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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

“The One That Ran Away” (Part Five)

Miss-Adventures: A Hapless Helpless Hopeless Dater
And so we come to the conclusion of “The One That Got Ran Away”.  Miss-Adventures reveals her mistakes, her needy vulnerability and her fractured heart.  I do so reluctantly, of course, because it’s difficult enough admitting my own mistakes, my character flaws and my vulnerability to myself (I’m a terminal perfectionist) but even more difficult in such a public forum.  But to gloss over it, deny my foibles to you all and present only a façade of who I really am would be dishonest.  I’m in this for real catharsis.  I’m not perfect (though I always strive to be, to my own detriment), I’m not always strong (though I do my best to appear so) and I’m not always so full of wisdom (though I have my occasional moments of wisdom but mostly moments of wise-ass). 

After my break-up phone call with The One That Got Ran Away, I reflected, thought about, obsessed and processed everything she said.  I played the entire conversation over and over in my head on a continuous loop (as someone very dear to me dubbed so appropriately, as “Snakes in the Brain” [thank you, “Helen of Troy”, for that ever-so-perfectly descriptive phrase]).  As per my usual, after processing the conversation, I had more I needed to say.

I always do that – I never get out everything I need to say all at once.  I’m not one who’s quick to react (which is both a blessing and a curse).  I process, reflect, mull over the minutiae, analyze, shake up the contents of every moment: side to side, top to bottom and then shake the entire contents out of the box only to carefully put them back in the box one item at a time, and then slowly, eventually, finally respond later.

So I did what I do best: I wrote.  I wrote to her and I explained everything that I had failed to explain while we dated and that I failed to explain when she broke up with me over the phone just hours before.

I told her that while I loved my ex wife and always would, it was a platonic and familial love.  I explained that while our break-up seemed from the outside perspective so fresh and recent, we had spent months breaking up before we officially ended our marriage and that, as hard as it was to admit that the marriage was over, that I had failed, and that it was time to move on, it was the best decision for both of us because we had just simply fallen out of love and were making each other unhappy.

I told her that the “look on my face” that she saw at my house was one of panic.  Panic that it was too soon for an ex wife introduction, panic that I would no longer be able to protect our fledgling romance, panic that my ex wife would say something to embarrass me, and panic that she would bolt if my reality slapped her in the face.

I reminded her that if she changed her mind about us, that I would never make her regret it but if she didn’t, then I would pick my heart up off the floor, wish her well and not beg her to stay.

No reply.  Not that I asked for one, mind you, but there was no acknowledgement whatsoever of the heart and soul I poured into my email.  No “thanks but no thanks” reply.  Nothing.  Just radio silence.

The next day, she removed me from her Facebook friends list.  Now, I don’t usually put a lot of stock into the “friends” list.  I periodically go through a purge of “friends” when I fail to see a real-life friendship continuing.  But her unfriending me from Facebook actually stung like a motherfucker.  It was a clear sign – we’re not friends, we’re not anything to each other any longer.  Ouch!

I let it go.  I would be fine.  C’est la vie.  (Okay, maybe not.)

A few days later, the anniversary of her mother’s death had arrived.  I had known that she was struggling with the upcoming anniversary.  I’m a lucky girl, both of my parents are still with me.  I sometimes think about what will happen if I lose one or both of my parents – I can’t help it, they both have their share of health concerns that worry me.  So naturally, my heart broke a little for The One That Got Ran Away as she faced the two-year anniversary of her mother’s passing.  I decided to send her an email with the caveat that there was no pressure and no need to reply.  I just simply wanted to let her know that I was thinking about her during this time and that no matter what, I still cared and was wishing her well while she coped with the emotional toll this time of year took on her.  I didn’t hear back from her, and honest to god, I was totally okay with that.  I only wanted to express sympathy and support (should she need or want it).  I never had expectations or hopes that she would come running back into my arms.  I won’t lie, though: had she come running back into my arms, I would have opened them wide and welcomed her back. 

It had been less than a week since she ended things with me and I still had visions of John Cusack holding a boom box high over his head in attempt to win back his ladylove.  I wouldn’t have done it, of course, but I certainly had fantasies of doing so.  And I carried those thoughts with me well into the following weekend.  (I clearly have seen one too many romantic dramas.  No wonder I’m so hopeless!)

Out on a Saturday night with friends and about ten days after the break-up, I had a couple of Goose & Tonics in me (which is enough to severely impair my judgment) and was feeling sad and lonely at a club full of hot dancing lesbians … What did I do?  What any lonely, desperate and half-drunk girl would do: I drunk texted The One That Got Ran Away.

Oh good lord, no!  Say it isn’t so!  Yep.  I sure did.  (Even a terminal perfectionist does perfectly stupid things every now and then.)

Now, a smarter girl would have drunk texted someone more appropriate.  The possibilities are endless: a smarter girl could have drunk texted a friend for a down and dirty booty call, or a friend for emotional support, or her ex wife to belligerently blame her for letting the marriage die, or someone she had dated not quite so recently.  OR, a smarter girl would have left her fucking iPhone at home where she wouldn’t have the opportunity to behave so goddamned foolishly.  But I’m not that girl.  Clearly.

Text Message 1 (sent while very, very tipsy): “Are you coming to [insert bar name here] tonight?

Text Message 2 (sent an hour later when I realized what an idiot I was being but still very, very tipsy): “Please disregard.  This wasn’t meant for you.

Text Message 3 (sent a few hours after the first text when I was at home, stone sober and had fully realized what an idiot I had been): “I’m embarrassed for sending you that text.  It was meant for someone else.  I think of and miss you often.  I hope you’re well.

That was it.  I think as far as doing dumb shit goes, this was pretty minor, right?  Hello…?  No?  Ah, shit.  Okay, you’re right, it was really dumb shit.

Not long after my third text to The One That Got Ran Away, I received a text back:  “You don’t know me.  Delete my number.  You’re being creepy.

I was gutted.  I felt sick.  I felt kicked in the stomach, stomped on my heart and punched in the ladybits.  In my entire life, I had never been accused of being “creepy”.  It hit me so hard that I actually had to self-reflect and consider the accusation.  To this day, those words still rattle around in my brain when I date someone new.  I’m so cautious and careful to avoid “creepy” behavior that that act in itself must appear creepy to anyone new.  There are no words to describe how badly I was hurt.  So I pulled myself together with every ounce of dignity I could possibly muster and replied:

My apologies.  Your number has been deleted.  It will never happen again.

Right then and there, I deleted her number, every text message and email she ever sent, and all of her contact information to ensure that it, in fact, NEVER happened again.  I clearly couldn’t trust my drunken self.  The next morning, I called my old therapist and asked if she would be able to start seeing me again.

Her words were cruel.  I know that.  I know that they were meant to hurt and meant to push me away.  And it worked; I NEVER contacted her again.  This wounded cat scampered off with her tail between her legs, limping and bleeding.  That is not to say that I don’t accept my fair share of responsibility.  If I had had any sense at all, I would have quit after two unanswered emails.  I know now that I shouldn’t have sent the text messages.  Still, there’s no denying that her words were delivered with the intention of wounding me and pushing me away permanently and irrevocably.  Yep, that one knew how to deliver a blow straight to the heart.

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