Monday, February 27, 2012

A Champion


Until very recently, I have been undeniably unlucky in love. Never one to heed a warning or acknowledge an obvious sign, I habitually walked heart-first into disastrous relationships that left me huddled and broken, vowing to know better next time. The most recent disaster broke me down from the inside out and left me terrified of ever feeling anything ever again.

And then there was James.

I'm completely without words when I try to articulate what and who he is. Suffice to say, he's the game-changer. The first time we met, I genuinely felt the atmosphere around me shift. I physically felt my body relax and I felt like, for the first time in months, I could breathe again. He calmed me and put me at ease - the affect he had on me was instant and tangible.

Since that moment, not a day has gone by that I haven't felt completely, overwhelmingly lucky to have him in my life and by my side. A partner in the truest sense, he makes me feel like all the rambling, emotional, manic parts of myself have found a safe-house in him. He is a truth that I had no idea how to recognize and he is the love I was sure I would never find.

Though I feel I fall embarrassingly short of the kind of woman he deserves, he believes me to be everything I lack. When I fail him, he shows me the kind of grace I feel incapable of showing others. When I punish him for the deeds of those who knew my heart before him, he recognizes my fears and insecurities and reminds me (yet again) that he is not them.

In the past, I've loved liars, abusers, addicts, thieves, con-men, and criminals. But today, I love a man who proves them all to be boys who were incapable of loving me back.

Every fiber of my being reaches for him despite time or proximity - and I find him, without fail, at the center of all that is good and beautiful in my heart.

For the first time, I'm in love with a good man.

For the first time, I'm in love with a champion.


Tuesday, September 06, 2011

It Still Hurts

It's been about 3 months since everything came to a screeching halt. My life, my love, my plans for the future - all ripped out of my hands in one fell swoop. Looking back on those first few days, I feel my eyes fill with tears and my shoulders tense in anticipation of ever feeling that way again. Even now I can't stand to think of what I became. What I am.

It's true, it eventually got a little easier. I eventually stopped crying myself to sleep and the nightmares stopped jolting me awake after the second month. But I still grieve and I'm not sure how to stop. I still wake up and reach for him - God, I hate that. I wake up and immediately my body seeks his - it's instinct, you see. A heartbreaking instinct that I chastise myself for daily. But there it is.

Some days are easier than others. Sometimes I go hours without thinking of him - I love those hours with everything in me. I think it's safe to say I live for them. And then there's days where I force myself out of bed and into the shower and I go through the motions in hopes that soon they'll come naturally and my life will take shape again. I have less days like that now. Thankfully.

In retrospect, this was probably the second time I've ever truly been in love. I've only felt pain like this once before and I swore that I'd never let it happen again. Childish vows that mean nothing in the wake of a relationship so real and consuming that I can hardly breathe when I think of it.

He called me recently. There was no number on the caller ID to warn me not to, so I picked it up. His voice - every syllable and inflection - I knew it. It resonated with me and his words hit me like a brick to my chest, "I miss you." How unfair that he is able to rob me of my progress with those 3 simple words. Loaded as they are, I wish they had less power over me. I had the same reaction I always do, "Please, don't call me. Let me move on." Maybe he heard the tears come rushing or maybe he felt sorry for me as my tone was more begging than commanding, but I haven't heard from him since.

I can sit here now and close my eyes and I still see him in his essence - all the rage and power and manipulation and grief ... and I can smell his cologne and feel his skin and hear his voice. Those memories have only become clearer over time. Recalling him stuns my senses but I guess that helps me process how I feel. This is how I know it happened.

This is how I know it was real.

It hurts so fucking bad because I loved him and I was all-in, for once in my life. And while that knowledge may not vindicate me, it validates every sleepless night and every broken piece of my heart. I grieve because it happened and my grief is what keeps me from taking him back.

People who truly love you wouldn't make you feel so desperately broken.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011


Dear ******,

I’ll probably never send this letter … but I need to write it just to get my feelings on paper. I think I need to write it to convince myself that even if you did read it, nothing would change and I’d still be sitting here feeling broken and empty and so exhausted that even breathing is a strenuous task.

When I met you, everything changed. You were complicated and funny and so full of life that it intimidated me. It was so easy to fall in love with you. I was completely taken with you – with how passionate and unpredictable you were. I couldn’t read you or anticipate your next move – you were a complete mystery to me. And I loved that. You were the first guy I’d ever been with that I couldn’t control.

8 months later I’m sitting at work in yesterday’s makeup wondering how I let it get this bad. After 8 short months, I’m a shell of a person. I feel like I am literally DEAD inside. I’m broken.

You broke me.

