I emailed The Neighbor.

I emailed The Neighbor two nights ago.

I’d had a glass or two of white wine, there was a late Spring chill in the air, Sinatra was playing on the record player.  Every sock drawer had been organized, every bill paid, all the laundry folded.   There were no hanging chads in my life, so to speak and it was as if suddenly I had nothing else to do but email him.

So I did.

As my fingers slid across the keys it was an out-of-body experience.  Was I really doing this?  It’d been a year and a half since we’d seen each other, more than two since he dumped me.  Why was I doing this??

Even as I wrote I knew it was an awkward stream of consciousness.  “I’m genuinely curious to know if you’re great or struggling.  After two long years apart I continue to work hard to trust and be open.  I basically trust no one; it’s almost a joke.  So, I guess I’m admitting to you that I’m not great.”  But I didn’t care and hit Send anyway.

The next morning I did a game recap with surprised friends.  Ann and Meredith were supportive, but both wanted to know what my hopes were.  Why now after all this time??

I had a toothbrush in my mouth when it hit me: breaking the silence I imposed upon us was for me.

My stoic acceptance of his decision to end the relationship without so much as a discussion about it, my reluctant agreement to be friends because that’s what he needed, my heartbreaking realization that I still loved him and had to say goodbye, my stifled, private rage at discovering a trail of lies and blatant dismissal of everything I’d ever wanted, my enduring pain at seeing his car every day and sustained, low-level anxiety of running into him while at home.  I did all of that alone — he bore not one ounce of the burden, not for one second — I kept it all.

It seemed to me during our few times meeting as friends in the 9 months after we broke up that whenever I let my pain become evident, let it slip out ever so slightly, he would cringe.  Whether it was from guilt, fatigue, or disdain I have no idea, but I was intent on buttoning up more tightly for two reasons: 1) I didn’t want him to have anything of me and 2) I didn’t want to hurt him.

As I wrestled with the leaching reality of abandonment and betrayal I believed that responding to it would be losing something.  I didn’t want him to get anything from me ever again — not one calorie of energy — even the pain, sorrow, and stifling lack of trust he left behind.

And even though he absolutely deserved to see the lacerations of his lies upon me I didn’t want him to feel badly.  That would be a direct link to my issue with ever being open about my real feelings about someone or something.  If my feelings hurt or upset someone then they are implicitly wrong, right??

And now it seems that what I did was create a void where all that feeling had no where to go but to me and so I have festered.  I have fucked, flaked, fought, and floundered until I am completely and utterly uninterested in not only men in general, but even sex.  Why bother when every time I let a dick get near me it literally disappoints me?  Think about the double entendre there.  It’s intentional.

He replied today, overly friendly to be honest.  How dare he call me his pet name after everything he’s done to me?  Should I list them all for you or just hyperlink like crazy??  The point is, the tone of my note was not familiar, so why respond to it in such a way?  It wasn’t appropriate.

He said he was saddened to hear of my trust issues because he can relate due to his own.  Not that he was saddened to hear it because he clearly contributed to them.  But because he can relate.  Well, awesome.  Thanks.

He gave me a better email to use and invited me to text, but I no longer have his number and I don’t yet know what to say to him.  I feel a volcano of emotion about to erupt, that needs purging.  I want him to know what the last two years have been like for me with his odd internet stalking of my AFF profile, seeing his goddamned car every goddamned day, and the anxiety of a run-in I carry with me despite my best efforts to exorcise it.  (It’s possible had I never run into him and his girlfriend at the gym that the threat would have ever crossed my mind, but it did and so it does.)

Some will think this is a huge mistake; I’ve already gotten closure, moved on.  It’s been two years! they’ll say.  Others will think there never was closure and this is a good path forward; Show him, girl!  Tell him!

But what do I need from this?  I didn’t write the first note expecting anything in return, but what I got was friendly in tone and communal.  It wasn’t bad.  But there was a sensitivity missing, a subtle nod to what that must have taken for me to finally write.  His response wasn’t somber enough.  This man broke me and he replied to me like a long-lost close office mate whose 9-5 life he once shared.

