There are people who enter our lives, and leave a scratch or two, and then there are those who leave permanent scar tissue on our souls forever. Even though things have happened in my life that broke my heart, I have managed to learn some lessons and realize that ultimately, it was meant to be this way, and it was for the best interest of everyone involved.
Life after My Time With Z was probably the toughest emotional growth period of my life. It was far from the crushing blows of "puppy love", and far more serious than crushes I had entertained in my teen years. It was the real thing. I had truly loved, and lost, and had to find some way to convince myself that it was indeed better as everyone would tend to reiterate from all the 'quips and quotations' of the heart.
Maybe it was indeed better than never having loved at all, but at the time it felt far from beneficial to my soul that felt as though it had literally been torn apart.
As I stated in those earlier 'Z Chronicles', I had a rough time "letting go" when it ended. Looking back, I wish I had handled it better. I think that I handled it as best I could at the time, when things ended, but in the following months, years, that's probably what I wish I could change... the extended length of time it took me to really get over it. Do I feel that I ever truly healed? Well, I think that healing and living is a bit synonymous in cases of broken hearts. It takes time, a lot of time... maybe an eternity. Maybe it doesn't really heal completely, just scab over and become a sore that you get used to and can live with. Maybe the worst cases simply teach us how not to pick the scab as much so we can avoid the bleeding.
However, destiny moves forward whether we like it or not, and if we are lucky enough to have wonderful friends and family, and meet the right people we can get back to life, or at least something like it. I've been lucky enough to have those people in my life. It's just a journey of discovery, and learning when to recognize the gifts we've been given.
In the months after Z, I mention in the stories as well, I would try to 'run into' him seemingly by accident sometimes, and other times I would plan to be at a little crossroad on the way home from work, just so I could talk to him for a moment. I know it was hard on him, I am not proud now, I wish I had just let him get back to life, the business of forgetting I existed. It's what he needed, probably what I needed. Something just kept me torn apart about it.
Eventually, just a few months later, I met someone else, "C". It was not a good thing. With my self esteem still reeling from the pain of what I felt to be the loss of my soulmate, I was not in a good place spiritually, mentally or physically. I was in no shape to be making good decisions, and I was definitely on the rebound, looking for something to just numb the pain. This was a period where I made some of the worst decisions of my entire life. These decisions were 'fork in the road' decisions that determined the outcome of major milestones too.
I wouldn't be where I am right now if I had acted differently. That's both a good and a bad thing, although I am selfishly glad to be where I am.
My feelings for "C" were never Love. I know that for a fact. I did not have any real feelings for him at all. I was merely trying to keep from falling apart, so I filled the cracks with his poisons, which included emotional abuse, verbal abuse, and luckily not physical abuse, except for what I inflicted upon myself by allowing myself to endure this. He dragged me through such a black hole of misery, drugs, other abusive people and dangerous situations. Things I still don't feel comfortable sharing the complete details of. Just know that it is not pretty at all.
The better part of 3 years of my life I wasted on this useless excuse for a human being and his friends. Even though I know that it still played a part in who I am now, and who I have become, I have a hard time not calling this my one true regret in life, and have stated on several occasions that 'I wish I'd never laid eyes on C'. However, I try to live by a 'no regrets' policy. It's gotten easier, especially now that I have different outlooks on life. Still, I know it's always a lesson in progress... All we can do is try our best and live one day at a time.
There were several times in the course of that "relationship" that I had clear exit points, and stupidly did not take them. User, abuser, loser he was and once even told me that I should stay away from him because he was no good. How I wish I had listened. Why? What did I need from him? Was I that desperate to feel like I was in a relationship? I wronged myself, my good friends and family and convinced myself that this was some sort of beneficial thing for me. I get utterly nauseated when I think of this time in my life.
After losing jobs and my dignity and still hanging on to this toxic excuse for a 'man', I eventually found myself living in a low-income apartment near Memphis. It was just a one bedroom deal, and I barely had any furnishings, as I couldn't afford anything, and rarely stayed there anyway since I was either working or going out. It kind of served me more as a walk-in closet of sorts with a bathroom. Then, there he was again, and I allowed him to basically live with me (even though I wasn't supposed to have any roommates). Things got even worse since he was abusing the situation and costing me unneeded trouble and money. One day, a friend of his who had a girlfriend 10 years his senior, and a baby nearly 2 years old entered into the picture. They had been living with the grandparents of the child, and gotten kicked out. He basically forced the situation and had them move in with us. So, picture it... Me, him, and this other little dysfunctional 'family' jammed into a 1 bedroom apartment with barely anything.
