One step forward, two steps back

I haven’t bounced back from last week’s slump. It feels like each step forward I take, there are at least one or two steps back.

I had another date with the guy from online – I had to give him another chance, though I knew he wasn’t right. We went to the Night Market and it was nice, but not fun; I felt the conversation struggled and I wasn’t feeling it. I decided to take a couple of pics, thought I’d get back into my Instagram buzz.

And that’s where it turns. I posted a simple collage the following day and get some likes. One from Gary. I’d unfriended him on Facebook but hadn’t taken him off Insta. It absolutely knocked me. I just hadn’t expected to see his name on there. Why did he like it? Why now? What does he want?

He’s thinking of me.

I struggled to concentrate the rest of the day and kept thinking and analysing it. It bloody well opened up feelings in me I’d buried or tried to pretend I didn’t have. Why is he thinking about me?

Then Saturday I had a call with a friend in Canada. I had to give her a highly condensed edition of the events this year and it was great to chat with her. She told me that it was okay to think about the positive; it would remind me that I had fallen in love with a great guy, that I wasn’t falsely in love and that it had been a genuine relationship. That I hadn’t been a fool. Her comments were what I needed to hear. A step forward.

Shortly after hanging up, I check my phone.

‘Hello Laura’.

Gary had sent me a message. I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t prepared for this and hadn’t been expecting anything. Why? One step back.

Mel told me to delete it. Emma had no idea. Alison wanted to ensure that it didn’t say anything else – I’d only kept it on preview, didn’t actually open it. When Alison and Amanda arrived before our night out, I opened it. There was nothing else in there.

I was disappointed, yet just knew. He’s not one to write big messages or provide me with a lot of info. But, he was thinking about me.

I continued to stew on it for the afternoon until finally at dinner, Alison and Amanda told me to delete it, delete the entire messenger conversation history and also block him. I did. Two steps forward.

After dinner, Alison and I went into to the city for a few drinks. The night ended up being an early one. So early, that when I got home, I unblocked Gary. (please don’t be mad at me – I’m weak and lonely)

‘Against the advice of all my friends, Hello Gary’.

Three steps backwards.

I had a fitful sleep, waiting for the beep reply. It did eventually around noon. ‘Are you ok?’

We had a few messages back and forth, which included his gut wrenching ‘I miss you’. I wanted to know if he genuinely cared about me and why he was reaching out now. Each contact from him confuses me more and more. I’m trying so hard to move on, yet there is a little part of me that gets excited with the contact, the what if… the hope it springs.

He said he genuinely cared about my wellbeing; I told him I struggled to believe that, considering he hadn’t been there for me when I’d needed him most. I asked what he’d do if I told him I wasn’t ok, wasn’t well. I didn’t get a response.

This then set the mood for the rest of the day and I was not myself, or even my most recent self at mum and dad’s. I was quiet, sad and barely interacting. Happy father’s day dad – I don’t want to talk, eat, socialise, cook or clean. Love ya.

I kept thinking about the message and feeling disappointment in the lack of response, but also knowing that I wouldn’t get one. That I’d set myself up for it. I shouldn’t have been surprised. But it still hurt and ate at me.

I cracked again when I got home and sent him another message. I feel this urge to ensure people understand where I’m coming from, what I’m feeling and as much as I can explain, why I’m feeling something. I don’t know what I hope to achieve from that, but it’s an urge I’ve always had. Listen to me, understand where I’m coming from. Basically I expect too much and just end up opening myself up to further hurt.

But I wanted to know what he was feeling. Why he was contacting me. I need to know. He came back the next night – he told me he was sad; upset that we lost our baby and that if there hadn’t been a miscarriage, we would have got back together. He misses me; he lost his partner and friend. He wasn’t happy.

I know I wrote awhile ago that he’s a lost guy and doesn’t know what he wants. This is still the case and I can feel myself getting drawn in again; I can’t help it. I want to help him. I do still care about him and don’t want him to be hurting or unhappy. I told him that I’d given him opportunities between him moving out and the scan and then again between the scan and him leaving for Sydney but nothing happened.

I said that a baby wasn’t a reason to stay together, but also losing a baby isn’t a reason to not be together.

We actually spoke tonight; he was sad, I could sense that more than anything else in his voice. He apologised again for not believing me when I told him about the pregnancy. He tried to explain it, why he reacted and that he’d likely do that with anyone. The thing is, I get it – to an extent. And while I won’t forget it, that is something I can move on from. I’m a forgiving person and that is something we could have worked through. But him not talking to me, instead talking to strangers – that was something else.

He said that he now recognises that the people he spoke with at work planted the seed; that he shouldn’t have spoken with them. But the fact is, he did. He can’t change it, but, like me, he had to explain it so that I would understand. I realise he is out here effectively alone – I’ve got friends and family to speak with, he doesn’t. But for me, it was more than the pregnancy and reaction. It was the distance leading up to it. Yes, we moved quickly with getting engaged – but it was something I was committed to and looking forward to. He had doubts in his mind and allowed them to take over – he got scared. He kept referring to them as not thinking ahead about ‘the consequences’ of getting married.

I did cry again while speaking. He’s going to stay in Sydney for a few more weeks, then come to Melbourne, hopes to see me to ‘say good bye’ then go up to Cairns before moving on. It again all sounded so final, like when he told me he was going to Sydney. I cracked and am cracking again now. In the back of my head, I’m wondering if I can go with him, can I wrangle some time off work, have I got the money? (Don’t know, no and yes). Two steps back.

We are at different stages of our lives. I’m ready and desperately wanting to settle down and start a family. He’s not. I can’t have this hope in the back of my mind that maybe we can work it out. We want different things here and now. One step forward.

I told him that hindsight is 20:20; the if onlys, the what ifs. We can’t continue to go over those; neither of us will heal. He is not a horrible person; he did some horrible things and reacted in horrible ways. But he’s not a horrible person.

He’s a lost soul who needs to find his way. He thinks far too much about what others think of him – he didn’t like that I’d said my friends told me to block him and that they think poorly of him.

My friends don’t want me to block him as punishment; they want me to block him so I can heal and move on. He wasn’t there to see how low I was and how much pain I was in. The hurt and pain he (unwittingly) caused. Their reaction isn’t about him; it’s about me. Looking after me and ensuring I can move on. One step forward.

If I keep any hope in the back of my mind, or this ‘what if’ then I am stopping myself from moving on. Yes, it was easy and comfortable with him; I did think of him as the one. But he didn’t think enough of that about me.

For each step forward I take, something happens to push me back two.

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Author: Laura

In my 30s, simply working my way or travelling my way through it.

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