Sex and the Ivy

Things Contained, Unchanged.

Filed under: Dating/Relationships — Elle January 22, 2007 @ 1:11 am

I don’t want to admit this. I don’t want to admit this. But I will.

At the end of the day, I still think about you. At the end of the night, I still care. I wish I didn’t. I can’t explain why I do. Reason says that you’ve done nothing but hurt me. Gut instinct says what the hell. But I should listen to the former … “reason” being my friends. Since my therapist says my neurotransmitters aren’t the most reliable, the roommates have to do. They’re probably more dependable than my own judgment at this point and they have my best interests in mind. But instinct doesn’t. And neither do you.

So what I don’t understand is why I care so damn much about someone who couldn’t care less. I think about you all the time, worry about you as if we were friends (which we’re not), and actually want to be part of your life. You don’t think about me at all. The irony is that I’ve been doing all these things to distract myself from you, and simultaneously everything I do is because of you. The spending sprees, the serial dating, the constant desire to run away … it’s all because of you. You’re the one I’m running from when I board buses and shuttles and planes. You’re the one motivating my applications for visiting student programs at other universities. You’re the one who is more threat to my sanity than hurt to my heart. When I leave town, I’m really leaving you.

There was a moment when you initially broke my heart that I thought I could fall right over the edge of reason. Every day since, I have taken a step back and I am now a safe distance from it. I intend to stay here, ice my wounds numb, and enjoy the indifference of not feeling anything in the places that count. You taught me to expect disappointment in a way that my father never did. Or maybe you built on lessons already learned.

I’m sorry that I will never tell you how I feel in person, though certainly, I owe you that much. But I can’t even bear to call you out by name. My overwhelming desire for you to understand is overshadowed by my fear that you’ll recognize yourself between these lines and actually demand honesty of me. But the truth is too much and not something either of us really wants, I think. It was what got us in trouble in the first place. And now that I am wary, it is much more than what I can offer.

The reason I never look you in the eye is because it makes it easier for me to lie about how I feel. I’m convinced that eye contact will push me right back on that edge, or at the very least, force the tips of my toes to teeter there precariously, just close enough to death for me to realize how foolish I am to tempt it. It will be a long time before I am willing lock eyes with you again. It will be a long time before I am brave enough to peer over the edge.

16 Responses to “Things Contained, Unchanged.”

  1. Scotsman Says:

    Powerful stuff. I’m sure many will relate with whats been written.

  2. trix Says:

    Are you serious about blaming someone else for your behavior? Who is responsible for your choices, you or this other person?

  3. Mer Says:

    Obviously she’s not blaming him for her behavior, but her actions and thoughts seem to revolve around him. She’s not saying he “makes” her do anything.

    This is well written–I agree with Scotsman, a lot of people can relate to this, myself included (once upon a time).

  4. Curious Says:

    You know, people always tell you: it takes time.

    And I guess, that’s true in some ways. But all that time does, is make you numb. That feeling never really goes away, does it? Every time he sends you an e-mail, or if you see him on your way to class, it still hurts, doesn’t it?

    Personally for me, ’tis been over 3 years - and any day now.


  5. Dave Says:

    Another great post, you are wise beyond your years, keep smilin’. life does get better, even for those of us who are a little polar.

  6. TIWWCHNT Says:

    I’m guessing you just kinda banged this one out; it’s a little schizo.
    Necessarily vague, I guess.
    I’m sure it was cathartic but…there’s very little empathy on my side of the intertubes. The whole hangup probably makes sense to you - and others, apparently - but not to the chromosomally impaired over here.
    “Expect nothing and you’ll never be disappointed” sounds pretty cynical at first glance but can be pretty empowering if you really embrace it.

  7. Sam Jackson Says:

    :: “Expect nothing and you’ll never be disappointed” sounds pretty cynical at first glance but can be pretty empowering if you really embrace it. ::

    Researchers recently concluded that this is the main cause of the Danes great happiness. Or rather, their reasonably low–and realistic–expectations, rather than non-existent ones. However, a lifetime of realistic expectations makes you what… Danish? And well, I don’t know how many of us want that, TIWWCHNT. (insert obligatory ‘aren’t you proud to be an american? _don’t you support the troops?!_ here, if one so chooses)


  8. a friend Says:

    you wrote about exactly what im going through right now and you have no idea how helpful to hear someone put it in a way thats more honest and eloquent than i ever could. thank you.

  9. Single Girl Says:

    Hunny, I’ve been livin’ by a similar mantra for years - Expect the Worst, and I’ll Never Be Disappointed…

    I’m always prepared, but more times than not, I find I’m pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

    As much as I hate to admit it, I burst into tears a few weeks ago watching “The Breakup” because it hit so close to home of my life with my ex - whom I divorced almost 4 years ago… even though he’s a million miles from my mind, sometimes the pains of life still hide away in the depths of your heart you never knew existed…

  10. Drew Says:

    I don’t look at my ex’s in the eyes either, usually.

  11. iago Says:

    I found this blog much more interesting when Harvard was the top-ranked school in the country. Now that Harvard has been dethroned, the blog just seems passe’.

  12. MM Says:

    How myspace of you- vague blog entries to “you” are overdone.
    By you.
    And every teenager in black eyeliner on the planet.

  13. Tana Says:

    I just posted a link to this on my lj. I hope you don’t mind. Because at the end of the day, I still care too. Even though he’s done nothing but hurt me.

  14. TH Says:

    Just stumbled upon your blog and read this entry. It sounds a lot like how I feel towards a certain person in my life. Thanks for letting me know I’m not the only one with those kinds of feelings.

  15. Nicole Says:

    I just found this entry today after a search about “how to say goodbye” and it occurred to me that I’m STILL feeling the exact same way you are…today…at 32…about a man that sent me running the same way you were running from him. And it’s been 15 years of running for me. I hope it won’t be that long for you.

  16. NewFan Says:

    Thank you for putting words to everything I’ve been feeling for almost a year now. I don’t think anyone else could have put it better. Heartbreak is a horribly painful thing to get over. Thank you for helping me see I’m not alone. Your writing is beautiful so please don’t ever give it up.

Leave a Reply