I exit his apartment, bags in tow. Thoughts race through my mind, like, "am I wrong?", "what happens next?", "will I regret this later?", and "I can't believe this happened today ..."
He helps me put my bags in the trunk and we hug for the last time, with few words about safe travels and texts when I get home. I'm not surprised but slightly shocked that after what I've done, he still has concerns for my safety. I feel undeserving. I feel guilty. But this doesn't keep me from walking to my driver's side door and starting my car for what feels like a dramatically long exit.
* exhale *
I sit in the driver's seat, driving the 5+ hours home -- in silence. In between silent tears, I call my mom, call my best friend, I pray.
I feel ... at peace. I feel ... relieved. I feel ... open, not empty.
* exhale *
A break-up, my break-up, wasn't something I thought I'd share. However, the journey to that life event deserves it's light. I vowed to journey with you all, no matter how ugly or beautiful, no matter how challenging or blessed. So, here we begin ...
This journey begins way before any "Facebook official" relationship post though -- before the IG highlight reels, before the phone calls to reconnect.
At a young age, I was conditioned to be emotionally dependent when it came to decision making. Something I am still unlearning today ...
As the youngest, I grew up desperately wanting to be accepted by my 3 older step-siblings, starting at the tender age of 6. So much so that I quietly carried traumatic experiences and anxiety in the form of migraine headaches and other somatic symptoms.
I desperately wanted to find and be accepted by my biological father, using phonebooks and random phone calls to support my 8-year-old thesis: if I call all the C_____ Johnson's, I'll find him, he'll want me, and we'll live happily ever after.
If others -- family and friends included -- approved of me, I'd approve of myself. How could I live with these heavy chains?! So heavy that for decades, I let my decisions and moves be determined by the weight and length of these chains. I was in bondage ... and got so used to it, that it became my norm.
For the next couple of posts, I want to share my journey to freedom from the chains that bound me, affected my relationships, and almost claimed my life. Let's journey ...