Love and Loss

It’s been over a month and I still can’t figure out how to put this down in writing. On March 17, I found out that my first love, G, who I’ve written about several times, had died. His body couldn’t withstand the years of alcohol abuse. Words to describe how I feel about this are jumbled in my head. Devastated. sad, guilty, heartbroken, empty, angry, disappointed…I’ve run the gauntlet of emotions. Apparently this is normal when you lose someone you love.

This is my first up close and personal experience with loss. Two of my grandparents have passed away, and I miss them greatly, but we are usually prepared for that loss. The sudden loss of someone young and with so much life ahead of him is not something I know how to deal with. I get to a point where I think I’ve accepted it and then it comes out of nowhere and hits me like a ton of bricks. The grief, all over again. The disbelief. The feeling that I’m having a nightmare that I can’t wake up from. Because, G can’t be gone. He just…can’t. There are things I still needed to say and words I needed to hear. Forgiveness to give and apologies to offer. Love. Anger. Laughter. Tears. There is just so much left. I’m not ready to say goodbye.

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After I got the news, I went up to the lake. I needed to walk in the sand. It was March 17, and the first semi-nice spring day we’d had. The sand was wet. And cold. But, there were things I needed to say, and that was the only way I could of think to do it. To try to find a way that maybe he could hear me.

I told him how sorry I am. Sorry for not being a better friend. Sorry for not being there when he needed me. Sorry for not being more patient. Sorry for treating his alcoholism as something he could control. Sorry for not trying harder to get him help. Because I am just so sorry. For everything.

I also told him I forgive him. For being an alcoholic. For not being strong enough to get help. For all the times he hurt me, or disappointed me. I forgave him for everything.

I told him I love him. That I will always love him. That he was my first and only true love. I told him that I know he loved me. And that I know he would have been a better boyfriend, if he could have been.

These are things we should have said while he was still alive but I waited too long. At the time of his death, we hadn’t spoken in about 6 months. After my last visit, his behavior became more and more erratic. His texts began to resemble the ones he used to send after we broke up, ten years ago. Back then, I was still reeling from the hurt and pain of our relationship, and he wouldn’t let me move on. I finally resorted to having my phone # changed. Back then, and now, he just couldn’t seem to understand how inappropriate his behavior was. So, finally, I blocked him. He couldn’t call or write me. I thought about him a lot, and considered unblocking him several times. I wondered if enough time had passed that he would be able to handle our friendship. Each time I considered it, I decided I wasn’t ready to go there quite yet.

So, I’ll never know how many times he might have tried to reach out to me. Near the end of his life, he was mostly alone. He alienated or pushed away most of his friends. His mom was the only person he remained close with (and he lived with her.) She tells me he called a rehab facility twice in the last year of his life. He never followed through though. I can’t help but wonder if I had been there, to support and encourage him, maybe he could have found the strength to try. These are burdens I will carry for the rest of my life.

Our romantic relationship ended a long time ago, but I never stopped loving G. I never stopped hoping he would find a way to get better, and to find peace within himself. At his memorial service, his mom and I talked. She said she believes that he is finally at peace. That in death he is able to find the peace he couldn’t while alive. At the time, I didn’t agree. The idea of him dying, alone, and thinking that I hated him, couldn’t possibly have brought him peace. But, she told me that he knew I didn’t hate him. He knew how much I loved him. And that he loved me very much. As I keep replaying that conversation in my head, I think about the line from the movie, ‘The Notebook’ that says,11071608_10205535486120040_4395214951610705403_o

I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough.

I don’t think any love can ever really duplicate your first love but I hope that someday, I find someone who who I can love fully, and who can love me fully. But if I don’t, I will be comforted in knowing that I have loved someone with all my heart and soul, and I have been loved by another’s heart and soul. And that will have to be enough.

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Past meets Present

Well, I went to visit the ex last weekend. It’s taken me several days to try to wrap my head around how I feel before I could write about it. He’s changed. I’ve changed. But, in some ways, we are still the same 22 year olds who fell in love so long ago. Except we aren’t 22 anymore. We are 33. And our lives are different in so many ways. We did have a good conversation about some of the things that went wrong in our relationship. Those things will always hurt me. But I have forgiven him and I think it was good for him to hear that from me. But also good for him to see that the hurt is still there for me. I hope it was a reminder for him that the decisions you make can have a long-term impact on other people’s lives. I told him that I moved to Germany mostly to get away from him and the memory of him. I think that shocked him. At that point, I’m sure he thought I had completely moved on. And I had, for the most part. But getting away from his memory was a huge factor in my decision to move.