Nobody attempted to help with bills, although the girl, who was a waitress at a local buffet finally started giving me some money on the utilities, which didn't help much with my Creep's drug habits. There were parties and raves, and he usually made no bones about hitting on other girls right in front of my face, and trying to hurt me. I had honestly gotten to the point where I didn't care either. I had cheated on him with a couple people, one was even a friend of his. I was miserable.
One night after they'd been out 'raving', he brought some girl up into the apartment to use the restroom... MY restroom. THIS girl was supposed to be a 'witch', and into black magic. Oh god how sick and tired I was of him and his cruddy, low-life people. I wanted him out of my life for good. She could have him, I wished he'd leave with her. I wouldn't have cared if she turned him into a toad.
All of these events basically made up 'the last straw'. I was not happy with him, I wasn't happy with myself, or proud of any of my actions. I felt that I was disintegrating inside a dark abyss that I couldn't seem to escape. Thank god that my best friend, Tamra hadn't deserted me (even though she probably should have by that time). I had a long emotional talk with her and she and I decided to go to my Landlady and tell her the situation and that I was in over my head and unable to get these people to leave. The woman was very understanding, and quite the help. She took the pressure off me, and basically kicked them out.
If it hadn't been for her, and especially Tamra... would I have just continued to let it go on?
Why I wasn't able to do this dirty work for myself at the time, I am not sure. I'd just been worn down to my weakest point. Sounds ridiculous to me now, reading back on this. I would obliterate those people now, and not even have gotten myself into the situation. Things change, and I've changed a lot on the inside.
Well I got a job at a printing company, where things began to turn around for me. I met more good friends there, and began to regain a little bit of myself back. It was a long process though, one I think maybe I am still working on in many ways.
Some time after they were kicked out of my apartment, I had a visit from C. I was a little petrified from everything, and still not very strong by any means. He was plastered out of his mind. He forced himself through the door, even though I asked him to go away and leave me alone. He waltzed in, trying to pretend everything was o.k. I resisted, telling him how much I hated his guts and wished I'd never met him. Some things transpired, I can't decide if I was just weak and stupid, or was I victimized? I don't know. I don't really want to think on it.
That was the last time C. ever crossed the threshold into any home of mine ever again.
His friends, however tried their luck one late night as I was there all alone. I awoke to the sounds of loud, incessant banging on my door. I felt frightened, panic-stricken in a way. I had cut ties totally with this bunch but yet there they were harassing me. Why did they think they had any right to be in contact with me? There were two of them, shouting for me to let them in.
"No!!!" I refused and demanded that they leave.
They were apparently drunk, and looking for trouble. If they thought I was the trouble they were looking for they were right.
"If you don't leave, I will call the police." I shouted.
They didn't believe me, because they continued their loud knocks and demands. So, I picked up my phone and dialed. The lady on the other end of the line took the information, and even agreed that she could hear them banging the door over the phone.
She could tell I was terrified.
The police arrived in a couple minutes since they were not far from where I lived. One officer came to the door and asked me if I knew the guys, and I told him that I knew one of them and that they were friends of an ex-boyfriend of mine. I had NOT invited them there and that I wanted them to leave indeed.
The police took care of them. I never saw any of his friends again.
During my time at the printing company, I grew stronger and tried to regain some sense of self and something of a life. Tamra and I continued to go out and do things, see concerts, hang out with friends.
It was then, that I Met My Husband Richie, and my life began to change drastically. The road was still not going to be easy by any means, I had a long way to go and a lot more to learn. I still do, though as I've read many times, "It's the journey, and not the destination", and if that's true the journey has been quite the heavy learning experience.
No matter what our goals or destiny may be, failure is never the end of the road - it's just a signpost. The important thing is not to let the bad times win. It's a long journey, but without the dark and winding miles, we wouldn't enjoy the paths that took us to the top of the mountains nearly as much.