Oh, Adele. How do you write these songs that so perfectly describe what I am feeling? Sigh.
I knew I wanted to write about something sad tonight, because I feel unbearably sad at the moment. Adele was my first choice, obviously. I admire her ability to write about such painful experiences and make them so relatable. You really cannot help but cry when you hear her songs. “Take It All” is one of the most emotionally draining songs I have ever heard, and it is the one that describes my current state of mind–and heart–the best.
Didn’t I give it all
Tried my best
Gave you everything I had
Everything and no less?
Didn’t I do it right?
Did I let you down?
Most people have had their heart broken. Adele is the patron saint of breakup songs, so listening to her music helps us wallow in our misery and also provides a certain level of comfort. (Read the scientific reasons behind this here.) When I’m sad, I want to feel that sadness as deeply as possible. Maybe that’s weird to some people, but I have always felt every emotion very deeply, very passionately. I wouldn’t have it any other way. It makes me more able to really understand the suffering of others. I have a bit of a martyr complex, and though that is not so much fun it’s just who I am. I can so easily absorb the pain of others, and that is really complicated and terrifying at times.
I got dumped by a beautiful man yesterday. Things had been weird for a couple months so it was not a complete shock to me, but when it became official it really ripped my heart out. We were together for a little more than five months, so it’s not like we were married for ten years or anything. But that doesn’t make it hurt any less.
Everything was so wonderful for the first three months. I had been alone for nearly a decade when we started dating, and I had no expectations at all. In fact, when we started going out I had just come to terms with the fact that I am meant to be alone, so I was not looking for anything. But we clicked immediately, and I was shocked! I had never had a good experience with any of the guys I was interested in, and here was this wonderful, handsome, intelligent, interesting, talented man who liked me. And I actually liked him back and didn’t doubt anything.
We had so much fun together, so much great conversation. We talked every single day, pretty much all day from morning until bedtime. We saw each other every week. Nothing was awkward. Goddammit, I was happy! I never thought I could be so happy with someone. Age 40, and I finally found a good man. And I left all my baggage behind.
Then things started to change in small ways. We had a pet name for each other, and he stopped saying it. I would say it to him, but he wouldn’t say it back. It bothered me, but I never said anything to him about it. I tried blowing it off and assuming maybe he just didn’t want to say it anymore for some benign reason. He got me some really thoughtful gifts for Christmas, and then we spent a fantastic night together a few days later, so I thought things were fine. I tried to not be paranoid. But after that last night together, the feeling I had that something was wrong grew even stronger. A few weeks later he didn’t want to spend the night with me. He had three excuses why he wanted to go home instead. That was a big deal, but I tried to be understanding. But man, that shit hurt.
My feelings for him grew deeper every day. I am fascinated by him. I admire him. I respect him. I hoped he understood that. I wanted him to know that my love was unconditional. But we didn’t say the L-word to each other. I knew I loved him very early on, but thought it was too soon to say it. So I wrote it in the Valentine’s card I gave to him on our four-month anniversary. He did not say it back in the card he gave me the following week.
Maybe you got too used to
Well, having me around
Still, how can you walk away
From all my tears?
It’s gonna be an empty road
Without me right here.
The awkwardness that should have happened in the beginning reared its ugly head after three months, and then it became downright unpleasant for me. He started avoiding me, being very cold and impersonal when we chatted, not planning dates like we used to. I knew I was not imagining things, but he wouldn’t talk to me for a few weeks at a time so I wasn’t able to ask him what was happening. I couldn’t understand why he would treat me this way.
Still, I held out hope that this was just a setback. He’s scared of commitment, I figured. I knew he was concerned about losing his independence in a relationship, but he also told me that I was not demanding of his time or anything so I didn’t know why he was so worried about that. I wanted an opportunity to tell him everything I felt, and though I knew he wouldn’t volunteer any feelings on his own I was pretty sure he would answer direct questions. I needed to be clear about his feelings, but it seemed like he wasn’t even clear about his feelings.
During a long period of not hearing from him I had written him a letter, and I revised it and added to it many times before I finally mailed it. The final draft was eight typed pages. I didn’t want it to be that long, but that’s how long it took me to say everything I needed to say exactly the way I wanted to say it. I prayed that he would read the whole thing and that it would make him feel something, even if it just inspired him to officially end our short romance.
Maybe I should leave
To help you see
Nothing is better than this
And this is everything we need.
So is it over?
Is this really it?
You’ve given up so easily,
I thought you loved me more than this.
Once he read it he took a few days to absorb it before reaching out to me. And after that it was almost a week before we could actually sit down and talk about everything. I hoped that he would specifically address many of the things I wrote about, but that did not happen. He felt bad about everything, and I know it was difficult for him to have that conversation. But it could not have been as difficult for him as it was for me; I had waited almost two months to hear him say something, and I didn’t really get the answers I needed. I knew it was over, but I wanted more from him, more words, more emotion. He kept it short, and since we were in a public place and had very limited time it was not the ideal situation to really discuss everything we needed to.
The whole situation is very sad. I am pretty sure I know what happened to make him change the way he treated me, but he couldn’t express how he felt. “I think it would be better if we were friends,” he said. “I can’t explain why; it’s just a feeling I have.” That is the only answer he could provide. So that’s what I have to deal with.
I want him in my life. I’m not sure he wants me in his. This is uncomfortable for both of us.
But go on, go on and take it,
Take it all with you.
Don’t look back
At this crumbling fool.
Just take it all
With my love,
Take it all
With my love.
This is the only real relationship I have ever been in. In the past I was always settling for what I could get from a man who wasn’t really interested in me, and I always felt like he’d eventually see how great I am for him and he’d really commit to me so we could be happy together, but of course that never happened . I was always drunk back then, and the guy was always drunk and/or high. I have been sober for many years now, and I have my shit together in other ways as well so when he and I started dating five months ago, even though I wasn’t expecting a relationship I was at last in the right frame of mind to be in a healthy one. I felt like an adult when we started dating. Everything felt so right.
Whether my suspicions about why he did this are correct or not, I am still going to be in pain for a long time. I don’t have any bad feelings toward him at all. He’s not as in touch with his emotions as I am with mine, so I cannot be judgmental. It’s not easy for some people to express themselves, and even though he’s a writer and a poet this shit ain’t easy for him. He knows he didn’t handle things the right way. I know he didn’t want to hurt me like this. But he did hurt me, and that’s that.
My natural tendency is to tell myself that this is further proof that I am meant to be alone forever. It wouldn’t be such a struggle all my life if I were supposed to be in a committed relationship. I really don’t want to feel that way. I really don’t. I am far too passionate to be alone. But right now, I’m not sure how to move past this. The pain eventually goes away, but the feeling that I am not supposed to be with anyone is still going to be there. I hate feeling this way. It’s really fucking overwhelming.
I will change if I must.
Slow it down and bring it home,
I will adjust.
Oh if only, if only you knew,
Everything I do is for you.