I had a super snappy post lined up. Controversial, but snappy. I had planned to roll it out last night, but then ended up inexplicably tired and unable to do much in the way of making sentences that were properly punctuated and fun to read. In other words, I was halfway between Sucksville and Snoresville and not living on a prayer of staying awake. I didn’t want to impose that on you.
Today, a few things happened that made me change my mind about that post. It made me decide to not go ahead with it, but instead use what I was going to post as a jumping off point to mesh what I learned today into an inspirational, honest, bleeding heart look at heartbreak, humor, and life lessons. I never started this blog just to document my own days. That’s what journals are for. I was inspired to start this blog by Keltie Knight, then Keltie Colleen, who wrote a blog called High Kicks and High Hopes. Her entire blog was dedicated to her honestly spilling her heart out and sometimes saying unfavorable things about people everyone knew and loved (Hint: Her ex boyfriend Ryan Ross, formerly of Panic at the Disco.) because she knew it could help others who were going through the same thing. She took a lot of flak for it, too. Since she was quasi-famous, I decided that I wanted to do the very real, very modest girl version of her blog, because I was so inspired by her. I wanted to prove to myself that I was brave enough to bare my heart and regular girl problems to anyone who wanted to listen. I’m also happy to report that I recently had a lovely little conversation with her on Twitter, and she’s as amazing as you would think. You can also see her on The Insider on E! Just saying.
Because of the honesty of this post, it’s going to get murky at first. I’m going to say some bad things about myself and admit to bad habits of my own. I’m going to lay things on the line and state my feelings toward someone else, and that may make people who know him mad, because I typically don’t talk about this situation in detail, so a lot of people really have no idea what happened from my point of view. They’ve only heard his, and they may be shocked at some of the things I say. If you are going to start reading this post, I ask that you read it the whole way through, because the way it starts out is not how it ends. It’s all rainbows and butterflies and forgiveness and gratefulness for all its worth. That is what this post is really about, but without the rawness of the situation being laid out first, none of those things mean anything. None of them let my readers identify with me and know that someone else understands them. None of that helps them heal through my experiences. I’m putting myself on the line in a way I never have before, because I want to share with every girl who has ever had a broken heart the things I’ve learned from it and those that I wish I knew back then. Had I known them, the myriad of emotions I felt would have made sense. I’m not Taylor Swift. I don’t have a multimillion dollar record deal to reach out to everyone and let them know that I get it, that I’m just like them. This is all I have, and I’m exactly like you.
If anything could sum up what this post encompasses, it’s lyrics from a song called “When the Right One Comes Along.” They say, “Every single broken heart will lead you to the truth, you think you know what you’re looking for, until what you’re looking for finds you.”This post has also been edited forty billion times over four hours to get it just right, because I want everyone to understand where I’m coming from and to know that there’s no hard feelings here. There’s no hatred. There’s no pain now. I have always been open-hearted and honest with y’all on this blog. If I feel like I can’t be that way, I don’t blog, which is why the blog sat lonely for so long over the past year. I never want to be anything but authentic, and whether you love me or hate me is your prerogative and none of my business. I love and appreciate every single one of you that reads this.
Because there is no way for this post to make the kind of impact that it should without telling you a little about what I was initially going to post and how it led me to this moment of truth, I will share a bit about the lost post. I knew what I was going to post was going to tick a handful of people that I knew off, but I also knew that the people who had been by my side through the situation and those who heard both sides of the story and not just one would get the post and find it hilarious. I was willing to take the risk of having a few people angry at me, because I felt like the point of the post was actually very funny in a satirical sort of way, which is really my niche. I knew the possibility of the post getting taken the wrong way was high, but also that I didn’t want to feel like I had to hide my feelings about how I had been treated because someone may not understand them.
Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in friends who don’t know my side of the situations per my lack of talking about it, but if I were to write the post I wanted to write, would suddenly see me as the bad guy anyway. In saying nothing at all about the situation, this meant that I had also never said anything bad about the person the post referenced, but I still felt that because the person the post referenced had been so willing to talk about what happened between us and I wasn’t, that the odds were already against me. I also decided if bad things came out of a comical post because of that, then it was meant to be, because the amount of people who understood why it was funny far outweighed those few who didn’t have all the details. Even now I am taking a risk in posting this, but still feel it’s worth it. Now I am not comprising a controversial post for laughs. I’m doing it because I hope to help and inspire someone else. The chips will fall where they may.
The original post had to do with my recent posts about Craigslist. I was bored the other night and started reading my old posts tagged Oh, Craigslist. That’s when I noticed something utterly ridiculous, funny and epic in timing. On May 7, 2012, I wrote this post entitled Stupidlist. At the end of it I made a joke stating, “Who is Craig and where can I find him to slap him?” I found myself in a ball in a fit of laughter for about five minutes over this. Exactly five days after this post I met my ex. His name is Craig. How is that for timing? It’s like the universe was just shoving someone at me to slap and saying, “Here he is!” Up until then, I had never met anyone named Craig before.
More times than not over the last year and a half I have very much wanted to slap him, but not for anything that had to do with the breakup. I wanted to slap him for listening to other people that I hadn’t talked to in months, and then coming at me or my friends in an accusatory fashion well after the breakup when none of it was true. When I tried to tell him what I had actually said, which was vastly dissimilar to what he been told, he wouldn’t listen to me. Breakups don’t constitute me wanting to slap anyone, but stuff like that definitely does, because there’s nothing I hate more than putting my heart and one hundred percent of my trust into someone who I was completely honest with and told personal things I had never told anyone else just to have that happened. More than anything, I was hurt, because I thought I meant more to him than the words of other people. I thought he had gotten to know me better than to believe the really bizarre and downright insane things that were said about me. Even now I don’t know if I was hurt because I was mad, or if I was just mad as hell for the sake of it.
One night last August I was so damn mad that I put on my clothes, coat and shoes at 11:30 at night and was on my way out the door to drive to his house and literally slap him over a text he sent me when someone stopped me. My rationale is that he was too timid to call the cops on me if I smacked him upside the head Agent Gibbs style. That wasn’t my best moment, and neither is the next thing I’m going to say. I never said anything bad about him for over a year, until he did something that hurt a three year old girl because he and I just frankly couldn’t communicate in a way that didn’t piss each other off. It became about us, not the little girl, and things went down. All bets were off at that point. Say what you want about me, upset me all you want, and hurt me until the cows come home, but when a three year old girl cries over you, Momma just don’t play that game. I have a gun for a mouth in these situations, and though I didn’t run around bad mouthing him, if someone would bring him up or ask me what I thought of him, I stopped giving politically correct answers and spoke my mind.
Maybe all of the memories this one little lost post brought up are what made me change my mind about posting it. I had pushed so many things into the cobwebs of my mind when I moved on over a year ago, and maybe I never really dealt with them or attempted to form an opinion on him or how I felt about everything that happened after the dust had settled. I just bid it adieu. I have a bad habit of kicking things under the rug like that. Those things form dusty bunnies, and they attack every so once in awhile if you don’t clean them up.
That one little funny post made me look back on things. It opened a door. After everything I went through with him, I find it hard to remember anything good about him or us. But ultimately I loved him for a reason. I was enchanted by us. I don’t think about him or us anymore. I haven’t in a long time. I don’t talk to him. I haven’t done either of these things in a long time, and I very much like it that way. What I don’t like is feeling like he’s an awful person. His actions put me on that path of emotions, but it doesn’t mean I like it. It forces me to only remember the bad, when there were more redeeming qualities about him that made me feel something after being closed off emotionally for so long. But the bad, it was a demon for him, and he fed it and let it feed itself, too.
