I think I had to pay off a lot of karmic debt surrounding romantic relationships. I went through various types of hell with the people I was involved with throughout my life until now.
I was so in love with this guy who was one of my best friends in middle school, but everything happened two years too late. He liked me back in 8th grade, but nothing ever came of it at the time, and then in high school he stopped hanging out with our friend group, sending me spiraling into depression. I remember crying in the shower so hard, the feeling like my heart had been carved out of my chest, like there was just a gaping void there. I spent the first two years of high school so depressed, everything unanswered, left open, no closure as to why he left. We ended up dating for like six months in 10th and 11th grade. We lost our virginity to each other. Then he broke up with me because he was bored, I guess, didn't really feel it, probably wanted to sleep with other girls. It didn't really destroy me much at the time because he had already destroyed me, it had already happened, he couldn't do it for a second time. We should have dated two years before we actually did. Everything happened at the wrong time.
Then in university, I was completely obsessed with this guy. When I first met him, I observed his behavior and I felt that he acted on the outside exactly the way I felt on the inside: he was so shy, so reserved, so polite, so painfully aware of his every movement. I sought out opportunities to spend time with him. I experienced limerence. I created an idol out of him in my head and I worshipped it. He had the best taste in everything, especially music and films. A lot of times he wouldn't answer my texts, and he left university after our first year, but somehow after that, I made the connection with him and we started going to shows together. He would take the train back down to the city where I still lived and he would spend the night. We would lay next to each other, no part of our bodies touching, acutely aware of each other's presence, nobody making a move. I would be dying, wishing he would reach over and touch me. My heart would break a little every time his train came, not knowing when I would see him again. It went on like this for about a year. Finally, one day when he came, it was raining heavily. We saw a film in the afternoon and went to a show in the evening. I drank a cherry beer. I grabbed his arm outside the venue and held it. When we went back to my place, we were sitting on my bed with our backs against the wall. Finally, finally, he put his hand on my thigh. I turned to him and asked him if I could kiss him, and he said yes. It finally happened. Actually, we didn't even have sex, but it was perfect. Then I ruined everything a few months later when I was really high at a rave and I texted him a million times saying really crazy things. I never saw him after that. We messaged a few times but I ruined everything. To be honest, he definitely never wanted me as badly as I wanted him. I would literally think about him all the time. He was the most perfect thing, all built up in my head, my imagination filling in so many details based on what I knew.
After all that, I started partying a lot - even more than before - to distract myself from what I had done. I ended up meeting this guy in a basement club. It turned out we were going to the same festival that summer. I saw him from across the room before he ended up speaking to me. His hair fell tapering over the sides of his face. I will always remember the way he looked, like his hair was slicing across the entire room, his eyes glittering in the scant light of the club. We started kind of dating and I liked him so much. He was older than me and could be kind of critical. He broke up with me on the train on our way to the airport going to the festival - I was camping there with him and a bunch of his friends and didn't know anyone else going. I tried to act like I wasn't upset. I kind of knew it was coming, though, because of a few other incidents at raves leading up to that, things his friends told me. After the festival, he flew back to the city we were living in and I said goodbye to him as he caught his train. I think he missed his flight going home maybe. I was staying in the city near where the festival had been with a friend. I remember dragging my luggage to my friend's place, struggling trying to figure out how to get into the building, hauling my stuff (including stuff the guy had given me that he couldn't take back on the plane) up several flights of stairs. My friend wasn't home. I collapsed at the top of the stairs next to my heavy luggage and started sobbing. I was exhausted from partying the hardest I ever had for days, finally feeling some of my feelings about him breaking up with me and everything else that had happened at the festival. Then a bunch of other really heady stuff happened - it was like I was entering a portal - I don't have time to get into all that within the scope of this post. But something entirely life changing was about to happen to me within the space of a few days. I had just turned 21 less than a month prior.
About seven months later, I had moved back to the city I grew up in. I was extremely depressed, wanted to die. I didn't know anyone in this city anymore. I stayed at home all day but started going to some raves. The rave scene was different in my hometown, more DIY, more underground. I ended up meeting this guy. We were standing next to each other in the crowd at a techno party. We just turned to each other at one point and smiled, enjoying the set. We exchanged info. I sent him the good parties I had been able to discover since moving back. We started going to a ton of parties together, started taking a lot of drugs together. He was the first person I met in the party scene in this city who felt like an actual friend. He was interested in me and eventually one night I capitulated to his interest, accepting it as inevitable, almost. We become very, very close, constantly together. He was extremely emotionally volatile, but I was just starting to see that crop up. In the beginning months, he would hold a lot of it back, but he eventually started exploding on me in paranoid tantrums, full of anger, irrational. I spent six years in a terrible, abusive relationship with him, so unable to get away from him, unwilling to give up on him, trauma bonded, unwilling to stop supporting him when I was the only thing standing between him and the worst parts of poverty. I can't get into all the details of that relationship here, either - there is just too much. But I would say this was the first person I was ever truly, meaningfully in love with in a serious way and in a way that was at least somewhat reciprocated. He wasn't all bad, and that was what made it so hard. He changed me in a lot of ways, made me better, made me want to try. He also put me through every variation of hell imaginable. The end was so loveless and bitter. I accepted and began to really digest how horribly he treated me. He didn't even try to pretend he loved me. He didn't even want to be with me intimately anymore. At some point, I finally had the ability, the strength, the acceptance, the will, the energy to cut him off completely.
I thought I never wanted to be with another person again for as long as I lived after what I had experienced with my ex. But it's really funny how the moment you're really willing to give up what is not for you, you open yourself to what is actually meant for you. Not too long after leaving my ex, I ended up in a new relationship without any effort on my part that has been so healing, so sweet, so tender, so deep. It is the love I always dreamed of and desired but could never figure out how to get for all those years.
I wanted to share this for those of you who may have experienced what I would describe as cataclysmic escapades in romantic love. When someone genuinely loves you, you know without the shadow of a doubt that it is so. There is no question left lingering in your mind. You can feel their love pervading you, you feel safe, you feel a soft swelling in your chest, feel their love in every distant corner of yourself.
If you are heartbroken, throw yourself into another area of your life, surround yourself with true friends, do things you love. Don't seek so relentlessly that it just comes at the cost of finding what will only hurt you. Nourish yourself and deepen into the truth of what you want and what makes you happy.