January 15, 2020:

These photos hurt so much because the love was so totalizing.

We loved each other without holding back, we wanted all our time with each other, we dropped our other friendships, we lived within each other without hesitation and without insight into the damage this all caused. Where our codependence was radicalized, to the point we couldn't function without each other, meaning in practice we couldn't function at all.

There seemed to be no way forward. The relationship had become an addiction, the great debilitating monkey on two backs that prevented us from living for our goals because we lived only for each other. To where she couldn't even get through her day without two dozen phone calls, half of them hanging up without a word, simply an attention fix.

Perhaps counseling would have helped but there was obviously no money for that.

So I cut the knot, broke us up, with enormous suffering and the most overwhelming feeling of relief.

Still in the photos I see her pain, and that hurts me, because I loved her, so that even after thirty years my heart goes out to her, across all the lost time and the great gulfs of wasted emotion.