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All the very best of me is birthed in pain.

October 6, 2022

It’s been nearly two months. Almost. On the 13th. That’s when Don’s Person asked him out. That’s when he texted me and asked me what he should do. What did I tell him to do? I told him to go for it! To stop getting in his own way. Lucky for him she took the lead. He followed. As well he should.

She’s strong, like me. She’ll bring out the best in him, far more easily with far less effort than I did! She’s right for him. Perfect. Well, no such thing as perfect. But man, it’s looking awfully promising. And I’m happy. Sick to my stomach every time I think of it, so so sick, but still happy my love is falling in love.

He worries about me; he wants to make sure I know he cares about me. He’s grateful. Indebted? Yes, unfortunately. I don’t want that. But his attentiveness makes me feel like I did make a difference. But I know I did. He doesn’t have to talk to me, pay attention to me, carve out time to communicate in order for me to know I made a difference. I know it beyond a doubt. Without me he’d never know he doesn’t have herpes. That gave him back his desire to live and to live fully.

He's very careful what he shares. He doesn’t share about Cassie. He knows how much it hurts; how painful it’s been for me. So, I bring her up. I sprinkle her name into the conversation. He’s protective of her, of what they have. But perhaps that’s not it at all. Perhaps he’s just being gracious, protecting me from my own pain. That’s actually very kind of him. With the Asperger’s he’s blind to so many things. But preserving my dignity and honoring my grief is something of which he is acutely aware. I’m thankful for that.

I’m quite surprised he sees it so clearly. I wonder how he knows? How with regards to my heart is his intuition so strong? Was it because I was in the hospital? Does he not want to feel responsible if I self-harm again? Even as I say that I know that’s not it. He simply cares about me, cares about my feelings, cares about my well-being. He gets it. He gets me. When I think about how hard we both worked to connect in a meaningful way, it’s right and good things have fallen into place as they have. He’s doing good. And so am I.

He won’t read this. He’ll never know the fullness of it. And that's best. I took him off the notification list today. I was tired of checking to see if he’d clicked on my posts. He rarely does. Why? Because reading my work was never a priority. I told him that, that I knew that.

"Oh, and one more thing. I took a deep interest in the things that you were interested in. But you weren't consistent in reading my writing and that was really important to me. But you didn't make the time. And that's OK because I'm not your person. But you better make the time for what's important to Cassie. That is the number one way you show a woman you love her. That and holding her hand!"

I said that this morning and all day I've been concerned I overstepped. I needn't have been. Don never gets mad at me. Yes, I annoyed him, still do probably. But he never gets mad. He told me once I had never hurt his feelings. I was surprised. I've said some pretty direct and intense things to him. He just takes it in as information to process. I'm telling you, the Asperger's that frustrated me so those first several months, in so many ways it makes communicating directly, honestly, and transparently much easier.

So many of the men in my life have been friends for whom I’ve orchestrated a connection with someone else, someone who is a better match than me. It is a pattern of mine to deliberately seek out men with whom it is not possible I’ll have something long-term. It’s a dynamic I create. I wonder why I do that, still.

I thought Jeff cured me of that ridiculousness. The pain of never having enough of him nearly took me down. The pain of losing him, of being cut off from all communication in an instant, I thought it would kill me. It still makes me sick. HA! I have all these old loves that the mere thought of makes me nauseous! Is that normal? Do all women feel that way over lost loves?

It’s good for my weight. I’ve lost 62 pounds. The reason is bigger than Don, that’s for sure. It’s a whole lot of ugly that keeps me sick day after day, unable to eat, living on protein bars. Geez. Never thought I’d lose my appetite for going on six months now. Something will sound good, three bites in, I’m done. Tonight, a baked potato, loaded. I was so hungry. One bite good, two bites, still good, three bites, I thought, no more, I’m done. Then I didn’t even want to finish that bite, so I didn’t.

I’m not not eating because I have an eating disorder. My doctor was worried of that. I assured her that wasn’t it at all. I’m not eating because I’m sick with stress, I’m sick with pain and I simply can’t. She knows the situation with my mother.

“I just don’t like her,” I said. “I don’t know her, and I do not like her at all.”

She nodded. She gets it. She’s my mother’s doctor, too. She gets it.

I haven’t cried for a while. I go days now without crying. Because crying just does not help. It makes me feel worse. If I start to cry, I just stop. That happens a lot though. I start to cry, and I just stop. Tears bring no release, no satisfaction. They only emphasize the vastness of the loss with which I wrestle. Don is only a sliver. It's my mother. I've lost my mother.

Is not allowing myself to cry, is that denial? No. I know how bad I hurt. I’m just tired of the tears. They keep me stuck in the pain when it’s better to occupy my mind with something else. Why am I even writing this? Maybe instead of tears, these words of pain well up inside and must spill out. They take the place of tears. Words on paper are certainly far more redeeming than tears. Tears go dry. Words on paper are quantifiable evidence of my suffering.

I know it’s true, because I live it over and over again, all the very best of me is birthed in pain. And although in time it will be, right now there is no consolation in the knowing:

The bad things make me better.

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