Please, watch this video before you read the rest of my entry. It's ok, I'll wait.
So it may seem like a pretty cliche video, but it managed to pull a few tears from my eyes. I was doing just fine until the bit about the woman getting a divorce. Obviously this pulls my heart strings because I get it, but it was so weird. I loved this song the second I heard it when I bought this album, but seeing the video now made it strike home so much more. And the tears weren't sad exactly, but it definitely pulls up some deep emotions for me. Sometimes it's so easy to brush my past under the rug because I always tell myself "oh it was only 10 months long, it wasn't a real marriage," but by doing so I completely invalidate the hurt that I felt and still occasionally feel when I think about what happened to me. And those feelings are still valid, so I don't know why I do that.
But I watched this video, and as a few tears rolled down my face, I really began to appreciate how much so many people have done for me, and have helped me with my demons, my dark side. Alan is a prime example, but I've obviously talked about him quite a bit, so let's shift the focus a little. It's been brought to the forefront of my mind again lately what a huge help the summer that followed my divorce was for my recovery from all that I had been through.
First, my best friend, Liz. Liz and I have been best friends since our freshman year in high school. We were two weird, awkward teens who didn't care how weird anyone else thought we were, and we embraced each other for it. As we've grown our relationship has changed and matured, turned corners and then turned back again, but at this particular point in our lives, something happened simultaneously. A mere month before X and I began our dating relationship, Liz began dating her childhood sweetheart. And yet another mere month before X left me, Liz chose to end her relationship with this guy. Our lives were changing in almost the exact same way at the same time. Liz moved back in with her mom, and I moved back to live with my parents. But neither of us wanted to stay there, it just wasn't going to work for us. And my parents offered a solution. They offered to rent us my childhood home. It was the best offer we could have gotten. I couldn't have possibly gotten approved for a lease somewhere, living on unemployment, and we both didn't really want to move somewhere too unfamiliar. We were both in need of serious healing, and this place had always been so familiar and warm. We jumped at the opportunity, we couldn't wait to move in, so we moved as soon as we could. The power wasn't even turned on, but we didn't give any fucks, we walked around at night to candle light, lit the gas stove with matches to make our food, and had a great time. Over the course of the next three months, living there with just us was perfect. We ate meals together, fucked around in our great backyard, threw epic parties and had the best summer we could have possibly had. And our nights spent consoling one another, our backyard chats, and everything else brought us very close to one another. Liz accompanied me to my dissolution hearing, helped me pack up the things left at X's apartment that day, and she made it all much more bearable. I don't know what I would have done without her. <3
Second, I would like to talk a bit about Ian. Some people might find this odd, or even potentially awkward. But I don't really care. Ian was instrumental in not just rebuilding my self-esteem, but opening my eyes to all of the shit I let X control and bury within me. Ian and I have known each other for over 6 years now, probably 7. He & I had always had a weird tension we could never resolve, and it was most assuredly due to having a strong attraction to one another. When X left, Ian made it a point to be there for me, and was incredibly helpful in getting Liz & I settled into our home together, he came over to hang out with us regularly, and when I couldn't bear to be alone, he was there to stay with me. This amount of closeness lead to us finally admitting how we felt and ended up together. It was never my intention to start dating so soon after X left, it just sort of happened. Eventually we broke up, but that time in between was some of the most amazing recovery I could have ever asked for. Ian never let me stop believing in myself and always did everything he could to bring up out of the dark depths I might have slipped into otherwise. He refused to let me beat myself up when I wanted to and constantly reminded me that I was better than X had ever let me believe I was. He created a safe haven and gave me ideas and motivations to create a new purpose for myself and never once did he tear me down. When others around me treated me like an immature child and brushed me off, Ian defended me, built me up, and gave me the tools to continue improving myself. When I later asked him if he had only dated me in order to help me fix myself, he said no, he dated me because he wanted to, because he cared about me, the other stuff was all a happy side-effect. The amount of good a healthy, loving relationship can do for you is amazing. We weren't a great match at that point, and it ended about 5-6 months after it began, and at the time, the break-up was hard, but thanks to all the work Ian had put in, I handled it a lot better than even I thought possible. I have become self-reliant emotionally and I was able to recover and put myself out there in time to meet and catch the best thing that has ever happened to me. (Pssst, I'm referring to Alan.) And now I have gained an incredibly dear and valuable friend in Ian. It took so long and was so painful at points, but the road that lead me to where I am is the best thing I could have asked for. Ian is a most loyal friend and a truly dependable person who I can turn to whenever I need anything.
There were others over that summer that helped me in various other ways, but those two made it a part of their lives to help me recover and become who I needed to be to find my path. I feel fortunate every day for the time they invested in me to help me heal and rebound back. I bend so far in order not to break, but even when bending, you need that support structure. And with the distance now between myself and that part of my life, I can look back and see just how great these two were for me at that time, and how much their influence continues to resound in my life today. And they never once let my dark side define me.
And back to Alan, he's dealt with his fair share of my dark side. He's seen me at my worst, he's seen me break down, and he still sees the shadows that X left in my life. And you can see when it frustrates him, but he's not frustrated with me, but with the damage left behind. But he's never let it deter him. He, just like my best friends, sees the potential and everything I am and can be. He sees how hard I am working to make my life (and his) as great as I possibly can. He's made things better every day, even when he makes me mad or upset. There is nothing he wouldn't do for me, and it's so amazing to see this love grow and prosper in spite of my shadows.