I love it when I’m looking for something and I find something else that I’d been looking for [because I’m wonderfully organized – NOT]. Case in point, last week I was looking for my fabric cutter, and instead I found buttons. I’d been looking for those buttons for ever [meaning, a few months or so], so I was happy to find them. I still haven’t found my fabric cutter, but I’m sure I’ll find it in a few months.
While I was looking for my fabric cutter, though, I found some notebooks from my freshman year in college [end of 2007/beginning of 2008, if you were curious]. There were drawings/sketches that I was excited to find. …And then there were writings, journal entries if you will, about what was going on in my life.
The first year of college is difficult. Even though I was commuting from home [I lived only a half-hour or so drive from the college I attended], it was still a big adjustment for me. I have social anxieties, which are getting better over time, but they were pretty intense my first year. I hardly spoke to anyone. I didn’t really want to get to know anyone, either.
My boyfriend of 2 or so years [at that time] was also attending the same college. He was also commuting from his home. He was my only friend at college. He was my best friend.
Only, something happened after we started college. To give you an idea, this is what I wrote shortly after my 18th birthday [Yes, I’m a “young ‘un.” I started kindergarten when I was a couple months shy of 5 years old. My birthday is at the end of November]. I wrote this as if I was writing him, even though I doubt I ever showed it to him.
i feel like i’m hardly worth the time
you’d rather study for a test you know you’re gonna ace than spend some time with my on my birthday. happy birthday to me.
and when you have 10 minutes to spare, you have to go prep for a test that’s on friday. then you don’t even bother to answer your phone. what gives? is it cuz i’m made @ you? if you’d stick around for more than a second, i’d be able to tell you all the things i’ve been wanting to tell you for the past 5 days, not that i can remember them any more.
if i could just tell you everything without you runnin away, i doubt i’d be mad. just answer the phone! sometimes i wonder why i bother
I know the whole “not answering the phone” thing sounds clingy, but he hadn’t [and wouldn’t] activate his voice mail, so it wasn’t like I could even leave him a message, and communicate a semblance of my feelings.
Anyway, this didn’t change, for the next 3, 3.5 years of our relationship. This is how our relationship was. He avoided me to study, or whatever it was he was doing. To this day, I don’t know. But it explains a lot. Let me explain: when I’d had enough, and broke up with him for the last time […yeah…], it really threw him for a loop. It completely caught him off guard, even though we fought whenever we saw each other [which wasn’t that often]. And then if we saw each other for extended periods of time [a few days in a row], the fighting was worse [much worse]. He justified it all by saying he was doing it all for me, for our future together.
Now I know [or I think I know] why the breakup caught him off guard: this was how our relationship was. This was normal. It wasn’t the normal I wanted, though. I tried to make it work, I tried to “fix” things, but relationships can’t be fixed by just one person. It takes team work, it takes working together as equals. It works if both want it to work.
After the breakup, there were a few people who questioned my sanity; they were fueled, I think, by my ex. There was just so much that they didn’t see, for instance our overall incompatibility. They didn’t see the emotional mind-games. They didn’t see him hit things in anger during our arguments, then turn around and say he could never be angry with me.
I share this today to let you know that now, 1.5 years after the final breakup, I’m okay. I now can look at the 5.5 or so years of my life spent with him without remorse, anger, regret, and guilt. I’ve learned a lot from my experiences with him, both the bad times and the good. There were good times, which made things very murky for me. It made it very difficult for me to break with him. I’ve learned since then that’s part of the emotional abuse.
It takes a lot of strength, and a lot of support, to get out of an abusive relationship [whether physical or emotional]. If you find yourself in a bad relationship, I want you to know that you are strong enough. You are loved, if not by him/her, know that I love you and know that God loves you.