“Remember How We Were, We Really Were, Before This Disaster Came and Tore Us All Apart.”

I should have known these walls would cave in
I should have never left my heart there on the line

Hurricane by Theory of a Deadman

I think one of the worst things that we do when our lives blow up is all of the remonstrating we have with ourselves after the fact. You’re practically writhing on a roasting spit from hell, turned over and over again by no one but yourself. And in that moment, while you’re torturing yourself with all of the things you could have done to prevent the flaming destruction of your life, you are very, very busy forgetting a key factor. And that key factor is that hindsight is 20/20. So, it’s easy to go back through and see where you screwed up, inventorying all of the wrongs you committed in an effort to figure out where it all went wrong. The problem is that you may not actually be at fault for that destruction, but a bystander as your life goes down in flames. Even if that’s the case, it doesn’t really matter because you’re still too busy, categorizing your fuck-ups while watching girly romantic movies (for women, anyway), ugly sobbing into your pint of Coffee Coffee, Buzz Buzz Buzz.

I’ve thought long and hard over the course of the last few days. In my more rational and clear-thinking moments, of which there are precious few, I know that I am not the cause of this. I know that there is nothing I could have said, nothing I could have done that would prevent TH from needing to “run away.” And in effect, that is precisely what he has done. As he has made it clear to me, he never said he wanted to end things. He never said he didn’t want to be a part of my life or our son’s life. He just needed to put everything on hold while he sorted out his thoughts and emotions (an indefinite hold). While I can understand that desire on the most basic of levels, it doesn’t mean that the facts aren’t the same. He still walked out of the house and is living in his parents’ basement. He has still made both my life and my son’s life harder because he is not here. And he has broken my trust at the most fundamental levels because now, if we do get back together and attempt to live happily ever after, I will always worry that he will “run away” again when things get too difficult.

I completely understand the whole needing to “run away” thing. I most people do. I honestly believe that every person gets to a point where they are entirely fed up with everything and need to take some time for themselves. However, the problem I have with how he went about it is that most peoples’ ideas of running away do not mean walking out on your family. It means that you go to another room. It means you ask your spouse for time alone while you mull things over. It means that you go for a Sunday drive and admire the scenery for a while. It means you walk around the mall. It means you go out to lunch by yourself. It means a lot of different things, none of which equate to actually moving out of your homestead and leaving your family members in the lurch.

In those rational, logical moments, I remind myself that he is very young. While only five years actually separate us on the physical age level, in the realm of emotional maturity, we are vastly beyond each other. I am only his second relationship in his entire life. And in the course of that relationship, we have had a lot more downs than we have had ups. We have had a lot of pain filled changes in the last six years, not all of them horrible, and it’s a lot for someone who has never been in a long-term relationship prior to me to handle. In those moments, I can compassionately understand where he is coming from and in a way, I can forgive him for what he has done to us. I don’t like it. I don’t agree with it. In fact, I still want to punch him in the face because of this. However, I can understand and even sympathize because he is young and he doesn’t know any better.

Even though I can see where he is coming from, even though I can kind of understand it, I still end up feeling like my heart has been broken. I still end up listening to really depressing music, like I was when I was 16 and my then-boyfriend broke up with me for no apparent reason. I remember that week of our being broken up like it was yesterday. I was depressed. I didn’t shower. I didn’t eat. I didn’t sleep. I didn’t do anything but lie blankly in my bed or my mother’s bed and just stare at the walls. Sometimes, to take my mind off of the pain, I would read a book or twenty. And then we got back together and the heart-break subsided until months later. I literally feel like I need to be doing the same thing all over again, only instead, I have to be a mom and do all the things moms do so I can’t really wallow.

And that kind of pisses me off a little because it shows that I’m the more responsible person here.

When I’m done being rational and being angry, then I end up wallowing in the mire of guilt that continues to plague me. As I said above, there is nothing worse in an emotional upheaval of this level than the recriminations you pass on yourself. I’ve sat around for hours, just mulling over how I could have prevented this from happening to myself and to my son. I will do the laundry and there I am, wallowing in guilt. I will cook some dinner and there I am, wallowing in guilt. I’ve been wallowing in the guilt, trying to figure out where I went wrong. I must have screwed up somewhere, right?

