I have hopped on the internet back in
1995 but never really used its potential until a year ago, when I put up
my little personal webpage for the whole world to see and share in a
personal interest. It was a wonderful thing, to be able to share the
passion across borders and languages, reaching millions of people at the
click of the mouse.
I am a refugee from the relationship
hell, like millions of others. I have had my share of pain and
soul-crushing experience. The wrong person, the wrong relationship, for
too long. And scars for a lifetime. The relationship from hell ended
years ago. I have had time to heal and make a happy life for myself. Oh
sure, I didn't mind if I found a soulmate in my life, after all I am
like everybody else and it's always a nice thing to have. Hey, anytime.
But life was too good after being in hell for years, and the last thing
on my mind was to become romantically involved with anyone. I cherished
my years of freedom and pain-free heart. In fact, after the relationship
from hell I had the good luck to have a brief relationship with a nice
man for a few months. Even though things didn't work out, it showed me
how nice someone can be to you, and that you should never accept
anything less, never accept anything other than being treated nicely and
with lots of love and respect, even in the middle of an argument. We
didn't have much in common, so despite our affection, the relationship
had to come to a sad stop. No heartbreak, no pain this time. I had
learned the hard way to love myself, and been comforted in that belief
by the wonderful love and attention of someone.
It bears repeating: you can't love someone until you love yourself. If
you don't love yourself, all you'll do is suck love out of someone else
until they die from lack of fluid. And the relationship with it.
All was well
and I was moving on in life, brushing
aside the failed romance episode and eagerly biting into a life with
plenty of years ahead of me to enjoy. In fact, I had resigned myself to
a life without the "soulmate thing". I had resigned myself to a solitary
life, convinced I could never find anyone who felt the world with the
same skin sensitivity I did. Whose heart beat at the same rhythm. Whose
thoughts crossed the same neuron pathways and fired the same electrical
impulses at the same time. Imagine that. Not only that, but that person
would have to also share the same passions I had, and interact socially
on the same level I did, and have the same idea of the future I did, and
of course physically come with a package that could fire up hormones in
my own package in a mind-blowing way. Realistically, how feasible is
that?? Life teaches you painfully that either you fall in love with
someone's mind, or with their body, or their social behavior, but sooner
or later, one or the other becomes unbearable and your beautiful
honeymoon comes to a grinding halt as you realize you are not as
compatible as you thought you were. It's always such a heartbreaking
realization. One disappointment after the other, same old thing.
So yes, in my third decade in life, I had
just resigned myself to the fact that there most likely wasn't anyone
out there who could possibly match me as if we had both come from the
same mould. And I would be damned if I settled for anything less than
perfect after the hell I'd been through.
I am not a big believer in the
"differences is what makes it sparkle" or "opposites attract." I have
been there. I have been with someone I had some things in common with,
and someone I had nothing in common with but affectionate feelings. It
just does not work, sorry. Sooner or later your lack of neuron
connections spells doom for the relationship, because the said
relationship becomes such heavy work on a daily basis just to keep it
going. Don't take me wrong, I believe it takes a lot of work to make any
relationship work. But you should only need to MAINTAIN the
relationship. If you have to work at KEEPING the relationship from
FALLING APART, that's wasted time and something is wrong to start with.
So here I was all happy and oblivious to the pain of romance, happy to
maintain my little personal webpage and my uneventful romantic life.
Of course I was aware of the chat room
syndrome and all the personal ads and pages out there promising to find
your significant other, for free or at a price. I stayed clear of those.
I had no interest or belief in their ability to have me meet anyone, and
I wasn't interested in becoming involved anyway. I knew "perfection" was
no part of this world, so my sad fate was to live it only in my head. In
fact, I had carefully pushed aside and kept OUT of my head any thoughts
relating to heart matters.
When fate knocks at the...emailbox
One day I received a brief email from
someone who had visited my page and shared a related interest. In
essence, his message was "hi, I saw your page and I thought maybe you'd
be interested in reading some things I wrote. If you are, let me know
and I'll send it over. Kind regards." Hey, someone who shared my
passions asking me if I wanted to read about it? Sure I wanted to see
what a kindred spirit had to say. So I emailed back and said, "sure, I'd
love to, send that along!" It didn't seem like much at the time. When I
look back on our first emails I have to laugh. These brief emails
started a regular email correspondence. With mine being three times as
long as his, as I love to write and have plenty of time to do it from
home. Galen tried to squeeze in some mail time from work, a situation
that quickly became frustrating for both of us.
We had so much to discuss about our common passion, yet so many
questions remained unanswered due to his lack of email access. Before I
see that smirk on your face, the "oh yes, the usual
internet-romance-love-at-first-sight coming", let me set things
straight. There was not a byte of romance at play in our email. I had
gained my heart's freedom the hard way, and I had no intention to lose
it, and Galen was not available and not looking for adventure. We were
just sharing a common interest, and neither of us was interested in
romance. Not to mention that I was very distrustful of email as a medium
for meeting anyone.
What a joke, the internet as a
matchmaker. I am a firm believer that if you let yourself fall in love
with someone without having their PHYSICAL information, you're a fool
and you'll get what you deserve. And I am not talking about being
beautiful or ugly here. I am talking about the earthly body we're stuck
in, whether we like it or not. There are VIBES that must be there in
order to be attracted to someone and see the relationship work. Not just
sexually, but in the way body vibes make you feel like you want to hug
someone, or make you feel like you want to run away from them. Email is
great because it allows the sharing of deep thoughts that the physical
But it's a double-edged sword. You can't
have a successful relationship based uniquely on someone's mind, no more
than you can have a successful relationship based uniquely on physical
attraction. Both have to be there. Well, just my opinion anyway...
So Galen and I were not in the least looking for romance. ...Or were we.
It quickly became obvious that our correspondence was unlike any other
contact of any sort either of us had had before. Everything flowed so
easily. So effortlessly. It was so comfortable from the start. And just
kept going. As I said before, the great thing about email that real-life
encounter prevents, is that you can connect at the true spirit level.
There is no physical presence to intimidate you, and you feel free to
share so much you wouldn't share with a real person looking at you as
you speak. But the dark side of email is its destructive power. Email
can pulverize in a word months of good feelings. Because intonations can
be misleading, words can be misinterpreted, and there is nothing that
shows a smile behind a remark. Just lifeless words, no matter how good
you can be at writing them. I have lost a few good email friends over
one line taken the wrong way. It just always seems to happen. So I was
very surprised when I saw our correspondence grow without similar
mishaps. It was as though we read each other's thoughts or thought
things at the same time, eliminating the need for clarification or
And whenever a questionable saying crept
in, we always were careful to ask for clarification, and never let
temper take over. It was just such a peaceful, soul-lifting exchange. We
both loved the written word and were aching to share our soul with a
kindred spirit; to share the same interest and the pain that came with
feeling so lonely in the way we approached the world. What blew me away
from the start was how honest and open Galen was. He literally had his
heart on his sleeve. I was a total stranger, yet he expressed how he
felt about the world without restraint, without that mask everybody else
puts on to hide their feelings.
It blew me away because that was the way
I felt inside too. I believe life is too short to play games, and if
someone doesn't like what you feel/think/are, then you shouldn't waste
time with them and just move on to find someone who does. I believe in
showing your true colors from the get-go. They will show sooner or later
anyway, so why waste precious lifetime hiding who you are? If you show
who you are and someone loves what they see, you won't have a hard
wakeup call later. Yet everyone, EVERYONE that I have ever come across
in my life seems to be hiding their self, and ultimately from their own
self. Then they complain how hard it is to find someone, friend or
lover, with whom things just work wonderfully. Oh please, don't be
As our email correspondence went along,
it became obvious Galen had a lot of pain inside from the past, and from
a current life. My mother bear instinct fired up instantly. And it was
obvious that despite a lack of romance seeking on his side, the fact
that I was a female made confidences easy. We couldn't care less if we
were physically male or female at that point, but reality is still that
a man will confide more easily about heart matters to a woman than to
another man. I found out his current lovelife situation was the exact
mirror of my own years ago.
