It took me 4 years to open my heart to him and it was terrifying: Pt. 2

Children can be so demanding. It’s like, I can’t even be mad at them though. They have no idea the level of emotional exhaustion I am experiencing at this very moment. They have no idea the way my anxiety has consistently peaked over the last two weeks. They don’t know that I have been more self-destructive over the past 16 days than I have in my entire life. They don’t know anything at all aside from the fact that I am loving, caring and fun. They know when they walk into my art class each day this summer that they are going to be challenged creatively and they will have fun doing it. They are artists as soon as they walk into my room and I give them my absolute best. They deserve nothing less.
Today though, today I don’t feel like my best. No matter how much I believe in my power and beauty, I just feel so spent. When the children walked into my classroom today it seemed that they all had 5 million questions for me before they even sat down. And I, well I feel like the shell of a woman currently. But they don’t know that. So can you blame them for just being… kids? They overwhelmed me. And so I sat down at my desk while they work to type this blog post. Part 2 of a hopefully soon to end saga that is my “love” life.
Last you heard I was waiting for him to return to the room so I could open up to him about everything I had been feeling over the past 4 years of knowing him. Well, he came back. He got back from his show around midnight and he was so tired. He walked in smelling like cologne and casino all in one. I was in bed and had woken up to him arriving back. He started changing while he talked about how off their show was that night and how weird the crowd was. We talked about how that night was our last night together but we were excited that we would be seeing each other again in two weeks. We had made plans the day before to see each other again. After he was done changing, he quickly and crawled into bed with me. He snuggled up with his head resting on my chest, his arms around my waist and just settled in. I rubbed his head as he laid there so peacefully. I’ll never forget how good it felt to look down at him with his eyes closed just resting. It was like everything in that moment was okay. I wanted to freeze time and stay there forever.
“This feels so good” he said after letting out what seemed like a breath of relief to be back at the room and in my arms. “I wouldn’t trade this for the world.” He told me. That would’ve been the perfect time to open my heart up to him and speak my mind. But the fear consumed me and I just froze. He started talking about all kinds of random things. We just laid there for an hour or so and enjoyed each others conversation. After awhile he rolled over on his side and began to drift off. I laid behind him, my legs intertwined with his and my arm around his chest. I knew he was falling asleep. I couldn’t let him go to sleep without talking to him. He was leaving in the morning. THIS was my chance.
“Babe, can I tell you some things that have been on my mind for awhile that I need to get on off of my chest?” “Of course”, he replied. “I just want you to listen without judgement and don’t feel obligated to say anything after or respond a certain way.” I said to him. I didn’t want him to feel pressure to say something he felt I wanted to hear. So, I just… let it all out. I spilled it all. I rambled on about how I was head over heels for him in the beginning and how he was the only man that has ever made me really want kids and that I had envisioned moving to live with him in Virginia and getting married and having a dog and a daughter with a cute home that was full of love. I told him how I was so scared to meet him in person when he tried for months and months after we first met online and how when he gave up and stopped texting me as much suddenly that I was so hurt and vulnerable and that’s what caused me to enter into an unhealthy relationship with a man who popped up and manipulated me. I told him that I have had hope for the entire four years we’ve known each other and that I have always been so confused because I don’t know what he wants from me. Is it casual meet ups, is it just sex (which took 4 years to even happen for the first time), is it building a relationship or is it getting to know each other that he wanted? I was never clear and it always made me hesitant to see him. I rambled on and on, always checking that he was listening because I knew he was exhausted and falling asleep.
I finally finished saying what I needed to say, “So that’s it. That’s how I have been feeling and I just needed to get it out.” And then he said… nothing. He said absolutely nothing. “If after saying all of that you don’t want me to come see you in two weeks I totally understand.” I said to him. “No, no, no, not at all hun” he responded reassuringly. I waited for a minute and he was silently dozing off. I was still holding onto him and I felt the rush of emotion and pain that comes with vulnerability. I tried pulling away from him because I could feel the tears and he stopped me and pulled me tighter against his body almost to say, “It’s okay, don’t run”. But I was overrun with emotion. And so I got up, went into the bathroom, sat on the counter and quietly cried. I felt like a giant open wound and I wanted him to heal me. The problem was that I was the only one who could truly heal me and I had no idea how to.
I sat in there for what seemed like an eternity. I could hear him in the bed snoring. I was glad that he was getting rest. He had been on the road for 5 days, flying from state to state and I knew how run down he was feeling. I kept my tears to myself. I didn’t want to burden him with my grief. This was my journey and it was my choice to open up to him whether or not he said anything. I eventually went to lay back down with him. All night he was so affectionate. He wouldn’t let go of me, he kept me close, he gave me forehead kisses, he made me feel like it was okay… but was it?
The next morning, he we both packed up to head out. He pulled out his laptop and looked at his schedule for the next two weeks and began talking to me about when I would see him again. “I’ll be in San Diego for a show on July 16th! I just wanted to double check the date for you.” He said. I looked at my calendar to double check and told him that was perfect for me. He seemed so normal and ready to see me again, almost as if I didn’t have this soul spilling conversation with him the night before. I then asked him if he remembered anything I talked to him about the night before. “Refresh my memory” he said. Talk about a fucking face palm statement! Lol! I said “You know, how I opened up about how I’ve been feeling?” “Oh yeah I was listening” he said. I was so frustrated that he seemed so chill about it. So I just asked him. “What do you want out of this? Do you want to casual see each other or what do you want?” He paused to think and then said, “I don’t want to see you casually. I want to have more time with you because that is something that we’ve never had. This is a new thing for us.” “Okay, more time.” I said. “We can make that happen.” I then told him that I felt like I was such an amazing and unique woman and i worried he didn’t see it. He said, “You dont think I see it?” I elaborated a bit and I could see in his eyes that he felt what I was saying but he told me I was overthinking. I told him that over thinking was my job and we both laughed and I left it at that. I just didn’t know what else to say to him and so I didn’t speak anymore on how I felt.

