I haven’t posted in a while, holiday season and all. I’ve spent much of my time starting new projects and working on my home, my family and myself. It’s given me some insight on what it means to grow and evolve as a person. While in many ways I feel very much like the same person I was ten years ago or even twenty years ago, I know that if i were to go back and meet those two me’s that the differences couldn’t be more visible. It is so easy looking in the mirror every day to miss the subtle changes that time and effort bring.
Ten years ago I hadn’t been in a five year long abusive relationship with someone with borderline personality disorder. I trusted easier then but I also had no idea what I wanted when it came to love and relationships. I made the mistake of confusing shallow obsessive behavior on her part was actually a deep and abiding attraction to and love for me. It took five years to disentangle myself from what was really simply a black hole of need. While I try not to hold grudges about the many many horrible things that this person did to me, the truth is that she was a person who simply had no concept of giving because she had nothing to give in the first place. Eventually all the things that she said she loved about me became things that she envied me for and that fueled a level of contempt matched only by the sheer amount of energy she used finding ways to hurt me.
It was by no means worth the pain and suffering but because I had to take two years to recover emotionally and mentally, I spent two years not in a relationship which actually gave me the space to figure myself out. I realized that I had spent so much of my teens, all of my twenties and the first half of my thirties throwing myself into relationships without ever knowing what I wanted from them in the first place. I had seen all the variations of bad relationships but also some true glimpses of what good relationships can be. I went back to the one ex I had who I had wronged (high school/first year of college sweetheart) because at the time I had been too childish to recognize everything that was so great about her in the first place.
Obviously my life isn’t a movie and me and her have our own lives, our own kids and fifteen years have passed. Apologizing to her though was a deeply rewarding act for me, a sort of recognition that I have finally gotten some sense of myself as an adult. We remain distant friends, too different to want to spend alot of time around eachother and yet intimate enough because of the past to be able to talk about serious issues that we would feel uncomfortable speaking to others about. I still have quite a ways to go before I get to where I want to be but am finally happy about the path I’m walking. I’ve figured out what I want in a partner and am not willing to throw myself into just any relationship. I may end up being single for another year or two before I meet that person that I want to join journeys with, but at least now I know that I want an inter-dependent relationship. Two independent strong people who choose to be together and help each other, but are perfectly comfortable going it alone as well. An equal.