I have a terrible memory. Anyone who knows me well, knows that my brain is basically dead.
But, one very clear memory I have and don’t think I will ever forget is when Jonathan Tuminaro dumped me during either my junior or senior year of high school.
It was devastating. My heart hurt so bad and I felt so unbelievably helpless. Relatively speaking, it was one of the truly saddest moments I can remember.
And, man alive did I ever cry. I remember sitting on the floor in my bedroom, leaning back against my dresser…and, just sobbing. For what seem like hours.
I remember my father coming in, sitting on the ground next to me, and just holding me. Thinking back on that now that I’m a parent, myself, I’m sure he felt as helpless and as sad as I did…maybe more.
I know I’ve gone through other breakups, including a divorce, but I think that early experience imprinted a fear in my heart that has never gone away. That fear of loving someone, but that love not being returned, is something that I still live in fear of to this day, for some reason.
It used to be something I thought of a lot more often than I do now, and Ben has devoted more time than he should ever have to trying to convince me that I have nothing to worry about, but sometimes I think it’s one of those irrational thoughts that I will never be entirely free from.
I can’t remember what why it came up, but a month or so ago I had one of my “episodes”. You know, one of the times when I’m on the verge of a totally unjustified breakdown because I think Ben deserves a woman who isn’t so uncomfortable when it’s barely cold out or one who actually cooks food…like, from scratch.
When I finally took a breath from my breakdown, Ben just grabbed my hand really tight, looked me hard in the eyes, and said, “I am not going anywhere. I am never, ever going to leave you. Never.”
I know he’s said that to me before, but there was something about the way he said it this time that finally made it sink in.
We talked about it the other day, and I told him how I keep thinking about those words.
There’s something really powerful about knowing, and being reminded both verbally and by someone’s repeated actions, that no matter how bad a fight may seem or no matter how big of a mistake you make or how much you let the other person down…the two of you are a team and you just have to figure out how to work through that “thing”, whatever it may be that time.
The afternoon before our wedding, I couldn’t get ahold of Ben because he left his phone in his car. I must’ve texted and called him 10-15 times trying to figure out where he was, when he was coming home, then if he was having doubts, if he had changed his mind, if he had just taken off and ran away. I’m dead serious. I thought he had left me. The day before our wedding. All while his car was blowing up in his car in the parking lot outside of the gym.
I remember one time when we got into a fight one night during our first year of marriage and he got up at 3am and left the house and I didn’t know where he was going. Again, I thought he was leaving me. He had just gone to the gym to work because he couldn’t sleep, but I thought we were breaking up.
I have no idea why I felt like those situations were such bigger disasters than they actually were, but luckily I can’t even remember a time recently, or even in the last 8 years, when I’ve felt like that again.
I don’t even really know why I’m writing all of this, I guess every day I’m just more and more grateful to have Ben in my life. I feel so lucky that he is as patient as he is, and understanding, and that he proves to me so many times every day how much he loves me. I’m not sure what I’ve done to deserve so much love in my life, but I do know that I’m never going to take it for granted.
I, literally, don’t know if there’s even one other single human being out there that knows what I’m talking about because this is one of those things that I feel like other people ever really think about, but I guess you never know.
You guys surprise me sometimes 😉