As I lean more into these stories I’m doing my best to be easy on myself while staying a little fascinated by the energy that they create. As I write them there’s often a lot of related energy coming up in my life as well.
Part of me didn’t want to share some of these stories because they weren’t filtered or pretty like things on Instagram or Facebook. Some of them are messy, and I hadn’t really ever felt through them because I didn’t have a platform or safe space to do that, not even a friend space at the time.
And so where does a feeling go if it’s not felt, processed and released in a healthy way? I know for me, it goes into your cells, waiting to be triggered, so that it’ll lash out in an unproductive way. And no one wins with that approach to feelings.
So I continue to dive in and see what’s here to be uncovered, and often I’m as surprised as anyone else as to what and who’s coming through for healing...
I wrote about you in Day 25, things I did for love, though I used a different name to help me process the story. We met in the grocery line at Whole Foods and we moved fast. A few weeks in you were the first guy I ever lived with, and we moved in together before we had had sex; which in hindsight I see wasn’t a good idea. But I needed a place to live and it was right after the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City so there wasn’t much around to rent. At the time, I was getting kicked out of my apartment by my roommate because the guy I’d met on Match.com was moving in with her. Yes, you heard that right. My Match.com date was moving in romantically with my former roommate, making me temporarily homeless. It happened after he and I had been on 2 dates; he dropped me off at my house (my roommate’s house) walked me to the door, and we were met in the living room by my roommate in her skimpy lounge clothes. She was a former Olympian cross country skier so she had quite the body. We all hung out and talked for a while, and I tried to ignore that my Match.com date asked for her number as he was leaving, saying he wanted to go cross country skiing with her. I remember thinking, wait, did he just ask her out while we were still ending OUR date? Yes, that happened. And in less than 2 months he was moving in and I was asked to move out. But I digress, this is about you A****, not them.
After I moved my dog Sadie and I into your apartment we had sex one of the first nights, and it was terrible. But I tried to take responsibility for the terrible by questioning everything about myself and whether I knew how to have good sex or make a guy feel good because it was so bad. Do you remember? We just stopped in the middle and both gave up. What happened? Was I pretty enough? Was I thin enough? Was I interesting enough? Why didn't we click in the sack? You didn't smell right to me, you didn't feel right, and our bodies didn't sync up as I told myself two bodies having fun while having sex should, and I just wanted it to be over right after it began. You clearly weren't enjoying yourself because you struggled to stay hard, which was embarrassing for us both, but we were both trying to make excuses for why we weren't clicking. We’d agree that you were stressed, that I was stressed, that life was stressful, work was stressful and so on; but we just couldn’t and didn't want to agree or admit that we were totally incompatible and now we were living together with no clear exit strategy. Shit.
Things between us got bad fast and suddenly you weren’t around a lot. Our home didn’t feel like ours, though I don't know if it ever really had a chance to start feeling that way. I was lonely from the start and found myself watching Oprah and doing Tae Bo by myself in the living room in the afternoons after I’d get home from massage school. I'd take Sadie out on a walk along the back of the apartment complex and wonder how the fuck I ended up living in a south Salt Lake apartment with my dog and no yard. My diet consisted of stale chips and dip, Carnation Instant Breakfast or Pop Tarts and Healthy Choice microwave dinners. You never bought food or brought groceries home, you never cooked for us as you promised, and you never offered to pitch in for anything, so I kept running up my credit card bill buying house supplies and prepackaged frozen food because I didn’t know how to cook. I sound like I'm being hard on you, but seriously, you were being a bad boyfriend, thought we never really even called each other that. We hardly saw each other, we hardly talked and you rarely touched me. So why did I give you sex? That was a great question and it made me mad to think about.
I believed you when you told me you had a ton of money in a trust fund but you didn’t have access to it. I believed you when you told me me you’d pay me back when your truck broke down. I believed you when you said a dispersement from your trust got held up so you needed me to cover your full rent and I believed you when you didn't come home and you said you went to a friend’s house and passed out. It turned out you were really just out with another girl you’d met at the bar you worked at. After we broke up in a very dramatic fashion (see day 25), I got a handwritten letter dropped off at the chiropractor’s office where I was working from your mom, telling me how awful I was for hurting and using you, and how I was a dirty whore. What?! I couldn't believe how different our perceptions were of what was happening.
But 10 years later you wrote to me on Facebook and apologized for it all, so thank you. That meant a lot. I mostly forgive you then, but in writing this all out now, I forgot all the fucked up shit you pulled, so I’m forgiving you again A****.
I forgive you for lying to me, for cheating on me and for doing your best to humiliate me and twist the story around to make me wrong and I thank you for teaching me about the kind of man I want to be with. I release you and what I went through from my experience. Namaste
*that felt good to write
We met during the time I was in massage school in early 2002. You were in the night program and I was in the day program, but we had the same clinic schedule on the weekend. Clinic was a time where we did massages on the public for practice. You were one of the prettiest men I’d ever seen and you walked, talked and acted as though you knew how pretty you were. When we’d stand in line in clinic and get the name of our clients for massage, I’d watch women blush when you’d call their name to take them back for their massage. You looked like you should be topless in a magazine and carrying a surfboard, not wearing a polo t-shirt, khakis and carrying a massage clip board. And I just observed you from a distance not feeling worthy of your pretty.