Same abusive partner, same misery. The
same obligation to deny yourself while trying to please the other,
someone you can never do enough for to make them happy because they hate
themselves inside anyway. Someone who is with you not because they love
you, but because they know they can use you for their own benefit.
Someone who is terrified of being on their own because then they'd have
to look in a mirror. Someone who can only make themselves feel
worthwhile by regularly putting you down even lower then their own
self-esteem. And after a few years of that, you become so brainwashed
that you start believing you are no good and what you've got is as good
as it's ever going to get, so there's no point getting out.
And the years go by and you stay in the
misery. Your life is totally void of love, but somehow it's scary to get
out and be by yourself so you stay in. My heart started bleeding for
him. I heard the regular put downs he had to hear on a daily basis from
his "significant other" and it made me bleed each time. I had heard
those things from the same kind of heartless person, I had been in the
same prison. Each time his soul hurt, mine echoed the pain. (by the way,
one piece of advice: if you ever hear from the person you're with that
you're "stupid", "bad", "selfish", or are otherwise made to feel like
you're worthless.....RUN. For God's sakes run as if the devil was after
you). It was not a matter of hearing the two sides of the story. Galen
never spoke badly of her. Quite the contrary. He kept finding excuses to
the behavior I knew so well had none but utter selfishness. He lived a
loveless life and had given up long ago on the lifelong dream all humans
have. The incredible companionship of a soulmate.
I wanted to reach out and pull him out of
his misery, knowing ultimately he was a prisoner of his own mind. I knew
no power or argument of mine could save him until HE decided he deserved
better for himself. I decided I'd show him the light and be the friendly
hand. I decided to embark on a rescue mission and save his soul. Rebuild
the self esteem he had seen crushed for so many years. I could see it in
him. I could see the fighter and the laughing child, the wonderful
spirit full of life. It had been buried for so long he himself thought
it dead. But somehow behind the pain in his emails to me I saw life. He
just seemed to come alive with me. I had the life inside of me he knew
he had lost long ago and was aching to feel inside of him.
I had been there and saved my own life
from emotional death, I knew the way. So I patiently sat by him and our
emails kept deepening the bond between us. I was astounded to find out
Galen felt the world and pain the same way I did. That pain of being
alive and feeling alone in the big world, of feeling different because
of it. Of feeling we were crazy to like the things we liked and think
the things we thought. Things that were too spiritual to even put words
on them, and that couldn't possibly be explained. That skin sensitivity
that had always hurt me so many times in the past, and I never thought
anyone could have an even thinner skin than I did.
The next step
About three months into our
correspondence, I grew so frustrated by the slowness of emails to cover
all the questions I had for him that I offered for us to exchange audio
tapes to be able to ramble on and free him from the need of having to
find the time to type on a computer and email to stay in touch. He
wholeheartedly agreed to the idea and we were on our way to exchanging
thoughts on tape in no time. It was a big step forward. Suddenly we
could talk for 2 hours about our views and feelings without having to
wait a day or two only to get a brief reply to an email.
We had become close friends. We shared
life's experiences and thoughts. Soon after, I received a short video
tape whose purpose was to give me a look at his collection of our common
interest. Of course Galen was on tape for a few minutes and I had my
first "back to reality" wake up call. As I mentioned earlier, anyone who
lets themselves carried away by the email reality is only a fool asking
for trouble. It's not about being pleasantly surprised or sorely
disappointed in somebody's looks. You don't get it. The physical
PRESENCE of someone you've only known via writing is the most awesome
shock you'll ever have, regardless of what the person looks like. It's
like meeting with a complete stranger. It's like looking at yourself in
the mirror one morning and seeing your brain transplanted into a new
body. To anyone out there who is having an email romance and firmly
believes how strongly you feel will protect you from anything once you
meet, I say: "Fools."
I didn't care what Galen would look like.
I wasn't interested in a romance. I couldn't have cared less. In fact, I
didn't expect to see a man. Our correspondence was at such a soul level
that I was seeing him as a hybrid, neither male nor female. So when I
saw a man on tape, I was in complete shock. I had said all those
personal things about my life to A MAN. And a complete stranger. Who was
that?? That couldn't be the person I had talked to on email for so long.
And the voice, gosh, the voice, that couldn't be the same person that
wrote all those words.
I was in shock for days. Physical reality
had set in. Hard. It was so damn strange. I hadn't tried to picture what
he looked like, so I wasn't feeling any particular way about it. I
wasn't "relieved" or "disappointed". It was just a shock to see a person
of flesh and blood standing there, and to think that this person was my
email soulmate. Soulmates Yes. We had come to consider ourselves
soulmates, not in the romantic sense of the term, but rather, as persons
who share a common interest with the same intensity. We liked that and
both felt comfortable with that.
We started throwing the word here and
there and enjoying the closeness that came with it. There was no
discomfort about it because we were such good friends. And eventually
the "stranger shock" passed for me. I learned to accept my soulmate was
of a male gender, with all the potential complications that could rise
out of that. I was no fool. I knew something changed forever when I saw
him, just because suddenly we had to stop fooling ourselves thinking we
could just relate on this pure "soul level" without the sexual
interference of the body as it usually happens. The reason why our
exchange had been so comfortable was precisely because neither of us
paid attention, nor had any reason to pay attention to our gender.
But now, there was a whole new set of
perceptions at play here, for me. He still had no idea what I looked
like. I was just words on email and a voice on audio tape... Months
later, looking back on it, I realized that deep inside at the time, I
knew I was "in trouble" as soon as I saw him on that fateful video tape.
It was overall difficult to see him, because he wasn't the subject of
the tape and had made no effort to display himself in any way. But
whatever I could see had been enough to change things forever. On a
superficial level a voice inside of me said, "oh, so that's what my
friend looks like...okay, whatever."
But deep, deep inside, another voice had
said, "...There is something about the way he moves....and the way he
walks...the way he touches things...the way he laughs..." I probably
didn't want to admit it to myself at the time, but my hormones had
gotten a sudden jolt out of their 4-year sleep. They had been buried and
forgotten for a long, long time. And something had just dug them up.
He didn't know it until months later, but
right there and then it had been the end of our "non-sexual, pure soul
connection". Something was awaken and was not to disappear. I started
poking fun about his physical self on email. Started throwing "innocent"
remarks here and there about how good he looked. It was all in good fun,
you understand, I was only working on his severely mistreated
self-esteem. I didn't really mean anything by that, I just wanted to
raise it. I was just trying to help. After all, it really feels great
when someone tells you you're attractive, doesn't it, you can never get
enough of that. Still, at that stage I kept fooling myself that I had no
romantic interest in him. I was just having fun with my male friend. And
we did have that wonderful soul connection that was lust-free. Just
because I had seen a side of him that was physical didn't mean
everything changed. Our spirits were still shining bright through emails
and audio tapes. To all the hopeless romantics out there who think a
soulmate is someone you fall in love with at first physical sight, I
will disappoint you again. I didn't find Galen extraordinarily handsome
at first. No, no lightening bolt struck me from above.
On the contrary, it was quite the
opposite. It was a slow process that settled in like a autumn leave
falls from the tree to the ground, carried by the wind. It wasn't in the
way he looked. It was in everything else. The way he moved, the way he
laughed, the way he talked, the sounds he made as he breathed between
words. The way he hesitated between words. Something very endearing and
innocent and begging for love in him just seemed to pull at every string
of my being. Finding a soulmate may not strike you like lightening, but
one thing is unmistakable: the incredible level of comfort you feel.
There is a sensation of comfort and ease relating to the person like
you've never experienced with anyone else before. A sensation of peace
that sweeps your soul. Then comes the hurt, the aching that fills you up
every time you're apart. The unbearable emptiness that seizes you when
you're not in contact. Yes. After a few months I knew I was in trouble.
I was falling in love. And "love" seems like a very poor way to describe
the feeling that invaded my soul.
