Definition Pending

It’s so easy to write off people especially when they make mistakes.

During my tumultuous relationship with my ex who was both physically and emotionally abusive, quite a number of my friends or even acquaintances were eager to label him as this: Batterer, abuser, bad guy etc. They said he’ll never change, he’ll always be in this person who would use his anger in the most frightful of ways. I knew that he had this strong reaction to certain events or words. It made me cower and retreat. I was always so careful with my words and actions should they lead to an all out match between us. But I would see him as more than this man who would fuck up and hurt me so. It sucked and it wasn’t right that I stuck it out so long. That I kept trying to fix myself because I thought that I was the reason he would explode. Sometimes I triggered him and other times I would escalate.

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Strings

It’s been a long ass time.

I’ve been going through a lot. It’s been the theme of the past year I suppose… or more. Whatever. It’s happening. This thing, these changes and it’s been making me go mental. I have been that person who has lost their cool and lacking confidence because there’s this whole shift within me. I cannot even explain it clearly. It’s just going on. Ever since I left the guy I went to New Orleans and Nashville with. It’s this mixture of emotions that never ceases, I tend to feel more than one emotion at once and that sucks.

From confusing him post break-up to remembering that I used to be in love with someone else completely, I’ve been in a major mental and emotional block. Part of me didn’t want to admit that I still had SO MUCH left unpacked from my ex and a huge part of me didn’t want to give up one of the few positive distractions: traveling with a new love. But I couldn’t be a girlfriend, I knew something was up when I didn’t feel like I was someone’s girlfriend. Not again. It didn’t feel right and I couldn’t explain it. There were other issues like the fact we worked together, how he treated people I cared about, the lack of PDA… there were small things but I couldn’t face those little hiccups without dealing with myself. Did I want to enter into something serious? No. Did I want to sleep around? Not really. I wanted to go back to the in between and that wasn’t happening.

But I am addicted to distraction. That’s my new way of coping which helps sometimes, but it doesn’t work for a long term solution. If anything being with someone new reminded me of the strength and resilience I had to move on. But still, it’s really hard. I want to have romance and move on. Not exactly something that can happen simultaneously.

I still have to sit with myself and say “do you want to expedite the process and just end up in a mediocre relationship because you’re too lazy to deal with yourself?” And I tell myself no but somehow I would persuade myself to reach out to former lover/still coworker and get tangled up in a new mess. Repeatedly. He would get frustrated because he wants commitment and he knows I’m not giving out any guarantees. He wants to be able to date without any strings.

I have strings, like a lot. Strings to lots of different things. I am trying to see where each leads and I am in no mood to making any romantic gestures. I owe this man a lot for helping me and being there, I loved everything we did. I loved him even. But there’s something missing and finally, through some sick twist of fate and knowledge–I think this time I can let him go. Properly. He was/is my crutch and that’s not fair for anyone. I hope I can stay clean/clear of him in the emotional department. For now, I still have to see him at work… wish me luck.

 

 

I keep a close watch on this heart of mine

The best $35 I spent was on a Megabus to Nashville. I learned that I do fancy some country music especially when I hear it live, I also found out that I love songs by Johnny Cash and Hank Williams. I also discovered that the man I have been seeing and traveling with is not the one for me. There is no real reason for it. Everything was magical up until after the holidays and a shift occurred. I thought I knew what I wanted, I believed that these feelings were truer than anything else. But the truth is we didn’t know each other as well as we thought. He helped me get over my ex. I am much better yet something still lingers. I have this longing for my ex, perhaps I miss how I used to feel. Whatever it is, I know this. I don’t want to go back to my ex and I don’t want to be in a relationship with my current beau.

I can’t be a girlfriend right now.

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So when we came back from our trip, I knew I had to face this. I had to tell him. No more mixed messages, if I want to save this friendship I have to breakup with him. This was my first time initiating a breakup. It’s not fun by the way. I definitely cried. There are no ways to explain it other than, I have a lot to sort out on my own. I didn’t want to cheat him out of love or something like it. There was love there but it was brief. It burned out. Burnt toast, my sister in law called it, because no matter how much you butter it… you still don’t want it.

Our time in New Orleans will always be one of my favorite memories. It was one of those perfect, spontaneous moments. He helped me grieve for my relationship. But now I need to do things on my own. People called it a rebound. Whatever you want to call it. I can honestly say, my feelings were real and true. But things don’t stay the same always. Change happens and that’s what happened to me. I used to dislike country. Now I love it. I used to be in love with my New Orleans/Nashville travel companion, but I’m not in love anymore. I think the love I need to focus on is self-love. He can’t help me with that one.

