I recently broke it off with an ex and kicked him out of my apartment and I was/am asking myself that question. Other people are asking me this question. What about all the good? Remember how he cleaned the apartment top to bottom because he knew he fucked up? Remember all the nice things he said? Remember how good it was in the beginning?
My amazing, wise, caring, best friend Siobhan asked me the question I needed to hear: do you really want a relationship where you’re asking, was it really that bad? Or do you want a relationship where it’s really that good?
This was an ex from 6 years ago. We tried multiple times over the years to make it work. We were addicted to each other. I knew this, I knew I didn’t trust him. He shattered that the first time we dated when he cheated on me. But still, he said all the right things. He loved me, he would spend the rest of our lives making it up to me, he would do anything for me.
I was on my celibacy game and going strong. Never had I felt more at peace with who I was as a person, never had I been happier in my life with my life. I didn’t have the best job, or even a job. I had gig work and unemployment. I didn’t have my parents, but I had amazing parental figures in my family and my support groups. But most importantly, I had amazing friends that loved me and I loved. And I had my independence in my dependence upon God. I was living the fucking dream as far as this previously suicidal, anti social depressive was concerned.
And then, this person came back into my life when I was not looking for it. And all the signs were there: he was kind, loving, attentive, spiritual, fucked up just enough so I could save him (a gold mine to someone who grew up in an abusive household) and he was funny. Everything I wanted.
So I quick moved him in so we could just be happy forever all the time.
We made big purchases, (well, I did and he, truthfully, hopefully, said he would pay me back) we had incredible sex, and we laughed. He asked me to marry him, and I thought I was going to.
The honeymoon stage did not last long.
Pretty soon, I was skipping my regular self care, my therapy appointments, my nights with my girls. I was blissfully happy, what did I need to do all that extra stuff for anymore? Here’s where I always fuck up.
The person, let’s call him person x, he becomes my reason for living, for waking up each day, for happiness. And if person x does not deliver, I’m fucking screwed.
Well, person x began not to deliver. We would get into little stupid disagreements and x would never be wrong, about anything. Person x would start to raise their voice at me. Person x would be a little shit. And I would hope it would be better tomorrow.
Well, I kicked person X out. I told him, “First things first, you don’t live here anymore.”
He tried for days, non stop texting, Facebook, you tube, drew me a picture with a crazy note on the back. Every attempted interaction was difficult to see. I saw him being pathetic and crazy and I saw me being pathetic and crazy.
We were both looking so hard for the promise of the first few weeks, but it just wasn’t there anymore.
I went out to Coco with friends when he was doing dishes and trying to figure out the right combination of words to make me make him stay. There weren’t any.
I wanted to drink, just in a wouldn’t it be nice if I could drink this pain away way.
But I got to see a whole other world of normies just talking.
A young women, 23, who has never had a boyfriend because she knows she needs to be picky because she’d give the guy the world.
There are other options, other than intense passionate crazy false love.
And I’m choosing that.
I chose that when I sat at Siobhan’s kitchen table and told her I was scared of him.
I chose that when I talked it through with Shikha and chanted for the right answer for me.
I chose that when I went, livid pissed, to the meeting with the publisher instead of screaming and fighting after he stole my car.
I am choosing me. Because while the crazy, passionate false love is fun, it is not sustainable.
I want to grow up today. Into the person with dignity and real love through boundaries that my higher power has laid out a path for me to become.
I still have to get my money back. Then I will allow him to get his things.
I am very proud of myself for standing my ground when my caretaker part of me wants to tell him to come back, that he can just stay with me for awhile.
I got my keys and my car keys from him and I didn’t listen to the bullshit coming through the phone.
And I am becoming the woman I want to be.
I’m also grieving the promise of love.
The promise of connection and togetherness. The promise of someone who will always be there for me no matter what. The promise of understanding and comfort.
It is painful when those promises are lies. It is why people stay when there is so much evidence to the contrary. When they do not support, love or respect you, because at one time, they did. Maybe they can again, if I just… fill in the blank.
I’m hopefully over that wishful thinking. At least, every relationship I get better and quicker at figuring it out. I’m here to break away from my past and stop repeating the codependent bullshit I grew up with. My mother was a saint, a martyr, but she was never happy with herself. I’m doing work to change that, to change my karma and to do the thing I was put on this earth to do, to love rightly.
Rebecca A. Dombrowksi