I'm sorting the medicine cabinet and it's ruining me.
I don't know what I thought, or how I thought it would be. The way we met, the place I was in. I was lonely then too. I am always lonely, it seems. And for nearly six years I have been band-aiding my loneliness. He has been good at that. Everything I want, or have thought I wanted, he gave me.
I am selfish to be at this end. I am miserable. And I am treating this whole end like I have treated our relationship. I am taking care of the periphery. The core, the broken inside, the bulk of it, I am avoiding. I clean out the medicine cabinet, sorting piles for him and piles for me, thinking about dates and illnesses, things we have gone through together, because I can't bear to call the moving people. He has asked me if I want him to do it, but I said no. I have pushed this to the end, the last days. I am afraid that I will never be okay again, that he won't either.
I get attached. Fucking attached. I had forever plans before we were even officially dating. I thought about our children and what they would be like. In my mind they were strong, sturdy and resilient. They were warm and had an appetite for life, tricky-clever and loquacious like me, an exceptional memory and trememdous empathy like him. I saw them well-liked by their peers, polite and engaged. I never saw the disorientation about their futures, the dips of deep depression and scattered attention, the dissolution of their identities, the fear, the rage, the loneliness. I looked at what I wanted to see.
And it was that way with this, too. I was in college and the future seemed far away. It was okay that we didn't plan tangibly. It was okay that we never got engaged or saved for a wedding, a home. It was okay that he moved between careers that made him miserable. It was okay that he found one he liked that still paid him by the hour and offered no benefits. All that was okay because I thought that the future was far away.
Then, about a year ago, I was settling into my career and I saw the next step. Completion of the present; the ensuing and ever-distant future dropped out of nowhere. I wanted my marriage, my career, my children. I don't think he did. I mean, it was still a ways off for him. We both knew that circumstantially we were underprepared. I think we always felt underprepared. I think we always saw it in the future and the future as something out of reach. We never engaged. We talked about it; we said, "Yeah, we'll get married one day." We planned it in a loose sort of way, but never moved on it.
I wonder if he thought that it would never happen?
I was angry and I never told him that. I let everything I wanted dissolve around me. I called it something else. A search, a quest for some aspect of myself that was missing. I confused myself. Said it was kink. He didn't want that. He didn't want to fuck me anymore. Hasn't wanted to fuck me for a long time, maybe since the beginning. He hasn't wanted to kiss me, touch me.
I questioned it at first. I talked about it with him. I fought it, I accused, I invaded his privacy trying to figure it out, I talked to his friends and family. I begged, I enticed. I guilted. A lot. I was crushed more times than I can remember. And eventually, I gave up. I told myself I wasn't attractive enough, enticing enough. I told myself there was something wrong with him, with me. He didn't disagree. He told me that he didn't feel things like that frequently. I made him see a doctor, a therapist. I made him medicate himself, hoping that fixing the depression would fix the lack of desire. He gave up too, after a while. The pills were forgotten. I stopped talking about it. I stopped hoping, asking. He pushed me away when I tried to touch him.
I broke. I entertained the idea of affairs. I had given up my early twenties to him and he didn't seem to care. It hurt. It hurt more than I wanted to admit. A whole portion of our relationship didn't exist. At all.
We were friends, best friends. We shared the same bed, we held hands when we went to the movies. We ate together, talked about our days, we laughed. We laughed a lot. He is so funny. He makes me smile without trying. We got stoned and watched television; we went on vacations. But it seemed that our future slipped away day-by-day. I didn't think so much about our kids anymore. How could we have kids?
I loved him every day we were together. I love him today and I will love him every day I breathe. I will miss the feeling of his body beside me while I sleep. I will miss rolling over and tucking beside him, listening to his breathing, being able to wake him when I am afraid. I will miss his constant presence. I have gotten so used to his face. He has a beautiful face. I will miss his made-up words, his doting mannerisms and the way he likes to surprise me with things, treats, movies.
Everything about this aches. Everything about this feels like death. Everything feels like abandonment.