I have always been in a relationship. I had my first boyfriend when I was in the 4th and 5th grade. I hit an awkward phase in 6th grade, but 7th grade began with boyfriend number two. I was with that guy until my sophomore year of high school. When him and I finally called it quits, I immediately started dating Steven. Steven is my first husband and the father of my children. We got married July 27th 2001, about 2 months after high school graduation.
I left my husband for a woman. (See posts “Cheaters and Liars” & “When You Wish Upon A Star…“) Her and I had been split up for about a month when I met Keith, who would be my second husband. My readers know the rest, but for those of you who don’t know, Keith died by suicide, as well as Jason, the boyfriend I had after Keith passed. (I know it’s strange.)
It was normal for me to be in a relationship, and I’ve been in one more or less non-stop, since I was 10 years old. Losing my last two loves to suicide, and the trauma of witnessing Jason’s suicide in January, was enough to make me never want to date again, let alone have a relationship.
Just when I thought my world could not be more rocked, in crept covid-19.
I lost my home, my car, and my very small, but strong support system, including therapy I was in 2 days out of the week. I was left to deal with not only the trauma I had experienced all on my own, but was also forced to take a good look at myself.
I didn’t necessarily dislike myself, but I couldn’t remember a time when my main focus was primarily on my own well-being. I began spending most of my time on a porch swing at the house I was staying at. I was constantly feeling as if I could jump out of my skin, and my only relief came from music and sitting on that swing. I spent all day and sometimes all night out there, just reflecting.
Reflection is bitter sweet. I thought a lot about Keith, Jason, my kids, past relationships, family, and friends. My brain was flooded with memories both beautiful and incredibly painful.
I began talking to people again and then guys started asking me out. A LOT. For the first time in my life, dating seemed like an awful idea. I had zero interest. I continued focusing on me and even when called selfish, I kept telling myself, “my feelings matter and what I want matters.”
After a relatively short time, I was laughing and smiling again. I was making myself happy. I realized that I love me. I’m a good person with a kind heart and an old soul, wise with my life experiences and at the exact moment of realization, I also became incredibly grateful for every single good and bad thing that has ever happened in my life.
I began to feel as though I were a phoenix, reborn from the ashes of my former self. It felt good. The best moment was realizing, I love me. I deserve good things and settling for less than what I want from life is something I will never do again.
I will never be perfect, and I’m sure the universe has many more lessons for me. I say, “bring it on.”
I’m finally moving into my own place this weekend. This fresh start means more to me than any beginning so far. True, 2020 has started out tough for everyone, but due to my practicing some self-care during the first half, I feel optimistic about the back half. Will I date? Who knows. Will I remarry? Don’t have a clue! What I do know, is that I will take care of me. It’s funny. Once you love yourself, being single is kinda awesome.
If I seem selfish, I’m sorry. I am now so aware that by taking care of myself, and loving myself, it makes me the kind of person capable of truly loving and caring for others. I have big dreams and fully intend to do something that will change the world.
It starts with me…