Not with a bang but a whimper

In the midst of happy stories, I will sneak in the end of my last chapter, not a happy ending, I am sorry for that (not for you, dear readers, I am selfishly only sorry for me).

This story ended some time ago, really, but for this post to make sense, I have to explain a little further. The breakup with my boy was a combination of distance (and all the challenges that entails), our careers (which didn’t make relocation possible), and the fact that we just weren’t sure enough to discuss the future seriously. There was no dramatic falling out, we did not run out of relationship steam, we just got to the point where the terrible sadness of being apart outweighed the joy of being together, and we had agreed that when that happened, we would end it. He hit the point where the scales tipped before I did, and I had to let him go because I couldn’t fix it.

Fast forward many months… my job situation had changed, and I still had not been able to put him cleanly behind me.

I wrote to him, and sat with this letter written and ready for a long time, I kept expecting that the urge to send it would pass, that I would ‘get over it’, that the ache would gentle into memory, that some lovely man would make me laugh and show me the future. In the end, I needed to get it out, to stop waiting for it to dissipate on its own. In the end, I sent this to my boy:

___

It has been well over a year, you should be a gentle light and fading memory, something sweet in the drawer that I take out and hold close occasionally and smile over. You are not, you are sharp and pointed and spiky and I feel you when I move around in the world, when I pointlessly try to find the thing that I want. I am not able to let go of you, it is unfinished and the ‘what ifs’ waft around me, despite my swatting and my obstinate refusal to look directly at them.

Perhaps you have moved on, are whole, healed, happy, in love. The generous part of me does hope that might be true; I like to think of you living there lightly, with shy smiles at the world and your heart full, though I would, given half the chance, enact terrible violence on creatures who gave you what I could not.

Despite appearances, I rarely take real risks, but my life is different now, and risks not taken and opportunities lost are more sad making, magnitudes more, than simply making the leap and landing in a mess on the ground, uncaught. If I fall, I can dust myself off and be happy that I jumped.

So here it is, the step into the void:

I want to come and spend time with you, to play this out, to see if I am your capital M Marker, to see, truly, what this is that I can’t let go of. I will find a little place nearby for a month or two, we will date like we are back in high school and have sleepovers and kiss until our mouths bleed. We will have a chance to really see if this is something, to play it out as if we are sweethearts, as if you are my boy and mine, as if we have no limitations beyond those that prevent me from stripping the skin from your body and hanging it as a curtain. What happens after that, I am not sure, but I am freer to make decisions on location than I was before, should it come to that, and I have resolved to stop letting things that make me happy slip away. You are a thing that made me happy.

If your answer is ‘no’, I do not really expect a reply to this email, though I would appreciate one, it would be a final kindness. A ‘no’ would help me to close the door that I seem to be unable to close, despite putting my back against it and pushing with all of my strength. I hope, though, that you will take my hand, trust that it is worthwhile, and jump with me. I have no expectations if you say ‘yes’, other than that you be genuinely open and enthusiastic and hopeful about it and that you put your heart into it with me.

‘What if’, baby? To me, the risk is worth it, I am not done with you yet. Come and talk to me gently about it and I will hold your hand and cover your eyes.

Ferns

___

I did not receive a reply from him, I didn’t expect one, truly. His way of coping had been to withdraw from me, and I knew that hearing from me would not sit lightly with him. And for me, it was enough to have put myself out there, to have overcome the fear of it, to have reached for what I wanted, to feel as if I had let it go.

More than a month later, he replied. The email arrived in my inbox and punched me in the stomach, it didn’t arrive softly and raise a gentle and curious eyebrow, the name announced itself and shocked me with its heavy impact.

It was a sweet note, heartbreakingly familiar, he called me ‘Ma’am’, apologised for the delay but it had been hard to write to me, he said. He said he missed me and thought of me always and in the middle, awkwardly placed and worded with painful thought and careful delivery, he said he was with someone and wanted to stay with them.

