So I had a crazy dream about my ex last night. My friend Katie and I were on a road trip for whatever reason and he was hitchhiking on the side of the road, so we picked him up. There was some tension but we were trying to ignore it. Then he started yelling at me for missing a turn and that I was a bad driver. Ironically this always happened whenever we went anywhere, but he hated to drive, so I always had to. Then he tried to come on to and make out with Katie and she wasn’t having it and we pulled over and tried to throw him out and him and I got into a brawl on the side of the road.

I was thinking about it while I was driving to the laundromat and it really put things into perspective. All we ever did was fight. It was a constant power struggle and we never ever worked together, because we couldn’t ever see eye to eye on anything. We were always competing and  trying to one up the other. I tried looking for a photo of the two of us. There are only a handful in existence and we dated for six years. There was no unity. It also didn’t help that he yelled at me for everything. Missed a turn? Yell at Steff. Bought “too much food” or the wrong thing at the grocery store? Yell at Steff. Came out of my shell at a party and talked to anyone? Yell at Steff. Its no wonder I constantly second guess every decision I make and I’m always afraid that I’m going to do or say the wrong thing. I’m like a puppy thats only known kicks and punches it’s entire life. I still flinch if someone moves their arm too fast near my head…

Looking back at how miserable I was and thinking that that was how it was supposed to be is a little sickening and upsetting. I thought that there must be something wrong with me because he was always so upset with everything I said and did and he was so great because he was “trying to help me to be a better person by overcoming my character flaws.” I’m not saying I’m perfect, I am human, but all my “flaws” are what make me uniquely me. It’s who I am. I get excited about small things and then any sense of volume control I had over my voice goes right out the window. I flail all over the place when I talk. I fall down a lot. I’m really spontaneous and that spills over into everything I do. I try to cram seventy seconds into every minute, trying to squeeze an extra hour into a 24 hour day. Thats who I am, and I like that about me. I’m fun! I’m a lot of fun and I know it. I know I sometimes do and say the wrong things at the wrong time, but everyone does. I just forget that I’m supposed to care that I am painfully awkward. I used to be so comfortable in my own skin, and I was always proud of that. I just didn’t give a fuck what people thought, and it always worked well for me. It was when I was stripped of all of that, and being told what to say, what not to say, who I could interact with, where I could go, where I couldn’t go was when I really began to loose my identity and sense of self. I kept lying to myself that I was happy, when really, I bucked and kicked and hated every second of it. I felt like I was bound, gagged, blindfolded and thrown into a cage wearing a burkha.

Fast forward to a full year later. I’m back taking photos and going to shows, of all kinds of music and not just metal once again. I have an amazing network of friends from all over, and I talk to almost all of them on a regular basis. I stopped hanging out in the same places and made some amazing new friends and rediscovered old ones that I had left behind when I got sucked into the black hole of a long term relationship. I discovered and fell in love with one of those old friends. He’s always been there, just hanging out on the fringe of my large social radar. We make a great team. We do things together and incorporate and welcome our friends into our nights out. I’ve have a real sense of community and there is no black hole. I still see and talk to everyone and have started to become friends with his friends. There is no vying for space on the couch or the bed. There is always plenty of room around us because we are sitting/sleeping together and not at opposite ends of the furniture. There are already a lot of photos of the two of us together and we’ve been dating for only a few months.

I’m still trying to rebuild my life financially and emotionally and he is there to help and encourage me, rather than criticize the fact that I did fall on hard times and had almost all of my assists stolen from me, because I trusted too much.  He sees when I am struggling and will swim me out a life preserver. He’s more than just my lover, he’s becoming my best friend and my partner in crime. We work so well together, it’s almost a little alarming, but at the same time, very comforting. I’m having a fucking blast and life is beautiful once more.


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