Wednesday, October 10, 2012

For Darryn x


This is for you, Darryn. With all my love... x

'Sorry is not the hardest word. Goodbye is.' ~ Unknown

'First best is falling in love. Second best is being in love. Least best is falling out of love. But any of it is better than not loving at all.' ~ Maya Angelou

'Only from the heart can you touch the sky.' ~ Rumi

I needed to write this. I feel such a heaviness about the end of us, Darryn. It's beyond words, really. I have been so, so sad. I have felt so empty and alone and lost. I don't like how my life feels without you in it. It's like a big, gaping hole now exists where I made a special space for you in my life. I miss you so very much. Somehow I can't believe I'm back here, alone in my empty house ~ as if meeting you and falling in love with you, making love to you ~ never even happened. My days are spent avoiding being here, avoiding you, trying to stop my heart from thumping out of my chest when I hear your bike and your footsteps on the stairs. It's hard to be here, living so close and yet so far. And you've made this process that much more difficult by being unfairly angry with me, supposedly over Marley, and continuing to hurt me with your words and your actions, when I've definitely had enough hurt from you. I can't stand the way we relate now, the anonymity, the distance. It's cold and it doesn't have to be the way you've chosen it to be. But your words and your deeds are your karma and my reaction is mine. I've made peace with that. I must write, it's what I do, it's who I am. You were right, I do need to define everything, to describe how I feel. I write to let the pain pour out of me, so I can release it. I hope you understand, I need to share my truth, it's a process I need to help me heal my heart. This is my way of finding closure. I need to make sense of what happened between us, how we got here, so I can make peace with us, finalise the untangling and detachment my heart from yours and finally move on and find a new happiness. This is my version of the notes in your pocket. So, here goes… xxx

So suddenly...

Meeting you changed my life. I fell so in love with you, my heart grew wings and flew for a while. Loving you opened my heart and losing you broke my heart wide open. I'm so grateful that you opened my heart and I'm so sad that you broke it. I've never, ever felt about anybody the way I felt about you. You knocked me over with all your realness and eagerness and sweetness. With those smiley eyes. It was like being hit by a ten ton truck. In the chest. You totally surprised me, appearing in my life out of nowhere, so unexpectedly, just when I was focused on putting my life back together, so very far from being interested in anyone. It seemed you had always just been there, upstairs... Life quietly preparing you and preparing me for our meeting at the perfect time. Love came to us then, at a time we never thought it would. We had an undeniable connection. And chemistry. You blinded me with science! I was astonished at the speed and depth of my feelings for you, I fell fast and I fell hard, you captured my heart almost from the start. I was crazy about you. And I saw and felt your feelings for me, I knew you were in love with me even before I felt brave enough to acknowledge my own feelings. Everything unfolded between us so suddenly. And it felt so right, so meant to be. You are the one who said it was written in the stars.

Follow my heart...
It was Doy who told me to follow my heart. Very early on, when I started to feel something for you and I expressed to him my excitement about connecting with you, he said: 'Follow your heart, not your head, for once.' My brother knows me so well, I'm so very cautious and afraid of everything. Never before have I followed my heart the way I did with you. Never. For the first time in my life I was healed enough and ready enough to trust my heart and authentically fall in love. So I did. And it felt totally mutual, which made me so happy (and so relieved!) There was someone in the world who wanted to be with me. (Me?) Finally I was willing to let go and open fully to the experience of being with you, trust it. Such huge growth for me. I finally just flowed with what Life brought me, beautiful YOU. There you were, thoroughly yourself, nothing superficial or pretentious about you. You were YOU, no apologies. So refreshing and rare and special to me. Immediately. The first time you kissed me, I literally lost my balance. You bowled me over, a real first kiss. It took me three hours that night to catch my breath and calm down enough to fall asleep. I had heart palpitations and texted my sister at 2.30 am. It was all butterflies and giddy happiness. By the time you left for your business trip, I knew I was in love with you. I cried the morning you left, right after I met you at my door, still sleepy, for a stolen farewell kiss. And you were clean shaven, skin so soft, smelling so fresh, with your red flannel shirt on... so beautiful I could hardly breathe, you were needing to leave but wanting to stay in my arms. Such bitter sweetness. I knew it then, in that moment. I loved you.

Instincts…

Falling for you revealed a dimension of myself I didn't know existed. All of a sudden, I didn't recognise myself. I had feelings and instincts that were all new to me. Wifely instincts. I felt so conflicted. My inner feminist persistently rose up in protest at this strange development! But my heart won. I experienced an overwhelming need to take care of you, a deep 'need to be needed', which you fulfilled in me. I needed to feed you, nurture you and make you healthier, keep you safe. To hold you and be the best thing that ever happened to you. I dropped all my limiting beliefs about what I THOUGHT I wanted in a partner overnight because I knew in my soul I needed to be with you. I just knew it. I felt such a pull towards you, it took control of me, I had to go with it. Sometimes there are things that are worth the risk, and when we find them, nothing in the world even matters, we must take that chance. I took a chance on you and it was such a vast leap for me emotionally, it was like jumping out of a plane at eleven thousand feet. But Darryn, I never wanted to change you, least of all improve you or fix you. I hope you didn't think I was ever being critical about anything about you. I don't think you heard me the day I tried to explain myself to you about this. All I wanted more than anything was to take great care of you, the best care. Be good for you, show you what open-heartedness feels like, help you take good care of yourself because I loved you and wanted you to live a long and happy life, with me. You called it homeliness, I just called it love. And when I saw that there are serious issues in your life, things you're not ready to change, things that ultimately came between us, I didn't judge you for that. Falling in love with you and feeling that there would unquestionably be a future for us meant that your choices became our choices, your business became our business, and visa versa. If you hurt yourself, you hurt me. It became very difficult for me to watch you harm your body the way you do, in all the ways you do. I still worry about you very much. But I know that nobody can save anybody. We have to be ready to save ourselves. My intention was to love you in a way you'd never been loved before and to create a safe space for us, a space of great capacity and love, where we could share our true selves, without judgement or fear, where we could bring our deepest hurts to each other to heal. I would hold all your fears, failures and flaws for you, safely, in full acceptance of your deepest self and you would hold me in that way too. Because I also have lots of limitations and shortcomings I bring with me. It's called baggage, we all have it. And I wanted to share so much more of myself with you. There were many layers still to discover. I saw a future with you, my Darryn. I really did. I thought you were a keeper. I thought I would marry you and make you happy. So happy. How wrong could I be?

