Thursday, 19 July 2012

Mixed feelings

Yesterday I learned that The Photographer and his partner are expecting a baby in October. I am so pleased for them and wish them every happiness. I am certain he will be a fabulous father.

I congratulate them and I wish the very best for them.  I am pleased he has moved on and that things are going well for him both in his personal and professional life. I truly hope he has found everything he was looking for. I wish I could congratulate him in person and let him know I wish them well.

Perhaps I will now lose some of the guilt and worry I have carried for such a long time over the breakdown of our relationship.  I have a terrible, overwhelming need to "put things right", to apologise and know I have been forgiven.  Don't get me wrong - neither of us did anything awful to each other.  No one cheated or lied. It stopped working for lots of little reasons that added up to big ones but it ended in a very awkward and uncomfortable way and I know I caused a lot of hurt, as did he. 

In my job I expect my class to apologise sincerely when they have hurt or upset someone.  I ask the hurt party to forgive and expect that they will.  I ask this because it is the right thing to do and it allows everyone to feel better and move on. Holding a grudge never helps anyone.  The one who has hurt needs this process as much as the one who was hurt.  I need it too.  I apologised.  He was, at that time, too hurt to accept or forgive (which I fully understood) and has not spoken to me since.  I have been erased from his life very deliberately - I was told he would do this for "a clean break".  So the circle of apology, forgiveness and moving on for me has never quite been completed.  I needed to know he was ok.  I needed to know he was no longer hurting.  I needed my apology to be accepted.

It seems now he is ok and is no longer hurting and that I will never know if my apology was accepted or if I have been forgiven.  I am pleased for him but I also feel a huge emptiness.  Parting ways was the right thing to do and I do not regret it, only the way in which it happened. 

I feel now,  more than ever, that my life has not moved on. I am in exactly the same place I was when we parted.  I feel stuck and, if I am very honest, more than a little jealous. I want a family too.  I am genuinely happy for him, but feel sad and empty all at the same time and I really don't know how I should react to that. 

1 comment:

  1. This sort of thing is always hard - even when you know that it was the right thing to do. So, first, hugs for you.

    'Moving on' means different things to different people. Just because you aren't doing the same things as he is, doesn't mean that your life is standing still. There are different ways to 'judge' this. It doesn't have to be on the 'new relationship' scale. You can't (metaphorically speaking) look at yourself in their windows - it will make you look alone and excluded. You are neither of these things, unless their windows are your only point of reference.

    Forgiveness is a very difficult thing within and around relationships, particularly those which don't work. If you didn't actually do anything wrong (and ending a relationship in which you are unhappy is NOT wrong) then you don't need to be forgiven for that by him. You've already given your apology for hurting him; if he chose / chooses not to hear it then in the long run it is that decision that will hurt him - and you, if you let it.

    I'm going to go out on a limb here, reading between the lines of your post (I'm good at this - reading between the lines is part of my job!), and say that you don't need his forgiveness as much as you need to forgive yourself. You turned down the opportunity for *this* family, even though you want a family, and you need to come to terms with that again now that he has begun to build a different family.

    Forgive yourself for hurting him (he has moved on, so you have not caused him too much long term damage, and he is clearly not beating himself up over hurting you); forgive yourself for feeling a bit jealous (this is natural), and forgive yourself for blocking this particular road. Burn the bridge you blocked and you'll be able to see the gap you can't jump, the water you CAN navigate, and your own reflection, more clearly.