Saturday, 25 August 2007

THE EX FILES

Yesterday, after seven whole years, I bumped into an ex-boyfriend, at a most unlikely time at a most unlikely location. Seven whole years later... The chance encounter, which was awkward to say the least, catapulted me back to seven years ago for a while as I contemplated the magical mending power of time.

Seven years ago, I met a man on a chance encounter at Leicester Square and fell in what I thought was love, but was actually infatuation, at first sight and we had a a whirlwind of three weeks which ended in a bitter showdown after I cheated on him with another ex. As loving and caring as he was on the first few days of our three weeks, soon I had started seeing sides to him I did not really like much, macho arrogance, narcissistic vanity, spoiled stubbornness, just to name a few – not that I am using any of these as justification for what I did at the end of those three weeks. He, on the other hand, had heard rumours about me being a ‘playeress’, very much a result of falling for the wrong guys, then going desperately on the rebound; yet he had stuck it out to prove the gossip mongers wrong. In the end, at a time I was feeling vulnerable, a phone call from an ex I had always held out a torch for, I did something that proved the gossip mongers right.

After a period of cooling down, and much begging from a desperate twenty one year old me who was thinking she had lost the best thing that had ever happened to her, we tried to give it another go… As you may have guessed, a man whose ego has been damaged so badly and a clueless girl who was foolish enough to think this man was the love of her life after only three weeks, the second try was doomed. This time I had to do all the work, all the chasing around, all the compromise; and I was foolish enough to think I deserved it because of my betrayal, even at times I was not so foolish, I got reminded of what I had done to him an awful many times. In the end, he called up out of the blue, a night in November, to call it a day, saying he’d not be able to trust me ever again.

I took off the next few days, shut myself in my room, cried my eyes out, talked to friends, cried some more. I went out, got drunk, I made teary-eyed, drunken phone calls in the early hours of the morning; I regretted teary-eyed, drunken phone calls in the early hours of the morning; I got dissuaded by good friends from making teary-eyed, drunken phone calls in the early hours of the morning. I blabbered to flatmates, to friends, to pretty much anyone who would listen. Then when I thought it was all over, I cried more. I did all sorts of foolish things women do when they think they are in love (Indeed I now know they are not, and I was not because I now know love is the last thing to make you an emotional wreck). Most of all, and worst of all, I blamed myself for everything that had gone wrong.

Like any good player out there, this man had not just left me – but he had left me with hope; maybe it was cowardice or pity or mere heartless player’s game, but at every ill-advised phone conversation we had over the next few months, he always said something that would light up my day like a ray of light – he still liked me, he said, but wasn’t sure if he’d be able to trust me again; we could get back together, he’d say but remind me there were other girls out there and I had to compete, I had to convince him he could trust me again. Foolish as I was, I bought that.

Then there were ill-advised meetings after which I felt used, betrayed, and more fragile than the last time. Yet the next time he would call, I would still go weak at the knees and give in. Deep inside, I was hoping he’d take me back; I was hoping, if I showed him I was ready to do anything he’d ask of me, that one day he’d forgive me and trust me again. Now I know you cannot convince someone to forget the past and give you the trust you have thrown in their face; only they themselves can decide to let go of the past and make the conscious decision to trust someone. Back then, I was twenty one, none the wiser. Twenty-two, none the wiser.

This game of cat-and-mouse went on for over a year, if you’d believe it. In the mean time, there were days I broke down completely, nights I thought I’d lost the plot, times I’d have sobbing fits outside night clubs at three in the morning. Looking back, oh how I wasted a whole year of my youth, drowning in self-hate, guilt and negativity. My self-pity was a bottomless pit that threatened to engulf me completely. It took one final enormous act of humiliation and a good hard talking to by a good friend to finally give me a kick up the backside and get a move on towards healing, of heart and soul.

Is it a coincidence that it was only after I forgave myself and let go of all the pain that I was able to stand on my own two feet and face whatever life had in store for me? Is it a coincidence that it was only after I was ready for life that life had true love in store for me with a man who was my friend, my number one support, who loved me for all the right reasons and had trust and faith in me knowing I had cheated on someone before, a man whom I was not just infatuated with but had gradually fallen in love with over months of warm fuzzy friendship?

