I met a man last summer who intrigued me. He challenged my sense of everything I knew. And I was inspired by him.
As a 39 year old woman, who years ago left everything in her home country of Greece, to live in New York, I was looking for love in this crazy city like so many others. So naturally, I also had my fair share of bad long term relationships and unsuccessful short term flings. But this man was different, I thought.
So much of the time we spent together was filled with passion, miscommunication, fights, and tearful reconciliations. It was a troubled relationship and the bad times were particularly dark. On one occasion when I denied him oral sex, he responded by threatening that he would “find someone who will.” Of course he would also apologize and sweet talk me into an evening of lovemaking after. He went from discussing the idea of marriage to publicly mocking my political beliefs.
His love was immature. His attention erratic. His treatment would swing between loving, sweet, tender and considerate, to demeaning, disrespectful, and at worst verbally and emotionally abusive.
In the face of all of this, I felt strongly about our relationship. It was one that could eventually work. I loved this man and I thought he loved me despite our differences and my insecurities.
After seven months, he suddenly ended the relationship over a phone call. The fight was accompanied by a slew of accusations and blame. I was a liar and a manipulator. I had tricked him. I was a fake, a fraud, and a horrible person. I was sexually unavailable. He was done.
We were together for a short time in comparison to the years I’ve spent with other partners. I have lived with men. Shared my life and dreams with others. Only ever in search of my rock, my inspiration, and my greatest supporter.
This relationship was still the most intense, overwhelming and damaging relationship despite the duration. I loved and cared for him like I’ve done no other man before.
This separation devastated me more than any other in my life.
It felt that a knife was plunged into my heart. I could not sleep or eat for days. I was crushed. I was alone again.
I soon realized I had lost days and nights, in utter sadness, barely functioning, longing for contact, forgiveness, and resolution. I tried for days after our separation to speak to him in person, on the phone with some civility and I was constantly thwarted and threatened with insults, accusations and blame. I was blocked from social media and through the phone. I was told that If I did attempt communication that I would be met with restraining orders and police intervention. Feeling completely defeated I knew I had to let go of any hope of reconnecting or ever speaking with my partner again.
I was so shaken by the abuse I had experienced in our relationship and the traumatic aftermath. I had to make a drastic change in my life and the moment was now.
I started to break up with the old me.
I broke up with the little girl who didn’t feel worthy or important. The little girl who was afraid of her dad. The little girl who was hurt and neglected, emotionally and physically by every man she had ever been with. And very painfully, through shedding years of patterns and habits I started to realize I was not living the life, or love, I wanted or deserved.
I broke up with the little girl who needed approval or attention to be validated or recognized. I broke up with the little girl who didn’t believe in her strength or power or beauty or choices. I broke up with the girl who took insignificant morsels of love and attention, in the place of real love and attention. I broke up with the girl who thought that abusive behavior was attractive and worthy of myself. I broke up with the girl who thought that she needed attention from a man to feel sexy, beautiful, and strong.
I let that girl go, because the choices she had made no longer were serving her or had a purpose for the woman she wanted and deserved to be. A woman who is loved and respected because she is strong, creative, thoughtful, and tender. A woman who is treated with kindness and compassion when her flaws show. A woman who is not run over, trampled or diminished because she has her own opinions.
In the end, I realized I wasn’t breaking up with this man, who in retrospect had no lasting impact or influence in who I was. I was breaking up with the abusive, the self loathing, controlling, narcissistic behavior I thought I deserved.
I am scared. I am slightly insecure at times. Unsure of my path. But determined more than ever to find success, community, love, and my best self.
I started loving, and embracing, the woman who came out of this battle with many scars, yet with wisdom that this paradigm no longer serves her needs. The little girl is no longer, and the woman who is emerging is who I will embrace with my whole heart.
I realized that no one can make me doubt my own purpose but myself. And now that I am alone, I cherish every moment I have with this amazing, loving, creative, brave, sexy, beautiful, funny, goofy, erotic, strong, bold and daring woman I want to get to know better.
I am taking her out on a date and figuring out what makes her who she is.
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