I guess I can back up a bit and explain more about why we broke up. I’ll have to if I want anyone to understand my conflicting feelings now. G was my first love. My first butterflies in my stomach, couldn’t think about anything else, silly grins on my face when he was around kind of  love. We were young and a lot of our social life consisted of bars and drinking. He worked in a restaurant/bar. Our lifestyle allowed me to overlook the fact that he drank way too much. Drinking was social for me, but he drank most of the time. Over time, the drinking got worse. And then he started to change. He came home later at night. He began to exclude me from his social life. Where before we would meet at our local bar after work for a drink, I would now find myself sitting at home while he drank after work with people I didn’t know. We got these new neighbors, and G started a job at a new restaurant. Those two things combined were basically a disaster waiting to happen. He came  home later, he lied about where he was. Several times I realized he was upstairs hanging out with the neighbors when he was telling me he was still at work. I found cocaine in his pockets. He lied some more. I heard around town that his new restaurant was booming and the servers were making a fortune. He was coming home telling me he had a horrible night and made no money. We fought. It snowballed. He spent our money, that should have been for things like rent. He took money out of our savings account that I earned and saved. He lied some more.

Why didn’t I just end it? I don’t know. Because I felt like the man I loved was still in there somewhere. He didn’t act like that man anymore. He didn’t treat me the way that man treated me. But I loved that man. And I just wanted him BACK. So I yelled. I cried. I issued ultimatums. I kicked him out. I let him come back. I lost a little bit of myself. And a little bit more. Until finally one day I had enough. There was an incident. It wasn’t really that much different than any of the others but for some reason, this time was the straw. The last one. And I ended it. He probably thought I’d change my mind. My friends and family didn’t really believe me at first. But somehow I just knew. This time I meant it. And so it ended.

And then a new nightmare began. I tried to move on. I tried to find a bit of myself again. And G couldn’t, wouldn’t let me. He began what I can only describe as stalking me. He would call 20 times in a row. At one time he sent me over 100 text messages in ONE day. He threatened to kill himself. He called me and told me he was having chest pains and going to the hospital. He read my emails. He must have followed me, or had friends all over town following me. He knew who I was with and when I was with them. I had new guy friends and he couldn’t handle it. I stayed over at a friends house one night after drinking. He knew where I was and called my phone so many times I had to turn it off. When I arrived home in the morning I discovered my bedroom window had been pushed in. He tried to break into my home. I can’t describe the feelings I had during this time. I felt so violated.

Here was someone who had already broken my heart. He betrayed my trust, he let me down in more ways than I could count. And all I wanted was to move on. But he wouldn’t let me. The feeling was worse than when we were together. I felt so trapped by him. I was so angry. He was so selfish. He couldn’t accept how much he had screwed up his life. But he was determined to still control mine. Finally I had my phone # changed. I deleted his emails without reading them. I slowly got my life back. But, everywhere I went was full of his memory. Eventually I moved to Germany. I moved on. He moved on.

Like I said, I forgave him a long time ago. Alcohol and drugs allow people do reprehensible things. I don’t excuse his behavior. And the memories still hurt. Despite all of this, I guess going to visit last weekend I was deep down hoping to find the old G. The one I fell in love with. He’s still in there. I saw glimpses of him. But the years of substance abuse have changed him. It feels like he is not all there sometimes.

I’m honestly not sure if he is still drinking, just in secret maybe? Or maybe taking too much prescription medication? I don’t know. So here comes the hard part. The part I need to admit to myself, to him, to everyone. I love him. I will always love him. But I fear for him. I fear for his mental well-being. He isn’t all there right now and it scares me.

We had conversations that didn’t make sense. He repeated himself, and forgot things I had already told him. One night over the weekend we went out with old friends. He is incredibly generous, he picked up the entire tab. But, he was socially awkward. He said things that were inappropriate. He remembers what I was wearing the first time he noticed me walking down the hallway in 12th grade. But, he didn’t remember an entire conversation we had the day before. He talks about his dog like his a child. He compared taking care of his dog to me taking care of my son with autism. He claims to be working and doing very well financially. But asked me not to mention his job in front of his mother. He is evasive about how he spends his days. I don’t know what to think.

I don’t want to go down this road again. But, I care about him. I love him. I don’t know if I am “in love” with him but I love him. I want him to be healthy, and happy. I want him to be that man I remember. Because that was a man I could have spent my life with. I don’t think that man exists anymore. And that breaks my heart all over again.

Revisiting the past

It seems appropriate I would be going to visit an old boyfriend this weekend, given how much time I’ve spent recently examining My History of Love. If you’re keeping track, I’m going to visit G. We had a very messy breakup but over time we have managed to become friends.

A visit may or may not be a good idea. Our history is complicated. I haven’t spent more than a couple hours with him at one time in many years. Although I enjoy his company, spending time with him brings up a lot of memories, some of them still very painful. The memories of our relationship and breakup are ultimately what why I moved out of the country. I felt like I needed to get away and start over somewhere new. Somewhere that wasn’t full of memories around every corner.

(Here’s a funny side story for you. I moved to Germany with B. we had been dating for about 6 months but it was hard to escape the history of my relationship with G. Especially because when I met B, he happened to be living in my old apartment, the one I previously shared with G. See what I mean about needing to get away?)