I’ll probably end up crucified for saying this by someone, but anyone who knows Craig knows this is true. He has issues with alcohol, and no amount of feelings I had for him were going to change that. I couldn’t change that. I felt like I failed because he just wanted to drink so much all the time, and I knew he was worth so much more than that. I felt like a horrible girlfriend because I didn’t understand why he wanted to drink so much, but no one drinks as much as he did because they are happy. I clearly couldn’t make him happy. People drink like that to forget and to numb themselves. This was a situation that I had been through years ago with a good friend of mine and was able to instantly recognize. With Craig, much like my friend, he didn’t think his drinking was a problem. He could drink a pitcher of beer and not be drunk at all. There was no change in his personality. That is the problem. When we were together, I even bought into the logic that he was fine for that reason; he acted fine no matter how much he drank. The truth is, no one comes upon that level of alcohol tolerance unless they have a reason to consistently drink that much. No matter how things ended or how he made me feel, I don’t ever want it to be that way or see anything happen to him.
I have not always been the best person I could be in this situation. I’ve often times wondered if things that got said and were done post the breakup made him drink more, and I never wanted to be the reason he drank. I react to the way you treat me by giving you back the same, which isn’t always the most proactive way to handle a situation. Because he had accused me of lying about things when I had never once lied to him, I made the decision to use that to my advantage when we would periodically and tensely talk many months after we were apart. There was a time I had to text him about something, because when my friend tried, he wouldn’t answer her. He answered me immediately, but I wanted to make sure he knew I was only texting him for my friend. To avoid a bunch of crap, I told him I was in a serious relationship with someone so that there was no confusion and he didn’t think what was going on with my friend was a front for me trying to wedge my way back into my life. Was it optimal? No. Did it work? Like a charm. Lying is still not in any of my best moments, because I’m not that kind of girl.
These go-by-the-gut reactions don’t always culminate into my best decisions. I have issues smiling in someone’s face when they are not being straightforward with me, which is why I give them back what they gave me. It’s something I’ll never do; smile in your face and stab you in the back. If I feel like I want to stab you in the back, I’ll just tell you where to shove it to your face and cut out all the drama. I also have issues dealing with drama, so if a lie avoids it and simply fills in the gaps where the truth still may not, sometimes I will do it as long as it’s not a lie that matters or hurts anyone. Saying I was in a relationship, though wrong, didn’t matter or change anything between us. It just stopped the drama. Regardless, none of these are good things.
What also isn’t good is something that is a little funny, totally Mean Girls, and that I’m only sharing because the reference I’m going to make is actually the turning point of the situation. I’ll admit that my friends and I have nicknamed him Norman, as in Norman Bates, for the emotional fuckery he put me through. He single-handedly killed the old me. But that death was the best thing that ever happened to me. If anyone else felt like that, Psycho wouldn’t have been re-imagined into the television show Bates Motel.
When it’s all said and done, I’m grateful the old me is gone. I like the new me a lot better because, as it turns out, the new me is really just the girl I was when I was seventeen, before I had something happen that changed the way I felt about the world and made me unhappy, and before I got sick. These things festered for years and just got worse and worse. I was deep in a depression that I hid well and had been for many years. I was at my breaking point when I met Craig. He made me happy, and he was the only thing other than my Greta Hayley dog. That should sound sad, but my dog is awesome, so don’t hate.
And then he was gone, I was unhappy, and things got worse after the breakup than they were during it. Everything I was afraid of was thrust upon me, and that just mixed in with the depression I had already felt and it had me lying on the cold hard ground. (This is a tragic love story. I have to quote Taylor Swift. It’s the law.)
Having had a chance to be that happy, even temporarily, had magnified my depression by a thousand and ended up creating this little monster called PTSD. Every situation I had been through was no longer something I could deal with and was just depressed about. It was a panic attack and the inability to breathe. I blamed him for this, but honestly, it wasn’t his fault. He could have handled things with me better, told me flat out he didn’t want to talk to me anymore, and not just walked away like my dad did when I was thirteen. That was the one thing I asked him not to do, and that was the trigger point for the PTSD. I had a hard time letting go of that for awhile, but I learned to.
