This was written almost a month ago. I mulled over whether or not to share it here, I believe we need to acknowledge pain we face and be honest with others about it. Facing the hurt is part of what makes us awesomely human. Enjoy the paper cuts…
I won’t lie. It hurt. Like getting a cardboard paper cut. The initial sting followed by the realization of an opened up wound.
Three months after we’ve broken up, and on the anniversary of our first date, I find out he’s engaged. To the woman he said was stalking him, and whom I had come to know as my harasser.
A part of me wanted to drive to his house and have him confront the truth of me in his doorway. To have him deal with the reality that I knew he had lied for months. To my face. To a heart that trusted, that fought for it. For him. I wanted him to face the consequences of his actions head on. See the damage and own it. Truly own it.
I knew that would never happen. That was the sort of person he
was is. He wouldn’t address any of it. He would say it was easier, that he couldn’t change. That I had caused it all, the cheating, the lying because of my insecurities and my inability to truly believe in him.
It wasn’t a new argument. No, we had it before. On his doorstep late one summer night when I had reached a breaking point. Months after I should have walked away, I stood there fighting to hold on to this relationship. A relationship that never really was much of anything but a convenience. A right time, right place, wrong focus.
Something I fought from the first week we went out, when he called me his girlfriend. And I froze. Terror stricken at the suddenness of being called that when it had been a long time since I was that descriptor, that person. I told myself I was being silly. Ridiculous even in that moment. To so easily turn away from something that seemed really good all because he was over anxious in calling me his girlfriend.
Isn’t hindsight on these matters so very helpful? I ask with a heavy dose of sarcasm. It’s easy for me to sit here and point to here, there, and about 71 other instances where my red flags were raised in this relationship and I knocked them down with reason and logic.
This is what happens when we repetitively ignore our gut. When we cast aside the twinge or question without stopping to see what it has to say about the situation or ourselves. I don’t condone the dwelling on every whim, fancy and whisper that comes along. There are some pretty significant ones that will get your attention though, repeatedly, until you address them or they address you.
It’s also really easy for me to sit here and judge and condemn when there are two in a relationship. I could have walked away (or better yet, ran fast) at any point, but I selfishly stayed because I thought this was it, he was the one I’d marry. I am thankful for God’s provision now in first allowing me to work through that belief and then leading me to a place where I knew without any doubt it was a false assumption based purely on my own desires and wants. I read back through my journal and see an entry from early on when I prayed for clarity and direction in the relationship, stating outright I would rather be single than with him.
While the pain of the breakup, that I initiated and held fast to over three months ago, has since healed…the confirmation of a year of life being lied to by someone you trusted and loved is like ripping out stitches with pliers. It’s like digging into that scar to pull out that last piece of shrapnel from the blast, and finding the piece a bit deeper and bigger than you remembered.
A close friend reminded me that God brings good out of life, circumstances, and this. But I got angry. I responded with a shut down, asking to not be made aware of any more of his life especially with this woman. I got upset, uncontrollably upset and I did what I have done thousands of times before…I shut down. I began to pull inward and walk through putting walls back up, and locking down doors in my life. In the matter of minutes, I ran back to the comfort I had known a year before…of being isolated and hardened. Of warding off any emotions and refusing to allow others into my life, into my heart.
All out of fear of what could be done by someone, of the past regret of allowing someone in and having it wound me deeply. Cause me to question every single bit of who I am in the process.
God began to give resistance to me putting up the wall, as He came along and put a person in the gap for me. Singing His love over me, saying My Love is enough. It is MORE THAN ENOUGH. I stopped building, I stopped shutting off.
In pure wisdom that could only be gifted to me by God, I see that all of this…the pain, the wounds, the questions, the fears, doubts, the love broken and the person mended was worth it. That if nothing else came out of a relationship so ugly to look back on than the inability to move forward as I had done previously, that was enough.
If nothing more than these words on this page and the knowledge that in the healing I am a different person, that I cannot go back to the heart I once walled off or the life that I grasped so tightly, is what comes out of ten hard months in a life with someone…then I am grateful. I am blessed to have learned such a lesson in such a short amount of time. I am full of gratitude to see what God could do only through this relationship, and in this timing, for my life.
While the hurt of the cardboard cut lasts but for a moment, the lesson learned in how to handle the bandaging and addressing of the wound will go far beyond the healing.