We started exchanging pictures. I sent in
a couple of me. His first look at my physical self. He had a bit of a
shock himself, but not nearly as powerful as mine had been, since a
picture doesn't move and is such a limited, flat and inaccurate
representation of the self. He liked what he saw. And we both found
ourselves entering unexplored territory. Struggling to hang on to things
as they were, this wonderful soul connection to another human being,
without the horrendous distortions and pains brought on by a sexual
exchange. We were so happy to avoid all that. Sex always seems to be at
the base of every relationship disaster in the end. Sex distorts things,
hurts egos, manipulate minds, control impulses and eventually spells
doom for two people who used to get along. We just loved the asexual
exchange we had. True soul connection.
Visual connections changed all that. After all, how can you keep your
hormones quiet and your mind calm when someone whom you think looks nice
tells you they think you look nice too? Especially when you feel unloved
or free to be loved? Come on, let's come back to reality here and stop
Our teenagehood was far behind us both
and neither of us was a fool. We knew better than to fall for the
internet romance crap and looked at our budding "plain-sight" love with
concern. Where would this thing go? How could we seriously exchange
mushy things without even having met and having the full picture?
Nonsense. We were both acutely aware of the tremendous potential for
email distortions and knew there was a whole new side of each of us we
had no idea about. We knew about the gigantic potential for a hard wake
up call. We were both terrified of seeing our fairy tale end at first
sight. So we were not about to start exchanging love letters and
promises of a life together happily ever after. So...what to do?
The following months saw our connection
deepen exponentially, as we resigned to let the feelings out that were
previously not admitted or feared. Yes. Here we were, two people that
seemed to have come from the same mould, literally thinking or feeling
the same things at the same time, wanting the same things out of life,
out of love, feeling the same pains. It was spooky. I had a dream about
him once. A very powerful dream. It was so powerful that after I woke up
in the middle of the night, I rushed to the computer to tell him about
it. His replied floored me.
He related an incident in his real life
with a visual setup that completely mirrored the scene/event in my
dream. Another time, as I was looking up at the sky one night I felt so
strongly about him. Nothing sharp, nothing very precise, just a strong
feeling in the air. It was like the wind was carrying his spirit to me.
Yet, I couldn't "read" the message. I wrote those feelings in an email.
At the same time I was sending the mail, I was receiving mail from him
filled with his soul howling with pain. I counted the hours and realized
his pain had happened at the same time I was feeling this strange
feeling on my end. Yes. I forgot to say. We're thousands of miles apart.
Hey, nobody said your soulmate lives around the corner. Forget that
smoke-filled bar in the neighborhood. Be ready to take it wherever it
is, and you can be sure that God or whoever is playing behind this crazy
game won't make it easy on you.
Those two instances only comforted us in
the certainty that something unique was going on between us. It's not
everyday that you can feel someone's pain thousands of miles away.
And that your mood seems to match the
other's on a given day as if connected through telepathic wires. People
wonder what it's like and how you recognize if someone is your soulmate,
if they are "the one". Well, I am not sure if there is only one person
per lifetime to be designated as "the one", that would be a scary thing.
I have never met one before and probably never will again after this,
but I'd like to think we have more than one shot at it. In any case, the
only thing I can answer to that is "when you find such a person, you
stop wondering. It just IS." You don't wonder about it. Every fiber of
your body and soul just peacefully agrees that your being apart is a
monstrous error. Nothing else matters. Nothing. The need to be reunited
like two broken pieces of the same vase just fills you up completely. It
hurts like hell to be apart.
It's not the need to have the other here
to make you feel good. It is, rather, the totally unselfish impulse to
be together, just because it feels wrong to be apart. It's like a
magnet. Have you ever tried to keep two magnets from sticking together?
This strange, invisible force between them when they get within
attracting distance from one another is irresistible and will have you
use all your strength to keep them apart.
It's like putting on your left shoe on your right foot and vice versa.
How long could you stand walking like this? You'd bend over in a hurry
to swap and be comfortable again. No questions asked, it just FEELS
right to have your left foot in your left shoe and your right foot in
your right shoe. Anything else just feels damn uncomfortable and you
can't wait to get it right. That's all you would think about all day
long, the pain of swapping the shoes and stop the horrible discomfort.
Long distance pain
I will repeat it. All is not mushy and
happy in long distance love mail. Once our feelings and egos got
involved, a whole new set of emotional rules got into play. Suddenly, we
were both reacting with the weight of our past, good and bad. And with
EXPECTATIONS. The usual relationship killer. Fear settled in. Behind it
all, the fear of seeing our unique connection broken or come to an end
because of the distance, and the seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Two
people, two lives, thousands of miles away. I could hop on a plane and
join in any time. I was free to go, blissfully single, and emotionally
ready for a new adventure, and ready to make the jump. You only have one
life. He was buried deep into a life of personal commitments and had to
entangle himself first. Not to mention that it's never a good idea to
get involved so soon after you end a previous miserable relationship. It
is a VERY BAD idea. You get into the new relationship with tons of
emotional luggage and usually the new adventure doesn't last long. Yeah.
They call that the "rebound relationship." Where the new person feels so
wonderful, not because they are, but because you had it so bad before
that in comparison anything looks wonderful. Then you wake up one day
and realize the person is not that great after all.
I was the one who was "emotionally free"
for years, and I was very acutely aware of the potential disaster zone
for us. But then, what choice did we have? Have him isolate himself on a
remote island for a year or two before we could be together? Pain
started to settle in. Months went by, a complete agony on both sides.
Reaching out with both hands through email, yet incapable of holding
each other. More than anything else, the need to HOLD. To be one. A soul
broken finally complete again. A need that filled our minds every second
of every day. A need that fills your mind so much you can barely think.
Waiting for the relief. God, the relief, to finally stop the pain of
being apart and finally touch. We were so sick of words. That's all we
had. Words. Email words. Taped words. Phone words. We went through our
share of hurt and email/phone distortions. Emails were misunderstood,
emotions ran high. We had arguments. It is a wonder our connection
survived all this. And that it still does. So many times I've wanted to
turn off the computer and never return. Stop the pain. It would be so
easy. But it is not an option. I just can't imagine my life without him
in it. And neither can he. For the best or for the worst, we'll see this
to the end.
It is almost a year since our connection
started. We haven't met yet. Life's turns and events have made it
impossible for us to meet, as well as the sheer distance that separates
us. We have reached a point where the need to hold and the incapacity to
do so is a physical pain that fills our soul every day. For those who
wonder what if feels like to have a soulmate, here's another tidbit.
Yes. The need to hold and the excruciating pain that comes with not
being able to do so. Of course hormones run high too. Once we admitted
our feelings, things escalated so quickly it would give you a head spin.
We made love over email. Over tapes. And we found out that in this area
also, we were from the same mold. The exact mirror image of each other.
Every thing we do or want to do to one another, is something the other
yearns for. It's a magical dance. Our tempers match like we've never
felt with anyone before. Yes. Everything we say. A wonderful exchange
where we can feel free to be ourselves and never be afraid of the other.
Neither of us wants to dominate the other, and therefore we feel free to
let our inner self fly, secure in the knowledge that behind it all is an
endless pool of love and respect. And above all...LAUGHTER. We always
make each other laugh.
Not that we're trying. It just happens,
we just giggle at ourselves and about everything like two kids. Two kids
feeling safe together in a world of blind adults. The inner children in
us connected as deeply as the adults in us. We're bound to the chore and
totally unafraid of each other. We can say anything or do anything
without fearing that the other will think we're stupid or foolish. We
feel totally and soulfully free to be OUR TRUE SELVES. We never feel
shame or apprehension. We feel free to say and do anything because we
feel unconditionally loved. Life suddenly looks like this endless
magical garden, full of exciting things to explore together.
