“Hello?” I wish I didn’t pick up the phone. I saw the number on the caller id box. “What’s up baby?” It was Him on the other end.
I recently moved from the mid-west where I attended grad school to the south and was sharing an apartment with my brother. We were watching a movie in the living room while eating dinner. It was a modest place, I recently purchased furniture and had a few decorative items from college with pictures of my friends and family placed around. It was peaceful, it felt like home, it looked like a 23 year old’s apartment. When the phone rang, I got a hot feeling in the pit of my stomach, it was as if I instinctively knew who it was.
“Yeah, what is it?” I responded coldly. “Wow, it’s like that?” he shot back.
I was in a relationship with this guy, Zack for about 18 months and while we dated he had two sides: in one breath he was charming and funny and in the second breath he was cold and mean-spirited. I just couldn’t understand him. The latter outweighed the former, consistently. I think we all have our bad days but could everyday be a bad day? I mean really. When I moved, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with “us” — I hadn’t realized that the distance between us actually gave me an opportunity for clarity and closure.
I was recently introduced to a book entitled, “Tornado Warning” the author Elin Stebbins Waldal has done an incredible job of writing a compelling story about being in an abusive relationship when she was a teenager. The book is based upon pages from her then diary and she teeters between her life then and her now life now, as a survivor. You must buy this book for any teen in your life. Most would probably say get it for a girl but being a mom of 3 boys (and a little girl), I realize that boys can be in abusive relationships too. We need to nurture them because they are who our daughters will be in relationships with.
So as Zack continued to talk, the fire moved from my belly to my chest and before I knew it the words, “Don’t call me again” came out of my mouth. “Say what?” He seemed shock. It felt good. “I said don’t call me again. We’re done. Don’t write me letters, don’t email me, don’t fax me. . . hell don’t even send a messenger bird.” The line went quiet. “Did you just hear yourself?” he finally manages to say. “Uh huh,” I responded nodding. “I do.”
All those moments came back to me where I endured his harsh words. And I wondered, what the hell was I thinking? I do believe part of me thought we could have built something together. He was smart, athletic, outgoing and everyone loved him. He was considered a catch. Little did I know that it came with a price: my self-esteem. Looking back, I’m grateful for the experience because I’m looking behind me wondering “what was I thinking?” and not saying today, “what the hell am I doing, how did I get here?”. I returned to the living room, where my brother was patiently waiting. He had paused the movie. “Who were you talking to?” he asked. I smiled and chuckled, “no one…no one at all.”
When I heard this song, all those memories came flooding back. I’m not nostalgic for the good old days (believe me), I see it as an affirmation of a chapter that I willingly and with all good conscious closed in my life. It makes me feel powerful.
Okay and I just love-love-love this performance too!