I swore I would never let a man make me feel this way ever again and yet … here I am. As much as I would love to blame you for everything I’m feeling right now, I know that I played a part. I let it go too far – I let this happen. The girls warned me, your exes warned me, hell some of your own family warned me. I don’t know what I expected – did I really delude myself into thinking you’d change? Did I really think I was enough of a reason for you to get the help you need?

You need help, ******. You’ve screamed at me, thrown things at me, pushed me, held me down, called me names, mocked me, forced me out of my own house, stolen my car, stolen my money, manipulated me … and threatened my life. You threatened to kill me. You say you love me and you threatened to kill me.

I’ve lived in fear for much of our relationship. I’ve walked on eggshells every day for the past couple months. I’ve cried myself to sleep so many times that I’ve lost count. I’ve made countless exceptions and excuses for your abusive, jealous, controlling behavior that I actually started to believe some of them myself. I’ve become the kind of woman I pity.

This isn’t me. I am no longer the girl you fell in love with. That spark and life has been drained out of me and now I’m angry, bitter, jealous, and incapable of trusting you or myself. And that breaks my fucking heart. I grieve my personal loss of self more than I grieve the loss of our relationship. Before you … I loved myself.

I’ll get back to that place some day. I’ll be capable of trust and love and joy again. But for right now, my spirit, my heart, my will – they’re all broken. And for that, I fucking hate you.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Since When?


Since when are you not worth more than this? I'm sure this post will make you a little angry and probably more than a little annoyed, but come on, someone has to say it.


For every girl who allows herself to be treated like a booty call - HEAR THIS:

The right guy for you will WANT to be with you - he'll call, he'll text, he'll e-mail, he'll spell it out in alpha-bits, or use a sky-writing plane if he has to! A guy who truly wants to be with you will spend his time making sure that's possible. If he only contacts you for sex, romantic companionship, or intimacy that on ANY level exceeds that of a healthy friendship - he's using you.

Now, please note: "using" someone doesn't always take a malicious form. Sometimes he just really needs that closeness - someone to be near to him for emotional support or any number of other things. Sometimes he's not an asshole - and yes, sometimes he doesn't even realize he's doing it. HOWEVER, sometimes he's just using you and unfortunately, sometimes he's doing it on purpose.

Why, why, why would you allow yourself to engage in such a dysfunctional relationship? You deserve better. Don't be his shoulder to cry on, his fall-back date, his safety net so that he can escape feeling lonely or horny or uncomfortable in any way. Don't do it.

Stop trying to convince him that you're "chill enough" to just be friends.
Stop trying to convince yourself that that's what you really want.
Stop trying to convince your friends that they just don't understand, that you know him better than they do.

Here's some advice - and I promise, I've tested it personally so please learn from my pain:

If you have to hide it, you shouldn't be doing it. If you can't introduce him to your friends and family, you shouldn't be with him. If he doesn't want to be involved in the aspects of your life that are most important to you, get out and do it fast. If you have to use the sentence "Well, he's just really confused/overwhelmed/scared of commitment/stressed etc" to explain or justify why he won't call you his girlfriend and treat you as such, MOVE ON.

And let me just say (also from experience): if your "relationship" revolves solely around sex (in ANY FORM) with some good conversation thrown in between trysts, you are a BOOTY CALL (also known as a holla back girl). If he's afraid of commitment but is fully committed to getting into your pants, I hate to be the one to tell you, you've given him permission to treat you like his own personal dial-a-lay.

Don't settle for the temporary satisfaction of physical contact. If you want more and he doesn't, don't sit around and wait for him to wake up and realize you're incredible and beautiful and he'd be a fool to let you go. Don't get me wrong - all of that is true. But the real truth is, if he wanted you to be his girlfriend, he'd ask. He wouldn't just give you permission to call yourself that because it makes you feel good.

If this hurts you, I'm sorry. But, it should sting a little because you know it's true. I've been where you are - I've allowed guys to treat me like a door-mat and only call me when they find that their "needs" aren't being met. Trust me - BELIEVE ME - I know that facing those feelings of rejection and loneliness can be daunting and sometimes you'd rather keep pretending that you and he are "together" and one day he'll realize it. But you're not together - you're being strung along.

He doesn't love you. He's using you. Stop giving him permission to treat you like a booty call.

This is not who you are.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Un Inviting

University is making me anti-social. I'm downright RUDE to people who try to talk to me or sit near me. Whenever someone tries to talk to me, I have to admit, I just shake my head until they give up. What am I supposed to say? "Thanks for your time but the idea of taking you on in my life makes me want to light myself on fire"? I don't like small talk, I don't like introductions - I just want to sit in class, take notes and leave.

I like my own row. I like to be on the end, at the back, near the door. Yeah, I'm THAT kid. I don't sit there with my hood up and a scowl on my face but just try to start a conversation and I'll turn into a sullen teenager so fast your head will spin.

