Friday, August 26, 2011

AWKWARD, with a capital A...and all the other letters, too

I just got home from meeting Arianna's birthdad to give him pictures. He and I hadn't spoken in over two weeks, and things were going well. I missed him, of course, when certain things I would see or hear would spark some sort of memory of him...but overall, I was a-okay with not talking to him. I didn't hype myself up to meet him, I wasn't prepared for him to suddenly have become a different (better) person and sweep me off my feet all over again. I did, however, stupidly doll myself up in an effort to make him think I was something spectacular that he was missing. Coincidentally, my mom and I went to get our nails done last night, so that worked out well. Not-so-coincidentally, I made my hair look as amazing as possible and did my make up as if I went to school for it. All for...what? For him to miss me? For him to wish he still had me? It sounds so self-centered of me, now that I look back on it. It got me nowhere, too. I didn't even want it to get me anywhere, that's the thing. I don't want him back, I don't want him in my life (other than in the obvious way that he will be forever), and I don't want to have any sort of romantic bond with him ever again. I love him, but I'm no longer in love with him, and he acts as though I hurt his feelings when I say that. He chose to do the things he did while we were together and he, ultimately, decided the fate between he and I long before I even knew it. So, why did I make myself look all pretty, and wear a shirt that I knew for a fact that he liked, and do my hair the way I knew he liked it? 'Cause now I'm sitting here, on my bed, looking like I'm dressed up to go somewhere nice...and I'm just sitting here, stuck in reverse and mulling over my conversation with him.

We didn't argue, but I did cry. We looked at the pictures together, in my car, and I cried. I cried because I wish I were with her, I cried because I wish I could see her doing the things she's doing in the picture first-hand. Then, he said something that struck me, because at times, I feel the same way - he said that when he reads the emails I print out for him, and sees the pictures, that he feels like he's looking at a child that he met once or twice but that isn't his. He said it feels like this is a family that he knows through some distant relation, that is sending him photos of their child. In a way, that's exactly what they are doing - sending us pictures of their child. At the same time, though, she is our child too. I do find myself feeling detached at times. I look at her and feel as if she's not even mine, and as if she never was...but then I remind myself that in order for her to be theirs, she had to be ours first. Had she not been mine (or in this context, 'ours'), she never would have been there to be 'theirs,' either. He told me that's hard for him, because he knows he was involved in the process of her being on this earth and he knows that she is a part of him - half of him - and that he misses her, a lot. It was the first time in a while that he's opened up like that (and trust me, for him, that is opening up), usually he masks it. I'm not sure if that's to spare me from seeing him sad and therefore getting even more sad, or if it's to protect some "manly image" he thinks he needs to have. I don't know. It was tough, though. Once the conversation about Arianna was over, neither of us had much to say to one another. I know it's better that way...that's what I need. But it was tough to sit there and feel like strangers. He doesn't know me anymore, just like I barely know him. He didn't know I quit my job, he didn't know a, b, or c, either. It's so hard when someone isn't who you thought they were...I wish, more than anything, that we could go back to the friendship we had in the beginning, before it became so much more. That's the version of him that I miss, the version of us that I miss. Maybe it's for the best that he's changed (or was forced to show his true colors), because if he hadn't, I'd be in tears everyday, wanting him back. If he was the same person I fell in love with four years ago, I would never move on from it. Maybe I need him to act immature and like a jerk to help me move forward. I just wish it weren't awkward. I know I can't have it both ways. I can't have him "out of my life" and have it not be awkward when we meet up to exchange photos and whatnot. Relationships of any kind just don't work that way. Wait, I take that back, because my best friend and I can go months with barely speaking (if she's in another country and it's hard to find time, etc), and when we do talk or get together again, it's like we never missed a beat. But the relationship I have with G is so much more delicate. We have been though things together that a lot of people haven't had to go through and it has changed not only both of us individually, but the way we interact as a whole. Sitting so close to him, in the car, makes me feel like there should be a third little person between us. It feels so unnatural when I'm around him; like part of myself was extracted from me, and part of him was extracted and molded a little baby girl...and she's nowhere to be seen. Her mother and father are sitting together, but alone. Where is she?? Then I come to my senses and realize that she is right where she needs to be..right where she should be. I was not fit to be her mommy at this time in my life, nor was he fit to be her daddy. Together, we were even less fit to be parents than we were separately.

At one point, when he got all quiet, I asked him what was the matter. He said that he just got upset thinking about how I had quit my job (I told him, today) and how I now had 'free time' until school starts and/or I start another part-time job...and he said "if only I had finished the honda, if only I had painted it with you back before all of this happened, you wouldn't be sitting around in your room, being sad and having all day to dwell on missing the baby...we'd be out driving around in it, just laughing and having fun..." and for a moment, I longed for that missed opportunity. I enjoy working on cars, not mechanically, but aesthetically...I know how to fiberglass, I know how to wet sand, paint, etc. A lot of my knowledge was learned from him. We spent a lot of those years working on that car. Had I not gotten pregnant, we probably would have finished it by now and would be enjoying it. I let myself get caught up in that idea and for a minute or two, I was sad. I wished we were in that car at that moment, driving down the highway. Then it hit me - if he and I were in that car, our relationship would be the same now as it was before. I would be miserable and not even have the gumption to admit it to myself, and he would be there, not taking anything seriously, as usual. More importantly, my baby girl would not be here. As hard as it is and as much as I miss her each and every day, I would never take it back. I would never wish she had never been born. She, at only a day or two old, is the one who made me admit to myself that the way I was living my life was not the way I wanted it to be. That's not to say he was holding me back, I was holding myself back. I had been unhappy for a year or maybe longer, but I was terrified of change and I didn't want to lose him. So I stuck it out, and I paid for it in the end. I sacrificed my happiness to paint some pretty picture of who he and I were on the outside. No one really knew how the inside felt.

I've learned my lesson, though. The way I feel today is nothing like the way I felt yesterday. Yesterday, I was happier. I need to be away from him. I say it all the time, and then I'm like one of those weak girls that keeps going back. I'm not going back, though. That hasn't crossed my mind, honestly, in months. I will wait for him to ask me if he wants pictures, and, at least for a while, I will have to mail them to him to get them to him. Why torture myself any more? I need to make a promise, here and now, that I will not see him again at least until she's one. A little over two months. I can do it, and I need to do it. I just need to practice more self-control...and now is as good a time as any, right?


  1. break ups suck all around. i can't imagine how much harder it must be while you're dealing with all of these other emotions too. but as i've said in the past, you're strong (i know you don't like to hear it, but i can't think of a better word) and you will be okay! i'm here... xoxo

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  4. Wow! What an emotionally-charged meeting. I'm super proud of you. That takes guts and courage and maturity. It's amazing to reflect on the "what ifs" and to think about your child in the context of "she's ours", but "she's theirs" too. You have learned so much about yourself and make so many changes and steps forward. Wanting to look nice :) doesn't mean anything except you wanted to look nice. It's natural. I am really glad that you two could talk, even though I know it was hard to go down memory lane and the "what ifs" too. I also agree with setting a timeline. 2 months is not forever and it gives you a good solid deadline. It will help you stick to it, and if that is what you need right now, you can do it.