Step Three – Let Bygones be Bygones

All my life I’ve had difficulties letting go of past mistakes. Situations and events replay in my mind, and it’s not uncommon for a random memory from childhood or adolescence to surface and leave me feeling anxious and even nauseous as my mind drags me back to times and places I’d rather forget.
Needless to say my time with Inamorata has left me with a fair few extra moments I’d happily never think about again, but combating them is the next step.

Step ThreeMake Peace with the Past

God only knows how many times she tried to end it over the years. Shortly after our first kiss (but before we first slept together) she told me she couldn’t go through with it, that she loved her husband too much and didn’t want to hurt either him or me.
Oh how I wish I’d listened to her.
But back then we were both slaves to our desires, and the unmistakable undercurrent of sexual tension between us was growing day by day.

At first she was angry when I told her I’d split from my fiancé and asked her to leave the house we’d shared together (back then I was still under the delusion that Inamorata would eventually leave her husband and we’d love happily ever after). I kept the split a secret from everyone else at work for weeks afterwards, eventually letting it slip out as I faked yet another bout of depression. Secretary though I was overjoyed – with my ex out of the way my house was free to use as our love nest, and use it we did.
But Inamorata is a capricious soul, and not being very good at reading her moods I regularly fell into the trap of being over amorous when I should have been laid back and understanding. The arguements that ensued, and the crushing feelings of rejection and loneliness I felt each time she walked out the door, were hideously painful, but they were not the worst.

I’d nurtured suicidal thoughts from a very young age. As I grew older and depression sank it’s claws into my soul they combined with my propensity to hold on to negative experiences and emotions until I was beginning to seriously consider acting on my dark desires. My father has always had tendency to talk in detail about his funeral plans and ‘end of life experience’ (especially when drunk) so it had always been a ‘normal’ kind of thing to think about as far as I was concerned.
Inamorata taught me otherwise.
Being told that suicide is disgusting and selfish and that depression is something made up by people too lazy to deal with their problems was a real wake up call.
I can’t say I agree with either of those sentiments, but I do understand them. After I went back into counselling I talked alot about my childhood, my mothers long illness and eventual death, and my own feelings towards life and its ultimate cessation. What I really wanted to talk about through all those long hours of soul searching was the affair I was having, but Inamorata forbade me from divulging anything about our situation (as apparently she doesn’t believe that patient confidentiality trumps good gossip). This left me hamstrung, unable to get treatment for the real problem in my life, and although the sessions did help they could have helped more if only I’d been able to be honest. Unfortunately though I’d made a promise to Inamorata to take our secret to the grave, and it’s a promise I intend to keep.

When things did eventually fall apart it happened fairly rapidly. I can’t remember what started it but tensions at work didn’t help, and soon we were frenemies. Alot was said and done by both of us back then, stuff I’m sure we’d both rather forget, but life isn’t that kind. I can’t recount every slight, every hurtful word or action, most don’t even register in my consciousness untill a sight, sound, thought or even a flux in brain chemistry triggers them, but when it happens I’m there, back in the moment, reliving the pain, sometimes over and over again.

It’s taken me far too long to realise that as painful as these moments are they’re in the past and I should just let them go. Now when they come (which, thank the gods, is far less frequently than it used to be) I try to let the pain wash over me. Yes, the situation occured, but its done now, I can’t change it, all I can do is live with it. Dwelling on the past used to be second nature to me, but my time with Inamorata has taught me that what’s done is done and there’s no going back, so why look back.

I can’t stop myself from wishing I’d done things differently, but I have learned some valuable lessons. The pain I’ve been through, like the pleasures we shared, have made me who I am today, and maybe, just maybe, the new me will get a real chance at happiness one day.

All is forgiven my love, we are who we are

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Step Two – Face Facts

Thanks in no small part to my new routine Step One is slowly working. I still want to talk to Inamorata but the urge to contact her is slowly dimming. I still think about her (its hard not to when she’s still regularly referenced in the workplace) but I’m finding those thoughts are now more compassionate than sexual; I’d like to know that she’s happy and healthy, but, for the moment, I’m gonna settle for just hoping that’s so.

