We broke up & he left. Even though he's been gone physically from my space, emotionally & mentally he's been very much 'here'. I think about him all the time. He's come over to visit a few times since he left. We've also had the occasional FaceTime chats, and have broken up the monotony of our days with texts back & forth.
But lately - specifically since last weekend while I was in Michigan for Awesome Ladies Live - it has felt like the wind's been taken out of our sails, like the air's been let out of our balloon. Lately, there's been nothing fueling our desire to connect except the need for each other (...or just someone? ) to be there.
This past weekend, I hadn't heard from him for a couple of days. Radio friggin' silence. Friday evening I was home, by myself. No call. No text. No 'hi.' No pop-in. Nothing 'for me, from him'. Saturday evening: same thing. Emptiness. Quiet. Space. The exact space I said we needed.
After two whole entire days with this space, I woke up yesterday to do laundry and work on the podcast and make breakfast, and the phrase weighing on my mind, furrowing my brow, was...
"Who will I check-in with if not him?"
As soon as I recognized the phrase was on a repetitive loop in my brain, I recognized it for what it was: my codependent tendencies. I feel really alone. My immediates (mom, dad, sister, IRL friends) all have their own things going on. I can't rely on them, and I've been learning to be aware - through therapy - how I lean so heavily on this reliance...on the showing up of others to 'rescue' me from my feelings or help carry the burden or make the hard decisions or connect me to...me.
This newfound awareness has baffled me. Why do I have such a hard time connecting to myself?! (Hmmm...maybe it's my anxiety? my OCD? all these damn lit screens in my face? my involuntary participation in this rat race, hamster wheel economy? my people-pleasing? my acute sensitivity? my limiting beliefs? my long to-do lists? all these darn distractions? ...you know, just to name a few. SHEESH!)
WHO WILL I CHECK-IN WITH IF NOT HIM? Figuring out the answer to this question felt like a mini-crisis because I'm still learning how to be alone. I'm learning how to love & cherish me, understand my worth & value as Amanda Zampelli, not as his girlfriend or her daughter or her sister or their friend or that designer or our worker...
In the middle of this mini-crisis, he texted me. The first contact in two days, finally a break in the silence and space. He wrote...
"Hi, good morning...just wanted to check in to see if you're okay?"
I kid you not, those are the exact word he used, and there it was: me feeling the need for him to check-in, and him needing to fill that void for me. By-the-book codependency, with only the best of intentions of course.
That text led to a whole typed-up conversation, which eventually led to the conclusion he's been drawing for a while and I've been avoiding all together. We can't be connected anymore. We have to - for real this time - let go.
...and in true 'Amanda' fashion, I cried. I cried reading him tell me "I love you very much. I'm thankful for all that you've done and shown me to be a better person. I'm thankful for having a mutual and mature relationship. I want to see you happy. Don't think about life without me around, think of life with all the things you will aim to accomplish this next year...No looking back and trying to fix the past, just look for a better tomorrow."
...and I cried responding with "Thank you for your heart. I know I’ve said that before, but I wanted to thank you again for the times when you were there for me, and for your love. For being my family for a while. It truly meant the world to me. There’s a song I’ve been listening to lately called No Choir and there’s a lyric and a few chords after it that makes me think of us. It goes “...things seem so unstable, but for a moment we were able to be still...” Thank you for the stillness and calm and happiness you brought to my life, even if only for a little while. I will treasure it forever. You were my proof, a truly answered prayer, and so even though we are where we are now, you give me so much hope for the both of us that it will come around again in the future, in one way or another."
We - for real this time - are letting go. It's about the fifth or sixth time my heart's been broken this year by the same break-up.
...but that's how it goes, doesn't it? There's never just one blow, but several over time, just when the last one's about healed up. You break, you come back together. Break, come back together. Break, come back together. Over and over again.
...and "perhaps there is no perfect or simple way to tread through this valley, but perhaps there is a way to thread through it exactly as you are, knowing grace is never far and you are not alone." - MHN