Sunday, June 2, 2013

One Year Later...

Jesus, time flies sometime. I suppose it happens when we get older. For instance, my best friend and I were reminiscing about an amazing concert we attended. We were both stunned when he realized it was more than eight years ago. Kind of makes you feel old.

I am far from old, at the age of 28. However, I feel like I am just becoming a real adult. Graduating college, working a job that does not require me to wear a paper hat or a name tag. I suppose it has taken me longer to mature than many people in my age demographic. At least I got there eventually, right?

It is also dawned on me that a traumatic, yet life-altering experience(for the better) took place a year ago. The end of an almost four-year relationship. I suppose it was when I decided to make changes and try and become a better person. I have never really gone into the exact details publicly, but hopefully it can help someone realize that fucked up things happen, but you cannot let destroy you, nor can you let the actions of certain individuals allow you to alter your self-worth and self-perception.

At the time, the break-up was pretty sudden, but in retrospect there were definitely cracks in the foundation.  I remember one day, about two weeks before the relationship ended. She seemed pretty distant and a little depressed. I asked her what was going on, as I knew something was amiss. I tried prying into her head, to see if I could get some information. After ten minutes, I stopped and gave her the benefit of the doubt when she said that everything was fine. Clearly, it wasn't.

After three years of dating, I got a good job, which would allow me to leave behind my low-paying retail job and start putting the pieces together of building a life together. She declined possibly moving in together, because she wanted to save money to buy a car.

A few small cracks, but something that made question things for a minute. I shook it off and really didn't give it too much thought. Everything else seemed fine, so I did not devote a lot of time to such things. I worked, I went to school and life went on.

Right before we broke up, we had a fight. It essentially started with me not being on time picking her up for work, as she was often ran 30-45 minutes late when trying to leave work. The perils of dating a girl without a car. I got annoyed and told her that she was wasting my time and if she was gonna run late, she should have the decency to let me know, so I don't bake myself in 90 degree heat, waiting for her in my car.

The next day, I didn't show up on time and naturally she got off on-time. As she texted me, I told her I was on my way. She told me not to bother, that she would have someone else get her. After a fight later that night, he went two days without contact, as we are both stubborn people. That Saturday, we agreed to meet up and resolve the issues.

We went to a park in close proximity to her house. I knew things were bad because she kept her distance. Typically, even when annoyed with me, she walked close to me -- she kept her distance here. It made me think of all the things I studied about proxemics in Interpersonal Communication. Generally, we all have distances that we keep with individuals when talking, socializing and the like. Typically romantic partners stay in the 'intimate zone' with means they walk right next to us(usually 36 inches or less) which is normally what she did. Here, she was at least 10 feet from me. When we sat down at a group of benches, she sat a different bench. Oh, boy.

We talked and things seemed pretty good, fixed perhaps. When we walked back to the car, all hell broke loose. The conversation turned into a flat-out character assassination. I felt like a boxer, just being overwhelmed with punches. I couldn't get my hands up fast enough to defend myself -- I was being crushed.

Some of the things I was told: "I would rather not be around you most of the time. We have grown apart, I no longer want you in my life. I will always care about you, but you don't have a place in my life. I wish you no harm." There was also the cliche : "It's not you, it's me" and "we have grown apart."

I sat there, in my car stunned. I mean, with some of the shit that comes out of my mouth, nothing really surprises, shocks or offends me. I have been dumped and rejected any times before, but when the person you were with reduces you to a pile of shit, it hurts.

I am typically not one to raise my voice or get angry, but I was livid. Not so much for getting dumped, but for the way it was done. She was callous, cold, almost not human. I punched the steering wheel in my cars, screamed at her, then stared off into space for a good ten minutes. She looked startled, as if I was going to hit her or something. I would never. In that span of time, I saw a plethora of visions.

I thought of all the good times we had -- our first date, holidays together, laughs we shared, essentially all of the things we experienced together. I then envisioned the house, marriage, kids and other things that would never come to fruition. It was over. It was not meant to be.

I drove her home in silence, not sure of what to think or say. I had a lump the size of an apple in my throat, an uneasy feeling in my stomach. I was feeling sadness, anger, disbelief. Did I do something to make everything come apart at the seams? Who knows?

When we arrived at her house, she said bye and walked away -- I have not seen her since. There was no tearful goodbye, no hug. Nothing. No emotion on her part. I fought back tears -- it hurt like hell. I backed out of her driveway and drove home. A very long 15 minute excursion. Out of habit, I texted her I was home safe. Naturally, the text was never responded to.

There was not a lot of contact after that. We had an angry text conversation about 2 weeks later. After that, nothing. I tried to let it go. Tried to walk away. I found out 2 weeks later(through mutual friends and hacking her Facebook) that she already was dating someone and has pretty much been in a relationship since.

That was difficult to handle. I mean, almost four years and it seemed like the relationship meant nothing. I mean, when I got out of my car after we broke up, Facebook informed me that she was now single. Gotta love modern technology.

I extended a few olive branches, since were friends before we even dated. Her birthday was in January and I shot her a 'Happy Birthday' text for some reason. Naturally, it was never returned. It probably wasn't given a second thought. At that point, I deleted my number completely out of my phone. I suppose it was the final straw, time to just move on.

My point of writing this is not to put her on blast, or make me look good. The point is that you positive things can happen in a bad situation. I took the opportunity to finally start to fight against the anxiety and depression I have faced most of my life. I have dated a bit -- made a few new friends. I got a promotion, graduated from college. All very positive things. My life is going in a good direction.

Yes, the break-up can still be difficult for me at times. I mean, it was a huge, devastating blow to my ego. A blow that I may never completely forget. Instead, I have chosen to remember her in a positive light. We had a lot of good times and our time is over. We may never see each other or cross paths and that is okay. She has her life, I have mine. I am pretty sure we will never forget each other and I hope, at least, that she thinks of our time in a positive light. Things change, people come and go, but we are always stuck with ourselves.

The ending of the relationship showed me that I need to take care of myself, first and foremost. Like I said before "The Destruction of Everything is the Beginning of Something New." One journey ended and I am on another. I feel good about myself and my future.