With space and consideration.

Over the last year I have been going through what can be qualified as a long term long distance break up.

A little over a year ago I decided it would be healthier for me to leave the relationship.  I had full intentions on working towards being a better person and then attempting our life together again. Things didn’t fare well in that direction. Mostly because saying goodbye to someone and expecting them to pick you right back up is entirely selfish. Not to mention completely rude.

We have gone through a few periods of time in the last year where we were in the same state together. On the first occasion, she had returned to her home of New York. Leading up to her arrival we were talking more and more. I had already decided that I was going to commit myself to being a better man, a better lover, and a better communicator. I wanted to be someone that she would come back to and we could try and foster our love in a new perspective.

She told me, and only me, that she was coming back to New York. It felt tender to have that information. She didn’t tell her parents or friends. It was really beautiful to have this secret with her. When the time came to pick her up at the train station, I was edging on being frantic.

I had trembling anxiety almost every night leading to her coming home. I would shake in my bed with my eyes shut. Worried that when we saw each other we might both be angry. Or that we wouldn’t hug each other. Was I supposed to shake her hand when she got off the train? What were we going to talk about? Would I be angry that she spent time with any other men? Was I going to lash out in the heat of jealousy for no reason? I had so many questions about that initial meeting. There were no answers beyond the questions. I just had to show up and see what our emotions led to.

We were over joyed to see each other. On first contact I was still shaking. She told me later that she could feel my body trembling as we held each other after almost a year of separation.

We spent this past summer in some of the most intimate and loving ways. I never expected to feel her cuddled as my little spoon again. To kiss her soft lips and hold her hands. Those were things I had dreamt of but never thought could be a reality. Thankfully I was wrong in the right way. My heart exploded with such an intense love for her that I didn’t know was possible. I felt like we were engaged again. That my future finally had the shining light of love at the end of the tunnel.

Time went on that summer and we became inseparable when we had free time. Even when I was working, she would come in and say hello. I was a cook. I would cook her food for her. It felt so right to me. She would bring me food while I was on the clock. We scheduled times to meet up and days to go hiking. We made love. We held each other for hours. These are all things I didn’t think possible.

After my lease was up I decided that it would be good for me to go travelling for a little while. I knew she wasn’t going to be in Rochester for the winter. I have regrets about leaving early. My love for her grew as I was away, again. Yet again it was my fault that there was space between us. Physical space. My fear of losing her love started to grow in that space.

We parted gracefully because I knew that she was going to visit me at my final destination. North Carolina.

When she arrived in North Carolina I became the happiest and luckiest man on the planet. I was able to share this beautiful beach with someone I loved. I knew that the scenery and the ocean would be jealous of her.  I felt famous. Nothing could touch me because the woman I loved was right here with me. There was no pain. I spent every second I could with her.

I tried to show her how much I loved her in every single way that I knew how. I spent over a year reading from self help articles, relationship blogs, talking with counselors, and learning how to be a more loving man. I did everything that I could to show her. I used all of the lessons  I had learned to be more present for her. It was such a beautiful time. We made love like I had never experienced before. When you make love with someone who’s soul is the reflection of your own, it is such an intense and full experience.

The time came for her to leave. I ignored that idea the whole time that she was with in NC. We put off the ‘what happens next’ conversation and traded in for crying in each others arms on our last day. When we got to the airport, and it came time to really say goodbye, we cried.

I had never known what crying was until that moment. Tears have fallen down my cheeks before. I have emotions. I didn’t know I had emotions like what I experienced as I was letting go of the single most important love in my life. I convulsed, I was shaking, I lost all control of my lungs, my eyes filled up like I had been punched by a grizzly bear, and I felt pain for both of us. I felt love like nothing before.

When she got to California for her new life I decided to try as hard as I could to prove how much I loved her with physical things and love letters. I bought a really sweet book that 90 pages of fill in the blanks for “Reasons Why I Love You.” I sent Cards. Made daily phone calls. Wrote love letters. Anything I could think of to show her I care and that I will never give up on our love.

