CROSSROADS

How did I get here? I ask myself this question every single day. Life presents us with paths we can pick to follow, crossroads, where your decision will define what the next period of your life will be.

I go back to young me, recently graduated from University. I had to make my first big choice: stay in Manchester or go back to my hometown. All I wanted was to stay in Manchester. My friends were there; my life was there, but I was expected to go back. There was no doubt in my parents’ mind that I would return.

I didn’t have a job and still depended on their money, so I basically chickened out. I went completely against my will and returned to live with my parents. Apart from my cowardice, the other reason was to support my mom. My parents’ marriage had crumbled and they ignored each other most of the time, unless they were fighting. My mom slept in my room.

My dad decided to leave after I lost my temper with him one day. My mom never did. She recoiled and cried instead of standing up to him. It was for the better, but additional problems at her work sent her into a downward spiral and she still battles depression to this day. They became friends and my dad has now remarried. My mom never even dated anyone else.

This is the decision I regret the most for myself but, because of my mother and what it meant to her, I can’t see myself having picked any differently.

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Then, when I started seeing barely husband, there were a few times where I could have ended everything had I chosen a different path.

The start itself. I wasn’t really into him and I still accepted going out and pursuing a relationship. I could have easily got away, but I didn’t.

A few months after we started dating, he asked me for ‘some time to think about things.’ My usual hot headed response to that would have been “I’m no clock to give you time,” a line which I used a few times in my teenage years, but I decided to give him the time he wanted. I was upset, but let it happen.

It took him 3 weeks and me going on a work trip across the country, to where my paternal family lives, for him to change his mind. He knew I’d be out with my cousins and friends and he would be the last thing on my mind, so what did he do? He called me on the second day of me being there and we were an item again.

Another couple of months passed and he decided to break up with me. This time I was really angry. I was pissed and hurt that he would do this to me and, even though I cried myself to sleep at night, at work I was normal bubbly me and at weekends I was wild partying me. Another month and he orchestrated a way to meet me and get me back with another work colleague, as I refused to go to places where I knew he would be.

When he got there I had already had a few drinks. We had an emotional conversation and I took him back. Normal hot headed me would have told him to piss off. But I didn’t.

When he asked me to marry him we were at our happiest point. We were getting on, no fights and we wanted the same things, but I still should have said ‘no’ because he proposed while drunk – out of his head, falling down, slurred speech drunk. Of course there was no kneeling down, ring or anything romantic.

I dreamed of that day. I didn’t want anything fantastic. It could have been just us, in a room and him looking into my eyes and asking me to marry him with a smile. I never got that.

Finally came the last opportunity, less the 2 months before our wedding day. By then we were not working for the same company as I had got myself a new job saying I wouldn’t get married if we still worked together. Our jobs were conflicting at work and he got constantly mad at me because of my ‘attitude problem’ at work.

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My manager loved my ‘attitude’ saying I actually had a backbone and stood up to him when most people cowered. That’s how I still am at work and I get on with the people I argue with. It’s easy because I don’t have to go home with them. I had found a new job which was better than the old one, so why not? I took it!

Working for different companies meant going to different events separately. He went to this big celebration I was not invited to. I remember calling him non-stop that night, or attempting to, as he never picked up. I knew something was wrong. In the morning I called a friend from the old job and she said she knew something had happened but she hadn’t seen it, so would rather not comment.

I was shattered, even before I found out the facts. We met and he told me he got extremely drunk and made out with this girl. I knew who she was. She had been hitting on him for months, even while I still worked there.

He apologised and said it was just a kiss. He swears it to this day, but most of the time I still think that counts as cheating. It’s not like you can grade the cheating on a scale from 1 to 10. It doesn’t matter!

He begged for forgiveness and decided to go to therapy for a while. I saw he was hurting, he regretted it and he was even depressed for a while and his therapist had him on medication.

