I think I understand, now, why I’ve recently been experiencing a bit more sadness about my ex than I’ve been used to in recent months.
It’s very simple – I feel lonely just now. It’s a loneliness that is an inevitable part of starting a new life in a new place. I am isolated in the office because of the nature of the job, which will not really change. And I’m isolated in my personal life because it takes time to meet people when you’ve just arrived. This will change, indeed is already changing, and I’m familiar enough with this process of relocating myself that I can wait patiently and proactively to make new friends.
But what I hadn’t expected was that feeling lonely in my life in general would make me feel lonely for a partner. Not my ex, but the person I thought he was when we first met – or someone with some of the same qualities.
I miss that feeling of having someone on your side, who’s there for you when you need them as you’re there for them when they need you. Someone who’s there to do things with – making it safer and more fun to explore a new country. Yes, I miss that. And the stab of pain at the weekend was the memory of how it felt to have those hopes so cruelly and suddenly betrayed – the pain of finding that someone who I thought was on my side didn’t respect or trust me. That he was damaging rather than strengthening my confidence and happiness. That he couldn’t bear to be in my company, and any contact with me was increasing the intensity of his distress and fear.
The wound left by that betrayal has largely healed now, which is why I was surprised to feel that pain again. The loneliness of starting a new life just brought it all a bit closer to the surface than I expected.
Still, I am already making progress in filling my new life with interesting people, and so I know this sensitivity will soon fade again. This process goes in phases of pain and learning – they’re much gentler now, and don’t distress me even a fraction as much as they used to. But still there is a lot to learn from each new period of sensitivity.