When there was little response from my efforts of affection I fell back into a black hole. I’ve become very familiar with this hole. I take myself there every time I drink a 12 pack and drive to buy another. I begin to cry about so many things. I cry for myself. I cry knowing that I have friends out there who are hurting like me. I cry because I don’t want anyone to be depressed. Like so many thing, I will overthink myself to death. I want to finally be better than this.

What I never took into consideration was the pain that I had burned onto her heart and into her memory. These are things I should have picked up on earlier than I did. Typical of lessons learned. They tend to be much later than you need them.

I made a decision to put a space between us. A break from out constant communication so that when we do talk next there may be considerable changes in our personalities. We would have time to reflect on what makes us individuals.

We had a talk about what this space would look like. After a couple of separate phone calls over a few days we decided to put 3 months of non-contact between us. To let each other reflect on who we are, what we want, and to start to move on from this point. Mostly for me to start moving on.

To grow from anything you can’t suffocate what you’ve sown. We are on a No social media, email, snail mail, phone call communication until March. This way we may be able to meet each other as different people and start to move on from the pain of the past. We can grow into the future. Firstly as our own independent people. Secondly so that if we ever want to approach intimate love again we will have learned more about ourselves and our intentions.

She has her own life out there in California. I want her to be happy because she is one of the best people I have ever met in my life. She is truly my bestest friend I have. I don’t want to stop her from living the life that she has so much deserved. It’s really hard to deny someone their own space and happiness just so I can feel good and warm inside. I don’t want to deny someone romance in their life. It’s very hard for me to hear about it and hear whispers of it from third parties and the internet. I know that her romance is not created out of any animosity for me. My problem with it is that I actually don’t love myself, so when someone I love may be loving someone else I become empty inside.

Loving myself has been an issue in all of my relationships. More importantly with this woman. I needed to find a way to stop ignoring my own home of self-love.

I’ve never believed that I was important at all. I often feel like a carcass that inhales all the love it can find from other resources and then dries up when I don’t get that satisfaction.  I was doing this to myself. I continue to make myself miserable. I still am but I am making steps to not focus on my self hatred.

I want to do this for the betterment of my life. I also want to know that if I ever get a shot a love again, I already have my own reservoir to feed off of when times get hard.

Just like a best friend who you will love forever, I will love her forever. I will always want her to be happy. If that means that I am not there in that equation, that will be okay with me. I want to see her smile, even if it’s from a distance.

Just as my own personal growth and happiness is important. These are things I want to have for myself. Which I don’t allow when I am in the face of our love. I ignore myself.

If you are going through a break up sometimes space is the thing stopping you from actually breaking up and moving on into a more self loving life.

Thank you for reading another Depressive Dusty story. If you have an comments, questions, or any advice don’t hesitate to leave a comment!



2 Comments Add yours

  1. joejmedler says:

    I identify with almost all of your feelings you so eloquently expressed here. I’ve written myself about my long periods of self-loathing that have resulted in depression and self sabotage. In hindsight it was me calibrating my emotions and all of it, while not necessarily needing to take as long as it did, was in fact necessary. Your journey is unique and I can’t say how it will proceed. I can tell you one way it can is turning to anger. For me that’s what happened. Once it had turned it was no longer productive. All my bile and resentments were the equivalent of me swallowing poison and then thinking someone else would die. That’s not how it works.

    You are a good man that needs to truly know yourself. Once you do you certainly will know you are a very good man. A good, flawed, human and wonderful man.


    1. dustylivin says:

      Thanks Joe! I have gone back and fourth between really appreciating who I am and absolutely depising what I am. It’s been a long battle and hopefully this is the straw that breaks the camels back. I have gone through some heavy anger and resentment and finally am realizing that it’s simply not worth my time to act the way I do anymore. It only hurts me. My anger does nothing to what has already happened. It seems to only cause what will come next.
      I really do appreciate you feeling that way towards me. I hope I can see myself through that same perspective someday. It will take time and patience. Two things that I always feel are working against me. I know I will get there, as you have!

      Liked by 1 person

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