Gratefulness and Disappointment

Last year I met someone who was (and I guess still is) quite special to me. Someone who I cared a lot about but also someone who knew how to hurt me. And she did hurt me.

“Calm” (2019)
Fujifilm X100F 23mm@F4 1/850s ISO400

I met her online and we soon liked each other and met often and exchanged lots of messages. She was a very unique person. Proudly independent, unconventional, with her own opinion on things, she seemed not to care what others thought about her. On our first real (after the obligatory coffee shop meetup) date we took a long walk at night through the park. We talked about intimate things from our childhoods like we knew each other for years. This continued every time we met. We seemed to understand each other with ease.

She had this uncanny ability to make me open up, to reveal my desires, my wishes and my fears. It felt really good to just be me and to be open with her and ultimately with myself. It was like I did not have to be, if just for a few hours, a husband, a father or a coworker…a role so to speak. I could be me and I discovered with her help this new and vulnerable side of myself. She made me a content person this way. At least for a while.

I got to know her as well. She told me about her childhood trauma and I started to care for her. I think I was also falling in love. She was hurt, really hurt, like people are when their parents deny them love as children. And I understood her because my childhood was similar. Inside I was hurt and vulnerable like she was. I felt what she needed and wanted to be there for her. I wanted to give her some of that closeness and love that she was so much missing since she was little.

But what she needed was not what she wanted. We were both hurt as children but she never met anyone who could provide the emotional stability to overcome her trauma. I was lucky in that I met someone earlier in life and was able to heal myself enough. But her…. I made her open up as well, made her vulnerable and she hurt herself (again) with me and started to withdraw. We both ended it a few weeks later. She out of fear of letting someone too close, me out of anger for being opened up but left empty.

This broken woman opening me up changed me in small but perceptible ways. There is still change happening. I was so disappointed and angry when I lost that special connection. But today I am very grateful that she happened to pass through my life. It seems this is what she does … being a guest in other peoples lives and changing them … sometimes for better sometimes for worse. I wish I could tell her. But I also know that meeting her would only be painful.

She did and said things that in retrospect I would and can not accept from a person and I burned my bridges and said things to make sure we never contact each other again. It is all in the past now. The only thing I can do is think about it, learn and be grateful for the connection although it was ultimately a failed one.

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