Things are progressing with me, I’m changing. I am finding my way (partially) through my anger towards ________, and this happening by taking responsibility for my role in the break-up; and seeing how I actually (somewhat) invited it to happen. This is how I’m taking my power back by talking about it and admitting to others and myself what my good friend refers to as the “Two Percent.” He said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “The two percent is what we leave out when we’re telling our truth or communicating. What we usually say is only ninety-eight percent of what’s really going on with us, however the two percent that’s left unsaid is where the stakes are highest, and we risk being the most vulnerable, it’s the important stuff. When we don’t speak our two percent we miss out on being our authentic self.”
For me the two percent is where I get tripped up and lose myself. It has taken me almost four months to put aside my hurt feelings of abandonment, victimization, loss, heartbreak, anger, revenge, and bargaining to really see my part in the break-up. I was desperate to hold on to those feelings so that I could be right, righteous, and validated in my deep sadness. Oh how I wanted to just stay there and roll around in all that nonsense, all those things that just keep me pinned and fit to be tied like a “petulant princess,” my given nickname by another friend.
I didn’t want to budge an ounce. I wanted ___________to be wrong, the villain, the fucked up one, the coward; and I wanted to be the good, sweet, innocent girl, the one who could hang in there, so I could say, “Oh look at me,” but those feelings were hurtful to me so I searched, and then looked some more. I did a lot of journaling and praying as tools to get super honest with myself. I begged to be released from anger, and in time my answers started appearing, but I hated them. I still do. I dislike admitting any of this so much, but I’m tired and I can’t do this anymore. Plus, I am committed to myself, to my higher self, and to the little girl who missed out on being mothered. I promised her that she wouldn’t be neglected again, and part of that fine attention is seeing the harm I cause myself, so that’s what I’m doing. If I can’t do anything to change _____, or the fact that she broke up, or the past, then I all I can do is change me, my perspective and my circumstances-one being my state of anger.
Anger has been the big one for me, I just don’t know where to put it or how to make it go away. It is an all-consuming emotion, one that keeps me locked in on the source of my hurt and not the solution. Anger is a way for me to feel justified, and vindicated, which then brings on more pain because it’s based on a story about how I was wronged, and then I carry that around like a broad sword, stabbing myself with it over and over again.
You know I’m the real deal. I have so much more to say about this, I want to give you the details I do, but the timing is still off. I recently went through another cycling of the five stages of grief. I’ve been through it a few times now as I mourn different aspects of my past relationship. I not only grieved the loss of the “relationship,” but different parts of it as well.
I’ve experienced the stages around our (my) plans for our future, I had to undo in my mind all the places we would visit; the walks, talks and bike rides we were supposed to share together. The wedding on the beach, you know the one where she wears white linen shorts and I’m in a short white sundress? Yeah, that wedding, you can see it, right? The one with our close circle of family and friends surrounding us in a loving circle of clasped hands. My vows were from the heart, my tears wet with gladness that I had found my love. But it wasn’t real. I’ve been forced to mourn that picturesque illusion. Bummer. I’m such a darling, what with this big imagination and everything? I’m just so cute.
And the sex, I had to mourn that too. I never in my life would think I would be grieving making love with someone. What in this world is that all about? But it’s true. I had to accept the fact that I wasn’t going to be with her in that way again, and it really made me sad. It was awful. I felt like a child who had lost her favorite lovey.
To do this I had to stop thinking about her in that way, which included fantasizing and reminiscing about our past-sex life. All that did was keep my focus and attention there-on thoughts, and not on reality. And the reality is this: she left it behind. She didn’t want to be with me anymore. To couple takes two and I alone am only one, and there’s a term for that and it’s not called sex.
But the hardest one, the piece I’m still grieving is her friendship. God how I love that girl. I threw a fiftieth birthday party for her and asked all the guests to bring her a note telling her their favorite thing about her. I did this because she is one of my most favorite people in the world, and I wanted her to know why she is so special. Imagine begin in love, and in a relationship with of your favorite person. It was so much fun loving with my best-girl all the time, but now I don’t get to do that and I’m having a difficult time without my playmate. We laughed, and played hard like kids on a playground, we got each other on our little girl levels’, but hurt each other there too.
I’m still processing other aspects of the relationship as well, and each time I take the five steps around the specifics, I take one more giant leap towards acceptance of the totality of the break-up. I know for me, before I fully get there, I have to feel all the stuff in between, but doing that is what keeps me honest, and real-the most loving and kind ways to be to myself.
I posted these lines from The Velveteen Rabbit about being real on Facebook:
One day The Rabbit asked the Skin horse, “What is real?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’
‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.
‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’
‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’
‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
I’m learning how to be real by admitting my two percent to myself. I want to share the full story with you, and I will. First I have to make sure I understand how to write about it in a respectful way since it includes other people as well. I care for ___________, and I see our past relationship as something special and I want to keep it that way; however I am also a truth-teller.
I have a responsibility to myself to honor my part in the break-up, and I believe writing about it is also part of my two percent, and if I’ve learned anything it’s that I have to remain true to who I am.
Not listening to myself is how I got here in the first place. It’s how I ended up four years down the road, when I saw the warning signs at four months. The sirens went off in my head. I knew there was something in her life that I couldn’t accept, but I lied to myself believing that it would change, and it didn’t, and I years spinning through cycles of trying to change it and accept it, when all I really did was endure it, build resentments, and push her away. I loved her and I wanted it to work, so I went against myself to be with her. My small voice inside knew the situation wasn’t good for me, knew that I was never going to be her one and only, her number one, but I forged ahead convinced that I could get to her.
I never got to her and when I confronted her with it, she chose the other over me. The relationship became too much for her when I spoke my two percent, and stood for myself. However, although I’m still angry that she picked the other over me, the easier way out. I can now say I don’t want her back anymore, not with the element that didn’t work for me still at play. I want to be with someone who picks me, who wants to get down and dirty with the work it takes to be with me when I tell them, “This is putting a wedge between us. It feels like a betrayal.” I asked her, “Please move this out of your inner circle.” But she didn’t want to or more likely, couldn’t, but I’m trying not to speak for her, I can only speculate.
However, I can speak for her when I say that she too could never accept some things about my life. I know this to be true because she told me, and it is one of the reasons why she didn’t want to endure the pain of change. The ninety-eight percent in our relationship was perfect, but the two percent, the part that counts the most is where we had our fundamental differences. God does that make me angry, but really it’s not anger, it’s sadness.
In my discomfort all I know for sure is my story-and as they all three sides-but I try my damnedest to see things from every angle. I’m hard on myself, if anything I take on too much of the blame, but not anymore. I will only take ownership of what is mine even though it means losing her. My two percent may be cumbersome, but it deserves respect before my ninety-eight can thrive in honest peace. Perhaps she feels the same way about her two percent, and that’s what I call being real, and it is also the saddest part about it all:
We couldn’t compromise.
I want to love someone so much that they become real unless in doing so I hurt myself or others, and I want to be honored, cherished, and loved so hard that I become real, but the truth is, I’m already real.