Things fall apart...

I never wondered how it would feel to fall deeply in love with a man whose future just couldn't include me. And I'll admit, perhaps I was a little naive. I thought because we both felt the same way about each other and were both investing time, energy and love into us, we could overcome any issue, any difference, limitation, fear or problem TOGETHER and build something lasting, beautiful and strong. And it could be amazing. But things fall apart. I feel that our whole relationship I tried to reassure you that you were worthy of me, of my love, because you felt that you were somehow not enough for me. You would tell me and show me repeatedly that you were not for me, and despite this, I would persuade you that it was YOU I wanted, that I chose to be with YOU, that we could work. I had to coax you back to me several times. I would confide in you that I was scared of losing you, that I needed your love, that it was too late, I had fallen in love with you. 'Just love me, it's that simple', I said. It seemed like anything you'd throw at me, I could overcome. My tenacity must have surprised and frustrated you. You did return to me twice. But the third time was the end for us. It was over for you. Much to my absolute despair. The Sunday afternoon I came upstairs to try to work it out with you, I was still willing, I still had hope for us, even though you had pulled away from me completely by then. And exited. Just like that. I watched us fall apart right in front of me. I sat there, with heart and arms open, trying to fight the need to touch you, trying to talk you around, almost pleading for you to give us a chance, my heart bleeding all over the place. Then I broke down in your bathroom downstairs, tears flowing freely, shaking uncontrollably, while you lay on your couch upstairs with your television blaring, waiting for me to leave. I did a lot of talking that afternoon, I'm not sure you heard me though. You were so shut down, you wouldn't talk to me and when you did you were negative, short and belligerent. Quite unkind. My heart was ripped from my chest that day. I felt I couldn't survive such immense hurt. When I looked at you sitting on your couch, in just your shorts, with your feet up on your toolbox, worn out and obstinate, evidence of another solitary weekend scattered around the room, I really looked at you and saw the truth. I was in love with someone who cannot let me in, cannot love me the way I need to be loved. You seemed so lost. Not just lost to me, lost to yourself. A life with you suddenly seemed hopeless and full of pain, I knew then that it would be a life of me wanting more from you. And that is something I don't want for myself. I deserve so much more than that. I wanted to love you but didn't know how I could stay then, if I wasn't welcome. If you had rejected me and had taken yourself out of our relationship, for reasons known only to yourself, what was left for me? Where could I fit? Did I ever fit into your life? For me the worst pain is feeling the one you love pull away from you, rejecting your love and affection, in increments, with no real, clear explanation. I couldn't convince you to stay in love with me, to touch me and kiss me and make love to me. To want me. I so much wanted to return to that magical time when I felt your desire and your interest and your eagerness to be with me. But that was not possible for you. I can never again try to convince someone to love me, to reciprocate my love. There's no way I would or could ever repeat that journey with you, it just hurts too much. That is my pattern from a previous relationship, the one that fueled my choice to retreat from the world in every way for more than a decade. You pushed on that unresolved pain inside me again and again. It's painful to ask and plead for love and intimacy, while showering you with mine. Trying to prove my value and my worth, by showing you what you were losing. The unanswered texts and the ignored intimate GMAIL chats. You saying 'sometimes the best reply to a text message from me is no reply'. How that cut me. The paper hearts I hid inside your moleskine journal, for you to find and think of me, the offers of food and plans to get together and lifts in my car and kisses, were all precious gifts from my heart to yours. Just rejected. Ignored. That's like throwing pearls to swine. You broke my heart with all the ways you 'didn't want to lead me on'... going out for dinner without inviting me along or even telling me you were going, after you said there was no money for us to go out. You started using Marley as a barrier between us, you stopped kissing me, wouldn't touch me or hold me, sex was definitely not an option, you asked me not to stay over during the week. And eventually weekend sleepovers weren't really welcomed by you either. If I did sleep in your bed, you wouldn't hold me and you'd turn away from me to sleep. Or I would sleep alone while you stayed up all night, hoping you might join me in the early hours. That was MY mistake, waiting for you in your bed for hours in the darkness. I disrespected myself by doing that, trying to fit into your life, trying to accept your routine and your habits, trying to make us work. I'm not proud of that. I cried many tears into your pillow those nights. And then there were the broken promises. Rides on your bike and my first tandem skydiving jump you said you were treating me to. All forgotten. Eventually you didn't even want me to come upstairs, wouldn't even hold my hand in the supermarket, preferring to walk with your hands in your pockets. It felt like death to me. I couldn't believe it. I thought: 'Where had you gone? Why this change of heart? How could you do this to me?' You said the honeymoon period had to end sometime, but in truth we were only a month or so in. I didn't know why you were doing this, I was confused and hurt and bewildered, I didn't know why you'd confiscate your love from me. I felt you slipping away and I was powerless to stop it. But I had to stop the hurt. In the end I did save myself by walking away from your rejection. I had to. I'm worthy of SO much more love than you could offer me in the end. I had to accept that I couldn't fix us, fix what you broke. I had to step out and salvage what was left of my heart. Darryn, I think I overwhelmed you with my all, with all my love and acceptance, with my involvement in your life. I think I disturbed your well-entrenched routines, your needs, your choices, your priorities. I got in the way. With all my light and love and care and healthiness and expectations. The expectations you somehow felt you couldn't live up to or didn't want in your life. I truly don't feel I expected too much of you, too little maybe. I took a lot of the negatives you threw at me in my stride. Had I been too accepting of your all? Were you expecting or hoping I would walk away of my own free will when you revealed all your truth and rudeness and darkness to me? When that didn't work you went on a quest to find reasons why we were incompatible. And to prove to me how unhappy a life with you would be. You built elaborate stories, all maybes and 'perhapses', hazy and vague scenarios, but in your mind definitive and non-negotiable. Real. Limitations of your own creation, designed to cut my heart in two. I cannot tell you how deeply this hurt me. You chose the very thing I've worked the hardest to heal about myself, from the inside out, the issue I've spent over three years of my life doing the most challenging inner work around and finally fully accept. The most sacred aspect of my femininity and womanhood ~ my fertility ~ full of hope and promise, even at my age. I thought: 'How dare you.' You said I showed definite potential to be the mother of the two children you absolutely MUST have. But then you declared that our timing was off, that considering my age, I would have to wait for you to be ready to have children and that may take a while, perhaps five or more years, you said... up to fifteen years maybe, by which time my window of opportunity would certainly have passed. And then you'd have to leave me to find someone younger and more fertile to procreate with. I'd been warned, this was the plan you'd set in stone for your life and what was the point of continuing our relationship if this was a deal breaker for you? Can you see how selfish that is? Can you see how your love was conditional? You said the more you got to know me, the more negative you felt about a future with me, about having a family with me. You said you could only truly love the woman who becomes the mother of your children, like you're saving your full heart for her. 