I’m sitting here alone, in a hotel room in a small town on a reservation about 30 minutes outside of San Diego. The lights are dim, Jurassic Park is playing on the television and I am here waiting. I am waiting for him to return from his show. He’s a professional drummer who is always on the road. We will call him Tom. I drove in from Phoenix last night to see him. I came to spend a couple days with him. I’ve only ever had a few hours at a time with him so this time together is rare. Tonight, I’m about to be more vulnerable than I have ever been in my life.
I met him 4 years ago after I signed up for this stupid dating app called Plenty of Fish. I remember when he messaged me I looked at his profile and though he was so handsome and he seemed like a nice guy. But he lived in Virginia. He was cute so I decided to respond. We hit it off right away. We soon were talking and skyping all day everyday. We were planning to meet in a couple months from when we first began talking. He had a show coming up in my state and I so made plans to go see him. Little did we know that just a couple of days before he would arrive in Arizona, his show would be cancelled and it would be two whole years before we got to meet in person.
After his Arizona show was cancelled he tried SO hard to see me. He offered to fly me all over and even offered to come to me in Phoenix. I remember one time he even had a long layover in Phoenix but… I was so scared. I was so insecure. I thought I would lose him if I met him in person because I was just too flawed. I thought that I was too ugly, too fat, to physically scared, too emotionally scared and just not good enough for him. But he really liked me. He tried for months to see me. He was willing to invest time, money and whatever it took to get me in front of him. But, one day… he just stopped. He stopped calling and texting and he stopped trying to see me. My stomach was in knots the first day he didn’t call me. It wasn’t like him. I knew he had found someone else but he maintained that he didn’t. We went from talking all day everyday to once or twice a week practically over night. I was absolutely devastated. I was so hurt. For months I was totally vulnerable. I felt as if I had lost someone who I wanted a future with because I was scared.
Though he backed off quite a bit (his reason was that he got extremely busy touring) he still stayed in touch with me. I still heard from him often, maybe once a week. I was still so hurt and I never told him. Eventually the vulnerability led me to enter an extremely unhealthy relationship. I remember Tom texting me one day right after this toxic relationship began.
“Hey hun” he said.
“Hey love” I responded.
“How are you?” He replied.
My stomach sank. I knew I had to tell him I had someone but I didn’t want to.
“I’m good! Just so you know, I have a bf now.”
“I’m happy for you.” He replied.
That wasn’t what I wanted to hear. Irrational Antoinette wanted him to say, “No, Antoinette, you and I are meant to be. You can’t have a bf because I want you.”. Obviously, that is not how things went. We chatted a bit about what we had been up to and after that day he backed off completely and we didn’t speak for 6 months. The relationship was short. Maybe 2 months. After it was over I had a four month period where I didn’t want to talk to any guys at all. But once I was able to move past it and get back to my normal self, I really began to miss Tom again. After all, the pain of not having him is what led me to allowing a toxic relationship into my life in the first place. I reached out to him and we slowly began talking again, never addressing anything that had happened within that past year.
One day I told him how much I regretted never seeing coming to see him and how different I felt things would be if I had. He told me he would be in LA soon and that I should come. Naturally I panicked and went into self-sabotage mode. One of my girls had to talk me into going. So I finally went and after two years of knowing each other, we finally met. I’ll never forget how terrified I was. The fear read all over my body and he thought it was the most adorable thing ever. I’ll never forget seeing him walk outside to meet me and how amazing he looked in person. I’ll never forget him walking up to me, not saying a word and just grabbing me and squeezing me. He spun me around and didn’t want to let go. I’ll never forget him kissing me and holding me. I’ll never forget how he didn’t pressure me into doing anything I didn’t want to. I’ll never forget falling asleep in his arms. I’ll never forget how sure I was that I wanted to be with this man for the rest of my life.
That night I only got to see him for 4 hours and he was gone. He had to hop on a flight back home. As soon as he walked out of the door I completely lost it. There has been this little voice inside of me since I was young that tells me that everyone leaves. I had just literally watched him leave and emotionally I couldn’t handle it. I knew I would never see him again and that he didn’t want me. EVEN THOUGH we just had a really good first meeting. My insecurities were screaming at me. It made it worse that I didn’t hear from him for a few days after I saw him. I couldn’t get him off of my mind and it seemed that I wasn’t on his. I was SO absolutely CRUSHED that he seemed not to want me the way I wanted him that I couldn’t even paint. I physically couldn’t hold the brush. I had to call a friend for a pep talk and to be snapped out of it. Once I realized that the fate of my art career depended on my not allowing my pain to rule my world, shit changed real quick. I re-focused and learned to work through the hurt. But, the problem lied in the fact that I never actually told Tom how I felt… about anything at all. I was scared to tell him for the fear of pushing him away.
For another two years Tom tried monthly to get me to come and see him. We made SO many plans to see each other throughout those two years and to be completely honest, 90% of the time I would cancel last minute because I was convinced he didn’t really want me. I was convinced he didn’t see my worth. But I always had this hope inside that one day he would make it happen. That he would say “No more running Antoinette.” And he would make me his partner in crime and we would have the life together I had always dreamed of. I envisioned a life growing old with this man. I totally thought we were going to get married and have a daughter or two and get a puppy and live in a cute home in the greenery of Virginia. I imagined him hitting the road and then coming home to our little family. I would build my art career as a painter, take care of home and he would continue to furfur his career, tour and love us whole heartedly. That’s what I saw. I never told him that though. I never EVER opened up to him about the good or bad things I felt.
So fast forward to current day. Two months ago he had a show in Chandler and I saw him again for the first time in two years (its been a total of four years since this all began). He was so sweet and affectionate towards me. But I was sure I wouldn’t hear from him again just like in L.A. I had prepared myself and had already began to let go before I had even seen him again. Little did I know, he actually became way more consistent, open and verbally affectionate towards me after he left Chandler. It was like I had the old Tom back. The Tom that I fell in love with.
We decided soon after that to see each other again. We tried to see each other in the first week after he left but out schedules were clashing. So, we made arrangements to meet for a couple of days two months after he left Chandler. So here I am. It’s June 27th 2017. I am alone in the hotel room waiting for him to get back so I can tell him all of this. I am so incredibly scared right now. It’s crazy to think that I have never opened up to him and told him any of this. I just always assumed he didn’t want me or I wasn’t worth it or whatever other negative thought I could possibly think.
I’m going into this conversation with love and light. I am going to be vulnerable and honest with him. That’s what love requires. Love is worth the risk. Love is worth pushing through the fears. Love, in all forms, is what life is all about. In the end I know I will be okay no matter the outcome. Not matter what he does or doesn’t say, I know I will be okay. This is long overdue and I am looking forward to getting this off of my chest.