I’m not very demonstrative in my affections. I used to be, but as the years past, I haven’t been. I find it easier to keep people at arm’s length because then it won’t hurt so badly when they fuck you over. (Ha. Ha. Ha.) The thing is that I’ve been trying to be a lot nicer to TH lately (the last six months or so). I haven’t been demonstrative of my feefees or anything, but I’ve been saying kinder things to him. It’s a physical prod a lot of the times and stuff just spews out of my mouth that is nicer than I normally am. About a month ago, I told everyone he was a very good father and a good boyfriend. A while back, I told everyone that he is awesome. These are some things, but I wonder if my failure was in not telling him that, specifically? He was there when I said those things, but they weren’t to his face, so perhaps there is my failing?

However, TH suffers from excessively awful bad self-esteem. I honestly don’t know what caused it or why it started. It really doesn’t matter what the cause of his bad self-image is because I can’t fix it. No matter what I say, who I say it to, and when I say it, he will always feel like he is a poor substitute or that he doesn’t measure up to anyone else in his life. I have extremely poor self-esteem, myself. I understand how it is, but either you contend with the negative feelings about yourself and deal with them as they come, or you ignore them completely. No matter what I say, how I say it, when I say it, where I say, or what I’m saying, if he doesn’t deal with his self-esteem issues, then it’s going to continue to cause a problem for him. I could metaphorically make him to be the walking on water type of guy – not that I would – and it really wouldn’t matter. Whatever lies at the core of his poor self-image is a monster he has to fight on his own.

I can’t fight it for him.

Another ongoing issue is that he has a very hard time of letting things go. In all the instances he provided where he felt that I didn’t care about him, they were all very old occurrences. I’ve thought about this some and while those instances could have helped to feed the self-esteem beast eating apart his insides, However, I honestly wonder if those items he mentioned were his attempt at grasping at straws. I honestly worry that this self-esteem thing, this feeling like I don’t need him or want him thing, is all just a very big cover.

I’ve thought about this for a while and it doesn’t necessarily track. I don’t deny that TH has bad self-esteem or that I am not overly demonstrative in how I feel about him. I do not deny that I could have done better, though I know that I wouldn’t have done any better if given the chance. I wonder, honestly, if the core issue is the asexuality thing. It’s a big bite to swallow for any man, whether they are a normal hormonally charged twenty-five year old or not. The prospect of possible never having sex ever again is something that most people, most normal people, would find impossible to fathom, much less to live with. And I can’t help but wonder if the lack of sex is why he feels like he’s not an integral part of my life. Apparently, emotional connections are all fine and dandy, but it is the physical connection that means the most.

Obviously, I’ve had sex with TH. We have a child together. However, the fact remains that sex holds little to no interest to me at present and I honestly do not know how long this will last. I have to assume it’s a forever thing just to be on the safe side. I can’t get someone’s hopes up with an indefinite unknown hanging in the balance. And I can’t help but think that societal norms regarding sex are being played out here. Someone – not me – equates sex with love and tenderness and happiness. Someone else – definitely me – equates sex with a biological need to reproduce and equates love, tenderness and happiness with the emotional connection two people can have. Society, however, has this ridiculous need to obsess over sex and how it is part and parcel to a relationship.

In some cases, that is the case.

However, when it comes to an asexual, that is definitely not the case.

I just worry that the actual reason for all of this heartbreak is that I can love someone, unconditionally, without sex complicating matters. I don’t need to feel someone in a physical way in order to know that I love them, cherish them, and enjoy their company. I don’t need that in any context to make me feel better about myself. Sure, when I am interested, the sex is pretty darn awesome. But that doesn’t mean I need it in order to feel like a human being. I don’t need it to complete me. And maybe TH does because that’s who he is as a person. And if that’s the case then, you know, things will either be completely over, as I think will be the case, or he’ll realize that an emotional connection is more important than a physical one. And things might work out for the better.

I would like to hope, but my hope button is broken.

I’m caught in a hurricane
I’m leaving here dead or alive
And I know that I’d be willing to feel the pain
If it got me to the other side
Cause I only hurt
Oh, hurricane
Yeah I can feel it hurt
Oh, hurricane

One thought on ““Remember How We Were, We Really Were, Before This Disaster Came and Tore Us All Apart.”

  1. Little boys run away from the house.
    Men take a jog around the neighborhood to clear their thoughts.

    That paragraph where you state the difference between walking out and needing space–that’s all you really need to look at this situation. He’s not a family man–he never was. He’s not even ready to be one (and hasn’t been).

