I write letters to Wilbur through this blog, and there is one other person whom I write letters to: Leg. Leg is my boyfriend, my cute, funny, dorky, clever, and wonderful boyfriend. I adore Leg.
Everyone knows that in a relationship there is a honeymoon phase, and then there are reality checks. Both phases are important for a relationship. We need to be able to see good and wonderful traits in our partners so that we can build attachment and love. Then we need to see the ugly side of the person we’re with and determine if we’re able to work through it.
I have described Leg to you already, but let me give you an even better picture of him. Leg is a very affectionate person. He is playful and a bit child-like. But he is also mature and cares about his friends and family. Leg is dependable (or he tries to be). He works hard at his job and earned his degree. Leg is honest about himself, well, mostly honest.
The thing is that Leg puts far too much on his shoulders and thinks he can do more than he really can. I very easily depend on him, especially when I’m anxious. I tell him my worries, unload on him, and expect him to hold me up. But inside I know that there are things Leg needs help with too.
Last week both Leg and I had mental breakdowns. In his words, “I haven’t had a mental breakdown since I was in 8th grade,” and I know what that means because that’s the year he tried to commit suicide.
I was having financial problems and freaking out about lying to my parents. And because the lie involved my boyfriend, I felt doubts about our relationship, which then spiraled into fear of us ending our relationship and so on and so forth. I ended up opening up to my parents, and they supported me and were loving. Even though my life situation was stressful–I was slightly jobless and homeless as well as trying to help my Gma move–I had supportive and steady people in my life to help me get through. My heart may have felt like a giant hand was twisting it, and my emotions were absolutely crazy, but I got through.
Leg, on the other hand, got the brunt of my financial problems, which he felt partly responsible for, had stressful financial situations of his own, had roommate and landlord problems, had to move out of his house, is living in an armchair for two months, and then heard that I was feeling anxious about our relationship. He shut down.
Leg may be a strong person, but because of certain situations in his life, he does not have anyone to open up to completely and just feel safe. He opens up to me, a little bit to his friends, and that’s it. He recovered well from his mental breakdown, considering everything.
We thought this was all behind us, that we were through with any kind of repercussions. Today Leg and I got to spend some quality time together with a friend. It was nice to be out having fun without worrying about our situations. Out of the blue Leg got really annoyed at his friend, stopped talking to us, and walked away. I have never seen him do anything like that before. We were in a crowd and he had no cell phone, so when I tried to search for him, I couldn’t find him. Then when I did find him, he looked at me and his friend, said “I can’t” and walked away again. At that point I was pissed. And anxious. When we found him again, I was the one who couldn’t talk to him because I was so upset.
He felt terrible and apologized to both of us for not handling that situation well. He admitted that he needs to find some reliable people to talk to and open up to about his life. I eventually stopped being angry and forgave him. I then, of course, felt more concern from him. He promised to talk to some people from his church and to talk to God more about what was going on. I felt desperate, wishing I could find him a different place to stay so that he could have some peace. But I couldn’t do anything but pray and hope that maybe God will give me an idea or help Leg in some way.
In the midst of this, I’ve started to realize the flaws of the person I admire so much. He acts like Superman sometimes. And he can be. But really, he’s just a man. A good man. A flawed man. A sweet man. A proud man. A funny man. A frustrated man. And somehow, I love him more than I did before.