I let it swim around in my head, finding a place to settle, the voices saying ‘you knew this already’, though knowing is so very different from knowing.

And then, I had a little cry, even though I could have sworn that I really didn’t have any tears left for this.

___

I miss you too; I wish you every happiness, all of the happinesses, even that one, the one that I wanted… you can have that one also.

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57 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for sharing. I know it is painful when someone you can't get over manages to move on way before you. *gives you a long tight hug*
    It takes time, but in the end humans are built to adapt.
    *sniffles a bit*

  2. Fuck, now I'm sad. Possibly the worst thing about about your writing Ferns, is that you pull the reader in and we feel what you feel. Like awful sad heart pains.

    I want you to feel happy again, but my break up routine (if it can be called that) calls for at least a month in bed listening to The Magnetic Fields and eating Ben and Jerry's.

    “I miss you too; I wish you every happiness, all of the happinesses, even that one, the one that I want… you can have that one also.

    This might be the saddest arrangement of words in the English language. It is a bittersweet sentiment that resonates on a level I generally try to avoid for being too painful.

    I hope you smile again soon- Poopy Head!– did that work? I saw you liked that phrase. I know some jokes, I could make funny faces, ooh how about Amelie that will make you smile have you seen it, you should rent it. Please be happy again Ferns.

  3. J: “Reading that made me sad. I'm sorry Ferns – it's sad even if he's happy.”

    It *should* make you sad, y'all have had too much damn happy happy here on the blog and I'VE HAD ENOUGH OF IT!!

    “But I think you handled it with grace.”

    *smile* Thank you.

    Ferns

  4. N: “Thank you so much for sharing. I know it is painful when someone you can't get over manages to move on way before you. *gives you a long tight hug*”

    Thank you for the hug *smile*. And yes, they should always move on at exactly the same laborious, drawn out pace as you…

    “*sniffles a bit*”

    Don't YOU start!

    Ferns

  5. Peroxide: “Possibly the worst thing about about your writing Ferns, is that you pull the reader in and we feel what you feel.”

    No no, that's the BEST thing!

    “Like awful sad heart pains.”

    Oh, except for when that happens…

    “This might be the saddest arrangement of words in the English language. It is a bittersweet sentiment that resonates on a level I generally try to avoid for being too painful.”

    I will take that as a compliment, so thank you. And you can have some of my ice cream, it will make you feel better.

    “I hope you smile again soon- Poopy Head!- did that work?”

    *snigger* No, YOU are!! And yes, that totally worked!

    “Please be happy again Ferns.”

    I will, I promise.

    Ferns

  6. Dear Ferns,

    This elicited a real, legitimate, undeniable tear from me. I'm not talking about that thing people do to communicate via text where they write “lol” but did not, in fact, do anything more than smile. Nope, a real tear happened. I can think of only maybe 3 instances of written text causing such a thing for me. Have you considered writing a book? It would cause the masses to emote like crazy! I hope I have the strength to wish happinesses (all of them) on my whomever, if I ever find myself in a similar situation. Time to read the happy stories now. That…or ice cream.

    Have a lovely day,
    Tilly

  7. There was a part of me that knew that he had not faded to a memory for you. I'm not sure what it was, I just knew. My heart sank when he replied that he was with another and wanted to stay. Anger appeared also, but it's not my place to be angry. I sure deal better with anger though.

    I am well and truly sorry. *hugs*

  8. Such sadness and bravery from you. I'm sorry that his words weren't different.

    “…though knowing is so very different from knowing.”

    The difference in the 'knowings' can be dis-abling and sad-making. You were strong to want to know for sure. I hope tears, and ice cream, and good chardonnay, and the sound of the ocean, and yes Amelie! help with sense-making and forward movement.

