My emotions have been a rollercoaster lately, not gonna lie.
And I don’t see the situation changing in the near future.
But, today at work, I had a “minipiphany”.
I was talking to a coworker about my current relationship situation (there’s only 1 there who gets to, or, maybe, is forced to listen to my relationship foibles & follies – Because I know she’ll keep shut about it), & while I was describing the phone conversation I had with E on Saturday night, I figured something out.
Ok, a little back story music, if you please, maestro…
A few years ago, the first time I ventured into the world of online dating, I met – the Dragon. That is my nickname for him here, & it fits for many reasons, none of which are pertinent to this particular story. We got along very well, even though he is living on a small island in the Caribbean, so is geographically inconvenient. We spent a lot of time talking online, via Skype, & had even planned a meet up.
There was a period where he disappeared for about 6 months, due to some obligations that were very hush hush, & I didn’t know where he’d gone, or even if he was alive or dead. After 6 months of messaging, emailing, & attempting contact via text, I finally decided that he was probably gone for good, & tried online dating again.
Shortly after, the Dragon showed back up, & as happy as I was to see him, I did tell him that I’d met someone, & felt I owed it to E to see where it went. (E had already told me he loved me, & wanted to marry me- fast, I know. It made me nervous, & I wasn’t sure I wanted to move that fast. Ironic, that)
The Dragon told me that he couldn’t get into any kind of relationship anyway, after what had happened in his last, he felt too vulnerable, & exited stage left.
It hurt me. A lot. In the time we’d known each other, I had come to think of him as Chosen Family, & that doesn’t get said about very many people. But, I’ve only ever wanted him to be happy, so had to let go, instead of begging him to stay.
Fast forward to December, 2016.
I dreamt about the Dragon, & knew I needed to contact him, to let him know I’d never forgotten him. I waited till after the New Year, fearful of rejection, but I sent off an email.
He responded positively, & we’ve exchanged a couple of emails since.
About this same time, I’d told E that I was done waiting, done being last place to everything else, & I had “drawn the line where I said No More.”
These 2 events were mutually exclusive, having no bearing on one another.
BUT, getting back to today’s miniature revelation.
I told the coworker that if E showed up on my doorstep tomorrow, I didn’t know what I’d do. After all the broken promises, the shattered trust, I honestly don’t know if I can get myself back into that relationship far enough to ever trust him again.
And I realized…
If the Dragon showed up at my door tomorrow…
I know exactly what my decision would be. I’d choose him. Every time. In whatever capacity he needed me to fill in his life. Friend, pen pal, confidante, family, lover, you get the picture.
So, coworker said “Ok, so there’s your answer. Tell E you’re out.”
But, here’s where I am weak. Here’s where I fall apart.
E still wants to marry me.
He says he loves me, & will always love me. He wants forever. (If he can ever fucking get here)
I am 46.
And overweight, & have health issues, & mental issues like anxiety & depression.
I feel weak even saying this, & I want to cry, & kick myself, & just crawl in a hole.
Part of me wants to stay with E…simply because I don’t think anyone will ever make me this offer of marriage & forever, ever again.
And I don’t want to be alone forever.
I know someone who would be happy to be FWB, but doesn’t want monogamy & commitment.
I do. I want monogamy. I want commitment. I want forever.
I’ll never get to have a 50th anniversary with anyone.
But, I want to have anniversaries again.
And, I have no idea whether the Dragon will stay around this time, or if he’ll disappear again.
I don’t know what his feelings are at all, right now.
I wish I did, but I don’t.
And, there’s E.
I can’t stand hurting anyone.
But someone’s going to end up being hurt by whatever decision I make.
It’s a foregone conclusion that I’ll end up hurting, either way.
There’s no winning.
If I tell E I’m out, I’ll hurt him, hurt myself, & possibly end up alone for the rest of my life. If I stay with him, I feel as though I would possibly be selling my soul to prevent loneliness.
If I tell the Dragon how I feel, I could scare him off. If I tell him I’m staying with E, I’ll hurt him. I know it. And I could end up alone there, too, because dragons are unpredictable & skittish.
If I tell them both that I’m out, that I can’t take the whipsawing back & forth, the uncertainty, everyone ends up hurt.
So, what happens next?
Stay tuned to see if I sell my soul, hand off my broken, twisted heart, or curl up into a defensive posture & roll away into the night, leaving all I know behind to start over somewhere else.
Not quite a rose ceremony…more like a bad emo poetry reading with stale cookies & knock off koolaid.