Naivety with him taught me that it was okay to be vulnerable and that sometimes vulnerability delivers crushing blows but I could bounce back from them. Sure, I might have a scar or two but as I grow they heal and become part of the beautiful canvas that I am.
When we broke up, though it eventually felt better, it crushed me inside. Pubescent insecurities rose to the surface and played on my mind and on to my actions, I felt terrified. The kind of terror a teenager feels when they fear that life as they know it is over. That type of fear led to anxiety and that anxiety led to a rebound man. Yes, man, he was older than me by five or eight years. I cannot recall. At the time I did not realize that he was the rebound, my teenage heart just wanted the pain to go away so it made sense to fill the void with similar attention. I was wrong.
It was the worst decision I had ever made, he was a game player and I was a young girl he thought he could toy with and still feel cool. I gave him that, because I did not want to experience the void again. So we talked all the time, I laughed at stupid jokes and tolerated his smoking. I put up with things I knew then were nonsensical- even the knowledge that he had baby mother drama. What teenage girl needed any of that? I knew I had to break it off because it felt wrong and I began to feel the guilt of using him as a bandage when I realized what I was doing. In addition, he wanted something from me which I was not willing to give. Despite this knowledge, I was coward; the fear of being alone clung to me. I had not known then that I had daddy issues.
After praying for a way out, I finally got one, he broke it off and I thought to myself ‘this could work. I am free. I will just learn to love me.’ What followed next rocked my world.
Having had a history of not liking things to end badly, I occasionally would converse with the older man. One day- about a week or so later- I called to say hello but who picked up the phone made me do a double take to look at my cell phone. Had I called the right person? I did indeed call the correct person but my close friend had answered his phone. What was she doing answering his phone? Instantly, memories flashed back in my mind of odd behavior that she had exhibited in the past months. The time I could not recall his phone number because I had him on speed dial but she knew it from memory (I had not given it to her but I did use her phone once when I was at her home because my phone had died) or the time we all traveled to a parade and they sat closer and joked harder than we ever did. These were flags that I did not see waving, maybe I did not want to see them.
This pain was different; I did not care so much about the man, I cared about the friend that I had just lost. Since then I have healed and learned so many things, things like opening my eyes and not being ridiculously naïve just so that I will not end up alone. The hurt caused by someone once deemed a friend feels like being cut by a jagged knife, it stings and just when you think the worst is over there’s a curve in the blade that cuts another part of you. The scar is oddly shaped but useful to help you remember what you’ve learned. I tossed that “friend” shaped knife out long ago. My heart no longer feels bitterness and resentment.
Oh but here's something to laugh at:
After about a year he called me back to ask me why I never warned him about her and how cruel she was. He was mad because she'd gotten rid of something they "created together" without talking to him-- if you get my drift. Yep, he was mad because I never told him to not trust my friend who he cheated on me with. Go figure.
Find out what happened next... Part 3 has the deets!
Missed Part 1? Catch up here.