It’s funny how blind we become when we’re in a relationship. I suppose it’s all part and parcel of it really but we create this bubble and we stop looking for the cracks and flaws. The warning signs were all there but as long as I was inside the relationship bubble, I couldn’t see them.
My ex Brian and I are in the process of getting a divorce. And I use that phrase loosely because frankly, if I don’t do the filing, he sure as hell never will. There was so much drama before he left that I am almost afraid to file for divorce out of fear that it will start all over again. The last thirty days have worked to restore parts of me to myself. I’ve begun the long, slow process of healing. The last thing I want to do is unravel that. But I’ve never been one to let fear hold me back from doing the right thing or the hard things in life. So why do I hesitate? Am I really so traumatized by it all?
There was a solid 30 days of drama after I told Brian it was over. Brian is the first person who I yelled “Fuck you” at repeatedly. The loathing and hate was like a thick chalk stuck in the back of my throat. Brian seemed to be able to push my buttons as much as he wanted. He’s the first person I seriously considered physically harming. Some part of me that is still good managed to avoid crossing that line but it was so tempting.
At one point Brian looked at Jon and said, “What, are you ashamed to be with her?” Now Jon is 6’2″ of muscle and I thought he might just tear Brian apart, limb from limb during this period. Brian did everything he could to push both of us, and to push us apart.
In an effort to bring about some peace, I had Brian sit in a vehicle with me for three hours while we discussed everything. I gave him an opportunity to say whatever he wanted to say, to clear the air. I watched him go through the whole gamut of emotions, and at one point he cried and told me he still loved me, that if I said it he’d take me back, no questions asked. He asked to hold my hand one last time. I hoped I saw the beginning flickers of healing but the next day it was right back to where it had been – angst, verbal sparring and antagonism from him. Brian could not understand that once I was outside the bubble, there was no going back into it. I could not unsee the truth. All I could do was look at him with pity, which probably bothered him most of all.
The day he left was a mixture of pain and relief. Jon had stepped in as a complete barrier between Brian and I – physically, emotionally, and mentally. I would no longer communicate directly with Brian and all things had to go through Jon. Still Brian persisted in verbally and emotionally abusing me, with phone calls, long texts and emails. I lost the ability to work for seven long months. My ability to write was blocked entirely. If not for Jon, I would probably still be locked in a quagmire of remorse, guilt, fear, and indecision. Not to mention homeless.
One of my best friends put it best when she said, “Why would Brian ever leave? You take care of him – he’s got it made. Who’s taking care of you?” Nothing could have summed up our relationship better. Jon had said at one point, “You’re his doormat” and he was right too.
I give to others – it’s who I am and I don’t know how to be anything else. My whole life I’ve tried to surround myself with people who don’t abuse that or use it, who won’t take it for granted. Giving to others lifts me up – it makes me happy. It makes me forget all the ugliness in life. And I tried to do that in my relationship, only to have it used against me once again.
The strangest part is that at the height of the drama, I was falling in love. I didn’t think that was even possible. All the therapists and such say you should take a year to recover from a divorce, to grieve and regroup but instead I’m doing it inside of a relationship. Is that a mistake? Only time will tell. But we seem to be navigating it with flying colors honestly. He counsels me, I counsel him and we simply let each other vent when we need to. There’s plenty of baggage and triggers but nothing we can’t handle. We’re helping each other through it. And that might be the best path for both of us. But it certainly isn’t for everyone.
Jon likes to joke that we’re “demi-Gods”. It’s not arrogance, it’s simply that we both are above average intelligence and ability. We stick out like sore thumbs around most people. It doesn’t make us necessarily better, just different, and on another level. I do NOT recommend this path for others. There are times I question my own decision but in the end it is just instinct.
I need Jon like I need the air I breathe. I’ve always been drawn to him and I’ve fought against that current for four years, consciously and unconsciously. Now, having experienced him in all his incredible glory, I could no more deny myself him than I could stop breathing. It’s almost a helpless kind of thing, once the door was opened, there was no closing it again. Once I kissed him, my fate with him was sealed. Once he touched me, our lives were entwined. I cannot imagine my life without him in it and the thought scares me. I know I will never experience a love like this again. This is one of those epic love stories you see in the movies, only it’s as real as it gets.
We’re two people who have walked a similar path. We’ve both been hurt, abused, and struggled. We’ve overcome it and come together like puzzle pieces. When he tells me I’m amazing, I know he means it and believes it. It’s not just fodder for my ego or to boost me. He looks at me with this wide-eyed wonder like he just can’t believe the gift he’s been given. He chokes up when he talks about how grateful he is to be able to cherish me, to love me, and to feel the gifts of my love.
For my part, no one has ever made me feel both fragile and strong at the same time. He makes me feel like the finest crystal – perfectly shaped but completely fragile. He holds me and I can feel that he will never let me fall, that I won’t shatter. I have a picture from early on in our relationship where I’m cuddled up against his chest, and he is literally almost entirely wrapped around me, with his hand gently holding my head. Our eyes are closed and the expression of bliss and love between us is a visible thing. That picture moves me to tears every time.
It may prove to be a mistake but I would rather experience an epic love like this than be afraid of it. Isn’t life all about experiences anyway?