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Thursday, February 24, 2022

Accepting Changing and Ending Relationships

This has been a tough one for me, probably because I've always had a deep-seated belief that no one will stay. Darrin has definitely proved me wrong, and my children seem to continue to enjoy spending time with me even as adults. Covid-19 has created difficulty in maintaining relationships outside of my family. We tried, at first. But there was too much risk, too much unknown.

So now that Covid is dying down (sort of), I'm taking steps to see who is still there. Miraculously, some are still interested in reviving those relationships. It hasn't happened yet, but slowly, I'll take steps to reconnect with them.

And that brings me to Tolkien boy. 

This is a difficult one. There was a time when TB and I spoke daily, shared our lives, and expressed hopes, dreams, and ideas. He was my go-to person when I was sad, happy, bored, whatever. It took many years to establish that trust, on my side, at least, but once in place, I loved every moment.

I noticed things changing about five years ago. I tried to talk about it with TB. I invented reasons for us to meet regularly. I tried to check in every couple of days, at least. I had worked hard to learn to trust him. I was unwilling to let that go.

It's one of the reasons I'm currently in therapy. I need help with the adjustment. I want TB to be where he's happiest. I want him to have the freedom to change. I want to support his decision to be less close, less connected. I want that for him. Not for me.

Were it up to me, our close relationship would continue indefinitely. It's not up to me.

So I've been talking to my therapist about it. She's given me some food for thought.

1. I would never want someone to remain in a relationship when they want something different. 

2. I need to think of the benefits of having a lighter, less close friendship. 

3. If I truly love TB, as I say I do, eventually, I will be happy that he is happy, even if it doesn't involve me, personally.

For now, I'm good with number one. I'm working hard on number two, and I'm trying to think about how I can be happy that TB is okay without me, even while grieving the loss of a relationship that was paramount to my personal healing and one that brought me incredible joy. It's not easy.

I haven't discussed all this with TB yet, but in fairness, I probably need to. He won't like it, but neither will he like it if I make assumptions about him that are inaccurate, so communication is proabably a good idea. 

I've been feeling some depression about this yesterday and today. I think part of this is because I was in Laramie last weekend. My sister's home was destroyed by a fire last week, so we went to help do some salvage. It was hard work, and very emotional. Also, I had a reaction to the fire retardant that left me struggling to breath that night. And my visit with my parents the following day was also difficult. A couple of years ago, I would probably talk about it with TB. I don't feel that's appropriate to do anymore. I talked with my therapist about it. She's helpful, but sometimes talking about it with someone who really cares about you makes a huge difference. 

I am resilient. My therapist reiterated that. She said I would do the work necessary to allow the feelings, take time to grieve, and rally myself. There are other people who care about me, who are interested in my life. I can turn to them, and I know this. I will be all right.

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