  9. The first thing in the morning, this morning, and it is ferns in a rose bush–no light out except the thorns. But then, there she is–Ferns in the pines. She's got the distance and she's got the wisdom.
    Thank You for opening your life. I have come to better conclusions about my own boy friend Woman friend (for to her I was a foot servant).
    My vulnerability was unappealing to her retrospectively. Yet now with back aches she is reminded of the massages “yes [you] were good at that”. We tried. That's the best anyone can do–is try.

  10. How very, very sad for both of you. I am so sorry that you've had to go through this on top of all the other things that have happened in your life over this past year.

    Having gone through the same type of situation I really do understand the feeling of the loss of something that made you so happy. ~hugs and cookies~

    Your post sent me back to explore the little crack that still remains in my heart from that time. While the crack in your heart may never completely heal, it does, in time mellow into a place where a few fond memories might live and given time and the support of friends and family, it does get better and the sun comes out again… I promise.

  11. Had you not sent it, had you not known what you knew you knew but needed to know it true, well then… You would always wonder and that door would have stayed propped open. Love is often pain as much as the joy. How can we appreciate the sweet without the bitter?

    Were it me, I think I would find a hint of solace that it took him 'just long enough' to respond. Had he responded right away with his news… well then he had no inner debates and had moved completely. I would find a tinge of satisfaction knowing I was keeping a piece of him from her… if only a bit for a while… knowing she might get it eventually but it wasn't served up the same as it was given to you. I'm selfish and possessive that way. I'm ok with that.

    But now you know he might have that happy and are free to discover your own, in your own time. The bitter and pain making the next even more glorious. It will be bigger and brighter for the shadows!

    I love coming here because your openness and honestly helps me reflect on my own raw emotions. Those things I keep from common folk! That wall I can't let down for just anyone… and here I get to read the graffiti on your wall and I take a brick down. Proud to be a strong woman, including all the tender bits. Thank you for helping me be a better me! You are lovely!

  12. I don't know what it was that I had read here, but I had thought You and Your boy had gotten back togeather, and in excited mode I wrote to share it with a friend.

    “”OOOhhh did You hear, Fern is back with Her boy!!…….and that boy wrote and told Me I was mistaken. And so I came to read.””

    Real tears roll from My eyes from reading this. Such a love lost.

    I can to relate the pain, the thoughts of, whatifs and howcomes.

    Your boy is still alive. (Mine, forever lost) and..

    If ever it was meant to be……….
    it will be……

    Life still moves forward. And although maybe now is not the time for the two of Y/you, life gives many surprises.

    You though do need to go on, try.
    Your handling of the situation most graceful. Your wording forever beautiful Fern.

    Write a book for U/us, Fern. Pen and publish Your words, share Your thoughts. Please show the world the beauty of the submissive male, with words only You can so elegantly, with poise, put down. The strength of the Woman writing will be shown therein without saying. The world needs to know it ok W/we love this way. And then there are all those Dommes, who have never heard of Fern.

    And then…….there is the boy. The book hit the charts (We all know it will)…. forever reminded of one of the most beautiful stories ever told, and perhaps finding his way home.

    In My heart I can't or don't want to believe it is over…. call Me a romantic, or One that dreams.

    But I believe….Your letter planted a seed……
    Jewels

  13. I am stealing these words from Tolkien… it is The song of Trees…….

    When spring unfolds the beechen-leaf and sap is in the bough,
    When light is on the wild-wood stream, and wind is on the brow,
    When stride is long, and breath is deep, and keen the mountain air,
    Come back to me! Come back to me, and say my land is fair!

    When Spring is come to garth and field, and corn is in the blade,
    When blossom like a shining snow is on the orchard laid,
    When sun and shower upon the earth with fragrance fill the air,
    I'll linger here, and will not come, because my land is fair!

    When Summer lies upon the world, and in a noon of gold
    Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold,
    When woodland halls are green and cool, and wind is in the West,
    Come back to me! Come back to me, and say my land is best!