    He is not at a maturity level where he can work it out with you and figure out in full honesty what to do about the asexuality issue (which I hear you there. Many relationships down the tube on that one, both good and bad men), nor is he at the maturity level to say “hey, I have a son now, I can’t just walk out like this”. At least not without a plan for taking care of R, or seeing R, or keeping the family aspect together. Mostly because I bet he didn’t even think about it that way. He is his own priority. R hasn’t even crossed his priority scale yet.

    I know this ace thing is horrifying. But one of the things I found through my own ace journey was that the more I dwelled on it being an issue–the more of an issue it became. It was like a bad cycle. When you let it go, just deem it as “it is what it is”, and just be yourself—it becomes less of a depressive trigger and obstacle in relationships.

    I’m trying to think of a good way to explain that…but it’s like…mmm let’s say you have some kind of illness that scares most ppl away (be it cancer, or hell even herpes). It’s not really a part of you you can change and yes there’s goign to be dickhats who zero in on it.

    Don’t dwell on that. And don’t stake your life happiness on people who zero in on that. It’s’ a process, certainly, understanding aceness, accepting, and learning how to live in a non-ace world with it….but let it flow naturally. Sexuality is fluid. And while some on Aven will say “OMG IMPOSSIBLE ACE FOREVER OR YOURE NOT REALLY ACE” you have to give yourself the time to figure those things out without labelling yourself as that (even if it gives you some sense of clarity to label yourself). Your life has to be just as fluid–and your partners, whoever they may be–need to also be fluid.

    Who knows. Maybe TH turns a corner and become an all accepting super hero who reads up on aceness and remembers he’s a father with parenting responsibilities. Highly unlikely. As he’s still not viewing aceness as part of your identity—instead he’s just looking at aceness as this THING. Not aubs, not his relationship, just aceness in all its thing-ness. He’s focusing on a giant red flag instead of the person who gets to wave it.

    I know this is all extra hard to cope with, because having a son with said person does not help at all. That adds layers of complexity. BUT. Again. Part of your ace journey and accepting and finding happiness in that (instead of this family strife) is goign to come by branching out, being yourself, and letting those equally fluid and accepting folk in.

    Down the line you may find the issue is not really your aceness–but him latching on to the thing that is aceness as the rah rah root cause of the issues.

    9/10 times its not though. You even mention he has shitty confidence. I’m willing to bet a whole lotta dollah that the issue here is himself. Not that you are ace are that he aint gonna get any—but rather that to him it’s confirming some deeply rooted self loathing monsters he may not even be aware of.

    That being said. Good song choice, don’t be afraid of what this means long term, remember aceness is not a big independent entity–it’s PART of who you are and therefore anyone who focuses in on THAT is who you are, is wrong and isn’t ready yet to be in any relationship (and from what I’ve heard about him over the years…he never quite hit that “ready” mark), nor has that person ever seen you for you.

    mmm now that i’ve pre-coffee rambled I hope some of that makes sense.

    if you haven’t already, jump into the aven forums (not too much. some ppl there are just as assy as TH), but there are few ppl who worked out the marriage with a sexual + ace thing and surprise: the confidence factor ended up being the huge stickler more so than the fact that one person doesn’t have a sex drive.

    In the end I think it will be better for you to at least not let the ace thing be a focus factor in your relationship for now–(which is 50/50, he needs to drop it too) this way whatever relationship FAMILY wise you can have together and with your son–can flourish, and meanwhile you both may find the better solution for handling the intimacy/relationship factor–and it may not have to be needed between the two of you, to keep up a good healthy family relation.

    Sometimes lovers make better friends–and maybe that’s where this needs to go–and drop the teeth clenching grip on OMG YOU”RE ACE WAT DO NOW WITH MY PENIS?

    A lot of non-ace ppl find this happening to them to…etiehr because one of the spouses discovers their sexuality late in their life (because american society does not uphold sexual exploration, despite sex heavy media), or biology changes, or they come to see the person they’re with is not someone they can have THAT type of relationship with–and when they change the title and the roles of the relationship–suddenly ti gets a lot better because the’yre not shoving 80 pointed stars into small circle holes.

    KFLJKLSKDF I HOPIE SOME OF THIS HELPS.

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