I realized today I needed to go back and re-write the Personality Test essay.
No, revisit it. Take two.
My red person- the red person is the one the test said is someone who I will always love- it’s the truth. I wish I could hate her. I wish I could throw it all away and know I was wrong to trust her. Me, my judgment, my hurt, my world.
Sounds familiar. Painfully familiar. I am my mother’s daughter.
Somehow, the essay makes her come across as purposeful. She meant to hurt me. I don’t believe she did. The truth is, she could not bear to hold anyone else’s pain. Only her own. I can imagine her looking at my life and thinking, she’s got it made. My life is falling apart but Sara has it made. She has to stay focused on the small pieces in front of her for fear she’ll lose everything.
And any thought of me simply faded into the background.
It’s true, to some degree. My wife did not leave me. I get to wake up every morning with all three of my children, close to me, every day in the home Jeanine and I created. My kids going back and forth to Walter and Allan’s house is not about divorce but choice. There are no tears or raging fights between us. We all love each other.
Well, except for when Jeanine and Allan are being jerks, then only Walter and I love each other. But that’s another blog.
And when I step back from my own mirror, my own obsession with my own feelings, I start to see it has nothing to do with me. My red person probably doesn’t even think about me anymore. She has moved on because she had to. Her life feels like sand slipping between her fingers and she’s desperately trying to hold tight to what she can before it all blows away.
My view shifts completely.
I have been looking too closely in my own mirror.
My red person and I are very similar. We share past horrors and a willingness to say it out loud. I can carry so much but eventually, I break. So does she. I need to remember her caution to me. She held her hand up and said I cannot do this. I can’t bear seeing you in pain. It leaves me in pain. My pain. Yours. I can’t tell the difference. I wrote this to her:
“You tell me, we are mirrors of each other. We are reflecting this whole thing on each other and it is too intense. We are like fire, each of us, and we'll consume each other if we are not careful.
I know you are right. I know you need someone calm. I know you need rest,too. Peace. You need someone to love you with kindness. You need gentle.
I do, too. I have that. It grounds me.
It’s been about this intense, unbearable connection. I have never been so understood.
And I cannot lose having you in my life. It's an amazing mirror.”
None of it feels amazing anymore. I need to remember it doesn’t feel amazing to her, either.
Believing I was disposable, believing she doesn’t care feeds into my own self absorbed anxiety. It doesn’t allow me to grieve the loss. It keeps my heart suspended.
I have never been so understood. The hope we could always keep that kind of unbearable connection was a fantasy. I wanted to believe we would not consume each other. But we did.
I wish there could be closure. I realize this is as much closure as I will ever get. I get the feeling she is frightened of me. Feels small next to me probably because that's how I feel about her. We are still and always will be mirror images of each other. The history we shared too intense to ever take that away. Mabye that scares us both, too.
This is one of my last emails to her:
You have done so much for me. You helped me get to the place I am now. My life shattered but I finally have all of myself. I could not have done that without you. You helped me with extraordinary generosity during the single most difficult period of my life. You kept me, at times, from suicidal impulses. You reminded me to keep my sense of humor. Thank you.
My relationship is stronger and better today than it ever has been. We still have a long way to go. Without understanding the emotional intensity I needed, I would never have been able to ask for it. You showed me that someone could match my intensity. You made me understand how much I needed it in my life. Thank you.
You had faith in me that I was smart enough, and capable enough. You trusted my judgment.
Thank you for everything.”
I need to let go. Let my heart break. Grieve. It is a huge loss. It was an amazing mirror.
And she is a person I will always love.