Last night, for a few dark minutes, I remembered what I forgot. It isn't a memory I particularly wanted to recall since it had visited me every single day, many times each day, for the past two and half years. But its sudden reappearance made me realize that, in fact, I hadn't thought about it in quite some time.
What am I talking about? Naval A-Hole of course.
After he disappeared on me without a word in October 2005, I quickly developed the unintentional sick ritual of thinking of him, cursing him, several times a day. His pink-cheeked, babyface punctuated by the Hitler-youth blonde buzz cut would pop in my head and I would angrily stare into his loving, pleading blue eyes trying to spot the lies I clearly missed in real life.
This little memory exercise would cause me to instantaneously flood with longing and rage, because I missed him (or who I thought he was) so much and I hated him even more for leading me down the garden path and then leaving me there stranded, without any explanation or hint how to get out alive.
I went through this so many times each day that it became almost a safety blanket as I re-entered the dating world. If I met a new guy and got a little nervous, I would wrap myself up in that blanket a little tighter as if to remind myself, "He's a jerk. He'll leave you just like Naval A-hole. Just wait and see." Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy.
And then I met Wine Guy. I know the whole Wine Guy courtship can sometimes sound like it was easy. Well, it wasn't and I can blame a large part of that on Naval A-hole's ghost that I just couldn't give up. After awhile, his ghost changed from the vivid picture of his face to more of a Black Hole of distrust. If Wine Guy slipped up, the Black Hole would envelop me and I would lash out in fear.
I'm sure Wine Guy never knew what hit him and we spent a few months fighting ridiculous fights that came from nowhere and ended in me crying and writhing in self-pity and abandonment fear that Wine Guy could never understand. How could he? It was my Black Hole and I had to climb out of it on my own. This went on for a good few months, and thank God Wine Guy and I cared enough about each other that we could continue to grow our relationship in spite of it.
Then last night Wine Guy forgot to call me like he promised. He was having a few (platonic) girlfriends over for dinner and promised he would call during the festivities so I could say hi to everyone. By 11pm I still hadn't heard from him so I called him and got his voice mail. I left what I thought was a non-nagging message and then crawled into bed.
As I slipped under the covers I remembered what I forgot - the Black Hole. There it was, pulling me in. Telling me things like, "Wine Guy is tired of you," "He's enjoying a break from you with his friends and probably will want to see less of you," "He decided he's had enough and will never call you again."
I know these thoughts sound ridiculous and hysterical. I would have agreed with you three years ago. But that's why Naval A-Hole is so "special." His actions took paranoia and distrust to a whole new level for me - he made them reality. You know that expression, "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you." That pretty much sums it up for me.
But this time the Black Hole felt different. It wasn't as well-worn and comfy as it had been in the past. In fact, it felt cold and distant and, well, untrue. Then it hit me - this thing feels so awkward because it's been gone awhile - weeks, maybe even a month or two. Besides being engrossed in healing from my surgery, I'd also been completely immersed in Wine Guy's caring for me. Every day I became more trusting and accepting of his love for me. I had started to believe that he would actually stay. If you recall, I covered this in my last entry titled Falling in Trust.
Not having visited with the Naval A-hole Black Hole in awhile, I explored it for a few minutes while lying in bed, but I just didn't have the heart to embrace it. Actually, I probably had too much heart to embrace it. Either way, I am pleased that it came back at all so I could have the experience of remembering what it is I thankfully forgot.
Yes, Wine Guy called me several minutes later. The night had just gotten away from him and he didn't realize how late it was. Once he did, he found his phone in the other room and called me right away (he didn't even notice that I had already called him until the next day). I chose (rightly) not to tell him about the Black Hole's visit. I just said, "I'm glad you are having a good time. You deserve it." We said our I love yous and goodnights and I settled into bed, happy to be snuggling up with my mom's comforter, my cat, and the warmth of trust surrounding me.
Good Riddance, Naval A-hole.