Of course we wonder. That is the main
object or our connection right now. We are planning to meet soon,
finally. Soon now. Finally. God. Finally. And all our thoughts are
targeted at the tremendous potential for heartbreak awaiting us. What if
the reality doesn't match our dreams? What if this unquenchable
love/lust connection we so wonderfully share thousands of miles away
turns out to vaporize at first sight when we meet? What if we don't like
each other's physical self? What if we don't connect? Of course it's
hard to imagine this. It's impossible to imagine our connection just
falling apart and not matching the real world. But then, that's what
talk shows are made of. People who come on TV to meet their internet
lover for the first time...and realize what a profound idiot they were
to be so convinced their "soulmate connection" could resist any physical
reality. Last time I saw such show I didn't feel sorry for them. I
thought, "fools. You deserve what you got into."
Galen and I are not approaching our first
encounter with pink balloons and cupid angels in our hearts. We've done
everything we could to prepare ourselves to the shock of a physical
encounter. Because we know it will be there. We're rather terrified of
it. We're terrified of seeing our wonderful soul connection come to an
end just because of a physical reality none of us has chosen. What a
cruel joke that would be from God. Finally letting us find each other
after so many lonely years, half a world apart, only to take away from
our drooling mouths at the last moment the creamy pie offered. We also
wonder what awaits us ahead.
Life together, as we have pictured it
millions of time. We know there will be a honeymoon period....and the
real picture settling in. As we'll find out what it's like to be with
each other in the real, physical world, puffy clouds are bound to blow
over and test the true connectivity of our souls.
Yes. We both wonder. What will it feel
like to finally come face to face. What will it feel like to see that
passenger gate open at the airport and for the very first time realize
that you CAN hold, and that it's only a few moments away from happening.
What will we do? Come running and crashing into each other? Stand there
in shock and stare? Stand there in AWE and stare? Cry? Laugh? Run away?
The story as I said is an ongoing one. And I wish to share it with all
that have read this far. If it seems too good to be true, be assured
that Galen and I both wonder about this very thing too. Sometimes it
just does seem to be too good to have a happy ending. We just can't
believe we finally found each other.
The soul we've been looking for for so
long. So perfectly matched to one another. Literally, if God had made
him, put the mould away for a while, then picked it up again and made
me, it would be exactly it. To use a typical analogy...the key and the
keyhole. Perfectly matched. Not that our tastes are identical in every
point. Don't misunderstand this. We have different tempers. We have
different food tastes and preferences. But we approach the world with
the same sensibilities. We feel the world the same way. And our thought
processes follow the same paths. After all, we share the same passion. A
passion that has filled our lives for almost two decades now, something
we never could explain but felt so strongly about. And one day, we met
through this common passion ...by the miracle of the internet.
We would never have found each other in
the whole wide world without it. And we could never have explored our
souls like we did, had it not been for the email format that allows the
physical presence to be hidden from view. It took us a lifetime to find
one another. It just doesn't seem possible that all this bliss would end
in a "happily ever after" fashion. We have longed to touch for so long.
It's as though something will happen that will prevent it from
Sometimes I have to slap myself to stop
worrying about something happening to either one of us that would end
this wonderful soulmateship before it even had a chance to start. An
accident happens so fast. The irony is, after you're together you still
worry. Then you worry about your wonderful happiness being taken away
from you. Every time your beloved one walks out the door, you start
having visions of mangled cars or some similar heart-stopping thought.
That's the price you pay for allowing love in your life.
I decided a long time ago it was all worth it. I decided I would see our
story to the end and give it a try. Because life is short. And there is
nothing worse than to die with regrets....I believe I have finally found
the missing piece of my soul and I won't stop at anything to make us one
again. Only time will prove me right or wrong.
Meeting for the first time
It finally happened. April 19, 2000.
The Fantasy 1 - I will be a
nervous wreck and crying my eyes out at the airport while waiting for
him, and fall apart with emotion when I see him walk out that passenger
The Reality - My first flight to
Los Angeles was late. I missed all my connections. I missed the flight
to Australia. Spent all night between airports and couldn't hope to
board a plane to Melbourne until 24 hours later. I finally boarded a
plane and I arrived after 48 hours with no sleep and severe airportritis.
The Fantasy 2 - He will be there
at the airport to meet me. My soulmate will be there with open arms to
comfort me after a long flight to a foreign land. When I see him my
heart will pound so hard I will faint, scream, cry, run to him or away
from him, blush tomato-red. I will be so raggedy and dirty after such a
long flight (24 hours or so including connection times) it will be
terrible for me and I won't feel sexy. He will think I look terrible.
The Reality - All I had left in
the country were 4 days. I was supposed to drive 8 hours to meet Galen
in a city nearby. Because I was so late our plans had to change daily.
He managed to fly himself to Melbourne to meet me there. I was the one
meeting him at the airport. I was fresh out of the shower while he was
raggedy after a day trip. After the flights from hell my mind was
completely empty and I could barely feel my heart beat. I awaited his
plane with little excitement, struggling to believe it all was real and
going to happen, finally. I started thinking maybe he wasn't on the
plane. So many things had gone wrong on this trip I was expecting
anything that could go wrong to do just that.
The Fantasy 3 - We will stand
there and stare at each other for ever, in awe of the moment, shaking,
reach out slowly with our hands and feel our fingers touch, the magical
touch so long awaited. Then our hands will cross fingers and we'll pull
closer slowly, and finally have this long embrace that will feel so
perfect and so right. I will be so excited and daring, I had wanted him
for so long. He'll be his natural shy and insecure self and just blush
while barely daring to look me straight in the eyes. He'll probably
stare down at his feet and I'll have to lift his face up to mine if I
want any kind of contact.
The Reality - I stood there,
watching the passengers getting off the plane walk by me to greet their
party. Finally, Galen walked out. Within a few seconds, he had spotted
me. His face was lit up like a rainbow, he had a big smile on his face.
His eyes were intense as a laserbeam and shining across the hall,
sparkling like crystal reflections on lagoon waters. I was dumb struck
and hit by a severe stroke of shyness when they got within a few feet of
me. As he came within an arm's length of me I couldn't bear the
intensity of his eyes shining right through me and put my hands over my
face, swinging around to hide myself from the unbearable glare.
Gosh, he looked so fabulous, so ALIVE.
His eyes on the video or pictures had always been dark and hard to see.
And here they were, just two green laser beams shooting at me at full
blast. The power and dimension of life that had been missing from email
or video were coming out at me like gigantic waves crashing on a rock. I
had managed to grin before pivoting around like a shy 5 year old kid, so
he didn't feel rejected and kept on walking towards me for a hug. After
a second or two I forced myself to come out of my hiding and bravely
walked towards him to give him a hug. I didn't want to. I felt very shy
and the last thing I wanted was to press my body against this attractive
stranger's body. How dreadful! Yet, here was my soulmate waiting for me
to give a sign of happiness, I couldn't just stand here and shake hands.
If only to reassure him that I wasn't twisting away because I didn't
find him attractive.
The Fantasy 4 - I'll have to grab
his hand later if I want to hold his hand because he won't dare to. We
will hug for an eternity, kiss and immediately hold hands. That first
kiss will be the most wonderful kiss ever. I'll have to make the first
move for a kiss because he won't dare to.
The Reality - His right arm
wrapped around me and pulled me in as a big smile of relief spread on
his face. About 5 seconds later I pulled away, too embarrassed to hug
any longer. I knew he would gladly kiss me, but I knew the second I saw
him there was no way this was going to happen. I was just in too much of
a shock. Our hands somehow clutched, and we started walking back towards
a friend of mine who had been appointed camerawoman for the event,
hiding behind green plants a few feet away. It hadn't been so much a
planned event as a fortunate set of circumstances, and I am now glad my
friend captured this moment for us.
The Fantasy 5 - We will stare into
each other's eyes for an eternity, glued like a moth to a bright light.
