Different Versions of the Same Conversation

No one would have guessed that hours earlier when asked if I thought it was worth sticking out and fighting for, I had answered “yes.” The way your words sprung me to action. How I quickly moved from the couch to the bedroom, opening the dresser drawer that held your clothes, like a bookmark, a place holder in the story of us. How I dumped the contents out on the bed while you sat in the other room, beside yourself. How I moved swiftly without any other thought than “No.”

Because I just can’t do this again.

It used to be that when someone told me that they gave up, I would rally to encourage them. I used to be the best fucking cheerleader a person could ask for. Hell, I’d jump in the game and try to go long to win the game for them. And I wasn’t even on the team. I don’t even know how to play but I fake it good. That’s how twisted I was. I thought helping meant doing sometimes to the point of taking over. It was exhausting and exasperating and everyone ended up pissed off one way or another so I stopped.

So now if you give up, I will too. Because I can fight for two but I refuse to.

I know this isn’t the “nice” way of reacting to a person who is down in the dumps so deep they can’t see a way out but it’s my current truth. This lesson comes with battle scars: I cannot love a person enough to make them love themselves.

Sometimes in these moments I think of my mother. A woman of strength who was pushed to drastic actions by an immovable object- my father. He would sit in his misery, a magnet, pulling us all into his sorrow. I look back on those times and wonder how she survived watching a man she loved give up. And it’s no wonder she made the decisions she did. Because someone had to.

In these moments where I leap to action I feel strong and weak. The line between the two is thinner than I ever though possible. I am my mother and my father. I am action and stagnation. I don’t recognize myself- this cold woman who has hidden her heart. I say things I am not sure I 100% believe. I’m ripe with analogies for a thing I don’t even understand. But does anyone really understand love? Because I don’t think so.

We talk until it’s no longer heated. Until the tears have dried up and we’re breathing more regularly. I’ve handed you back the spare keys to my apartment, a makeshift peace offering. Tonight is not the end. You walk out the door with a tentative hug and I return to the bedroom to put your clothes back in the drawer.


74 thoughts on “Different Versions of the Same Conversation

  1. I’m so sorry you both are going through this, but I think you hit a key point there. If someone can’t love themselves, it’s pretty difficult to love someone else and have a healthy relationship.

  2. Sometimes, the way you write is how I feel, if I could write it.

    I kinda wanna do the “there there, pat pat pat, it’ll be okay, don’t give up” thing. Not sure if you need that though.

    So how ’bout “there there, pat pat pat, life will go on no matter the outcome of this” … my motto being “It Is What It Is”.

    I’ll buy you a drink one of these days if you like.

  3. Oh sweetie. This is such a hard thing.

    I hope whatever happens with this that the outcome allows you to be the “you” you want to be.


  4. Oh man…I so want this to work for you guys, but I guess wanting doesn’t always make it so, huh? I hope that the heartache and confusion is short lived and the healing, however it comes, starts soon. I’m thinking of you, girl!

  5. I can only imagine how heavy your heart must be right now. But you are so right on and being sure of yourself will be a good thing, even if everything else feels unsure.
    I also just want to hug you right now, because that’s what I’d do if we weren’t only connected by ether and words.

  6. I’m sorry. Those are tough decisions and there are no easy answers. Sometimes it seems there are no right answers either. You are right that you can never love a person enough to love themselves. And I think a person has to love themself before they are truly able to be a healthy partner in a relationship. Good luck in sorting it out.

  7. I’m sorry. I know it’s painful. I think the most important line in the whole piece is:

    “So now if you give up, I will too. Because I can fight for two but I refuse to.”

    You can’t make someone try and you can’t try for them. Sometimes being strong means doing the best thing for you in the long run, but only you know what that looks like. HUGS I’m here for you as always.

  8. You are a strong and sensible woman, Sizz, and this too shall pass. My Mom always said that these times built one’s character, and I always replied with how I hated cliches and that my character was fine as-is. Man was I wrong. You will continue to rock throughout the years, regardless of how this chapter closes.

