Cafe Hitch-hike


After the difficult conversation

I made the unilateral decision to end things, and Rafa went with it. We made the exchange of each other's belongings and had a little talk. The whole point was we were two very different people who couldn't create a mutually inhabitable world, at least that's according to my perception of things.

I suspect he wanted someone free-spirited because it is something he is not, yet it appeals to him. Someone said he is probably drawn to me because I am opposite from him. He is socially and politically conservative, and freedom and openness were largely discouraged in his surroundings. He wanted someone to show him what they looked like, but it really wasn't what he is comfortable with having. With that, I suggested he date someone with beliefs like his. Have a free-spirited friend or side piece, but not a girlfriend or wife. Naturally, he didn't see it that way at all.

Rafa suspected that I didn't want a committed relationship. He said every time we seemed to inch closer to taking things further, I balked. I agree, but my pause had a whole lot to do with concerns I had in the relationship. He also said it was very hard for me to let him in.

I told him I tried my damned hardest. I confronted my inner demons and scoured my soul to see what (seemingly) kept me from being receptive to love and care. (It got to a point where I decided to stop torturing myself with doing those things and let things rest for a while. My therapist told me what I was doing and how I was feeling was not crazy.) Rafa said I seemed to let too much of my past creep into the relationship and that I wanted to perpetuate the instability I often saw. He also said it was my problem that I didn't communicate my needs effectively.

I then said, "oh, I guess that's it. I was the problem. Everything was my fault. I was the one with the issues. I see."

Maybe it was and maybe it wasn't. I can definitely say I tried to confront those things in a variety of ways. I tried very hard to be open to his immigrant community and to his world, but I never felt like it fit. (I've had many friendships with people different than me where I did fit; one thing they had in common was they were warm and accepting as opposed to pointing out and upholding differences. The difference is where one says, 'we're so glad you're here' while the other main message is 'we are this, but you are that.') I also felt that Rafa didn't try very hard to interact with my world and that his comfort level with it only went so far. I felt so frustrated and confused!

At least our talk didn't completely turn into a rant of 'you did this, you did that.' It just became clear that we were not able to perceive many things eye-to-eye and I had to accept that. It wasn't good and it wasn't bad, but simply the reality of the situation that reflected a big portion of our relationship's backdrop.

I told him I didn't want things to end badly between us. I was sorry for disappointing him and that things didn't turn out the way we had hoped. I didn't mean to bring the pain we would inevitably feel in the days to come.

I now see that I need a relationship where I have the freedom to be myself. Yeah, my family was haphazard, but we were never told to change ourselves to fit someone else's vision of what we should be, while living with my step-father taught me how to change enough to keep the peace in short-term situations. Those are two good things I can say I got from them! The best relationships I had (even if they didn't last forever) carried that characteristic, and I'd like to think I gave my partner that freedom as well.

Ironically enough, I felt those those types of relationships had a deeper sense of friendship, intimacy, and vulnerability. With freedom comes more vulnerability? Well, it makes sense. If people accept each other, then they feel comfortable with each other. If they feel comfortable, then they open up to each other and then a deeper sense of connection and passion can grow. Wow, so passion emerges because of what is shared and how two people feel about each other rather than happening strictly because of pheromones?

Oh, yeah, sex was generally satisfying in those relationships, and I felt like we had a nice level of activity and fun in life!

With that, I don't think I'm dismally incapable of truly giving and opening myself to another! I definitely fell in love and felt very deeply for others, even when not based in delusions, hahah, so I think I have the required components for that to happen. At least I hope I do! Maybe being with Rafa has glaringly showed me how important acceptance, openness, and freedom to be are for my relationships!

I can say the communication part is where I do need work. It is a struggle. One of the smartest people I know (and knows me well) told me it is that way for everyone and thinks I can competently navigate all of that; don't beat myself up when it doesn't go well, but just see what happened and try differently next time. I still need to be more direct (yeah, and then I get the message that I'm too direct, so that is great).

Vulnerability... well hell, that's the way it goes for a person who has played the field long enough and had all kinds of things happen. That same smart person told me I would be foolish not to have some sort of protection after seeing all of that. Trust needs to be earned, not given, he said.

I can also say that I opened Rafa's world as well as that of his family. I was an outsider (oh, hell yeah I was) who stepped in for a little while and showed them things and places they had never seen before. I introduced Rafa to English-speaking America and he found attributes that he liked; he learned that plenty of Americans (or better yet, White people) accepted him and were comfortable with differences!

Rafa introduced me to the softer side of life, like feelings and emotions. He showed me the child-like side of life (although, sorry, I considered him childish in other ways). He also showed me how to put people rather than my career and things, and I sure hope those things stick with me!

Remy redefined my understanding of friendship and giving to others, while Rafa changed my understanding of what it is like to belong to a community and what one must contribute to be a part of one.

This year and 3 months was not a waste of time. I figured out a lot of this 5 months ago, but a few things recently happened that added glue to the pieces, namely, 3 very revealing conversations and a benign yet intriguing look and comment from his brother. I think the tough conversation and the decision happened when the time was right.

I really wished things could had been different and gone the path we wanted for things to go. We were going to move in and it was determined I was healthy enough to have a child (or at least the risk wasn't high)! I wanted so badly to go that direction, but something just did not feel right and it was not fear! I don't think I jinxed this completely with my past or my complexes although it added some difficulties.

I really wished Rafa could had owned up to some things that really irked me and would probably irk any other woman. I really feel like I tried my best, and if I really want something different, I sure hope that becomes clear to me so I can do things differently the next time.

This all was done on a Mercury Retrograde (hahahha), so something about this might come back around. Whatever it is, well... I just hope whatever it will be for the best.

downwind | upstream