Cleanse

I returned from the holidays, so ready for my apartment and my bed. I couldn’t find a notepad and that’s when I discovered a Valentine’s Day letter from my ex. He made it for me almost two years ago. That’s when I decided, I’m ready… I need to get rid of these letters underneath my bed. All those love letters, apology letters, I’m-not-giving-up letters, I’m-not-violent-I-want-peace letters, it’s fucking time to get rid of this shit. I don’t want my future daughter or son to come snooping in my things to find some bullshit letters from an ex that I am not in love with anymore.

It’s over, it’s done. It needs to stop.

My ex’s letters weren’t bullshit in his mind, he meant every word but as I reread some of them–I can’t believe I fell for it. So hard. That’s what upsets me. That I put myself in that position by living with him and that there was no way for me to see then. There was no way out, it was a cycle that would keep going. There was no exit for us at the time. How foolish I was to think that I couldn’t escape!

I read these letters that are love but most of them are trying to rationalize his actions. They repeat the words “I love you” but love is more than words. It’s a behavior. I read our inside jokes and the romance, but it’s not what I needed. I needed far more than fucking letters saying that I was loved and cared for. I needed safety, consistency and a healthy relationship.

I’m pissed that I tried so hard and it didn’t work. I don’t love him anymore. Part of me may always care and wonder about him, I wish him a healthy relationship not just with himself, or family, but a significant other.

Not a single fiber in my being wants him back. I wish I could erase him but that wouldn’t do me any good. I learned a lot from him. There were good memories there but it wasn’t enough. The love was not enough.

Fickle heart?

Before I get chastised from the majority of the human population, yes I messaged my ex first last week. No, I didn’t stop messaging him when he returned my texts. It was a moment of weakness and I completely gave in. More than a moment, I suppose. I wanted him to know I care and I think of him in a positive light. I have been kind and patient. I face my emotions with courage and compassion. I know that I still love him, how can you stow away something that has been going on for at least two years? But my heartbreak has turned into fury.

I hate that I love him, I hate that his words still send me in a tizzy. He wasn’t being unkind but all these sentiments are too little, too late. He regrets the breakup, he sees now what he could have compromised on, he even mentioned how he wanted to meet me in New Orleans. He was going to come get me and surprise me. First of all, that is shocking and scary in a way. It would have been romantic if we hadn’t had such a rocky end. I can’t even put my finger on it–just didn’t feel right and I felt nauseated at the thought.

My friend that I flew to New Orleans with was just the right person for that trip. I can’t even imagine what kind of trip it would have been if my ex popped up.

I feel so incensed at the very idea. My ex’s messages about how much he loves me and how much I mean to him. I know he loves me, I know he loved me during our relationship too but it wasn’t enough. And again, it’s way too fucking late to tell me all this now after shattering my heart into a million pieces.

It has only been two months and I know I still love him, but I’m not in love. Well, not as in love as I was before. And it makes me wonder how that could happen in a relatively short amount time. I do love him, I do. But I love me more. Yes, Samantha Jones was onto something. I was putting my ex before all else because I was continually called selfish by him. Now I want to fall in love with myself all over again. I am liking other people and I feel like… even if nothing happens with these people; I could have a real shot at not only love again but at something healthy. But first… it’s all about me.

Crescent City and beyond

Last week, I flew to New Orleans and it was far better than I expected it to be. I was worried and stressed. I thought, this is too last minute, too impulsive, too unplanned… It went smoothly up until the last day where my couch surfing host cancelled last minute and I was stressed then got a hotel, spent way too much money and… still made it back to Chicago alive and not regretting any other part of my trip. Perhaps 4 days or less in New Orleans is enough, but I still couldn’t believe how wonderful it was. I saw the level of poverty there but I also saw the shameless hustle of people in that city. The rich history, the food, and the beautiful scenery. I sat in Louis Armstrong Park chatting for hours with my friend and finding myself feeling that sense of this is what was meant to be.

No matter what happens beyond that holiday, I’ll always look back in fondness and pride that I went for it. I did it and I experienced the newness; a completely different lifestyle for one week.

I came back this past weekend with a bit of those post-holiday blues and reminiscing about all those new memories I made. Even in New Orleans, I thought about my past and yes, my ex. I didn’t let myself ignore those feelings. How I missed missing him daily. I knew that I wasn’t missing him all the time like I used to. The distance and the lack of communication is quite present. He is no longer part of my daily life. I recall experiences we have together and I miss them. I miss him. It’s this strange paradox of I miss him and I don’t. I miss his smile, his laugh and his embrace. I miss his gentleness from the beginning of our relationship. I don’t miss his sexist comments, judgments towards me or my friends, or that temper that brought out the worst in both of us.

