Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Excess Baggage


We "went together" from the mid-eighth grade through until the beginning of our 9th grade year. I couldn't date, as I wasn't yet 16, so our going out consisted mostly of me going places with his family. It was a very fun, very innocent time. He was the oops baby to change-of-life parents and his nephew was actually in our class. His Dad died a year after my Dad was killed - while we were both in elementary school. (Sound like anyone else we know? - I'm sensing a theme I hadn't realized before) I didn't see the breakup coming - it came in the form of a phone call, with his mother saying in the background "Have you told her yet?" and it rocked me, hard.

Looking back with an adult's perspective, I can see why it was so devastating to me. It was at that time that the chaos of my home life was reaching an apex. No wonder I really clung to him, his family and the relationship. I probably was a lot to deal with. After he broke up with me, I never spoke to him again.

They say it's typical to grieve for a month for every year that a relationship lasted. Me and Miss Havisham believed in grieving/obsessing/creating fantasies for years for every month the relationship lasted. It took me years to get past this.

Honestly, it was only after Bick broke up with me early on in our relationship that I began to see a pattern in how I dealt with rejection. I did NOT deal with rejection well and finally I was self-aware enough to realize that my reaction wasn't normal or healthy and so I got myself into some more therapy. It was during that stretch of coaching/therapy that I started dealing with my codependent issues. So that's the backstory.

Cut to last Friday night:

He comes to the reunion with his nephew. His wife (also a schoolmate, but not a classmate) isn't there. I catch him looking at me several times during the evening and at one point we've both worked the crowd and ended up close to each other. He hugs me, tells me I look great. He asks if my sister still has that beautiful curly hair and gorgeous eyes. He asks about my Mom. He tells me he's glad that I am here, that he'd asked Heidi (event organizer) if I was coming. We exchange a few more pleasantries and each made our way to talk with others. It was a nice visit.

Later, the reunion (informally) moved from the winery (I had a two drink limit for the entire evening)to a local bar in town. I walked in, walked up to the bar, ordered my Diet Coke and went back to where the group was sitting at long tables.

"Roxie, I saved you a seat."

I sad down and we talked some more. Nothing said is untoward. It's just a nice conversation about mutual friends and our lives and he's telling me about his oldest daughter (he's a grandpa now, twice!) and he says, "Her birthday is October 6th, just three days after yours."

Wow. I know it's a small thing, but it really meant a lot to me. We chatted on for a while, as I finished my Diet Coke. I told him that I was hitting the dusty trail, that I was functioning on Central Time and it was time for me to head home. I wished him well and I left.

I wasn't seeking closure nor did I have any agenda with him, but I am glad that I was able to put down my baggage and reconnect with an old friend.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Let go of excess baggage.

-Roxie

4 comments:

  1. Great story. I too have co-dependent issues. I am sure of it! I have stayed away from men for the past 10 years because I just didn't want to deal with the rejection. Still don't. I am afraid it would too much for me. I have been rejected my fair share of times. IT HURTS!

    Glad you are able to unload the baggage.....it's heavy, on both body and soul.

    Glad you're back...missed ya!

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  2. I've gotten attached to one night stands for gawd's sake. :D
    I'm so glad you went and had a good time and got some unexpected closure after all these years.
    He remembered your birthday? wow.

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  3. Great story. It sounds like even though you weren't "needing" it, it might have been good for you. :)

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  4. It sounds like you had a great time. And leaving some old crap behind is always a good thing.

    So glad you're back, though. Missed ya.

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We'll try this for a while.