Broken Heart, Part 1

It’s been a tumultuous month. On the 6th, I moved out of my apartment on First Hill and crossed the Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island. I haven’t spoken with Ben since I left. Don’t think I’m lacking a heart-wrenching, soul-crushing desire to scream his name over and over until he returns to me. I tried that once; it didn’t work.

During the past few weeks, I clung desperately to the hope that time and space would allow Ben and me to get back together again. Healthier, better, stronger. Ben felt differently and “officially” (Facebook officially) ended things yesterday. I don’t blame him.

For reasons of privacy and sanity I won’t get into what happened on the night of the 5th that caused me to leave the next day and not return. Let’s just say the onus of responsibility rests squarely on my shoulders. I still don’t quite understand why I acted the way I did, how my delight and anticipation for an evening with Ben gave way to temporary madness, but I am beginning to see that the forces outside our control that ended our beautiful, terrible love were for the best. I don’t know if I ever could have left him if I didn’t have to.

Walking around all day, dreaming up this post, I felt so strong. Right now I want to jump into bed with Ben, bury myself in him, and never return.

The sadness comes in waves. When I’m feeling smart and clear-headed, I think about everything that was wrong with our relationship. Every way we were wrong for each other. How I was energized by respectful conflict, while he preferred to passively get along. How we could hardly get along sober. How he wouldn’t let me stop smoking (he disagrees with this assertion, I know, but I hold to it and anyway, these are my words). How his desire to relax, watch movies, and do nothing butted heads with my restless energy.

For the first time in years I am sober. The amazing thing about weed is that I smoked daily for years, then stopped on a dime without any kind of ill side-effect. I sometimes miss it late at night when I’m watching tv alone, but I think that mostly speaks to the quality of the programming. I am delighted by the sudden reemergence of my ability to think clearly, carry on conversation with a stranger, joke in ways more people than Ben can understand.

For the first time in years I can do nothing. I have to: my energy is gone. Sometimes I can’t eat, read, even watch tv. All I can do is watch the sun and shadows play across my wall.

When I’m feeling vulnerable, I become aware of all the things we’re losing. So many jokes, so many songs and dances were just for him. I would not disrespect our love by sharing them. Gone is our beautiful story of driving across the country together in a white van; gone are our plans for the future.

When we first met, I was immediately drawn into Ben. I loved his strengths–his conversation, his sense of humor–and wanted to help fix his weaknesses. I gave up things he didn’t ask me to. I stopped seeing friends for him. I quit jobs for him. He was my day and my night, he was my whole life, and I was so happy to be encompassed by his great and securing love.

His weaknesses are what killed me. When we first met, he was working a dead-end job at a factory. I couldn’t leave my beautiful love on an assembly line while I ran across the country to pursue my dreams (okay, find my dreams), so he came along. I don’t think he knew, but I wavered on that decision constantly. I just couldn’t leave him when I saw ways I could help.

I bought him a van for a movie he didn’t end up making. I financed our move. These financial frustrations contributed to our relationship spiraling downward, downward, during our first and only six months in Seattle together.

I think I succeeded in fixing his weaknesses, or at least I made a dent. I think I helped craft him into a better person on a better path to a better life. I hope I didn’t add too much sadness and anguish for him to carry.


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About Emily Suggests

Pineapple rock, lemon platt, butter scotch. A sugarsticky girl shovelling scoopfuls of creams for a christian brother.

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