Caveat: I don't normally blog about my relationships other then to mention that person in passing, but make an exception during/after a breakup, and even then I try to keep it mostly about my own feelings and responses. I do this because I find it sort of therapeutic. Also, I am much better at putting my thoughts into writing than in conversation. You can read it or not, as you see fit. These sorts of posts are usually left up for a while and then removed.
As I alluded to in previous posts, I hadn't heard from cowdude, now rechristened cowardude (thanks Missy!) in more than a month, other then a cryptic text message and birthday card. Once I realized that something was up, every week or so I'd call and/or send an email, but heard nothing back. At first I figured that something was up with work (things had been stressful there and were getting more so, plus it was nearing the end of the semester) and I know he tends to hide from the world and get very focused on work. I figured he would come up for air eventually and gave him his space. It was out of character for him, and I was puzzled. As time went by, though, it was more than could be explained by that excuse. I brooded and fretted, and realized that things were over, and that even if he didn't break things off, he was an asshole and not someone I should waste my time on. He did not make this easy, though, since and he had cut off all contact my only options were impersonal ones like email (which I didn't think he was checking, and there's no way I was going to send something like that to his work address), voice mail, letter, or text message. I decided to send a letter at the new year, if it came to that.
As I was boarding the flight from Philadelphia to San Francisco, I received an email from him. In it he stated that he had been under a lot of stress in November and December and had been extremely anti-social to friends and family, and hadn't checked his email in more than a month. During this time he realized that my birthday was coming up and that we hadn't talked in a while, and wondered why, and realized that he just hadn't felt like talking to me. This led to some reflection about our relationship and he realized he just "wasn't feeling it", which surprised him since it didn't make a lot of sense to him and he hadn't realized it before. He said that he didn't know where this left us (uh duh!!!) but that he would leave that up to me, and wished me well if he didn't hear from me.
Anyway, even though the message and the content didn't surprise me, the timing really sucked. I could do nothing on the flight but brood, compose my response to him, and read a novel that had seemed promising when I bought it but turned out to be really depressing. I couldn't call my friends, I couldn't call cowardude and call him an asshole, I couldn't cry, I couldn't exercise or burn off nervous energy, I couldn't throw stuff without causing a TSA incident, I couldn't take a bath or go on a cleaning frenzy. I could get drunk but I don't enjoy being drunk while flying, and it would've been expensive.
I did a lot of second guessing of my own actions during this time, and throughout our relationship. I was already well into brooding freakout mode by my birthday. If I had realized he wasn't checking his email at all I would've skewed more heavily towards calls. I don't think it would've changed anything - if it delayed his self-realization that would've actually been bad, but perhaps if I'd pestered him with lots of voice mails it would've gotten me some closure sooner. Or not.
I had judged him to be someone who was honest and direct, and who would tell me in a timely manner if he wanted out, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt for a long time. I knew about his tendency to hide from things on occasion, and that it had caused problems in other areas of his life, but did not realize that it could override the better aspects of his personality. I am definately better off without him, but it still hurts.
I spent yesterday visiting with friends and family, and it cheered me up immensely. Thanks to all of you for your support!
In a strange turn of events, I had made plans with T to have lunch yesterday. It was nice, and surprisingly normal, even under very weird circumstances. It was also a reminder that life goes on and things get better. In an even stranger turn of events, he had a relationship end recently under very similar circumstances, right down the the cryptic text messages and our relative inaction to the situation. (He was the one left wondering, not the one who disappeared.) So we commiserated about the whole weirdness of it all, and compared notes. (Take home message - be wary of people who are overly private about things that are completely non-sensitive bits of information.)