Life has been crazy. Totally, absolutely bats**t crazy. Don't get me wrong, I love it. But I'm beginning to think I bit off more than I could chew this semester (but when don't I think that, right?).
I was feeling off kilter tonight. I don't really know why. But I decided to look back at my ex's ex-fiance's livejournal. The one that she had when he and I broke up on "good" terms (haha, yeah right). The one she had before she died. I went back to when they started dating — AKA when he dumped me for her (but left that part out of the information I received when we broke up, shocking I know). I also ended up at his livejournal, the one from when we broke up the first time. When I should have walked away and never looked back.
It brought back a lot of painful memories. And a LOT of missed warnings signs. I should have known that he was crazy. I should have known that he was a horrible person who would literally ruin my life if I let him. He was a jackass. A complete and total jackass. And I let him walk all over me. Sure, I was young and naïve. He was my first. My first kiss. The first boy who was allowed to drive me anywhere. The first boy that said he loved me. But looking back, this relationship had ALL of the warning signs of abuse written all over it from the very beginning. Out of the warning signs listed here, our relationship had 19 of them (and some of the ones that weren't present, well I didn't have a car and we went to the same school…). Pretty much from our first date. But I was young and stupid. And I've come a long way. But every so often I wonder if I haven't really. And it scares the f*ck out of me.
I know that I've dealt with what he did to me in the wrong ways, or at least not in the best ways. The easiest way to deal with the fact that he sexually abused me, was to externalize it. It was easy enough to talk about, because I never felt like it happened to me, it just was about me. A distinction without a difference to most people, but it was my strongest coping mechanism. If it didn't happen to me, it can't hurt me. He can't hurt me. The other way I've dealt with it is to forget what happened. Block the worst memories from my brain and be never the wiser. I didn't even know I did it, until the memories came back.
I have always consoled myself by saying that at least he never physically hit me. Or something along those lines. At least I never stayed after he physically abused me. Turns out, maybe that isn't as true as I once thought it was. Because a discussion about changing the laws on strangulation brought back a terrible night from around our first anniversary…
I was visiting him at school. We were fighting, like always. We were in his dorm room. He wanted to have sex; I didn't (I never did…). He was mad that I wasn't taking advantage of what "little time" we had together before I had to leave to go home. I was mad that he was being himself, although I didn't think of it in those terms. I just wanted some quiet time.
He and his roommates had bunk beds. We were on the top bunk (his bunk), sitting and arguing. I don't remember exactly what he said or what precipitated it, but he pushed me. Not a small, flirtatious push, the kind you see in movies as a couple walks down the street. He actually pushed me. Pushed me off the bed. The top bunk. I remember hitting the couch (thankfully) that was right next to the beds. I wasn't hurt (physically). But he wasn't done.
He jumped down. Not to see if I was alright, but to continue our fight. He tore up the bear he had given me — the "Someone at [College] loves me" bear. Ripped it limb from limb. Knowing I truly loved it, because it was a sweet gesture, a reminder of happier (happier?!) times we had (or at least I thought we had had…). He ripped my cross from my neck. He grabbed it and yanked. And he grabbed me by the throat.
It's not all clear. Parts of it are still blurry, even now that I remember more than I used to. Now that I remember the parts I didn't want to remember. I don't remember how the fight ended, how we ended up sitting (somewhat) calmly on the couch talking. But I remember the fear, the panic, the tears. I remember fearing that he could actually really hurt me. I remember his actions afterwards, how he couldn't not abuse me, even after such a terrible fight.
Most of all, I remember the spine-chilling coldness in his eyes and his voice. It's the same coldness that I heard when he "casually" remarked during one of our (too numerous to count) fights on the phone a couple years later that "if I was there right now, I would have slapped you across the face." The same cold voice that he used when he threatened to expose all of my deep dark secrets to the world if I didn't do exactly what he said, when he said it. If I wasn't his "perfect little housewife." His submissive, easy-to-abuse girlfriend.
And all of this misery and terrible-ness brings me to my *current* problem, one that is substantially less scary and hurtful and so much more of my own making. I don't know why the two are related (except for the one obvious reason, but…).
I want to get married. I want to have a pretty ring on my finger. I want to walk down the aisle (in Savannah) and get married to the love of my life and have everything be perfect. And I'm horribly, totally jealous every time someone on my facebook friends gets married/engaged. Especially if they haven't even known each other as long as S and I have been together. But I can't — I won't — force it. I just hate the jealousy. I want my happily ever after. Is that so much to ask?
There are bigger complications to this whole "getting married" thing than just "we've been together forever and I get jealous any time anyone else gets a ring." We currently live approximately 800 miles apart. I'm staying here, in the state of my law school. I love it here. The weather is fantastic (or at least, I think so). I've got a lot of contacts and a lot of possibilities for the future. I've currently applied for one job with a federal judge that I'm on the fence about. (I want job security — I want to know that I'm not going to be homeless come August and that I'll actually be contributing to the world. But it's not my "dream job," which would be to stay with the "big city" prosecutor's office that I'm still interning for — I love them!) Any way you slice it, I'm staying here. He is 800 miles and three states away. And will be for at least the next 3 years. And then who knows where he will be.
Someone is going to have to compromise. Someone is going to have to limit themselves geographically to wherever the other is. I want him to limit his (eventual) job search to here. But I don't think he will. He says he's OK with me staying here. But I know that deep down, he wants me to move up to him, take that state's bar, practice there for 3 years, then take another state's bar, wherever he ends up. I just don't want to do it. But I don't want to lose him. I love him dearly. He (quite possibly) is the love of my life. The person that truly completes me, who understands me better than anyone ever has or ever will. He accepts all of my crazy flaws, even the ones that are brought about by my super awful past. He gets me.
But I'm worried. I'm worried that we're going to be stuck in this holding pattern for three more years. Three LONG years. And then what? Where do we go from there? Three years from now, I'll be 29. I want to be married by the time I'm 28. I want to be done having my approximately 2.5 children by the time I'm 35. I can't get stuck in this holding pattern for another three years. I can't stay with him for three more years, only to find out that we're still having geography problems. That we're still in the same place we are now. I can't do it.
I'm scared to bring it up though. This is a discussion we need to have in person. Face-to-face. We're going on a trip around New Years. It will be the first time I've seen him since October. I'm super excited. We're going to our favorite beach in the whole world, then to Savannah, then to Charleston. I have a feeling he's going to propose, but I'm trying to suppress that feeling (and typically failing). I've had that feeling before and it only got my hopes up too high. But he suggested we go to where we had our "first meaningful date". He wanted to make sure we hit that beach…….. GAH! I can't think about it.
But I need to know our future. If we are going to be stuck in neutral, I can't do this. I love him more than anyone in this world and right now I can't imagine spending the rest of my life with someone else. But I can't wait forever. I don't want to give up the best shot I have of being a lawyer. I LOVE where I am right now. I don't see how we're going to make it work.
And that really scares me.