my journey with truth

Confession: Love Scars

Posted on: September 6, 2011

Note: there is a fire blazing less than 4 miles from where I live right now.  I have evacuated (not mandatory), driven with a cat in my lap (he spilled water in his carrier and while I tried to wangle cleaning it up while driving, he got out and nestled in my lap), returned, gone to volunteer only to be turned away til later tonight, and can’t get much or any cell phone reception so I’ve texted the people most interested in my whereabouts.

What did I turn to do next?  Oh that’s right – like many days of my life, when not sure what to do now, I started googling old boyfriends.  By boyfriends, I don’t mean boyfriends.  And by that I don’t mean friends that are boys either.  A startling truth I’m not really quite willing to fully spell out here just now is that I’ve never had a real boyfriend, but I’ve been in several long- and short-term relationships.  That being said, let’s just say they are ex-boyfriends or at least ex-interests for the sake of a simpler post (I promise calling them that is not really an un-truth).

So yes, you read correctly.  I just spent 30 minutes looking up the current whereabouts and jobs and pictures of an old flame.  I have no idea why that was my inclination just now.  The bigger picture here being I don’t really understand why that’s ever my inclination.  Especially when I confess to you that this person in particular is always a painful recollection.  Ok wait.  As I typed that, this little part of my brain said in my head “yeah, but he was also a particularly wonderful moment albeit a blip on the radar.”  Which is true.  I mean, when I think of this guy, I have such funny stories to tell, all of them vividly – how we met, what he said at dinner that night, what I was wearing, where we were and which table we were sitting at in the Green Leafe when he first brushed my hand with his hand and then took it, the voicemail he left the night of the 2006 midterm elections asking me if I wanted to come over to eat spaghetti and then all that happened when he came over to Meg and my election party.

But the point is I also remember watching him walk out the door of the Leafe many months later with a married woman (though I don’t know what happened next but I know she was throwing herself at him while wasted the week I met him), and I remember him walking into sorority court to watch the queen’s visit with a brunette, and I remember him never calling me back after winter break, and before winter break I remember the night we got dinner at Ukrop’s and went by his apartment to pick something up and when he tried to kiss me I pulled away because I’d had a cold and didn’t want to give it to him before finals and I’ve spent way too many hours wishing I’d gone ahead and let him kiss me then because I loved all the other kisses so much and was that why he stopped calling?  Did he think I was playing games?  I also remember how I found out he was married (which is actually a pretty ironic story).  And I remember how during homecoming a couple years ago I had to stop and catch my breath with Charlotte when some of the guys said they’d just run into him and his wife and did we want to meet up and part of that was the messed up fact that I knew I was in the same place as him basically.  He was the kind of guy and the kind of fall that made it hard to breathe when he walked into the Rec Center I was so nervous and excited and hopeful we’d have another date.

How can a person who was in my life for only weeks, who yes, shared a lot in common and was incredibly charismatic by nature but was on the complete COMPLETE opposite side of the political sphere – well, wait.  That’s not true.  He was passionate.  And engaged.  And that’s not the opposite of me, and I know I am much more attracted to a person who is passionate about what they believe in and advocate than someone who technically shares my beliefs and is apathetic or inarticulate.  Point being, how can a person who was in my life for only weeks have such a hold on me in this way?  I saw his picture and broke out into a huge grin.  I saw his picture and my heart rate sped up ever so slightly.  And then I thought “He probably has children now” as though that is what makes this so messed up.  What?

It’s almost as though I open and reopen the wounds from old boyfriends or whateverfriends because if I don’t leave them alone then I won’t get scars.  Why else would I drudge all of this up at random?  What is the point of reminiscing on this?  I mean, part of me thinks it’s worse to act like none of the good, none of the whatever it is that still sort of makes my heart speed up, can be good anymore because of the bad or the hurtful or the left undone.  I don’t want to become the bitter version of this where when I bump up against a memory of this I can’t even think of it fondly but act as though whole chunks of time were lost or wasted.  But part of me thinks it’s INCREDIBLY disturbing that I waste time on things and thoughts like this and him and us.  And don’t even get me started on the time wasted on what I’d say or do if I ran into him at the airport, at homecoming, at random anywhere.

So, how does one heal from love wounds?  By keeping reminiscing (without generating new stuff by way of the magical interwebs) until the heart just keeps on beating and you can laugh about the funny part without wanting to tell people the story?  How do you embrace scars without becoming scarred in the embittered sense?

P.S. I’m hoping this post will help keep me accountable to never googling or searching him again.  Or at least for like 10 years.


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  • None
  • myjourneywithtruth: i had it in my office at my internship in Corpus Christi two summers ago. ellen davis is brilliant and glows with an aura of holy.
  • amy h: i love this quote. i think i may need it hanging on my wall where i'll see it daily. perhaps in front of the toilet? by the door? bedside table? i'll
  • chaz: That post made me really sad too. Mostly because I want to take young Lizzie by the shoulders and shake her (gently?) into sublime realization that sh


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