So, time and distance has healed many wounds. I have forgiven G for the things that went wrong. But, sometimes they still hurt. He put me through a lot.

So, why am I going to visit? Well…he lives at the beach. And I really need to get away for a few days. I’ve been feeling really stressed and overwhelmed with life lately. I need a vacation in the worst way. I can’t afford a real vacation, but G is offering a free place to stay. And as weird as it sounds, I am really looking forward to being around someone who knew me, before I was ME.

My life has changed drastically in the last 5 years. I am sometimes not even sure who I am anymore, other than being Boo Boo’s mom. My life revolves around him. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I wouldn’t change my life for anything. But I don’t have many close friends anymore and I often feel like the ones I do have just don’t really know me. They don’t know my history. They don’t know ME. Not the me G knows. It would be nice to try to remember a little bit of who that was.

I might be making a mistake. I’m not sure yet. What do you think? Is it ever a good idea to be friends with an ex? Have you ever done something you thought might be a bad idea, but did it anyway?

The story of C2 (baby’s daddy)

I did promise to tell the story of C2, otherwise known as my baby’s daddy.

This story isn’t intended to make anyone look like a jerk…but I can’t help it if you form your own conclusions!

I started a new job in the summer of 2008 and met C2 shortly after. He worked in the IT department and I actually thought he was gay. I’m not sure why I thought that, and I’ve never told him of my initial impression. I don’t think he would really find the humor in it. It IS funny though because apparently it’s a trait most of my ex-boyfriends have. Not being gay, just people thinking they might be. Actually, I still kind of think B is gay. But anyway, C2 is not gay. That I am sure of now.

He overheard me discussing my upcoming birthday party and invited himself. I had not really paid much attention to him until that moment, but all of the sudden I realized he was kinda cute. So, he came to the party, everyone had fun. That night a group of us, including C2, stayed over at my friend Jackie’s house (no drinking and driving!) He walked out of the room he was sleeping in with no shirt on, and I was hooked. He had been hiding a pretty smokin’ hot body under those button down shirts!

We went on our first date the following week. The relationship was fun at first, we mostly kept it a secret at work which added a bit of intrigue to it. We agreed to not see other people. I visited his apartment for the first time and as I sat in his living room waiting on him I noticed a CD with razor marks and traces of white powder all over it. Yup…I really know how to pick ’em. Before this I never suspected drug use but looking back I was able to see the signs (not being able to sleep at night being the biggest one.)

When confronted, he was somewhat candid and honest about his drug use. He explained that it was not cocaine he was doing, but a form of speed known as “Pep” in Europe. He said he mostly used it before working out and that it is not physically addictive like some other forms of speed. My own research does back up his claims about the drug, not that it is acceptable either way. I informed him in no uncertain terms that I have zero tolerance for being involved with someone who uses drugs of any kind. He swore that he had no problem giving it up. That I was the first girl he had gotten serious about in a long time and he wasn’t going to risk losing me. That he didn’t do it much any more anyway and this was no big deal. And I bought it. Hook, Line, and Sinker. I even compromised with him and agreed that I didn’t mind if he still smoked pot occasionally as long as it wasn’t around me. Sigh…you’d think I would have learned my lesson with my last drug addict boyfriend.

Note to liars: delete the evidence!

Note to liars: delete the evidence!

The next red flag was when he left his email open on my laptop and I saw the dozen emails he was exchanging on an online dating site. He swore he was no longer actively using the site, that he would deactivate his profile, and blah, blah, blah.  At this point I think we were both tiring of the relationship. It was becoming increasingly obvious that we were not well suited for one another. We argued a lot over silly things. Around the 6 week mark he left early one morning to go to the gym, and forgot his phone. Curiosity killed this cat, and I looked at his text messages. The first one I saw was to someone he referred to as “gorgeous” saying he couldn’t wait to meet her. A quick Google search and I found a 2nd online dating profile. This one was on “HotorNot.com” and his profile picture was brand new. I know it was brand new because it was one I took of him 2 weeks earlier at a friend’s wedding. So much for not actively using those sites anymore!

We mutually agreed to end the relationship. He said I was too dramatic for him. I told him he was an uncaring asshole. That probably would have been the end of of it. I made plans to go out Friday night with friends and had every intention of finding someone to help me get over C2. I was disappointed the relationship didn’t work out, but I wasn’t devastated. I was ready to  move on.

2 days later I realized I was late. Friday rolled around and I decided I should take a pregnancy test, just in case. I honestly did not ever expect it to actually be positive. We had been careful (for the most part.) I took a few hours to get myself together and I emailed C2, asking if he could stop by on his way home from work. I had something important I needed to talk to him about. When I let him in, he had a funny look on his face. Apparently he thought I was inviting him over to either bust him in another lie, or for some breakup sex. I’m pretty sure he did not expect the words that came out of my mouth, “I’m pregnant.”

the moment you realize your life is c hanging forever.

that moment when you realize your life is about to change forever.

 

to be continued…