Thursday, December 19, 2013

I will not be broken

I haven't blogged in a while because I've been dealing with some emotions that I wasn't quite sure how to place and until I could fully vet them out, I felt no desire to do or write about much running.  I purposely don't blog about too many personal issues for the simple fact I don't like feeling "exposed" when you have no idea who may stumble across this page, but also, the internet is not necessarily where you want to air your dirty laundry. At this point  I think part of me needs to 'express myself' so I can fully move on, so in some small way this is my therapy vs providing interesting material for you to read. If you're expecting rainbows and butterflies, come back a different day

I'm 29 and haven't experienced fully a "real" relationship. I've dated plenty, but there has always been some flaw that either prevents me from committing completely, or the other side of the coin, they end things with me unexpectedly. It's a running joke with my married friends that they love to live vicariously through me as I'm their only single friend. Although I know their intentions are "you're so lucky, you  have the freedom to do what you want and you have so many adventures" eventually it wears on you because maybe I want someone I can share my adventures with? Maybe I'm tired of being the 3rd wheel, giving others advice on their relationship, and convincing myself it will happen to me 'when I least expect it'? Here's a thought that no one wants to talk about: Maybe it won't happen. What if you already met the one you're supposed to be with, but he or she screwed it up and that door is closed? What IF you just never find someone who can make you happy and you do the same for them?

I never gave much thought to those questions, assuming it would happen in the elusive "a few years" until I hit 25. I was at my now sister-in-law's bachelorette party in August of '09 and as the beer and liquor were flowing, everyone started gushing about their own relationships and how they couldn't wait to get married so on and so forth.

I remember being on the party bus starting to tear up because here my brother was about to get married in a few months, I was surrounded by ladies who were all either married or in serious relationships, and I had no one. (it should be noted that I was in a low point in my life with other aspects, so the relationship status affected me more than it should) My cousins, trying to be helpful, started filling my head with the promises that online dating could bring and began to share the success stories of friends they knew who went that route. 

I joined with no clue what I was really looking for, just with the hopes that the "emptiness" I was feeling could somehow be filled (note: NEVER join a dating site to try to fill a void)  Eventually I did meet someone, Mark, whom I fell for surprisingly quickly and he, the same. To spare the details of the whole progression of the relationship, I will keep it simple and say he was just about to meet the family at my brother's surprise 30th birthday + he asked the big question about my thoughts in moving down to Atlanta with him for a job (he knew I was unhappy with work and looking for something different) In making plans on how this would 'pan out' he just up and cut off all contact- didn't show up for our plans we had scheduled 2 days after that last phone call, turned off his phone, deleted me from facebook- just gone without a warning or explanation.

Aside from humiliation, he BROKE me. I cried for days then eventually went numb and completely shut down. I quit my job and shortly after was kicked out of my apartment (I lived with co-workers and since I no longer worked there I wasn't allowed to live there). I was fortunate that one of my gfs allowed me to live with her for a few months in her 1 bedroom apartment otherwise I would have no where else to go since I knew very few people in Louisville. I never got my closure or over him completely.

Eventually I moved to Nashville and started a new life. One night while out I saw someone that looked like him, and when I got home I drunkily found him on facebook and sent him a message. To my dismay I woke up the next day with a 2 page letter from him explaining his actions along with a fun fact that he too had moved to Nashville. Needing my closure, I agreed to meet up and somehow got trapped in his web of lies and started dating again. Would you believe the same exact thing happened and he disappeared AGAIN?!? This time I was more pissed than hurt and I can say its been one of the defining moments that has since hardened me and caused me to not be able to trust fully and open up to men. What's hilarious is since this happened, he has tried to outreach me twice more (facebook and linkedin) and I finally had to just tell him to leave me alone a few months ago.

I proceeded to have 2 more failed and upsetting relationships that year and that is when I made the realization that I couldn't successfully date until I was happy with my life and got to the point where I felt that I didn't need a guy, that my life had purpose without relying on starting a family. This is actually one of the reasons I started my 50 state quests- to find myself and be comfortable in my own skin.

Now, 3 years later, I'm happy with my life- I have a good job, great family, built up a support system finally in Nashville, and have seen and experienced a lot in my running quest. As my journey was winding down, I decided to give internet dating another real try. I went into the process knowing it wasn't a big deal if I didn't find someone because I didn't need any void filled, however it would be nice now that I have more free time to have someone to spend it with. I went on quite a few dates keeping it light knowing that I had enough sense to pick out when I found the right person.

Finally I went on a date with Lee and everything was different- for the first time in years I found someone who I was 100% comfortable with being myself around, whom I fully enjoyed his company, and I had zero doubts that he would fit in with the family. The topper is I felt 'safe' with him and there was never any trust issues. I saw real potential for what could be and I told him right off the bat that I had no intentions of being intimate with anyone until I was officially in a relationship with them and I felt like I was ready-- going to be honest here, this is not the usual approach a 29 year old would take, however learning from my past mistakes I needed a new approach to protect myself. As time went on and we got to know one another, I was beginning to feel like this was something special and worth the wait (like back in the old days on how it used to be)

2 saturdays ago was a BIG day for us. We had tickets to a beer fest, followed by his work Christmas party (cocktail attire) and since the party was down the road from my place it would be the first time he was staying the night after several of months of dating. We talked like adults about the next step in our relationship and how even though he was staying the night, no pressure or expectations on what would happen.

