The thing about self betrayal is from the outside looking in, no one would ever be the wiser. This is the sickening truth of abandoning yourself. It should have been the last straw with him. I should have chosen myself. But I didn’t. Again.
My boyfriend and I at the time got into an argument. The following day was 9/11. He was on a plane that morning to go to California approximately the same time the planes hit the twin towers. Little did I know this was a brilliant smokescreen for what he was up to. He didn’t tell me what time his flight was, what airline, no flight number. NOTHING! You will have to circle back to a later blog post or see me talk. I digress…
What I know for sure is September 11, 2001 was THE brightest, prettiest, most cloudless day I can remember. After the planes hit, I kept my phone close to get his call. I called continuously, but his phone just went to voicemail. On my long walk home with thousands of others, I heard phones ring, but the call I need, so desperately never came.
Rewind to the morning of 9/11, normal day, people barely finishing their first cup of coffee and there was such a frenzy in the office that was different than usual. The Jones New York’s office spanned half the floor, I don’t remember how I ended up on the opposite side of the office, sandwiched into a broom closet with co-workers looking at a small tv and watching the first plane hit the tower on loop. It was surreal.
Kizzie and I wanted/needed to see what was going on, so we rode the elevators up to the executive floors to get a better view. We got to the window just in time to see the second tower fall. We got back in the elevator in silence. We were clueless that we weren’t supposed to be on the elevator, the shock was palpable. As I am making a plan with Kizzie and Kim to come to my house, inside my head was screaming for him to call me. Please call me.
Moment of Realization
I called and called and called. I secretly wished I didn’t have service, so I wouldn’t have to admit what the pit of my belly was telling me. He wasn’t dead or harmed, he just didn’t care for me. My home phone was working fine because my father called, friends from around the country called, but no call from him.
That call didn’t come for another week. In the meantime, I called his mother, I called his sister who hated me. Was he alive? Yes. But no him. Silence, it was deafening. I went to work, I cried a lot, what a fool was the song in my head. It was louder at that moment than the terror that had struck the city.
He called and I accepted the lame ass excuse, whatever it was. This wasn’t his first disappearing act and it wasn’t his last. His final act, almost wiped me from the Earth. Every time, I kept the door cracked open for him. I kept breathing, going to work, seeing friends, but somewhere inside of me I knew I was doomed. I didn’t move on. I knew he didn’t love me or respect or honor me. But, we moved in together anyway.
I was publicly humiliated when, I found out in public that he had gotten married in California. Are you thinking what I thought? Yeah…
I had long before humiliated myself every time, I betrayed my self worth and self respect for what I thought was love.
In yet another argument, he packed his things and we promised that we would be working things out. I left the door open again to a person, who had no regard for me.
I was attached to all the time invested and how we were when we first got together more than his treatment of me. He said he loved me and I made that mean more than his actions. If I were any kind of good friend to myself at the time, I would have ended it definitely the week of 9/11. Instead, this life event imploded and I wanted to end my life.
I was so embarrassed, humiliated, thrown away and discarded. Standing naked before 10,000 people would have been less embarrassing. I was personally devastated in a holding pattern of hell. Every paradigm of what I thought love was came crashing down. I understood deeply that I had lost love of myself, my own self-respect, because I was so sad I wanted to commit suicide. I never thought I would be that sad that I would have those thoughts again.
What I know for sure is that love doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t require sacrifice. I wanted a version of what my parents had, but I had so much to unlearn about the myths of love. I needed to fortify my foundation of my very soul, so if I were to try love again, no matter what happened I would still have ME!
His marriage was my wake-up call. This was my personal ground zero. My own purgatory: self betrayal and I had to figure this out. I had to actively decide to live, independent of any outside circumstances.
Circumstances blew like the breeze in that relationship, I was like a leaf in the late fall…I was going down.
What’s a girl to do?
I cried. I raged. I spoke with my therapist. I traveled. I dated. I mean really dated. I was a serial long-term relationship girl. Remember, I was chasing the ghost of my parent’s relationship, without REALLY cultivating what the best, healthiest relationship would look like to me.
I investigated what made me tick. Even the parts, I didn’t like. Especially, the parts I didn’t like. Not to pick them apart, but to observe them, shine them so that when I engaged with a potential beloved I wouldn’t be raw and make him suffer because of a ghost in my life.
I also didn’t take myself soooo seriously and I got rid of that timeline that we girls keep in our head, I thought about all the things I had agreed to that society taught me that I was supposed to want. I only kept those things that worked and threw away the rest. I touched personal power’s garment by choosing what was right for me and I charge you with doing the same.
Namaste. You got this!