    When Summer warms the hanging fruit and burns the berry brown;
    When straw is gold, and ear is white, and harvest comes to town;
    When honey spills, and apple swells, though wind be in the West,
    I'll linger here beneath the Sun, because my land is best!

    When Winter comes, the winter wild that hill and wood shall slay;
    When trees shall fall and starless night devour the sunless day;
    When wind is in the deadly East, then in the bitter rain
    I'll look for thee, and call to thee; I'll come to thee again!

    When Winter comes, and singing ends; when darkness falls at last;
    When broken is the barren bough, and light and labor past;
    I'll look for thee, and wait for thee, until we meet again:
    Together we will take the road beneath the bitter rain
    Together we will take the road that leads into the West,
    And far away will find a land where both our hearts may rest.

    blessings……
    J

  14. This made me tear up.
    *sigh

    Look at all those lovely words from people who care for you, (just from your words).

    oh, my heart breaks for you. Yet, it will pass.

    -MistressKimm

  15. Hoy,

    How much have you packed today?

    I can smile, and look very severe at the same time. I'm good that. Especially in my new glasses.

    ;-)

    Eight kisses.

  16. Tilly: :This elicited a real, legitimate, undeniable tear from me.”

    *smile* Thank you for it… That is one less that I have to shed… that's how it works, right?

    “Have you considered writing a book?”

    I have, I will, it will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and when the movie version comes out, you will say 'Pffftt… the book was SOO much better!”

    “Time to read the happy stories now. That…or ice cream.”

    Or both, I like the 'both' option.

    Ferns

  17. Anonymous: “There was a part of me that knew that he had not faded to a memory for you. I'm not sure what it was, I just knew.”

    *smile* You were right.

    “My heart sank when he replied that he was with another and wanted to stay. Anger appeared also, but it's not my place to be angry. I sure deal better with anger though.”

    I know what you mean. I think there is comfort in anger, especially if it is self righteous anger. It is easier to cut the cord if you are genuinely and bitterly angry. Unfortunately (?!), I choose good men who do their best for me and with me. It is hard to be angry at good men.

    “I am well and truly sorry. *hugs*”

    Me too, and thank you for the hugs.

    Ferns

  18. DC: “Such sadness and bravery from you. I'm sorry that his words weren't different.”

    Sadness, yes, and I *am* brave *nod nod*! And yes, I'm sorry too.

    “I hope tears, and ice cream, and good chardonnay, and the sound of the ocean, and yes Amelie! help with sense-making and forward movement.”

    Even if they don't, they all sound good to me, except for the tears, they sound kind of depressing.

    Ferns

  19. Anonymous: “Thank You for opening your life.”

    You're welcome.

    “We tried. That's the best anyone can do–is try.”

    This is so very true. Even if it doesn't work out, knowing that you went for it is A Good Thing.

    Ferns

  20. slapshot: “How very, very sad for both of you.”

    Well it's not really sad for him now, is it? He is loved up and happy! *laugh*

    And truly, knowing that *does* make me smile, and believe me, I am a selfish, possessive, growly woman who wants to keep anything that was ever mine, so I think it's a healthy sign.

    “Having gone through the same type of situation I really do understand the feeling of the loss of something that made you so happy. ~hugs and cookies~”

    I'm sorry you went through it, I guess we all have in some form or other.

    *scarfs cookies*

    “it does get better and the sun comes out again… I promise.”

    *smile* Thank you, I know it does, I went through the worst of this a long time ago, this is more like the final nail. The first 50 nails were much more painful than this.

    Ferns

  21. Sweets: “Had you not sent it, had you not known what you knew you knew but needed to know it true, well then… You would always wonder and that door would have stayed propped open.”

    This! A hundred times this. Living with the regret of not trying was not really an option, regardless of the outcome.

    “I would find a tinge of satisfaction knowing I was keeping a piece of him from her… if only a bit for a while… knowing she might get it eventually but it wasn't served up the same as it was given to you. I'm selfish and possessive that way. I'm ok with that.”