He’s just a person; a human being and I think a very confused one at the time when things happened. I don’t know if he knew what he wanted or why we had gotten so close so fast, because I didn’t have the answers to that either. I didn’t know if I wanted to get serious with him, I just knew that, for some reason, I loved this person I barely knew. I can’t speak for him and the way he feels now, because I don’t know who he is now. At the same time, I’m also not going to make excuses because, as it turns out, I couldn’t be more grateful for him and the clusterfuck of a situation we found ourselves in. I have never been happier or more secure in who I am. I’ve never been able to be the person who was able to say, “There is no one I can’t say ‘screw you’ to” and mean it. I would let people run me over, but pretend like I never let that happen. I’d make excuses for the person and make the situation seem like it was my fault rather than admit I couldn’t stand up for myself. Now I can say “screw you” to anyone who deserves it and walk away. I don’t take peoples’ crap. I speak my mind. I’m not shy and mousy and allowing people to consistently run me over anymore.
I always felt that I was the most me that I could possibly be. I didn’t know until six months ago that who I was inside and who I was verbally and emotionally with everyone else wasn’t the same thing. I’ve hid a lot of things about myself, even from him. I had always been that awkward, gawky girl who couldn’t get noticed by guys. When I got out of my teens, suddenly I had guys hitting on me and telling me how pretty I was at best, and trying to get me into bed more times than not. I didn’t know how to handle that, because in my mind I was a wicked amount of fun, but still gawky and awkward. Because of this, I felt like I had to impress boys, so I stuffed all the not so socially acceptable things in my back pocket and decided to pretend I was a normal twenty something when I have a very old soul and am far from it. I was emulating characters from television shows that were popular because I wasn’t confident enough to tell someone that if they didn’t like me, I didn’t need them in my life. I wanted to be liked and needed. I still mother people because of it.
The list of things I hid isn’t enormous, but crucial. I have a somewhat southern accent. I have no idea why, either, because I’m from Pennsylvania. Over the years I’ve conditioned it out of my voice with tactics I’ve learned from vocal coaches when I took singing lessons. It’s not cool to talk southern here in PA. I listened to super cool music on the radio and talked normal and tried to act like I was in with the cool kids and blend in. I acted as if I was always the pretty girl that got attention and that it came naturally to me, when really I’m the ugly duckling turned the nerd next door. I edited myself instead of saying what was on my mind, because I tend to say some weird things and wanted to say cool things instead. I am not very ladylike. I’m kind of like a guy. I think my body got confused and gave me boobs when it shouldn’t have, but I try to act ladylike. I acted like I needed to go to clubs and party to have fun, and worse, that I liked doing these things. I bought some clothes that were more sexy, showed my lovely ladies, and tried to make myself look like girls do in magazines. I’ve always felt like I had to have a boyfriend, so I would date just to do it, even when I was unhappy with someone. Craig was the first time I hadn’t done that.
Y’all, that is not me. I like my strange little southern accent that I still sometimes, by habit, edit out. I like my country music with heavy guitars and a little kick ass, take no names attitude that you don’t get with pop music, and I am really, really good at singing it. I like dressing conservatively a la the impeccable Taylor Swift and forever southern Lemon Breeland. It’s so me. I like not being cool and hanging out at home and writing and crafting and baking while sober. I like being surprised by what comes out of my mouth too. I like that I can throw down with the guys, and that I’m not necessarily romantic or mushy and think a lot of women overreact to things their boyfriends do. I like not being the girl that cares if she gets married or talks about next month, far more forever. I’ve got more balls than most guys I know, and that scares a lot of guys away, but I really don’t care. I love being single, because I think I’m tons of fun and I like hanging out with me and dancing around the house because there’s no one there to see me. I’ve been told many times that I’m too independent for most guys, because I don’t need a man’s help and I have my own life. So be it. I don’t want someone that can’t handle me. I know why I’m single, but I’m having too much fun to change those quirks.
