I should know better.

I should know better. Hiking in the snow on a glacier in the Austrian alps should have made it clear enough. Birkenstocks are not good shoes for hiking in the snow.

Supposedly the local elk herd was out and about, so I went to go see. I didn’t see them, they must have moved on. I’m suspicious that these elk are like snuffleupaguss.

So, I was all dressed for the cold. I decided to hike up the road. I ended up going more than twice as far as A. and I had ever gone. Which is an odd thing, I suppose. I did feel it, and I almost turned around once but kept on going. It was neat because as I went up and up the snow was still there in the trees and on the road. Anyhow I went quite a way past the end of the county maintained road. I didn’t see anyone else up there. I heard a bunch of birds and definitely there were some animals scuttling about in the brush. At one point I stopped to eat some snow and just revelled in the sound of the dripping water and the occassional clump of snow falling off a tree branch. I kept going until I was in danger of soaking my feet in the water running down the road. I really need to find my boots in storage so I can tromp up there more.

So, a funny thing happened on the way back. I noticed all of a sudden that I was smiling and I was practically bouncing as I walked. I felt happy. I met someone on the way back and couldn’t help but be enthusiastic about recommending that he go up the way I’d come since it was so nice.

I came home and had a little snack. Then, I turned my attention toward getting this 2nd computer online so that I could check my e-mail and stuff while the brothers are on the other one playing games non-stop for hours.

Then I started to realize something else. I was running through my head things that we could have done to work things out between us. The thing is that every time I came up with an idea, I realized that she had tried to go that direction. She tried to get me to agree to counseling, and while I didn’t say no I did kind of jokingly pass it off. She tried to get us to talk about what love was to us, but I was being grumpy and didn’t want to go through that exercise. She even told me flat out that she’d have to leave me if things didn’t get better with how she felt like I was insulting and snide to her all the time.

So, with a little perspective I realize that she tried so damned hard and I don’t think I once met her half way. Sure, I tried in my own way to do things, but I’m not sure right now if I was ever able to really listen to what she was saying about trying to make it work.

It’s really tempting to blame all of the anxiety, irritablity, low sex drive and foul moods on a chemical problem in my brain. I mean, I really don’t think I was able to change the way things were going. I could watch as I fumbled constantly and made life … well, I made being with me pretty miserable. I made things worse when she tried to focus on her own stuff, and started to pull away. It’s tempting, but even if it’s is absolutely true, that’s only part of the story. There’s no simple answer, or simple solution, to the issues I have with self-esteem, irritability, sex, neediness, and all the rest.

There was that time where we were having a big argument and the next day I realized like a flash of lightening how much I loved her and wanted to be with her and that everything I was doing was insanely opposite of how I really felt. That was the same day she came home having spent the whole day at class crying and had decided that she needed to be free.

That’s part of the irony, that we came out of it on opposite sides, but I clearly still hadn’t been able to see just how much she already had done to try to make things work with me, with us, before she just couldn’t do it any more.

She told me that she felt guilty for hurting me when we last talked, when she told me she thought that we had run our course and that it was over. She shouldn’t feel guilty. She should feel that she did everything she could to make it work.

No wonder she felt like she was having to take care of me. No wonder she felt drained the minute she walked in the door to our home. No wonder she felt like she had no other choice but to leave that behind. She had tried everything she knew how to do, and none of it worked.

I wish I could tell her that I realize how hard she worked for us, trying to deal with her own issues and having to deal with mine too, trying to point me in the right direction and falling into the role of my caretaker, trying to warn me what was going to happen if I didn’t get with the program.

She warned me and I didn’t understand.

I feel horribly guilty for having hurt her. My good intentions and genuine love brought her into a situation where she couldn’t be happy. She might have thought many times that she was failing when it was really not the case. She did wonderful trying to make it work, but she deserves someone that doesn’t need that kind of help. She deserves someone that she compliments and that compliments her, not someone that she has to try to complete.