    *laugh* I completely get where you are coming from (see my comment above!). My selfishness runs to knowing that I was his first Domme, and it was something incredibly special, I own that piece of him forever*insert evil laugh here*… of course, the reverse is obviously true also **insert sad comical wah wah wah sound here*

    “I love coming here because your openness and honestly helps me reflect on my own raw emotions. Those things I keep from common folk! That wall I can't let down for just anyone… and here I get to read the graffiti on your wall and I take a brick down. Proud to be a strong woman, including all the tender bits. Thank you for helping me be a better me! You are lovely!”

    That was a wonderful paragraph (quoted in its entirety for wonderfulness), and a huge compliment, thank you for both!

    Ferns

  22. Jewels: “OOOhhh did You hear, Fern is back with Her boy!!…….and that boy wrote and told Me I was mistaken. And so I came to read.”

    I so so so LOVE that you shared my happiness with someone (even if you were mistaken), the idea of it makes me smile. We don't share enough happiness!

    “Your boy is still alive. (Mine, forever lost) and..”

    Oh no, I am so sorry to hear that *warm hug*, I can't even imagine.

    “Write a book for U/us, Fern. Pen and publish Your words, share Your thoughts. Please show the world the beauty of the submissive male, with words only”

    *smile* Thank you for the sweetness. I do my best right here to show the beautiful submissive men I am lucky enough to bring into my life, and if I ever write a book, you will hear about it here first!

    “In My heart I can't or don't want to believe it is over…. call Me a romantic, or One that dreams.”

    *laugh* You ARE a romantic!! Good for you! There's not enough romance out there in the world!

    Ferns

  23. Ahhh, Ferns. I feel your pain. Been there…going through that. Good for you for trying. Now you will never have the “what if?” Wishing you the peace and calm of moving on.

  24. MistressKimm: “This made me tear up. *sigh*”

    Me too!

    “Look at all those lovely words from people who care for you, (just from your words).”

    I know! It is so lovely!! I so appreciate the kindness and support.

    “oh, my heart breaks for you. Yet, it will pass.”

    Thank you for the sweetness, and yes, it will pass.

    Ferns

  25. Anonymous: “How much have you packed today?”

    Ha! It's already tomorrow, so 'some stuff' just about covers it!

    “I can smile, and look very severe at the same time. I'm good that. Especially in my new glasses.”

    I'm sure you can. I do hope they are those funny half glasses that you peer over.

    “Eight kisses.”

    Thank you puppy. Placement yet to be determined.

    Ferns

  26. Louise: “The vulnerability, honesty and strength that you put out for all to see…just awesome and inspiring!”

    Oh, thank you! It is a scary thing to put it out there, so… thank you!

    Ferns

  27. Ruby Ryder: “Been there…going through that.”

    Oh! I'm sorry! I do hope hope hope it works out for you!!

    “Now you will never have the “what if?” Wishing you the peace and calm of moving on.”

    True (thank goodness!), and I will keep my fingers crossed that your situation works out the way you want. Best of luck.

    Ferns

  28. I have always been fairly judging of friends partners. I don't know why but I always felt like they weren't good enough for them, that my friends deserved better. And this is something I quickly learned to hide away and not talk about. And when they break up, it makes it hard to be there for them because deep down I never approved in the first place.

    It broke my heart when you two broke up and to hear that you're not getting back together, it breaks it again. There was always a little sliver of hope that something would happen and you'd be together again. That hope still remains, kind of like when a child's parents split up and they play out little scenarios in their head of how and why and when they'll get back together. I hope of one those comes true.

  29. Not much more I can say, other then hugs and chocolate to go with that ice cream!

    And hopefully in time, another sweet boy will find you when you least expect it and make you all smiley again.

  30. Brids: “It broke my heart when you two broke up and to hear that you're not getting back together, it breaks it again.”