I’m still contemplating all of this.  What I want to do is not at all clear.  That stupid 150 word email has begun to peel a long-suffering scab atop a festering wound and I feel like a stranger in a strange land.  I only know how to be controlled and at a protective distance.  How do I do this whole This is the truth deal?

I hope there are still some who read me; any words of wisdom are more than welcome.  I need help.  I am at a complete loss.  But maybe this will be the end of it?


A 40-something single mother who writes honestly about sex, body image, D/s, relationships, her nervous tics, and how much she loves to fucking fuck. She also likes to show you her tits.

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34 thoughts on “I emailed The Neighbor.
  1. I have no words of wisdom. Only that my heart has ached for you and continues to do so. But the thing that keeps coming to my mind is that what you’ve been doing hasn’t worked – the bottling up, festering, holding it all in. So maybe it’s time to try something different.


  2. I had a similar experience not long ago. After a silence, then a very casual contact, he sort of half-ass responded to me as if nothing had ever happened, as if we were just exchanging passing comments, as we had before (this was social media stuff). And then he just stopped responding again. I finally realized that there’s really no way for him to respond/reach out in a way that will satisfy. (Unless it’s, oh, god, i was such a fool, please forgive me and let me back in your life!) — in fact, this is not really the first time I worked myself into this predicament. I mean–I exposed too much of what I felt, and the man withdrew, basically not being up to responding, and then, somehow there was no going back from there. Or so it seems. I think all I can do is pack it in, cut it off, give it up. For me, anything else would just be beating the proverbial dead horse.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that. Whatever it is we do, we must do it for ourselves, not for the hope of some kind of response. Move on, keep trying, whatever it is. Clearly, though, he wasn’t the right guy for you. (hugs)

  3. Tell him whatever you like, or nothing at all, but don’t expect him to react the way you want him to react. Don’t expect him to be hurting or to take on any of that burden for you. Don’t expect him to understand. If you do, then you put your ability to heal into his hands and out of your control.

    Your feelings are what they are, and they’re not wrong – regardless of who it inconveniences. (Feelings may be based on beliefs that turn out to be incorrect, but that’s a different thing.)

    I hear your anger, frustration, hurt, the sense of injustice. You are not wrong. But the wounds are yours, and he can’t heal you. I think I sense a desire to hurt him back for all the hurt he has caused. I don’t think that will help you.

    But I agree – the boil needs to be lanced. My gut feeling is that, for all the pain you’ve already gone through, you’re still avoiding dealing with… something. If that’s the case, then I’m afraid that there’s no way out but through. You have to feel your hurt and properly mourn. My two cents.

    Hugs to you <3
    Zoë recently posted…Sinful Sunday: a work in progressMy Profile

    1. All of this, including the hugs.

      Especially this: “the wounds are yours, and he can’t heal you”

      My advice: Figure out what you want out of this and from him, be clear about it in your own mind, and be prepared not to get it. Then work out how you want to proceed.

      I don’t think that anything you will get back from him will be useful in terms of dealing with this. It wasn’t before, and it won’t be now.

      BUT if you just need to get it out and you need for him to see it all laid out on the table, then it’s less about getting something back from him and more about purging it, laying it out in the light so it can properly heal.

      As a note, I know it’s not at all the same thing in terms of why you are contacting him, but I’m still reminded of it:
      THIS was my catharsis, long after we broke up and I couldn’t get past it. The fact that I put it out there was enough. I expected nothing back, but what I got maybe a month later still helped.


      Ferns recently posted…Happy Femdom Story: MelusineMy Profile

      1. Ferns, you are the loveliest of lovelies. “BUT if you just need to get it out and you need for him to see it all laid out on the table, then it’s less about getting something back from him and more about purging it, laying it out in the light so it can properly heal.” That is EXACTLY what this is about. I have no need or desire for his participation – though I realize I may get it regardless, such as the late email from your boy you received.

