To: Myself (Journal)
Subject: A Real Account of Things
They say she’s moved on, but has experienced great healing. Deep down, I know part of what she is healing from, because I wanted her to face her own demons in the void of uncertainty. I rejected her. Soundly. Nearly completely. She had reached out to me, but her fiery nature and aloof perspective reopened my old wounds and I crumbled and wounded her in the process. I had spent a good portion of the past year learning, growing, and changing, and yet I knew I had more time to develop before I would become more of the man God was crafting me to be. A man should pursue God like a buried treasure in a field, forsaking all he has to obtain it. My heart could not live two lives of falling in love – one for God and one for her. I thought I had the strength to handle it though, but I was naive and wasn’t mentally or emotionally mature enough to walk through the process. And so I left her to continue my walk with God until I would return. I could feel like a failure because I wasn’t ready, or been self-conscious because I refused to give consent of moving forward, or I could feel confident in my future development and knowing when the time was right. I could feel a million things really. But what I feel now is remorse and regret because the manner in which I left her was an undoing and destroyed much – if not all – of what we had left.
She had written me a letter about all of her emotional struggles and how she held on the for potential we had together. It missed the mark. Why wasn’t it good enough? She had laid it all out. The hatred. The frustrations. The indifference. And yet possibilities. But my heart wasn’t in high level potentials of what our life could be together. How could that even exist with all the anger, unforgiveness, and misunderstanding? My heart was in the passion of loving each other, the passion of restoration and reconciliation, the passion of the process; the passion of being together in love and in pain, truly knowing each other’s heart without a sense of time or action; just being together.
It was clear our styles opposed one another. Pragmatic (her) versus romantic (me). Future versus present. Direct versus indirect. Detached versus attached. Objective versus subjective. “Reality” versus fantasy. Fact versus meaning. Impersonal versus personal. Confrontation versus collaboration. Judging versus mercy. Thinking versus feeling. Outward focused versus inward focused. Moving forward versus dwelling in concern and emotion. Power versus love. Our prior relationship had ended as I was dragged into despair without hope that we would ever truly understand and accept each other, forever disconnected. This reflected back to her as if she was never good enough and was not appreciated for how she was.
In the time we were apart, I had done much diligence in learning about our differences and how to understand them. At a heart level, I had hoped I could respond to our differences favorably instead of struggling with them. But it seems that certain personality types naturally oppose one another, to no fault of their own, and in that opposition conflict arises via misunderstanding. Did she and I, as opposites, have any hope?
I was hurting from the very start as her letter reopened this disconnection wound. Furthermore, the depths of her rage, frustrations, and stress to me revealed that though she cared about me, she was still incredibly vulnerable and needed to heal. And perhaps, she knew little of the tempering practicalities of God, lest she’d be more sensitive as she expressed her issues. I had hoped she’d lay out her healing and intentionality for progress and reconciliation and trust, rather than hoping things would settle correctly with no definite process. God teaches us to accept without loss, cast off anxiety in trust, deal with anger through ceasing judgment and oppressive mindsets, and to not think of ourselves but rather God’s story. God frees us. Was my hope and expectation unfounded? If so, then much of my pain was self-inflicted. I tried in my own strength to use the lessons that God had taught me. But I was already wounded by her initial confrontation. My strength was failing.
I was dragged into my own emotions where I could feel nothing else than sorrow. It’s amazing how the emotions around a wound cause reality to be warped and seen differently. Deep down, in feelings of resentment and despair, I surmised that in her vulnerability and my lack of communication to the letter, she could finally feel first hand the pain I had experienced during our prior relationship when I had put my heart out there and got nothing in return. Additionally, in the pain she could learn valuable lessons about emotions, boundaries, spirituality, learning to heal, letting go of anger, how to forgive, and how to rely on God. I judged her. I didn’t know how to respond to her letter amidst my own struggles. And so I didn’t respond, in part, to cause her trauma like I had experienced and still suffered in. All my resentments and pride desired this action, to send her into chaos and have her deal with the wounds and her inner demons.
Within her mind, in her brokenness, my lack of response to her letter administered an emotional poison to the core of her vulnerability. Her heart suffered. She was abandoned; critically wounded.
In my thinking, I had hoped bringing her temporary pain would create a new capacity for intimacy. Her emotions should open. Finally we would understand by personal experience how our hearts ached in pain for one another and by one another. She felt it. And more. In her disheartened state, before she knew the depth of the wound, she felt manipulated and confused. Hadn’t we begun to communicate to reconcile? Why was I causing her pain? In our time apart, had I grown? Why was I standing still and not moving forward? Did I not have enough desire to make the choice to be with her now? This is what she saw. Her wounds about not being enough and not being appreciated reopened. She began to bleed out. I wanted a process for intimacy where we depended on one another in the deep healing that needed to occur from the wounds, no matter how self-inflicted they were. Her labeling me as undesirous and unchanging only opened more wounds. We were at an impasse, both in pain, a downward spiral.
