Friday with Friends: Crystal

22 Aug

It’s Friday-ay-ay. And a bank holiday here in the UK. Nice. 

Even nicer, today is my first go at Friday with Friends, when I’m handing over my blog to one of my greatest and most gorgeous blogger buddies to guest post. This is my way of saying “Thank you” to my new friends for their support over the past year, and also my way of celebrating the communities and friendships that can be formed right here on WordPress. 

Today’s post is from Crystal at All the Things that I Don’t Wish. Crystal was one of the first people I connected with on here, probably because of a heartbreak timing coincidence (I started my blog on the day her ex told her he was leaving). I feel like we’ve been through war together. And I love her no-nonsense attitude that means she went to bed the other night “mad as hell” that I’d had to pay for my own dinner on my crappy Tuesday night date. 

So I’ll shut up now, and hand over to the lady herself. (No spoilers, but the real kicker is in the final line.):

I don’t know of any little girl that hasn’t, at least once, sat at her bedroom window and gazed out at the world with wistful sighs and musings on what her life will be like in twenty years. What kind of man is going to come whisk her away on his white horse? Surely someone will fall madly in love with her while she’s walking down the street in a rush to her important job. Or maybe she will happen upon a quaint little coffee shop and walk through the door. As the bell jingles to signal her arrival, their eyes will lock – and the rest will be history.

Or maybe she’ll know the boy from childhood and they will grow up to fall in love with one another. Maybe he’ll promise her the world and the stars and the moon, and then take it all away from her in one swoop of his hand. Maybe he’ll say the words “I love you, but not in that way,” and every whimsical romantic notion she ever thought about or dreamt of with him, will fall from her heart and lay broken on the ground at his feet.

I was (un)fortunate enough to dream of the first one and have the latter become my reality. I sit here at my desk reliving the year ago on August 20th that I sent Andy an e-mail telling him that I knew something was wrong. I could feel it. I could sense it. He was so distant. More than once he had left to go somewhere without me, and left me crying on the bed wondering what I had done wrong. He claimed there was nothing wrong and I knew different. Intuition is one hell of a power for a woman to have. I had finally had enough and I sent him an e-mail from work. I knew he wasn’t awake yet, but I knew that he would read it as soon as he got up. The three things he did every morning while drinking his coffee was read the news, check Facebook, and read his e-mails. I hadn’t heard from him by lunch and sent him a text to which he did tell me that my fears weren’t unfounded; he was in fact moving back to Indiana to be with his kids. He didn’t want to marry me or anyone else, he didn’t want a relationship, he didn’t like the intimacy that came with it. He was content getting laid every so often and having the rest of his time to himself. That’s what he wanted. That was completely opposite from everything that we had discussed.
I had bought a honeymoon cruise to the Bahama’s. We were six months away from being married. We were unstoppable. There was no other couple like us. We were the powerhouse and poster-children for a beautiful relationship. We were finished. After sixteen years of friendship and a year of plans being made to be married – we were done. It was over. I was broken. He was cold. All of this seemingly meant nothing anymore. I cried an ocean of tears. I cried alone and in front of him. I begged to continue our relationship even long-distance. I told him that surely something as beautiful as what we had could withstand distance. He had no interest in it. I begged him to continue living with me until he had saved up enough money to leave. He did. I had him for three months after that.

It’s like April said – my loss was a terminal loss. It was like being with someone and investing all of your emotions into someone that you know isn’t going to be there in the end. It was watching something slowly die and grieving the entire time. I bought books on moving through the pain, getting over someone, endings in relationships – everything. I listened to sad, shitty music and went running on a regular basis because I didn’t know what else to do with myself.
The day after Thanksgiving, he was gone. We made love one more time before his departure, the night before, and then the next morning I left the house to allow him to move out of it and my life in peace. And I died a thousand deaths over and over again for months afterward.

I’d like to say that it gets better, but it doesn’t. Not really. You just learn to live with the pain. You go through life seeing their car driving down the road, hearing songs that remind you of them, going to stores alone that you both used to frequent together. It took me three months to go to the mall without crying. Every time I walk by a jewelry store, I remember us shopping for engagement rings. He was so excited, but not as excited as I was. I was going to belong to him. We were going to grow old together. I was going to be a step-mom to his kids. They loved me as much as I loved them. I loved him more than he will ever love me.

And eventually you move forward. You don’t move on, because how can you? You just keep going. It’s like driving a car away from a memory; if you look forward, you can’t see it. If you look in your rearview mirror, it’s always there. And that’s how it is. I drive forward in my life and when I look in that mirror, I see him standing there with his hand slightly raised, waving goodbye to me and to our life and to our love.

But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I loved a man so much that I was willing to watch him leave me if it meant making him happy. I love knowing that I have that kind of kindness and compassion in my heart. I love knowing that I can be hurt to the extreme, and manage to come out on top, even if I am wounded.

It’s the stuff that we are made of that shows how much we can go through. We aren’t to be underestimated. We aren’t to be pitied. We are to be celebrated. We are strong albeit a tad bit eccentric. If we can get through the love of our life crushing our dreams, there are few things we can’t make it through.

5 Responses to “Friday with Friends: Crystal”

  1. luciddream85 August 22, 2014 at 9:53 am #

    Reblogged this on All the things I Don't Wish and commented:
    Check out my guest blog.

    • elizabethhiggins August 22, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

      This is lovely.

    • elizabethhiggins August 22, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

      Greay job, Crystal!

      • luciddream85 August 22, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

        Thanks! 🙂 I think all of us have come together because of these circumstances around the same time.

  2. elizabethhiggins August 22, 2014 at 7:57 pm #

    I would absolutely agree with that 🙂

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