Saturday, 31 December 2011

The Ace of Hearts and New Years Eve

Love is an action.

I believe that now, with all my heart. I was madly in love once. I did everything I could to have a chance, a real chance, to be with Him. The problem with love, is that not everyone shows it through actions, sometimes it's only expressed through words, and words can be dangerously deceiving.

New Years Eve is upon us, and I've realized recently that as much as on the outside I've seemed to move on from Him, I really haven't. I've been pretending to move on, while on the inside keeping my heart closed to anyone new, reserving all my love for the person - I admit this to myself now - the person I was sure was coming back to me. How could he not? He said we were soulmates, that I was the love of his life. I believed him. I thought our souls were chained together and in the end we'd find a way back to each other. He told me over and over, hundreds of times that he was leaving her and going to spend his life with me. I believed that too. I did everything he wanted me to do, made the most difficult life altering changes possible. Then I thought all I had to do was wait. But I see clearly now, I've been waiting in vain.

So I'm letting go. Since all He ever gave me were words, it is time to get rid of them so they will finally lose their hold over me. So I started going through the letters, the emails, the text messages. Hundreds and hundreds of saved messages from Him. And getting rid of them. I read each of them before I hit "delete" or threw it out, and I wonder now how I could have ever believed those words - when most of them were written when He was with her. Yes, He said he loved me thousands of times but love is an action and his action was to choose her over and over again. Why didn't I listen to his actions instead of buying into his words? I feel worst about that, but I'm trying to forgive myself for being so foolish.

I have countless unanswered questions, I wonder things like why He would string me along for such a long time when he knew I hurt so badly every time he walked away? Why to the end - just a couple of weeks ago - He could still sit there and tell me adamently that I'm the one He loves? If He had just been honest two and a half years ago about what He planned to do with his life (stay with her) about how He really felt (He didn't love me), I would have healed from this wound ages ago, and without feeling they may have to actually remove my heart from my chest to make it stop hurting. But getting answers wouldn't change the course of the past, so I guess it doesn't really matter what He would say.

I'm not naive enough to believe that just because He is in a relationship, they are necessarily happy. Most couples I know really aren't. So they go on trips and buy things and distract themselves until they grow old, and they tell themselves they had a happy life, even if all they were doing was barely living. Just existing. But I do know for sure that I will never again be in a relationship just for the sake of not being alone, or because I'm scared of starting over or because other people think I should. I will only be in a relationship where I am valued and loved. Not where I am told that I'm loved, but where I see it proactively displayed. And that's how I will prove to myself that I love and value me. By making better, smarter, healthier choices, I hope I can earn back my own trust sometime soon.

There's something liberating about purging my life of old lies and starting fresh. I loved how I felt and who I was with Him, but I hate what loving Him turned me into. Erasing his words, letters, notes, messages and pictures from my life leaves me free to erase Him from my mind and heart and start over. Trying to convince Him to love me was exhausting and in the end it tore me apart. I will never try to convince anyone to love me again. If they do, they'll make room for me in their life, and they won't walk away.

The man I've with now, he doesn't say he loves me, and I'm grateful for that at this stage. But I really think he does. He shows it, every day. I honestly believe he spends a great deal of time thinking about ways to make me happy. Under those circumstances it's so easy to feel happy and secure.

Whether we are in a romantic relationship or not, I realize now the single most important relationship we have is with ourself. And if you can find people who love the you you love, well that's as good as it gets.

Happy New Years everyone. I'm finally going to wear that black sequined dress He gave me that's been sitting in the closet for two years. I wish all the love, peace and happiness possible to you in 2012. Yet another new beginning starts tomorrow. And tomorrow is always fresh with possibilities and free of mistakes. Let's make the most of it. :)

Sullivan out.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

La Belle Province

Well here I am back in Montreal and I can't sleep so the next best thing is writing. It's been an interesting holiday season to say the least. Sitting here now, completely stuffed from a leftover turkey dinner with my uncle Ken, and after a consecutive week of good times with family and good friends every single night, I finally understand why people love Christmas so much.

It seems to be the one time of year where everyone is able to actually, really relax, and take the time to make the effort needed to be with those whom they love. It's a time of year when people everywhere seem to remember how vital those connections are and how very much more important the people in our lives are than anything else.

