As a woman, and of my personal experience and of the ones of the women I know, I have come to believe that regardless how old or young we are, where we come from, what social status we are at, we have all passed through a relationship that has changed our perspective on relationships, for ever. Mostly, to the worst.
The details would change, of course, and the perspective we gain differs, from one experience to the other. What we share though is our firm belief in whatever it is that we learn from that experience. It is firmer than the physics theories we learnt at school, and is so deeply rooted into our subconscious that it affects us even when we don't know it is. Even when we hear of stories that may contradict those beliefs, we explain that to ourselves by saying that that story is the exception. We never tell ourselves though, that what we may have passed through was the exception. We are so convinced that that is the norm, never the exception.
In my current fairy tale, details of a previous fairy tale that ended horribly impose themselves on me every day. It consumes me, physically and emotionally, to try to push them away. Despite the fact that 5 years have passed since that story ended, it still shadows my thoughts today. Even though I have tell myself that I have matured since then, that I am strong woman who wouldn't fall into the same traps again, that I read 'Love Smart' by Dr. Phil religiously, that I have herd so many stories and passed through so much since then to help me avoid ever being in that situation ever again, I still am terrified that one day, one horrible horrible day, I may actually wake up and realize it is happening all over again.
Because the details are not important, I will just say that I was in love for the first time, and it was magical and fluffy and perfect. And then out of the blue, out of absolutely nowhere, the man decided to disappear. Simple as that. He decided to just not be there anymore, and in his decision, he had forgotten the tiny little detail of informing me. During our 'relationship', I was madly in love (and I still miss that feeling!) and I changed a lot of things in my life (practically speaking) for him, that cost me much on so many levels.
Then he disappeared.
Of course, I went through the phases: disbelief, shock, rage, bargaining, humiliations, and anger. And I am still angry to this very day.
The reasons for my anger differed over the years. There was a time I was angry why we weren't together, whereas I am now angry because of the effects that relationship had on me, and any relationship that I have tried to have since then.
Nowadays, I am more aware of this thought, as I find myself panicking every time the Italian is busy, even when he actually tells me he is. I find myself recalling the horrific moments of realizing that the man I had been in love with was not hit by a car (how stupidly naive was I!!!) or was in an area of no connection at all (God knows where that is!) but that he actually decided to end the relationship we had, not even bothering to tell me! The anger! The shame! The horror!
And so since then, I have indeed changed. Because in my head, there is a constant conversation of: There is no way this is ever going to happen to me again! I will dump and disappear before anyone else ever dares dump or disappear! Never will I allow myself to go through that, every again!
And every woman I know, has a similar story and similar residuals. And I want to tell them all, because it is easier than telling myself, that it is not your fault. Even if it was, it is not. Because no sin is worth paying for in a way that affects the rest of your life, and because no one said you only get one chance at love. And because there may be good men out there, very few, agreed, but look harder.
I want to be free of that relationship. It is mind boggling to me that it ended 5 years ago, and that I am still where I was that day.
I want to believe that I have the right to be loved and to be desired. I want to believe that it is actually me, and not a fairy tale, that the Italian pursues and travels to spend time with. I want to love me on every level, every day. I want to believe that that relationship does not control me and does not define me.
And I will get there, even if I spend every single day of my life trying..