I met Tyler (lj user="mountain_child") in the CNR house when we first went to college at the University of Idaho, in August 2000. The person that initiated the beginning of the relationship between Tyler and I was me, much later at the end of that school year, at the end of April 2001 (on the drive back from Cassie's house, I might add). Here, y'know, I'm just going to make a timeline.
August 2000: Tyler and I meet.
April 2001: Tyler and I get together.
May 2001: Tyler goes home to New Mexico for the summer, I stay in Idaho and work.
August 2001: I fly to New Mexico and visit Tyler for a week. I come home after that and my family goes to the ocean, and Tyler drives back up to Idaho, then drives to the ocean to see me. We go back to Seattle together and back to Idaho together.
January 2002: Tyler starts acting differently.
March 2002: Tyler tells me he wants to transfer to NAU in Flagstaff, AZ.
April 2002: Tyler breaks up with me on our first anniversary.
June 2002: Tyler and I fly out to Taylor Ranch with Nathan and are interns there for 3 months.
August 2002:Tyler and I fly out, we go our separate ways.
September 2002: Tyler calls me (after other calls and emails) and asks if we can get back together. I agree. I also drive down to Flagstaff for a weekend to see him and talk about it face to face, racking up about 2000 miles in a few days. We see the Grand Canyon. I drive back. Tyler decides to transfer back to UI.
December 2002: Tyler drives up to Seattle and surprises me on New Year's Eve. He stays at my house for a few weeks.
January 2003: Tyler moves into a new apartment in Moscow.
May 2003: Tyler and I start our summer job together working on the Historic Wildland Fire Use project.
August 2003: Tyler and I go to Australia together for 3 weeks with his entire family. Return to school afterwards. We move into Doc and Carrie's house. Tyler is acting differently.
March 2004: We leave for the Greatness Retreat over Spring Break.
April 2004: Tyler breaks up with me on April 15th.
May 2004: We go to Vancouver for his sister's wedding on May 1st. I return to Moscow immediately afterward, he stays in Canada for several weeks and returns to Moscow in mid-May to graduate. I later find he is having Second Thoughts. He graduates, moves out of Doc and Carrie's and heads home to Los Alamos.
June 2004: Tyler calls me and tells me he's made a mistake and wants to get back together. He gets a fire lookout position in Idaho, and enters on the 24th, having made a detour in Seattle for 2 days prior (with my permission) to talk about things with me face-to-face.
I'm so confused about everything. First off, this highly-simplified timeline totally excludes the details of why these things happened for better or for worse, so Tyler sorta comes off looking like a flake. On the other hand, he kinda WAS acting like a flake.
I'm not sure how I feel about posting this. I think a lot of people in my life have seen only little glimpses of Tyler and I, and I'm worried that I'll come off looking fickle or indecisive or immature as a result of what's happened. The times that he's broken up with me, I regretted people ever knowing we were together. The times we were together, I've regretted ever telling people we had broken up. I hope nobody uses this against me in the future. This is especially a pain in the ass because certain members of my extended family really like Tyler, and keep asking when we're going to get married. -_- This is in sharp contrast to my parents, who now hate Tyler and want him dead, or at least horribly maimed.
I have never seen Tyler act so humble and contrite about anything in my entire life. He is not letting me take responsibility for anything that went wrong (which is nice). He's absolutely scared to death that I won't take him back, which is a valid fear, I think. It's not that I don't want to be with Tyler, because I truly and honestly do, and I can't see myself with anybody else. It's just that I don't trust him. I've already told him that if we get back together again, it's for good. This will NEVER happen again. He's solemnly agreed to that, and I really do believe he's sincere, but...I've seen him change his mind before. This is not common knowledge, but Tyler and I were once quietly engaged for 5 months. He asked me, and then later broke it off.
I'm sad that I feel a little bitter and jaded at this point. I'm glad that Tyler has been doing a lot of things to try and make up for what's happened, or what hasn't happened. He drove to Seattle to see me, he took me out for meals, and he even bought me a Valentine's Day present to make up for all the Valentine's Days where I've given him something special, while he'd never done anything...he bought me that 7th season DVD set of DS9. The thing is, Tyler is at a point now where he is infinitely open to critisism. On our long drive to and from Mt. Rainier, on the phone, in emails, I was able to bring up all the things that he'd done that hurt me, and he was totally open to hearing it. I would say "and you know, your Evidence from the Greatness Project really hurt me" and he'd acknowledge that he was a prick (he actually DID use that word), explain why he did it without justifying it, and explain what he was going to do to avoid that in the future. I'm afraid that Tyler will get tired of waiting for me. I'm afraid I won't know how to work my way back.
I think that's what I'll need most of all before I make any moves...actions, not words. Tyler's been giving me lots of words, and they're GOOD words, but I need to see some action. I need him to recognize and name every issue or problem he's had, figure out a way to solve them, put that into practice, and have it succeed.
And I don't want it to sound vengeful, but I don't want to give him much reassurance right now. I want him to walk through the fire and know how it feels.
I love Tyler, but this is really hard.