The Reality - We quickly moved on
and somehow clutched hands, and after brief introductions with my
friend, we started down the escalators to the baggage claim. My shyness
attack got worse and worse, as I felt his eyes envelop me and burn
through me to engrave in his mind every shape and form of me. He had one
hand wrapped around one of mine, and his other arm wrapped around my arm
in a lock, as if afraid I'd disappear any minute. He just wouldn't stop
staring with those laser eyes and it was obvious Christmas has just
arrived. I felt my heart sink. I wanted so bad to feel the same, but I
felt too intimidated to return the wonderful grip he was using on me. In
the taxi ride to the hotel he had a hand wrapped around my arm in that
same lock, while his hand nearest me was on my leg. I was paralyzed with
the effect of his presence and struggled to refrain from removing the
hand that only added to my ongoing inner crisis.
The Fantasy 6 - I'll have to make
the first sexual move because he won't dare to. We will make wild,
passionate love all night long as soon as we're behind closed doors. It
will be absolutely incredible.
The Reality - There was no
"stranger shock" per se. Despite my discomfort facing the burning eyes
and the tight holds, and some strange shock from a real life encounter,
it was obvious we were attracted to each other. Vibes just flooded the
air and it was evident that we'd have no trouble with the idea of
sleeping in the one bed I had while staying at the hotel I had checked
into for the next few nights. However, when we finally lay alone in bed
and had some quiet talk and our first touch, all I could do was caress
his arm and face. I was terrified of being more adventurous and touching
in the ways we'd imagined for so long the strange person lying there.
The Fantasy 7- We will experience
the most instant, fabulous, deepest soul connection there is once our
physical self touch, propelling us to heights we could only dream of;
realizing at last the meaning of life, and where it is going for the
next 50 years without a doubt.
The Reality - Our first kiss
started to happen within the next hour or so. The light was on, and the
contact of his face so close to mine overwhelmed me so much I had to
stop. He had had to "chase" me for a little while because I was feeling
so shy I kept hiding my face down, and now I was just bailing out. Poor
Galen. Suddenly, I had the idea that turning the light off could be a
great enhancement to our experience. I thought that having my senses
focused only on what I knew best, (his voice) would be just fabulous and
make me feel close to him again by some magic.
I turned the lights off and we started getting close again. Then
everything stopped. The desire evaporated and I was left lying there
like a prisoner of my own lifeless body. I will curse for a long time
the stupid idea I had to turn the lights off. They didn't make him
closer to me, they only made him a perfectly invisible stranger.
Galen is everything in real life I
perceived him to be through our email and phone/video connections.
Similarly, he finds me to match what he expected. Strangely, he seems to
have much less of a "stranger effect" to handle than I have. We got
along on a human level interaction perfectly, there was no awkward
moment, no wondering about what to talk about or what to say next, and
we both find each other extremely attractive physically. We both crave
the same level of touch and want to be together. Yet, the absence of
instant and complete bonding was a big surprise to me. I was expecting
things to either feel "fabulous" or to feel "cold". I was expecting to
either have everything feel "right" or feel "wrong". And from there
would naturally flow a whole sequence of events, either positive or
negative. Instead, I was caught in a strange in-between land where I
could meet and touch my soulmate, find him completely suited to me in
every way, yet feel strangely disconnected from him. We found ourselves
struggling with ghosts from the past, pains or fears. We knew they'd be
there, but we didn't expect them to hit so hard.
We all carry the weight of past
relationship and wounds deep inside our souls and it is wise to be aware
July 19, 2000
5 days from Galen's departure from the
USA, and maybe this is a time to write a few lines on how we're doing.
Maybe the only time I will be able to, says a little voice inside my
head, so better do it now. It hasn't been easy. I wish I could have
written pages of wonderful romance for all of you who were hoping for a
fabulous soulmate reunion with all the puffy clouds and trumpets
singing. But the reality of it is also part of why I wanted to do this
site. To show both sides, good or bad. Somehow a part of me manages to
remain detached and be able to write through the pain or the regrets,
the aches and the wounds. Maybe that part of me that was hurt before and
that has learned to walk away to survive.
Galen will be leaving the US after staying for 3 months. Three months of
uncertain times and confusing moments. I will not bore anyone with the
details here, but will try instead to draw the lessons learned from the
feelings and situations we experienced, hoping they will be of some use
The most heart-wrenching lesson from our short time together is how
obvious it made it we approached "us" from radically different
psychological situations. This was no surprise, as Galen had just walked
out from a soul-crushing relationship, while I have been free and healed
for years. I knew it would happen. We would sooner or later one day wake
up to the painful realization that one of us is not ready for another
relationship, leaving the other stranded and bleeding to death for lack
of love fluid.
Our minds struggled to follow and lead
with cold logic when the overwhelmed heart failed. Our inner
insecurities and deepest fears rose to the surface, leading to
self-defeating behaviors.. Galen suffers from a massive lack of self
love due to having given up his self for so long to someone for
manipulation and control. His sense of worth is incredibly fragile and
constantly provokes insecure thoughts about his capacity to love or be
loved. This insecurity will translate into words of doubt about our
relationship and how well we fit together, or how well he can measure up
to making me happy. This of course in turn ignites my own insecurities
and sensation of being unloved. Despite the fact that I am emotionally
ready for a relationship, I am not superwoman but only human. I am also
a human being that has just suffered for over a year from acute love
withholding sessions, during our internet/phone connection where there
was basically nothing for me to feed on any hope that there WOULD be a
future for us besides my own blind faith, only a painful witnessing of
his struggle to escape his then current life with the hopes that our
love would be enough to carry it until the happy end, some time in the
So here I am, finally holding my love,
touching him, having him live with me every day as if we really did have
a life together, after over a year of painful email agony from being
10,000 miles apart and unsure of whether he would be strong enough in
the end to seek for himself a new life, a happy life he deserves. All I
can think about is how I will cope with the drive home from the airport
in an empty car, coming back to an empty house. Anyone who has had a
cherished guest for any length of time while otherwise living alone can
understand the crushing feeling it is to see that person go. The
unbearable emptiness that seizes you when the person goes, taking away
with them the little bit of life they brought along with them to share
with you and make your life a bit brighter. Not that I am a hermit
gloom. I may live alone, but I have plenty of dogs and cats to take care
of at home and rarely the time to feel lonely. But sharing your space
with a meaningful human being is a different story.
We have reached hard times in our lives.
Galen and I are both out of a job at this time, with quite unsettling
visions of the near future. He will need to go back to his country and
start a life from scratch, while I have to keep my wits together long
enough to get my own life rolling again. Anyone who knows the terrible
vacuum a jobless situation can be, making you feel worse by the week
about the whole world and your sense of self, will realize the
unnecessarily strain this is on our already strained situation. This was
unexpected on my side, I was expecting to have more than enough money to
support both of us during those three months, and it turned out to fall
apart one month after Galen arrived. Nevertheless, pretty much all I
have to focus on is getting life rolling again and looking around the
empty house for my soulmate who is no longer here. Galen, on his end,
has so much to do to get his life going once he will be back, that there
is no room in his head to think about "us" and where we are going.
And this is hard, of course. I find myself being the only one working
towards us, a sensation that has been with me for a long, long time. I
can't blame him. I knew things would be this way. We simply are not on
similar emotional grounds in our respective lives. He is not ready for a
new commitment so soon after walking out on one. In spite of knowing
this, somehow in my head I had thought, the moment we finally are
together, the moment he finally holds me, he will be thinking, "I am so
crazy about you, gosh I need to get back there, put my life together,
and then we can start making plans on how to be together." This seemed
like the logical thing to do. This was what I would have done.
But reality is otherwise. Galen is feeling too scared with his current
life (or more precisely, "no-life") situation to be able to think he can
be there for us in any way. His insecurities crept up to the forefront,
and he feels so scared of failing everything, including me, that he
can't even speak of plans or thoughts for us, however distant and vague.
He is also struggling with being homesick and in a situation of total
dependency here in the US. In short, his mind is anywhere but ready to
function with the concept of "us" and how to make "us" happen.
