He’s my Ex. It still seems surreal but it’s how I refer to him in real life, with real men, on real dates. At this age, everyone has at least one significant ex-lover or spouse though. I’m not that special.
Mine just happens to be a little crazier than most.
It’s impossible to know how much your personality has been altered by your ex until you start dating again. It’s like holding up a mirror to your heart and mind and watching yourself walk outside your own body, doing and saying things you wouldn’t have ever dreamed a decade ago.
Before you were held together by hope and freedom and child-less innocence.
Before you were broken.
I let my dates talk about themselves. A lot. I ask questions and am genuinely curious about their answers. How they respond often defines where the date will go. Mostly, if it will go anywhere at all. Some of them even ask personal questions in return. I find it uncomfortable. I don’t like being put on the spot.
Before Ex, I loved the limelight. I had a burning, unquenchable passion to be known, to be loved, to be seen and valued – to have every creative cavern, tumultuous tunnel and exciting entrance to my heart and life and past and future explored, appreciated and truly understood.
And then he came along.
I didn’t see it until it was almost all gone. The slow fading – the backing into corners – the switching subjects away from myself. I didn’t see how dim I had become interacting with strangers – how much light he took from me, to shine on himself.
He needed all the attention. He needed to stand on the shoulders of others to feel tall, to feel big. I’m so fucking capable; I didn’t realize how heavy he was until years and years in, we were both falling and flailing and failing. But even then, even though he broke my legs and I was bleeding out, he – who walked away without a scratch – made his fall the focus. He just wouldn’t see me. He couldn’t hear me over the voices in his own crazy head.
It’s impossible to know how much your personality has been altered by your ex until you start dating again. Until you start volleying the conversations back, dodging the too personal, avoiding the “into me see,” otherwise knows as running like hell away from intimacy.
I didn’t realize until right fucking now, that my response to his behavior is just prime grounds for feeding the narcissist in certain men.
The ex taught me well.
When will it stop coming back to him?