Turn the page

For 8 years I saw myself with no one else. He was the one I planned to spend the rest of my life with. I loved him after all, even with all his rough edges and insecurities. I loved the way he could make me feel like the only woman alive and how we got along like the best of friends. I loved even the rough spots despite how they affected me. No matter how rough it got, I could see myself with no one else. That’s what love does to you. But just because you’ve loved once doesn’t mean you can’t love again. And there in lies the problem…

It’s been 4 years since I realized that his intentions for me weren’t pure, weren’t love and definitely had my worst interests in mind. I wasn’t willing to give up even then, but I knew I had to.  It was difficult. Love is a spiteful mistress, hanging on and boiling rabbits as it goes. I spent the next few years reclaiming who I was. I had lost myself and if there’s any tragedy in this, it’s not a love lost, it’s a loss of self. He required it. I thank him for the lesson.

I have since learned to be uncompromising, direct and deliberate. I have since learned that my ability to withstand abuse doesn’t need to be tested, over and over. I have learned what my limits are and they’re deeper than I’d ever realized. Finding myself was the best gift he could have ever given me. And I accept his role in that openly and willingly. I’ve come to the point in my healing that the toast burning isn’t his fault. It’s easy to blame an abusive ex for everything and anything you can muster, you’re angry after all. You have every right to be so. But there’s no room in a healed heart for old anger and resentment. It clouds the current anger and resentment–custody issues always bring. So, being able to withstand a lot isn’t the true test here, it’s the ability to come out of the wreckage strong and smiling.

I have discovered that smiling despite the wrenching pain of grief helps you get through the day to day doldrums.  It’s almost required in order to stay sober, focused and reserved. That smile is what brings your support network closer. They see your strength and they want to lift you up even more. Ever hear about how, in marketing, you want to make it look like you don’t need their money and people will scramble to give it to you? Well, strength, among other things, works the same way. I love my friends and I love that I don’t have to burden them with my pain to know that they’re there for me. It’s the best feeling in the world.

It’s important to mention, love isn’t lost on this girl. She’s empowered and ready. Full of love to give and ready to receive. I guess you can say I’m finally ready to accept that my life, my grief, my pain won’t bring someone else down.

See, I’ve refused to date because I couldn’t bare the thought of getting someone involved in this mess. I didn’t want to allow someone to care about me because, if they cared, they would feel my pain the same as I do. I wouldn’t put that on someone. I don’t think it’s fair to them to put them through that. I almost liken it to abuse, almost. I was trampled in court and by the GAL about my inability to find a mate. I’ve been single most of my life. It takes longer to recover from love lost than it is from lust lost. Chad had lust lost. He never loved me. Not sure he knows how to, but that’s not my problem. I haven’t moved on because of how much I care about other people. And I honestly expected to be alone for the rest of my life. Then I met a boy.

I see myself with him and that’s so different for me that I’m not sure what to do about it. I’m not sure where this is going from here, but I can accept that for the first time in 4 years I can see myself with someone. Even if we remain friends, this step is a good sign towards healing. I’m ready for that next chapter.