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Don doesn't have herpes - Part II

August 21, 2022 Journal Entry

I keep thinking if I get this all on paper, maybe I’ll feel better. So far, I’m still feeling selfish and scared and pretty awful all around. I don’t like this Coco that’s having these scary sick feelings. I didn’t know she was inside. Lots of self-shaming going on in there. Lot of I told ya so’s.

I had an inkling this might happen. Well, I knew it would happen, that Don would meet someone suitable, that he would find his Person. But when the possibility presented, so very very soon and so very unexpectedly, it threw me. I’m reeling.

In the lookback, Spirit has been working her magic all along. Everything has built on top of everything and on some level, I absolutely knew I’d be here, staring down this moment. I just would never have imagined it would happen so soon.

The change in Don was painstakingly slow in coming, largely imperceptible. Is seven months a long time for something life-changing to take hold? Or a short time? Well, I wasted many of those first month being anxious trying to figure out if it was healthy for me to be with him at all. But as I always say, no time is ever wasted. You always learn.

I finally decided I was sticking with it, committing to the friendship, that I wouldn’t be the one to walk. I finally clearly recognized the benefits to me and to him far outweighed the frustrations.

Now I’m overcome with fear of losing this lovely “friendship with a romantic physical component” we both fought so hard for. All that waffling, all that emotion, all that fear, all of it came together into something incredible. Collaboratively, meticulously, methodically, and painstakingly, we created something so beneficial and healing for one another, I’m blown away by our success.

I now have an unshakeable belief it is good to love without reservation, expecting nothing in return. Because when I do that, people change. Goodness takes root. People grow, they flower, they blossom. But most importantly, I change. My capacity to love and receive love grows exponentially every time I make a decision to act out of love and not fear.

Just two short weeks ago I wrote Maturity and wisdom are attained first hand. It was so smart! Talk about an 8-minute read packed so full of life-changing messages! Right then, I thought it my second favorite piece of writing, ever. I was completely in love with that piece, and so incredibly proud of myself for having figured it all out. I truly believed I’d succinctly boxed up all the areas of weakness and self-sabotage that had undermined and destroyed all my relationships up until now.

I was convinced I’d laid out a solid framework, a firm clear path I could walk out the rest of my life. I believed the maturity and wisdom I’d penned distilled down to a key set of tools which would enable me to grow even stronger and more resilient. And in the back of my mind somewhere, I even believed all that knowing might allow me to circumvent some of the suffering resulting from the long stretch of challenges I absolutely knew lie ahead. HA!

I had finally freed myself. I’d completely let go of affecting any positive influence on Don’s self-esteem. Well, OK, not completely. I'll always be invested in lifting up and encouraging my friends to recognize the wonderous truth of who they are.

I was almost ready to give up on persuading him (browbeating him?) to get tested for herpes, but that’s one I couldn’t let go of entirely. Way way too important.

Taking all that into account, this woman, Don’s Possible Person, showed up right on time.

I am so happy for him. And I am so terrified for me. I thought I had everything all tidy and in order. I just did not anticipate I would be affected this way.

I was on the phone with Cinci Joe today, crying and lamenting and hating on myself for feeling exactly the way I hadn’t planned to feel, hadn’t anticipated I’d feel, and most certainly did not want to feel. It hurt to be inside my body. I wanted out. I was angry with myself for being selfish, angry at myself for being hypocritical, just angry. Joe said something glaringly obvious, but I hadn’t seen it until he said it:

“You set all that up with Don intellectually, but you didn’t take into account your emotions. You can’t control your emotions. You can control how you act or don’t act on them, but emotions just are.”

The Coco that’s giving me all kinds of kicks in the self-esteem, she’s the one with the abandonment issues. She’s the one who is struggling to change her attachment style from fearful-avoidant to secure.

I’d always assumed I was stuck with what I was stuck with but learned that’s not true. I can change my attachment style. I’ve really got hold of that now, and I’m dedicated to doing the work to make the change. I was chugging full speed ahead, making tremendous progress. And I owe Don for much of that.

Then Don’s Possible Person entered stage left, while I was focused completely on center stage, really starting to engage in the story, the story of Coco and Don. I was finally really starting to enjoy the show.

Fearful-avoidant Coco keeps trying to convince me it’s easier to stay stuck believing every man I love is going to walk out of my life, that somehow, staying stuck is going to prevent me from being hurt again. I recognize if I choose that, it will shut down my penchant for taking risks. And that’s something I really really like about myself. That is a part of who I am. That is a trait to which I will hold fast always.

Yet, scared Coco is lurking there, right there in front. Every few minutes, she forces my thoughts to the inevitability of the major shift looming ahead. There’s an adrenalin rush followed by a pang of nausea. Then I step in, the Coco with maturity and wisdom, and tell her to shut the fuck up. Eh. Sometimes it works. For a time. It will take more time. How much more time? That I do not know. And that is what frightens me most.

Jeff got well over four years of my life as I diligently worked to recover, rebuild and redefine who I am in a relationship. Actually, he got pretty much up until the last few months, when a new man and new struggles distracted me from seeing the empty place Jeff left. Does that mean it takes a new love to get me beyond an old love? Is it that cut and dried?

I suffered over the loss of Jeff for many years, but he wasn’t always front and center. He went deeper down in my memory, and the pain lessened. What a relief. I thought losing him would surely kill me. But nope.

Without Jeff, and all the failed relationships before him, I would not be embracing this opportunity to collaborate with Spirit and do the good work for which I was destined.

I don’t anticipate Don will end the friendship. He’s promised not to, but I’d never hold anyone to such a promise. I can hope. I do believe we’ll remain in one another’s lives. But there will be a change in the flavor and content of our relationship. That’s inevitable whether or not Don finds his Person. The passing of time ensures the evolution of all relationships.

Okay. Too long a post. Again. So, this is Part II. It doesn’t appear to have anything to do with the fact Don doesn’t have herpes, but stay tuned. It all ties together. You’ll see.

“And the danger is that in this move toward new horizons and far directions, that I may lose what I have now, and not find anything except loneliness.” -Sylvia Plath



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