Tonight one of my ex-girlfriends (one of the two non-insane ones I have) logged onto FF, the MUSH I first met her on. It wasn't long after she logged in that she paged me with a greeting, which I reciprocated in kind. We fell into discussion, as acquaintances who haven't seen one another in a long time are wont to do. The conversation quickly turned to what's going on in her world now that she's out on her own, at a prestigious university on the East Coast, living her own life and expanding her horizons. The status report I got back was not encouraging. As always she's involved with a lot of activities outside of class, which keeps her busy to the point she's too busy and is always tired. Her academic drive is beginning to slip. She's beginning to believe she doesn't really like this school, and may want to transfer somewhere else. The relationship with her boyfriend is on the rocks, and she's still not over the boy she started seeing after she and I broke up. She's tired of relationships and how they don't seem to work for her on the Meaningful Level, so is considering turning to Emotionless Sexual Contact to see what life on the other side of the spectrum is like. She affirmed that she's still straight (I didn't ask), but is going out with her associates (she never really called them "friends") every week to hang out at the campus lesbian night club. It seems that she's depressed and generally unhappy, but isn't coming out and saying it directly.
It's hard to watch somebody you cared about say things like this, and know that it's not your place to say anything or do anything. It's even harder to see these things and know that you're not supposed to feel anything anymore. It's hard to hate yourself for feeling like you're a callous bastard for not offering a shoulder to the extent they seem to want or need. It's hard to hate yourself for feeling like you're too close and not distancing yourself enough. I'm caught between the two possibilities and I'm hating it. I wish that she and I had never been that close. I wish we'd not ended on "friendly" terms, I wish we had a screaming knock-down gouge-the-eyes fight that left us both hating one another's very existence. It'd be so much easier that way.
Of course the conversation also touched on what's new in my world. What's going on? Well, I'm packing up to move out of the apartment. I'm gearing up, albeit slowly, to buy the house. How's the cat been? Ra's been fine, he hasn't relapsed significantly in a number of months now so he must be in remission. That's good, because pilling him is a small price to pay to keep from him getting that sick ever again. Seeing anybody? Oh, man, that's the one I was dreading. She can talk about herself all she wants. I can talk about a number of things, but I don't want to talk about my relationships, not with somebody I was seeing. *sigh, and answer anyway* No, I'm not really seeing anybody anymore. Did you and Jen break it off? That's too bad. In a manner of speaking we broke it off, yes. She and I still care deeply about one another and are still close friends. She and Jim are happy together, which makes me happy in a small way, since they seem to be a very good match. I encourage that, because it's important to me that my friends are happy. You sound like you're not too thrilled about being single again. No, I'm not. I'm not at all pleased to be back in the dating pool. It isn't being single that bothers me, it's the sickness of the dating game that bothers me. In fact, I don't want to play the game anymore... I'm getting out of the dating pool, I'm grabbing a towel, and I'm heading for the nearest juice bar to dry off and get a drink I'm through with the scene for the foreseeable future. To be really honest I'm actually becoming repulsed by the idea of dating. Hell, I think I'll be fine as a twenty-something bachelor who lives with some fish and a cat in a house that's too big for him, spending too much money to maintain a high-maintenance lifestyle like all the other decently-paid middle-class people. That's a shame, you're a real catch. I wish you could find Somebody, but there's always a catch, isn't there? But yeah, you do sort of have expensive tastes, don't you?
That's where the conversation essentially halted because her buddies were there to pick her up for the run to the nightclub. She told me before she left that she wanted to call me, that I should e-mail her my updated contact information. I didn't really respond, just wished her a good night and then she logged off.
I have no idea how I should be responding to this on a higher level. Emotionally, at the most primitive level I am experiencing a mixture of sadness, concern, and a strong desire to avoid all future contact with her (She's in my past, there's nothing I can do to help. I should just get it out of the way so the closure I achieved doesn't get all fucked up). But up higher, intellectually, I'm simply numb. I don't know what to think of this, and a part of me says don't bother thinking about it, just put it aside and leave it be. Yet the analytical side of me wants some sort of conclusion to be drawn, a decision to be made.
I simply don't know what to think, but one thing does crop up: I need to take a vacation from the MUCKs and MUSHs, and focus more on myself so that I don't get distracted by things like this.
This, mixed with the events of Sunday have not left me feeling at all stable. It has also combined with the events of Sunday to leave a very bitter taste in my mouth when it comes to relationships and where I stand with a number of them. I'm tired of tasting bile when I think about where I stand with people. I want to stand firmly in a place where none of this trepidation, none of this worry exists, and no more of this pain can reach me.
In some cases that means pushing people away. That is starting to look like the only viable option.
Tomorrow I think I'll just try to immerse myself in work.
I don't know whether I believe in me