A rush of grief seven years later
Due to my mental illness (manic-depression) my partner, H., left me 7 years ago, after 16 years. It wasn't supposed to be this way. We were one of the long-term gay relationships that was supposed to make it. We worked hard at it, but in the end it came down to my partner feeling trapped in a relationship that mirrored some of the more difficult relationships in his family with mentally ill people.
I have been well for most of the last 7 years. I am on a cocktail of medications that work, I live in a light-filled, south-facing condo with a huge view. I have not been depressed or manic since moving here.
I fell into a new relationship shortly after he left. I broke it off when I felt I needed to go back to H. We tried it again for 6 months. He came to me and said it was over, something had died in the relationship, and this wasn't what he wanted.
After many single years, H. is in a new relationship with a wonderful man whom I like a lot. Meeting H's new partner, P., drove home the reality that it was really over with H, and I went into deep grieving about the loss of the love of my life. Since I was ill when he left, I was more concerned with getting myself well and didn't realize what I had not dealt with. My new relationship with A. is wonderful, different than with H., and stimulates a whole part of me that wasn't with H.
The shock has been how deeply I am grieving for H. I only remember the good times, and don't dwell on the bad. It feels like a part of me is still with him, but can't be acknowledged because of his new love.
I am moving through this, but it's taking a long time. With the help of my long-time therapist I am beginning to understand how this fits into my life now. The irrationality and raw emotion of this grief blows my mind, and my heart. I know grief like this never goes away, we just find a place for it that is less painful. I also now that the hard part can last 2 or more years. I look forward to the pain easing.
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