Dealing w/ Past Voices

Last night I got the following email from a dear friend:

What would you do if (name-redacted) sent you a friend request on FB? Would you confirm or ignore . . . I still regularly think about (different name-redacted) – almost daily. I’m worried I can never get past her. And yes, I just got a friend request from her.

I’d been letting my “being-too-busy” dictate my social life (or the lack thereof) lately… okay, for the past year. But this dilemma required a response, so I sent the following back to my buddy:

Good question. First I’d be totally shocked because (name-redacted) isn’t an Internet “social networking” person. Second, I would be suspicious of her motives. All that said, I’d probably confirm. It’d be fun for a few days and them I’d remember that it didn’t work face-to-face, there’s even less for me via FB. Then I’d move on, per se, as one can move on from someone who’d previously defined ones life and crushed ones heart.

I have been over a year now without affection and intimacy in my life and that’s because of her. I think about her pretty much every day too, but I think of her as the one who had the chance to have everything I could give and rejected that so completely that I had to move to the opposite end of the continent, away from everything I knew and loved, so that I might start a new life and find someone to love me. I wish her well but in my mind I can’t get past the fact that she chose to not be in my life when I offered it. Now, it does help that I’ve benefited in every way imaginable by this rejection beginning with my job, to my friends here, to the new place I’ll be moving into in about two-weeks. But I think of her as the “oh well” in my life. I know Holly would ask, but if she said that she’s got it all figured out and she wants me back, what would I do?

There’s a danger being overly definitive about previous relationships, but my ability to trust her on any meaningful level has been permanently damaged. There’s no way in hell that I’d leave what I have going for myself in Orlando “to be with her.” If she said she’d come out here I wouldn’t believe it or trust her. The latter would be very destabilizing if it were to really happen (awkward!). Nope, I left everything I had to give. That well is complete dry. I gave up over a tenth of my life to her, almost to my own ruin. She’s not entitled to any more of me. I have to integrate all of that back into my life and be present in the good that is a part of my life now. Like i said, she’s the “oh well” of the past six years of my life.

And you, my friend, have got to do the same with your former flame. As (name-redacted)‘s psychologist once described me (not knowing that we were still seeing each other): “he was a wonderful memory which will give you warm feelings later in life, but nothing in the here and now.” amen, end of chapter. Hope this helps. Much love, jbb