Like Him, Like Me

IMG_3112

I cannot listen to the words of this man anymore, I really cannot. I’ve been avoiding him for two weeks now, maybe more, I’m not sure. Time drags on when you spend it avoiding someone and spend it anxious of what will happen should he contact you. He’s had a recent heartache, you see. He made the mistake of engaging in a relationship with a married woman and now he’s ended up with his heart broken and he speaks of it with any and everyone who will listen. I’ve heard from my Boss that this man, my coworker, spent a great deal of the first week crying over the breakup. Crying right there in the middle of the salesfloor. There’s not a one of us who feels sympathy for him, he knew she was married when he decided to begin a relationship with her, but he’s been so lonely for so long that he decided to take whatever he could get. When she left him, he was devastated. He stopped eating, he stopped sleeping, he’s steadily been losing weight- this confirms what I’ve always believed to be true about love- it will kill you in the end. He asked my thoughts on the situation, as have most of my male friends in his position, because I was once like Her. I ripped the heart out of a man I loved very much and seemingly moved on with my life, plus I’m a good listener. At first all I could do was offer my explanation of situations in my own life and suggest that perhaps this woman is feeling much the same as I did. Of course he wanted to believe that, he needed to believe that- I’ve had quite the happy ending and I know he’s hoping for the same. But I’m not her and she’s not me. I never went back. I cannot listen to him tell me anymore that’s he done with the whole situation when clearly he is not because it’s all he speaks about. I understand how he is feeling, he fell in love and after so long of being miserable, he had a taste of what happiness is like and he wants it back. Happiness for a single man with a married woman is a fairytale though, maybe more like a horror story. He’s living in this black pit of depression and trying to fool himself that it doesn’t exist, that his world is mostly sunshine and rainbows but that sometimes it’s darkness and painful. Why does love do this to us? Make us do this to ourselves? Why do we choose to see things that aren’t truly there? Why do we read into every word, every situation, every touch, every glance, why do we torture ourselves and then call it love? I’ve never understood it, only that love is painful and if it don’t hurt, it ain’t love. Sometimes I make my own heart hurt when I think about the love I share. I think about all the “What if’s” and get my anxiety going. I go through my days with a racing heart and spinning thoughts, slowly becoming unable to distinguish up from down, reality from make believe, truth from my own lies made up in my fucked up brain. If you can’t feel pain you ain’t alive. That’s what I tell myself. Of course I’m wrong. Love shouldn’t feel like this, and love in my case doesn’t feel like this. Mine is a good man, the best man that I’ve ever known. But when I’m in my “issues” I can convince myself otherwise. I’m completely content being open about my lack of self-control when it comes to my emotions and my thoughts though. This man I work with is not this way. He’s up and down like a damned seesaw, one second he’s on top of the world, swears he doesn’t care any longer for this woman and the next he’s talking about his plans for them when “she comes back,” tears in his eyes, his words coming out in a rush, tumbling and tripping over each other. “The first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem.” And me, too nice and listening to it all, all the while my anxiety is slowly climbing, just wanting him to stop rambling about this woman so that I don’t have to feel these unwanted emotions, the aggravation and dislike for her, the disappointment at his weakness and poor judgment not to mention his decision making process- it could use an overhaul. All of this and I can’t help but remember myself a year and a half ago when my own anxiety and depression were spiraling out of control and I was quite the basket case, rambling and crying unexpectedly, every moment of every day filled with unwanted thoughts and worries, filled with darkness and pain. I had such great support then, the same people who should be supporting him as they supported me, but instead they tell me his case and my case are nothing the same. More frequently lately I have been told that the difference between their treatment of him during this hard time and their treatment of me during mine is the simple fact that they like me. And we call ourselves a “family.”