When the Past Collides with the Present (and the issues it presents)


I’ve been fortunate enough in my life to clear up a lot of pain and heartbreak in my past. Some of it I created, but truth be told some of it was my own heartache.

About nine years ago I reconnected with what was probably the love of my life in my youth and we not only forged a friendship, we reconnected romantically and remained a couple until a couple of years ago. He is The One that sort of spurned this whole blog. The healing and growth after that break-up made me decide to go public with my writing.

He wasn’t the only one. I briefly re-connected with my youngest daughters dad after a ten year hiatus, but that lasted a sparking moment. The physical was very much there for the both of us, but the growth of who I was now, vs the naive child/woman who worshipped him was lost. I saw thru the facade much too quickly for me to have the needed respect and admiration that I feel is tantamount to a relationship. I was still a growing child in comparison to the woman I had become. It wasn’t lost on either of us, and the relationship quickly shifted back to what it should have been.

The one thing in common that both of these men had was their fantasies of who I was all those years back. It floored me to be honest. To be recalled in such amazing ways was both ego filling, and tender. I had suffered in some very weird way of assuming that past relationships would barely recall me, let alone recall me with such vividness.

Since the advance of social media, reconnecting with people of your past is much easier. My Facebook page alone has probably 70% of my past relationships on there. That may sound like a lot of men, but it really isn’t. Some are men I dated briefly, and the remainder are long term relationships. There are very few men that I recall with such abhorrence that I would want nothing further to do with them. One of the good ones has actually become a very good friend and we have spent countless hours recalling our past, reexamining the pain I caused him, and working thru things. We can now talk about nearly anything with a true solid friendship and I am beyond grateful for that, because he was and is a truly good soul. He too recalled me in physical ways that had me wondering who the hell he was describing.

One of the things that I noticed about the men — and this is awkward to write because I don’t want it to come across as ego-inflated or narcissistic, is the common words used to describe me. Most of them make comments about how sexy I was, or how in some cases I remained as a masterbating fantasy for years. Some have even said how shocked they were that a creature such as myself found them desirable. It floors me each time, because I never recall myself in that fashion. Maybe it was lower self-esteem, but I suspect not. I think I just didn’t view myself as such a naturally sexual entity. My mother was seen this way, gorgeous and sexy to countless men, and I’ve never felt in the same league.

But you know — as complimentary as that is, it’s also deflating.

When The One and I started talking, the precursor to ever meeting up with him, I battled the confident self I had grown to be, versus the curvy little 19 year old he recalled. I remember his insecurity was his hair loss. I think I felt on even grounds when we met, but despite his hair loss, I still saw exactly what I had seen in him 25 years prior. The dimples, the smile, the eyes. He must have seen the same in me, because the attraction was till there for him too. He saw past the pounds of three children and a lifestyle that left less time for hiking and more time for being a single mom. In time, his fantastic cooking, our mutual love of a good martini, and our travels put on a few more pounds on my already heavier frame. It eventually became an issue. Probably moreso for me, because my insecurities hit an all time low, and the more insecure I felt the more I stuffed in my pie-hole. It was a horrible cycle. Of course after the break-up, I immediately shed about 25 pounds because heartbreak connects the stomach in the opposite way that love connects to it.

So. To my point now. If there was ever a proverbial wall of questions that loomed from a break-up that was hanging, it was a tangled heartbreak that is too deep and personal to go into details here. But for reasons unknown to my own psyche today, I reached out to him Thursday night. Not with expectations of any sort. I hadn’t spoke to this man in more than three decades. I didn’t even know what sort of man he had grown into. One with a soul? One with a past I would cringe from? Absolutely no clue. So when I received a response from him it stopped me dead in my tracks. His response to me was so genuine, so heartfelt and so absolutely fucking healing that I cried. We started a tentative careful email exchange and from the get-go we were brutally honest with one another. First in small spurts. Never with anger, because I’ve been blessed and cursed with the inability to hold onto anger.

