The hardest type of letting go may just be the silent kind. There’s no closure in a quiet goodbye. There’s no resolution to just letting something slip from your grasp simply because you don’t have the strength to hold onto it anymore, even though there’s nothing else in the world you want to do but hold it to you tightly. A reticent farewell doesn’t allow one to voice their pain and work through it in the open, but rather requires the person exiting to find a way to work through those emotions knowing there’s no actual finish.
At this point in the process, I can tell you that personally I’ve found that it’s a much more difficult and painful process than getting to set a stopping point and a line that can’t be crossed. There’s too much left out in the open, too much left unsaid and undone, and the lack of specific boundaries leaves the person making the decision to let something fade away wondering if it will even take. Will I have the strength to keep letting it go without a fight or will I be roped back in again?
With as unfortunately rough these kind of goodbyes can be, and having always been someone who desperately needs some kind of explanation or closure, I now believe that sometimes they are necessary.
When I ended things on New Years Day, I told myself I’d only give this… relationship… This whatever it is/was/could be… another chance if he showed up and said exactly “I’m ready now, let’s go.” Then, only five days after I sent him that 12:01 text he sent me exactly that. “I’m ready, are you free tonight?” Of course it would happen while I was battling the worst of a Winter cold I knew I couldn’t see him in my runny voiceless state. Not only was I gross, but I couldn’t risk him catching what I was dealing with and making the separation even longer.
He agreed that it was best to wait, he was just so grateful that he hadn’t lost me forever like he thought he’d done, and he promised me he wouldn’t lose his nerve and get us stuck in the perpetual cycle of waiting again.
But the sickness drug on, and then he had some personal issues to take care of, and then he got sick… And here we are. It’s nearly two months later, and aside from the fact that his reasons have been very valid this time, it’s feeling pretty bad to be stuck here again with nothing to keep me. Yet, when I bring it up I end up feeling a bit like the bad guy because at this point there’s nothing he can do about being sick and the multiple doctor visits keeping him from spending time with me-but that’s not it.
The real problem is that it’s not just these last few months, but these last few months plus the many many months before them that lead up to that “I’m done” text, I mean I’ve tried to end it so many times… Combine that with the fact that at this point we aren’t even communicating well or often. We go days without texting, he responds to about half of my texts, he rarely texts me first, and lately he’s developed a habit of just dodging my questions. He doesn’t do it to be rude, he just does it because he can’t deal with it just then… Knowing him, I know for sure it’s not because he doesn’t want to talk to me, but because he’s oblivious and distracted with his issues. But I need something more.
Maybe it’s selfish, but I need SOMETHING, anything at all at this point. I’d be happily held over with a simple “good morning” or “how’s your day?” here and there, but the not seeing each other and the not receiving anything in return for all this waiting I’ve been doing is wearing on me and it hurts.
I brought it up with him, and we had one of our famous too much information talks that left us both shaken and upset, but ultimately ended with “I understand but this is what I need” and “I also understand, and I’ll do better.” Better it was, for a few days, but quickly it slipped right back to where it had been lingering.
From experience, I know if I bring it up we’ll have another big conversation that I just don’t have the energy for any longer, and I know that it’ll end with me in the same position because I want him too damn much. He’ll try to be noble and let me go even though he doesn’t really want to, and it’ll make me hang on a little bit tighter because it’s nice to be wanted, and we’ll both agree to do better-but we’ll still be standing still in the exact same position we’ve been in. A position I can’t stomach anymore, because it’ hurts too damn much to be left wanting and waiting with nothing to show for it.
In the face of all the wanting, and the understanding of what trying to get closure would look like, I’m left with only the option to let go on my own-to just stop fighting for something that’s looking more and more like a losing battle. The difference is, I can’t tell him I’m letting go. I can’t bring it up, and hash it out, and risk the quicksand of my affection for him strangling the motivation out of me, because goodness knows I want to sty where I am. I want to keep wanting him, it feels good to want someone who wants me, but it also feels bad when the wanting runs long and never turns into something substantial.
In my heart, if I’m really honest, there’s still a big part of me that hopes that even in my trying to silently slip away he’ll suddenly be right there and ready to be the one fighting for me. That when I put down this gauntlet he’ll pick it up and make up for everything. Hope is a hard thing like that, because you can almost never fully kill a hope that has burned that bright within you. Some of it always lingers, even when you need it to go away in order to move on with your life. But logically, logically I know I can’t wait anymore based on that hope-because history shows that it’s nothing more than a foolish dream I keep reliving in my own head-even if that dream might actually be shared on some level with the other party.
But I’ll believe when I see you standing in front of me
Eye to eye, face to face
Are you loving someone new? Has a change of heart changed you?
Maybe I’m going insane
But when the Summer turns to Fall
I wont be waiting for your call
I’m only holding on, holding on, for so long
You’ve got me holding on
On the line, on the line, on the line
On the line, on the line, on the line