    Oh Brids, I haven't made you cry for a long time, we were due, no?

    “There was always a little sliver of hope that something would happen and you'd be together again.”

    *smile* There was for me too, really. That was what was stopping me from being able to close the door. I did my best.

    Ferns

  31. Maggie: “Not much more I can say, other then hugs and chocolate to go with that ice cream!”

    Hugs and chocolate are always welcome!! Thank you.

    “And hopefully in time, another sweet boy will find you when you least expect it and make you all smiley again.”

    I will doggedly and determinedly do my best to 'least expect it', and let him sneak up on me unawares.

    Ferns

  32. Peter: “This so rings true in my life at the moment. Different people different circumstances. Be well and happy.”

    Oh, I am so sorry. I wish you luck and I do hope you come out the other side well and happy also.

    Ferns

  33. Nothing I can say that hasnt already been said here kindly, and sweetly, but I couldnt NOT comment on this as I often do, I just couldnt. I feel your sorrow and am holding my breathe until you take another jump and and are caught safely and lovingly….

  34. pasthurt: “Oh, you made me cry. I always wondered what happened with your boy; you seemed so happy.”

    For a short and blazing moment in time, we were happy. It was worth every one of the sad moments that followed.

    “What a brave thing to do. What is love, if not sacrifice of self? You did good.”

    *smile* Thank you. No regrets.

    Ferns

  35. Dommetoone: “I feel your sorrow and am holding my breathe until you take another jump and and are caught safely and lovingly….”

    Thank you so much for the sweetness. I appreciate it.

    Ferns

  36. wow, it's surreal to come upon an old post, like this, and experience such raw emotions, both from the OP and from the people responding.

    Ferns, that letter was so beautiful. Thank you for sharing this story. And, now, months later, didn't I recently read about an exciting new development in your life? (And I'm not talking about the email from the guy from San Fransisco. ;)

  37. Gregory Allen: “wow, it's surreal to come upon an old post, like this, and experience such raw emotions, both from the OP and from the people responding.”

    *smile* It is surreal for me also when I read back on things I have gone through after time has passed.

    “Ferns, that letter was so beautiful… And, now, months later, didn't I recently read about an exciting new development in your life?”

    Thank you for the compliment, and yes, you did indeed read about a possible new beginning. Shhhhhh… I don't want to jinx it…

    Ferns

  38. I’ve only recently discovered your blog and hence this post. I love all of your writing, but this post really grabs me… I anticipate having to say goodbye soon for the very same reasons you did.

    It fills me with sorrow to think this way, but the distance is extreme, money is tight, and I see no other option.

    To know that you’ve survived and thrived so beautifully is certainly something I needed to see. It won’t make the decision easier when it comes time to make it. But proof that life goes on fills me with optimism…

    Hope you saved some ice cream and cookies… :)

    1. Oh Calla, that is heartbreaking.

      I do hope that when the time comes you get through it okay.

      And yes, life does go on, and you can have all of the ice cream AND the cookies!!

      Ferns

  39. *sniffles and blinks back tears* I’m so sorry this happened, but I wish you the best in the future… Yeah I know this is a late comment but I only discovered the beauty that is your mind a little less than two weeks ago.

  40. Your post is what I often refer to as a beautiful sadness. I can only imagine from knowing you virtually and speaking to how the difficulty that it took for you to open yourself up enough to take this risk. I know also that you would have wondered if you hadn’t. You knew the risks was worth the jump and I admire your courage. It is also beautiful because of the intense depth of love you had for each other. I read your posts about your boy and I can feel just a little of what you two had together and I sigh with envy wishing I could find that.

    *hugs* Even if your post did make me cry.

    Respectfully,
    Mysticlez

  41. I’m not sorry for you at all. Nope. Not me. Not feeling sad having read this. Not a bit.

    Brave you. Is a hug allowed for that? Have a hug for bravery. And have a big fat cream cake too, just because. xxx

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