“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”~ Nelson Mandela
Five years. Seems like a lifetime ago already. A moment marked in life that is significant to nobody else in the entire world, but me.
The 30th of September in the year 2008, was the long yet almost simple journey to my personal freedoms from a relationship with a woman whom I had no longer feelings for, and had also feared for my own life. And with good reason.
After surviving in a place with no outlet, no freedoms of my own, no voice, no opinion, and existing as nothing but someone on the arm of a woman who happened to be a few years older than I, eight months of that mental prison and it came down to this day where I left without saying a word, without giving any sort of clue that I was leaving, nothing.
I just up and left.
After being ignored to my feelings, thoughts, and wishes of what was to be “OUR HOME” between my last girlfriend and I, The relationship and all of its connecting parts had breathed its last breath. From that point on, I knew that there was nothing in the world that I could say or do within my own powers to make her change her mind or even consider changing her mind on how she lived her life and/or behaved.
Two separate ships sailing away from each other in the same ocean. One sinking, the other one sailing in circles.
I had proven to my family, myself, and to anyone else in the world that CHANGE is still possible. You just have to want it bad enough to do something about it. And then actually DO it in order to get it.
I had actually cried over the telephone when speaking with my elder brother and the sounds of my tears and frustration and sorrow really struck a nerve with him. Within one month, a plan had been put together by my family to help me escape my dark and lonely existence in a place where I was thousands of miles from anyone who honestly and truly cared about who I was and how I felt.
Even to the point after confessing my sadness to my family where my girlfriend would once come home from work after having a seriously bad day, not wanting to cook and wanting to go out to eat so that we were fed. When it was explained to her that there was no money to go out, she began to unravel from within. As she began cooking preparations with kitchen utensils that belonged to my departed mother, she came after me when I told her one last time that we were NOT going out to eat for that evening, and she had to cook if she wanted to eat. Deflating her efforts to plunge that kitchen knife into my chest cavity and ending up with her sobbing and shouting her words of hatred towards me.
One week before (on the 23rd) the plan was explained to me. And I had to be able to keep things quiet and not let anyone on to anything for seven full days.
My elder brother coming up from the south all the way up into Rhode Island to basically grab me and send me out of the trap of a household, all while the girlfriend had made her daily route to her job. I left in the early morning hours of that day, dropped the key in the mailbox, said farewell to the two cats that she owned and never looked back as my brother and I cruised down the Interstate which lead us to the airport in Providence, Rhode Island.
I had made the decision to return to Texas with the lessons learned in my brain. My sister picking me up at the Austin airport and I lived with her family for six months before I returned back to the same apartment that I had lived in before… to this day, is being said is still a miracle that I would return back to the same unit. But here I am.
Leaving the girlfriend in a confused state of mind, when she realized I had left with no real explanation left behind. Only that I was leaving and that I was finished with the relationship. The lengthy, four paged written “Dear John” letter that was scribbled on a legal pad would be mailed to her from a neutral location so she was unable to track my whereabouts.
All because she swung a knife. (And the confusing tale on my family’s behalf of whether or not her family still had ties to the New England mafia. In which they honestly did not. She just had a relative that was born by the seed of the head of the mafia many moons ago, a great aunt who had been dead for a few years by that point in time. My family still were confused though for whatever reason.)
Starting over with very little of my own possessions and only a few important documents and momentos, beginning at the ground level all over again.
Its been a hard road as I have not recovered in that aspect. But in these five years I have matured, I have learned, and I have gained MORE than what I had BEFORE I entered into that ill-fated relationship. And yet to this day I find life to be more satisfying without the things that I had, compared to having that knife actually plunged into my thorax.
Yes… there are a lot of times where I stop and think about where I may have placed something, wondering why I cannot find it. Only to finally remember that it was not brought with me in the Great Exodus. And I must somehow deal without. I think that for the most part, I honestly cannot complain about material things too much. For the other things that I have gained in my life in the past five years is, as the saying goes, more precious than silver or gold.
Its not where I thought I would see myself in the year 2013, but it is far better than the ultimate and other option of being six feet under.
I now have friends that surround me with love and TRUE care when I visit Houston. And I also have those who will in silence, support me in whatever I do, which is a great span from California to Canada to Florida and New York and over across to France, Norway, Germany, New Zealand, and Russia. And the one thing that lights up my day about them all is that had I stayed with the girlfriend, these relationships would have never blossomed into anything at all if she was still around. I would not be friends with ANY of those of whom I speak of here. Because that’s the kind of person that she was. SHE had to be the one and only #1 person.
I have been without a romantic relationship since in my personal life. And some how, some way, I continue to breathe every day. I sleep at night and rise in the morning, and nothing becomes frozen over. And yes, it does get lonely and often times I wished I had someone to share my day and my night with. But if that is to happen for me in my life, then it will come at the proper time.
But until then, I can be eternally grateful that I have a family who was loving me enough through the stupid mistakes that I made during that relationship, so much that they still helped me when I called for help. I can be eternally grateful for those that are “new” in my life, and have been so positive and promising for me. And those are the people that will never stray from my life.
So here I am in 2013, a few years older. A few more grey hairs. Lots of time to think. And lots of time to learn how to truly live.
For those of you who ARE in my life (and you know who you are) I LOVE YOU. And I always will.
Five years since I started this new journey, and we’ve still yet to come to the end of the road.