I know I keep saying that all of these posts are really tough, but this one really is. First of all, no one likes to be outed as “that guy.” No one suddenly wants to find out (via a blog, no less) that they were the one that messed up someones life.
Second of all, I am of the firm belief that everyone comes into our life for a reason. We have something to learn from everyone we meet, even if the reason isn’t clear at the time.
That being said, the person that I would say made my life the most miserable was a boyfriend I had in college. I don’t name names in my blog, as you’ve learned, but I will call him Radio Boy, because he wanted to work in the radio industry.
Radio Boy and I met during the summer between my Sophomore and Junior years in college, and began dating almost right away. It seemed like a great thing to start – he was attentive, and seemed very interested in me and what I had going on. Time went on though, and things just went south. He became controlling and dominant of my time. I became depressed, bordering on suicidal. I stopped going to things with friends, and abandoned groups I was in.
Hindsight being 20/20, and having learned all the things I did in finishing my degree and working in social work for several years now, I now know that what he put me through was a form of abuse – mental and emotion abuse of some of the highest levels. Eventually, I got my mental health issues straightened out, but I couldn’t fully come back to myself until I was ready to let him go. He threatened suicide if I ever broke up with him, but I eventually had to call his bluff. (He is now alive, married and has two of his own kids – NOT MARRIED TO ME, I MIGHT ADD, NOR ARE HIS KIDS MINE.) We were together for 2 1/2 years.
Anyway, at the risk of this turning into a sob story, I’m going to stop it here. Coming full circle to what I said before, I did learn something from having Radio Boy in my life. I learned a lot about my own strength and value as a person. I learned what I deserve and don’t deserve. And, most importantly, I learned what a completely unhealthy relationship was. So the next time around, when I began dating Paladin, I took it slow and steady, and we developed a healthy friendship, that blossomed into something much more special. I am happy to report that Paladin and I have been married for almost 7 years, and I think we have a great relationship! We have our ups and downs, but we’ve grown a lot together, and we’re a pretty damn good team.
So, it’s important to take stock of the people that don’t treat you well. And don’t let them be part of your life anymore. But don’t loose the lesson that came from knowing them.