I awoke with a fever. My body purged itself. My mind began racing after my bath as I lay in bed in a towel, and all of a sudden, everything became incredibly clear.
First, let me delve into the perception people seem to have about what I’m doing with this whole serial dating philosophy I’ve adopted. I’ve had a level five clinger that had to be removed because he couldn’t handle it. His fixation was completely on what I could possibly be doing physically with anyone other than him. I had a friend ask me if all these guys know about each other as if there’s an overabundance of men at my beck and call. I turned to my date for the evening who verified that I am completely upfront and honest about my dating habits and why.
But I haven’t been honest. Not completely. Not with myself. Not with you. So I want to tell you a little story.
Not too long ago, I was anti-relationship altogether. I had an incredibly scary encounter that changed so much for me and was the catalyst that sent me into a six month long depression. I had daily anxiety attacks for no reason at all. I took time away from work and spent a significant amount of time being seen by my doctor, becoming adjusted to medication, and sleeping. I slept a lot, hidden away from the world under my blankets trying to regain some normalcy. My friends stopped hearing from me except through random updates on Facebook. I hid myself away. It wasn’t because my heart was broken. I was never in love even though I had spent six months or so with him. I had kept many of my walls intact, and he never got them down. It was the realization that I had once again found myself involved with a man who would harm me. Mentally, emotionally, physically…I had not seen the darkness in him. The night it ended, I barely made it out of there. That relationship made the news after a nine hour standoff with state police. There’s a very strong chance that I could have driven there and not driven away ever again. That broke something in me to know I could be gone instead of scarred by one more horror story. I am incredibly fortunate to be sitting here at all.
Mind you, this is after I’d built so many walls up that I started and ended dalliances as if I were changing my undies. No one got to me. No one made me feel safe and secure. No one captured that innermost part of me. I’d become a joke to many friends. The sideshow freak. The girl who couldn’t commit. The girl who couldn’t be with someone without finding a flaw and walking away. No one could have my heart. My heart was buried where no one could find it. I’d made sure of that.
So when it happened, I didn’t see it coming.
I met him, and the instant connection was unlike any I’d ever had before. I could feel his energy. I could taste it and sense it coursing seductively over my skin. He didn’t tear down my walls, no, he was standing there and it was as if they had never existed at all. It was as if I had never been hurt before. Like falling in love for the very first time, except when I was sixteen, I didn’t know there was a chance I would ever feel the keen sting of a broken heart, but with him, I knew there were monsters in the dark. But he was that beacon I could see while the shadows fell away. I loved in a way that stole my breath and rebuilt me in places I’d never even realized I was broken. He took me there, too. He took my hand and guided me there. He’d said before it was like checking off a list. He’d looked for enough good qualities, but it was settling in the end. Only one had met his son, but it was never right. It was forced. But then there was me, and there was no list to check off because I was the list.
Until she came back, and it shifted, and I let go once I felt it. That energy that was so palpable I could taste it when it was there, and I could feel when it became fleeting and left me thirsting.
Only two of you knew of him. I share everything on social media. No shame. But with him, I would tag where we were and leave it ambiguously in the open, but I kept the truth of him hidden in that secret little place that’s mine and mine alone. It felt almost like a betrayal of how special it was to start sharing him with others, and I thought I had all the time in the world.
Yet there I was in the end, raw and vulnerable and fractured. So I tried to do what I’ve always done. Several exes actually read this blog and comment, so they can back me up on the fact I compartmentalize like a champ. I am never the girl that will beg you to stay. I won’t even show you the extent of my pain. I am adept at turning myself cold as soon as I know our time has ended. Queen of Swords reversed, that’s me. Emotionally unavailable and behind a wall you can’t breach once you show me you hold no part in my future. I walk away and never look back, and I’m fine with doing that. I can turn the switch, and I’m okay.
But not this time. No, this time, I’m involved in my life as always. I’m experiencing true happiness and joy in my accomplishments and connections and goals. However, it’s still there. Inside, I am raw in this one section that I’ve placed behind a solid door. I have not convinced myself yet that this played out the way it was meant to. Something niggles inside me and whispers that I jumped the gun by throwing the soft pitch exit, and that if I had let things occur organically, I may not be so covered in road rash right now.
