December 03, 2015

one year out

If we were in a movie right now, you'd see me flipping through a book of my relationship with Justin. 

The beginning would be melancholic. I was sad and lonely and as broken as I have ever felt. Justin saw that in me and still wanted to love me. He wanted to try. He listened to me, actually heard me when I told him that it felt like everyone always talked over me and nobody lets me do things the way I want to. His decision to let me handle cutting my very manipulative and abusive ex out of my life is the decision he says that he will regret for the rest of his life. 

Fast forward a few pages in the book and you'd see that we were the happiest I think we have ever been. I was faithful, he was coming down to see me for his birthday, and we were so in love. I can't think about the first week we spent together without getting teary-eyed because it was so perfect. That week was the real beginning to our fairytale love that would later turn into nothing short of a nightmare. 

Justin and I did long distance for 8 months. And in that time that manipulative, abusive ex that I mentioned earlier weaseled his way back into the picture. Justin watched me slowly get stolen away from him, as the princess gets kidnapped by the villain in all those fairytales. In April, when I moved up here to be with him, he could hardly believe that I had chosen to be with him. 

In the two years that followed, Justin has watched me on and off go back to being manipulated by a monster. One that indulged my fantasies and fueled a world of alternate reality that I had created in my head. He watched me flirt with and daydream about a coworker who drove a hard wedge in between us. 

We are one year out from D-day. One year out from Justin's discovery of my affairs. It's been a year since the bottom dropped out from beneath me and We have spent a year trying to climb back up that ladder toward normal. 

We are still broken. A lot of good things have happened this year. We got engaged. We adopted another cat into our kitty family. We have reopened a lot of avenues of communication between us. But some days, some weeks and months even, it feels like we take one step forward and 22 steps back. The last few weeks we have been barely speaking. We struggle with being close to one another. 

I never want to go back to last Christmas, where spent holed up in the second bedroom that we never used screaming at each other. I get a pit in my stomach just thinking about it. I have faced a lot of my demons in the last 365 days, but I am largely still working out how to balance and tame my hypersexuality. I have come so far personally, but Justin and I are still very far from being a normal couple again. 

It never gets any easier. On the days that I am racked with guilt and shame, I burrow into myself. Some days Justin will come home from work angry and lash out because he is hurting. We are trying the best we can and that is all that I can hope for right now. We are working on ourselves so we can work on our relationship and then turn that into a marriage and our own little slice of forever. We've decided to hold off a wedding until we are ready, and I'm still learning every day that that is okay. 

We're making baby steps in recovery but we're still doing okay. Every day I remind myself that it takes time. It took time for us to fall in love, and it's going to take even more time for us to repair all the damage I have caused. I'm learning that love is a choice, and I'm choosing to be excited about what the next year is going to bring us in recovery, instead of being sad that all of this is happening in the first place. 

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