First love almost always equals also experiencing your first heartbreak. I thought I would marry my first love, I wanted my first relationship to be with someone who I thought was a QUALITY person. I wanted someone who I thought I would marry, a soulmate. I believe that they are out there. I also held my standards high, and became very particular about who my first love would be.
I’ve never been, nor am I considered a “serial dater”. It’s just something that is not for me, but that’s okay because I choose QUALITY over QUANTITY. It just makes me cringe when I hear people bragging about hook ups, the amount of people who want them or don’t easily let people in. I don’t understand vulnerability but am trying to learn it and I’m someone who hates small talk as it’s exhausting.
I stayed in what I thought was a so called “normal” relationship but ultimately it ended up being extremely toxic. I was always clear about what I wanted. Had I stuck to my intuition about my ex and learned the red flags I would have avoided the abuse and had I realized that my family situation at the time was toxic and was NOT okay, I would have had the courage to break the cycle and not dated and stayed out of pressure.
After seven years of dating, things not progressing, abuse getting worse, resentment, and not being able to let go I got broken up with. Even though I wanted to leave, I thought as a loyal person that I had to stay through thick and thin. Nobody would want me which is what I was always told.
What would my life be like without him? Single all over again, who will date me? What will all the emotions look and feel like? How do I cope with it? Where do I go from here? All of this was pre- break up thoughts.
I couldn’t stop crying throughout the month of December. I couldn’t go to Toronto because it was too much of a reminder of my ex which is why when I went go to the Toronto Christmas Market with friends it brought back bad memories. This is because he brought me there when we broke up and told me to act like nothing happened.
I’m no better than my ex, I’m no angel in what all went on and I hold myself accountable for my own actions. I learned self forgiveness in 2019.
Christmas Night of 2016, I remember everyone (myself, Batman, my mom, my brother and his girlfriend at the time) were all having a great time and laughing. We were opening presents, and playing Christmas games.
I couldn’t hold it in, I saw a black hole and the sadness and emptiness crept in and I thought there was only one way out. I texted my aunt, only to tell her one thing because I wanted the pain to end. Batman, my black cat watched me as I tried to open the package. He stared at me and just kept purring and brushing up against me.
I then made it clear that I will NEVER date again and it led to me being terrified of relationships and terrified to death of all men! This was something that my best friend feared was going to happen to me after the break up and well.. she was right.
This was just the beginning of a new sad, dark, and lonely place. We will call him “V” and I still had contact, he would constantly want me back, we weren’t over each other or so I thought… One thing led to another in the hope that (as he always told me) we would be back together. Until I would get discarded and told “I live all the way out here and you live all the way out there!” as a cop out. I would leave Toronto or when he left my house in Courtice completely used, sad, and lost all over again. V would brag about dates to me, told me he wasn’t over me. The cycle lasted until early 2018. When one last time, at a Finger Eleven concert in early 2018 he would say the same thing but this time I thought he actually meant it. I learned something new – ghosting. I tried getting a hold of him and for weeks it was nothing. I finally accepted that it was over and I started the healing process. My confidence was slowly getting back again. I slowly started to smile again and I saw a small light at the end of the tunnel.
I tried dating apps, but for some reason I would freeze up and would still hate all men. I then realized that I was still not in a good place or even remotely ready to see anyone. Dating became and can still be a touchy subject for me.
Summer of 2018, the set back. My friend “R” & I both decided to go to a local rib fest in Oshawa in hopes it would be just as good as Bowmanville. Along the car ride, I had this gut feeling about something but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I saw one of his friends there, but I knew he was working the event doing maintenance. My friend and I both needed to use the port a potty and as I got out I saw V and his friend talking. My heart sunk into my stomach, I hoped he didn’t see me and I hoped that he didn’t try and speak to me. After I washed my hands, I ran to my friend and told her OMG MY EX IS HERE! R and I did mention what are the odds of running into an ex here as we walked to the port a potties. R and I ran into another friend by the name of H, the more to join us the better. As we decided where to get food, I suddenly saw a short dark haired duck foot walking guy stop and say “HEY LISA!” It was my ex, and I froze. I responded back while choking back tears and wanting to crawl out of my skin “V, HI HOW ARE YOU?!” to which he responded “good” but trying to figure out his life. As usual, he was always trying to figure out his life and he was like an egotistical famous person who let fame get to their head. I wanted to just do everything to escape this situation. V had the audacity to introduce himself to my friends. We then parted ways, but I suddenly felt sick. I kept trying to calm myself down and focus on the fun, but it was still lingering in me and I wanted to cry. I wanted to go home, even with the excitement of the event. I no longer wanted to stay, it wasn’t fun for me. This set me back.
For my mom’s sake, we went in the morning on Sunday and I didn’t want to be there. Seeing him and even hearing from him caused me to have a major setback. Well, my emotions got the better of me and I laid it all out and really tore into him on messenger. I blamed him for what he did to me, how he couldn’t use me and then ghost me and act like we were friends again. I told him that he couldn’t just walk up to my friends and just introduce himself unannounced to them and act egotistical. This led to another spiral all over again.