Don't get me wrong, I've made some lovely friends at University. IN THE PAST. Now that I have those friends, I'm done. I'm through collecting strangers from my classes. I don't have time to nurture any new relationships and I certainly don't have the patience to take notes for a 19 year old who got too "bombed" to come to class and is relying on me to catch her up. NOT GONNA HAPPEN.

It's a battlefield out there, kids, and it's every man for himself. This isn't the army - don't kid yourself - I'll leave you behind in a heartbeat.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I Wish I Could Save You

I have no idea how to start this entry ... so I'm just going to start typing and we'll see what has been poured out when I run out of time/energy/ideas.

Recently ... I took a chance. Fuelled by good intentions and the nudging of the Holy Spirit, I embarked on a journey to help a stranger and unfortunately, the journey came to a screeching halt (far sooner than I could have imagined) with some fairly significant consequences. I don't know what to do with what's left over. The energy and passion that was necessary to launch myself into this situation is now sitting, unused, in my bones and I haven't the faintest idea of what comes next. There was nothing I could have done - the choice wasn't mine to make - but now that it's been made, I'm admittedly quite lost.

What do you do when you throw yourself, head first, into an opportunity to help someone and it crumbles before it even starts? What do you do with the residue? The disappointment? The nagging worry that there was something more that could have been done - that the limitation lies with you?

I find myself over-analyzing. That's how I'm using the extra energy I have. And honestly, I think that's because I'm too scared to try again. I know this is aggravatingly vague and I'm desperately trying to be as general as possible without glazing over this issue of the heart -- but please understand, this isn't my story to tell. So all I can share with you is my very small part in a very large story.

I can't keep going over every detail, picking apart every word I said, every gesture that I made - I can't keep frantically searching for a way to blame myself. But, what if it happens again? What if I let a piece of someone's journey affect me and move me and wind up with ... confusion and unfinished sentences and regret?

Should've. Could've. Would've. Didn't. Couldn't. Can't.

I'm so exhausted from shrugging in helplessness and my throat hurts from trying to find the words ...

This is hard. And it hurts. And I don't know how to proceed. I don't know how to let it go and move on - I don't know how to leave all of my questions unanswered. I don't know how to go back to the way things were before I was certain that I was making all the right decisions.

How do I acknowledge the disappointment without becoming angry and bitter? Because, friends, I'm afraid that acknowledging the reality and the pain of what happened will push me too far, too deep, too soon ... and what if I can't find my way back? I can't become that angry, cynical person again.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

In Which I Cry

**If you are one of the families that has welcomed me in like a daughter, I can't thank you enough. Please don't take this post the wrong way - your love and support has meant the world to me. You are my family **

I miss my Dad. Just typing those 4 words causes my eyes to fill with tears and a lump to form in my throat. I don't usually admit that sort of thing (especially for 200+ people to see) but I'm really hoping that by getting it out there, I'll find a little peace. My Dad used to be my hero - so much so that when he came home from work at the end of every day, he'd burst through the front door and holler "Super Dad!!" That's how I knew he was home - that's how I knew he was close. We'd watch t.v. together and every once in a while I'd lean over and rest my head on his shoulder and he'd kiss my forehead.

Despite his best efforts, I was never embarrassed to introduce him to my friends. He was a "cool Dad", one who understood the importance of noticing a new hairstyle or complimenting an outfit; I was told that he was proud of me and that I was beautiful every single day. He was great with my friend's parents too and always made a conscious effort to remember their names should he run into them again.

When meeting any boy in my life he was always reassuring and funny - telling them to "take a deep breath" if they were nervous and poking fun at me to break the ice. I don't know of one single person who has met my Dad and come away with something negative to say. He's the king of First Impressions and unfailingly engaging; he's the one who taught me how to quickly and subtly find a common ground with any stranger to win them over or put them at ease (a tactic that has secured me many jobs and turned acquaintances into friends).

Today, I'm heart-broken to say, I barely know my Dad. Circumstances beyond my control have forced us apart and transformed such a beautiful relationship into a vague familiarity. I hardly ever see him and I can't remember the last time we talked on the phone. I tell myself that it's normal and that parents and kids naturally drift apart after a while ... but I'm not so convinced. My closest friends talk to their parents almost every day and these days it's hard to deny my jealousy. My friends tell their parents about their lives while my Dad doesn't know that I love to paint and fish and he doesn't know that I'm planning a trip to somewhere exotic for Spring Break. My Dad doesn't know that this distance breaks my heart and that I'd trade almost anything to bridge the gap between us and know he's close once more.

And while I know he's proud of me and I know he loves me, I don't know him anymore and he doesn't know me. And at the end of the day, foolish or not, I want my Super Dad back.