Friday, May 13, 2011

Day 3- 30 Day Blog Challenge

So I have decided it is impossible for me to believe I will actually post in this everyday but I really want to finish the challenge so I am just going to go with it :)

Day 3: Your first love

The story of my first love is a long and sordid story. I have only really dated 3 people in my life. My high school boyfriend, Mark, who, looking back I only really ever loved as a friend. I never truly fell in love until Dylan. It was a love that lasted almost 5 years even though we were truly only together a short amount of that time. But I loved him that whole time even though I tried to deny it to myself. I met Dylan when I was 16 and he was dating one of my best friends. Though their relationship lasted only a short time, our friendship grew stronger and I wasn't willing to give it up even when they split. My friend believed I should cut all ties with him as their relationship had ended badly but I couldn't bare to lose someone who had become so close to me. I made a decision that my friend did not agree with and was very angry over for a long time but looking back I wouldn't change it, he became one of my best friends. I could tell him anything without judegement. As we became closer, things started to turn to the physical though we never made our relationship official, we were just fooling around. It was during this time I believe I fell in love with him. I wanted to be with him all the time which was difficult because we lived a half hour apart. I defied my parents numerous times in order to spend time with him and even started lying to my friends so they wouldn't judge me. I made decisions that now I do regret, I allowed myself to be used for my body and let Dylan take advantage of me. The thing I haven't mentioned yet is that Dylan was trouble. He was into drinking, smoking, pot, and like I said he took advantage of me. Deep down I knew he was but by this time my love had blinded me and I looked at it as helping him. He had a troubled home life with a drinking dad and a mom he didn't really get along with which much later I would come to find out was for good reason as all he ever did was ask her for things.

About two years into our "friendship" I moved even further away from Dylan to attend college. We remained friends and our relationship went as it usually did, talking on the phone a lot, visits occasionally, and still the physical from time to time. I was pulled deeper and deeper into Dylan's world of drinking and pot and not really caring about anyone else. This was fueled by my deep loneliness at school, the stroke my sister suffered, my friends and I not being as close as we once were, and just a general depression that I did not at first identify as depression but now see it that way. His life was what I wanted, to not care about anyone but myself and just to have fun. I started slipping away from God and did things I am ashamed of but know that I have been forgiven for.

It was in November of 2006 that Dylan decided to abandon me and that is when the real heartache starts. It was then that I realized I couldn't live without him and that our relationship meant more to me than I had ever really realized. It sent me spiraling deeper into a depression and took me further from God, two things I have learned go hand in hand. He dropped out of high school and moved to Texas in the middle of the night. There was no phone call or anything to warn me or say goodbye. Just a phone call from a train station that he was going. I was stunned, somewhere deep inside I had truly begun to believe he cared for me. The next few months were some of the hardest of my life at that point, which can be evidenced by my writing during that period. I had never felt so rejected or lost and mostly I kept it to myself. Looking back on writings from that time is very painful for me and even now writing this story down in full is painful, it has taken me over a week because I get to points I don't want to revisit. At the same time revisiting the pain is reinforcing what I came to learn much to late about this man I loved, he wasn't good enough for me and still isn't. He did eventually return to Michigan and I was so happy to see him, I couldn't contain my joy.

After this time our relationship becomes fuzzy again, visits, phone calls. I won't bore you with every single detail but we ended up together in the summer of 2008. At the time it was this amazing moment when he revealed he loved me and had for some time, he just didn't want to hurt me but now he wanted to be with me. Recently Dylan had also started going to church and accepted God into his life. The drinking had stopped and he was different. No mask to hide behind, I actually got to know the real him and fell more in love. The three months we spent together were crazy, happy, wonderful, awful, and scary. We fought constantly about almost everything and then the drinking started and the spiral once again started. I hated that this was happening for the zillionth time but kicked myself at the same time for believing he had truly changed. The night he got into a fight with the groom at one of my friend's weddings was the final straw, I broke it off the next morning. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do because I knew this meant a permanent change in our relationship. He stormed off after I broke up with him and as it so happened we were headed to the church for a function. I walked into the chuch with tears streaming down my face and the pastor hugged me and told me he had been told about the previous night. It was such a comfort to talk to him and know that I had my friends there after this horrible thing.

You may think that this was the end of our friendship but it wasn't I still talked to Dylan and saw him occasionally. I couldn't fully let go. I remember waking up one morning in April 2009 and realizing I didn't deserve the way he treated me. Period. I couldn't just be friends with someone who had betrayed me so many times and in countless ways. I stopped talking to him cold turkey, stopped answering his calls. It was difficult but I kept reminding myself I had something brighter ahead of me and he was headed nowhere fast. I couldn't change him. This is also around the time I started treatment for depression, both medicine and therapy. My therapist saved my life. She made me see what my family and friends had been trying to make me see for years but I had told them they were wrong. Going through therapy was the best thing I ever did for myself and my future. It was also the best thing I ever did for my relationship with God, letting go of Dylan made me hold tighter to that relationship that I came to treasure through my battle with depression and my relationship with Dylan. I was so scared of a life without him and I cried every time my phone rang with his name. I eventually changed him to Do Not Answer in my phone and it helped but was still painful. I would wake up in the middle of the night and reach for him and start to cry. I am surprised the few months after I stopped talking to him that I didn't use my allotment of tears for life.

There is pain in life, be it physical, emotional, or mental. I learned this the hard way, and chose to keep that pain in my life as a way to dull everything I felt. I turned my back on friends and family for a man who in the end left me heartbroken, scarred, and most of all hurt. I know there is worse pain in the world, I know people going through a worse pain now but my pain and hurt over this relationship brought me to where I am today. I am with a man who loves me through my flaws and scars. I have issues that I still cope with almost daily from what I went through with Dylan but Matt understands and listens and doesn't judge. Matt knows pain too, the pain of grief and deals with it constantly. But we don't hide in our pain, we share, we struggle together that is what a relationship is. Rejoicing, grieving, falling apart, losing it, loving, but all together.

It's funny that I wrote so much but my experience with Dylan is one that changed me spiritually and emotionally and allowed me to be the woman I am today. I know that I have moved on because the only part I started crying at was when I started to write about Matt. Dylan can no longer hurt me. I can't change the past, but I can learn from it.