Saudade: It describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic or deeply melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. Moreover, it often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing will never return.
I wrote in my journal this morning that, “I have to let her go so I can go…but even now, if I set aside the bravado and be honest, my heart remains with her. It still refuses to come home.”
There is no logic to this of course. It is irrational but it is the truth of where I am right now. There is nothing rational about love…or grief or loss.
I’ve never experienced grief like this before.
I know some people consider me even talking about it as poor taste while others believe I’m faking it for attention or some other nonsense. They respond with more armchair psychology and exclaim, “if you really cared you wouldn’t have cheated.”
I told someone earlier this week, it took me nearly two years to recover from the loss of my marriage when I was 26. Now I realized this week, maybe I never did finish the work but instead found distractions. As such, this may take a while.
There are reasons, of course, I’ve always chosen relationships with women relying on ghosting, gunnysacking, and silence. It tends to fuck with people emotionally.
However, before reading Esther Perel’s Relationship Accountability Spectrum I would have rolled my eyes and downplayed how I feel. As such, when my friends tell me what my xp is doing is childish and manipulative, I push back with “hurt people hurt people.” When both of doctors tell me I’m reacting in an emotionally understandable way to silence I balk and deflect. I excuse her behavior because I know this is her modus operandi. I chalk it up to her introversion and my expectations.
It is none of those things.
She ghosts on the hard things. It is one of the ways she is unskilled. There is no judgment. I am unskilled in my own ways.
We all are.
As the initial chaos dies down, I spent much of the year struggling with mid-term confusion.
For example, I started pursuing a distancer looking for understanding in the face of my confusion. Because she told me to take responsibility I kept sending her money, paying the bills, sending her books on trauma and infidelity, and lovingly and patiently letting her know she was the one, the only one.
When she did speak it is through emails and is essentially a list of nearly seven years of her unspoken resentments and not one question about Us, me, or my behaviors. I responded to her list of gunnysacked, contempt-filled resentments with explanations, defensiveness, and anger confused about why she didn’t bring any of these things up when we were together.
Or worse, she spoke to me through the hyperbolic imaginings of strangers and interloper.
I really thought I was special to my xp and she might fight for Us, and together we could move through the Patterns and try to repair to re-pair.
It was an idealistic hope. I knew as soon as I screwed up we were done.
Instead, she went silent, found new boyfriends, deletes our life together, and pretends I’m dead. She has not spoken to me once in the last 15 months. She believes lies she either started by others or imagines. “Rejection and opposition are painful, ” writes Nepo, “but being treated as if you don’t exist is quietly devastating.”
It is why I wrote: it is a plea to be heard. By someone.
By her…but in the quiet of the night, when love and grief can no longer be shouted down I hear the repressed whispers of knowledge reminding me the woman I long to hear from will never return.