After all, at the end of the day, it's not how big of a house we live in, or what we do for work, or how many "toys" we accumulate or even how popular or successful we think we were. If, when the whole world stops for just a little while, like it did this week, we can reach out to the people who we've chosen to have our life and who have chosen to be in ours, and make a connection, and that makes us feel happy and we have a heart full of love, then we are very lucky. And our life is a success.

Ps. There is one more perk of Christmas, besides the love and the family and the friends and the parties: presents. Presents are awesome.

My boyfriend made me this:

Steve: you are the fucking greatest!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Dying to be loved

Two years and seven months ago, everyone I was close to decided to walk away from me. My husband, mother, sister, every close friend I'd ever had, the man I was madly in love with. It almost killed me.

I think I could have recovered, if that had been the end of it. The thing that has almost killed me this time around, wasn't that one big blow, it's been the thousands of tiny blows in the 31 months since June 1, 2009. Because they keep coming back. And telling me they love me.

I've always had a problem holding grudges and staying away from people I loved, no matter what happened or how much I got hurt. Especially if there was any chance they still loved me back. And obviously I've had a hard time letting go of the past. The past holds so many good memories for me, and a lot of love.

The problem with letting these people come back over and over and try to tell me they still love me is that they have proved over and over that their particular brand of love is toxic. It's been poison to me. I've been lucky enough to replace most of thse relationships, in a way, with new ones but I've failed to give those people the same space in my head and heart that my past relationships occupied. Maybe because the old relationships were still taking up most of that space.

I realize now though, that I shouldn't have to fight so hard for a space in someone's life. If they love you, they will make room for you. You shouldn't have to change who you are to deserve love, the people who really love you will accept you at face value. And you shouldn't have to always pretend you're strong, and everything is ok, because sometimes it's not. And people who love you for real are the ones still standing next to you in the bad times, as much as they do in the good ones, maybe even more.

I lost a couple of family members through that time. I have amazing family somewhere else, but it still feels lonely because they are so far away. So my best friend shared his family with me, and they've adopted me. I'm always invited for the holidays, and Sunday night dinners. His parents check up on me when I'm going through difficult times. His daughter tells me she loves me all the time.

Hands down, I have better, stronger, more loyal friends now that I ever did in my life. Even though I haven't been one tenth of the friend to them as I was to my old friends.

The man I'm with refuses to walk away, despite all the recent trauma, even though we haven't been together very long and he acknowledges the last two men in my life got to be with a stronger, happier version of me. He made me a coffee table for Christmas (this is apparently one of the perks of dating an artist). Here is someone trying to make my home a better place, when the last man I loved, the one who I believed was The One, just kept trying to tear my home apart. Which, in the end, he successfully did.

The say you can't pick who you love. But I'm starting to think maybe that's not true. Maybe it's crucial that we do pick who we love, intelligently, proactively and for the right reasons, because the wrong kind of love can tear your heart to pieces.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

coffee, cigarettes and crazy, crazy love

It's possible I wasn't completely truthful in my last post. I thought I was fine. I thought I could handle life, however it turned out. But reconnecting with a painful part of my past seems to have been too much...

It doesn't take much for a desperate person with a horrible addiction to become blinded to reality and end up back where they were not long ago.

Love is interesting. I know what true love looks like. It's the people who are there for you when you're at your worst, the ones who willingly spend their weekend in a "prison cell" at the hospital trying to talk you off the ledge, again, when you've turned your back on all of them, yet again, for the one person who will always lie to you, and never love you, never care about you more than they care about themself. The people who take time off work to come sit with you all day, just so you don't have to be alone during this horrendous time. The boyfriend who goes out and buys you a Christmas tree to cheer you up, after you've just hurt him so badly.

Did I ever really love Him? Or was I just addicted to the pain? The pain of always wanting to be loved by someone so unattainable. Was it because I lost my entire life trying to hold on to "us" in any way I could? Maybe I can't accept the fact that I lost it all for nothing, for something that was never, ever real. Maybe it's just that I need to make it all mean something to make my life now make some kind of sense.

Or maybe I'm just crazy. Whatever the truth is, I'm completely free now. For the rest of my life. But there's nothing comforting about that.

I have learned one thing from all this: anyone who can make you hate yourself this much doesn't deserve any room in your heart, mind or soul. That is not love. No matter what he tells you.

Maybe people should come with warning lables. Like a package of cigarettes: "Smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer."

"Don't love this person - if you do, it could kill you." Literally.

I've hurt a lot of people lately myself. For that, I'm deeply sorry.