We went to the beer fest, had a fabulous time, and after a few hours I went from feeling good and in control to blackout drunk without warning. I got sick at the restaurant and all over his car as he was taking me home. There are bits I don't remember but he basically dropped me off at my place angry with me, he left, and neither made it to his work party. The next day he called and said we were done because I broke his trust in the ability to make sound decisions and that I ruined what was supposed to be a special day. To dig salt in the wound he was upset that I had posted the below photo on facebook because he felt that was me admitting that nothing was wrong and I was completely disregarding the outcome of the day. In my mind I was trying to be positive because the day started out great and I wanted to remember the good, not the bad.

To say I was completely blown away by his unexpected change of heart would be an understatement. I hadn't felt this betrayed since Mark, and what made me upset is that he used the reasoning that I 'broke his trust' by drinking too much as the event that destroyed us (complete malarchy) when in fact he broke my trust and failed me as even just a friend by dropping me off when I was sick and not staying to make sure I was okay. It's ironic that one of the traits I loved about him was that I felt safe, however his actions that night proved opposite. 

I wasn't sure if I was going to write this in my post since I haven't told my mom yet, think I just need to come out and say it so I can get over it-- Sunday I was lethargic, upset, achy, zombie like that I just chalked it up to potentially being hung over combined with a broken heart. Monday nothing changed so I went to doctor thinking I may be sick since there was a bug going around the office-- between blood and urine tests they found traces of the flu and rohypnol in my system. As crazy as it sounds, part of me was relieved because my onset of blacking out and getting sick made sense, but on the other hand, I felt violated and vulnerable... yet pissed that one simple action somebody carelessly chose to do had such a negative impact on my life. 

I've been struggling. I've been so stressed out about this situation that I've vomitted countless times due to my stomach being in knots. I eat once a day because I have no appetite and I managed to lose 6lbs last week. I keep reminding myself of the downwhirl spiral I took with Mark and how I can't let that happen again, but each day is a constant struggle to stay positive. I continually playback in my head how things could be different if only ______________.  This weekend I hit a breaking point. I had a friend ask if I wanted to join an event downtown where thousands dress up like santa (or some type of Christmas character) and travel in herds to the bars for games and cheap beer. I went to the store to buy an outfit and then once purchased I chickened out because I was too scared to be around large groups of people all drinking when I had no desire to be in the situation I was in the week prior. I was letting my fear prohibit me from going out and enjoying what would have surely been a good time.  

I think my roommate had been catching on that I wasn't doing well and has been making it a point to check in on me when she doesn't stay the night- God Bless her. I've been trying hard to occupy my time with friends and activities because I refuse to let Lee break me the way Mark did. I'm in a funk right now since I have one state left. A huge chapter in my life is coming to a close and I don't have direction on what to do next, so I'm already in a vulnerable state about that. After having a very therapeutic conversation with my dad last night I'm feeling like maybe things will start to swing up? I am facing my fears today and will have my first drop of alcohol again at another beer fest, I'd be lying if I didn't say I was nervous, but I can't let my fears prevent me from missing out on experiences with friends. 

I know life will go on, he's just a silly boy, it gives you experience etc, however even my dad pointed out that I've had a LOT of experiences over the years. There isn't much that I haven't been through when it comes to men and I am now back full circle asking myself "what if it doesn't happen?"  For years I've told myself the reason I've been in all these messed up situations that leave me dumbfounded is because the person I'm supposed to be with I would normally pass up, but due to being 'damaged goods' I can now fully appreciate the potential my person has to offer. That notion of positivity has officially reached its expiration date. For the time being I'm done searching and cupid is going to have to bang down my door and throw someone at me full force before I get on the relationship train again. 

So today is the first day I can officially pick up the pieces and move on. No more tears shed, no more sulking, and instead, more living. This is a one time, get of my chest post so I can close this chapter and finally begin to enjoy the holidays 


  1. That's kinda scary that they found Rohypnol in your system. It sounds like Lee did you a favor and weeded himself out earlier so you didn't have to find out that he had some personality and communication problems later. (positive spin, whatever...)

    From reading your blog over the last year it sounds like you have a bit of a drinking problem. (No judgement, it's biologically addictive) Most of your posts involve drinking and a few of your bad experiences involve alcohol. Maybe it's time to take a break for a while and then cut back. I don't know anyone that still drinks like they used to in college. Now that we're a decade (or two) past college the quantity of drinking goes down and the quality of what we drink goes up. I don't see the point of getting drunk now, it's not worth how I feel the next day.

    Just my thoughts from reading what you put out there. Again, no judgement whatsoever. I enjoy the blog, I'm supremely impressed that you stuck with your 50 state quest and I'm wondering what will happen after you finish #50.