'So... not for me, then', I thought. Sex would have a goal for you then, a purpose, you would have a 'ball to chase', you said. Procreation. And you would be more interested in sex then. I was shocked to realise that what you were implying was that our precious lovemaking to you had been a rather pointless, goalless and frivolous waste of time. It took me a long time to gain enough perspective not to take this on as a reflection of myself or my value. I can't help being the age I am, nor can I help my conditions. But I can definitely help myself choose a man who will love me regardless of these two facts. And commit to wherever our journey takes us, because our love is strong, whether that be perfectly healthy natural conception and childbirth, or fertility treatments or exploring other options. Together. With love and support and acceptance. To be adored and explored, because I'm loved, not because we need to procreate. And be cherished, with someone's full heart and soul. That's what I want. You didn't once ask me what I wanted. There's every chance I'm perfectly fertile. I'm a youthful 40. I fully support the concept of motherhood later in life. I'm healthier and more hormonally balanced now than I ever have been and more importantly, I'm in a great place with myself mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I've acknowledged, worked through and released the mental/emotional patterns that manifested these imbalances in my body. I was brave enough to confront them. I know now with every cell in my body that our consciousness can change our biology. I'm living proof. This healing journey has been excruciating and liberating, all at once. I don't take lightly my choice to walk this path of truly knowing myself and truly loving myself and holding MYSELF in my highest esteem. It's this self-love that allowed me to open my heart to you, Darryn... because our capacity to love others is a reflection of our capacity to love ourselves. And I felt big, big love for you. I don't think you realise just how life-changing and important the decision to heal my life is for me, what it means to me, how priceless it is or how difficult a commitment it has been and continues to be. I wouldn't be living now if I hadn't been courageous enough to change my life, body, mind and soul. I wish you had understood the significance of this and had the insight to have shown me a little more respect. Endometriosis does not cause infertility, it CAN POSSIBLY be a factor in fertility issues in SOME WOMEN. I wish you got that. I could have given you two perfectly healthy, hazel-eyed, rosy-cheeked little angels for which you may have been ready sooner than you think. Anything is possible, Darryn. You just chose not to see it that way. You would rather give up something so special between us, for some vague idea of a supposedly rigidly planned future, which in your mind couldn't possibly include me. Without for a minute contemplating the role your own fertility may play. You made me so angry. Never before have I been judged in this way, or threatened with losing someone like this. It felt unfair and cruel and calculated and right on target. You made me feel like damaged goods, defective in some way, unwanted and unloved. It was a low blow. I didn't understand how this only became an issue for you at that point in time. I told you my age and opened up about my conditions soon after we met, so if this was a deal breaker for you, why did we have a relationship in the first place? Why did you let me fall in love with you? At first your argument didn't make sense to me, it perplexed me why you'd choose to create stories about why you believed us to be incompatible. It felt like an excuse, covering up some other reason. And age and fertility are not the reason you didn't want me. There was something deeper. Then I realised I could see through this attempt to hide your truth. The terrible, sad truth. The real reason behind your rejection of me. I didn't really want to face it. You had chosen something else over me. You were buying more time. Seeing as though you'd need 'a reason' to change your life and that 'reason' may only exist when you're 'ready', I think the 'voices' you were listening to were your fears. You knew you couldn't let go of the choices you've made for your life, let go of the way you currently choose to live. It's not possible now and may never be. So you had to let go of ME. Even if you truly loved me and wanted a family with me, the deadline my age presented was too much pressure. I think you panicked when you fell deeply for me. You knew I couldn't fit in anywhere, there was no space. How loud did the voices scream to make you turn away from all of me? I'm sure they were deafening. You needed to push me away, hurt me, make me leave you, to facilitate a reunion with what I see now is your true love. Yours alone. The one you'd give up everything for, all the good. The one you're losing yourself over. I'm so, so sorry that this is your choice for yourself. It's an incredible waste. To live half a life the way you seem to, locking yourself away for days and nights. And hurting yourself. When you have the most beautiful heart and beautiful soul, which I loved so dearly. Truly loved. Just for being you. It's tragic to me. But it's your life and your choice and I have to live with that. I see now that you actually gave me a gift here, you had to be cruel to be kind, as you said. My window of opportunity with my fertility is small, therefore precious. I won't waste it, waiting around for someone who hasn't got their life together enough to embrace the love that is offered to them. You were saying: 'Don't wait for me'. Really I should say thank you. Darryn, I realise this observation about the real reason we couldn't work may not be your truth, but it's mine. I hope you understand that this is how I made sense of it. I'm not judging your choices, I have no right to do that. And I have no control over what you think, believe, say or do. Even when it effects my life so profoundly. Your decision to exit our relationship really had little to do with me, although I was so fully invested in you and it hurt me so much, that naturally I took your rejection entirely personally. I forgive you for hurting me. I no longer hold any resentment towards you. It's better for my life to stay in a good relationship with you in my heart, regardless of how our connection evolves or doesn't. It's better for my health. I see that you're not ready to have a serious, authentic, deep relationship with anyone right now. There's little to no space in your life priority-wise for anyone. Not just me. I see that now. And I am ready for precisely that. How different we are! It would be funny if it wasn't so sad, but initially I thought we were so well-matched, Darryn! But we're really complete opposites. You said opposites attract but were we fundamentally just too different? You like to live on the edge and I like to feel safe. I eat mindfully, you eat carelessly. You like speed, adrenalin, flying on your motorcycle, throwing yourself out of planes, for the rush. I find bliss in my spiritual connection to myself, my meditation and my dancing. You avoid and escape your emotions, I confront mine. You wish your life away and I savour each moment. I attach meaning to everything, am sentimental and emotional. You're rational and logical, you take the emotion out of situations. I'm right-brained, obsessed with creativity and you're left-brained, obsessed with numbers. I surround myself with like-minded people where I feel a sense of acceptance and an oasis of loving, high-frequency energy. You are a loner, hide from the world, are careful not to get close to people. I'm an idealist, a romantic. You're a realist, a cynic. But we both absolutely love cats. And we absolutely loved each other for a time. Now it seems you will get your wish of being 'the one before the one' for me... The gift you said I should be thanking you for. It's my belief that 'what is FOR you cannot pass BY you' and if you let me go, I wasn't for you to begin with. Was I ever for you? Were you ever for me? Was I ever truly yours and you truly mine? This thought is hard to contemplate and makes me feel so very sad inside. Because I did feel like we belonged to each other in the beginning. And it felt so beautiful.

