Here’s another guest post in response to our call for “worst breakup” stories. This writer – who chose to remain anonymous – was hesitant to include the 4th paragraph, but I told her I thought it was a very powerful, healing part of the story! Check it out for yourself.
I was so mesmerized by Jane and found her so compelling that I left a long term relationship to be with her. The previous relationship was failing and had been dying for a long time, and still, I was a loyal person, and the ending was not my best and did not feel good. Nonetheless, I loved Jane completely and she loved me as well. She really knew me and we moved well together as if we were dancing in a room, cooked together, talked and played well together, and were intimate in wonderful ways most of the time.
All this slowly lessened after about five years. Jane lost her job, tried a new career that didn’t fit her, had a lot of financial issues, and grew increasingly depressed and consumed by chronic pain. We had gotten married but the voters in our state eventually overturned our right to marry, and that invalidation didn’t help; in fact, it added a lot to Jane’s depression. She stewed and grew resentful of my taking care of her. All she did was sit in her chair – not exercising, not coping, just taking pain meds and losing herself to the pain. Eventually, a woman came along who provided her with a distraction, and after 8.5 years, Jane left me in a dishonest way (I only found out several years later that she had left me for another woman.) All the intimacy over all of those years came to feel hollow and manipulative to me. Suddenly, after years of putting her needs at the forefront, I was alone and devastated in every way with not even her company for solace. She left as I was facing a lay off at work. I felt used and discarded.
Slowly, though, something wonderful happened. First, I put the house in order after her things were out and felt relieved, which surprised me. It was easier to clean up the place with her gone. Even if I made it messy, now I knew where things were, and it was far easier for me to live with myself than with someone depressed and despondent. I grieved, sought help, went to therapy, and got actively involved in all kinds of things in the community. Over time, I began to feel better. My money problems resolved quickly; I became solvent in 6 months. Since all of my time no longer went into Jane, I began thinking more of what I needed and wanted. A friend offered me an option she found helpful for wider spiritual support and I found it was also helpful for me. I made a whole group of new supportive friends through this circle, people who thought about things very differently, in ways that felt natural and fulfilling. I took vacations. I began dancing for the joy of it, sober, with a group of women who loved to dance for exercise. I found more and more joy in my life.
Then, after three years, when I was just about over her, Jane died without even having told me that she was sick, and I grieved again for another year. Finally, though, we came to peace after her passing. About 3 months after her death, I contacted a psychic at a friend’s encouragement. I was very skeptical and thought it was probably a fraud. I walked in looking neutral and wearing nothing that said LESBIAN. I look rather neutral anyway. I sat down and said nothing except my first name. In the course of the session with no cues, she let me know what Jane was telling her: that she was grateful for my help with passing over, that she had been afraid to go, and acknowledged the Reiki that I sent to help her do it. The psychic said this with Jane’s intonation and style of humor in her voice. (Jane had been humorously irreverent about woo woo things, and yet totally believed in them when her defenses were down, and all of that came through in this session.) I did not tell the psychic I do Reiki or anything else. Jane acknowledged having hurt me terribly, apologized profusely, and said she’d been trying to protect me by going away. She said she’d realized she had bipolar disorder (Bipolar II depressive type) and wanted to “go down and stay down” so she could depend on a consistent feeling state; she knew if she stayed with me, I would help her, so she left. She apologized for her affair, acknowledged it as a distraction from pain, and said she always loved me and always will.
This was a very helpful piece that allowed me to let her go and be at peace after Jane’s death. I got closure, and the love we had when things worked well continues to flow to me from Jane’s spiritual essence. She has made peace with her many demons. She had a really difficult trauma history with multiple perpetrators and I feel this is what killed her, fed her chronic pain, and perpetuated her despair. She is free now and joyful. Her dog died 10 days after she left me… the dog was here with me because she also left the dog; I called her and she was present when her dog passed. Now she gets to hang out with her dog and live with joy beyond her painful body and difficult psyche from the traumas installed by her family. And she freed me to live on and freed me from being her support staff almost exclusively at the end of our relationship, physically doing all household tasks, and emotionally being a supportive milieu.
Now I get to live for me. It is time. Jane taught me to value myself as much as her. What a powerful and loving lesson. I learned so very much from loving her and I am glad for the teachings she gave me. Now she is an inspiration for me constantly. I’ve dated a little, but I find I’ve become very, very picky. I love the relationship I have with myself, and want to protect it from people who would disturb my peace rather than add joy to my life. I’ve become more of a loner, and I like it. I choose my friends more carefully, because now I love my life, myself, and my own company.
As I’ve reflected, I’ve also realized that I had a pattern – learned from my family of origin – of entering a new relationship before finishing my healing from the last one. My parents had both done this. I did it four times, and my relationship with Jane was my fifth significant relationship. I also figured out I was a caretaker in most of my relationships, and that it’s time to put that care into me. I want to be with someone who can give and take, but doesn’t require my caretaking to live her life. I want someone who actually wants me, not what I can do for her by giving her security, reassurance and constancy.
I have figured out the importance of being happy with myself, happy in my life as an individual, and totally effective at making myself happy. In this way, a relationship could be icing, a bonus, not the cake, and I could remain the main course in my life. My joy is now of my own making. I am not certain I will ever live with a woman again, or if I will have another partner. I have many wonderful friends, meaningful and fulfilling work, a rich spiritual path that is wide and open, and I am healthier than I have been in my life to this point and see it likely I will get even better from here. I am a year away from 60. This has taken some work. I am worth it and I welcome people in my life who treat me as well as or better than I treat myself. I am certainly willing to do the same for them.