I pushed all of those things away because I’m a twenty something that should be hip, but I’m just not and I all kinds of love it. The one person who has known me since I was twenty and knows the real me and knows I am all of these things is also happier to see me being myself again, and he doesn’t like me any less for my lady balls. He does like me less, however, when I retract them. He would attest to this in a court of law, in front of his girlfriend.
I’ve taken control of my life because of one person, who, for a very, very long time I thought was the worst thing that ever happened to me. I had wished I had never met him. I hated everything about how things went down and kept thinking about how I wasn’t going to go to the party where I met him, but changed my mind at the last minute. I blamed myself for all of this because of that. I kept telling myself that I shouldn’t have gone. If I hadn’t, none of this would have happened.
Now I know that I was supposed to be there that night. I was supposed to meet him. Things were supposed to turn out this way. I don’t know how much belief I had in the saying that things always turn out the way they’re supposed to and for the best. When you’re so depressed you can’t deal with regular everyday things and you end up having to go to a psychologist because you end up with PTSD over a situation, it really doesn’t seem like the best thing and you want to go out and kick every single person who has ever uttered that phrase in the balls or va-jay-jay.
But it’s true. Sometimes the worst people to ever happen to you are the best, and it doesn’t mean that person is the worst person ever. It just means the situation you were in sucked a little more than it should have. Had we stayed together, I wouldn’t have started my business to earn a little extra money to help me save up and pay for important things like car insurance. Had we never gotten together, I doubt I would have started the business at all, because I just couldn’t motivate myself to function like a normal human being. I was so depressed from being sick for so long, and I knew I needed to talk to someone. The PTSD caused by the end of our relationship forced me into doing that just so I could stop having these horrible panic attacks. Therapy was the best thing for me because it taught me how to deal with everything I’ve been through emotionally, and all the medical things, such as my stroke at 22. I do want to experience life now, and I do enjoy baking dog treats and selling them here and there. I would have never gone to talk to someone if it wasn’t for what he I went through with him. I wouldn’t have found true happiness.
Not writing my initial post last night was kismet. I had to go through today to learn that everything I thought I knew about what had happened between us was wrong. Maybe I figured it out more than a year after I gave up the ghost of thinking about him anymore or missing him or wanting him back and getting over him. Oh well. It took a year. At least I figured it out. This is the first time I’ve thought about him in so long, but I’ve made the conscious decision to not hate him, because it is just that; a decision. I made the decision to respect that he is going through some stuff that I don’t know about, nor do I want to, nor is it any of my business. I do not regret the way things turned out or the decisions I made in the way I dealt with him. The only thing that matters to me is what I think of me, not what he thinks of me. That is simply none of my business. Sometimes the last time you think of someone has to be the best time you think of them, because you look back and know you learned something. You decide against ambivalence and instead have sympathy that they are going through things too, and hope that they have betterment in their life as well, even though you have a separate one from them.
If I could tell him anything, I’d hope he’d know that I hold nothing against him, I don’t hate him, I forgave him long ago and moved on. I don’t blame him. I would thank him for doing what he did, and ask him not to do it to anyone else, because he won’t be happy that way, and he should be happy. He deserves to be. I don’t think he ever saw the good in himself or what I saw, but I hope one day he does, because I thought he was pretty amazing just the way he was. I wouldn’t flip out at him if he tried to talk to me, and I don’t know how well it would go over either. As long as he finds happiness as I have, everything else that happened between us is just stuff from the past. No hard feelings.
There’s songs that resonate with the bad; with the things you went through with someone that made you feel empty and open.
There’s songs that help you find peace; with the things that you can’t control and know it’s not worth trying. But that was a hard lesson to learn.
There’s songs for when you realize you can make it through everything. This is exactly where I am now. This song defines me in every single way. Watch out, world. It’s gonna take more than that to put me under.