        What I need to do is be honest with him (and myself) and not hide or protect anyone anymore. God only knows how this will play out, but I feel quite ready for whatever comes my way.

        Thank you so much for your support. xx Hy

    2. I agree totally. If/When I respond to him it will be for my benefit only with no need or expectation for any kind of response. I will, however, have to own that response and process it, whatever it may be. I feel up to the challenge.

      I like to think of it as a posthumous purging. I’m going to say whatever it is I need to as if he were dead. My surprise at what I got from the note isn’t a surprise, at all. I didn’t include everything he wrote, but needless to say, he’s either deliberately avoiding the truth of his actions or really doesn’t see it. Either way, it’s valuable information for me and even just that small exchange has brought me an enormous sense of relief coming and going from my home. I no longer feel a tension as I drive past his car and building.

      I’m eager to see what else I’ll feel if I tell him what the past 2 1/2 years have really been like for me, what his lying and deceit and constant presence has done. I’ve never been honest with anyone about the pain they’ve delivered me except for my father many years ago, but even then, when he was dying, I hid it all over again and gave him a graceful goodbye. I’ve always called it my final parting gift but to this day I can’t quite suss out what it’s meant to me.

      I am definitely NOT looking for him to heal me because you’re right, it’s not his problem. This is me trying to heal me. I’m the only one who can do this. I don’t actually need his participation. :) Big giant hugs back to you. xx Hy

      PS: Did you ever get my Skype messages???

      1. OK, what I’m hearing is that you have been protecting him from the inconvenience of knowing about the pain you experienced as a consequence of the things he did. You’ve decided not to protect him from that anymore, and what that looks like is you informing him of these things. And because this is about you now putting your needs ahead of what you think he probably wants, it doesn’t matter how he reacts. It’s about you taking care of you first. Have I got it?

        This sounds more positive than what I had originally understood. And if you’re already feeling some relief, that’s a good sign. Speak your truth.

        No, no Skype messages at all! Not sure what happened there, but you can always email (and tell me to login to Skype, if you like :-) )
        Zoë recently posted…Sinful Sunday: a work in progressMy Profile

        1. You’ve got it exactly. I need no participation from him, but expect I’ll get some (but perhaps not) and whatever it is I will deal with it.

          As soon as I got your comment I realized I left that very important bit out of my post. ?

          But you’ve summarized it even better than I could and I hope everyone reads this! xx Hy

    3. This is the best advice, it is exactly right. What you need to do will be for you he will not get anything from it and may not understand or even respond as you want. But you must remove whatever is causing you pain before you can move on completely.

  4. Sometimes email is not really mail. It begs to be ignored and sometimes your computer says things (just a word) that you didn’t write. You misspelled it and the computer stabbed you. After having many emails scroll off into infinity and the computer stab me in the back, I have gone back to pen and paper. I usually make a card to go with it. Cards are a way of limiting the length of the letter and actually stopping you from doing all the foolish things in one email.

    Sometimes people want you when they are in crisis. Sometimes I just want them and will take whatever I can get in hopes that it will grow into something we both want. Unfortunately I think that forgive and forget can take about forty to fifty years. The good thing is that just because you have grown older doesn’t mean the relationship you have rebooted has been devalued. I found out after fifty years that when I was twenty-one I was too young to really have a successful love. I am a real cynic, but I do believe in love.

    I am often too quick to say what I really want and I find myself held at arms length. Manners have their place. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone knows it. What we all need is ‘SLACK’. That is the basis of a religion based in San Francisco known as “Bob”. We all need slack. Give yourself slack and give the neighbor slack and go out for lunch with an appointment (maybe phony) in order to keep the visit to a manageable length. Don’t drink with your burger. It goes: Order, eat and DRINK, just a short nap and then mutual recrimination. Let it unwind slowely like I should have done. If it doesn’t work out so well you can contemplate whether he stole money from you or beat you and if not you can let it go. In a short time things will return to where they were before the lunch date. It is a date, even if it seems like a date is for an adolescent. I have become an adolescent during lunch and gone home with the high hopes of a School Boy. I’ll let you know how my soap opera works out.