Even though I knew this would probably be
the case, it is not any easier for me to accept or deal with. I feel
very alone with "us", and feel like, once again, I am the only one who
is to carry us through, by being patient and staying put, waiting for
time to heal and events to unwind. I am not the kind of person who likes
to passively sit and watch life happen to me, feeling powerless and
helpless to influence its outcome. Especially when you consider how
frighteningly short life is. Every day that passes by with no resolution
feels like another year wasted. And of course, the most ironic, crushing
thing of all, is to see the precious few days left we have together go
by while acting more or less like uncomfortable strangers, instead of
grabbing our lovers' connection with full hands, always keeping in mind
that time is fleeting and soon we'll be apart again. When the mind is
too preoccupied to feel free to love, the heart just can't follow.
I understand where we each are coming
from and have accepted the fact that there is really nothing I can do to
change things, that all I can do is indeed sit and wait to see if the
wounded soldier will find the strength to get up and keep going, keep on
fighting for his ultimate freedom: loving himself.
I am not in any rush or mood to get involved romantically after such an
experience, so it's not like I am sitting here waiting for someone to
make up their mind, or am trying to make up my mind about getting
involved with someone else. Rather, it is a simple return to a lonely
life, life as it was before I knew there was a soulmate out there for
me. A life with no particular gloom in it, but no particular excitment
either. Of course things will never be the same. This experience will
leave a mark. What kind of mark is hard to tell at this point. All I can
hope is that it doesn't leave a SCAR. Our story is not over yet. It will
naturally unfold based on Galen's inner growth, and my own inner
strength and faith.
I told him a long time ago, "you can't
love anybody until you love yourself." Until then, I will unjustly get
less than I deserve, and the relationship is simply doomed to hurt and
I do not know how long I can keep on
nurturing our love on my own, feeding on blind faith, while Galen climbs
up the hard path to emotional stability and self-love. Sometimes we are
just so wounded we may never recover from war injuries.
So, do soulmates exist? Aren't soulmates a sweeping power that overcomes
any life obstacles to reunite two beings regardless of time,
geographical, emotional, or material difficulties?
I wish I had an answer to write at this
time. But this isn't so. How much of it is sheer tenacity and faith,
holding on to your soulmate dream despite any difficulty until your
efforts are rewarded, or how much of it is a self-induced and
perpetuated illusion by a mind that refuses to accept a simpler, obvious
fate, is hard to say. We all want the dream to come true. We all want
that special person in our life. So much that we are willing to stretch
ourselves to the limits of emotional safety and logical, rational
thinking. It is important to keep an ounce of "self-preservation"
emergency fund in your emotional bank. A part of you that is willing to
detach itself so it can assess the situation from a cold, material point
of view and save you from total bankruptcy or devastating, life
upheaval-consequence decisions. I am a big believer in the "listen to
your gut" principle. When all seems confused and utterly foggy, when
your mind can't think and your heart can't feel, just detach yourself
and listen. You inner voice knows. Always. As hard as the road it
whispers to you seems to be, it is the one to follow...
August 13, 2000
The hardest path has come.
Galen has returned to his country and is
making a new life for himself, in search of his self and of his dreams.
It is always harder for the one left behind. There is noting to focus on
than the big empty hole left by the one who left. In my head I had been
ready for a relationship for years, and it is a heart-slicing feeling to
have to let go of someone who is very special to you. The maddening
aspect of our situation is that it can't be helped.
Galen can not have any relationship in
his life until he has found the self he lost so many years ago. During
his journey he will go through various phases, not the least of which is
divorce grieving and healing. I know he has no idea what is ahead of him
yet. After all, this is the first time for him. He does not know yet the
emotional ups and downs one goes through when the monster head divorce
stomps in your life.
At the moment he is in what I would call
the "euphoria" phase. Where the chain just removed from your feet gives
you that wonderful lightness and sensation of freedom. The possibilities
are truly awing and all the things you couldn't do previously await for
you to joyfully splurge in. Then will come quieter times. Times of
uncertainty, times of struggle. The new life effect will clear up and
leave only plain reality. Loneliness comes, as you realize indeed only
you are now taking this life somewhere.
The quest for oneself is a lifelong one,
and sometimes we can get so focused on it we carefully keep at bay the
rest of life. That hard-won freedom is not something you want to let go
of, and fears of losing it will rise easily. It most likely will take a
lot of convincing to want to share it....or a lot of loneliness. I am
sitting here 10,000 miles away across an ocean, after making the hard
decision to stop our email contacts
For I who is living in a settled reality
and a sharply defined self, it is an unbearable, soul-ripping experience
to still be in touch with Galen with the degree of detachment that he
needs. To see our emails go from "I love you" to "friendly weather
reports" is more than I can take. For me, there is no ongoing quest for
self, no fear of being controlled, no doubts in what I want from life,
no need for distancing from passion's feelings because of a risk I'd
lose myself before I even found it. But for Galen of course it is
otherwise. Our emotional lives have taken drastically different paths,
as he needs the distance I can't possibly give him.
To soothe the daily pain of separation,
both physically and emotionally, I had to remove myself from us and let
him be alone in his quest. I do not profess perfection of spirit and
ultimate enlightenment. I have said the wrong things, done the wrong
things, at the wrong times, plenty of times, during our time together.
But the mistakes all had one thing in common: they came from hurt and
impatience to get the love I had so long waited for from he I have known
for so long. Feelings of resentment started building. I have felt
unloved and used. More than anything, I have felt an aloneness never
felt before. That of soul torn in two.
Galen's journey has just started. It
could be years before it ends. I have told him I would be there for him
when the day arrived that he had found himself and decided to share life
with a soulmate. Because in my soul I know I have had a life of
loneliness that is not about to change soon. I do not know what he will
find on his journey. He may very well never decide to share his life, or
decide, when the time comes, to share it with someone so much closer by,
someone you don't need to cross an ocean to reach.
Chances are good that I will have become
nothing more than a distant memory, a dream you wake up from and already
can't remember. Those are soul-tearing thoughts I can not afford to
linger on. There is no choice but to let time make the world turn. He
knows where to find me if he wants me in his life, and I am not the one
who can decide when he is ready to take that step. It is very difficult
to surrender to the nonsensical situation that makes you find each
other, only to have to let go because the time wasn't right. It is
soul-crushing. It is devastating. It is just impossible to comprehend
why such a thing would happen, why two souls could be finally reunited,
for such a short time, and only to have to part before truly becoming
one again . It certainly doesn't ease the sensation that you were just a
tool for someone else's destiny. And it hurts beyond words, to think
that God would have made you only so. But there is nothing I can do.
All I can do is become a lonely soul again
What makes it hard to deal with seeing a
relationship go nowhere is not really the fact that you're facing
failure. No. What makes it so hard is to see your whole concept of life
blown into pieces. So you are left standing there, incapable of handling
it. All your markers were blown away, all your logic systems shattered.
As weeks go by, I find myself all but
capable of going on with life "as usual". That's because life has just
dealt me a whole new set of cards I have never played with before. All
this time I functioned on this principle: if you want something bad
enough, and you work at it hard enough, it happens. It has always worked
out. Life has simply always worked out faithfully following this
principle before. Your thoughts make your life. Your thoughts make
circumstances, and your decisions in these circumstances make your life.
If you fail something, it's because either your will, your thoughts,
your dedication, or the circumstances were not right.
But if all are there, obviously
everything falls into place, and things work out the way you wanted them
to. Suddenly, this beautiful logic vanished. For the first time I found
myself having worked hard at something, having the most blinding faith
in it, making all the right things happen, the circumstances fall into
place...and yet the picture just miserably fell apart.I can not
comprehend it. And it leaves me with this gaping hole inside. It leaves
me incapable of knowing how to handle life. How can you do such a thing
when everything that built your trust towards it, the one meaningful,
puny sense of logic a human can attach to it has been vaporized?
This morning during the long commute to
work I tried to draw common points and denominators from previous
romantic involvements, in the hope of coming up with the magic bullet.
The one "ah-HA" moment where I could draw a magic line between all the
failures, and come up victorious with a big red flag list of elements.