Awakenings…
Looking back now, perhaps I should have believed you and accepted it the first time you pulled away from me, after THAT Sunday, the now infamous Sunday, the first time we went quite far physically on my couch and then you stopped instinctively. I didn't want to stop where we were going that afternoon. In fact, I wanted you to make love to me very much in that moment. SO much. I was nervous and self-conscious and I lacked confidence in my body and I lacked experience, all mixed up with extreme surprise, excitement and EXTREME arousal. Which was new to me. I think you sensed my mixed emotions and respected me enough to stop in that moment. Much to my disappointment. And relief. I wish I could rewind back to that day. Would things be different now if THAT was the right time for us to just flow with it, what if I verbalised what I was thinking: 'Should I just ask him if we'd be more comfortable on my bed?' All the 'what ifs'. Those can kill you. If I'm really honest, that was the beginning of the end, I think. The way you reacted to that moment. I said it all felt a bit overwhelming, that I wasn't expecting us to get to that point as quickly as we did, and to explain my nervousness, I shared my most intimate truth with you, that you were about to be my first sexual experience. That I was a virgin. You didn't believe me. You thought I was somehow dubious about you, you let your self-esteem issues come between us. I was never dubious about you. In fact, I felt a bit too eager. I wanted you so much that day. I was walking on air and scared out of my wits. I felt we'd taken a huge step in the right direction that day, made progress. I had supported you when your brother showed up in the complex without warning, stood by you. You had left Marley with me alone for the first time, trusted me. We had defined our relationship, made it official. And we had very nearly made love for the first time. I couldn't be happier with where we were that day. My overflowing happiness was the reason for my email to you two days later, to thank you for the smiley mug, to express my elation at finding you and where we were headed. But in your mind, you were preferring things to be over. How strange that was to me. It just didn't make complete sense. Did you think I was rejecting you? Did you totally misread the situation? Or now that I can reflect back with more clarity, had you already decided you needed to create a way out? Before we were fully in? All these questions that no longer really matter. My confusion and bewilderment and insecurity then was about my OWN sexuality, not about sex with YOU, which I was absolutely one hundred and ten percent over the moon about! It really had nothing to do with you, my sweetheart. I wish you knew that. It's very clear to me that sex didn't mean to you what it meant to me. I could feel very early on that our sexual appetites were different. You may not have thought much of our physical relationship but to me it was a profound awakening. And so, so precious to me, all of it. Everything about our sexual connection was so beautiful to me, so real and natural and raw and passionate and OURS. I will hold it in my heart forever. The things you said to me in bed, so, so erotic and sweet and heartfelt, are so precious to me now. Gems to treasure. I learned so much about myself through these experiences. You awakened needs in me I didn't know existed. They came alive in me with such force, you literally drove me wild, wild with desire. I floated around my world in a constant state of arousal, every nerve ending alive with anticipation of your smell, your touch and your kiss. Just the thought of you made me ache for you. Literally ache. Inside. I craved you, I wanted you so, so much. All the time. I would wake up wanting you and fall asleep wanting you. It was a kind of madness. A delicious delirium. I loved, loved your hands on my body, the way you touched me, the way you felt inside me, skin on skin, the way you fit me perfectly, the way you kissed me. Your lips. You filled me up with those kisses. Our first time was exactly what I thought it would be, spontaneous, painful and sweet, for me it was all nervousness and excitement and eagerness, knowing what I wanted to do with you but not sure what you liked, not sure what you wanted. I wanted to touch you so badly. I wanted to unleash myself on you. But I was afraid to communicate it, show you, try things. It was a mixture of emotions and desires and instincts. It was beautiful. It was with YOU. I lay there trembling and naked, truly stripped down, baring my soul to you, listening to the birdsong outside and the sounds of our lovemaking, not having an ounce of control over the gasps escaping me, watching the light change through your closed bedroom curtains. Laughing at Marley watching us. My body and my heart broke open as dawn was breaking that morning. Talk about awakening! It was perfect in all its imperfections. I loved it and I loved that it was with you. I was so happy that you were my lover, my first lover. I was so, so ready. You said to me afterwards: 'Now we're no