I said I forgave him, but I really haven’t. The truth is I couldn’t get myself to call the wedding off when all invitations had been sent, when my mother had already planned and paid for the whole thing (because I didn’t want a party she took it upon herself to organise it – I agreed because it was important to her and to him, but let them know I wouldn’t do anything).

He has never done it again (at least to my knowledge) and he says that was a mistake he regrets very much as he suffered as a child with his dad’s antics (another story altogether).

The fact is I still think about it and it still affects me. I still use it against him from time to time when we fight. I never really got over it. However I chose this path, so I chose to be as guilty as he is.

I have never ever cheated in my whole life, not even on not serious boyfriends, and I never plan to, so what he did hurts me and haunts me to this day.

I am guilty again for accepting it BUT I can’t help going back and often wishing I had made a different choice.

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11 Comments Add yours

  1. Our story is so much alike I feel as if you are speaking from my own heart. Things weren’t perfect (are they ever) and we settled. Some hurdles can be overcome and forgiven,mouth we truly never forget and some issues haunt us with no end. I’m afraid they alway will until you find true happiness and love. Only that can help put things to rest and in a way help save yourself. There is so much to say about this and perhaps even shed more perspective, but in the end it is something we have to endure for ourselves as there are varying levels of how much we can and will endure.
    I am so sorry my dear friend and i am sad for the things you missed. From the drunk proposal to the cheating to the broken trust. You are a wonderful soul and you deserve so much more than to fall victim to the fake sorries all over again while sacrificing your own happiness. And then who am I to talk about it. I’m good at giving at advice and knowing those things and yet I am still stuck in my own nightmare as well.
    Hugs xoxoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. MLYGhost says:

      It’s strange and strangely comforting how we find ourselves in each other’s words. It always makes me smile, even when faced with the pain.
      You wrote about the struggles and how they made you who you are. I wrote about the choices and where they took me. It’s all about the people we are now and the Warrior in me says I should still be glad for the good things that have come out of this: you, my daughter, my writing… it’s my consolation and not a bad one.
      We’re also stuck together and I hope we get unstuck together. 😄😘

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Your words mean the world to me as we seem to share the same beliefs as well as the same experiences. There is a silent understanding even without the words and like you I always look for the lessons and the silver lining in everything no matter how painful. Choices are a huge part as well as we have to be confident about he route we take, right or wrong. Good does from it and I’m beyond happy to say that you have grown into a dear friend, a soul sister I connect with even without ever meeting. Xoxoxo

        Liked by 1 person

      2. MLYGhost says:

        You know I feel the same, so I make your words mine, dear sister! ❤️❤️❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  2. tarnishedsoul says:

    Don’t you HAAAAATE ignoring clues?
    I found my own relationship to be packed with things that should have told me to turn and run as far and as fast as I could.
    But none of us have to live in the past, right? We can make decisions now that impact our future, right?
    And, of course, I have no ability to put my own words and advice into motion, so feel free to ignore me… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. MLYGhost says:

    YES! Most of us are guilty of that. We see it and choose to ignore it for whatever reason that might be: cowardice, laziness, fear, lack of understanding… I’ve gone through the lot!
    I would never ignore you but, just like you, I seem unable to put what I know is right into motion. I tried. Not strongly enough, I know, and I’m not sure if I can do it. I’ll keep trying though, so maybe one day.

    Like

  4. I had a romantic, down on one knee proposal from my boyfriend previous to meeting Tom. My gut feeling was ‘Shit, I don’t want to marry you’ and I ended things soon after. Tom’s wasn’t a proposal as such, more of a declaration that he was going to marry me. Thinking back I think I was ready for settling down and thought from my previous experience that I would know if it wasn’t right. We also had a period of separation and he came back to me. I wonder if he hadn’t made the first move if maybe I would have just left it at that and taken a different path.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. DFMGhost says:

      It’s the ‘what if’ that hangs over my head. I let go of a lot of things I dreamed about. Were they hints or just silly dreams? I don’t know. I made the choices and now I get to live with them.

      Liked by 1 person

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