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Jul 10, 2011

Bleed, my Heart

As expected, a woman I had been dating recently decided not to continue dating me. I'd been anticipating that to occur all day (courtesy of her tipping me off, a la "I was hoping we could talk"), and I prepared myself, so it wasn't a surprise.

While she said it was a tough decision and she lost a lot of sleep making her choice (perhaps she really liked me, who knows), I had no idea what her experience was, how attracted she was to me, to what extent she enjoyed the dates. I really like feedback, but I don't often get much. I'd just started to get to know her, and had begun to find myself really liking her. 

Everything seemed fine. I didn't personalize it. My ego didn't crumble. I didn't feel any negative intent. That's just where she is, and that's okay.

But then I realized that my mind wanders off when I'm not noticing. She'll pop into my mind, and I think about her, wondering. I ask myself if I should have just accepted it, or maybe I should have pulled out some of my shiny newly-acquired psychological skills to listen better and address her feelings on the issue. Maybe I simply let her go too easily. I know it hasn't been particularly long since splitsville, but I didn't expect those thoughts and feelings; I seemed fine.

I put it out of my mind by telling myself that it wasn't a particularly electric experience, no sparks flying, no intense feelings. It's not so bad. I'll move on. Plus, there's plenty of opportunity, courtesy of my being a worthwhile guy. Countered by my wondering what the electric sparks really contribute or if they are really necessary... and dismissed with the recognition of reality -that time won't turn itself back and that I can't fabricate fireworks from nothing.

There are moments -I had one earlier tonight during havdalah -when some music or a stray feeling catches me. I feel alone; my heart bleeds, and it hurts. It's not rejection, it's not an issue of my self-worth and it may not even be this particular woman, but it hurts.

For a moment, I wanted to resist, to fight the pain, to push it away. That's not my way, though, so I accepted it, and allowed my heart to bleed, because it needed to. I lay my head against a wall, wishing for a human contact to end my loneliness, to bridge between myself and everyone else, to connect me with another. A longing, in some ways ancient and overwhelming yet vividly painful as a fresh cut. Tears formed in my mind and in my heart, but my male anatomy isn't always equipped to give them to me.

I had a feeling, and I chose to honor and cherish that feeling, because it's important to me. Being alone may feel hurtful, and my heart will bleed. I will accept and honor that pain, because it is a part of me.


  1. Wow, what a moving post...
    I'm sorry that you're feeling this pain. I so strongly dislike that feeling of emptiness...especially in a huge department store when there are tons of people passing me by and a pathetic, heart-wrenching shallow love song playing in the background. And then his face replays in my mind.

  2. I know this pain quite well. Thanks for describing it with such exactness and such detail that no one can deny its existance. (I think I wrote about this somewhere in an online forum a while back and no one could quite understand what I was talking about. But you were able to word it in an extremely vivid and relatable way. Thank you for validating all those time that I (and I'm sure so many others) felt so empty and torn apart from their potential whole. It makes it that much easier to bear knowing that I am not alone in that feeling (as selfish as that may sound).

  3. Thank you both for your personal comments, I really appreciate them!

    @Sefardi Gal - Thanks for your words of comfort, I believe most (if not all) of us get that feeling sometimes at this stage in our lives.

    While it isn't pleasant, I feel no sorrow for my pain and the loneliness. For me, this pain is but a shadow of the intense pain/loneliness I grew up with, and I can both accept and live with it. Sometimes, feeling this way truly can wake a person up to the good times.

    @ FeistyFrummy - I'm glad to know others can relate to these feelings (and appreciate the way I've articulated myself); we often find solace when we feel that another person understands us, particularly in our feelings and troubles. That's a two way street, and having feedback/comments from you also has that effect here.

    Whereas a person may feel isolated in pain (especially loneliness), being connected with others who feel the same suddenly lifts the burden of feeling alone in that pain.

  4. Ish Yehudi - do you find the loneliness to be comforting?

  5. @Sefardi Gal - Not in a straightforward way.

    It's familiar to me -almost like an old friend who was there with you through thick and thin -but in a somber sort of way. Loneliness also conjures the idea that I always have myself, a recognition of how far I've come and how much work I've put in to get to where I am; that always makes me smile.

    It also reminds me of the deep connections I have had -those that touched me deeply enough to feel so loved and linked to another person -and motivates me to keep searching.