longer virgins to each other' and you held me close. While you slept I crept up to your upstairs balcony, called my sister and whispered my news through tears of joy. She told me what to do about the bleeding and the burning and the bladder reaction. My body responded dramatically to all that newness but I was completely elated. Completely. And later that evening, we christened my bed downstairs too. Double the happiness. You know... I could only bring myself to wash the tiny smears of blood off that duvet cover about two weeks ago, it was that precious to me. It symbolised my awakening with you, my awakening to myself, our awakening to each other. Our love. So many awakenings. I cried when I washed that linen, it was a way to let go of you, another layer of detachment. Darryn, I loved the sense of openness our lovemaking brought to us. The way we could be comfortably naked with each other, hold each other, fall asleep in each others arms, how you would press yourself against me. You even dressed after your shower in front of me with nothing to hide. This meant so much to me. And it hurt me the day you walked back into the bathroom to hide yourself while you dressed, when you were pulling away from me. And it saddens me so much that you didn't believe that I was a virgin. Could you not feel it? Even when you saw the blood, you didn't seem to accept my truth, you were repulsed, thinking it was menstrual blood, when I'd been very clear about it. And you have all these prejudices about virgins, which are unfair generalisations, that you or any man would never marry one. I can understand how it must have been a surprise but really I would have loved it if you'd been more loving, gentle, supportive and trusting of me about this precious aspect of my Being. There was nothing I could do to convince you that I was telling the truth. But I was. It's a sacred, precious and beautiful thing, sharing your first sexual experience with someone. This was not insignificant for me. People always talk about women giving a man the gift of their virginity but for me it was YOU who gave me the profound gift of finally putting it behind me, lovingly, at the perfect time in my evolution as a woman. Thank you for this, Darryn. It was truly a rite of passage for me. I don't ever want you to feel guilty about taking my virginity. I wanted you to. I was ready for it. I was so, so in love with you. I don't regret a single moment with you. Giving all of myself to you took great courage, I took a real leap of faith. I'm proud of myself for that. It was real growth and expansion. I'm fully aware of the 'virgin falls in love' phenomenon, where for me our emotional connection is amplified because you're my first lover. This did make me fall that much deeper in love with you, my heart grew strings that attached themselves to yours, and that bond felt unbreakable. Until we severed it. Now I can't believe this part of us is over, this beautifully human, perfectly natural, special part of us. That I've lost this part of you and you chose to lose this part of me. It feels as if you confiscated something from us that was just beginning to develop, by deciding to pull away from our intimacy. It felt as if you pulled me out by the roots when I was just a delicate bud, opening to you so beautifully. It felt so abrupt and so very distressing to me. To know that I'll not touch you again. I thought we'd have a lifetime of lovemaking and that there would be plenty of time for us to grow together as lovers. I thought I could help you heal the thing that limits you sexually. I thought you would love me through the process of my sexual unfolding. I thought you'd welcome the introduction of my orgasm into our bed. I was so wrong. The last time we made love was on a Monday night, during an unplanned sleepover at your place, I surprised you with the black lace panties I was wearing (with not much else) and our passionate embraces led to our most heartfelt and amazing encounter yet. I could feel my confidence growing. I had never felt as connected to you as I felt then, and afterwards I felt safe enough to share some intimate secrets with you. I didn't realise you were not ready to hear what I had to say, or that you'd be 'horrified' by the openness, the honesty and the beauty I was revealing to you. All about my medication and side effects and libido and hormones and orgasms and foreplay and what my doctor said about first time sex and my bladder issues. I was bringing something to you to hold for me and appreciate, to cherish. My truth about my sexual health, as important to me as any other aspect of my healing. I trusted you and you had my heart. But you rejected what I told you, believing instead that you could never, ever satisfy me in bed, that my expectations of you sexually were too much for you to live up to, that you were somehow less than what I needed or wanted. The opposite is true. You were absolutely ALL I wanted. You were more than enough for me, you were everything to me, Darryn. And I was the most in love with you in that moment than I ever had been. And now ever will be.

