On the way home, Jon texted me to let me know that he was drunk. Not too drunk. Just drunk enough.
I thought to myself “Can I get just drunk enough too, or should I keep my wits about me?”
I kept my wits about me.
I asked if Lora was there too. No, he said. She’s gone. She’s staying in a hotel. She’s going to find a sublet on Craigslist. Something for the month of July. She doesn’t want to move back home with her mom. She wants to stay somewhere around our area, and try to have her own life. She’s going to give herself this month to see if she can make that happen.
So for the moment, all her things stay here. Of course. They just broke up. She took what she needed for a hotel stay. The rest needs time to sort itself out.
Ok. That’s Lora’s plan for the moment.
What about Jon?
How real is this? Is this really, really, permanent? Really?
Yes. It is.
Jon was wracked with pain. What can I say about that? We all know that feeling, right? That feeling, when you do the right thing, but doing the right thing feels like dying, like killing part of yourself? It’s the pain I felt at telling Jon that I couldn’t see him, couldn’t stay there anymore, not with Lora abusing him, but bigger, unending-seeming feeling, because of the finality of ended a relationship.
The pain of feeling like you’re worthless, because you gave up. The pain that comes before you can hear the part of you that whispers that you’re not a terrible person for calling it quits. You’re just human. In an imperfect, finite body that has limits. The limit has been reached, passed, gone into damage. There is no more.
He heard from their couples therapist. Lora contacted her, asking for help finding a solo therapist. Their (ex?) therapist expressed her sadness to Jon, let him know she’d be happy to see him, if he wanted.
From what he said, I don’t think he’s going to her, but he is going to take one of her recommendations to start solo therapy soon.
What he told me…the most important thing he told me – because I think he knew my fear that I’d come home to find that they talked it out and figured it out this time and it was really going to all be ok now – was that he didn’t know if he could ever open his heart to her again. Even if she gets therapy. Even if she truly finds herself, learns to be enough for herself, is ready to have a relationship without control, or abuse, he doesn’t know if he can ever open up to her again.
And in the next breath, he was sobbing about being a horrible person for giving up.
And I said to him, love, you closed yourself off from her because of the things she said and did to you, didn’t you? He said yes. And I said, if you did that, if you had to do that to protect yourself, then you had to let her go. You couldn’t be a support to her, if you had to close yourself off from her.
He agreed. And cried. And I cried. And said I was sorry. And told him to tell me to stop talking, if I ever said too much.
He said it was fine. And by “fine”, he meant that everything was a ragged, tearing ache. If I was clumsy with my words, it would be a small thing to him.
But I was afraid of overspeaking anyway, so I told him that I loved him, and tried to mostly keep my mouth shut, unless he strayed to heavily into beating himself up.
At that moment, it was just about getting through it one moment at a time.
On my side of things, I grieved for him. I grieved for her too, honestly. It’s much easier for me to have compassion for her when she is no longer living here and her ability to hurt him has been drastically reduced. Given what he said about maybe never being able to open up to her again, my fears of a magical nightmare do-over feel much more laid to rest. I feel compassion for how hard things are for her now. Compassion, but not a desire to offer emotional support to her. She is still emotionally dead to me.
But I do genuinely wish her the best, and hope that she gets the help she needs and does the difficult emotional work she needs to get herself to a good, strong, self-sufficient place. I hope she figures out how to manage her money, her pot, her schooling, her job. Her life. I hope she becomes a whole person, because we need more of those in the world. As long as she’s not coming home to here, and bleeding Jon to death with her words, I hope for her.
Though even as I hope for her, I’m still pissed as fuck at her. For the harm she did. For the chances that she had, and blew. Knowing that Jon begged her to go to therapy over a year before I insisted that she did, I feel anger for the time and energy she wasted, staying in a hurting, hateful place.
People are so complicated.
I know there’s a long road ahead of us. This was only the beginning. There is a lot inside me that I need to untangle too. There are little bits of pain memory everywhere. Pain connected to Lora and the things she said and did to Jon, and to me. There are parts of myself that I need to find again. Parts that I didn’t lose, but are curled up, hiding in a corner, afraid to come out. I need to coax those out in me. And I want to help Jon coax his out, and find his lost pieces. Help him rebuild. Rediscover the people we want to be.
We’ve never been us without Lora there in the background. Putting on a happy face, but judging. Being angry. Being hurtful. Demanding that attention must be paid to her first. Support must be given to her first. She must have everything that I had, as a baseline, and then more, on top of that. Always more. More of Jon. More attention. More time. More of everything until there was no more to give and it broke any hope of the three of us making something beautiful together.
So here we are. One. And two. No longer a V. No longer building a loving poly home together.
We don’t know who we are without Lora.
But we’ll find out.