This love thing takes getting used to. Just saying that is weird for me because I’ve never been one to withhold love and I’m always so free with saying it. I’ve always been the loving one and always been good with emotions. But suddenly it’s like a foreign concept to me. It’s weird to go from not ever saying it to suddenly saying it every time you say good bye. Famine to feast. I mean how do you wrap your head around love when you’ve been deprived of it for so long?
It dawned on me that reason this is so off kilter to me is that I haven’t had a man tell me he loves me, and mean it, since 2003. Yes, you read that right… 2003. Seven and a half fucking years ago when I was with Ryan, before the abuse took a real turn for the worse. I can’t decide how to react to that. It’s simultaneously the most depressing fact of my life and one of the strongest.
I felt love with Chet, but not once did he say it to me. Not ONCE. Not even close. There was a bag for the earrings he got me that have hearts and printed “I love you”s on the on the bag. He refused to even say he picked out that bag. I mean that’s what I grew accustomed to. That, and just not being with anyone for so long prior to him. My first relationship (Ryan) was a first for EVERYTHING from the first kiss to the first black eye. I went on an anti-love slut spree after that. Then dating hell after that. Then another relationship.
From the day I met Ryan to the day I decided it was over with Chet, and entire decade had passed. A DECADE!
When I think about it, the only person in that decade of dating who ever came even remotely close to love was Stone and that was after my gallbladder surgery. He showed up and took care of me one night in many different ways and was the only man to be there for me in years. Actually, he had a lot of private, sweet, intimate moments and that’s a huge part of why I let our “relationship” carry on for 5 years. But it wasn’t true love.
I realize just how sad and empty my life sounds when I write it out like this, but I also realize how much of that I created, allowed to happen, and hid behind. I wasn’t ready to love again after Ryan. He destroyed my foundation of what I thought a man should be. I took revenge on him and myself by slutting it up. I found the validation I wanted, figured out my body, gained a fuck ton of self confidence and self esteem, and came out with flying colors. Then I had a heart ready to burst with love and moved on to Chet… only to ultimately be shut down. I didn’t realize it was an emotionally abusive relationship until the very end. I couldn’t figure out that my personal growth came with that price tag until I went through and looked at it with different eyes. I went through the controlling nature, the emotional instability, the constant shut downs and shut outs, the passive aggressive bullshit, the lack of intimacy… all of it. I may have grown by leaps and bounds, but I forgot a piece of myself in that relationship. I lost a big part of me that I forgot even existed…
…until Dean came along.
It’s like this light inside of me suddenly started to burn brighter. Suddenly some one is taking care of me. Some one is affectionate with me every single chance he gets. Some one freely admits he misses me and longs for my presence when I’m not there. Some one listens to me and comforts me when I have a bad dream, makes fun of me when I have an airhead moment, makes me laugh at the ridiculousness of life, will do a silly dance just to get me to smile, lets me dote on him, lets me be 100% of myself and be the goofy fool I can be, and makes me happy. I can watch him play some stupid computer game for hours so long as every now and then I can run my hands through his hair and rub his neck as long as I want. I can have my lazy Sunday as often as I want. I can drag him out and about to pretty much wherever I want, but also have someone who has his own life and has his own desires for what he wants to do. I have someone who loves me and lets me love him back.
I can’t be bitter about the past. I have to be grateful for the decade of bullshit leading up to it because had I not been cut off and shut out in so many ways, deprived of so many things, and experienced so much rotten behavior by other men, I would not be even half as appreciative of Dean as I am now. I really wouldn’t. I can’t even put into words how I feel about him some days. I cant ellaborate how this feels because it seems like there are no words accurate enough for it.
I know I’ve had impulsive moments and made rash decisions in the past, but I’ve also spent that time learning from each and every one of them. I’ve spent the last ten years growing and evolving into the woman I am now. All those little impulsive moments now seem 100% worth it when I think of the payout I’ve received in this man. It makes that decade totally fucking worth it.
Love is a beautiful thing.