I was living in my first apartment in Nashville and dating the ex. I had so many hopes and dreams and had wrapped them up with a pretty little bow. That little packaged was destroyed so many times and rewrapped so many times that I lost count. But this was only a couple of years into this relationship and I had no clue what I would be dealing with for the next five years.
I let him take my “mojo” from me, whatever confidence and independence I had growing up had eroded in two very short years. I guess it really started when I dumped Chad, a really nice guy who treated me well and wanted me. I had made the decision that I needed to be single when I transfered to a university. I didn’t want to miss out on what college kids were doing and since he was hours away, I felt that I would be missing out on so much if I stuck with him. It was hard to do since he was my first but I thought that it would be better than sticking with him and seeing him less and less.
I got to college and met a guy who was into politics and I had all of these great conversations with him. I was intrigued. This was a man not a boy in my eyes and I ate it up. Until I found out he was married. I was foolish and grasping at straws. I had been in relationships for so much of my young life that being alone, especially when all of my younger college friends were pairing up scared me. That is when I met the ex.
I was at a fraternity party, drinking, dancing, smoking when I bumped into him. Cute, a little country but we sparked and I was still reeling from the bad choices of married guy. I played it cool, we danced and finally he asked for my number. Our first date was basic, dinner and a movie. Then he was off for spring break and I sat around wondering what our future together would bring.
I caught him in so many lies and indiscretions during those first few months. The old me would have walked away, the new me? I was desperate and convinced that this would be the only guy interested in me. Pathetic I know.
Things were always rocky with the ex, his actions almost always guaranteed bad reactions from me. He destroyed my one and only soriority formal by leaving to hit on some other girl at another function. I should have walked away then but I begged him that we could work it out. I would do whatever was needed to make him love me.
So when I moved to Nashville, I thought that things would get better, that me graduating from college would help the strain of the relationship. Then one night something happened that could have gone from a bad situation to a deal breaker. He had been out drinking with a friend. I had called a couple of times trying to get him to come to my place. They had been there drinking since early afternoon and it was getting late.
Then there was a knock on my door and laughter. They both sauntered in laughing histarically as if they had just heard the funniest joke in the world. I was dumbfounded by this, could tell they were way beyond drunk and that is when they asked me to come down to the car. The ex’s car was wrecked, not a little scratch but passenger side door caved in, mud and leaves everywhere. And they were laughing. . .I was not amused.
As they are telling me about their little adventure that evening back in my apartment, somthing snapped in me. I was so pissed, he could have hurt/killed his friend, they could have hurt someone else and they were laughing. I got right up in his face, got his attention and I slapped the shit out of the ex. I was shocked by my anger and the fact that I had actually hit him. Then I ran from him because I was convinced that he was going to retaliate, even his friend was shocked that the ex didn’t go after me. I ordered them both out of my apartment, locked the door and cried.
I should have kept that door locked and not answered the phone later into the night because he came back, acting as if nothing had happened. I let him back into my apartment and into my life. I shouldn’t have, I should have made it clear that the actions that night were not acceptable and I didn’t want him in my life until he straightened up.
I often wonder what my life would have been like had I had the nerve to be alone at 24. Here I am at 34 and until seven months ago I was alone for two years and it didn’t kill me. I might have moved to DC for a fresh start but for seven years I was convinced that the ex was meant to be with me and I was going to “fix” whatever was wrong in order for him to see me as someone he could not live without.
Post script~For those who might wonder what the breaking point was, I will get into later but I will say that the ex and I are friends now and he is someone that I cherish as a friend. It’s new ground for both of us but it works. I can also say had I not spent those seven years with him, I would not have gotten to where I am today.