    Good luck. Remember; if you do nothing, nothing will happen. Count my words and see why I should have used a card through the mail.

    1. Phillip… I’m at a loss for words. I think what you’re trying to tell me is to allow my path to unfurl, don’t judge myself too harshly for it, and to take action. Am I getting that right? And I kinda liked all the words.

      1. Yes, I think you have it about right. Just don’t push too hard. Let him do the pushing. I am getting older and my health is sort of on the edge. I am on ‘Cat life number seven of nine’ and I am impatient. I ask for what takes time right away. What I said was “If you are afraid that I might say NO, don’t be because the answer is YES to about anything you might want”. SCARY. When I though about it I was a bit mortified and wondered if what I said was the sort of thing a Stalker might say. I have been at arms length for a long time now. I think that there were other things as well. Like the years between us were not as important when I was thirty five and they are now. I am not a practical choice. I might not last as long as a car guarantee and then someone might have to help me. Drive the car, go to the Doctor’s office and stuff like that. The imbalance now has the potential for disaster. So I am not that unhappy to be at arms length. I do wish she would write more.

        “Friendship is a slow ripening fruit”. Aristotle


  5. Oc course I still read you! And I agree with Kayla. What you’ve been doing hasn’t worked, so maybe it’s time to try something else.
    And with Ann. Don’t let the wound close before purging it.
    Go with it. Write, cry, sob, scream, let it all out.
    You don’t have to send it to him.
    I mean, once you’ve written everything you had to write to let go of the weight, you can keep it to read it again the next day, but eventually it would be good to burn it, metaphorically cleansing the relationship and all the hurts that you still carry from it.
    My two cents.
    Above it all… you have to go through this. Much like, to heal a physical wound, we sometimes have to go through more pain for a short while, so it is with psychological wounds too.
    Something that has been working for me is EMDR. It’s great to help rewire the brain to get rid of the pain.

    Good luck Hy. You have all my support!

    1. Hmm, EMDR, huh? I’ve never considered it, but I know people who’ve done it to varying degrees of success. I’ll keep a pin in that one, thanks.

      As for the rest of your words, yes. I need to not keep it all in and work my way through it. It’s been such a long time since it’s all started I almost feel silly, but I guess life is silly, right?

      Much love to you. xx Hy

  6. It seems to me that what you are aching for is acknowledgement from him that he hurt you, or at the very least to be able to tell him that he did. So do it, pour it into an email and hit send. It’s ok to feel these things and it’s ok to want acknowledgement that they hurt.

    Good luck! I’ve been following you for quite some time and I hope you get what you need.

    1. I suppose deep down it would me amazing to get that acknowledgement, but that is not at all what I’m desiring. All I want right now is to get this out of me and before him. That’s it. I don’t need him to do anything with it other than be the recipient. It doesn’t even matter to me that he open the email. I only need to send it. Thanks for your kind words :)

  7. I wish I could help you, but writing that email sounds like the same kind of dumbass thing I would do. All I can do is sympathize. I never entirely let go of anyone so there are initials carved all over my heart. Maybe letting out all the emotion would be a good thing. I’m a man and can’t do that unless I go off alone in the woods for a long while. Take as good care of yourself as you can.

  8. Sadly, it’s quite possible, maybe even probable, that he wasn’t as invested as you. So the thought of getting any response other than a casual one probably won’t happen. My Mom once told me that the best revenge is being happy, and if you’re not, fake it till ya make it. I used to whine to my ex about how he hurt me, and when I finally cut all ties, he started contacting me. So I sent him a long letter, thanking him for all he taught me, mostly how NOT to treat another human being. I was pretty upbeat about it all, and told him how wonderfully I was doing without him. He wrote me back (a year later!) admitting he never thought I’d get over him, and apologizing for not being the man he should have been. TN could be thriving on the thought that you’re miserable without him (as you well know, you can also be miserable ‘with’ them). I hope you can work through this….for your own well-being.

