Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Eternal Cyclone of the Human Heart

Computers are extraordinarily complicated devices. Every single piece of software ever written for a computer has bugs in it somewhere. This isn’t because the programmers don’t understand how the computer works; they do. The problem is there’s just so much to keep track of that it’s simply beyond the capacity of the Human brain to keep track of it all.

It seems the Human heart follows a similar dynamic. I have said many times in the pages of this blog that I’ve come to understand love; I still believe that. However, like the programmer who understands the computer but can’t keep track of all the minute details, so too can I understand love and still make mistakes. Feelings are just too complex; even if you understand them, there are just too many to keep track of.

When I said I no longer loved Lisa, I was only partially correct. I am not in love with her; that I know. However, recent events have forced me to acknowledge what my heart, still hurting from recent wounds, was trying to keep buried to avoid the pain:

I still love Lisa.

I’ve been back and forth about this so many times that I’m probably starting to sound crazy to some of my regular readers. If you think that, I don’t blame you; even I sometimes wonder. However, at this point, I have to acknowledge once and for all that I probably will always love Lisa whether I want to or not (that probably also means I still love Riin somewhere deep down though, honestly, right now I don’t feel it).

So. What prompted this revelation? It’s a weird story; bear with me:

The day following Lisa’s recent call, I got a call from her stepfather demanding that I return Lisa’s TV. This took me by surprise. The agreement when she left (which I have since confirmed with Lisa) was that I was to keep the TV. So, basically, I had no idea where this was coming from. However, I was totally unable to talk him out of it so I resigned myself to getting a new TV and got it ready for him to pick up.

The next day, I wanted to call him and find out exactly when he was coming in because my mom was coming in to drive me into town to get a new TV; I didn’t want to keep her waiting. My only phone now is a cell phone and I have limited daytime minutes so I decided to use my office phone.

Now, my office phone doesn’t come up on Call Display. Lisa’s stepfather wasn’t home so, when I called and Lisa didn’t see my name on the Call Display, she decided to answer. When I heard her voice, I was taken aback at first then, once I collected my wits, I decided to take a deep breath, stay calm and not act like a total idiot like I did last time. Gently, I started trying to get our long-overdue conversation started.

At first, it seemed hopeless; Lisa flatly said she didn’t have anything to say. However, as the conversation went on, the ice finally started to melt when she realized that I genuinely regretted the way I had behaved when she called on Sunday; the ice finally cracked when I openly apologized. Though we both agreed I was overly harsh, we also agreed that Lisa asking me to leave her mother’s wake was wrong on her part; she apologized, too.

Once apologies were made on both sides, we finally opened up a little and talked about how we each have been feeling these past few months. It was a difficult and very slow process but, bit by bit, we began to explore the damage on both sides and acknowledge our culpability, both of us, in causing it. It was such a relief; it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to have such a balanced, heart-to-heart with Lisa like that.

Now, I don’t remember exactly what it was that Lisa said that prompted this but, at one point, she said something that gave me a serious case of the giggles. I don’t know how she does it but every time we fight or discuss anything emotional she always finds some way to get me laughing. Once that happened, the ice shattered. Everything came pouring out, good and bad, on both sides.

I was surprised, though, at how much positive we had to talk about. Oh, we had a lot of back and forth about our many misunderstandings, sure, but we also talked about developments in her family (one of her aunts got engaged; the wedding’s August 1) and new developments in my life. We even caught up with each other on wrestling which was a blast (I'd been aching to ask her opinion on the upcoming Shawn Michaels/Undertaker match at WrestleMania XXV ;)).

Ironically, it’s only blind luck that Lisa and I even got to talk. If her father had been home and/or if I hadn’t decided to use my office phone, Lisa never would have picked up my call. It was just one of those moments where you knew something was just meant to happen.

I also don’t think it’s coincidence that, only a day prior, I actually added Lisa to my prayers for the first time since her mother died. In my Prayer of Petition to her, I asked St. Rita to guide Lisa, help her to resist hurting people when she’s angry (which is something, unfortunately, she tends to do; she admits so herself) and to give her an opportunity to make amends to those she has already hurt.

In St. Rita’s Prayer of Petition, it says, “We promise, if our petitions are granted to make known your favor and to glorify God for His gift.” In other words, if St. Rita answers your prayer, you’re supposed to let people know that she did so that others will know that they can come to her for help, too. That being said: St. Rita did answer my prayer; she gave Lisa an opportunity to make amends with me and she did. We made amends with each other.

Now, when I say “made amends,” let me be crystal clear: We are not talking about “getting back together.” If this experience has taught us anything, it’s that Lisa and I get along much better when we don’t have to deal with each other 24/7. We’re meant to be friends, not lovers. That’s the main reason Lisa and I failed; we were trying to force our relationship into being something it’s not.

There’s still a lot to talk about; it’s still a long road ahead. However, I think it’s a road worth traveling.

I hope Lisa will think so, too, as time goes on.

Monday, March 23, 2009

An Unexpected Call

Guess who I got a call from last night.

Lisa. Of all people.

I tore a strip off her, good and solid. I maintained decorum of speech, mind you; I didn't resort to swearing or name calling. However, I made it abundantly clear exactly how I felt about her decision to kick me out of her mother's wake, something I've been wanting to tell her for quite some time.

I think the way I reacted took her by surprise. From the tone of her voice when she first called, I think she was expecting me to be conciliatory and wanting to work things out. I did want to work things out. Once. Not anymore. Not since I discovered she was capable of callousness of such a magnitude that she could take away a man's one and only chance to say goodbye to someone they loved in life as Lisa did when she had me asked to leave the wake.

I asked her why she did that. Know what she said?

"I was afraid you might start something with me."

Those were her exact words.

It's been my experience that most of us, when dealing with others whom we don't know or understand, tend to fill in the pieces we don't know about a person with pieces of our own personalities. Now, despite having known me for 12 years, Lisa never really understood me. Maybe understanding me was simply beyond her ability. Maybe she didn't care enough to even try to get to know me.

In either case, put simply, she does not know me (not nearly as well as she should, or as well as she thinks she does).

Seeing me arrive at her mother's wake, Lisa had to make her best guess how I might behave. Since she doesn't know me, she thought about how she might react in my place. Lisa has always reacted first, thought later; she knows full well, if she came to, say, my grandmother's wake and was upset with me at the time she would not be able to keep her feelings to herself. So she projected that onto me, assuming I would do the same.

Well I didn't. Not even when I was asked to leave (and, if there was ever a legitimate reason to be angry, that was it).

I know I've made mistakes. I haven't always handled situations with Lisa the best possible way. Still, I just can't get my mind around how she could've shared my life for 12 years and known so little about me that she'd think I would do something so reprehensible as to make a scene at somebody's wake.

If that's all she thinks of me, I'm also at a bit of a loss to understand why she even bothered to call me in the first place.

That's what's bothering me the most. When I asked her point blank why she called, all she'd say is, "I just needed to hear your voice." Well, that might make sense in a normal relationship context but not after everything that's happened. I could tell by the tone of her voice; she wanted to say something but I think, when I snapped back at her so hard, she lost her nerve and decided not to say what was on her mind.

The call dropped (or she may have hung up; I'm not sure) before I could get an answer to that. I've been trying to reach her ever since. She wouldn't pick up her phone last night and it's off now. Evidently, she refuses to face me.

I wish she'd at least have enough intestinal fortitude to face the consequences of her actions like an adult and at least tell me why she called.

I think she has a responsibility to at least explain that.