I never dated in high school. Too shy, too immature. I had enough males at my job. I worked “under the table” for a mob run Italian deli with 16 other guys. Yup, I was the only girl. You had to “know” someone to work there. My grandpop was old cronies with the boss’s dad. My “In”. Sixteen wildly different guys. The best job in the world. I learned how to talk to guys. And they were so good to me. I was only tossed into the freezer a few times. They knew I was green as new grass. And they loved teaching me stuff that no green as grass girl should know. That was probably the most important job of my life, at least personally.
I had three boyfriends in college. One after another. I fell into each relationship, not even realizing that I was “seeing” someone for the first two until I found myself lip locked. Um, I had a hard and fast rule: I don’t kiss unless You Are A Boyfriend. Both quickly agreed. Both were lots of fun, but each ended from betrayal.
The third was different. He had dated my roommate. Dating a guy who dated your roommate is a delicate procedure. But she gave me her ok, and away we went on a 2 1/2 year adventure. I have never, and will never, feel as passionate about someone as I did about him. And when it ended, horribly over a six month period where my heart was oh-so-slowly ripped from my chest, I was just lost. The final straw was a horrible letter ending it all. Yes, a 2 1/2 year relationship ended with a letter. He couldn’t wait three more weeks, the date for his return from England. I just lost it. Black depression. I couldn’t see one minute into my future. Every second was agony. I grew suicidal and ended up locked up on a psych unit.
It was horrible.
The very first thing the psychiatrist said was, “You better behave yourself or I will have you commited.” Nice, huh? Now instead of getting help I was fighting for my freedom. Everything is taken away and nurses are on top of you watching you constantly for some sqrew up. I was a pain in the A…I refused to eat and my mom had to bring food in for me. There was no place to exercise, and I needed it to calm down. The psychologist told me to keep it together, and I will be able to sign myself out. He was the only kind person in that horrible place. I did keep to together and left against medical advise. I spent the next 6 months with the kindest psychiatrist I have ever known. She does her own counseling and she was amazing.
After all the horror I was numb. I didn’t date anyone for two years. I was just numb. A lot of lost opportunities as I had a lot of men wanting to date me. I would just look at them blankly and turn away. I never wanted to feel that strongly for another person for the rest of my life. So I locked my heart up in a box, and while I care about people, and love with compassion, I refuse to allow that kind of intense passion to enter back into my life.
For twenty years I grieved over it all. He never gave me a great reason for breaking up, other then I was fatally flawed. He was an amazing person, and the smartest guy I have ever known. And so talented. Self taught pianist and composer. Beautiful stuff that made my eyes mist over and my throat ache with longing. He had me at “I made a song for you, do you want to come listen to it?”
My favorite picture of us. We liked to dress alike. Weird and quirky!
He taught me so much. How not to take myself too serious. How to laugh at earthy humor. How to really feel alive. But he had two flaws. He hated other people’s flaws and quirks and he tried to change all of mine. Our only arguments. It was heartbreaking for me to know that I accepted his imperfections and he couldn’t accept mine.
Twenty years later, I decided to put his ghost at rest, and I emailed him. And he was happy to hear from me. He realized his error in sending me a letter some time later, and was full of guilt for it. We finally opened up to each other about the fiasco over the next few months. And he told me the real reason for ending it. He made a big mistake and had a one night stand with another girl. He broke up with me because he couldn’t stand the guilt when we were together.
I was in shock.
Our loyalty to each other was legendary at our college. But the last year was so tough because he was at Cambridge and I only saw him at Christmas and several times while I was at another college in England. I never doubted him. I re-lived the horror again, but this time with truth. And truth does set one free. Forgiveness is a gift both to the person getting forgiven and to the person doing the forgiving. To set it aside, lift the burden, breathe again, break the chains. Start over. Now a days we have a casual friendship, free of bitterness, and he is one of the few that I can trust to give me his honest opinion on anything under the sun.
He reads my blog sometimes. If you are reading, know that this post is my tribute to you.
You are one of a kind, despite cheating on me…. 🙂