end of a beautiful friendship

Oh, readers, I been absent for so long, I know. Not because I didn’t want to write, but because the source of my inspiration here was gone.

In the last month, our relationship has unraveled completely. After some degree of ranting, and ultimately, reacting to my point-blank question about whether he was seeing someone else, my lover threw out a few accusations to me, none true, nor do I even think he believed what he said to me. Projection, a good friend suggested. But no matter. He picked a fight, and I chose not to fight back. He is gone. I did not stop him.

In reality, I knew it was over almost two years ago, the day before my birthday, an intense day when I told him I loved him. All was flying high with us, I thought, but at the point of my dewy-eyed expression of long-time love, he could muster only that he had known for a long time how I felt. The days that followed were no celebration, but filled with his worry and dismay at my decision to confess feelings that I had hoped were mutual.

I told him then, a few weeks later, with coaxing from a sex therapist, how much I wanted the everyday small pleasures of life with him. He reacted with an anger I never before believed possible in him. His anger changed my love for him, made me sad, despondent, unsure of all we had experienced together. And  I could no longer write about him. Hence my long silence here.

Our relationship could go nowhere from there but down, and down down down it went. He stuck around, and so did I–foolishly. But he went from expressing admiration for what I had accomplished to pitying me for having had to rise from a very difficult place. In truth, I realized that he thought–perhaps always HAD thought–of me as a lesser person.

True enough that he helped me, many times quite generously. I would have helped him, too–could have. I was thankful, yes, and still am. For a long time, I took these gestures as words that he could not say, but evermore he spoke of me as a person he was trying to rescue, as though he could see nothing else in me but a breaking down house and a burden. He disappeared for stretches, but was angry when I didn’t ask him for help. And yet, he guarded his own needs so carefully… was sure never to put himself in the place of ever letting me help him. That hurt perhaps the worst. And yet, there was pain to come: I learned over the last few months outright about this, and that in fact, Lady Dragonfly was a creature much submerged that my lover had never been honest, that he has had many other lovers while he was with me. Oh, no, I care so little about flirtations, sex, but he lied and let me keep loving him. He took my trust, the best of me, and I ache to have that back. He knew of my dreams. Where I thought he was ignoring me, he was cataloging my desires, denying me. Left me to wonder why he could acknowledge her publicly but not me. But not tell me. Oh, oh, it is all so painful. And yet I think back… how delightful my submersion was, when I blindly believed in him…

In truth, I knew my lover had misgivings about loving me right from the start, no matter what his actual feelings might have been. In all that time, I assumed much, but the slap of reality made me doubt. He was not in a rather privately agreed-upon open marriage, but in an elaborate infidelity… I was unaware of it for a long time–only realized recently that the whole game was incredibly well played. But I should have trusted my gut instinct–never in my life had I stuck with someone who was unable to express his own love for me. And I was sick from it all, not myself once I stopped making up these stories. Oh I cherish what I thought I had, and the creative energy I enjoyed in making Lady Dragonfly, and my dreams.

In all of this, though, I realize that I had lost so much of myself long ago, a marriage that could not stand the tragedies of life, the things that may bring stronger couples closer… In our humanity, we sometimes know ourselves so well only in the difficult moments; we define our own strengths and beliefs more than ever in crisis. We also discover the power of love, and those whom we love, and who love us. The real tragedy, then, is often in the dissolution of our beliefs about our relationships, and the trust we have in them. It is usually no one’s fault in particular, but perhaps a difference in vision, faith… and how to cope with situations that some may never encounter in a lifetime.

and before… My marriage was obviously some attempt to recover my own long desire for my father to stop hurting me. After so many wonderful, openly affectionate boyfriends, why else would I have chosen the one man who drew me in, but could never dive into our love without jealousy and control? Damaged he was,  too, and I imagine we were both trying to repair our childhood pain, but I digress.

The lover you met here had shared life experiences with me that we recognized before we ever met. We had faced tragedies, with a parent, with a child. I thought that our common understanding united us in love, as well. Now I think we saw this all differently; I believe he sought a mere respite, an escape–and not a joining of souls.

As for me, I thought I had left the sorrow of my marriage behind, but I realize now that I had not recovered completely when I met my lover. I believed in my lover, but I had not yet uncovered my formerly unwavering self-confidence and ability to walk away when it was clear that he was not available to love me. In the process of letting go of my very appealing lover now, I have remembered at last how to hold onto who I am. I have felt calmer and more sure of myself now than I have in over twenty years.

I have a new creative project now. Eroticism will always matter to me, but my new work has a greater emphasis on truth and expansion of love and loving. Thank you all for all your love and attention here, and please drop me a line if you want to know where to find my creative energy next. I will leave the Lady Dragonfly blog here for now, if you care to read, and dream as I did. I truly did love my lover, completely and without reservation. I love also what he inspired in me.