I had to say goodbye to a friend yesterday whom I have known for the past 17+ years, and have been in love with for a good part of that time; 10 years or so. No, he did not die.
I severed the relationship permanently in order to protect myself from further personal boundary violations. I wouldn’t have called it that last night. Last night I knew I was doing it because I could not trust him any more, and that remaining in friendship with him was not good for me. This morning, after doing some reading, I realized what I was doing was enacting a boundary; a healthy one.
It’s too long to go into in a single post, but to sum up, it was a friendship with benefits that was really a love affair, that was never a love affair at all. It was riddled with mixed messages; conflicting words and behaviors for which responsibility was never claimed, and always shifted.
I thought my friend who knew me, knew my issues with trust, of all people I could trust him. And I did. This year I learned for myself first through self-discovery, and second through factual evidence, that he was indeed never someone I should have, or could ever, trust.
If you were to meet him, you would wonder why this guy was still single in his mid 40’s. He is attractive, eloquent, well-dressed, with a good job; the exemplary metrosexual. He is charming, sexy, laughs easily, witty, and is devoted to his children. And although he is in-love with romantic comedies, he is completely walled off emotionally, despite what occasionally comes out of his mouth.
I used to think he was walled off because he had built up a genuine mistrust of the female population due to being mistreated in past relationships. Now I question my previous reality, and wonder if he wasn’t the one doing the mistreating. He is the child of parents who were raging alcoholics. I thought he survived relatively unscathed because he himself was not addicted to alcohol, or any other drug. He waxes and wanes with an addiction to online video gaming. I didn’t really think that was an “addiction” of comparable mention, but that was when I didn’t understand addiction and addict behaviors like I do now.
It is a behavioral mechanism to lie. He learned it to protect himself, among other behaviors. He still does not see, not will he ever admit, that he was repeatedly deceitful to me. And not even subtly so but, overtly so, within the past year. What makes this transgression, these actions, so violating to me even more so now, is they all came on the heels of the end of my relationship with another man whom Norris himself rallied against for treating me as callously as he now has. I wonder now, looking back, what other things were lies, and I imagine I know the answers.
After waiting until I had the proper time to finally clear my chest, and say what needed to be said for my closure, I ended the friendship with Norris permanently. Although I knew that he would deny he ever lied, and would attempt to place the blame on me (or something else entirely), I still chose that verbalizing my feelings despite this, was what I needed for closure. Whether he really “heard” it or not wasn’t as important as knowing that I had communicated it to him. I understood at this point, no matter how much I would like to be “heard” and have my feelings validated by him, that my feelings were already valid simply because I felt them, and that the inability to connect emotionally was not going to change in that instant to make him choose to be accountable for his actions, let alone aware of them. Though I know he is aware, it’s the hallmark of that addict type behavior to not be one to accept responsibility for one’s actions, or there consequences.
I will hold the following memory as one of the very best we shared. It was a rare moment when all the walls seemed to be down.
After spending an impromptu afternoon in my bedroom making love (yes, although this is one of many times we had sex, this will be one of the few I feel safe to call “making love”), I wrote him this poem:
By: Portia Blush June 28th, 2004
I held the back of your neck
in my right palm
as we were sliding off the bed
me on top, sweaty and naked
I remember wanting to close my eyes
because I feared connecting
but each time I felt the urge,
I opened them wider to see you looking back
Remembering what it was like with you
nine summers ago on the carpet
we’re so different now
a decade later
cautious, seeing more
still opening wider
We are like sliding doors
always missing each other
and on this rare afternoon when we fell of the tracks,
because we needed each other
psychically again, we knew where the other was
I remember everything from this afternoon, most notably, the conversation that happened before any clothing came off. I can remember what the sunlight looked like as it streamed through the window, what the air felt like, what his face looked like as he lay opposite me on my bed with his head on my pillow, and how that was the first time he told me that Enchanted April was his favorite film, and how thought to myself how interesting that was for a man to admit.
Thank you, Norris, for 17 years of helping me learn boundaries.
Now that I know how I allowed this to happen, I begin my journey to never accept this behavior again.