After I fell in love with myself, I fell in love with a woman
If you have followed any of my writing, you know that I have only had toxic relationships. After my last romantic mishap, I swore to myself that I would never fall in love again. One thing I do know is that I am almost ALWAYS wrong about that. Each relationship I have had has come off a very rough period in my life. Usually, I was looking for any sort of human affection. Just desperate to have someone in my life to distract me from the emotional, mental, and spiritual turmoil of my life. And to be honest, I found what I saw in myself at those times.
I think the major difference after the realization that my last relationship was just as fucked up as the rest, I did something very differently: I decided to love myself. I started to do things that I neglected in past relationships that I enjoyed. Mainly, I began writing again. Writing became an escape for me, a cathartic way to express things I never got to say when I was so busy blaming myself for all the things that went wrong.
Looking back, I was so willing to accept fault, even when it was not mine, and over empathize to coerce my partner that I was contrite for my words, actions, reactions, etc. I would suppress my anger and my indignation at the hypocrisies in those relationships, being crucified for things I was willing to forgive in them, looking the other way when I was done wrong or lied to. And I genuinely thought that was love.
After much self-introspection, a scathing tell-all article, and the self-realization that I was bisexual, I’ve never felt more myself. I didn’t think I could ever come back to the woman I was before my mental health took a drastic change for the worse. Never did I imagine that I would come back to the self-confident, loving, kind, caring, smartass bitch I once was in high school, the woman that was immune to other’s opinions if she didn’t truly care about them. And I am sure that A LOT of people hated her, but in all honesty, they were not people I even had cross my mind.
Out of my own personal self-destruction, self-loathing, and animosity towards myself, came the best thing I have heretofore experienced: self-love, acceptance, and true love. I met my current girlfriend not that long ago. We had been talking for weeks before we finally met up and each time I saw her name pop up on my phone, I couldn’t help but smile like an idiot. We could literally talk about anything. Music, politics, movies, quotes, love, relationships, mental health, you name it, and we had it in common.
I have never just fallen in love in such a pure way. Usually, it has been a long process, filled with doubts, near breakups, ignored red flags, family and friend apprehension, bolstered stories of chivalry and commonality, and several arguments. However, this time, none of those indecencies were present. From the minute I met her, my heart just kind of said “Oh, there you are. All of these atrocities, all of these heartbreaks, heartaches, botched suicide attempts, and insecurities were leading me to you.”
When we finally met, I had this feeling of never wanting to stop meeting her. That I just wanted each and every day to wake up next to her, rubbing my eyes in awe that this was real life. Every moment we spent together, I kept thinking that I was in a very lucid dream. I was fearful that I was going to wake up and it was all just some elaborate ruse.
Right now, I am watching her watch her favorite movie, and my heart couldn’t be fuller. The way she loves my dog like he is her own endears her to me even more. And just when I don’t think I could love her more than I already do, she does something that, as Holden Caufield would say, “really knocks my socks off.” It isn’t always something extraordinary like her uncanny ability to quote Napoleon Dynamite or nail every word to some elaborate rap song. Sometimes it is just the simplest of things, like how she looks at me when I make a dumbass joke; or how she dances almost exclusively with her hands; or her facial expressions when she shows me a song she loves and knows I will like; how she always just lets her dishes “soak”; how she used to look away in awkwardness when I would look her directly in the eyes too long.
But really, what got me hooked? It was the feeling that I had known this woman for all of my life. It is the simplicity and ease with which we converse and find commonality. She is always willing to listen to my ideas on politics, the world, books, whatever it is. She is interested in knowing me to my core, even the parts I wish I could bury and suffocate. I tell her something I am not proud of, and she just listens intently without judgement. And then she will do some amazing shit like understand and empathize or sympathize.
Never in my life have I experienced a relationship that has meant so much to me so quickly. I am very unwilling to be vulnerable up front. I have been burned in the past and built strongholds around my heart to deter anyone that came knocking. With her though? I decimated those walls myself because I didn’t want to do anything to keep her from coming in.
I guess that is actually how love is supposed to be. It is a give and a take, but in its simplest form it should be unselfish and omnipotent. When I am with her, nothing else exists. Time flows in an ethereal fashion, I am sore from laughing and smiling so much, and I am pleasantly detached from the negativity of the world that used to bog me down. She makes me better period. She challenges me in ways I have never experienced. And the best part of it? When she says she loves me, I don’t question it for a second because her actions and words always align. I am thankful for her every day, and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life unraveling her layers.