Making Different Choices, Growing Through The Pain

Today was a hard day.  It’s Easter break in my neck of the woods and it feels like all my peeps have left town.  I’m feeling lonely.

Captain Amazing is in NYC.  The Sultry School Teacher is in the bay area.  Another girlfriend is off and temporary assignment and yet another one is playing temporary one week wife to her Tom Cat boyfriend.  (That’s a story for another day.)

I remember having a particular weekend like this when I was going through my first divorce.  I was incredibly lonely and there was a holiday weekend when all my friends left the base and I had nothing to distract me.  I jumped in my car and drove 12 hours home to see my family.  I was in an absolute panic clamoring for something to distract me from myself.

Distraction has been my tool in many ways.  Through many a break up, I’ve embarked on projects to keep me busy and -not- dealing with the emotions at hand.  I thought this was a great way of dealing with things.  It eased the pain and I told myself I was getting on with the business of feeling better… not wallowing.  Still, it doesn’t work because as we’ve said before, when you don’t learn the lesson, it comes back around to slap you again.

This time I’m making changes.  I’m breaking old patterns and finding a new way.

The biggest pattern grating on me at the moment is the one I’ve been living with The Ambassador since day one.  Generally how it goes is, something happens where we feel close…  This time it was the walk we had, sharing aspects of our spirituality, and then me dropping off a book for him that we had talked about.  Next, he pulls away.  I feel him pulling away and start to reach out.  I reach out until I get fed up feeling like I’m chasing him, then I give up.  At some point he comes back around.

Right now he’s in the pulling away stage.  I can feel him pulling away, and I hate that.  I hate that feeling and I don’t want to let go…. but this time, I’m going to.  I’m going to let go of it and let God do with it what he will.  I’m not reaching out.  Although, I desperately don’t want him to disappear from my life…  I’m letting it go.

It’s gut wrenching, feeling him disappearing and doing nothing to stop it.  I’ve done it once before when he disappeared to play with The Sneaky Bitch.  That time, however, I did everything I could to distract myself from the misery of letting him go.  Another pattern I’m changing this time.  I’m going to be in it… work through my pain over it all.  I need to get my boundary against apathetic emotionally unavailable men solidly in place…  It’s not easy though.

Today after dropping off my kids, I drove down the road that goes right past his place.  He was outside walking from his truck in to the house, talking on the phone.  I attempted a wave but he didn’t see me.  As always figuratively, and in this case literally, he doesn’t see me.

Thats part of my problem with The Ambassador.  He’s so worked up in his own head, in his own problems that he doesn’t seem me.  There’s no appreciation.

For me, I have an appreciation for people in my life.  I see how incredible they are and what  a blessing it is that God has put them in my life.  For The Ambassador, there seems to be none of that.  Not just with me, but with his best friend as well… and anyone else orbiting in his universe.  So, why am I sticking around for that bs?  My heart just doesn’t want to let go.

When I got home, I got a call from Mr. X.  He could tell something was bothering me.  I fessed up.  My heart is breaking.  I miss him SO much, but I will NOT chase him.  I am praying and listening to the Lord and I am NOT to chase him.  I dissolved in to tears and had to get off the phone.

Mr. X was doing his best to comfort me, but what it came down to was… I know it’ll be ok, but right now it fucking hurts.

I put on my running shoes and went walking.  I walked and I thought about this boundary I’m putting in place.  I thought about The Ambassador coming back around after I’ve got my bliss back, which he always seems to do and I thought…  Oh no you don’t Mr. Ambassador of Ambiguity.  Oh no you don’t come back around showing up all romantic like, lighting up when you seem me…  Unless you’ve had some major come to Jesus moment about me, and have torn that wall down, don’t waste my time.  I don’t need to be spending time with a man I love… and I can’t even tell him I’ve fallen madly in love with him because he might run away. It rips my heart to shreds.   I need to be with someone I can count on when the going gets tough, not someone who doesn’t even stick around when things are going good.

This was a scary thought, even in my own head because I know The Ambassador well enough to know that with a speech like that I might well lose him forever.  He could very well turn tail and run…  But I’ve got to put that boundary in place, because the way things are right now, the way they have been, stings like a son of a bitch.

Published in: on April 24, 2012 at 9:00 am  Comments (25)  
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25 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Cadence Harper…your writing is very good…I guess you are a writer…let me tell you: a) you can be well puting you in yourself…no orbitatate the ‘other’…in the romantic chalenge and way…love is a useless thing…in this way b) I would appreciate you read my post ‘futility of love’…and comment, please…best wishes…sincerely…Walter

  2. attachment is not love

  3. if growing is pain…living is joy…and loving is all

  4. stay confident in your love…you can love…you can be beloved…in the romantic road…just be you

  5. and let love guides you

    • I think sometimes we have to lead our hearts, instead of them leading us… Otherwise I’ll be stuck in the same painful pattern for who knows how long.