  9. Heavy. Good thoughts to you, and also to the Fella. Sounds like he’s going through a rough time and could use a little blog love too. Hope things get better for both of you.

  10. Deep stuff, Sizz. These are tough decisions. Tough times. No one says you have to know definitively today. Do what you need to do to figure out what is right for you. And know you have a world of folks who care about and support you in whatever decision you make.

  11. I’ve heard that line…”fight for us” myself and that is why I’m still married. It’s what I vowed to do at my wedding. I think you know that you two belong together. Things just need to calm down.

    Hang in there.

  12. Been there…ooooh have I been there. If it’s any consoliation to you at all I’ve been there, more than once, and we’re still together…

    BIG hugs to you…I hope things look up, for both of you.

  13. Hugs, Sizzle. Big, warm, fuzzy ones. Sometimes tough love (for others and yourself) is really tough. Just keep on following your instincts…you’ll do what’s best and you don’t even need to know the answer right now…

  14. Oh Sizzle. I’m sorry you’re going through this. I hope you can keep your needs in the forefront and be true to who you are and what makes you happy. I hope it all gets easier.

  15. if it’s any consolation, rich and i did this several times over and look at us now.

    BUT… this isn’t about me, it’s about you and your life. i have a feeling you will know when it’s over and you are done. hopefully the situation will work itself out before the next wave of exasperating stalemates begin.


  16. Fighting is always hard–even harder when you’re fighting on both sides! I don’t pretend to know what is best for you, but I wish you (both) the best.

  17. Your experience is pouring up from this page and resonating with so many, including me. At times, the most difficult thing to do is confront the glaringly messy truth…and sometimes it takes greater strength to try then to walk away.
    You writing is honest and brave…thank you for sharing!

  18. I have been there and I’m so sorry. It is so hard, SO HARD, to be in that situation. And youc ouldn’t have said truer words; you can’t love a person enough to make them love themselves.


  19. Wow, I know what you are going through. Sending you some virtual (((((HUGS))))) and I know it’s cliche but remember if it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger. It won’t kill you….you WILL come out of this stronger, no matter what direction this heads.

  20. Siz, if you need to bend an ear…one that is impartial and far away, but still keen to listen…you know where to find me. I hope all is ok!

  21. Sizzle – You are a beautiful writer. Your writing is the beauty that comes out of a shit situation. I’m usually not a “find the silver lining” type woman… because I believe that shit is shit and it smells like shit too… but you are blessed with words. And process. And progress. And you put it out for there for strangers like me to read. And I love it.

  22. *big hugs*

    I would say one thing no one else has and that’s to not give up staight away. Sometimes the beginning can be tough. Bad times don’t have to mean the end. I’m sure you know all this but I just wanted to say it.

    I hope everything works out for you 🙂

  23. Big hugs, you are so strong Sizz, and this will end up the way you want it to, however that is. You know you are right, you can’t fight for two and you can’t love someone more than they love themselves.

  24. Sizzle, just getting caught up on how you are doing as I haven’t been around much. I’m sorry to hear you guys are going through a rough time. Hope things get better soon…..thinkin about ya.

  25. I was feeling dreadful because the beauty of your writing was getting in the way of me empathizing with you, but I see from the comments that I am not alone in that. Stunningly phrased, start to finish, Sizz.

    In my marriage, Bret is the one who sometimes must “fight for us.” When I fall into one of my downward spirals, my ability to feel love for him, for my daughter, for myself shuts down and I want to just give up on everything. Even life, sometimes. He won’t let me. While it is absolutely true that no one can love someone enough to make that person love themself, Bret’s unshakable love for me helps me to realize there must be something of value within me, even if I can’t see it at that moment, and that is enough to keep me holding on. This is our truth; it may not be yours.

    This is just my way of saying we have been where you and The Fella are. It is painful and hard and scary, but for us at least, the love is worth the struggle. I hope your hearts guide you well.

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