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And… She’s Gone – A Tale of Loss, Love, and Being a Single Parent

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And with not even a wave, a previous love-of-my-life has left town. Returned to the scene of her college and post-college romps. Good luck.

What To Do With Unspent Love

I still had love to give. I still wanted to connect with her and her son. She even appeared to be open to the idea of closure, goodbyes, and all that. Then, POOF, the “for rent” sign is up where she lived, where we lived, during the heat of the pandemic. Where I homeschooled her son for a semester. Got him reading better. Orchestrated PE and play. It was a magic time. Troubled. Also, magic.

Over the last six months, we traded random texts and notes, and photos. Often, her “ping” would catch me off guard. Like “What are you looking for?” Often, it was NOTHING. She was just sending a text in a moment of “Awww, we had such a good moment, here’s a photo to remind you.”

I wrote about this phenomenon here (Letting Go Is Not Easy, My Secure/Insecure Attachment Issues) Here’s the one I wrote a bit ago about removing the connection so I would be less inclined to play along. (Removing Connections: Giving Up On Closure) But now, she’s really gone. It’s July 4th, I’m in love with a beautiful woman who loves me back, and I’m still thinking about this single mom and her son.

So, what’s the point? Today, as I was wondering how she slipped away without even a fist bump.

What do I do with this energy? Am I sad? Frustrated? Am I stuck in some loop of regret or shame? Or is it just ENERGY? Can I redirect it toward something more positive? Is there a lesson I can learn from spending a lot of time with a single mom who meant so much to me? How did she say, “I really want to keep you in his life…” and then prevent that from happening? Perhaps, very similar to her statements about the landlords, “I’m dealing with it.” Except, she wasn’t dealing with it at all. She was placating me. And doing nothing. She was afraid. She was worried about her son. She wanted what was best for him, not for me, or even for herself.

Redirect Our Energy

Today, I wanted a moment to acknowledge the impact this woman and her son had on my life during a difficult period for all of us. “Well, at least we have Vermont.” We escaped the Texas heat during that first Summer of the shutdown, spending two months with her brother’s family. And that’s where she’s gone. She returned to Vermont. To get something she wasn’t getting here. If I recall, the reason she left VT originally was because of the bitter winters. Again, let’s move on.

What can the loss teach me?

  • Single moms can be over-attached to their kids
  • “Best friends” can be assholes and attempt to kill burgeoning relationships
  • Landlords can be paranoid potheads, and you can still give them your agency
  • Her absorption with being a perfect mom was keeping both her and her son in a child-like state, neither of them maturing or growing up
  • Lovers can disrupt our lives
  • Being in love demands change, flexibility, and optimism
  • Saying you want to remain friends is different than doing it

With this longing energy, today, for a few minutes, I’m going to write about the drain and the draw. I must get something from the nostalgic recollections. But what?

I can feel the loss. I can empathize with the struggle she’s been through. And I can wish them well, without making any future contact. When you engage an empath you can count on them staying attached and reaching out with good wishes, until you cut them off. She cut me off. I returned the favor a few months later. And today, I’m somewhat free.

I will never stop loving her and her kid. My influence, now removed, will probably not be missed as they embark on the new adventure, VT, and starting 6th grade. I love you. I will never stop. You’ll no longer hear about it.


John McElhenney – life coach austin texas
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