Last week, I ended a three year relationship with my former partner David. It was a hard decision, and I spent several months thinking about it, talking about it with one of my best friends, and feeling my way to my truth.
When the answer came, it was clear, and it was sad, and it was right.
I didn't leave David because he cheated on me. He never hit me. He didn't treat me poorly. Like all couples, there were times that were rough and there were times that were happy. From sharing our small apartment with his ex-boyfriend Frank to losing my job due to the recession, we had gone through some deep things together.
He loved me through a couple of intense relapses where I went to really ugly places within myself, and he stood by me. I will never ever be able to repay that love debt. I was a crazy motherfucker that was hurting and struggling and self-destructing because I was struggling against some old and evil beliefs about myself, but with his love and support I made it through.
For the last six months, I have been on an extremely limited income, and he paid for most of our bills during that time (a couple of years ago our roles were reversed....financial hard times happen when folks are together...but you work it out).
So, when I was thinking about ending our relationship, it became a struggle between the debts that I felt I owed him and the debt I owed myself. Neither of us was perfect in this relationship, but it isn't for me to tell his tale. This is my part of the story, and so I can only say that in the end, I decided that I could repay the physical debts I had to David while also being true to the spiritual debt I had to myself.
A debt of happiness. A debt of joy. A debt of affection and care. A debt of cuddling and snuggling. A debt of healing sex and healing love. A debt of strength. A debt of safety. A debt of standing on my own two damn feet.
I came to the truth that I was staying in the relationship not because he and I were growing together, learning together, loving together but because we had fallen into a comfortable pattern of mutual support and often times paternalism. He was someone for me to rely on, and neither of us was getting that deep down joyous love, peace and sustanance that every single person deserves. We had become the best of friends but we weren't boyfriends in any way.
I wasn't always a good partner. I wasn't ever perfect. But I loved him the best way I could. I loved him when I couldn't love myself. He taught me what it was like to truly see someone and love them not despite their flaws but inclusive of them. I can't take away the hurt he is feeling right now. I would if I could. I would take away all the times when I wasn't good and when I caused him worry and pain. But I know that we DID grow together, we did learn from and teach each other, and we did love each other, imperfectly, but openly.
And with my own love and support of others like David, Mark and Jeff, Kamal, Megan, Eli, Pookie, Wifey, and nameless others, I am now the strongest, happiest, and most centered I have ever been. THAT work I did MYSELF. THAT WORK and THAT GROWTH I owe to NO ONE. THAT I owed to myself. And THAT work I will continue to do and live and love myself a little more every damn day.
I also have love for David. It is my sincere hope that we continue to be deep friends, artistic collaborators, and family. What this moment in life has taught me is that a break up is not something you do to someone else...it is something you do for yourself.
I am finding my joy. I wish nothing but joy, peace, and happiness to him. Thank you for the gifts you gave me.