It was mid-May at this point. The trifecta of unrequited dates had occurred. I caught some cold/cough bug and decided to stay inside to rest. After being cooped up in my home for a few days, I finally ventured outside to get something out of my car. Tucked under my wiper blade was a small envelope with my first name on it, encased in a ziploc bag. “Hmmm… the handwriting looks quite familiar,” I thought. I opened up the stationery envelope to find this note:
No poet laureate here, and the handwriting was now instantly recognizable. It was a note from SP. We had not had a conversation for 5 months at this point. I had defriended and blocked him on Facebook. And out of the blue, this cryptic note appears.
I had heard through the grapevine that SP and the girl (C***) he left me for had broken up just a week ago. Of course, he didn’t know that I knew that. So, I decided to play dumb and confront him about this note. I sent him a text, and that started a whole series of questions. (Helpful flashback: Now recall that he had dated and broken up with C*** before he met me. He then dumped me to get back together with C***.)
The Confrontation: A Text Diary with SP
Me: Why leave a note?
SP: To reach out in a way that didn’t make you feel obligated to respond. I understand and respect if you’d rather not communicate or keep in touch with me, but I wanted you to know how I feel, in case you’d drawn other conclusions about how I value you. To me, life’s too short, and connections too precious,to let them go unless I know that’s what’s best. I’m sorry if that is insensitive and selfish me me, I really don’t mean to insinuate myself upon your life.
<<I see that SP is still as wordy and vague as ever. Nothing has changed. So, I continue on…>>
Me: I don’t know what you are currently seeking from me. You’re being vague and indirect. What do you want?
SP: Sorry, my phone is giving me trouble, and vagueness was unintended. If you weren’t at Lake *** on Saturday, my note would have seemed even more incomprehensible, so my apologies for that. I just want to tell you that I miss you and hope you’re well. I hoped my note might prompt some sort of reconnection, if you were at all interested in that. I did not want to send a text or email, since they seem too insincere or convenient to me. I also worried they might make you feel compelled to respond. That’s all, thank you for letting me know you got it.
Me: I wouldn’t feel comfortable reconnecting with you when you and C*** are together. That would be disrespectful to your relationship.
SP: I understand, and that is admittedly part of the reason I waited so long to reach out to you. C*** and I did mutually determine that we aren’t well suited for a relationship together, so we split up on good terms.
Me: How long ago was this?
SP: Last week on Tuesday, after I returned from visiting some friends in Chicago. We’d both been on a similar wavelength for a while.
<<Yeah, he waited a whole WEEK after breaking up with C*** before contacting me. Such an eternity.>>
Me: As long as C*** is in your life, I can’t be in yours.
SP: I know my timing may seem like a rebound. It’s not, I simply value your friendship and company. But I also know how necessary it can be to avoid vulnerability, so I understand. I’ll let you know if C*** and I ever break off contact. You’re special to me regardless. Thank you again for responding to me, take care.
Me: Wow, I feel so fucking special. I’ll be waiting with bated breath.
SP: I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it like that.
<<Now, here’s where I had it with his idiocy.>>
Me: Why not take this time to be by yourself? Away from C***, away from me, away from any semblance of a past relationship. Take the alone time to learn what you really want and how to get it. How to express yourself directly, instead of using illusion and vague references. Learn to establish true boundaries. You will keep repeating the same mistakes until you do.
Me: A missed chance… My trust is to be earned. What’s it worth to you? You left a note, but bailed on the responsibility. Take ownership.
SP: In response to your first message, I think you’re right. To your second, I’m not sure how to respond, because I don’t understand. I am only sorry for having hurt you again.
Me: About my second message… You took the initiative to contact me. Yet, when pressed for what you want, you dance around and hold onto the same pattern of behavior that sacrificed me in the first place. If I am so important to you, and worthy of crafting a poem, and coming over here to drop it off, then why bail when I ask you what you REALLY want?
Me: Take responsibility for your actions, both past and present. I felt hurt and disrespected by your actions. You really fucked things up between us. That was your decision, your doing. The missed chance was orchastrated by you. You broke it, not me. What possible effort have you made to admit that and salvage anything between us?
<<You should know that I am not a cusser, and I’ve used the f*word twice already. That’s very uncharacteristic of me. I had enough of his dance. I needed to take the opportunity to call him on his maladaptive pattern of behavior.>>
SP: You are right, I wasn’t ready to start a relationship with you when I did. That was my mistake and fault for hurting you. It was unfair to you and I’m so sorry for it. I left the note because I wanted to be friends again. I’m very sorry for hurting you then and now. I will leave you alone.
<<Now, he’s trying to escape. But, I’m not done yet.>>
Me: It’s going to take a whole lot more than a note for us to be friends. I’m glad to hear that you are starting to be honest with yourself. It’s going to be up to you to decide how important it is to be friends with me, and what you are willing to do to regain my trust and stop repeating the same mistakes. At least do it for yourself, and ask yourself why you need to be friends with your exes. What is it fulfilling in you? Need to be needed? Need to be someone’s savior? It’s time for you to start seeing the value of yourself, and not what you can do for others. You have much to learn, young grasshopper. For someone so smart, your emotional intelligence has much catching up to do.
SP: All good points. I do frequently feel emotionally adolescent. I have a lot of introspection to do.
Me: Have you read the book “Codependent No More“? I think it would be beneficial for you.
<<And so I have entered my helping professional zone. Here I am recommending self-help books. I really need to stop trying to save others, myself. The book really is good, though.>>
SP: It certainly seems relevant, I’ll get it. Thank you.
When the conversation ended, I felt good… almost vindicated. I finally had the opportunity to express some of my anger. I no longer wanted to be with SP. I didn’t even want him in my life. I recognized how emotionally unconnected he was, and his incapacity of giving me love or being in an intimate, true relationship. He was a boy in so many ways. I needed a man.
It’s been 10 months since that conversation. We haven’t spoken a word to each other since. And that’s a good thing.