I must start this blog post by saying how great it feels to be writing again! The past several months have been such a whirlwind of emotions for me. When my husband passed away someone had mentioned to me that the first year would be a total blur, and the second year the grief would hit me like ton of bricks since the dust has had a chance to settle. They couldn’t have been more accurate.
The best way I could describe this past year is that as the dust was settling, some of the particles fogged my line of sight, especially when it came to dating the wrong type of men.
For as long as I could remember (as early as the 5th grade) I had always had a boyfriend. I don’t think there was ever a time in my life when I wasn’t without a significant other. The ironic part is that as I look back at all of relationships I was in, I can honestly say that I have only been in love twice in my life (one of which was with my late husband who was also my high school sweetheart). I think there’s a vast difference in loving someone versus BEING in love. Loving someone means you respect and care about the person and their well-being. Being in love is feeling a deep connection that is so deep and so strong that you begin to doubt that you have ever truly loved anyone prior.
When my husband passed away in 2016 it was the first time in my entire life that I was left to face life without a significant other. Not only was I alone, but I had lost the love of my life. That one person who I was madly, deeply in love with. Here I was left to face life alone when all I did when I was in love was shudder at the thought of living without him.
The days ahead were dark. The quiet in the house was deafening. Friday mornings were the saddest parts of the week because I knew I had to face another weekend alone. Saturday nights were spent ordering take-out and watching a show that I wasn’t even interested in. Sure, I had friends and family who always invited me places, but sometimes going out on a weekend was worse than staying home alone. Watching everyone with their significant others only reminded me that I was without mine.
Last summer I finally met someone who I thought was the one who was going to allow me to expand my heart to love again. He was kind, funny, smart and everything else that I was looking for in the opposite sex. He was also in law enforcement and little did I know what was ahead of me for the next 8 months as I started to develop feelings for him. I had never dated someone on the police force and it was a very different experience to say the least. I found myself in a state of panic when I didn’t hear from him, thinking he may have been injured on the job. After all, the unimaginable happened to me and I knew it could possibly happen again. These feelings turned into feelings of uncertainty and insecurity and when they weren’t acknowledged I found myself going into a state of deep depression. I was dealing with a person who didn’t know how to show emotion, or who didn’t know how to separate work from personal life and it was one of the worst emotional experiences of my life. I would meet police girlfriends or wives, and they would send me books on how to love a cop, or how to deal with the unpredictable emotions that come with dating someone in law enforcement. It finally got to a point where I needed reassurance that my heart (that I opened to someone after the death of my husband) would be protected by the one person that I opened it up to. When I wasn’t given that emotional security the relationship ended.
I was angry, hurt and disappointed that someone wouldn’t see how much it took to get to a point where I thought I could love again. They obviously didn’t know the type of relationship I had with my husband and the doting, unconditional love he bestowed upon me every single day of our lives together. I couldn’t understand why somebody else wouldn’t want that kind of love.
A few months later I met another man who was the EXACT opposite of my first relationship since my husband died. He was complimentary, sweet, giving, and incredibly affectionate towards me. I thought I had found someone else who I could open my heart up to and I was feeling on top of the world knowing that love still existed. That was until the lies started to slowly unveil.
I found out that he wasn’t legally divorced after 8 years, he fibbed about his career and financial status, and I received a random email from an unknown man who sent me screen shots of a sexual text exchange that he had with another woman while we were dating (he even told me he was in love with me). The worst part was that I received these texts as he was standing right in front of me. Needless to say, I kicked him out of my house and never looked back.
The best (or worst) part of this breakup is that he claimed he left his prescription sunglasses at my house. I would have gladly returned them to him if he did in fact leave them, but they weren’t in my house. A few weeks later he threatened to take me to small claims court because he was convinced that I had them. It wasn’t enough that he lied and deceived his way through the relationship, but he wanted to torment me with a ridiculous threat that made me feel like I was on an episode of Judge Judy.
I was grateful for this person who came out of the woodwork to tell me about the fraud I was dating and was even more grateful that I found out about his antics sooner than later.
From the outside looking in, one would think that someone would emotionally crumble after having their heart broken twice within one year. But these broken relationships did the exact opposite to me; it made me feel liberated, empowered and excited to know that being alone is what I need to properly heal from the devastation that I felt after my husband passed. As I look back on the past two and a half years, I realized that I purposely over-programmed my life, so I didn’t have to deal with the grief. Dating these men was like using them as the rug I needed to sweep those feelings under them in hopes that those feelings of sadness would disappear. I don’t think I was afraid to experience the emotions that accompany grief, rather I was terrified about how long I would have to experience it.
I have so much clarity in my life now that it is the fuel that I need to move forward the next time I decide to open my heart again. I even had the most amazing dream about my late husband and I am attributing it to my newfound way of thinking. I have dreamed about him in the past, but he didn’t know me in my dreams and he was non-emotional. When I dreamt about him the other night he knew exactly who I was, and he told me he loved me. I truly believe he was waiting for me to get to a good place emotionally, so he could send a message that I’ve got this. When I woke up I finally realized that I’d rather be alone and smile about the tremendous love I had with him than be with someone who will never know what it feels like to experience love like I did with my husband. He made me realize my worth and I will never discount it for anyone again.
I am excited for my future and I am not scared anymore about facing it alone. I have two amazing sons who continue to thrive in every part of their lives, I am taking time to focus on my well-being through wellness and self-reflection, and for the first time since April 29, 2016 I feel like myself again. The biggest change for me is that I am leaving my current job after 8 years to focus on a new position at a new company. I have worked out of my home for the past 18 years and for the first time since my children were born I will be commuting into an office which I am incredibly excited about. I look forward to routine again and I am confident that this is the start of good things to follow for me.
I think there will always be a little dust left to settle, but what would life be without a little dust in the wind (you can thank me later for the recurring Kansas rock band melody that plays over and over in your head right about now)!
Thanks for stopping by.