This post is the second in a series on how I got to my current relationship. To read the first part, click here.
So my summer of 2001 actually got it's kick start in the autumn of 2000. I had started chatting to a friend online and we had gotten to the point where we started sharing everything. Considering I had been in a faux relationship since October of 1997, having someone to listen to me ramble on about my days and give me advice was a breath of fresh air. I wondered if this is what people meant when they said they like communication in their relationship.
My relationship at the time did not have good communication. At one point in the middle of an argument, my ex slammed on his brakes pulling out of our apartment complex. While that does not seem like a major thing, what made it major was the fact that it put us dead stopped, sideways in the middle of a 4-lane highway. I freaked out!
Then at one point in a conversation over him talking to his sister on the telephone, he threw an ash tray at me. I was furious. It actually made me snap. I had never been physically threatened, and I instantly started screaming and yelling. He then pushed me on the bed and asked me if I wanted him to hit me. I told him if he did, I would have him arrested. He got his stuff and left for a few hours. I was so happy. Of course, then he came back.
The last straw for any doubt in my head that he was crazy was when he had gone to Sonic to order us dinner. He had ordered my food wrong. When I pointed this out to him, he became crazy mad. It was fine though. I had already shielded myself from anything he could say to hurt me. When he went on these tangents, I just stood there smiling. I was numb to anything he could say. I liked it that way.When he was finished yelling, I just asked if he was leaving or staying. Of course, he always stayed.
Anyway, back to my friend. When he asked if he could come for a visit, I shouted an enthusiastic "yes." I so wanted a friend to hang out with that I could talk to. I wanted a friend that did not know my partner. I wanted someone he could not talk about because he dug up their past. He had a tendency to talk trash about anyone I ever met. It put a bad taste in my mouth and normally left me without any close friends. Unfortunately, this was a habit I started to develop. I am still working to this day on not instantly pointing out the bad qualities in people.
However, my new friend and I planned his visit for months. While he was visiting, we were going to test the water to see if we were just friends or if we could be more. My ex went along with him visiting because he was excited to meet someone even younger than me, even though the actual age difference was only a year or so. Finally, after months and months of planning, my friend visited in May. He was scheduled to spend a week with us, and I could not have been more excited.
While he was in Little Rock staying at our apartment, I had the time of my life. He was wonderful to hang out with. We would stay up late playing music, watching movies, and just talking. We were really starting to bond. He and I would run to the store, or the mall, or anywhere just to get out and get alone time. Of course, most of the time we just stayed in the living room because my partner would go to bed at 8:00 in the evening. That was normal for him though. However, while we had alone time, we would sneak in little kisses and hugs that made me feel like a 14-year-old in love for the first time. We decided to extend his trip by an additional week.
The actual reason his stay was extended from the original one week was because he was starting to plan a move to Little Rock so we could be together. He was in a similar situation as me, and this was going to be our way out. However, my ex caught wind of the plan and stormed home from work on a Friday afternoon. He ran into the apartment, packed up all of my friend's stuff and put it in the car. All three of us left Little Rock late on a Friday evening and drove straight through to Charlottesville, Virgina. This was the longest, quietest drive of my life.
At one point during the drive, we stopped at a little gas station outside of Nashville, Tennessee to fill up the tank. My friend and I were in the car when he gave me the ultimatum to either stay in Charlottesville with him, or forget him. I had to ride the rest of the route knowing that either decision was going to affect me for a very long time. When we arrived at his apartment, he invited me in. My partner stayed in the car. While inside, I met his partner. It was at that moment that I made the decision to go back to Little Rock. Had his partner not been there, I think I would have stayed.
After returning home to Little Rock, my friend and I kept talking for a few weeks after that, and even hung out a month later in Nashville for Fan Fair. However, it was very obvious that he was very hurt. He eventually just quit talking to me. I cannot be upset that it did not work out because I am very happy now; however, I hope he turned out okay. Last time I talked to him, he was trying to make it work with this partner.
Regardless of him, I continued to stay with my ex for another almost nine years. I was awakened to my internal happiness when in 2002 I started having panic attacks. Nobody knew why, except me. The panic attacks debilitated me. I stayed inside for over a year. I had to quit my job, I quit traveling, I quit living. For the next year, I ceased to exist. I wanted it that way though, because it helped me plan my life.
I made myself a vow that I would start living more and making sure I was happy. I became very self-centered. I became very bitchy. I became very me. Giving thought to anyone else no longer mattered. I wanted it to be all about me. I deserved it. People thought I became reserved and never did anything, but the truth was I did lots of stuff. Just not with him and his friends.
So, even though the relationship continued for years to come, I lived my life. I did what I wanted without a care. So what if he would get mad! I started having friends at work that I hung out with outside of work. That was a huge first for me. I started going and visiting people. I even started inviting guys back to the apartment. No matter what, I made sure I was happy even if it meant I could lose everything I knew.
It was then though, that the strangest thing happened. Seeing me pulling away, made him just start being better to me. We quit arguing at all. I started going through purchases like money grew on trees. I became a spoiled little brat. One night I even made a comment about hating living in our apartment.
It was then he started looking for houses for us to purchase. I found one I liked, and he got it. We both liked it. The night we were moving into it I was acting funny, he said. I remember he asked me if I was feeling okay with the purchase of the house, and I replied "no". He asked if it bothered me that we got a house. I told him that it did not matter because it was all in his name and I could walk away at anytime. Nothing was ever spoken of it again. I answered a question honestly, and it just fell on deaf ears.
That started happening a lot. I became very honest. People would ask us why we were staying together, and I would actually answer "it is cheaper than trying to afford a place on my own." They would laugh and comment that I was so hilarious. I always found it humorous that the truth was so funny to so many people.
We lived in that house for a couple of years until we found a condo on the river; a condo that would bring us both out of our shells. A condo we got because he filed bankruptcy on the house and let it go back; a fact I later found out, that he did not tell anyone about. He was determined that nothing would stand in the way though of living in the condo because it would make us more popular. That it did.
We had a place that made us social butterflies. Parties, friends, and more. We had it coming out of our noses. People could not get enough of visiting us. We had people over almost every weekend evening. The constant entertainment and feeling of fitting in made me long for love though. I would see people come over with their spouses, and I would think they were so adorable. I would have a random single guy touch me and ask how I was enjoying the party, and I would melt in their arms. I knew I could not do anything beyond sex with them; however, just those few moments of feelings like they cared made me feel like a billion bucks.
Unfortunately, if I wanted to keep the friends I had, I knew I could not search for love. Almost my entire circle of friends was based on me being with my partner and us living where we lived. I knew if I disrupted that in anyway, all hell would break loose.
And that it did. In January of 2010, I fell in love.
Read part three by clicking here.