      • lead our hearts..and let them lead ourselves…the painfull part of the long run is needed…for perceiving love…the painful pattern is the no surrender to love…in this way…romantic love…a kind of control is the repeated pattern…repetition occurs like another unconscious opportunity of perception of love…in my experience

      • Maybe for some that is the right path, following your heart, but but for me I’ll quote Sylvia Plath “I desire the things that will destroy me in the end”

      • I like Sylvia Plath, but this quote she is equivocated…in my experience…

  6. Love this deeply honest post as I know how difficult this is. The angst. The guilt. The anger. And the sorrow. It’s a salad of emotions, and trying to pick out the capers you don’t want can be truly difficult.

    In Norwood’s, “Women Who Love Too Much”, she reminds us that it’s not about if you stay or go, but what do YOU need to do to ensure your life is healthy because then it’s not a matter of staying or leaving, but what choices and directions you need to head. Naturally, people will either appear or disappear from your life.

    My own anecdote was realizing that I spent so much time focusing on the care I wanted from others, I didn’t spend enough time doing this for myself, and thus would end up disappointed. You have sOOO much love to give, perhaps wooing yourself will help these wounds as well?

    Hugs and much love,


    • Ya, I hit up the book again. Spent a little time kicking myself for falling back into old patterns but gained much understanding and insight too. I’ve come such a long way. In fact, if I had been operating like I was several years ago, it would have probably kept this thing with The Ambassador going. Ha! That figures.

      & yes, I’m back to working on me.

  7. Hi Cadence,
    I have been reading your posts for a while now and I have to say that I am glad you have come to this conclusion. I read an article recently that talked about how women fall in love faster and harder than men (this is a total generalization, but it was the gist of the article which I can’t find or I would post a link.) This is okay sometimes if the guy is falling, just not at the same speed AND he has to want to fall further.

    I know I am just a random stranger and I hope you don’t take this the wrong way… I mean it with the utmost kindness and absolutely no malice.

    The Ambassador has been playing with you. From what I have read he seems rather selfish and you are selfless… This is a recipe for disaster. He has power over you and he knows it. You care for him and it seems like he has been exploiting your feelings and your kindness. He sounds like he has a lot of growing to do before he is the type of man you can depend on. The type that you can trust automatically because you absolutely know that if you fall he will catch you and set you back on the right path for you, not for him. But you know all this. He has broken your heart numerous times. He knows this and he also knows he held (holds?) your heart.

    On the other hand, I am really not one to talk. I have been supporting my boyfriend for two years (we’ve been together four) off of my BENEFITS. (I had a spinal fusion surgery last year and have nerve pain / damage) But… This is another story.

    You are an interesting, loving, pretty, articulate and charming woman. You deserve more. More of everything, more adoration, more love, more surety, more confidence, more flowers, more attention, more consideration, more romance, more fantasy. You deserve more of everything because you are special.

    I sincerely hope you don’t resent me for writing, I just wanted to offer some support if you need or want it. I greatly admire your writing so I really hope you aren’t offended or upset by anything I have said.
    oxo – S.

    • I am absolutely NOT offended. I really appreciate your very well thought out comment.

      You are absolutely right about him. He had every chance in the world and just played cat & mouse with me.

      I’m working through why it’s so hard to let go. The book Women Who Love Too Much says the more closely the relationship is to your childhood trauma, the more difficult it is to let go.

      But I SO much appreciated your comments and charachterization of him. I need to hear those things… My heart seems to want to ignore them but they are REAL and true & important.

      Thank you for commenting,

      • Good! I am really glad I didn’t offend you. I didn’t think I was overly offensive, but I wanted to express that I am well aware I am only an outsider with a tiny window into your life and have no business giving advice.

        None of what I said was meant as advice. I was really just observing.
        I use my blog for much the same thing you do, primarily to try to figure out what I feel, think or intuit on the tough subjects in my life. I always find it nice to have someone offer their opinion as long as they are respectful and not purposefully abrasive I am happy to hear what others have to say on the subjects I discuss. Anyway…

        I read your reply to the comment below so I thought I would clarify that I didn’t mean I know what is best for you or what would make you happy. But I do have an idea about what will make you unhappy… Chasing him and never attaining the position of importance in his life that he holds in yours.

