August 2021

When You Know, You Know, & I Knew

Where do we begin? Let’s try a sunny May afternoon in 2018. I was newly hired, and about to run summer camp. I walked into the dance room to meet my new summer camp counselor and it happened. I (to quote Hotel Transylvania here..) zinged. It felt like that too. A jolt of electricity hidden in the words “nice to meet you”. I knew in that moment, that I was looking into the eyes of my soulmate. I sat in my office after that for seventeen minutes, staring at the wall, unable to move. I didn’t understand that feeling, because I’d never felt it before… The worst part was, I then went home to my husband.

For two years, I took the intensity and all of those feelings and buried them deeper and darker than anything else. As days turned into weeks, turned into months, my marriage crumbled, and I was constantly accused at work and at home, of doing everything I had ever wanted to do, without actually doing it. Do you realize how obnoxious it was to say “no I’m not dating Mack” at work, say “No I’m not cheating on you”, and then crave literally nothing else but to date him and touch him and know him? Excruciating.

Our friendship was solid, and we relied on each other for two and a half years, as life hit us hard. I got a divorce, tried unsuccessfully to date other people, came to hate my job, and just completely destroyed my self-image, then he finally showed up and said “let’s do this”. Of course, I thought he was going to save me. and OF COURSE, I was so wrong.

Instead, I was ruined. I was fully in love and he was in “meh”. He was a product of the environment that he had created around him, which was filled with a lot of hidden (unknown to me) pain, and tons of distractions. He didn’t know how to love himself, so there was no way he could love me. You see, I saw all of the red flags and let them be, right there on the ground, just stepped over them and went on my way. I begged someone to be something that they didn’t want to be, so I just laid in my misery, and pretended I was receiving the love I deserved. It was hard, cause I knew this was the person I would spend my life with, but didn’t know how I could show him that if he could just heal himself a little, this could be so much easier on us both.

It was a long rollercoaster, with ups & downs, friends constantly in my ear saying “no, don’t do it, walk away”, but I felt like this was all part of something bigger. He started to change, a little. He was saying all of the things I needed to hear, I was getting some of that deserved love, but my intuition knew. I knew. Certain things just didn’t make sense, and I’m the FBI, so I told him if he was doing things behind my back, I’d figure it out. Then, I figured it out. Right when it all seemed just perfect, of course, it all came to the surface. Things were so good, and life was so good, and it was all gone in three minutes flat. The ground beneath me disappeared, my heart fell out of my asshole, shattered on the ground, and got ran over by a car. I threw up six times that day.

Mack will tell anyone that a text message filled with three words changed the course of his life. “You lost me”. I think that’s when he zinged. He finally felt what I always did. He knew life was never going to feel the same with anyone else, and he couldn’t continue to live in the environment he created in the last 34 years.

It was nine days of pain for the both of us. Him- recognizing that he needed to unlearn a bunch of learned behaviors, and me- reliving moments, wondering how true they were, feeling sad and hurt, but knowing it wasn’t really the end.

I was finishing up Untamed by Glennon Doyle. She had a chapter about how the world influences everything we do. How we’re expected to follow a perfect set of rules on everything in life, and as long as we look the part, we can act it too. It hit me hard. I was incorrectly loved by Mack, and I was supposed to walk away. The world tells me that I’m supposed to. Yet, I was standing at the edge of the storm with an umbrella, ready to shelter him. You see, in that moment I had two options. Follow the world’s expectations of letting a broken man “stay broken” and walk away, or follow the gut feeling that lingered deep inside of me whispering “one more time”.

So, like the completely sane woman I was, I sent an email. “Why aren’t you trying to fix this?”

He sent me a string of emails that outlined how he doesn’t deserve me, how he’ll never see me again, and how it was never going to feel the same. He was trying to approach me that way that was familiar to him, shutting down & shutting out. You wanna know what I did? Same thing I always did. I challenged him, forced him to face himself, and made him know how much I loved him and supported him. I told him I just wanted to hug him, and he invited me to work to see him after his shift was over. Just nine days after he and I had split, he walked around the corner of the building, and I saw him. I knew. My zing came back, and my entire body felt it. We talked about some of the surface things that day, and within 24 hours, my heart recognized that this wasn’t over.

I wanted to walk into the storm. I wanted to be the person who went against everything we are taught. I wanted to show the world that you can follow your intuition, and talk to rocks, and live an honest life and see real change. Only three people, my mom, Paige and Mae, knew what was happening. They kept me accountable, and make sure each step was solid, because they knew just like I did, that when that fire is ignited inside of you, it’s worth taking care of.

For the first time in my life, I feel like I’m happy, in the most genuine and wholesome sense. I feel like I am the most “in love” I’ve ever felt. I am whole on my own, and I finally have a counterpart who is also becoming whole, because he wants to be, not because I want him to be. I told Mack that in all the time I loved him, he didn’t love himself. So I poured love of two people into him, and no one was loving me. Now, I feel like we’re two people, who love ourselves, and pour our love into each other.

I believe in forgiveness, that people change, and that when you know, you know. I knew.

Good Lord, Sweet Baby of Crystals, I’ve wanted to tell the whole world I’ve loved this man for a disgusting amount of time.

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