solitude* for the first time in my life. The panic attacks eased. The fear that I’d die alone eased. The fear that I’d never love or be loved again eased. I made art. I taught BOD. I engaged with people in person and in my virtual spaces. I got through it.
By February – the anniversary of our breakup – he and I decided to see one another exclusively. It was becoming obvious that we weren’t finished and we both had some complicated feelings about how the energy of other relationships might impact the healing we were doing. On the one hand, he didn’t want to hold me back from experiencing love and attention from someone who had it to give. On the other hand, he didn’t really want me falling in love with someone else and leaving him behind with all the ‘what ifs’. On the one hand, I didn’t want to sit in the uncertainty of ‘I don’t know what we are but we’re something, and can we just be something without labeling it for a while’, but I also didn’t want to succumb to my natural tendency to shut the door on possible, uncertain joy in favour of absolutely certain misery.
So we’ve been exclusive. Whatever that means. And he’s coming home on Sunday, and he’s pretty much going to land, deal with dog and kid stuff, and then head on over here for the evening – a fact which thrills me, because I fully expected him to say “I’ll see you on Wednesday as usual…”
I feel pretty certain that we are entering a make it or break it phase of this whatever-this-is. I don’t know why I feel that way, but working intuitively as I have been for as long as I have been means that when my spidey senses say “stuff is happening here”, I have to pay attention.
And I’m a little bit scared.
And also a little bit hopeful.
But no matter what, I am absolutely 100% certain that I will be okay.
And that’s me, your purveyor of fine TMI, on this Friday, April 17th, 2015.