Step Two – Let Go of the Dream

I knew we were a match long before we embarked on our affair – we flirted and laughed and talked like old friends, and there was definate chemistry between us. Back in those days we talked about sex almost constantly, and Inamorata would regularly tease me with “All you have to do is loose your morals.”
But when push came to shove my morals reasserted themselves – Inamorata and I had only slept together twice when I took the fateful decision to leave my then fiancée. It wasn’t just the guilt of the physical infidelity that gnawed at my soul (Inamoratas whispered comment of “I don’t like being the other woman in your life” might have helped as well), it was knowing that as much as I cared for my ex I’d known this moment would come – I’d fallen in love with someone else. If only I’d known then how long and how hard that fall would turn out to be.
Even at the height of our affair there were as many nights when she’d turn up at my house and we’d end up arguing as there were nights that ended in passion. I was smitten, a naïve and emotionally immature man-child entirely beholden to his new love.
But this wasn’t Inamoratas first time at playing away. The dream I nurtured clashed with the reality she lived in. This was supposed to be a bit of fun, and then emotions got involved.
Looking back I can see she started to pull back long before things ever turned sour between us. She even told me straight that I needed to find someone else as my infatuation with her wouldn’t end well. If only I’d listened earlier.
But I didn’t – I still clung to my dream that one day we would end up together. Even up until a few months ago we still joked about taking a holiday away together.

Hindsight is always 20/20, or so they say, and looking back it’s clear now that in her own way she wanted to let me down easy. She knew she’d never be able to give me what I wanted – she loves her husband too much to ever really consider leaving him.

It’s taken me a long time to let go of that dream. I’ve known that whilst we have have chemistry in the bedroom were almost entirely incompatible on every other level, but, foolishly, I chose to ignore that truth and see only what I wanted. Here was a woman who is stunningly beautiful, sexually voracious, strong, independent and also, in her own special way, just as damaged as me – how could I not want her?.
It was only as I’ve decided to pull back that my eyes have been opened to the truth – there never really was a chance. Where Inamorata reveled in ambiguity I delt in absolutes, where she answered a question with a non-answer I filled in the gaps with what I wanted to hear. I dug myself a hole from which I have only just started to extricate myself.

The most painful bit is that I was laying in bed next to Kandi the other day when I realised how badly I’d messed up. Kandi and I had had a lovely dinner followed by foreplay on the sofa which lead to a roll between the sheets, and as she lay there cuddled into me it occurred to me that this is how it should have been with Inamorata – we meet up, have a good time, then go our separate ways…..

It should have been a bit of fun, then emotions got involved

Step One – NC

Almost every day for the last week or so I’ve read and re-read an article I found online about how to move on when you still love your ex. I should know it word for word by now, but each time I read it I still see, feel, something different – memories, realisations; like fresh rays of dawn sunlight breaking over a dark horizon.
In an effort to concrete those steps into my consciousness I’ve decided to try to relate those words to my experience.