He had to have lied. You can’t say no one else was even close to what we were, that I’m the most amazing connection you’ve encountered in years, only to throw me away when the very same person you’ve claimed was nothing decides she wants you back. And yet, no anger. This pain is mine and mine alone. I know in the deepest part of me that he never intentionally set out to injure me. I think, perhaps, it was reversed, and in some ways, I reminded him of her. He never thought he could have her back, so he wanted to move forward. He wasn’t malicious. I see his light still and am telling you not to talk shit because he’s a beautiful man inside and out who is doing nothing more than what I always preach…figure out what you want and what brings you incomparable joy and go get it. It isn’t his fault that I’m not that one. Since when has anyone been able to dictate whom they love?
So I’m in this seriously odd place in life where I feel immeasurable happiness side by side with the deepest heart break I’ve encountered since the very first one. So what do I do? I have my Tarot read.
Eight of Pentacles…that represents where I am currently. Who I am in the present. Three of Swords reversed is representative of what is most heavily influencing me at the moment.
Eight of pentacles is showing my hard work which is still not completed. It represents how far I’ve come and how far I am willing to go. It shows tenacity and willpower, determination and skill. But then you see that big red heart pierced through three times, and I’m reminded that the only thing detrimental to my current well-being is the very recent pain that rests right below the surface and influences my thoughts and actions. I told you I can’t shake this one off like the others. I can’t turn cold and passive. I can’t move on without working through this. I can’t deny I’m feeling something….lots of somethings…and that I have been changed on a visceral level.
I was asked by a friend who needed to know who the mystery person was and how it came to end and why I don’t fight it. That I should go for what I want, take my own advice, be the fire sign that I am. I had to explain that I don’t work that way, and he took back what made it amazing in the first place, and that I’m hurt on a level almost incomprehensible to myself. And he’s happy elsewhere, and maybe that was my role. So she could see him moving on after many, many months after they’d ended, and it was enough to wake her up so she could go after him again. So I could be the catalyst to bring him back to where he is meant to be. I am a firm believer in things happening exactly as they are meant to, and unless I am flowing naturally, I won’t disturb the water. I just watch and learn and accept. That’s my way. It always has been.
So that brings me to serial dating. You see, I cannot allow myself to build walls sky high again. I cannot allow myself to no longer feel. I cannot allow myself to hide away because I might get boo boos. But I can’t be as open as I was. What I had was beautiful in a way that even someone such as myself with a certain penchant for words cannot even come close to describing. Even trying now feels like a cross between cathartic cleansing and the raping of my own soul by removing the last little bit of him from the private sanctum I always kept him securely tucked inside. I already went back through facebook and deleted every single picture and thing we had ever done together. I don’t want constant reminders of the night we met or the sangria kisses we shared or promises that blew away when the wind shifted course. But this, oh this, it was still all mine until the moment I began sharing.
I won’t let my walls reconstruct themselves. But I won’t invest myself into one person no matter how right it seems until he walks through the fire and stands the test of time. I won’t be cold this time. I won’t withdraw into that ever familiar place where I like you just enough but not really that much and oops, there I go walking away and you didn’t even see me turn away. I cannot practice the same habits. I cannot be the same person because I’m not her any longer. I won’t be hindered by fear because the monsters are out there. I am my own beacon, and I know that now.
I will keep myself from closing off. I will keep myself from being dishonest in my feelings. I will keep myself from sabotaging any chance I have of ever being able to stand in front of another, vulnerable and trusting, because if I don’t keep myself just a little bit open, I won’t be able to hear the knock on the door if it ever comes. And I’ll distrust it too much when I feel similar feelings because it will take me back to the last time I enjoyed being near someone and remembering how that tore me open and left me gutted. So I’ll keep experiencing little bits of that. Nothing like I’ve just lost, of course, but maybe enough that if I ever once again begin laying pieces of my soul before another, he’ll gather them gently in his hands and cherish them for longer than one moment burning brightly in the sun before the shadows fall again.