We found each other through our blogs, back in the beginning of 2007. Another online friend directed me to his blog, I read a few entries, was intrigued by his lyrical writing, and how many of his viewpoints matched my own. I left a comment or two on his, and, at around the same time he had begun reading my blogs, leaving comments on a couple of mine.
On a whim, I sent him an email message in reply to one of his comments:
"You sir have definitely intrigued me in the past few days."
Then again, I should probably add that I think you're something special. Just a hunch."From that moment on, we began exchanging emails, multiple emails, between us over a 1000 in the past year.
Within a few weeks, the emails became an opening of two souls to the other, I quickly became very fond of him, then infatuated.
All the while, knowing that I was in the worst place possible emotionally to be feeling what I was feeling. But as time moved on I came to feel a love for him, fighting it at first, because I had been involved in "online relationships" before. I knew how dangerous they could become to someone in my emotional state. I knew that if not kept in check, if I did not keep myself focused on what was going on in my day to day life, I could quickly lose myself in a world of fantasy. I had been there before, and was not going to allow myself to do it again. I had to concentrate on the changes I needed to make in my "real" life.
Those "online fantasy love affairs" had taken place during a time when I was unable to face the changes I needed to make in my life, I used them to distract me from my inner angsts. In a sense they were an important part of my growth process, in that, I learned I could feel again, in fact there were times I felt like a teenager not knowing the difference between lust, infatuation, and love.
As I look back upon those online "love affairs" I have come to understand many other things as well. I did use them to hide from my inner pain, to hide from the failure of my marriage, to hide from the fact that I couldn't go on as I was. I used them in an attempt to get needs met that were not met in my relationship with my husband. They also taught me, that for me anyway, they didn't work for long. They were a soothing salve, but eventually they did not aid me in moving on with my life, in making the changes I needed to make, changes that were needed to save myself, or my children. They were only a hindrance.
So, when I began looking forward to his emails, when just the sight of one in my inbox would make my heart flutter in happiness, I became more cautious with myself, examining each feeling in detail, before I let it be what it was. For, I knew I could not allow myself to become lost in another world of fantasy. Yet I could not back away from this "Lyrical Man", I was completely under his spell. As the weeks and words flew, we eventually exchanged those three little words, words that scared the bejeezus out of me, but words that I knew I felt. I love you. Three little words, that carry so much meaning, three little words that have a multitude of definitions depending upon who they are said to, where we are in our life, how much we are willing to open our hearts. Yet, even though this was through written word only, and I couldn't really put my finger on why, I felt this time was different, I was different, he was different. It was not just fantasy, or roles we were taking on to fulfill unmet needs. Don't get me wrong, fantasy was there, all those words we exchanged included desire, lust, ravishment, and romance.
But, for the first time in years I also felt more grounded, I was coming back into my own. Even in the midst of extreme emotional turmoil, I was finally allowing myself to view my life in all of its oh so bleak reality. I was already in the process of moving on with my life, planning the changes I needed to make. His becoming a part of my life at the time seemed more helpful than a hindrance, he gave me words of encouragement, when I most needed them--not words encouraging me to end my marriage--but words that boosted me up, words that allowed me to see myself in the eyes of another that were not denigrating.
As often happens, we were both experiencing many changes in our "real lives", changes that also meant we could really think about one day meeting. So, after many, many months of exchanging words alone, we did meet.
Our first meeting was an eyeopener to me, (to him as well I am sure, I honestly cannot remember if he told me of his first impressions of me from that weekend or not...I do so hate my memory). I had to reconcile the man I only knew through words, to the man he truly is. Even though I had desperately tried to not create a fantasy man, I knew in part I had. Thus I was apprehensive at the thought of meeting him. This man who had me completely enthralled.
With that first weekend we spent together, he did become real, very real. Upon my long drive home, from that weekend we spent together, so many thoughts, so many emotions rippled through me. I was one very confused woman, unable to reconcile all that I felt. I was conflicted, thrilled, enthralled, guilt ridden, sad, joyful, amused, and bemused. Since that time, we have been together on other occasions. I am always excited at the prospect of spending time with him, I enjoy almost every moment we are together, no matter what we are doing, (even when he is whining)*. Each time I have left him though, during my ride home, I would be happy we spent time together, yet, I would still be filled with confusion.
Even with that confusion though, comes the knowledge that it is all OK, I have no room in my life to want more. I have too much healing, and growing to do, to seek a full blown loving relationship with another. I am simply not ready. There have been days when questions arise within me. Will there be a someday when we will both be willing to explore each other's hearts to the very fullest? Or, as our lives become freer, will we slowly fade from each other's lives? Only time will tell, and although it sometimes amazes me (since I have never thought of patience as one of my virtues), I am very OK with that as well.
We have shared so much of ourselves with each other, our stories, our fears, our flaws, our dreams. I have grown so much because this man is in my life, I cannot ask for more than that. In his way, he has given me so many gifts, gifts that have aided me in my journey to healing my heart and psyche. He accepts me, for me, as I am, my many flaws, and failings, he accepts. I am constantly awed by that.
I have no idea where my journey through this life will end, but I am grateful he has become a part of it.
Most important of all though, I think I have finally put to rest my need to define my feelings for him, very simply, I love him, I cherish his presence in my life. That is enough for me.**
*sorry, inside joke ~grin~
**gotta say though, I do look forward to the next time we can spend some 'real' time together.