Monday, May 8, 2017

Fighting Not to Say Good-Bye

Fighting Not to Say Good-Bye

by Cassendre Xavier

I was getting into the car of a sweetie who was waiting for me in the parking lot of a supermarket. As I was getting settled in and putting on my seatbelt, he started becoming annoyed with me and telling me to "just finish" the poker game he had been playing on his phone while waiting for me.
 We had been shopping at the same time, when I saw him checking out before me... I was still shopping. I began checking my phone for text messages from him perhaps asking me to hurry. Since I received none, I figured it was fine that I was finished later than he was.
 But when I began having difficulty finishing his game for him, because I don't know how to play poker and I hate being rushed and pressured, he said he had been playing the game the whole time and I took so long and the game has to be finished now... I told him he could have continued playing it before we took off to our next destination. He began getting so frustrated and angry, that it stood out. 
 I felt annoyed myself, and I wondered what changed from the happiness and jokes that began our errand to the tenseness and anger that ended it.
 I realized he may be upset that he was about to drop me off for an overnight visit with someone I had been seeing for twice as long as I had been seeing him (I am polyamorous). Actually, it is only now that I realize that might have played a part. Initially I thought he just didn't want our hanging out time to end. He maybe didn't want to say good-bye, so instead, he picked a fight in order to making parting easier.
 What brought that concept to mind was something I had experienced years earlier.
 I had been in my first real relationship, my first time combining sex and love (which was an intense challenge for me as a survivor of incest/sexual abuse), and my partner and I were in the early, honeymoon stage of our relationship.
 Once, we spend an afternoon and evening at her sister's house, who was away at the time. I believe we were childsitting my partner's young nephew and niece. We had such an amazingly sweet and pleasant time. I suppose it was like playing house, only none of it felt superficial or pretend. I had a good relationship with her family, and her nephew liked me a lot (niece was quite younger and I had just recently met her), and we three - partner, nephew, and I had enjoyed several outings together. One time, her nephew was walking between us and linked our hands together. The evening was, as I now recall, one of the fondest memories I will probably ever have. We had equal times watching the kids play, feeding them, supervising them, putting them to bed, doing our separate things, and also hanging out together she and I. It was just wonderful.
 When it was time to go we were saying good-bye on the front porch. It was dark, nighttime, and suddenly I began to feel angry. Before I knew it, I was filled with feelings of contempt for her, and we began to argue. My therapists have always said I am "very insightful" so it's probably not a surprise that I noticed the huge difference between how happy I had been only moments earlier, and how completely pissed off I was now. Or more imporantly, how fond I had been of my partner before, and how much I hated her now. What brought that on? What had changed?
 I realized two things:
1)Being angry makes saying good-bye to her easier.
2)I feel bad leaving her now.

I realized I didn't want to leave. I realized I was feeling sad. I was sad about going out into the night, to my sad existence without her. I wanted to stay at the house and keep being happy. I wanted the comforts of that spaceous home, compared to where I was living, which was not nearly as comfortable nor spacious.
 I was walking away from moments and conditions of happiness into moments and conditions of sadness. And that's why I had picked a fight - so that I could feel anger at my partner, because the alternative was sadness... The alternative felt much worse than anger.

Realizing this now I can see how my anger must have inflicted sadness onto my partner. What I was trying not to experience myself, I caused her to experience.

Thankfully, I realized this moments after picking the fight, and I shared my observation with her. We talked about it and parted sweetly, with a warm long hug.
We both felt better about the therapeutic moment.

I wish I could have had a similar moment and experience with the persun who inspired me to remember and write about this story. As it was, I didn't feel he would be receptive to it, as he seemed so angry when I walked away from his car, I didn't even say good-bye.

A couple of hours later I texted him and he didn't reply. I focus on being able to share and experience however and with whomever I can. And when I cannot, I write, and I hope.

(c) Copyright 2017 by Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved. Visit

Make yourself a beautiful day!

Cassendre Xavier

"renaissance negresse"

$15,000 Leeway Transformation Award-Winning musician, writer, and community cultural arts organizer.

Founder & Executive Director of the Black Women's Arts Festival (Est. 2003) and the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002).

Official website:

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