Step oneCut off contact

It took me a while to figure out what NC ment when I first started reading posts and comments on here by people in similar situations to myself. For so long I’d wanted to run away, to leave my job, the city I live in, everything, just for the chance to free myself from her.
Unfortunately family and financial commitments made that dream impossible. The fact that i worked with my AP and she was above me in the company hierarchy also made things uncomfortable.
Fate seems to have intervened to my advantage recently though – Inamorata got a promotion that took her out of my department and, for the most part, out of my life. But even as our personal and professional lives drifted apart I still clung on to a past that could never be relived – before the affair Inamorata and I were good friends, but once the NRE kicked in we were almost inseparable, talking for hours about our hopes and dreams, sharing experiences and revelling in the warm glow of our illicit happiness.
This all fell apart in time, and the souring of attitudes between us as we now found ourselves forced to work with the person we least wanted to see became ever more obvious to those around us.
But through all this I never gave up hope that we may be able to patch things up and move forward somehow – naïve (and slightly pathetic) I know, but even as I wished myself dead I still loved her.
After she left there was a brief resurgence in our romance – with the pressure off dinner and the odd clandestine meeting lead to a series of passionate encounters that culminated in a (final?) drunken roll between the sheets. That night was one of the best I can remember, not because the sex was especially amazing, but because afterwards she laid her head on my chest and fell asleep. It was probably a combination of alcohol and exhaustion that did it, but in all the many times we’d slept together before this was the one time when I felt like we were almost a real couple.
Things didn’t pan out that way of course, and after another hard drinking night out on the town with friends in which we didn’t see eye to eye I was left feeling that something had changed, maybe not within her, but certainly within me.
It was then that I decided to try and go NC, and after a few false starts I think I’ve finally got there.

I haven’t told Inamorata yet of my desire to cease contact with her – the opportunity simply hasn’t arisen – but seeing as we share at least a portion of our social group, and both work for the same company, its unlikely that I’ll ever be able to break contact with her in the clean, permanent way so often recommended in situations such as this. Part of me desperately wants to sit her down and explain that I’m not angry with her, that I bare her no ill will, and that I just need a little time and space to recover, but part of me wonders if that’s just me making another excuise to see her again.
All I can do is wait and see if she does ever contact me again and then take it from there. Maybe enough time will have passed that my journey down recovery road will have put me in a position to allow us to make good on those impassioned promises of forever friends we made so long ago – who knows……

All I know is that this is the first step in a very long road, but I’ve taken it now

First steps on a long road

I made the mistake of digging around in my drawers at work and pulling out the little stash of mementos I have in there the other day. It’s not alot, a couple of pictures and a few post it notes that might have been left in my workspace back when work was fun and passions ran high, but they made me realise that even though the ‘real relationship’ part has been dead for a year or more I’m still having problems dealing with my feelings towards Inamorata.

Ours was a love born of lust, and whilst I like to believe our love will endure, I am slowly coming to accept that we’re very different people with very different views on a number of rather important topics (including, but not limited to; love, sex, mental health issues, workplace responsibilities and the best way to fold socks).
But with the lust reigned in and the passion now just a smolder that love is changing, and I need to change with it. To that end I started looking for information on how to cope with a break-up when your still in love with the other person and, surprisingly, I found some really useful stuff. Inadvertently I’d already started implementing a couple of the suggestions – my new routine of gym four nights a week and date nights with Kandi on two others leaves me less time (and energy) to think about her. I’m also attempting to drastically reduce the amount of contact we have – a task that may be easier said than done, but it will be interesting to see just how forward she is once I stop making the first move.

Overall I’m feeling alot more positive about alot of things (another tip gleaned from my research) – whilst I may never get what I want from the woman I want that shouldn’t stop me from making the most of the little I have gained.
Loving her, and being loved by her, were some of the best (and worst) days of my life, but those days are behind me.

I’ll always cherish the love we shared, but its time for me to love myself more than her

She saw it instantly

I knew I loved her for a reason.

After the usual plesentries the conversation with Inamorata last night turned to my love life. I told her the truth – I like Kandi but somethings missing. She asked if I’d felt the same way about any of the women I’ve dated as I do about her and as I thought through them only one sprang to mind – Bouncer…
“There you have it” she announced, “Your only really interested in the women you can’t have.”
The moment she said it I knew it was true – it explained so much, not least my continued interest in her.

Unfortunately insight in and of itself is worthless without some way to put it to use. I’ve changed so much over the last couple of years, mostly for the better, but knowing what I do now I still can’t see how I can turn this newfound knowledge to my advantage.

In some ways Inamorata and I are one and the same – we both want what we can’t have, and if and when we do get it we find its not really what we want.

