Sunday, February 11, 2007

To make a long story short

I spent most of my twenties in a relationship that I thought was the last one I would ever have. We met at university in 1997 when I was least expecting to meet someone. We were together for 7 years officially. He taught me a lot of things. About choosing your battles, about the meaning of family, about infinite patience and forgiveness. He moved to BC in 2001 to pursue his dream and I followed him in 2003.

For almost 7 years, we talked every single day. Sometimes several times a day. We broke up at the end of 2004 because I wanted to get married and buy a house and settle down and declare to the Universe that our souls were one. But he was too unhappy with me and scared of me to commit. I know this because he told me three months ago. If I'm being honest, we were both unhappy and, in hindsight, if we had stayed together, we would both still be completely miserable. But we still saw each other and talked every day for more than a year after we broke up. My parents love him. I love his family and miss them a lot. I never knew the meaning of Thanksgiving until I met his mother and for 7 years, it was my favourite holiday. Now, the holidays make me want to permanently put an end to the suffering.

Shortly after we broke up, he bought a condo (ironic?) and I helped him paint and decorate and furnish. We travelled together several times to the States and around BC. Ate dinner together almost every night. But since 2005, I've bounced around with other guys who have been a combination of emotionally or physically unavailable or just bad to me. Not abusive, they just didn't care. It was my way of punishing myself for being such a terrible person. I'm fully aware of my behaviour but changing it is something completely different. Meanwhile, he met someone last summer and they live together now. They're going to Australia for two of our best friends' wedding in March. I can't go obviously and it hurts that the current "one" gets to go and I won't be there.

So, after all of that, I can't seem to get past the things that my mother said to me as a teenager. Perhaps she was right. Perhaps she wasn't. I realise that the only way I can be in a successful relationship now is to know how to love and value and respect myself. After all, if I can't be good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to? I think I've said that before.

But, after 7 years of thinking that I was with the only person who has ever been right for me, it's hard for me to accept anyone that might be "interested". Now, when someone expresses an interest in anything beyond just friendship, I push them away every way I know how and run as hard in the other direction as I can. It's the only way I know how to protect myself from all of the bad things that have happened before. I don't know if I'll ever get beyond this. For now, it's who I am. Take it or leave it, I have to live with it 24/7.

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