He expected mayhem, anger and accusations. He assumed the worst, and it proved in the end that he really doesn’t know me. I told him that the last 14 months have been an example of his ordering the entree and only eating the garnish. He never took a bite of the main dish, only looked at it, pushed it around with his fork and decided that it would cause him indigestion if he ate it. You see, it never was about me, any of it.
Trying to love someone who doesn’t love themselves, who doesn’t trust themselves, and who is an eternal pessimist at their core, well, it’s pretty tricky and apparently, doesn’t usually succeed. It is impossible to show them how worthy they are, they need to find it and feel it in themselves. He told me a story of himself as a child, to illustrate how long he has been this way; I explained that at some point though, we do have the power to make positive changes to our thinking patterns. That I was a very angry teenager and into my 20’s. It took a lot of work, and sometimes falling back into old patterns, but eventually I was able to look at things and see the positive in life, see how anger was affecting me and limiting me and shutting me off.
He told me that everything ends, and usually badly. That he hasn’t seen examples of it working, of there not being heartbreak, of him not being the cause. Boy with a fragile sense of self enters the dating world and is eaten alive. Now, at 39, he is so deeply imbedded into a pattern of belief that everything he touches, everyone he touches, will break. How do you convince someone otherwise? How do you hold someones hand and show them that they deserve to not be alone. They deserve to let someone in and be loved. How do you do that, when they don’t believe in their core self that they are worthy of any love and that anyone who does love them, surely they must be fooled.
We had 5 hours of intense, heart-felt conversation. He teared up, I teared up. I told him somethings that he missed while he was pushing me away, things I had told him but he hadn’t heard above his own inner chatter. He apologized deeply, as he realized that he really dropped the ball more than a few times. What it came down to is that his disordered thinking, his disordered sense of self, his belief that he isn’t worthy of anyone’s love and respect because everyone is being fooled and eventually everyone will realize who he really is and then it will all explode, all of THIS is what is standing between he and I. Looking into his eyes and telling him how wonderful he is and forcing him to look back at me as I told him what I saw in him, the level of disbelief in his own eyes, the degree to which he can’t see how amazing and loveable he is, that is what is heartbreaking.
I asked him, what does he have left, if tomorrow the career were to end. Nothing he said. He has nothing outside of work. Friendships have been kept at a distance, mostly built through his colleagues. He has his cat. I told him that it truly doesn’t need to be that way. That letting people in doesn’t have to result in destruction, yet he has only ever walked away feeling destroyed each time he has let someone in. But he has the best of intentions, when he begins. He just can’t do it.
My flatmate came home and we moved our conversation to the bedroom. Later in the evening I looked up at him and asked me if he would be with me one last time. I felt so connected to him at that moment, I just wanted to hold on to it. He wouldn’t look at me, instead mumbling that he didn’t think it was a good idea. I asked him to look at me and repeated my question, asking if he wanted to be with me one last time. He said yes. We had an intensely passionate last few hours, we held each other tightly afterwards and slept for an hour, curled into each other, hands touching. In my hallway, we hugged. Longer and tighter and with more emotion than I have ever felt from him. He thanked me for everything. I told him that while I knew he wouldn’t, he knew where to find me, if ever…
Last night was the most senseless loss I have ever experienced. All because one little boy grew up thinking he was inherently not worth loving. If any of you have kids, please, love them. Let them know that they deserve it and that they are wonderful and unique and amazing. Otherwise, at 39, they may not be able to let people in, even those who are patient and love them beyond words and actions.