It’s Complicated

It’s Complicated. It’s dumb as a Facebook status but it’s true. Relationships are complicated. They’re hard. They show us the best parts of ourselves as well as the worst parts. They teach us, they change us, they drive us crazy, and they offer us invaluable experiences. So, rather than bringing you new dating fodder after the breakup with Man Candy, I’m here to tell you how complicated that relationship is. Because, as it turns out, it isn’t over.

I was okay with it being over. Sure, I was a little sad, but I’m mostly okay with me so I was mostly okay with this development. He was not. He wanted to talk after a while. Admit that he had made some mistakes. Start over.

It started when my parents came to visit. We’d already made plans to go to a play with them so we kept them. We spent a day in Portland all together. And I found that he filled a hole in my life I didn’t even know that I had. And I can’t explain why it mattered so much because I don’t even understand it. But I don’t have to explain it to him. Somehow he just understood and was happy to step in. He made it easier. He made it mean something.

I’ve often complained when I’m tired of doing everything by myself. Single motherhood is hard. I don’t get breaks. And he understands this too. He steps in. Makes me dinner so I can get my work in on time. Cleans my bathroom. Washes my car. They’re not big things and they don’t have to be. It’s enough to make me feel like I’m being taken care of. I feel cared for every time he asks if I’m warm, then takes his jacket off and covers my legs with it because I’m still shivering.

This isn’t to say that things are miraculously better and perfect. They’re not. I still get my feelings hurt. We still talk in circles. I’ve still told him to get out of my house and give me space. The difference is that I think there’s a real effort to communicate. An attempt at recognizing what doesn’t work and going at it a different way.

And I’ve messed up too. My last relationship lasted far too long. I lost myself. I wasted my 30’s with a total Mind Fuck. So when anything starts to feel like I’m in that space again I violently recoil and push MC away. Sometimes I know I’m doing it. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I fight too hard to be me. Sometimes I need to and sometimes I don’t. I think I’ve confused the difference between self-preservation and shutting someone out.

The positive is that I am okay being alone. I don’t have to be with him. I like being with him, I enjoy it, and I look forward to it. But I enjoy being alone and being with my daughter and being with my friends. With the Mind Fuck, I had to be with him. I didn’t trust what happened when I wasn’t so I couldn’t relax without him. It’s better this way.

What’s really making the difference is that MC is honest. Maybe brutally so, but it’s better than the lies I lived with before. He’s committed and I probably don’t know what to do with that. I’m not easy to be with. I’m moody and bitchy and there are times my depression takes over. I have a teenage daughter who makes the terrible twos look like Disneyland. She has her own depression issues and we struggle with that to the point that it gets frightening. And that doesn’t scare him off. He says, “I’m here when you need me.” He asks how he can help. But he doesn’t leave. And the thing is? I probably would. Why stay and deal with things that aren’t your own obligations?

So I don’t know how this ends in the long run. I don’t yet know if this is my happily ever after. But he’s offering it. And I think it’s time I take a real chance. I think it’s time to really find out.


~ by Kat on December 8, 2012.

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