But one day you talked to me in the massage school parking lot after clinic; you asked me to come over to your truck and listen to a new Cd you’d just bought. I remember feeling so surprised and excited that such a pretty man was talking to me, and I came right over. You were listening to Jack Johnson’s debut album, “Brushfire Fairytales” and I also fell in love instantly (with the music). You invited me out to dinner that night after clinic, and we had fun talking because it was light, easy and no pressure to be anything other than two massage students hanging out eating. That happened the next week as well, and then you invited me to go skiing with you up at Alta, you thinking you’d show off your skills. But little did you know I was a damn good skier, so I skied circles around you and I could tell that let me access a deeper level of connection with you.
Everything about you was organized and perfect. Your hair, your clothes, the white Tacoma truck you drove, your leather satchel where you carried your school books, and how you stacked your books on your desk in the room you rented on the outskirts of town. I was intimidated, but still we hung out together without any clear purpose. But on one particular snowy night, it happened; our sex. It started as us going to see a movie in downtown Salt Lake City, and then we walked together arm in arm through the outside shopping mall as the snow fell on us. It was romantic, even if we hadn’t really been all that romantic. My truck was at your house so you drove me home and asked me to come inside. The mood was perfect and we went from 0 to 60 in less than 10 minutes, and without exactly asking permission, you were putting on a condom. I didn't think we were ready for this step, but I also felt so honored that you, Mr. Pretty, who could have been a model, had chosen me to have sex. Pretty fucked up and showed my self worth at the time.
But as you took my pants off we both discovered I’d unexpectedly gotten my period, and it was all over my underwear and inner thighs; as you can imagine, the scene was messy and you were clearly disgusted. But we could have laughed about it, but instead we didn’t actually talk about it at all, although the mood quickly came to a screeching halt. Your bedroom lights came on, you quickly put your clothes and you asked me to leave because you said you were tired. It was a different you, completely disengaged and disinterested in me. You became the pretty man who I believed shouldn’t give me the time of day. I was so humiliated, and I left.
You didn’t return my txts or calls after that, and you treated me as though I was just another starry eyed girl looking at you in line at clinic. If we happened to make eye contact, you’d give force a half smile or just look away. It was as if me and the myriad of little connected moments we’d shared over almost 2 months never existed. It was so fucked up and made me feel invisible on so many levels. Invisible in the physical sense, but also invisible in experiencing a weird life scenario like an unexpected period with a guy. You made me believe it wasn’t safe to discuss stuff like a period. Even just writing this makes me sad for that girl who had to experience this treatment from you.
Ironically, 5 years later we saw each other again in Los Angeles. I was attending a self development seminar with Jack Canfield, who wrote “Chicken Soup for the Soul”, and “out of the blue” you reached out via txt message (Facebook didn't exist yet) to say hello, and you told me you were living in Los Angeles, which just so happened to be close to exactly where I was. Wow, how did that happen.
You enthusiastically asked to come over and see me and when you arrived at my hotel room in Los Angeles, part of me was holding onto that moment in your bedroom when my period came and you shunned and blocked me. But 5 years had gone by, and in that 5 years I’d lost 20 pounds, gotten a boob job and had opened a successful day spa, all things that were more desirable to you than realizing I had my period during our makeout.
When you hugged me hello in the doorway of my hotel room you held onto me a little longer than what a normal hug is, and you noticeably looked me up and down and said, “damn girl, the years have been good to you” and I was so grateful for the compliment but also sad that it was all things that were external.
We hung out for over an hour and talked and then you leaned in for kiss. And as nice and full circle as that desire and lean in felt, it just wasn't there for me so I said no. And you respected that no, so thank you. After that there wasn’t much more to say or do for us, so you left, and it felt like that girl who you’d been so mean to 5 years ago had just gotten a hug. And with that you disappeared and I never heard from you again.
So M*****, thank you for being the pretty boy who made me feel special, thank you for being the pretty boy who made me feel awful, and thank you for showing me how much I’d grown and blossomed and respecting my no. I release you and our experience from my life.
I almost married you; let’s just start with that. So that means that the sex must have been great right? Wrong. It was disconnected & mechanical, yet what I’m seeing now is that it was me who was disconnected and mechanical at that time.
I’d gone from the assault in Steamboat Springs to massage school Salt Lake, then on to the two mind fuck relationships listed above, so of course I wasn’t in a space where sharing my heart was even possible. I was in the space of piling stuff on top of my heart and numbing it so that I didn’t have to pay attention to my pain.
I wrote about you in Day 26’s things I did for love. I said yes to your proposal when I meant no, and I’m sorry for that. And I’m sorry for how I treated you in my departure; no one deserves that, especially you with how kind you were to me.
So thank you for showing me that a shit show is still worthy of a marriage proposal, and giving me a safe space to land in my sexuality for a bit before I ripped the bandaid off again. I’d say I forgive you, but there’s not much to forgive. You were great; I forgive me for not showing up, for giving you less than you deserved and for using you as a Basecamp while I did my best to reassemble my life (without much success).
My life was blossoming and falling apart; I was in a chaotic time when we were together, and you were there for me. I put my dog down with your support, I got a boob job with your support, I decided to open my spa with your support, I got the news my father was leaving my mother after 32 years and filing bankruptcy with your support. And then I totally bailed on you and I left you with our rebound dog.
Shit, I didn’t really realize how awful I was to you until now. Part of me wants to send you an email now and apologize. But that would probably be awkward to receive 14 years later.
So let it be known that I apologize for the bad sex and the bad me who you got. But I am grateful and forgive me, and I release that aspect of me from my experience, leaving more room for love.
Now I need a nap.