I miss, miss, miss you...
I'm moving on now, I'm healing my heart beautifully and I see so much progress in myself with how I'm coming to terms with what happened between us but I still miss you, Darryn. Very much. There's so much I miss. I miss the way you made me feel ~ beautiful and sexy and loved, so happy. I miss our routine, our closeness, our cuteness, our close emotional connection, how we would talk for hours, really get into it, how we would vibe and how we would laugh, at the most stupid things! How we found that we could naturally trust each other with our personal truths. I miss your laugh, the way you would laugh at me, find me funny. I miss your smile. I miss your sparkly, smiley eyes, hazel eyes. So beautiful. The way you looked at me. I miss moments like this one: when you were lying on my couch with your feet in my lap, and I caught you watching me, while I watched the television. I said: 'What are you doing?' The look in your eyes, the way you looked at me and smiled, with such love. My heart stopped. I had to kiss you. I touched your face and looked into your eyes. It felt like there was so much we couldn't put into words. I could feel the depth of my love for you then and it scared me a little... No, scratch that, it scared me a lot. You said not to 'disturb our chi' by me reaching over and kissing you but rather we transferred kisses from fingertips to each others lips. I miss moments like that. Precious moments. And this just days before you decided it was over for you and pulled away from me. Seems so crazy now, your timing. I miss the way you smell, the 'axe effect' (that worked so well!), the perfume of your fabric conditioner on your clothes, the smell of your skin. The smell of my Darryn. I miss how you would leave your smell on my couch and how I would inhale it when you'd gone home. Literally inhale my whole couch. I miss the way you would sweetly kiss my cheek. And oh, I miss your kisses, the hottest of hot kisses and the sweetest of sweet kisses from you that literally took my breath away. Made me melt, made me want more. That thing you'd do with your tongue. Those little ones on the tip of my nose. I miss our 'perfect kissing height'. How you would keep your eyes open when you kissed me, how sexy you were. Those earlobe nibbles that made my whole body tingle, the vampire 'love-bites' all over my neck I was so secretly happy about, the balcony kisses under the stars. I miss your hands on my body. How you would turn me on, on. How you loved my collar bones, my jawline. The way you loved my breasts. Said they were the perfect handful. Wanted to 'name the girls'. And the way you loved my behind, would put your hands into my back pockets. The way you would hold me. Make me feel desirable. I miss: 'I could just eat you all up' and 'you smell so beautiful' and 'you have such a happy face, you're so beautiful when you smile'. I miss the way you would undress me. Your lovemaking. The deliciousness of it. Your body, so beautiful to me, the way you were 'a grower, not a shower'. Sunlight on your skin. I miss the way we would 'sleep happy', I miss your arms around me. The way you would place one knee on top of me and your hand on my stomach and fall asleep that way. I miss skin on skin. I miss lying with my head on your chest, listening to your heartbeat. I miss your cuter than cute underpants. Oh. The best bum ever. I even miss your snoring. The way your bedroom smelt of 'boy'! I miss when you said Marley and I were 'your two most beautiful girls in the world'. I miss 'shortcake', the feeling of your short hair, newly shaved. I miss how much you loved my touch, how you would shiver at my first caress, surviving and even welcoming 'the arctic freeze' of my icy fingertips. I miss the sexy scars on your chin, your funny tattoos. Your 'gammy' thumb. Toes that grew on me. I miss feeling excited when I'd hear your gate and your door upstairs, knowing you were on your way to my arms. I miss cooking for you, creating recipes, hoping you'd love it, us cooking together, how sexy it was. Having you say 'it's lovely' when you taste the first bite of a meal I prepared and you'd swiftly kiss my lips mid-chew. You doing the dishes. I miss breakfast in bed. Two forks. I miss 'enjoying each other's meals?' I miss soup and kisses. Grocery shopping with you. Holding your hand. I miss your bottle of Fanta Grape in my fridge. I miss driving with your hand on my thigh. I miss being taken out on dates, being treated by you, learning how to raise my worthiness to receive, allowing you to look after me, allowing you to pay for our meals... (challenging for sure!) I miss the cutest of cute stories about when you were growing up, so precious. I miss 'meeting you in dreamland', beaming myself up to you and Marley in your bed, two floors above mine. I miss kisses through my gate and you pressing your fingertip against mine as I closed it, as a last touch. I miss peeing with the door open. I miss 'watching the morning crashing through' with you. I miss sweet, little heartfelt gifts from you. I miss you missing me. I miss our early GMAIL chats, the sexiness of them, all... 'ek smaak jou stukkend' and 'I think you're sexy as hell' and 'now at last I can talk to my sexy' and 'my squeezer' and 'you're my sweetheart too'. I miss our texts at night, the customary three kisses... xxx. I miss 'good morning sexy, I'm late so this is your alarm call'. I miss 'one in a zillion', the 'tickle', making 'heart-shaped frames' in the air to capture and keep your preciousness in my heart. I miss being told that 'I'm not just anyone to you anymore'. I miss you telling me that I'm beautiful. Inside and out. I miss your ridiculously filthy house. I miss your ridiculous, obsessively neat cupboards. You teasing me about being such a germ-a-phobe! I miss 'I-&-J'. I miss being mesmerised watching you tinker away on your guitar, while I guess the songs. I miss when you would stand on my socks with yours, and I'd say: 'Don't squash my toes'... and you'd say: 'They're not yours, they're mine'. I miss the blanket and the snack box. I miss the comedy channel. Channel 117. Even shithead. I miss Marley. I miss spending time with you. I miss us. I miss, miss, miss YOU, Darryn. I miss loving you. I miss your love. So very much. I think part of me always will.

