I’ve had a hankering for French toast so on this most wonderful of Saturdays look what I was surprised with!!
He was mesmerized by me. He couldn’t believe he’d found me (literally a list he would mark off on his hand)
1. A woman that he was attracted to.
2. A woman that shared his beliefs.
3. A woman that he had fun with.
Despite the weak list- I have never had so much fun with someone as I did with him. Being loved is remarkably freeing. I felt I could do anything- I could be as silly and giddy and ridiculous as I wanted and he ate it all up. The train rides were by far the best.
He was from a town in PA about 3 hrs. away by train so we would take the train and visit his family and friends at home. We would sit, entwined; romantic to the point of spite for the rest of the guests. Making up for every other time we’d had to ride a train alone.
This is that great moment where you start to develop a language. Not just verbally but in the world around you. EVERYTHING ties back to him- not only the romantic. EVERYTHING.
-Juice (is that a man thing? the men I date seem to like juice a lot)
-Numbers on receipts, license plates, signs, clocks- Ben had certain number combos that meant something to him…. So of course they started to mean “him” to me.
-Parts of town, food items he loved, clothes you think he’d look great in, places you want to go with him. For goodness sake the whole state of Pennsylvania and the train system reminded me of Ben.
These things are amazing. It makes you feel like he’s always around. How lovely! Later, in the hardest moments, of course I would wish I could turn this off. Turn off that awareness. Because every time I was triggered it was right back down to the depths of what had happened. I don’t believe there is an escape from triggers except time, time dulls it, heals the pain, and enables you to build back a trigger free life. I think this is unavoidable, par for the course, the hazards of the job.
The worst is if you’ve let him in your home. Especially, for instance, if you live in a studio. You need a space, a realm, that doesn’t hold any memories of him. At least one. That night of July 17th, I had to come home. I had to come home and see him draped over my furniture, walking through the hallway, his food in my fridge, his mouthwash, him everywhere.
I recommend conquering these things immediately upon a breakup. Get rid of it all. If there’s truly no going back (which for me that was clear). Get him out. As swiftly and ruthlessly as possible. The binders and wedding magazines. Gone. The clothes, set of keys, movies, whatever it is. Trash bag outside the door and have a friend give it back to him (or burn it if you live in a place where that is feasible)… I purchased new furniture. Well, a new bookshelf. And I rearranged everything. We have to reclaim our space, to make it new. After six months I could say my apartment was most assuredly mine again. The triggers still existed but they just triggered a memory now, no pain. I believed they may be there until they were reset by someone new and I had decided to be okay with that.
“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.” ― Ann Landers
Consequently, now in Switzerland, I’ve found, much like past relationships that need to be let go of, there are past dreams, past ideas that I need to let go of to move forward. I need to give myself that freedom to forge ahead into the unknown and trust that the true dreams of my heart will be taken care of. Just because it’s never been done before is no reason why I cannot do it.
And, in my current relationship, it’s the letting go of my past, of the pain, the triggers, the fear that can only enable me to move forward.