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The following was written by my wife Eve and republished here due to Posterous shutting down.

Getting Rid of Baggage

Right, so I haven’t been around for a while but have been trying to think of something to write about. Just thinking about it now made me exhale a long sigh. My brain never stops. It is always cluttered with a number of topics and ideas are always buzzing about in my head, so it is hard to just stick with one and expand on it.

I started writing a post called ‘Burning bridges’ but it got too depressing after a little while and going in the direction of ‘I don’t want to live in this evil horrible world anymore’ and that’s not something I want to spew out, despite it being how I feel sometimes.

My new(ish) object of interest and affection is taking up way too much space in my head, and the other thing I don’t want to spew out is mindless gushing about how wonderful he is, how gorgeous, and how I love his (delete as applicable) hair / hands / eyes / smile / personality / mind / etc. Although I may have to write a post about this just to see if it helps me expunge all of this distracting emotion out of my brain. I’ll do it if it means I can focus clearly without my brain feeling fuzzy.

Which brings me nicely to the next point. In March, I came out of a long-term relationship. I am awful at recognizing the signs that tell you to GTFO. In this particular relationship, the signs came quite early on — about a year and a half into the relationship, I was considering breaking up. Note to self: if being single seems tempting, do it! If the notion of him coming over gives you the creeps and makes you stressed, get out! If you look at the daily telephone call as a chore, it’s highest time to reconsider.

When Mr Right turns into the guy you’d rather eat your own kids than live with, it’s time to move on (not that I have any kids, but I have gerbils so it must be similar, right?).

Ok, maybe I am exaggerating a tiny little bit here. But I did drag the relationship out to its full five years and a little beyond. Yep, I am definitely a keeper but keepers, too, have their limits.

So I wasn’t happy. And I didn’t know it! I have always maintained that I am a terrible liar because I feel too guilty — you can see it on my face, in my body language, hear it in my voice when I try to lie. Because of my highly developed sense of justice, I cannot be unfair like that to people. And yet, one can argue that I am the best liar in the world — I lie to myself so easily, so fully, that I manage to obscure the truth from myself completely.

Yes, I was convinced I was happy when I was, in fact, slowly dying inside. I could only see the truth for what it was once I have removed him out of the equation. Funny how love is. We have never argued. He isn’t a woman-beater, or a cheater, or a compulsive liar. He is, actually, a really nice guy who will no doubt make a good boyfriend, a great husband and a devoted father to some girl’s children. I am, however, not that girl — and never will be.

My mind was fooled so completely that I wouldn’t have seen the truth if it hit me in the face. My body, however, cannot be fooled. It was my body that was showing exactly what was going on behind the scenes. It was my body that was pushing back when he was pushing, while my mind meekly changed and shifted shape to fit in with his idea of life. For this I am (perversely) grateful. But more on this later.

Only once the relationship ended did I realize how I have lost a big part of myself in the process. No, not lost completely, but hidden. You don’t like eating mushrooms? I’ll cross them off my diet. You don’t like drinking coke? I’ll never have it again. You don’t like talking about my interests? Oh, that’s okay, I'll just quickly change into someone you may like a bit better. You aren’t into being aware of your life and how it impacts on the rest of the world? Then I guess I’ll just have to move into your little bubble of a life that you created to protect yourself from too much inconvenient truth.

The newer friends I’ve made have been commenting on how I changed after ditching him. They think I am someone new, reinventing myself, when this is only my real personality coming back. My old friends are welcoming me back. And I have decided that this was the last time I have ever hidden anything from the world. If anyone doesn’t like me, they don’t need to listen to me. They don’t need to be my friends — it’s not like I am twisting their arm behind their back, or having them in a headlock screaming ‘be my friend!’ (apart from my clients, of course. THEY are bound by their contracts to have to listen to me, oh the power! Mwahahaha!). If you hide who you truly are, then the relationship is based on false grounds. I refuse to hide my opinions, my interests, my personality from anyone, ever again. Especially from myself.