Tuesday, June 19, 2018

G R O W T H | R E L A T I O N S H I P S


“And when her lips met mine, I knew that I could live to be a hundred and visit every country in the world, but nothing would ever compare to that single moment when I first kissed the girl of my dreams and knew that my love would last forever.” 

Nicholas Sparks - Dear John


“I do.”

Two words that will change a persons life for better and for worse.  Abby and I know a lot about both…

The first time I saw Abby walking through the hallways of our high school, I knew she would be the one I’d marry.  She wore a black shirt with boot cut blue jeans that flared slightly at the ankle.  She carried herself with such confidence, which is one thing that drew me towards her (probably because I had very little).  It was not only impossible not to notice her, but to me, she appeared to rival the angels I read about (no joke, she’s always been the most interesting, beautiful woman I’ve ever met), which is why I later nicknamed her “Angel-Abz.”  

She wasn’t allowed to date until she turned 16.  I remember “asking her out” via telephone on December 23rd at 12:03 pm. That’s the date she was born and I didn’t want to disturb anyone in her household during the morning hours - especially her dad because he owned an assortment of guns that he used for hunting and I didn’t want to find out what else he’d use them for.  So, I waited until the afternoon to call… nerd, right here.  

Anyway, she said yes, and we started dating.  I remember the first time we kissed.  It was the night of her birthday party in the middle of the street with all of her friends watching from the windows of her parents house.  It would have only been more romantically cliche if rain had been pouring down on us and we were standing in the middle of a field of flowers with a lake nearby.  I slowly handed her a N’Sync CD (yes, that was when CD’s still existed) and asked her to listen to song number five.  She later found that the track was God Must’ve Spent a Little More Time on You. <—— Corny as hell, but man, I thought I was SMOOTH!  I purchased roses by the dozen for her every other week; I’d even bring them to school with me and give them to her before class.  I gave her jewelry, stuffed animals, and poems on the regular.  We were THAT couple.  The couple that everyone looked at and either said, “I wish I had a relationship like that” or “they make me sick.”  However, our relationship wasn’t always Justin Timberlake lyrics or surprise gifts left in lockers.




I’m afraid to put the next part of this post “out there” because I feel that I’ll be judged and it’s embarrassing to me, but here goes…

My anxiety occasionally wreaked havoc in the form of jealousy and possessiveness in our relationship.  Mental illness, I’ve learned, is not only hereditary, but also formed through the experiences in ones life.  The details aren’t important, but things that occurred earlier in my life constantly made me believe that Abby would leave me without hesitation.  I also believed that most guys/men that looked or spoke to her had ulterior motives.  My jealousy was a product of low self-esteem and anxiety that had grown with me since I was a child.  It has taken YEARS to get to a point in our relationship where I trust Abby and have enough confidence in myself that I no longer feel threatened by other men.

I am certainly an eternity away from being perfect, and I’ve come to understand that all people make mistakes and deserve to be given grace in many different circumstances, especially those closest to you.  


I hope for this to be the first of many posts about mental illness and relationships…

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