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Real Stories

So my Ex died and I want to vent…..

It’s Mid October on a Friday night.  Just as I was indulging in my fix of romcom anime and snacking on Trader Joe’s Popcorn when I got the most shocking DM on Twitter.  This DM was to notify me that one of my exes passed away unexpectedly in September and his funeral was that following Monday. Imagine my surprise. Wouldn’t you be?  

My exact thoughts were – What in the actual hell am I reading right now? 

It took me about 5 times to re-read and fully understand what this message meant.  I quickly responded with the only way I knew I could. It was short but I responded with “My condolences”.  Still in shock after hearing the news, I did what any sane person would do –  I texted my sister.  

When she got my text she I knew that confused as well.  We’re obviously very close so she called me to find out exactly what I meant and who I was talking about.  After explaining to her what little I knew she asked me what you probably may want to know –

  “How do you feel about that? “

My first response was that I didn’t feel anything.  

I was shocked of course since I severed emotional ties and cut communication prior to moving back to California.  I was confused as to why I was being notified since it had been over 10 years since we’ve broken up. And lastly I was angry.  Yes, angry for way more reasons than I could count. It’s as if the Pandora’s box of my past decided to show its ugly face once again.  It’s like I was non-consensually asked to re visit the “old me”. The “old me” that died a long time ago. That is not something I was fully prepared to do.  

Let me say this. It took me a very long time but I ended that relationship.  The relationship I had with him was toxic and very traumatic. To the point where parts of it still haunt me to this day. 

I was young, dumb and 19 when I left home to be with him like the hopeless romantic I was (I’m embarrassed to admit that I still might be) . The vision I had in my mind of how a relationship was supposed to be never was.  Our relationship wasn’t built on a solid foundation.  He never gave a Valentine ’s Day gift, Birthday present, Anniversary, Christmas present- you name it and it NEVER happened.  We never had “date night”  yet was always out with his friends.  He never made me feel special.  I wasn’t put first. Although he said he loved me, actions spoke much louder than words. 

Take a moment to image that you were living with someone that you love but you’ve never felt more alone. I was the pants, I was the glue and the backbone that held what was of that relationship together. I was an empath and he was a narcissist.   

Yet here’s this online obituary of people saying how great and caring of a person he was. People saying how many amazing memories they had when they would hang out together.  While I’m tilting my head in disbelief.  Clearly their version of him was completely different than who he was around me. 

He was gambling addict who robbed me.  Yes, literally robbed me.  At one point he took my debit card and cleared my bank account. Horrible, right?  Yet I always managed to make sure the bills (including his portion) were paid. The “old me” thought that if he loved me he would change.  I thought that I could fix him.  However, I’ve come to realize that nobody is going to change their ways for the person they love unless THEY want to.  

I was gas lit into believing that he would be the only one who would be interested in me.  I was verbally and mentally abused and my self-esteem was down the gutter.  Imagine having the man that you love tell you that you’d gained weight.  Or the man you love makes comments about your body.  Him saying things like “You didn’t look like you did before” or  “I could easily be with be with someone else” 

I know what you’re thinking – “Who the heck would stay in a relationship like that?”

Apparently, the “old me”. The me today knows my worth.  I’d come to realize that I was partially responsible for how this played out. I allowed myself to feel stuck and to feel tied to that relationship because I feared the unknown.  I feared what was next. I feared what life would be like without him even if I knew that I was unhappy and deserved better.  It was the fear that kept me stuck.

I was in that relationship for 4 years until I decided to take a deep look within. I felt that I’d lost my smile for 4 years.  I lost my light when I was with him.  There was a deep calling for me to make a change. So I sat there on my dining table for what seemed like hours with a pen and notepad listing the pros and cons of our relationship. It wasn’t until I physically saw that the cons severely outweighed the pros that I knew that the relationship had to end. So I did just that.  I ended it. The company I was working for at the time had an opening in San Diego, my lease was ending so I left Arizona and never turned back. 

He tried to reach out to me once through Facebook when I moved here.  Essentially he was looking to me for forgiveness.  I made it very clear to never contact me again and I blocked him. That was the last I heard from him until I received the news of his passing. 

It took me years however I realized that in order for me to grow – I had to forgive.  I had to forgive the “old me” for the relationship that I allowed myself to be in for so long. And even without telling him, I had to forgive him too.  

So what did going through this relationship and ending it teach me? 

I learned the importance of putting myself first.  I learned that I am worthy of love. I learned that I am beautiful. I learned that the idea of being in love and actually being in love are two different things.  I learned that poor mental health can manifest into poor physical health; so taking care of yourself starts from within .  I learned to trust my intuition since it’s never steered me wrong.  I learned that it’s ok to take a leap of faith . I learned to live life everyday like it’s your last because life is short.  And finally I learned that my feelings do matter.  Even if I feel indifferent about finding out that my ex passed on doesn’t mean I didn’t grieve the death of that relationship years ago.  While he rests in peace, I am here – stronger than ever and moving on.  

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by Karen Honer

Hi Everyone! My name is Karen Honer . Expressing myself through words has always been a passion of mine. If what I write is read and enjoyed by at least one person, that’s all that matters.

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