For all intents and purposes, Jimmy and I are indeed back together. I've never been happier with him than I have been since we broke up, actually. We're communicating, we're having fun together, and we're totally in love. I love him more than I ever have. And what's better is that we're balanced. We need each other, but not in an unhealthy way. We each have our own things to tend to now, and we see each other enough, but not too much. If I still spend a lot of time with him, it's because all my other friends are generally unavailable. But I spend a lot of time by myself as well. Things are just RIGHT with us.
Why am I bitter? I'm imagining my friends and family, their eyes widening in shock as they say, "Oh. Well, that's good, I guess." I'm imagining their raised, judgmental eyebrows as they ask, "Are you sure about this?" And I'm imagining the hushed whispers and disappointed stares as I turn away.
These are not people who I randomly know and could care less about. These are the people I care about most in the world, and the people who (I believe) care about me most in the world. So I can't just turn up my nose and say "Screw you" and ride off into the sunset with Jimmy. I don't WANT to do that. I love my friends and family; they're my world. But how do I make them understand that things are different now? Things ARE different now. And yes, I'm sure. I do believe I know Jimmy better than they all know Jimmy, so I can categorically say that I KNOW he is different now. And I do believe that people can change. I don't believe EVERYONE can change; but I do believe that it is possible for some people, and that it is possible for him, and that it DID happen for him.
I know everyone just wants what's best for me and they just want me to be happy, but it feels like they don't trust me. They might tell me they trust me; they might even tell other people that they trust me; but behind their eyes, they think I'm being an idiot, naive, gullible. They think I'm making a huge mistake, and there will always be tension between Jimmy and everyone else because they don't think he can change. No one thinks we should be together.
And maybe partly it's my fault. I have a hard time balancing different facets of my life, and it's especially hard for me when some of those facets come together. Work, family, relationship, friends from here, friends from there - when my worlds collide, I just feel really awkward. So maybe I did TOO good of a job keeping my relationship separate from everyone else, and I'm paying for it now.
I'm also not very good at "selling" Jimmy. There were a lot of things that were bad about our relationship, but there were a lot of good things too, and maybe it's my fault that that I never spoke much about the good things. I guess I thought they were apparent - all of the things that are good about our relationship ARE me. I wouldn't be who I am without Jimmy. All of the good things that I am - my irreverent sense of humor, my taste in movies/music/tv, my interest in baseball, etc. - a lot of those things came directly from Jimmy. I guess I didn't give him enough credit. Yeah, sure, I have a degree and he doesn't, but he's absolutely the most intellectual person I know (except for a few English teachers), and I absolutely think he's much smarter than I am, despite me having more of a formal education.
So what now? Just do what I want to do and screw everyone else? Just explain the same thing over and over and make them understand? Fuck it all and move to Alaska and die? I don't want people to be skeptical of me. I don't want them to say things like, "Well, if you know what you're doing, then I'm happy for you" - I don't want your conditional happiness. I DO know what I'm doing, and you're either in or you're out. I don't want people to question my intelligence or personal strength, or think that I'm just acting out of loneliness or laziness. I also don't want to spend the rest of my life having to deal with awkwardness between Jimmy and everyone else at every single social function we attend together. I want them to know Jimmy the way I do and to like him. I don't want to always feel like I have to choose between two different sides of me, him vs. them.
Why do things always have to be so hard for me? Why couldn't I have had an easy relationship with a guy that everyone likes and have all parts of my life integrated smoothly without anyone batting an eye? Why do I have to go through all this bullshit? Is there some cosmic force in the world trying to test my character? Is this my "hero's journey"-style road of trials? Is this to balance out the fact that I breezed through school and professional life (so therefore, I'm not allowed to breeze through my personal life)? Why? Why me?