Apparently Hell Can Freeze Over

Many men have asked me out or pursued me in the past almost five years and while I have gone out a time or two, I had slammed the door shut. I kept myself closed off and wary in large part because these men either treated me like a broken winged bird who could not fly or made me feel like I needed to quench and hide my fire.  Some wanted to hitch their wagon to my story and a status they valued more than I ever will.  While I have received many wonderful blessings, each of those opportunities and connections came at a price that I was never willing to pay.  In the past, I was my story and nothing more or I was just seen as someone to take care of a need or want.  I was never willing to play those parts, thus I shut down and shut out any possibility.

 

Over time, I became hardened and I began to believe those words and thoughts of never, ever, and when hell freezes over. I retreated to the point that the only men I trusted were either related to  me, long time married men friends, or my military brothers from that day. This shell and distrust was never intentional, but from the start I was the brunt of people making bets as to how long I would take to date and remarry (you all lost), married men hitting on me, or women not trusting me around their men.  No matter how I lived or what I said, it was as if people thought my moral compass had changed or that I was desperate enough to compromise and sleep with someone just to sleep with someone.

 

People think I am joking when I talk about the Savage from Savage, MD who hit on me in my first marathon less than one month after Phil died. My running group all knew who I was and they surrounded me for that race (love the Marathon Maniac people in my life).  This guy was someone I didn’t know.  When I passed him at mile 20, I encouraged him.  He started running faster to keep up with me.  In two miles, he shared about why he had started running and that his wife didn’t understand him.  He went on to say that he had needs, I had needs, and why didn’t we do something about it.  It was in that one simple horrifying conversation that I realized that people no longer saw me as a wife or as anything other than just broken.

 

Sadly, my experience has been men who have pushed too hard and too fast. Over time, I changed.  I had always been more comfortable around men and I always trusted people.  When I consumed myself with school, work, volunteerism, and running, it didn’t leave time to consider how lonely I was  to share my time and heart with someone.  I just never thought about it.  It wasn’t until someone took the time to develop a deep friendship with me, that I felt my heart thawing and those words of never ever coming back to haunt me.

 

I didn’t make it easy and I am sure I am still not easy to always read. I don’t know the simple rules of dating or the games.  Loss has made me totally transparent and my feelings are worn on my sleeve.  I need more reassurance than I have ever needed because I still feel like people see me as “that girl.”  Initially, it took me months of talking myself off of the ledge of shutting down and running because I was afraid of getting too close, losing another person, of the motives, and  all the reasons the relationship couldn’t work.  I also know that many widow and widowers put too much validity into relationships too soon which was another huge wedge I had to work through.

 

I know that people have asked me if I compared him to Phil–no, I never did.  Apples and oranges and when  I realized that I was dreaming again and hoping again, my heart melted.  It took patience on both of our parts and I am sure that there is much to navigate, but the foundation has been laid.  The friendship is fun, deep, true,  and it runs to my very core.  I don’t have to wear my masks when I am with him and I don’t.  I have exposed my vulnerabilities and doubts.  The building of a unbeatable friendship has given  me the comfort to leap–no cannonball– into something I do not know, something I did not expect, and the  hope of  being caught.  Perhaps the key is that friendship because I am no longer using words like never, ever, or when hell freezes over.  Apparently, hell can freeze over and I am so glad it can.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Yaaaayyyyy!!!!!!!@@

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