I’ve been avoiding this topic, like the plague. Talking about my last relationship is like trying to find the “top” of a bouncy ball. It goes on forever and it doesn’t exist, that is to say my talking goes on forever and the thing never really existed.
This entire year has been about confronting my fears. Fear of ultimate commitment, fear of the unknown, fear of disappointment, and fear of the ex-fiancée.
When I met him I thought…I mean, truly FELT, that he was IT. I had known him barely all of two weeks and we were head over heals for each other. He voiced my same fears. My same dreams. My same thoughts. It freaked me out. But I jumped. I said to myself “what the hell” and went feet first into a sea of endless love, attention, and warmth.
I had heard about this. I had fantasized about the day. When I would be swept off my feet, and I would KNOW. They said it happened this way sometimes. You barely know each other and it’s like you have been waiting for one another your whole life. Some people know each other for a few days and get hitched…succeeding at a 50 year plus relationship. This was my 50 year old.
I had never felt the “this is it” feeling they all talk about. I don’t think you can really understand this feeling until you have it.
We were in love. We were going to make it. His friends even had a bet that we would be engaged within the year.
We (and they) were absolutely, unabashedly, entirely, fully WRONG about that one.
I don’t know what happened. When it happened. Where it happened. But it happened that he became increasingly mean to me. He no longer cuddled with me. Whispered to me. Sent me text messages that would make my heart sink, rise, and then burst out of my tear ducts. Where did his support go. Why was he telling me to go to the movies by myself. Why was he asking me why I looked at the sex video file of his ex that I found on his desktop. Why was he yelling at me to get over it. Why was he telling me I was always unhappy and that I caused problems. Why was he telling me that he would never treat me the way he treated her, the way I needed to be treated.
But despite how awful he was to me, he would have sex with me. Every night he would pull me close to him. I melted into his skin and wanted nothing more than him. This was it, him showing me he loved me. I thought.
Writing this out is really upsetting me so we will have to jump forward. This story isn’t going to come out in one messy post. I promise, there will be many more entertaining and heartbreaking tales ahead where I will explore how and why I let myself be in the most damaging relationship of my 25-year-old life.
10 months later, when all was said and done. I was left with no apartment. No car. No self esteem. No love. No happiness. No stability. and No coffee maker.
And I had done it all to myself.
Catastrophic confusion set in about a month or so ago. I became fixated on finding validation. I began having extreme anxiety that I would run into his ex in the outside world. I would be forced to face her and forced to bite my tongue. I wanted to ask her. Had she experienced this? Was THIS why she called off their engagement? My anxiety grew to a level of almost having a phobia of museums (where she works) and art events. So I brought it up to my therapist (which I have a whole post waiting in the wings about this awesomeness of a man).
He simply said, so “Why don’t you ask her?”
huhhhhhh? Ask her to talk to me? Isn’t that weird. “No, it’s not weird.” He told me that in his years of therapy he has worked with many women who have been abused and men who have gone to war. In both cases, he said, sharing their stories proved to be the best way to heal and move past the most traumatizing events.
So I did it.
I messaged her on Facebook. It wasn’t easy. I felt weird, awkward and afraid that she might go to him asking him to keep is weird ex-gf away from her. I had NO clue how she might respond.
And now, I’m meeting her for coffee tomorrow.
Part of her message back to me: “I hate the way this sounds, but I am relieved that someone can relate. I hate that you had to go through whatever traumatic thing he put you through, but I am glad that you would like to talk about it with me. It may prove to be healthy for the both of us to exchange stories. Your feelings toward the matter are very familiar to me.”
When I read her message my entire body filled with validation. The validation I had been looking for for over 6 months.
We’ll see how tomorrow goes…