We took a few minutes to pray in silence and reflect. She was lifeless. It seemed she wouldn’t understand my prayer about resolving heart issues through spiritual growth. My heart cried. I couldn’t share my spirituality with her. She didn’t understand. This realization burst forth from my lips with such deep sorrow. She then shut down completely. I don’t know why I didn’t grant her the same amount of grace that I allowed myself for being in emotion. I don’t think I knew what to do in such a subjective and charged situation. And so I kissed her lifeless form goodbye and knew we needed time apart and would need to try again – if we ever could. It felt like I betrayed her.
Did she assume that I didn’t want any part of her? That she was a failure? That she should be totally rejected? That I was just being cruel? I needed to continue to change and grow. Get stronger emotionally through self control. Grow mentally by seeing things from a variety of perspectives. Learn to communicate more directly instead of through emotional filters. I needed to learn how to love her in a different capacity by becoming more of a leader. And I needed to rely on God for this process, and for all my strength. As I closed the door to leave, I felt the embers of our relationship die in her heart.
Something about tonight meant something deeper and darker for her than it did for me. But what? Was she doing to be bitter forever? Honestly, I knew. Her inner wounds were too well calculated. Her very process of struggle and healing would open the wounds and make her confront the rawness of her heart. The damage wasn’t meant to be immediate; there was to be no escape since the wounds were a trap for her being. In time, she would fall into inner darkness and despair.
I had done this. How could I have been so evil? How could I have delivered such death? This isn’t the way of God. This isn’t God’s work. This is a distorted human’s work. How could I murder her heart? How could I? Why did I? How sick and evil were my motives? How could I use the darkness of my own pain and emotion to destroy someone else? In me, there must have been no love. The sin I committed would leave a permanent wound that could never be healed. There was no hope for true restoration. I had destroyed the very heart of faith and belief in us. Pain, languish, death, struggle, acceptance, distance, despair, loss, unbelief, mistrust…the cycle of separation would be inevitable.
Would I ever repent? How much guilt would I carry? How can I bear the weight of this sin and this damage? Is this all I would ever see, my sin and mark of death upon her? How much would I suffer in secret for this action and destruction of love? Would I ever forgive myself?
I was devastated for days. Space from my emotional wounds gave me some clarity. I didn’t want this for us, yet I still struggled to find a solution. When I contacted her, she spurned me in rage and told me I couldn’t be in her life in ANY capacity. She couldn’t trust me in ANY capacity. I was completely shut out. What does that even mean? Am I to be preemptive in an avoidance of her? What boundaries does “ANY capacity” imply? We have personal friends on both sides of the relationship. We serve in the the same church ministry. Am I supposed to instantly remove all knowledge of her from my mind so as to treat her as a stranger? I immediately talked it over with a friend and he said to listen to her. Believe her intent. Perhaps I should have understood the true weight of her original letter. But how could I in a subjective reality? Was I blind to my own sin?
At least now I could take the weight of her words, though I secretly knew that she would have wanted me to lay everything down before her now that we were both broken. What sacrifices did I have to make and was I willing to make them, regardless of how they bound me? Did I even have the capacity for love in this? I was advised that we needed space and objective, confident communication to be able to handle this. Take 3-6 months and get healthy. Then when things had cooled off, see where we both were. How much unresolved resentment would remain underneath, along with the death and pain? How much would we be ruined? How could I hurt her and just leave?
But there was a purpose to the pain. Surely she doesn’t know the extent of the intention I had for this fallout. I hadn’t directly told her. I had even quoted scripture, Romans 5:3-5, which encourages us to persevere in suffering with a teachable attitude to mold our character and be enlivened by hope in the Godly process of renewal. Did she know that one of the reasons I rejected her was because I didn’t want her to continue her pattern of jumping from relationship to relationship? Or that when she’s single she’s highly insecure and needs to learn to deal with that instead of relying on relationships as a crutch? That she needs to adhere to stringent boundaries and criteria BEFORE dating other men, lest she suffer more pain as she compromises her values? Or that the very pattern of rejecting her was in direct parallel to how she had intentionally tried to make me hate her in the fallout of our first relationship? Did she finally understand the pain of separation in a relationship and that she shouldn’t flaunt it as an end-all-fix-all solution?
Does she realize she doesn’t have the capacity to forgive another person, something she must learn from God to know how to truly and intimately love another? Or that she needs to start pursing Jesus with a renewed passion as a necessary part of full healing? She avoids, she suppresses, she stonewalls, and she moves past instead of through. I wanted her to confront her very nature and actually be still and resolve rather than fight while moving. If I am to allow for adaptations to my nature to be with her, she should also learn to do the same. It’s clear that underneath my actions was resentment, fear, guilt, and anger. There are hundreds of subtle and not-so-subtle reasons for why I rejected her. But to her, perhaps only the objective fact remains, not the subjective reasons that I cling to. I’ll take the fall; that was my design.
In The End
If all ends well, she will be stronger, more comfortable with herself, and more free to accept life as something beautiful rather than something that causes her pain. I accept that. I’m thankful for that.
I now entrust her and I to God. She needs love. That is the only thing that will fix this.
I surrender. I must repent from being and unholy judge and being an agent of sin and destruction. I hope I can be free of this. But perhaps, I must suffer the consequences and justice from the true judge. God, how can I go on without this feeling of condemnation on my soul?