And so we learn

I never thought that there would be much heartbreak in discovery. You get through your days, finding a little more of yourself with each passing one, and you generally accept that you’re only trying to learn about life. “Never let a win get to your or head or a loss to your heart,” as the saying goes, and you try not to give too much to anything.

But I got involved. I had a taste of what I thought I wanted and did all I could to keep it, or to make it flourish. I sacrificed a lot of myself in hopes that I found something that would keep me happy, but I wasn’t ready for it. I wasn’t strong enough to protect myself when I got too involved. I wasn’t prepared to not have my feelings mirrored back to me, but that’s how it went.

I like to think those things went wrong so I would find what is right, and what I have right now – the person I’m with right now, is very much the right person. We seem to click in an almost vomitous way (at least to those around us) and I hope to be with her for a long, long time. We laugh a lot, we love deeply, and we share the pain that we’ve endured. We also struggle with what we’ve been through in the past, almost expecting the other shoe to drop, as she so aptly puts it.

I know that I sometimes avoid confrontation because confrontation hasn’t worked out for me very well since Dawn passed. I didn’t want to endure anger or sadness due to something I did or said. I always thought, maybe unfairly, that I would be responsible for losing what made me happy, and that feeling scared me more than being alone. Thing is, as I was reminded today, if that tactic had worked as I hoped, I wouldn’t be here today with her. Avoiding something that didn’t work in favor of something else that ultimately didn’t work either never occurred to me, but that’s what I was doing.

I stumbled over my words as I fearfully tried to explain how I was feeling, and to her credit, she patiently waited me out. I still don’t feel I said what I wanted or explained it well enough, partly because I’m having sleep problems and I’m quite fatigued, but mostly because I was scared to death she’d run away. She didn’t run away. She stayed by in hopes of understanding, but more importantly, in the meantime, she reassured me that we’d figure it out and that we would get through it, and she wasn’t going anywhere. “All in,” she always says. All in, indeed.

I’m not faulting anyone I’ve spent time with before her for any of this, but it will take some getting used to – the idea that conflict does not mean an end to a relationship. I also wasn’t mentally in a position to be in this deep of a relationship. I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time, though, and for many reasons, not the least of which is her patience and understanding.

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