I had a man who adored me and whom I adored: but we lost each other. This is for him.
Every time we say goodbye… (I remember you watching me as I sang this: I couldn’t look at you).
If You are reading this, maybe just skip to the P.S. at the end before reading the rest.
I am sorry. I am sorry for the hurt we caused each other – we who adored each other. In the passion of grief, I lashed out: wanting to protect myself; wanting to hurt you as you had hurt me. An intense, passionate love became an angry, agonising grief: confused and churned up, I was unable to be rational or calm. I was angry with you for hurting me, and yet frustrated with myself for my own part in creating the situation which meant I got hurt – and which I think also hurt you.
My anger lasted only a little time, relatively speaking, and in any case was interspersed with calmer moments: but you weren’t to know that. Even so I never stopped loving you – torn between a genuine love which wanted only the best for you and anger for myself, that I could not be part of your life, I was in turmoil.
You said months ago that I didn’t understand. To an extent you were right – on one level I didn’t – my divorce seemed to be going smoothly and life seemed good – but then my life seemed to fall apart, which has given me a far better understanding and acceptance. Even so I understood better than you thought I did at the time. But falling in love makes baggage rise to the surface and my baggage was lack of belief in myself – that someone could adore me so very much. You told me early on that you “didn’t do casual” and that you had fallen for me, that I wasn’t just an escape or just for sex; but I still felt vulnerable and insecure about you, and hated myself for being so. I have had to step back to realise how very much you adored me and how much turmoil you must also have been in.
You always said your children came first, but you also gave the clear impression that you were thinking of ending your other relationship, which you said had been on the rocks for years. Once I asked ‘should I back off while you sort things out?’ and you replied ‘no, I don’t want to lose you’. But I could see only too painfully clearly how incredibly difficult it would be: you stood to lose too much. I tried and wanted to support you but ultimately the conflicts and complexities we both had in our lives were ignited into a volatile and confusing emotional cocktail, fuelled by lack of sleep. It got to the stage where I had to look after myself but in the agony of trying to do so, my mind and body broke, and with them my heart. I could no longer think straight about my own life, let alone have the capacity and compassion to continue to support you fully and completely understand your feelings. I had to step back and regain my sense of self. Likewise I understand how you couldn’t support me when I needed you the most. Neither of us, I think, could cope with the situation we had created.
One thing I was always consistent about was that I loved you, and could no more stop loving you than stop breathing. I never, ever was inconsistent – if ever you felt let down by me, it was only at those times when I felt pushed away and I had to withdraw, in pain, to protect myself.
When I wrote to you – and that was such a difficult letter to write – to try to clarify things, you said my letter made you love me even more than you did before. I was on a high from your adoration of me: but the next evening you said it was all about me and that I didn’t understand. I am still hurt and puzzled as to how you could change so suddenly but perhaps by then we were both each too churned up by our own feelings to hear each other correctly. You accused me of wearing rose-tinted spectacles: in fact I never did and my very insecurities and internal conflict arose because I could not see how something so precious and amazing could continue. You said once “I don’t know where this is going”: neither did I. I think perhaps we wanted to be together but that neither of us could see how we could be: but we never really talked about that, not properly, although looking back now I remember brief phrases which were perhaps the beginnings of conversations which never developed. You told me you had decided months earlier that you wanted me: I think we were both swept away by our feelings for each other, by wanting each other so much, without having thought further ahead or practically. It was not black and white, but maybe I gave the impression of thinking it should be straightforward despite knowing it wasn’t.
All I knew was that I wanted to have you in my life, to love you and to be loved by you: but understandably you were afraid of losing your children. I was lucky: I still saw, and see, my children regularly and frequently and on the whole now have a relatively amicable relationship with my ex. At the time I couldn’t understand why you couldn’t have the same with your partner and children, but having gone through a very difficult period re. my divorce and childcare I do now understand better. You are a good and very loving father.
I still miss you and think about you almost all the time, but it’s not the near-physical, seemingly illogical, agony that it was. I remember that when we came together it was as if we had both found something – had come home – and it feels now as if a part of me will always be missing, however rich and rewarding the rest of my life. In the same way as you said you don’t do casual, neither do I. I don’t get involved with a man just for the sake of having a man around, nor for what he can do for me. I fell for you without meaning to and because you’re you, and I fell more than I have ever fallen for anyone before: you were the most wonderful man in the world to me. I now fully understand how love is an addiction, and a broken heart is a physical thing. The ‘spark’ was huge – a fire, like in that U2 song – and wasn’t something I was ever going to forget or to get over quickly.
I lost someone who mattered to me almost as much as my children do. I am sad that at the moment you are not in my life at all and I can understand why you asked if we could be friends – why you seemed to want to keep me in your life even a little bit – and I am sad that we hurt each other so much. It especially hurt and saddened me to feel your disdain; and hurts that I no longer sing for you (“I was born to sing for you“: you were my biggest fan and the one who mattered the most, and I miss that: in my heart I’m still singing for you). But I am grateful to you for having tapped into the very essence of who I am – you ‘got’ me – and for always being expressive about how very much you adored me. It’s an incredible feeling, to be so adored and to be told that you make a positive difference to someone’s life. Thank you.
To have had this even once in my life is fantastic: like first love but better in a way because it was freer (of expectations and, ironically, of day to day life) and more mature. And I hope that one day, whether it’s a month, a year, or twenty years down the line, we will be able to meet again amicably and I hope even we may get a chance to write Chapter Two. You said once that perhaps it was too late for us: if anything I think it was too early.
Until that time I hold close in my heart the precious thing that was our love; cherish it: and move forward. I am lucky that I got to know and to love the great man I know you can be, and to be adored by you.
For now, Fare Well. E finita (per adesso) ma ti amero per sempre.
P.S. 4th Jan. 2017 – I see photos of you with her online, and it hurts – though (obviously) I don’t know what’s going through your mind or how you feel about me any more, and you gave me a gorgeous smile when I saw you the other week. What I do know however is that I have been feeling really low at the start of 2017, and it’s because – whilst I miss you still – I have been missing my kids dreadfully. I saw them today and the world took on a different, brighter, hue. This must have been how you felt when you first got together with me – you must have been missing yours so, so much (I wish I had got to know them better, as you did mine) and I so completely understand how your children come first, and are what makes the world worthwhile. Maybe you’re happy with her – maybe you’re not but doing your hardest – but you can at least be in a large part happy because you’re with your children. When you truly love your children – I think perhaps especially if you didn’t really expect to have any, as I don’t think either of us did – they are amazing and surprising miracles and more important than anything else, and sometimes you don’t even realise you’re miserable about them until you get them back.
David said that he was so unhappy with me that he’d even risk losing his children – but I think in his heart of hearts he knew I wouldn’t do that to them or to him, whereas you I think had a genuine fear (especially not being married and perhaps because you were spending so little time with them). My house often feels empty and the past few days have been hideous, so I also understand why you said you wanted to see them every day, and why you wanted your house to be their childhood home.
The only thing I would say is that it’s easier for them if you split up when they’re younger – but also the logistics of two houses, two sets of clothes, etc. etc. are horrendous. I wish David and I could have one house the kids lived in and then a granny annexe connected to it for whichever parent is not the housekeeper – I do know I couldn’t live with David again, but he doesn’t want even to live next door to me.
I miss you so much – we were twin souls, and so similar in so many ways – but I also completely and utterly understand about your children. I hope we can be friends at least again one day; but meanwhile enjoy the time with your children, as I do with mine.
25th April 2017. I still miss you.