This date is stuck in my head, just because we always used to celebrate it like a mini-holiday. I had to count up the number of years in my head yesterday and was shocked to learn just how many it was, that we’d known each other. Fifteen years. That really feels like a lot.
In fifteen years I have gone from an unsure, unworthy-feeling naive woman with an inferiority complex and the inability to love herself to a strong, confident happy person who, most days, is pretty certain of her own self-worth. A lot of changes.
In an odd way I have to thank my ex for many of those changes. He did genuinely help me through some pretty tough things in my life, particularly my disordered eating recovery back in the early days of our relationship. I was so weak at the time that I’m pretty sure I never would have gotten through that on my own. So for that, I am grateful.
And it’s not as though our entire relationship was awful. We did genuinely love each other, even if that love was burdened with deep codependence. And, of course, it resulted in our two amazing awesome and amazing daughters, who I wouldn’t trade for anything. So of course I would go through it all again if that was the only way I could still end up with my girls.
Eventually I outgrew our relationship. I could see how I was being confined, boxed in. Trying to be a person that I just wasn’t. I wanted more. I wanted an equal partner who respected me — not a “parent” who tried to mold and shape me into his vision of a “better person”. I wanted daily laughter. Soaring happiness. Passion. Mutual respect. True partnership. Independence. Strength. Past experience told me that there was no way I could have any of those things while I was still with my ex.
I guess in a way I have my ex to thank for the relationship I have with CBG today. A relationship that includes all the things I ever wanted — and more. I have a partner who both lifts me up but gives me the freedom to do what I need to do on my own. Someone who loves me both exactly as I am, while inspiring me, daily, to be a better person. I’m not sure I ever would have aspired to any of this, had I not known the alternative.
So I guess there’s something to be grateful for in just about everything. Despite how difficult the last fifteen years have been times (and holy how, they have been capital-D “Difficult” at times!), I would go through it all again to end up where I am right now, at this point in my life. I have more happiness and love I ever thought I would. How lucky am I?