At one point a few years ago my want to be someone's person; to be needed, was so intense that I settled for something I thought was best for me, and I pursued it mercilessly until I found myself bound and burned by the ravages of pseudo-love. After 14 months of this thing that looked like and sometimes felt like, and often gave the appearance of a relationship but never actually was - this thing that demanded parts of me I didn't even know I had - after almost a year and a half, I was drowning in self doubt, self consciousness, and I didn't even recognize the person I had become on the inside. My life was about being everything he needed or wanted, and that changed from day to day. And I have to say - I was pretty darn good at it.
At the time I was living alone in an apartment and with much disgust I look back now and see a girl who was always ready for pseudo- boyfriend to drop by. I was always ready to make dinner, give up or share my bed, spend my evenings and weekends holed up in that apartment attempting to play house with a boy who's parents & friends had no idea I even existed. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I was startled awake at midnight by a knock on the door, or how many times I ditched my friends and family just so I could be available "in case" he needed me. And there was some part of that that made me feel alive. It was exhilarating to be depended on that way. Little did I know then that he never - never ever - depended on me. He may have needed me to some degree, but I think that to depend on someone means that you recognize what is of value in that person. And he never did that.
Not once in 14 months did he ever pay for anything. Not once did he take me anywhere. We rarely ever WENT anywhere. We stayed in that apartment and watched TV or movies, played board games, or talked. I watched and wrote a paper for probably 15 or more films one semester so that he could get an A in a Film Aesthetics class. And at times it annoyed me - I agreed to do it, in fact I think I offered to do it, because I thought that would be something that the two of us could have done together. When I realized that I was watching those films and writing those papers by myself, I was annoyed, but never enough to not do it. I wrote every single one of those papers alone, by myself. He got an A.
It's really really easy for me to look back on that time with a great disdain for myself, and my own version of the moron stage. I still cringe when I think about the shell of a person I let myself become. There are some people that I just don't talk to about him because honestly - there just isn't much good to say.
I can't really put my finger on what it is that is making me spill all of this now. I mean NOW, of all times...But if I were gonna guess, I'd think its because I am getting a little comfy with who I am now. And as I think back at that time - even wishing to regret it- I can't. That time was somehow shaping who I am. By God's Sovereign hand, I began to feel itchy about the shape our "relationship" had molded into. We were something I never wanted to be, and I felt like a shell of a woman. If you can't relate to that feeling, I can't explain it to you, but I do praise God that you don't know it.
He never once held my hand. In fact, he had a rule about not holding hands, much like his rule about never calling him. I can count the number of times he hugged me on one hand. He kissed me twice - twice in 14 months, and he followed it up with "I am the best kiss you ever had." By God's grace I can laugh now at the incredible magnitude of his lameness. You can imagine my insecurities and feelings of inadequacy. Our relationship looked like something I had been adamant that it never look like. And I felt allergic to it. I had been house-sitting for a very dear friend of mine and after spending a week in her delightful, joyful, God-filled home, I somehow managed the bravery to tell him that I thought some things should probably change, starting with we should call this what this is.
He disappeared. He fell right off the planet and I didn't hear from him or see him for over 5 weeks. I had no way of contacting him - I had never been "allowed" to have his phone number. In those five weeks I celebrated my 22nd birthday, and my grandmother passed away. Neither event warranted his contacting me. My very ill grandmother had lived with my family, and known him, for over a year. That was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. He made himself nonexistent in a great time of need in my life and... I tasted a little freedom, freedom I had no idea I had been missing.
In the duration of our time together, due to various reasons and hurts, I sort of slipped out of church. I still prayed. I never stopped loving the Lord, and in that time I never doubted my belonging to Him. But I really didn't want to be around all those really happy, content people, who mostly had someone just as happy and content to go home to. I had learned to enjoy a peaceful Sunday morning at home or doing my grocery shopping. I wouldn't realize how detrimental these "dark ages" would be to me until months later. Again, in God's all-knowing and faithful provision, I had an insatiable (& totally random) desire to go back to the church I had previously been a member of about two weeks before my birthday that year. I laugh about it now, but God literally dropped me right in the middle of the most wonderful, faithful, and safe group of friends. I didn't even know I needed something safe. I didn't know when I showed up that Sunday that the next year, as I walked through some really scary times with pseudo-boyfriend, that those friends would become a second family to me and carry me through some very difficult times. I would come to grips with the fact that he was not what I thought he was, I would lose my grandmother, lose my job, and find my freedom in a matter of months.
It was July 4th when I finally heard from him again. He showed up at my apartment around 10 o'clock that evening, literally pushed himself inside, and me along with him, and crawled into my bed, as if he had some sort of ownership in my home; in my life. Recalling now the vision of him owning such an intimate place as my bed the way he did that night makes me cringe. I stood motionless and honestly, pretty terrified, and I realized in that moment that I was finished.
I wanted to be a woman of worth far more than I wanted to be worth something to that boy.
To this day, almost three years later, I still get phone calls from that boy. They are paralyzing and a catalyst to panic in me - I never want to be the girl that he knows so well. I am not her.
So that is my story.There are many many more gory details, but the nuggets and gold mines of Truth that I have learned through the process have transformed that shell of a worthless girl, into something valuable.
And I think I'm just figuring that out.