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New Romantic Adventures - part 2

Unfortunately part 1 of this post got delayed. I wrote it on day 3 of our new relationship and I meant to post it then, right after it happened. We planned to go public about it and I was going to include her name. But things immediately got complicated between us and I felt I shouldn’t add making our story public to the mess.

After 3 lovely days chatting things got complicated and it dragged out for 3 weeks until it blew up one night and we are now not even able to be friends anymore. My worst nightmare outcome for us and the very reason I pushed her away all these years. I tried to keep our original relationship in a time capsule.

This is a hard thing to write about. It’s not the sort of thing that is usually shared publicly. But I’m trying to make my life an open book for the sake of ME/CFS awareness so I will say as much as I can.

I refuse to speak badly of her and I don’t want to, nor do I have permission to, tell her story which is necessary to fully understand what happened. So I will have to be somewhat vague. I apologize.

What we were attempting was very complex to begin with. She is married and got permission from her amazing husband to have a relationship with me. I have severe ME/CFS and can’t speak. And we don’t live anywhere near each other. Which means we were attempting a polyamorous long distance text only relationship with the added factors that ME/CFS throws into the mix. That’s a lot. But given the opportunity how could we not try? I thought we had a strong enough connection that worst case scenario we would just go back to being friends. But I underestimated the challenge of text only communication.

That is ultimately the main thing to blame for what happened, precipitated by other things she was going through that I won’t go into.

Plain text communication is a bit like a Rorschach Test. It’s just words stripped of facial expressions, voice, body language and even things more subconscious like probable pheromones that communicate emotions like anger, happiness, sadness etc. There is a lot open to interpretation.

Things started to fall apart when I wrote something without being careful enough to be precise with my words and my meaning got badly misinterpreted. The misinterpretations just stated snowballing from there. I would write to her explaining the misconceptions she had, and she saw anger where there was only love. It continued like that for three weeks until frustration turned to anger to the point of hatred on her part.

I’ve never experienced anything like it. I don’t ever get in fights with girlfriends because I just communicate. Fights are caused by lack of understanding or communication. In this case both. It was quite a shock and very sad because I knew it was all because of misinterpreting one sentence of written text. I knew that if we could even just talk on the phone the tone of my voice alone would have diffused the whole thing. The truth is I may not have been in love with her anymore after what was said but I still cared about her and wanted her to be happy.

We wound up saying goodbye. The last thing I said to her was that despite everything, I hoped things continued to improve for her and her life was fulfilling and full of love.

I spent the next day incredibly sad. I had carried her love with me for 18 years and we both used it as a kind of security or comfort blanket - knowing she was out there and truly knew me and loved me. That was always in the back of my mind and helped take the edge off the harshness of the world.

That was suddenly gone and I felt this horrible vacancy where it once thrived.

I spent the day laying around pouting. I felt better the next day though after being lucky enough to get sleep. I’m ok now. It is what it is. There are other people in my life who love me and I have consumed myself again in excitement about all the different projects I’m working on and can work on again after all those years of nothing but darkness. I actually just got a beautiful email from a girl I met when I was too sick to be in a relationship but have had a huge crush on for years regardless. It was a long email telling me all about what she’s been doing since I last saw her. I loved it. I will write more about her in another post. It’s a beautiful story.

Love is possible with ME/CFS. That’s not why this relationship failed. It was a contributing factor making it hard to clear things up between us because I can’t talk. But it was the medium of text only communication that led to ruin.

Given the opportunity I would try a text only relationship again. I would, however be more careful this time about how I worded delicate topics when one of us was upset. My carelessness in a one sentence text is what started the landslide that we never recovered from.

So don’t take my experience to mean ME/CFS ruins relationships. Given a different time for her if she was in a different place and not married so things were less complicated I think it would have worked between us at least for a while.

Wear your heart on your sleeve. Have the courage to give love a chance. I believe it is possible in some form for all of us if we are open to it. For me, a relationship may not be possible right now. But love is, and I am loved by some incredible women.

Donate to ME/CFS research at the Open Medicine Foundation to help stop the suffering of millions and end ME/CFS.

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