Little by little things are happening that show me that I am healing. Those things are usually people, people that happen. I have been struggling on and off through a minor depression as I work to make sense of myself. For a brief time I tried to drink in the problems of others, so as to ignore my own, saying to myself that enough time has passed, I should be over this, I should not be thinking about this. I have bent and chewed off all the ears I could find and I couldn't talk about things any more, I felt, with certain people, if anything than because they were sick of it and had to heal in their own ways. I didn't think talking would help, but it was something, it was a start.

The gatherings and visits have been fun. Having Ted in my life has been nothing short of bliss, but after New Year's was over and he went back home, I had burnout on people. I felt pulled in all directions, many of which I allowed myself to be. I put myself in the middle of everything so I could have a good seat.

Earlier this week, I had reached a saturation point. The cold weather kept me inside and staring at one screen or another, being broke kept my options limited, and I hadn't taken much interest or made much effort toward seeing anyone who wasn't already in my daily view. We haven't had Bible study for over a month, so the one place where I could be around other women was missing as well. The dramas of everyone else began to drag me down, and I felt helpless, because I wasn't so bouyant myself. The only thing I had going for me was this really amazing person that could not be with me for a while, until we could be together again. I felt stuffed with so many feelings that none of them could take precedence, none of them could take the reins and just run with it.

So I reached out once more, for Ashley, a woman who, I felt, would be the only one who could understand my situation. I don't know why and have no reason to believe that, except she'd helped me at the gathering as she worked to express things she'd seen herself before my last breakup. She told me things I already knew, mostly, that I'd been bogged down and rushed without any time to myself to heal and get over this, that it hadn't been very long at all and that how I was feeling was totally normal. I'd been trying to be strong, to blow it off, to not care, but the whole thing got to me. The whole series of events made me ill to think of it, and on top of it all feeling like such an ass for having wasted almost a year of my time on a guy who was never capable of what he had found himself in way too late.

But talking to Mitzi helped. It calmed me down, gave me room to vent and an audience that hadn't been numb to it already by overexposure. I realized then that the overanalysis I'd put my current relationship through was unfounded, to a degree. It was like my mind was drawn to dissect a frog and all it could find were frogs that had already been dissected and lay spread eagle and rotting. It needed something to understand, to make sense of, since nothing else seemed to.

I walked away from our conversation that with a sense of peace. I slept better that night than I had in weeks. Since then I've tried to stay offline a bit more.

Suzy and I had a nice long conversation today on IM, one that was not so much long overdue as it was completely the right time. We started just msg-ing each other on E2 about this and that. She likely didn't know that I wracked myself over the weekend looking for images of her from the NYC gathering, that I wore out my mouse refreshing images from the compound cam, for reasons I am still not sure of. It was her response to the pic I had on my homenode, taken the night of the ordeal, that got us started. All this time, I've wanted to say things to her, but I felt like I shouldn't, like I shouldn't acknowledge her. After enough of this msg-ing, I said to hell with it and re-added her to by IM list.

First we were just exchanging bad jokes, but soon enough we were bound to talk about us. There were things I asked her that I'd been dying to know, things that hurt but things I needed to hear if I ever wanted to be over this. I had to see the whole story, even if I didn't have the benefit of having both sides. I had already gotten as much from his side as I would ever get, and now it was her turn. Throughout the discussion, it became clear that many of my suspicions were right and that my anger and hurt had been, in some ways, misplaced. No one is innocent, of course, and we've all been through this act of knowing what our part was, but I learned quite a bit today from talking with her, but very little of it shocked or really surprised me. It reinforced the fact that I felt like a complete ass and a fool as I'd said before, but it was amusing to hear some of things he thought, how he flattered himself, how heartless he really was, or scared, and caring without an ability to focus it, or not caring at all. It was funny, but it hurt more than anything. It wasn't about ganging up on him, or absolving her, it was something we needed to do. We had been needing to talk from these islands where we put ourselves for many many tides.

And it felt good. I mean, some of the things we talked about were painful and some of them were quite nice. We'd been able to speak to one another back and forth in the past, but it was never really this involved, this me looking at you. I remember, when this all started, when she wanted me to take it out on her, and how crazy I thought it was then, when that's exactly what I needed to do. Not scream at her or anything, but hear her side even if it hurt, that somehow that hurt could cleanse what the other hurt had clogged up.

I don't know when I will want or be able to see her in person, since I had made sure we wouldn't see each other since this whole thing started. Part of it was that I didn't want to face her, didn't want to be so clearly hurt by someone and at that time having no clue how this had all affected her, that she is human too, despite my fantasies. I also didn't want our past to be some drama for other people to gawk at, in the flesh. But I think now, and over time, I think I could.

Much of the exchange with Suzy reminded me of something similar that happened between me and my friend Sandi. Sandi got me fired from the office where we both worked by showing co-worked a node I'd written. A month later, after not speaking to each other, she showed up at the Bible study (which we also shared) and asked for forgiveness. I was so happy to see her I didn't care about what she did. We just sat there and hugged and cried. Women are weird like that.

And I guess I learned some things about myself, too. I always thought I was confrontational, but I'm not. Being afraid or indifferent was how I got stuck where I was, how we ended up so unhappy and unfulfilled. I thought I was bold, but I was meek; I had been humbled by my own intent. I was embarrassed by it because it would never be returned in kind, and since all the relationships prior to it had been that way, I thought this was as good as it was ever going to get.

But I am learning how little I've learned, and how far I have yet to go. It is hard to trust people, or love them, but it is equally hard for me to stop trying. To forgive them and myself for our equal folly.