I took good with bad and thought that’s what love is. It’s more than that. So many elements make a relationship function and it’s constantly evolving, it’s ongoing. I am still moving on. I am not over it. I’m not, not in the least. I’m honest about that. But I’m not clinging onto those golden moments of our past. I see them, I cherish it and I wish there were more. But there isn’t. Beyond that, I have no idea what else there is. I want to reach out and say more, but nothing comes to mind. I guess I want to catalogue and detail those beautiful true stories that occurred so that way the awfulness in between doesn’t taint everything. How can you have that beauty without the tragedy? I’m still mixed up and that’s how it’s going to be for awhile.

I did another thing.

So I bought tickets to New Orleans for my fall break.

I bought them purely on a whim. I have this app called Hitlist that tells me about deals on flights and I was talking to my friend who recently bought tickets. They asked to compared ticket prices and they were just the right price for me to say fuck it. I am going. I need this. I need something. I need an escape. I want to go somewhere new and experience something else.

Something different.

Now the dread comes in where I wonder if I am running away from my feelings or if I am being too rash. Am I making a huge mistake?

I do not know. Despite everything that’s happened, post break up–I know I have changed for the better. I learned a great deal. I can love. I have capacity for lots of love and adventure. I won’t know if this is a big disaster until I get there. There’s no right time and no I’m not over everything but who gives a shit? I am going to New Orleans and it could be awesome or terrible or both. As someone used to tell me: only one way to find out.

A confession.

I talked with my new coworker/head teacher this week about blogging and how I am terrible at keeping it a routine. I am getting to know her better each day, she is so confident and knows what she likes. I used to be that way. Lately, I have been rather listless but striving for change. I was way more confident and took way more chances, now I am tend to stay in the background where it’s safe. I occasionally go out of my comfort zone but only occasionally.

So here is me going at it again to keep this up.

Also I was dumped today by my boyfriend. Before all the pity and I’m sorry this happened you, etc. This isn’t my first rodeo in the break up arena. This however is the first time someone I am in love with broke up with me cruelly and without mercy. Yes, there were petty arguments leading up to it and there has been months of stagnation… But today I was told that there was no empathy or patience left for me. That I am only confident around those I am comfortable with, on my own terms and that I’m not confident outright. I make too many demands. The list goes on.

Basically all my deficiencies in the relationships were put on blast and I didn’t fight it. No ma’am. I listened, I agreed, I said my piece and as soon as the “I have no empathy or patience for you” came out of that phone, I hung up. I cried, I sobbed. I couldn’t believe that someone I love could talk to me so hatefully and claim that my selfless acts paled in comparison to his true selflessness.

My language about my relationship on this blog has been rather vague and now I can clarify without shame or concern over hurting the man I love most. Last year, I antagonized my boyfriend physically after he used a door to crush my body accidentally. Incensed and a witness to physical abuse as a child, I lashed out by breaking his phone and in my boyfriend’s attempts to flee he grabbed liquid soap and threw the soapy substance into my eyes to blind me. He yelled, I yelled and yes it burned like a motherfucker. It didn’t end there. I really wish it did.

I hit him on his way out. I forget his words exactly, I tried to block them out but he told me something along the lines of “you want to fight?” With that he took me down to the floor, sat on me and slapped me repeatedly all over my face. He tore at my shirt and my chest was exposed. I screamed and tried to defend myself, it was fruitless. I screamed bloody murder until he placed his hands on my throat and choked me. My screams were silenced and I saw black until he stopped himself. Shocked as to what occurred, he leaned against the wall while I cried and asked “Why, why, why?” He picked me up off the floor and I tried to shove him away. He cleaned up my wounds as I cried and lamented that I became like my mother. A victim.

This night haunts me even when I think I’ve forgiven him. I know what I did was wrong. I broke his property, I slapped him, I pushed him. It wasn’t right. I didn’t make wise choices. But what he did in response wasn’t right either. He could have killed me.

I called the police. I demanded he go to anger management and counseling because promises were not enough. There have been close calls since then, where I phoned police. He broke a door, he’s thrown me into the street. It’s been a hard two years in this relationship. I have anxiety even before this relationship but opening up about my dislikes has become difficult.

He’s made lots of strides but we both tuned the world out. Him more so than me. He lost his drive. These past months have been peaceful. However, my disgruntled requests sometimes too late leave him feeling as if I demand too much. He reminded me of all he does or did. Going to jail once, paying for anger management and therapy, sending me letters, videos, flowers, when I refused to date him until I relented last summer. I found his ceaseless efforts to be that of someone who is willing to be accountable for what occurred. As I try to be as well.

For now, we go our separate ways but now I no longer have to keep this secret close to me. To protect him and to protect myself. It happened. We can’t be a couple anymore because the empathy was lost, but maybe he can forgive me over time all those demands… as I try to forgive him everyday for what happened that night.