Now you're just some Marley that I used to know…
I told you the thing I found most attractive about you was the way you were with Marley. I loved your 'dad' energy, how good you naturally are at being a caring, loving parent to that cat. I saw how tender and gentle and worried about her you were. I loved that about you. It spoke volumes about your heart and its capacity. Marley is a miracle cat. And I believe nothing is coincidence. She brought me to you and I'm forever grateful to her for that. Because at first it was Marley who captured my heart... I was totally cat-besotted and still very much in the middle of my grieving process over losing my Tachie-Bear, when I saw you carrying her outside my kitchen window... I knew I had to talk to you and ask you about her. It was easy to fall in love with her. I fell for her first and then you, you swiftly overtaking her to steal my heart completely. You two became my 'package deal', my instant family. I can't tell you how good it felt to have your arms around me, warm and snuggled up in your bed with Marley curled up between us. It felt like home to me. I said so many prayers of thanks lying there, listening to you snoring and feeling so wrapped up in happiness, I thought my heart would burst. So, I love Marley. I do. I was relieved that you initially were able to resolve your feelings of jealousy and anger about my relationship with Marley and make peace between us. I thought that Friday night, quite a few weeks ago, when you came down to see me, and brought me my belongings from upstairs, it took great courage to stand in my kitchen, reading your notes, apologising for being less than kind to me about this. I want to apologise to you if there was anything I did or said that has caused you to feel the way you do about my relationship with Marley now. I promise you nothing was premeditated or intentionally planned or revengeful or designed to hurt you or manipulate the situation in any way. I'm truly sorry if you misconstrued my intentions. I just want to make peace between us and move on. I'm so sorry you still find it necessary to be angry with me. It's disappointing. I don't deserve to be treated this way by you or anyone, especially by someone who loved me. I feel that I've done nothing wrong, nothing but love you and Marley. And to be 'punished' by you eradicating me from your life, even to the point of being blocked by you on Facebook is quite surprising behaviour from you. But that's your choice. It did hurt me terribly initially but I'm okay with it now. It's actually a good thing. Sometimes there are doors that need to be closed and when someone slams them shut FOR you, all you can really say is thank you. I needed not to see you on Facebook, in order to detach myself from you, heal and move on. And seeing your updates was keeping me involved and holding me back. But... against the advice of my therapist, I wouldn't remove you until I'd spoken to you about it. So I wouldn't hurt you, so we could have open, honest communication and be considerate to each other. On good terms. Not like now, which hurts, hurts. There's no way it's okay with me for us to relate to each other the way we have recently. I'm still determined to part ways amicably. I still want to do it with respect, with integrity and kindness. I want to love you through it. Even the hardest parts. I won't engage with you aggressively or negatively, I won't fight with you, I just won't do it. It's not worth it to me. I'm not that person. How anxious and sick I felt the evening after my birthday when you knocked on my door after almost three weeks of no contact between us. I had just returned from house-sitting for Lisa (and cat-sitting her Shanti) for 5 days over my birthday, I had desperately needed to be away from hearing you upstairs for a while and the Universe miraculously answered that prayer. You know, I went through quite a process that weekend, moving to Lisa's for a while. It was the first time I've packed my bags to go and stay somewhere else since the end of us and it felt like I was leaving you behind. It's hard to be here but at least I'm here for you... a bizarre combination of feelings that sort of cancel each other out. It was a rainy Saturday, all your doors, windows and curtains were closed and as I drove away that day, something ripped open in me. I cried all the way there and all night too. I had to accept that you are not mine anymore, that I must separate myself from you, from caring so deeply for you. And this exercise of moving away, even for a few days, brought that home to me. It felt as if the wound was freshly ripped. And then you rubbed salt in it on my return. I was feeling in a good place getting home, like something had shifted, and I was about to go online and read my Facebook birthday messages, so I felt happy. I was surprised to see you, and as usual, being optimistic, I thought you'd like to wish me happy birthday in person. Then I saw your face. And heard your tone. You've never spoken to me like that. I thought: 'Where is Darryn and what have you done with him?' Not the gift I was hoping for but in some way a gift all the same, depends how you look at it. I suppose there was some truth to your accusations that night. I do love Marley and I had wanted her to visit me. I have loved having her play in my house and give me some much-needed kitty love. I loved that. But I never, ever forced her to do anything, I don't seek her out or try to coax her. You can't really coax cats to do anything. I'm not trying to 'actively pursue' anything. The evening you saw me calling her outside from your balcony, I was calling her off chasing my other favourite kitty in the complex, the black-on-black striped girl kitty who also visits me at my house from time to time. Marley chased her around outside (Marley's a clever girl!… she's getting brave!...) and chased her right through my front door as I was arriving home and I had to separate them before a full cat fight ensued in my lounge! I picked Marley up, put the other kitty in my garden and put Marley back out front. She kept running back in, getting past me at the door, to investigate where her 'prey' had gone, eventually I managed to leave her out front, after a few kisses. That was all. I was protecting Marley and the other kitty. You must realise that cats have strong instincts, it's in their nature to go 'hunting', exploring and playing around outside at sunset and in the early evening. I'm not monopolising Marley at the time you arrive home from work and want to engage with your pet, it's purely her routine. They all do it. I would never try to take your time away from her, she's YOURS. I'm very clear on that. I have so loved your cat but she's never been mine, or even ours, really. I get it. And I'm by no means trying to cling to you by loving her. I'm more mature than that. (Darryn, a note about your family: This goes for your sister as well, dropping off magazines one time and one five-minute conversation does not a relationship make! Please give me a little credit. I just wanted to keep my promise to your sweet sister and show her some kindness, as she has shown me. You know, she messaged me a long time ago to thank me for being in your life, she said she hadn't seen you that happy in forever and that I'd put the twinkle back in your eye. She loves you so, so much. I think you know that one very painful aspect of the end of us for me is putting behind me the promise of a relationship with your Mom. I looked so forward to this, to meeting her. There's a hole in my soul since I lost my Mom eleven years ago and I truly have always craved a relationship with a 'mom-in-law', the Mom of someone I loved with all my heart. So, I couldn't help but hope your Mom and I could connect. Even the tiniest bit of contact we did have was so heart-warming to me and made me so happy. I wish I could get closure with her too. But I respect you too much to contact her. I know how uncomfortable it made you when we were together. It's out of the question now. I accept that. I'm just heart sore and disappointed about what never was...) What I've decided about Marley is that she will not be allowed inside my house anymore. Now when she 'knocks' at my cat flap and miaows outside, I open the door and go out to her, give her a few loves outside, sit on the stairs and talk to her for a while. When she gets distracted, I go inside again. She's doing very well with this so far. And so am I. Once she learns to jump garden walls, she can play in my garden but not be allowed inside my sliding door. So, I'll keep my door closed from now on. I will never ignore her or dismiss her, if I see her in the complex, I will always stop and give her attention. That's my way. It was never really such a good idea to allow her free reign in my home, I'll give you that. It just happened. It was my grief over losing my child talking. Darryn, do you remember that night at your house, when I jokingly sang: 'Now you're just some Marley that I used to know... some Maaarleeey...! to Marley, and you laughed? I never thought that would become our reality. That YOU would just be somebody that I used to know, that I would have to let Marley go too. It was hard enough letting you go. And seeing Marley 'go from zero to hero' in your books once you'd decided it was over between us, was truly another perfectly-aimed spear to the heart. You said you didn't want our break-up to emulate that Gotye song... but now it seems you're creating exactly that for us. Listen to those lyrics again! And it's no coincidence that the girl in the video has my hairstyle! Oh no! Let's just learn to navigate where we are with this situation with maturity and gentleness. Please. It's the least we owe each other. And Marley.