I had enough absences from work because I was not only physically sick but also my mental health and my emotional health was horrible. Spending money and eating out everyday were my only outlets. But soon I discovered healthy outlets like knitting, crocheting, writing spoken word poetry, and I started learning Russian.
It wasn’t until the fall of 2018 that I started my fitness journey and things started to slowly look up again. I finally got over V and no longer wanted him back. The only last thing I ever wanted from him was closure. When I opened up about wanting answers so I could get the closure needed many people were against it. I knew I needed answers so I could take a big step forward to healing.
In 2019, V tried to contact me. This time, I decided to take a stand after training and told him that the only thing I deserved at this point is closure. Mentally and emotionally I knew it was time to finally start healing, and it was time for answers and it was time for closure. More than time for me to take the weight off my shoulders, I was more than mentally and emotionally ready.
We met at a Coffee Time on a rainy Saturday night after my training session at the gym. Things got heated very fast, he kept trying to control the situation. I got to confront him about how he ruined every birthday I had, how he led me on when we broke up, the impact of the break up, him calling me out in front of people, how my family and I took him in when he was homeless after being kicked out, how his family viewed me and treated me but he didn’t believe me. I was also able to confront him about how I almost lost my best friend because of him, how he put me in the middle of roommates and landlords. We had to go to Subway only because Coffee Time was closing. I wasn’t going to finish business and I knew it had to be done. I got my answers to all my questions finally even though they were more excuses. He acted like it was no big deal, when I mentioned about the way he ruined my college graduation, “I was tired, you try working nights and I had little sleep and -!” I shut it down, I took a stand and told him to stop blaming everyone else for his problems and that it was always someone else’s fault and never his. I told him that he needs to step up, take responsibility for his failures and stop placing the blame on other people and own up to the fact that his shortcomings are because of his sense of entitlement and because he thinks he knows it all when he doesn’t. For the first time, he had nothing to say and was completely silent. When we left Subway, things got heated again, I couldn’t get a word in the whole time without being interrupted or the attempt to gaslight and deflect but I refused to let it happen. He told me he didn’t truly love me like he said and thought he did. I asked him why he told me the things he said, like he said himself being with me for a very long time and marriage and then when we broke up why he kept leading me on. I asked him why he told me what I wanted to hear, but actions showed differently and why the abuse? “I didn’t truly love you like I said and thought I did!” When sadness turned to anger, I told him while shaking “I get it, you are not a good person for what you did! You tricked me and you only wanted me for sex, money, someone to fight your battles for you, to bail you out of debt, arm candy and you discarded me! After everything my family and I have done for you and this is how you treat me!” I even confronted him about the money that I helped him out with and when I put my foot down he got angry. When he tried to compare me to his two brothers’ girlfriends, I didn’t let it fly and took a stand. I wasn’t going to allow him to compare me like he did over the years and I wasn’t going to let him ever de-value me or have control over me. I went home and told my mom and close friends. It was a bitter pill to swallow, this time I felt like a door abruptly closed and I got what I NEEDED to show his intent so I could FINALLY move forward.
The next day, I finally felt a sense of freedom. A weight was off my shoulders and finally I was no longer in that relationship so nobody could hurt me.
I took more steps towards healing like focusing on my fitness goals, focusing on my new position in the school aged room, my own goals, and my own needs and wants. I stopped spending as an outlet, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel and had discovered new hobbies that benefitted me. I finally got over my ex and realized that he is nothing to me.
My word of advice for getting closure is to make sure you are in a place where not only are you mentally and emotionally ready for it but be prepared for things to either get heated or it could go calmly. If closure and getting answers is what you need to heal then go for it. If I didn’t get closure and the answers that I needed, I would never have discovered the truth. Even though I knew it would get heated, be prepared for anything and I mean literally anything.
Never force yourself to heal, you can’t heal on someone’s terms and you have to be patient with yourself. I will admit that jf there’s anything I struggle with, it’s letting go. I learned to finally love myself again, during the healing process I learned who my true friends are and allowed new people to enter into my life. Don’t just be with someone to fill the void, don’t use rebounds. Give yourself time, patience, love, and self care. Take your time, rediscover yourself again, and give yourself patience. Know that it gets better and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
I learned a lot about myself through my journey to healing and I discovered what I need and I also learned what I won’t ever tolerate. I learned that I can’t change the past, I can only learn from my mistakes and not repeat them.
I’m still healing from the abuse part, there’s relational traumas that still remain. One step at a time, slowly and surely one day all the traumas will be gone.
I am 31 years old and I’m from Courtice, ON Canada. I am an autistic person and graduated college from the Early Childhood Education Program. I’m studying Russian and hope to visit Russia when it becomes safe again. My hobbies include going to the gym, running weightlifting, reading, swimming, yoga, hiking, meditation, knitting, cooking, and learning new things. I also love traveling and I am a huge cat person.