  9. First, I commend you for asking for help. It may be the primary reason that you are where you are: cradled in the light of the realization that you cannot do it alone. And old friend used to quote some eastern wisdom the gist of which was: the spiritual path must be impossible. I always thought this was self righteous & puritanical. Until my heart was broken & I found myself on my knees asking for help. And I realized that the spiritual path must be impossible because one must be brought to one’s knees in order to get that one is, finally, not alone.

    Heartbreak is, almost necessarily, an existential experience. It is because the only thing that is forever is change. Well, the only other thing is Love. But not the kind of love that we want it to be. Love is the creative force & as such it does not stop to think whether it will eviscerate us as it runs in our veins. We mistakenly believe that we can fall into lt or out of lt or that lt’s something that we possess when really we are possessed by It. The proof is that we are alive. Love with a little l is something else. Commitment, happiness, comfort, bliss. While these all run on Love they are not Love. The character that it takes to process over time all that is encountered in relationship is rooted in Love. But the vigor of those roots depends on one’s ability to plant them in that soil. And that soil resides within. One’s ability to access & engage Love in relationship depends on one’s ability to come from that place. At your very core the imperturbable spring of Love burbles.

    Feelings are never wrong. They are sense data. They help inform us. They must be regarded. But they are not the only thing that must be regarded. What we do with the data, our behavior, may or may not be ‘implicitly wrong’.

    The only way I’ve ever been able to continue in a world where others aren’t always willing or able to process & together produce closure is to come to terms with that fact. Love, which is also not a feeling or any other sense data, continues to burble from within. I am alive. And things change. And this loss too shall pass.

    But maybe this all only becomes clear & helpful once you descend & do battle with your lover become nemesis & more importantly with your own truths knowing that the You you are now will most likely succumb to a new One.

    I’m deeply saddened by your pain, Hyacinth. I know it well. Also I am grateful for your story. It helps me remember I am not alone. An immeasurably beautiful thing.


    1. I know, we’ve got some really smart folks in our little community, don’t we?? Thank YOU for the love, wifey. It means a lot to me. xxxxxxxx Hy

  10. I still read absolutely everything you write Hy, I’m just a bit on the quiet side these days.
    I’ve read all the comments, so much more wisdom than I could ever offer up & I agree with them all! So I’ll send you my love, hugs, courage & best wishes to you instead. xxxx

    1. Aw, thank you. It’s just that I’m not that “around” anymore and wasn’t sure. I’m glad to know you’re still in my corner! xx

  11. I wish I knew the answer to anything, let alone everything, but I struggle as much as the next person. All I know is that people often let us down because they are not us. They don’t have the same experiences, background, inner selves, sensitivities, etc., and they never will have. We can shout and scream at them to understand us, but they simply aren’t capable of such understanding, let alone compassion or love. There are times when, for self-preservation, it is necessary to break away, right away, and forget them, as they have probably forgotten us. This man will probably never have the answers you want or need, so stop torturing yourself, and rip him out of your mind and your heart, is my only suggestion. Wishing you peace and happiness for the future.
    Rachel de Vine recently posted…Daddies Take Control by Kelly DawsonMy Profile

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Rachel. Don’t worry, I’m not looking for anything from him. I just need to get this out of me. I agree that I can’t get someone, anyone, to give me what I need. Either they do it on their own or they don’t. It’s that simple. Regardless, I just need to tell him some things so I can really move on; I expect no answers, nothing neat and tidy. I’m hoping that purging this from my system will do the trick. xx

  12. Hello Hy-

    I have been reading you for years but have never thanked you for your beautiful writings and take on life. I’ve cried for and with you on many occasions and then found myself in a most similar situation as you and TN. In my darkest moments knowing a strong, beautiful woman like you understands the times a broken heart ,still in love, is an almost unbearable weight to carry. Thank you so much.