As gratifying as it is to understand myself that little bit better I’m still left with the knowledge that I will only ever be left disappointed.
I love her, and she loves someone else more than me.
She’d say ‘it is what it is’ and she’s right. I’d say lifes shit, and I’m damn sure she wouldn’t disagree

Better off alone

With Inamoratas new position finally confirmed as perminant and my relationship with Kandi supposedly blooming things are finally changing – or so it seems. In reality things are changing, but not in the way those around me believe.

A wonderful weekend spent with Kandi made me realise that whilst we may be compatible in alot of ways I don’t love her. Sure she’s easy to talk to and the sex is great, but there’s still something missing.. Being in love with someone has always made me feel alive, but the dead feeling that I get with Kandi just reminds me that I’m just using her, and I don’t like it. I’ll break it off soon enough, and although the excuises I’ll use are lame hopefully they’ll ring true enough that we can part ways without too much animosity between us. I have no doubt that I’ll find another someone in time, but I can’t help feeling that I’m just passing the time, that I’m waiting for something that will never happen.

My life feels false, denied what I want and unable to be honest about the thing that pains me deepest I’m left living a lie. I’ve traded depression and suicidal thoughts for a newer better me, but without someone special to share it with I still feel like I’m just waiting for the inevitable. At least when it comes I’ll be ready for it

A glimpse of the old me

Inamorata popped in to my work today, whatever official errand she was on an obvious excuise to see old friends and catch up on company and personal gossip.

It’s almost as if I felt her step out of the lift and onto the floor, and I had to glance up as she strode majestically to the section chiefs office. It’s not that she looked amazing, she always looks good, that sent me back all those years, it was the aura she exuded, that mix of sex and power she’s always had that’s only been refined since her ascension.

In the hour or so she was in the office it all came flooding back to me – the pleasure and the pain, the elation and the frustration, the loving and the loathing.
She detoured around the floor to say hi to a few of us, and we exchanged a few words as she passed my desk, but by that time I had sunk back into the old me, weighing up avenues of escape and thinking the unthinkable.

It took me a good few hours to deal with the whirlwind of negative emotions seeing her in that setting unleashed on me. I don’t know why my mind always turns to dark places but it does, and whilst fighting yourself gets easier with practice it’s still hideously tiring. I’m past it now, set once again on my path that leads who knows where, but that germ of darkness remains. I glimpsed a part of the old me today, and, whilst its methods are extreme and its outcome deplorable, I cannot deny its allure

Conflict of Self

It is what it is is a phrase I’ve heard bandied about by numerous people over the years, and whilst I’m slowly becoming more comfortable with potentiality and ambiguity that’s not my natural state. By nature I am an ordered individual, methodical in approach and comfortable with routine. Where others casually trot out it is what it is I think to myself it is what you make it, or, maybe more accurately, it is what you allow it to be.

Inamorata may well be an avatar of ambiguity, but applying my counterpoint to her oft used retort lead me to realise that, trapped as she is by social convention and family concerns, she is also ruthless in getting what she wants, and if she really wanted more from me she would have taken it by now.
Maybe therein lays the crux of my problem, she knows I would do anything for her so I’m no challenge anymore, but I prefer to think not. My intuition tells me that whilst the pinnacles our passion can reach are breathtaking, she cares for me more in a platonic way, choosing to ease me away into the arms of another woman even as she eases herself back into the routines and privations of her own marriage.

To which end things are coming along well with Kandi, not too quick but not too slowly either, so I’m happy to see where it leads. As I told Inamorata when she asked about my new romance it’s not what I want, but something is better than nothing. Maybe I will learn to love Kandi in time but I suspect not – I’ve already had the internal back and forth arguments as to weather I should press on with this relationship or abandon it in the hope of finding someone who sets my soul aflame, but I’ve decided to settle back and enjoy this journey for what it is, a distraction. I feel bad for Kandi as she will never know why I can’t love her with all my heart, but I’ve made the first step in moving on and now will see this through.

Maybe one day I’ll even stop waiting for the impossible to happen