When it comes to making a decision about your future, sometimes it takes reaching in to your past to do it. That’s what happened back in 1996, as I was contemplating the fate of my relationship with then-boyfriend Larry.
A trip to Toronto, where I reunited with high school sweetheart Hogan, amplified my doubts about continuing to see Larry. I now Open The Vault and take you back to October of ‘96...
October 17, 1996, New York, NY
Larry and I broke up last night. Although my decision was a long time in coming, our final moments together were excruciating -- especially because of how much I hurt him.
The man who so fiercely put his guard up months ago and who, more often than not, keeps his emotions in check, couldn’t hide the pain he was feeling. I’ve never seen the sadness that I did in his eyes, nor have I ever felt such remorse about hurting someone.
Larry is the first man who truly respected me as an equal. Despite the 16 year age difference between us, or perhaps because of it, he was sensitive enough to avoid patronizing and understanding about my insecurities.
His unconditional acceptance and affection freed me to express myself in ways I never have before. I felt safe and secure, knowing I could trust him completely and that he appreciated every part of me. If I now know the basic tenets of a good relationship, it’s because he taught them to me.
So why did I choose to leave him? Because, for all of his good intentions and honorable ways, our relationship was no longer making me happy.
Mom’s illness sharply illustrated Larry’s faults -- his dark and jaded nature most especially-- and that I could no longer endure them. He was incapable of giving me the support I needed. Right now, I need to be able to lean on someone who can lift me up, not bring me down.
Admittedly, Larry hasn’t had a great year. He failed the CFA, lost a friend to melanoma and recently, lost another to suicide. He couldn’t deal with my crisis compounding his own -- or at least, didn’t know what to do.
I feel terrible about adding to the emotional weight he’s carrying around. I just hope he knows how sorry I am -- and that I feel lucky to have had him in my life.
* * *
My breakup with Larry wasn’t the final chapter for us. Much to my great surprise, our split dovetailed with the return of a big love who continued to haunt me -- Sparky.