Today, after that chance encounter yesterday, these were the thoughts that went through my mind. On departure, I turned to my ex and wished him well. For whatever has gone down between us, however hurtful it was for both of us; in the end, it was seven years ago. Seven years is as long time to recover, grow up, grow wiser and look on your exes for what they really are: stepping stones, learning curves, milestones on the way to learning about relationships, yourself, and true love. In the end, they are all there neatly filed up in the memory bank of our dusty remembrance; occasionally we come across them, reminisce, congratulate ourselves on how far we have come on this journey of life, and wish them well for making us taller, stronger, wiser.

22 comments:

Ugo Daniels said...

just got a notification? where've you been? I'm in IStanbul for the Turkish GP. Yea, i'm a diehard ferrari fan, since Michael Schumacher and now Raikonnen and Massa...

do you have a clue as to what i'm talking about, at all?

Ok, let me read your post well :)

Ugo Daniels said...

So, i still hav one question, are you still a she-player ;) jst kidding. Good thing you were able to hold your vulnerability in check and 'settled' down happily.

Though nothing pleases a man more than a vulnerable, pretty damsel in emotional distress..fireeeeeee!

Fatoumatta said...

hey girl welcom back...i thot i was the only one...good to knw we all had go thru that stage eventually!!ture say...keep ya chin up
xoxo

Queen of My Castle said...

Glad you're back!

I can so relate to this post. I went through almost the exact same thing with my ex. We were together off and on for 5 years, got married, then called it quits after two years and two children.

You're absolutely right, the ex factors are stepping stones and learning curves. They are the best life teachers.

Don't leave us for so long anymore!

Ugo Daniels said...

I'll be leaving early 2mr morning, unfortunately. It's so lovely here but, hey, duty calls :)

~Mimi~ said...

hiiiii Sin,

i love this post, it was so honest!!

Exes eh, till we let go of what's in our hands, we never know what treasure we might pick up next. and am sure u found one in hubby. am happy for your growth sinem..and now, you're wiser too :)

UndaCovaSista said...

We live and learn. Nice post....

UnNaked Soul said...

I admire the way you put

"You cannot convince someone to forget the past and give you the trust you have thrown in their face; only they themselves can decide to let go of the past and make the conscious decision to trust someone"

but very few people really understand...

nice write up *wink*

diary of a G said...

what the business baby
been a while
I'll holla

A Kel called Wonder ...... said...

Experiences and life. I bet if anyone had told u it wasnt love then u would have maybe shot them dead!

Nice i like ur blog!!

Nyemoni said...

This must have taken a whole lot out of you...I felt your sincerity whilst reading the post...

It's a good thing indeed that you have matured into a much stronger, wiser woman..very well written...

btw, thanks for stopping by my space! Hola!

The Life of a Stranger called me said...

wow - its amazing how I too was going through my catalogue of mistakes - and the encouragement that there is one that regardless of your past mistakes is willing to be that friend - and even when faced with what one used to get up to - is more than mature enough to look past that and love you the way you deserve to be loved.

What an encouraging post. Most needed today.

Aijay said...

Wow, i love this post especially the bit on forgiveness & trust that Unnaked soul quoted.
I know 2 friends going through what you described. I've tried to talk some sense into them.
Permission to copy & email this post. Please!!!

Rinsola said...

I love the honesty in this post. I'm sure you and your husband are so grateful to God for each other, and the lessons that has brought you thus far. Isn't it amazing how and what Letting go and letting God could result to? Nice post again.

Sisbee said...

God uses Time to teach and heal.Thanks for stopping by.

pamelastitch said...

This is so real and so deep..
I am glad that you moved on to bigger and better things....

pammy

Afrobabe said...

LOL...I know its supposed to be heart touching and a reality check but loving this line too much to be sad...

"I made teary-eyed, drunken phone calls in the early hours of the morning; I regretted teary-eyed, drunken phone calls in the early hours of the morning; I got dissuaded by good friends from making teary-eyed, drunken phone calls in the early hours of the morning"

I love your honesty!

olakunle said...

mine, was this well written or what. Nice blog girl. So do u have a boyfriend now. I don't wan't to believe you still went home to cry ooo.

olakunle said...

by the way, wats milton keynes like. I have some properties to sell there. Hope this is not off the mark

Atutupoyoyo said...

Vey well said.

King Solomon said...

do you think it is absolutely necessary for one to go through the phases which you did at that age in order to achieve your level of understanding?

Andy said...

Got your message, so how do I get CQ?