    Ironically, and strangely (on a whim I thought “Hmm, I should check Hy’s blog pre-doomsday.Haven’t in a while.”), I am preparing to meet my former lover of two years tomorrow morning at 7:45am for “coffee”, after 5 months of no contact. The break-up was beyond soul-crushing. I was blindsided, put in a position to have no choice but to end it, and in too much pain to meet him face to face at the time. He blatantly ignored some questions I asked of him. I thought for sure I would get an email explaining… I couldn’t believe he never even tried to make me **see** him to at least do the honorable thing one should do for a lover who never wronged you, who’s feelings you were careless and cruel with in the end.

    I’ve done everything in my power to get out of this pain. Morning meditations, no contact, working out at 5am, gratitude journals, dating (what a joke and I feel your pain on that too). None. Of. It. Has. Helped. I am worse off 5 months later and every damn night the speculation returns of what in the fuck happened??? If I didn’t know better I’d say the asshole is a voodoo priest who put some curse on me.

    What I do know he did was crack me open despite my reluctance. He tooooo, had pain and trust issues, we finally found the other! I had never taken a chance like this with a man. I’ll never forget the first falling in love texts when he asked me if I was falling in love, because he already was, says he, since the very beginning, and my response, “if I didn’t take this chance it would haunt me forever”. Haunt me it has. That did come true. The feelings of betraying my own inner fragile self might be the worst. Depends on the day.

    So, I will sit across from him like a business acquaintance since Mr. Executive couldn’t carve time out for me outside of any productive time he might lose. God forbid we could have a glass of wine to help ME (he of course wouldn’t need it) face this. I won’t cry and let him see the pain he inflicted out of nothing more than his own convenience. Not because I care if he sees it, but because he doesn’t get it. I too want to tell him (and ask) some things and I will do it in the manner he understands the best.

    Calmly, and without malice I will explain his failings. If there is one thing he despises it is failing and he doesn’t have much experience with failure. Thing is, he clearly failed me and us. He already knows it. It doesn’t matter at this point if he patronizingly concedes his failure as a defense mechanism. He at least will look me in the eyes as he does. I need that. I need to see the failure of this man with my own two eyes. I need that for me to forgive myself. The cuntier he is the better. I could give two shits if he drops a bomb on me that will cause me emotional napalm later. It will fucking be done either way. No more hamster wheel of the “what ifs”. I’ll know.

    I’ve seen your struggle to “get over it” and it has been terrifying riding the same ride. This is my last resort. I know of nothing else I can do in an attempt to heal myself to a place where I can actually feel happiness and love again. At times when I am with my family and friends it hits me how little joy I get from that anymore because the pain/worthlessness/lonliness/younameit, outweighs my joy. At those times I feel homicidal towards him which is somewhat healthy haha.

    I doubt I will ever understand how the man who made me feel seen, finally, could choose to put me through this vs. being more compassionate and respectful when the time for tough conversations came. He pursued and promised my trust wouldn’t be broken as he cooed and coaxed me into this love affair of a lifetime. For that he owes me more than a “take care”, “hope you get over your anger enough to have lunch sometime”.

    I do get it Hy. Some interweb stranger across the wifi is lockstep with you in the prison these chances on love can impose. I hope you get what you need. I too will probably get no answers or anything neat and tidy, but I need ME back. I have to try.

    My heart goes out to you. Truly. This quote by Mary Oliver makes me cry and gives me hope, “Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”

    best, midwestanais

  13. It’s been so long since I’ve caught up with your story. He is still such an ass, and you are still such a catch (for lack of a better term).
    G recently posted…New LoveMy Profile

      1. Means it was REALLY important shit!! No doubt I’ve been affected by your story even. Always avoiding my own The Neighbor… but oops, that’s really hard to avoid, they are like a drug.
        G recently posted…New LoveMy Profile

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