Stay open...
People think I'd prefer to Ctrl + Z ever meeting you in the first place. Delete the entire two and a half months from my life and forget all about it. But that's not me. Everything is worth it, all is meant to be. Even the heartbreaking stuff. Even the emotional breakdown and additional medication I had to go on and the thrush I got from the stress of letting you go. This has been SUCH an excruciating process for me but NOW it's finally over between us for me. Really over. In my heart. I'm no longer in love with you. I can't believe I'm proud to say that, but I am and I can't believe how hard it was to get here, but I'm here. I got so, so hurt by you BUT being with you was such a gift to me, a true blessing. Now I focus on the blessings loving you has brought into my life. So many blessings. I'm so very grateful to you for loving me. You showed me that I am loveable. That I can love, deeply, and with all that I am. I can really fall in love, I can let go. I have great capacity to love and accept someone fully. My heart is one hundred percent open, at last. Before I met you I doubted whether I would truly experience joy again. Now I know that pure joy is possible for me. I was so deep in my grieving process over the loss of my Tachie-Bear. Falling in love with you pulled me out of my grief, yanked me out, and I can never return there, I am a different person now. For this I will always be thankful to you. I know now that I can feel desire and be desired by a man in an authentic mutual connection. You assisted me in my complex and important sexual awakening, you gave me the gift of putting my virginity behind me, for which I was SO ready. Now I don't have to take my fear and absolute lack of confidence about sex or the issue of my virginity into my next relationship. How wonderful to be here, on the verge of a continued awakening but without the pressure of a long-kept secret. Even the heartbreak is a blessing to me, now I know my own strength. I had the self-respect to walk away from your rejection, to save myself and choose ME. I know my own worth and that's priceless. I know that I am a beautiful person, that my kind of beauty is the hard-to-get kind, that comes from within. I've completely re-birthed myself through the experience of loving you and losing you. I am forever changed because of the risk I took to be with you, a risk so worth taking, even though it hurt me so deeply in the end. This journey I took with you is so precious to me, I don't regret it. I see myself in a totally new light now. I can't explain how significant this leap of faith is for me, it's miraculous. I was SO closed off from life and love for so many years, I was never even close to ready before. I was numb, I couldn't feel anything. That numbness saved me from hurt but also stopped me from feeling joy and hope and happiness. Real happiness. Like I felt with you. And as my heart broke in two, I was somehow able to see and acknowledge my most beautiful gifts shining like beacons in the darkness of my confusion and hurt. I could ultimately access even deeper recesses of my heart and release you with love, freeing you and freeing myself without clutching or resisting, no matter how it hurt me. Life really, really cut me deeply through this experience, but it's in these excruciating moments that I am discovering who I really am. That is the gift of a broken heart. That is the gift I will take with me. We can agree to disagree, all is definitely NOT fair in love and war! The challenge now is to not shut down, to not close my heart and rebuild the walls that protected it, that hid it from the world for most of my life, along with all my beauty and all the love I have to give. As I heal and look forward now, I need to remain open, even though it feels natural to retreat and protect myself, I will stay open. I must. I owe myself that. I will step into my joy. Darryn, I really hope we can connect as friends, I would like that very much. Come downstairs and visit me whenever you like, you know you're always welcome. I'm open to talking about everything. Or nothing. We can put all this behind us. And we can still be loving and supportive to each other as friends. I'm willing if you're willing. The offer is open for you. You said I would definitely get your new phone number, being one of very few people to get it. I hope you still feel that way. And one day I'll hear the song you're writing for me. There will always be a special place in my heart for you. Precious Y-O-U. Regardless of how you decide to act towards me, I've remained constant in my feelings towards you, I always have, and that won't change. I want you to be happy, happy. I love you, Darryn. I'm forever grateful for what you meant to me. You will always be my sweetheart and you will always have a little piece of my heart. Always. ♥

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