From there, all I'd have to do would be to carefully stay clear of such
elements in the future to avoid a repetition of the pain. It is not the
first time I tried this. Oh no. Anyone who has an ounce of brain left
and doesn't want to be ripped open over and over by a careless lover
will do this. I can not really say that the previous people in my life
had a lot in common. They had very different personalities and life
situation. Beyond character traits that would fill a book of psychology
and be utterly beyond the scope of this page, I nonetheless managed to
draw one elementary, oh so deceptively simple, in-your-face common
point. Beyond the different moods, the different aptitudes, ambitions,
sex appeal, romantic preferences, life goals and tastes for food, all
the people in my life shared one prominent characteristic that sends
shivers down my spine as I look back on it:
They didn't know what they wanted.
One simple, dreadful, but lethal fact.
They didn't know what they wanted out of their life. They all were drawn
to me because of this wonderful pool of love they felt they could feed
on, but were incapable of returning the favor because they hadn't really
decided TO BE WITH ME. They just liked the love food and stuck around
for feeding times. (An ego in poor condition will require constant
food.) My first involvement lasted years with someone who spent all his
time complaining about all that didn't go his way. During all those
years he constantly had a foot in the door, daily weighing his options
to walk out. He never made up his mind about being with me, he kept
looking for some greener grass while keeping a foot warm at home. I
would have been ever so grateful if only he had had the guts to tell me
he just didn't want me in his life, so I could have moved on instead of
expanding so much energy in trying to make work a relationship with
someone who didn't really want to be in it. When I finally woke up to
the fact that this person had never wanted to be with me other than for
loneliness relief, I moved on.
The second involvement was less nagging,
although complaining too about me. When asked about what he wanted out
of his life and where he saw himself down the road, what his idea of
happiness was and how he was planning on getting there.... I never heard
more than silence and a few mumbles. Note that I wasn't asking for a
detailed engineering draft. We're talking about lover talk here, where
two people try and build a future together. You need at least a rough
draft so you know where you're going. The foggiest idea wrapped up in
tentative visions and dreams would have been plenty.
But he simply had no vision at all,
besides surviving day to day Monday through Friday, in a job that left
him indifferent, giving him a life with no particular excitement but no
particular frustration either. Sorry, I don't do that. I won't be a
casual victim of lifeless office existence that leaves you 30 years
later with no future and no clue about where the past 30 years of your
life went. You just owe it to yourself to at least try and figure out
where you're going, because life ain't forever and will be over before
you can blink. When I finally woke up to the fact that he had no idea
where his life was going and was dragging mine right down with it,
damaging my sense of self in the process, I moved on.
It is interesting for me to note that for
those two relationships, both complained all along about what they felt
wasn't to their liking in me during the relationship (and staying
anyway), while I had no complaint about them.
I just spent all my time trying hard to make everybody happy without
ever succeeding. The third major involvement ... well, Galen. A year and
a half ago it was obvious to me there again was some serious indecision
there. But the situation being what it was, I overlooked that fact and
assumed that down the road, with things clearing up and Galen becoming
free of attachments would be the time to see decisions being made. Well,
here we are a year and half later. Galen is free from his jail. I asked
him before he left me what he wanted in his life. I asked him if he
wanted me in it. He had no answer. He just couldn't answer as his mind
drew this big blank and a dreadful silence filled the air.
Here it is, the missing link. The one logic of life that had evaded me.
It doesn't matter what the circumstances, the events, or the people are.
It doesn't matter how perfectly two people feel they fit together. If
someone doesn't know what they want, your life with them and the
relationship that goes with it goes nowhere. Because they haven't made
the decision to be there and be in it.
I do not know why I keep attracting
people who don't know what they want in life. I am the complete
opposite. I know exactly what I want in my life. I know what kind of
environment makes me happy, what kind of occupation makes me happy, what
kind of climate I want to live in, what kind of people I want in my
life, what kind of mate would suit me, what hobbies make me happy, and
where I see myself 40 years from now. Everything I do in my life is
geared towards pulling all those strings together so one day I can sit
down in my rocking chair on my front porch in my dream house in my dream
place with my dream hobby and my dream friends and my mate, and think,
"wow, THIS is what I wanted." Could it be that strong people who know
what they want precisely attract drifters by sheer opposite polar
attraction?? Is this what those people saw in me, the great stick in the
river to hold on to for dear life, yet resisting and resenting the
current all the way and blaming me for the direction they were taken,
while there was no one else to take it any other way?
A most ironic detail here that really hit
me in the face at this point and logic in time, is that Galen is the
first person to actually not complain about me, drifting along while
nagging. The very fact that he detached himself from me may be hard to
take, but is a guarantee against one more lasting rerun episode of
"Drifting Life Seeks Anchor" in my lovelife. The absolutely maddening
irony in this is that our very separation may be precisely what keeps us
from being doomed in the first place. I suppose these comforting news
should make it easier for me to cope with the situation, but of course
Another thing I always thought was simple
in life: how relationships happen. Here's the way it goes: two people
have a picture in their head of what they want in life. Two people meet,
compare pictures. Two people go, "Wow! How about that. We have the same
picture! Let's be together." Simple enough? Logical enough. Everything
else is a matter of perception. Then you may find out your picture is
not as similar as you thought it was, or whatever. But at least, from
the start, that's where you begin. The two of you strongly believe that
you're seeing with the same eyes when looking at the future.
And when I look back on my past heartbreaks, old or recent, this is the
common point that has always been missing. There NEVER was anyone that
both had the same picture I did AND said to me, "let's be together."
I have always been the one saying "let's
be together" because I saw something in them that touched my soul, and
seeing them receptive to my affection, I have always mistaken the
acceptance for a return. In fact, they have just drifted along, for lack
of knowing what they wanted out of their life. It is hard to look back
and see... that no one has ever said to you, "let's be together"...
Internet vs Real Life
The danger of an internet-based relationship is when it overrides real
life exchange. A communication that becomes exclusively internet-based
because one of the people involved (or both) feel more comfortable
relating to the other or each other that way should send red flags and
prompt urgent action. The internet is safe, comfortable. Real life
interaction is more difficult, the physical barriers come into play and
struggles to communicate become inevitable. It is a natural process that
should not scare off or discourage the healthy souls, but on the
contrary motivate them to work hard at reaching the same level of
connection they reached virtually.
The danger of the internet is not so much
all the deceit and lies much talked about. No. The real danger for
anyone whose heart is at stake is on the contrary to be in contact with
someone who is truthful about everything, ...but doesn't know that for
whatever reason they can't relate to someone in real life. There is a
problem, somewhere, in their emotional makeup that prevents them from
facing a real life relationship, and if you on the other hand are ready
for the challenge of both, you are heading at full speed into disaster.
The partner who falls apart in real life interaction most likely doesn't
know he/she won't be able to face up to real life actions and feelings.
They are being very truthful in the expression of their feelings and who
they are. They don't try and deceive you. They just unknowingly deceive
themselves. They don't know that when the time comes to face the real
you, the rules of the game will change so much they won't be able to
handle the play. Their soul was hurt before you came along, and the
wounds didn't show until you opened them. Now they're here, in plain
sight for you both to see, and leaving you stranded as to how to handle
It is crucial that when you realize such a thing has happened you take
action. It is not fair nor healthy for you and the relationship to hang
on desperately to your only means of communication left (internet-based)
because it's the only thing that keeps you together in the face of
discomfort. It is crucial that you have the courage to refuse prolonging
the illusion. Because if one or both partners involved can't face real
life and won't accept the challenge, that is all your relationship will
ever be: an illusion. Is this what you want? Do you want love in your
real world, or in a virtual world forever out of reach? The decision is
tough. The move is quick and unmistakable, and it hurts. Removal of the
artificial life support is the only option left. Because only then will
you know and see if your relationship really transcends the illusion of
internet romance. Only then will you know if your soulmate really is
such. The internet does not MAKE what you have. It was only a means to
bring you together from miles away. But that is all it is and should be,
If the internet becomes your only lifeline in times void of any
hardship, when other means of real life contact are fully available
(such as phone or handwritten letters or videos), your love is in
danger. It is saying to you that your partner (or both of you) prefer to
see the other as someone not quite real, because it fits their comfort
zone. It says they are not willing to go beyond their comfort zone and
really let you in their life, and be a part of yours. Sadly, we do have
a body and have to live in the physical world. No matter how fabulous
your soul connection may feel with that special person, it will always
come down to having to make it in real life. Because of the special and
unusual way you met (soul first, physical appearance later), the
struggle will be twice as hard.