He proceeded to carry my bags to my car for me. I’ll never forget what happened next. He opened my back door to load my suitcase and as I was opening the front car door to put my purse down I heard him say, “Did you do this?” I looked up to see him holding a small painting that was in the back of my car. I felt a total energy shift in him. His whole vibe changed and I realized that was the first time he had ever seen my artwork in person. There he stood holding this small painting in his hands in awe. “It’s amazing” he said. That was special moment for me because my art is such a huge part of who I am and I have always wanted to include him in on that piece of me and that was the first time I was physically able to.

I left and I remember him smiling at me as I drove off. I love his smile. It makes me feel so warm and so special. It makes me feel like I am the only girl in the world. Despite all of those warm feelings I felt when he smiled at me, I left feeling so unsatisfied with the way things went as far as my “talk”. I wanted solid answers. I wanted him to reciprocate my feelings. I wanted him to say “Antoinette, you’re the girl I want and I want to spend the rest of my life with you!”. But that wasn’t the case and I left feeling uncertain of what would become of us.

My anxiety kicked in that night. I let my emotions get the best of me and I started to feel as if I would never see him again. That negative voice in my head started to tell me that he really wasn’t interested and that he was just going to cancel seeing me on the 16th. I kept hearing a voice tell me that he has someone better than me and I will never be enough to him no matter how truly amazing and beautiful I know I am, inside and out. The voices in my head became so demeaning, persistent and insanely strong that they needed to be silenced. I had to silence them and the pain they brought to every inch of my being. I needed to numb the confusion and the agonizing internal hurt I was feeling.

The voices led me to find every way possible to self-destruct within the last two weeks that I possibly could. I was drinking more, abusing my prescription anxiety drugs, talking to more guys just for the attention, partying more, eating more of all the wrong foods, I quit exercising all together, I have been battling depression and basically not just giving a fuck about anything at all. Everything about me has suffered since I saw him. I have cried so many tears and experienced some of the worst anxiety I have had in years. I wouldn’t wish this sort of feeling on anyone. I have existed in a very dark space since then and it all came from being totally vulnerable with a man for the first time in my life. It is beyond uncomfortable and feels almost impossible to process.

So I sit here right now, at my desk in a room full of children who are all yearning to make art. They all deserve the world and I just simply cannot give it to them today. I have not been able to give them all they deserve for the past two weeks because my heart is just so engulfed in utter emotional chaos. I don’t feel like myself. My stomach is in knots. I am often on the verge of tears. Sometimes I want to give up while I am ahead… maybe just block his number and move on. But that would be the easy way out. I am tired of running. I am tired of giving up. This extreme discomfort I am feeling is what is going to push me into the space I need to exist in order to have a healthy relationship one day. This heart consuming pain is a sign of growth. Whether things progress with him or not, I will have gained so much through learning to be vulnerable despite the outcome. I am pushing with all I have and I will be a better woman for it in the end.

Today is July 14th, I leave July 16th for San Diego to spend a day with him. He has everything arranged for me. I just have to drive out. I am not sure what to expect but I do know I plan to be vulnerable once again and hope that he is more vulnerable as well. While I am excited to see him, the fear of it all is clashing with the anticipation of being in his arms again. The duality of my emotions is exhausting to be honest. I hate this feeling y’all. I can’t wait for the saga that is my “love life” to finally have its happy ending.

To be continued.

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