When a cataclysmic storm rages between friends, we often look at the relationship itself. What went wrong? I did with her. I examined the relationship. I am sure she did as well. However, I think a deeper part of me had a better, though unclear, understanding.
It was not the relationship. It was me. I was changing. I had changed. I had begun to yell. I hate yelling and confrontation. I had become rude and aggressive. I made her uncomfortable, and made her feel embarrassed around her friends. I would commiserate over events for days. I had become particular and fixed. Meaningless things stuck in my craw. That was not the me I had been before.
What happened to the person who bought her a flower every payday? What happened to the person who played with her like a puppy, right in front of her family? Where was the person who left little notes of affection? Where was the young adult who sat and listened to music for hours? What happened to the person who cherished the differences between peoples? The person I always thought I was, the person I had been was gone, buried under spite and burden, and mostly confusion.
We often point our fingers at familiarity. Routine steps in and things change. Certainly, this played a role, but simple commonness would not turn playfulness into argument. Moreover, I had lost the ability to communicate with others, of greatest note my daughter. Something else was at work, though I could not see the condition while being consumed by it. I had changed. I was changing. The me I enjoyed had been lost. Left behind like a forgotten piece of luggage.
I did not know it at the time, but Andropause was eating away at the younger me. The symptoms, as I read them, did not apply, but every physiology is different. Moreover, severe Social Anxiety was also setting in, almost to the point of phobia. I have always been introverted and socially anxious and awkward, but I was sinking into a much deeper abyss. Did changing hormones fuel the anxiety or the anxiety alter the Andropause symptoms? Who knows? I can only see it now because it is all done and past.
I did not leave her. Oh, I started the separation, but it was not her I was fleeing. I was not abandoning the relationship. I dragged myself away from her like a dying animal sulking away from the group for their protection. I pulled the yelling, particular, touchy lunatic I had become to a safe distance. During a mid-life crisis, most men think of fast cars and young women. However, I sought solitude. I hated hurting her. I detest myself for doing so. I needed to reclaim the original me and kill the monster I had become. I needed to punish myself and protect the world from my beast.
The love and affection never faded. It has always been there, though it had to be concealed. I needed to find music again. I needed to learn to communicate again. I needed to understand parts of me I had never known, and rekindle parts that had been long gone. I have learned I am emotionally broken, immature in so many ways. I cannot reconcile love and sex. Introversion and Social Anxiety have always been parts of me. I am a dweeb, a dork, unable to be adult about the emotional and social qualities of life. I can write a book, talk sciences, teach a class, and solve problems with the best of them, but I cannot properly handle human interactions. The human equations, the personal qualities, are knots I cannot untie. Autism, Asperger’s, perhaps there is a sprinkle of these in my matrix. Looking in someone’s eyes is more frightening than revealing.
I miss her. I always will. I dream about her more than any other person or thing. I wake up crying several times a year, and I do not see that changing. My hormones have settled. I have crossed the mid-life crisis, and understand myself. I listen to music again, and play. I let things go. The tensions are gone. Life’s difficult challenges are faced straightforward. The love is there and always will be. I will die with her name on my lips.
I have lost her presence, though I will not lose her.
August 25, 2016