My brain is trying to help me deal with the breakup while I sleep. I guess I got a bit too far away from it in feeling pretty good last week, so now I have been brought back to the hard part where I don’t feel okay or normal and am desperate for more time to pass, or something to be different.

For the past… lots of years, every time I had something wrong in a relationship, or something wrong in my mind related to relationships, I would have an “Eric dream”. He was a guy I was nuts about through high school and into university. They’re not necessarily sexual, but he’s there, and they are never… enough. The One That Got Away, kind of. Anyway, I’ve been wondering when an Eric Dream would show up. Needless to say, as much or more than at any other time in my life, something is wrong on the relationship front. I had a brief moment of wondering if, since the Eric Dream hadn’t shown up, things really weren’t as bad as I thought. I knew it wasn’t true, but the thought popped up. Anyway, the Eric Dream has shown up. It was more intense and worse than it’s ever been. That I was expecting. The sense of loss after it was awful. I won’t go into the details, since I don’t remember a lot of them, but it wasn’t something that would require much analysis. It was pretty straightforward. And it didn’t make me feel any better. I don’t want any more.

This morning I am feeling awful again. The dreams last night were about Andrew. From what I remember, mostly just us hanging out and stuff. And then there was a Generic Girl there, and he started being really mean to me, and then the “looking for something I can’t find” started as well. What’s worse is that my usual dream lucidity abandons me during these dreams. I can’t recognize them for what they are or control them. I am in them, and I’m stuck with the pain til I wake up. Again, this dream – not exactly highly sophisticated. Andrew hasn’t been mean to me. He’s been particularly kind. But he made me hurt. He makes me hurt still. That’s not ready to go away yet. I make stupid mistakes, too. Trying to be my “normal” self, and act like a “normal” friend, like making cracks about his weekend on Boston next weekend. Cracks that, being a “normal” friend, too, he replies to with equal jest. I do not want him to reply with jest. I don’t want him to reply at all. I don’t want to sit there with tears streaming down my face, either, but I do fairly frequently. And yes, some of it is my own damn fault.

I have entered this horrible Catch-22 as well. I am desperate for more time to pass, to heal, to feel better, to be ready to move forward, whatever that will mean. And yet, I have become frighteningly aware of how fast this year is going. It scares me. It’s almost the August long weekend. It’ll be an eye blink from there to Labour Day weekend, and then summer is gone. This year has gone faster than my year in Australia. I never thought that possible. Where is my life going?

I know my friends worry about me. Many of them didn’t know me when I went through the breakup with James. Would they understand better if they could have those two snapshots I still can’t bear to think about? That night of pain so acute that even screaming it out didn’t help. I wonder what the upstairs neighbours, clearly newlyweds, thought that night. There’s no way they couldn’t have heard me. That night. Even now though I realize I survived it, and many more, and now I am at a place where James is largely irrelevant to my life, the body memory of that pain is still there. That morning, after he left me, more or less, after he told me he couldn’t feel responsible for me anymore, going to church with him, zombie-like. Sitting there in the pew in that beautiful, cold, ornate place dedicated to a religion I have never understood, tears sliding silently down my face, trying to stop crying, and realizing that, more than just about anywhere else, it didn’t matter if I cried here. No, my dear friends, you’ve never seen me like this before. And I cannot tell you how desperately I’ve hoped I would never be here again.

I know you think I’m making mistakes, and I probably am. I know what you think of what Andrew’s doing, and going through, and I agree with you. It doesn’t make it any easier to agree with you. It doesn’t make me heal faster. It doesn’t make him realize certain things (who knows, he may never realize them). It doesn’t bring him back to me. I may be doing things that make it harder to heal, make it take longer. But it’s what I need to do right now. It’s what I’ve done before, and what I want to do. I need to sometimes not feel miserable. I need to sometimes feel like things are normal. Don’t worry, I know they’re not. I know things have drastically changed. But I am not convinced that what you think I need is right, either. So I give myself permission to make my own mistakes. And if I end up crying or worrying you more because of it, I’m sorry.

Things are changing slowly. There are other feelings mixed in with the pain and longing. The loneliness has arrived. The change in schedule where now at times when I had things to do, I don’t anymore. The times when I want to just be with Andrew, and I can’t. The times when I crave simple physical contact, and can’t have it. My mind and heart knew about the breakup already. Now it feels like my body is realizing it. It’s come out of shock, and is wanting what it always wants, and has become used to, and loves, and those things aren’t possible anymore. It hurts unbelievably. Like when someone you love is hurting and you can’t help. Except that I am hurting and can’t help. The worry and frustration and pain is there, but coupled with the fact that it’s my pain. There isn’t that slight degree of separation. There is nothing I can substitute. No one to just be there in the other room. No one to sprawl on the bed with and play with the dogs. No one to give me a hello or goodbye kiss. There is nothing, and my body starves. I had forgotten this, or at least pushed it away. This is the part that’s going to be the hardest, over time. Those nights when you would sell your soul for just something real, something tangible. Someone to be there, someone to touch you. But there isn’t. And you can’t go backwards, and there’s nothing yet in front of you.

I have good days, but I am desperately afraid of this pain. I have no confidence in my strength, my emotions, my physical self, my appearance. I have good days where I am okay in all of those things, and then there are days like today, where I am afraid of living through it. There is next weekend, of which I am desperately afraid. Stop it! Stop it! Stop doing this to me! But who is it that I’m begging?

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