Intimacy and with a side of Ego?

6 Mar

I recently have been involved with helping a friend get over a breakup. A heartbreaking one…actually are there any other kind when you love someone?

In deconstructing the relationship, the breakup and what was said, after several days of her crying when she was able to actually construct sentences, we went out to dinner. Over wine and Caesar salad (she didn’t have an appetite),  she told me that when her man was breaking up with her he had said, tell me why I shouldn’t. She said to him that clearly he’d already made up his mind and “what do you want me to do beg you?” She didn’t recall what he’d said in response.

This is a woman I’ve known for twenty years, although she’s quite a bit younger than me. She’s been with her man for a year and thought they had a real future. I did too.

 As she was choking back tears, I’m uh-huh-ing  and handing her tissues. I know that now is not the time to tell her that saying that what she said to him was the wrong move. He clearly didn’t have his mind made up. He was wanting her, asking her, to give him a reason for them to work on their relationship, to not breakup.

Then she told me something else. As he was walking out of her apartment, at the door he said, I’ll always love you.

She looked at him, filled with anger, tears, and said, “F… you.”

Hmm–again knowing that this was not the time to scold her, I held some of my tongue, but I did ask her why she didn’t just tell him that she loved him too.

“I was too angry. I was too hurt.”

Here’s the thing she didn’t say. “I have too much pride,” but she didn’t have to say it. I know that it’s true and the ego will lead us down a wrong path every time. By holding back, we prevent ourselves from being vulnerable and when we resist being vulnerable we miss real intimacy. The best part of a relationship.

Intimacy isn’t sexy lingerie and scented candles, but it’s showing up as your bare self to your mate who is  showing up the same way.

I hope my friend will someday be able to see how her ego gets/got in her way.

Holding back prevents intimacy…we lose so much when we “protect our vulnerability.”

All my friend achieved with her F bomb was create more distance. Whether she’ll be able to repair things with her ex remains to be seen. I, the perpetual romantic, the believer in love over all, believes my friend and her ex can find their way back to each other.  If they don’t, I really hope my friend can work on keeping her ego, to stop being afraid to let go, to  learn that real intimacy can only happen when you become vulnerable.

2 Responses to “Intimacy and with a side of Ego?”

  1. Eric Wagner March 28, 2014 at 11:14 am #

    Mrs. Little, I just wanted to say what a pleasure it was to chat with you last night at the Montclair Library after your writers panel. Like I said mentioned last night, I felt that the opening pages to your next book, “Welcome to My Breakdown,” captured your emotional state so beautifully that I was glued to my chair. During my college years, I was no stranger to depression, and hearing you so elegantly craft your words with such grace has inspired me to search my own feelings more deeply and see if maybe there might be more to them than what I have allowed to be written so far. I’m sorry to have left so many of these messages across you social media platforms, but this has been the first time that I have gotten to really meet an accomplished author, and it meant so much to me to be able to hear you speak about your own experiences as a writer.

    • Benilde Little April 17, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

      Dear Eric,
      It was so nice talking with you too. Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond, I’ve been working on a deadline to get in some final edits to my publisher. I’m just getting around to blogging again. I’m glad to know that I stirred something in you. If you haven’t already, take a look at Unholy Ghosts writers on depression. It’s a collection of essays.
      I wish you the best on your writing journey.

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