It’s been more than 2 years since I first shared this story. Since then, my ex filed a $100K lawsuit against me for the pain and suffering I inflicted by breaking-up w/him; the State won its case against him for criminal harassment; and he landed in jail for repeatedly violating his restraining order.
I’m grateful that the drama has since ended for me…but I’m regularly reminded that others continue living in unsafe situations.
Re-posting my story here for those who may need it. (Feel free to share as you see fit.)
In 2014, I fell in love. Two years later, I filed for a restraining order.
That journey reminded me of a few important things to share with my teens, on the cusp of their own dating experiences:
There are no villains. There are no victims. We’re all flawed and struggling to do our best with each breath. Our best when tottering off-balance will look different than our best in centered-stillness.
Kisses aren’t contracts. Presents aren’t promises. And we all have the right to change our minds. That’s kinda the point of a relationship – figuring out what we want, who this other person is, and how that all fits together. Maybe we get clarity in a month, maybe in a year, maybe in a decade. We can’t rush the process of knowing…but once we’ve discerned our truth, we can’t deny it without betraying our Self.
Every single relationship we ever enter will end, either by death or by a shift in the relationship. Lovers become friends; friends become acquaintances; acquaintances become strangers; families become estranged. Or if the relationship goes well, someone will die. Take it one day, one kiss, one moment at a time. Be grateful for that, and forego the fairy tale.
Trying to force yourself upon someone else – whether by stalking an object of affection or screaming through a locked front door or incessantly texting and calling and emailing and messaging – is bullying. Learn to let go gracefully.
Shame is a wicked worm-tongue. Don’t listen to its lies.
If you feel scared, tell someone. You are NOT alone — reach-out to a neighbor, a co-worker, a Facebook friend. Call the Heartly House. Call 911. The acts of giving and receiving are what weave together the fabric of our community. Let someone in.
If you ever have a friend in a difficult situation and you want to help but aren’t sure what to do, offer to accompany them to court while dressed in your hired assassin outfit. Cuz even if you don’t really own a hired assassin outfit, the mental image alone is good medicine on bad days.
Ordering someone to never again wear anything which was gifted during a relationship virtually guarantees that they will garishly wear ALL OF THE MOTHERFUCKING THINGS to the courtroom confrontation.
After the dust has finally settled, we can either cower in a corner, bitter and broken, afraid of getting hurt again, trapped by analysis-paralysis. Or we can continue moving from one adventure to the next, curious about the quest, arms open wide for whatever life throws our way. We each have the freedom to make that choice.
Life is short. Love fearlessly.