Someone who can't or is not willing to fight the battle can only mean
heartbreak in your life. If you're not willing to battle yourself, you
are only living an illusion and will break your own life. Of course we
all expect the first real life encounter to be movie-like, to go
perfectly and so easily. Our virtual soul connection conditioned us well
to this crazy expectation. It's okay to be too optimistic and not
realistic. Things will go wrong, things won't be as rosy as you were
hoping for them to be. It will happen. And you will have to wake up and
shake your head. Even I, who I thought was so level-headed for both of
us, let myself fall down that trap and expected too much too soon. But I
realized my mistake and was soon ready for another try. Get up, dust
yourself off, and try again.
This was only the first rude encounter
with physical communication. Welcome to reality. Round 2 coming up.
Galen, on the other hand, was devastated when he found out he couldn't
relate to me in real life as he had virtually. He was so devastated that
he withdrew completely. And that's where things are very wrong. It is
senseless to give up so soon and so easily. It means your inner world
and perceptions are badly skewed.
The wonderful gift of the internet, the other side of the battle, is
that it allowed the few fortunate of us to KNOW if we belong together
from the beginning. Most of the world can only guess at a glance and
wonder for the rest of their life if they guessed right. Because we got
to see the inside of the person first, we don't need to guess. For us,
the challenge is to overlook the physical realities and barriers, and
have faith that what we feel is the only thing that matters. To know
that appearances can lie. But souls never do.
Galen painfully discovered that he can't relate to me in real life. He
is prisoner of an inner world of fear, and upon seeing his ability to
reach me affected by reality he rejected all of me that is real. We
reached a situation where he felt comfortable relating to me only via
email. I am real. Not only is it not fair to me, but it can only hurt us
and lead nowhere. As long as I am here safely reachable via email, he
will stay there, comfortable with the situation, and our connection will
forever be only virtual. I am not afraid of the battle. But I can not
fight it alone. I refused to be only an illusion and severed our email
connection. Only time now will tell if our soulmate connection was real
or just an illusion all along. Only the power of our love can get us
together again in real life. I do not know if he ever will be able to
bring himself to live in the real world and reach out for me. He does
not know himself. Life is so short. It is hard for me to see anyone not
realizing this. Our time on this earth is so limited and finding that
special someone is so rare. There simply is no time for fear.
There is a law in the world of love. The
same kind of unavoidable law you encounter in the world of physics or
odds, the one that says your toast will fall butter side down or if
something can go wrong it will. I had never been all that aware of it,
and maybe refused to see it. I had actually convinced myself it could be
an exception in my so special soulmate story case.
For some strange, heart-breaking reason,
when two people love, there will always be one that loves more. One
that's willing to give it everything. Give the shirt off their back and
the skin off their bones, for their loved one. And then there's the
other. Who's kind of there, but who will think twice about giving
anything too important of themselves. It is so heart-wrenching when you
look at it. Especially when you're the one who would give your life and
then some without blinking. Because that feeling inside of you is so
strong the rest of the world doesn't matter. You don't really think
about it, you don't spend your day thinking how special it is and how
great your love is. It just is. And you're not even aware of it. Until
something happens that forces the other to show what they're ready to do
for you and for your love.
I can't think of anything more
devastating for the soul than finding out the dreadful law applies to
you too. And that you were all alone in your delusion of fabulous love
and unique soulmateship. That you can be bleeding to death right there
on the curb and that the one you thought would swin across oceans for
you won't even bother to slow down and look as they're walking by.
I often think of that next to last email
I sent Galen. Because it truly was a call for life. It was a chance for
him to prove I mattered. That we mattered. I didn't just sent that last
email that said "sorry but email just can't go on as it is and it has to
stop, it is just an illusion". No.
I had written that mail a long time
before I sent it. To make sure it was just plain factual and not biased
by emotions. That it was straight to the point, but with no drama. And I
kept it aside, knowing one day the pain would reach a peak such that it
would get sent. But I also spent a long time writing another mail. A
mail that was not addressed to Galen in particular, but that expressed
the pain, the loneliness, the hurt, the senseless situation. It wasn't a
plea for anything. It just spoke of the unbearable pain. Of the
unfairness of the situation. And of course behind the lines it clearly
said that it wouldn't be long before my soul turned away for survival'
I thought, one phone call. It's all it
would take. One brief phone call. A few words. A life contact. Words
that said, "You matter to me. We matter to me. Please don't give up.
I'll meet you there, some day. Just stay with us."
So I sent that mail, counting the hours
before I sent the other one. So many times in the past I had been
Galen's lifeline on the phone. Any time he felt like crying, I had been
there, always ready to pick up that phone and soothe the pain, day or
night, no matter what time. I told him, whenever you need, call, it
doesn't matter when. I'll be there for you.
When Galen returned to his country he
never gave me a phone number where he could be reached. When it was my
turn to bleed and need a soothing voice on the phone, there was no one
to call. There was just no one there. That hurt me more than anything
else. This deliberate move to stay out of reach. It said loud and clear,
"I don't want you in my life, I don't want any kind of real life contact
with you. Don't call me. And I won't call you either. I don't want us to
have any kind of real life touch."
The moment he was back in his town, the
phone calls as we had known them for over a year stopped. The "I miss
you" calls straight off the plane at the airport were history. I had
become some ghost from a strange distant dream. Something with no real
worth and substance. How can I not feel used, thought I, how can I not
feel like a used kleenex when my "soulmate" makes it a point to keep me
out like I am some pestering bug, after all this time of sharing
thoughts and tears and feelings.
I don't know what he was so afraid of.
The irony he probably never saw was that I would not even have called,
had I gotten a number. Because in my logic of things, it would have been
his duty to establish contact, being the one that walked away from me.
The phone contact was not for me to reach him. It was for him to say we
There are no words to speak of the pain.
The pain of seeing the extreme control taken to reduce us to meaningless
email contact. To the exclusion of any other. The pain of not getting as
much as a phone call when someone very dear to me died, ripping my soul
in two and taking a part of it with them in the grave. How can he not be
there for me at this time I need him most, thought I.
I thought of that time. That phone call
in the middle of nowhere. He called crying, cold and hungry, lost
somewhere in strange lands. I thought of that other time. He called
crying from that lone road that stretches to the horizon. Every time I
was there, to hold his hand. I always thought when the time came for
that being in my life to die, it would be the one time in my whole life
I would ever need someone to hold me like there was no tomorrow. I was
afraid the world would fall apart. And it did. And I was alone with it.
There are no words to speak of the pain.
The pain of being unable to communicate any other way than through
artificial email, due to lack of any other means of contact. The pain of
seeing my obviously next-to-last email not answered by a real life phone
call but one more lifeless, harried email. "will respond later," it
said, "got to make it to the shop before it closes".
I didn't see the point. I didn't see how
shop closing times made it impossible for a same day answer. One last
chance to say "don't go, you matter to me". Why was 6 pm a deadline?
Don't phone lines work 24 hours a day? How much of a precious, tight
schedule would 2 minutes have taken?
Is this all I mattered... "oh well", was
the tone of his email that followed my statement that email was no
longer an acceptable means of communication.
So this is all I mattered... A few months
back I was wondering what kind of mark this experience would leave in my
life. I was wondering if it would be a scar. I was praying for it not to
be so. It won't be a scar.
Life will go on. But this wound will never heal.