I've spent a good portion of my life being alone. 13 years to be exact. Between my military service & my constant need to see new places it never really occurred to me how that loneliness affected me.
Until I met *"The woman."
In 2008 I met *"the woman." She was smart, fun, cute, geeky, & intent on being with me. Everything a geek guy could want. Admittedly, I was resistant to her charms at first. After spending 13 years alone, & the last 2 of those living monastically, I had grown accustomed to the joys & pains of a life alone. Now when I say alone I don't mean "single." I mean alone. For the last 2 years leading up to our meeting the only human contact I had was either at work or the gym. The rest of my time was spent in my own company.
She was a breath of fresh air to a life that had grown stagnant & routine. Over the next 5 months I found myself enjoying every moment we had together & trusting her more then I had ever trusted any woman before.
Then I lost my job.
I had worked for these people for 3 years, & they had helped me through an earlier rough patch, so I respected & trusted them. I even saw them as family. Needless to say, when I was let go I felt betrayed. This had a tremendous affect on me & my relationships.
I no longer felt I could trust any future employer, let alone anyone else. Then depression set in. A vail of bitterness, negativity, & scorn began to form over my eyes. It tainted every good day with its poison. Yet our union pressed on fueled by her belief that I would get better & she would once again have the man she fell in love with. We married & had a beautiful daughter but, the entire time she was moving forward, I was dragging her back. Plus, as if to add insult to injury, I was living with undiagnosed & untreated PTSD. Which made my depression worse & fanned the flames of my substance abuse.
She constantly pleaded with me to seek help, but I refused. Convinced that the problem lay not with myself but with everyone around me.
Eventually it became such a strain on her, & our union, that we fought about every little thing. No longer did we have the loving banter that once existed. It was now replaced by biting words hiding bitter resentment. I couldn't see what I was doing to her, or myself, because I had grown so enamoured with playing the victim.
So now here I sit in my parents basement, 13 years after leaving home, writing this. Not wondering where I went wrong, but, how can I make this right?
I guess if I could ask you to take away one thing from my story it would be this; let go of the past. The people who truly love you WILL always love you. But if you make them choose between loving you over loving themselves, you will always lose.
As it should be.
Learn to accept lifes tribulations as lessons on how to be a better person. Not examples of how life is so unfair.
Lastly, if I could go back & tell myself one thing it would be this;
Things are going to get better, if you choose to make them so. Life isn't about the impact others have on you but the impact you have on others.
Don't be afraid of the future. As you once told "the woman", love like you've never been hurt before.
Most importantly. Love yourself. You are a magnificent person who deserves all the happiness life has to offer. Except it & pay it forward.
*The woman is a reference to Irene Adler from the Sherlock Holmes books. I use this only to describe my feelings for her.
"To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses & predominates the whole of her sex."