    1. I tried to email you back, however it has you listed as a nocomment reply. Appreciate all your sentiments and comments. I never realized it would come across as I have a drinking problem since I only share parts of my life, so thank you for pointing out how the perception is coming across. Truth is I'm just a beer snob. I enjoy a good hearty beer and rarely would I have more than 2 in a typical setting. I don't drink to get drunk, just to try new varietals and flavors, because its always fun to find something different. Because I'm a bit of a connoisseur, I do enjoy checking out breweries as well as beer fests, but I always know how to handle my alcohol well. Without context into my personality and what I enjoy I realize it sounds like I'm always out for a party, but thats actually opposite my personality as I just enjoy a good beer with stimulating conversation and a few close people.

  2. Lisa I'm so sorry you are going through this!! I have a few friends that are going through being single past the time they "thought" they would be. I think that you have nailed it happy and content with yourself and the rest will fall into place! I wish I could head on down there to Nashville and give you a great big hug!!! You are an amazing and beautiful person Lisa!!! Never forget that!!!

  3. Lisa, what a terrible deal with the rohphynol and scary! Sad that Lee couldn't be more supportive when you were obviously sick, I am glad nothing worse happened. I was single long past when I thought I should have been too, and reached that content to be single phase when I met my husband. We were both "damaged" goods and have had a lot of rough patches to get through, so it can be done and just because you feel "damaged" doesn't mean you can't be healed and find someone who may be willing to work through it all. know that at least. Relationships are hard. Hugs, big hug. and Merry Christmas.

  4. I don't know you, and am one of those who happened to stumble across your blog. Don't worry about being exposed, I am completely empathetic and my heart goes out to you. It sounds like the recent heartbreak put you over the edge but I understand the basis of the struggle more than most. I live in a culture where most people get married in their early 20's. I got married four years ago when I was 37 so I have been that "third wheel" more times than I can count. I have heard all the comments, the questions, and struggled with why none of my relationships were working out. I've had guys "disappear", and had a lot of relationship regret. I think it is great that you figured out that a relationship won't fix anything in your life, and have worked on making yourself happy where you are. But we all want to be wanted. I'm not really sure where I am going with this comment other than to let you know that someone understands. It made my heart hurt to read of someone else in a situation that was difficult for me. I hope that time heals the wounds and you are able to keep moving forward, and feel valued, with or without a man.

  5. #1 I am so sorry this happened to you Lisa:( #2 He definitely should have stayed with you no question. Sending happy thoughts and prayers your way. I know this doesn't help, but nowadays I think it's pretty normal to be in your 30's when you finally settle down. Wish you lived closer so I could fix you up with some peeps;)

  6. wow, i am so sorry that this happened to you. truly. i know i don't technically "know" you, but i've always admired your drive and how you've chased your 50 state goal. i know it's easy for us to say, but try not to let this get you down. you are better than that. :)

  7. I very much feel your plight. I am also 29, unmarried with one "serious" relationship in my past. It is frustrating to maintain friendships and connections when all of my friends have moved onto a different phase in their lives and I continue to feel like I'm in the post college wander. I continue to be hopeful, but sometimes I wonder if it just won't happen to me either. (sure I could settle, but not really.)

    It shook me up to read about rohypnol as a single girl who lives alone I definitely haven't been careful. How scary that must to find that someone was that malicious.

    Keep your positive outlook and continue to do great adventures. Who knows if we'll ever find someone truly worthy of our time and commitment, but I continue to hope that he's out there somewhere (and hopefully in the Albany, NY area since that's where I live)

  8. I'm so sorry you have to go through all this men trouble. You deserve so much better, and I'm sure you hate this phrase. I'm a relationship person but was single for a long time, I know how it feels and it sucks some days. But was really makes me mad is Lee! I can't believe he just dropped you off and broke up with you. Yes, you might not have been the best company that night, but that's what friends are for. At least make sure you are ok and and at least he could have talked to you the next day. But his reaction was ridiculous and I wonder if he would have ever been the men in your life who has your back in any situation. Maybe it was good to see early on he is not the right guy. It is tough right now, but I do feel there is karma and that good things happen to good people. Maybe not in the timeline we are hoping for, but better late than never! Hang in there, you will find a good men and you will be happy!!

  9. we've talked about this IRL...but just wanted you to know i've been thinking about you. continue to focus on you. hugs.

  10. I am so sorry to hear about this ordeal you are going through. I don't know you but just want you to know that I also want to Nashville and hug you. I think you are an AMAZING person.

  11. Believe me, I know exactly how you feel. I hope you are not where I am when you are in your mid 30's, not a fun place to be.

    I think you're a great lady and I would be really surprised if something special doesn't come your way.

  12. I've asked myself those same questions. Most of my friends are married/in serious relationships/having babies. It's getting to the point where I am considering having a kid on my own. I'm sorry you've had to go through all of this!

  13. I stumbled across your blog from your feature in RunLadyLike. As someone who also wants to run a half marathon in every state you are such an inspiration. So many of your posts feel like my life but this post hit home the most. I'm 27 and single and for sure have had that thought of "what if it never happens". Especially lately it seems like everyone is getting married and having babies. You are not alone in the battle that is dating in your late 20s :)