        From what I have read, you will never be happy with him, rather you can’t be happy with him. Or at least you will never/can’t be happy with him until he is happy with himself. But you can’t wait around or keep trying to fix him, you aren’t his tool to be used when needed and put back in the tool box when it is no longer needed. Maybe by being open to him and his ability to cause you pain you are kinda giving him exactly what he wants… To remain ambiguous in his interaction with people. He knows exactly what to do to hurt you the most with the least amount of effort on his part. Beyond the real emotional issues there, maybe he even enjoys that you will be there to pick up the pieces when he is done wallowing in self-pity?

        Anyway, I digress. I just hate to see someone with so much to offer mired to a rock of a man pulling her under at an alarming rate. It is like I see my own face reflected there and know I am not strong enough to let go but I honestly believe others are strong enough to do anything they want. You are strong enough to walk away and let your heart heal.

        There is a great book I read recently by Mollie Player (actually I am in the middle of reading it.) called Alone and Together that you may find useful, or inspiring at least. It was free to download the kindle version from Amazon recently, and if you contact her (like I did) she may send you a PDF. I have also asked her if I can pass the file on to you but I am still waiting for a response.

        I have been wondering if part of the reason you don’t want to let him go is because you are afraid to be alone, with out the support of a significant other that makes you feel safe? I am terrified of what it will be like to be alone after so long living with my guy… However he is going five hours away for his PhD this September and I may need more back surgery in August so he may leave and I may have to hire a PSW or something to help me with cleaning and showers.

        Wow, I am so off topic. Sorry!! I really enjoy reading your posts and I hope, no, I know everything will turn out exactly the way it is supposed to as long as you keep questioning and looking within.

        I hope I haven’t written too much, please feel free to edit this down as you see appropriate!
        oxo – S.

      • You are right that he must first be happy with himself. He -might- change, he might want to remain ambiguios. That’s a who lot of maybe. I will say, though, after 6 years of living alone… I’m pretty comfortable with it. In fact, maybe a little too comfortable. lol. I wish you the best with whatever happens with your situation. I’m sure if he goes, you’ll figure it out. You seem a very capable and certainly brilliant women. If your man does leave, it will be tough but there will likely be much to be thankful for too.

      • p.s. I got permission to forward on the PDF if you would like to take a look. Jut let me know! 😀

      • Sure, I am happy to check it out. My email is You are right, he certainly has some growing to do and maybe he will, maybe he won’t. I’ve hung on to that potential for such a long time and watched him make slow progress but the fact is –all we have is right here, right now.

  8. I don’t have any help for your problem. There is not a person more ignorant on relationships then me.

    I did want you to know that Ireally enjoy your writing.

    • Thank you for commenting, Runner. Truth is, I’m not necessarily looking for advice as much as working through my own personal growth on the page. I really appreciate the support my readers are giving tho. Thanks a million.

  9. You’re an inspiration to others going through the same thing. cheers

    • Thank you Diva. I don’t feel like much of an inspiration. I just feel like I’m pouring my pain out on2 the page… And trying to figure it out as I go along.

  10. cheers! ‘high-five’!

  11. Hello
    I just wanted to say that I have been searching the internet for someone that is going though something similar
    To me with the man I am currently dating and all the advice I can find is for 17 year olds not 30 plus year olds.
    I cant believe how similar these men sound I would think they are the same person or even brothers. I have been with mine for 8 months now
    And weirdly enough I told him finally on Monday of this week that’s it I cant do this anymore. I am finding it so hard because I truly think we are great together, but I cant handle the pulling away and the never getting what he is actually feeling towards me part. I am not a overly emotional person but being with him has been so great yet so mentally draining at the same time. I know that you and me both deserve to have men in our lives that we are forefront of there everything not on the sidelines waiting. My friends are all telling me the same thing, you deserve better you deserve to be treat like the best but they don’t get the connection part and the struggle because I know I am the right person for him, I wanna give him a shake. I don’t know if you are experiencing this but I got the I don’t wanna be with you but I want to keep things the way they are now, friends…with benefits. I don’t mind the way things are now I just constantly feel not good enough or feel like I need to do things to make him like me more. It has been hard but I have got though 4 days with little to no contact I have picked up the phone 1000 times or wrote txts just to delete them. I have so much more insight and confusing things that he does to me but I don’t wanna write a novel thanks for posting though I appreciate it that I am not alone.

    • Welcome Jess. I’m so glad you found me. You are certainly not alone & I know it’s difficult for others to understand… Alternating between bliss & misery & all the ANGST in between. That was the worst for me. Never knowing what he was feeling… Left me feeling like I was always guessing. With all that tension, I couldn’t fully appreciate the good stuff…

      Luckily, The Ambassador doesn’t do FWB because that would be VERY tough for me to resist but also horribly bad for my heart.

      Not contacting him has been brutal but I can see progress in my healing little by little. Stay strong, girlfriend, and turn all that energy IN toward, toward pampering, loving & taking care of you.

      Prayers and positive energy to you,

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