Here I am, six months after the emotional apocalypse that left me with a mangled heart, and the one thing I can tell you with complete and utter certainty is that time and distance has had an enormous effect on my perception of what happened to me last spring. Six months isn't really that long when you're recovering from a relationship that was the center of your life for two years. The friends who tell me that it's time to get over it aren't really thinking of my emotional needs as much as they are simply frustrated by the fact that I'm still struggling with my feelings for a man who they long ago dismissed as an insensitive bastard who deserves to be forgotten like a bad bout of flu that came and went and with any luck will never come again. What they don't understand is that I'm over a lot more of "it" than they realize. I am acutely aware that the man I loved so deeply and for so long was not so much a man as he was a portion of one. He was good to me when it served him to be so, and maybe, for the duration of our time together, he really did feel all the things he told me he felt. But a man who can turn off his feelings as completely and soullessly as he did when he realized that his "real world" was at risk is either a liar or simply unwilling to make sacrifices to be with someone he once professed to love. I know all that. I've even made a tentative peace with his weakness, with the lies, the broken promises, and even the fact that I gave so much of myself....the best and deepest part of myself to a man so concerned with his own situation that, following his unceremonious exit from my life, couldn't even bothered to reach back out from the superficial and formerly ignored bonds of matrimony to send me so much as an email to make sure that I was all right, for the simple reason that it's the kind of thing that people do when they care about other people, even if they can't live up to all of the promises they made back in the days when making promises brought benefits that outweighed the fact that the promises were ones that they never intended to keep.
One interesting recent development was finding out that my younger son, who attends college, is in a class with my former lover's son. Informing me of the fact, my son went on to give me his assessment of the other kid, whom I know only from what his father used to tell me about him. Last year at this time, I would have been concerned about the new connection between our respective progeny, but now it concerns me not at all, which is somewhat freeing, but strange, too. But it's a slow, ongoing process, this broken heart recovery, and no matter what people tell you, it's not something that you can accomplish within some arbitrary time frame. I'm being wooed by other men, some more appealing than others, and I hope that I'll be ready at some point to explore new possibilities. But, unlike my erstwhile lover, I'm a person for whom love is not a convenient, retractable thing. I'm moving on. I can't help moving on. But the man really did a number on me, and it's still going to take a little time before I'm able to relegate him to that place in the past where thinking of him doesn't hurt anymore.