The emails continued thru the day. Poking and prodding testing lines that could or should be crossed or not. By evening it had exploded and we ended up talking til 2 in the morning. I went to bed with my head reeling, thinking and rethinking. Reliving the past and when I finally fell into slumber it was a sporadic one, with the evening intertwined with the past. I woke up less than four hours later nearly popping out of bed with his name on my lips and thoughts of him surrounding even brain cell I still have.

Anyone who knows me, knows how terribly important sleep is to me. Six hours of sleep can leave me edgy. Less than four hours sleep, with all of this adrenaline pumping thru me left me feeling like I had mixed psychedelic drugs into my morning coffee. He was feeling it too. Both of us were at a complete loss for explaining what was going on, and with both us so sleep deprived it made things even more surreal. I kept telling him this; surreal. The emotions running thru me were of excitement and giddiness. Sort of like a 17 year old once again. Each email from him lent a huge smile and we had gone from tender and careful footing with one another to a complete ease of playful banter and questions that were less important and more fun. He was feeling the exact same way and neither of us knew why.

Now keep in mind my state of mind by about noon. I was flying high on some endorphin level, with complete sleep deprivation. I could barely pull myself away from my iPad to get things done  but an email came in from him about noon. I cant even recall the words used, but it was complimentary. It was him recalling me in the same attractive manner that I’ve stated I’ve heard from other men. I know #whitegirlproblems. Poor baby, guys recall you as hot, or sexy. Pooooor thing. But because of the state of mind I was in, it led to a complete breakdown. It stated off as a trickle of tears and then led itself to almost full sobbing. Now in his defense he had thrown so many wonderful OTHER memories, adjectives to describe my mind, attraction to my soul, that I had absolutely no reason to feel this was some sexual come on. In fact this never really turned sexual in nature at any point.

It hit that same damn insecurity button of me being portrayed as this little sex kitten of my youth. And there it lay. I’m not the tiny little stick with boobs (a description my Aunt used once to describe me) that so many recall me as. I’m not that smoking girlfriend of your youth. My identity of who I am now, came crashing down, and that my friends IS my insecurity. Yes many of us, men and women alike are not the masters of who we were in our youth. The skin has sagged, the wrinkles have increased, the grays might be showing. The pounds might be there. I get that. But when your thoughts and memory of a person is so ingrained on their physical presence, it makes me feel like I’m that sad Christmas package of a fruitcake when you were hoping for cashmere.

It’s my Achilles heel. My vanity. My pride. The men of my life, both friends and more know me for who I am today. I don’t feel judged. I don’t feel there will be that moment where I have to step from behind the curtain. I know my memories with them will based on my twisted sense of humor. Of my bumbling ways. Of my passions for life. I’m comfortable with that.

I immediately got hold of myself. Talked with my bestie and filled her in on the frame of what I was feeling and she gently reminded me I hadn’t had any sleep. That my emotions were on a tight wire and not to give them too much credence. She knew I wasn’t lamenting on how sucky it was not look 17, but how my brain wasn’t working on full capacity.

Later I received another email from him that explained me in such an awesome sexual manner that I swear I wanted to go fuck my 17 year old self. It was HOT.  Brain was still not working, but you can see that it went both ways. In some factions his memory of me was scintillating and in other ways it dredged up person pain I have NOW about me.

The truth is, it’s there. Yeah I guess I have to be okay with knowing that I was a very sexual creature in looks in my youth. It doesn’t take away from the person I am today. Usually. It might remind me, and heck it should probably motivate me, but even my ego isn’t large enough to try and be something I truly will never be.

In closing I feel this ENOURMOUS sense of closure. Something that was so never expected I almost feel like I hit the emotional lottery. Questions that loomed for a lifetime are answered. The chapter of that pain is signed sealed and delivered baby. I’ve had a full nights sleep. I’m the me I’m supposed to be. We talked briefly this morning. The high of the previous 48 hours has come back to earth for both of us. We may end up meeting for dinner sometime in the future.

Now THAT should be interesting if it ever comes to pass.


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