I was not at all expecting today to go as it has. Not one bit of it. I wish I could make this stuff up (I’m just not that good)…
I’ve written a few times about this guy I’ve been seeing on and off for quite a while. We met on OkCupid about six years ago and dated for maybe six months or so initially. Things got really intense really fast (we have always had a strong connection, emotionally and physically), then I got some weird medical news that sent me reeling, and I took out my fears on him and told him that I couldn’t see him anymore. I regretted it and I regretted how I treated him, because I liked him a whole lot.
Fast forward to a couple of years ago and I ran across his profile again. I took a chance, reached out, and we quickly fell back into our old feelings. We talked almost daily after that.
The first year after we started talking again it was a struggle to see him, a struggle to meet up. I felt like a lot of that was me, though. I was still processing my breakdown, still feeling pretty new in recovery from my childhood trauma, and had a hard time being social at all. He expressed an understanding that not many in my life have and he was always there when I needed someone to talk to. There was a point about a year ago that I wasn’t sure if I could continue on with the relationship because we were seeing each other so little, but we had a serious talk about it and he promised me that we would see more of each other. He lived up to his word and in this last year we started hanging out more and more.
Our chemistry continued to be electric, just like it was when we started dating six years ago. We talked about anything and everything under the sun and he was patient and kind and gentle about all of it. I told him about my break down and he didn’t judge me. I told him about my childhood and my ongoing tumultuous parental relationships and he didn’t judge me. I told him about my (sometimes day-to-day) struggles with trust and anxiety and depression and he didn’t judge me. He has been my rock as I’ve spread my entrepreneurial wings and especially supportive since I started this weight loss surgery journey last year. He stayed at my house to help me when no one else would/could the week after surgery, he has patiently and gently walked me through my many minor meltdowns figuring out how to eat, and he has encouraged and motivated me as I recently started getting my exercise on too. Honestly, I don’t know if I could have made it to this point without his support.
It’s no wonder that I fell in love. How could I not, right? It was sometimes a very confusing love, but it was love. It was a love that was growing, and quickly, the more we got to see each other. I’m not sure that our relationship would always have been romantic and physical as it has been so far, but he and I both talked all the time (yesterday, included) about how we felt like we had a lifelong connection. It was a love that I hoped, no matter what would happen, we could continue to grow in. At least until today.
I woke up today full of hope about a busy week, but not long after I opened my eyes and started to prepare for my day, I got a text from his girlfriend. The girlfriend that he’s been with for the last two years. The girlfriend he lives with. Wait, what?! My hopes and dreams about this relationship came crashing down around me in an instant.
So many thoughts about this man have passed through my brain over the last six years, but never once did I imagine that this kind of lie would be the end of us. I don’t know that I could have, he had me so snowed. Hindsight being what it is, there are plenty of things that seem crystal clear now of course, but at the time I had no inkling of what was to come; none whatsoever. I’ve been walking around feeling like I got punched in the gut all day.
I wish I could say that this is the first time that a man chose me as his other woman without letting me in on the secret, but it’s not (normally I find out much sooner, though). I wish I could say that I felt like it was all their fault, but I don’t. I mean, I’m the only common element. I can’t help but feel that there’s something inherently wrong with me or, at the very least, my ability to choose a good partner. I have read plenty of articles about those who have suffered childhood trauma have poor relationship skills in adulthood, after all. It seems that I’m no exception to the rule.
I am proud of how I handled my emotions today. Though incredibly difficult, I let myself feel them (can’t eat them away anymore). I cried a messy cry. I reached out to all my girlfriends to tell them how much of an asshole he is. I went on a walk, blasted the Cranberries and moved my body with real purpose (I almost didn’t, because walking reminded me of him too). I did some work, then had a break. I did more work and now I’m here. I’m sad. Beyond sad. But I am moving forward. Looking backwards is not an option for me.
My real fear is being alone forever, being rejected yet again (and again and again). I want companionship, I want love, I want it all (except maybe kids). I just don’t know how to get it and keep it.
Thank goodness for therapy this week.