1. The Truth is Refreshing
By the time I snapped and grew weary of maintaining a facade of perfection surrounding my relationship, I was a senior in college.
Despair on an October night drove me to drunk dialing my girl-friend Shyniece, which warranted a promise from her that she would be over as soon as possible. When she entered my bedroom she immediately started to fuss.
“Randie, what the hell are you doing?”
She took my drink away.
“You know better than to be drinking this cheap ass vodka.”
She hid the bottle behind the bed.
She finally inquired. Insert word vomit spoken between tears and the bitter after-taste of the alcohol.
“You must think I’m so stupid.” I finally said.
“Actually, this is really refreshing.”
Her unexpected response prompted more tears. Grace. She was showing me grace and she meant to.
“Mikey gotta get his life, but y’all are so strong. You will get through this.”
Fast forward three days later and my mom called to relay a similar message after he had stopped by and told her everything.
I had been suffering in silence for no reason. I thought I was protecting myself and my relationship but while everyone shouldn’t know everything, there’s a difference between being private because you’re private and being private because you’re ashamed. It took six years, that phone call with my mom, and vent session with my friends to learn that our problems weren’t abnormal. Our current struggle was a result of growing up together.
2. Forgiveness Will Come
I tried really, really, really, really, really, really hard to be cool. I did my damnedest to act “confident” and be “understanding.” Sure you can visit so and so and maintain a friendship with this ex, and that one. Receiving a gift here and there is so nice of them, babe. So thoughtful. I’m cool. I’m good, baby.
I was lying and he knew I was lying and I knew I was lying, but we were gonna live around this lie and coast because who wants conflict? It’s easy to act like a “small” problem doesn’t exist when everything else is great. At least he wasn’t cheating. He was fine as hell and the best of the bunch in his family. I should be thankful. And while I let him know that I was through with him and his false obliviousness, I forgave him pretty quickly. Forgiving myself, however, was the harder task because I was learning that “small” problems grow like weeds over time.
I could not believe that I had slipped and fell into being that girl. I could have ended all of this when I was 15, but I didn’t have the courage to say–“I’m uncomfortable. I don’t like this. I don’t feel safe, and I don’t feel loved. So if you don’t like how I’m feeling we can break up.”
But remember that note about pride? I didn’t want him to be with anyone else. I didn’t want to lose out because I couldn’t deal, because I could deal! But I was lying, and he knew I was lying, and I knew I was lying but . . . rinse, repeat. For a long time I willingly sacrificed a standard I knew I deserved all because I didn’t want to be alone. However, forgiveness came when I forgave 15 year old Randie for not being who I would become at 21. I forgave the child to heal the adult.
3. Reconciliation and Joy Cometh in the Morning
I’d finally done it.
I’d gone crazy and told him exactly how I felt about his negligence and cowardliness. I thought it was over and I was sad but at peace with the decision. I slept like a baby just to be thrown for a loop, because a phone call and letter in the mail told me to open my bedroom door and there he was. This crazy man drove all the way from Atlanta to Wooster, Ohio in the middle of a Scandal Thursday to see me.
Before he crashed from his long journey, we talked the majority of the night.
We established boundaries, non-negotiables, and told the truth. There was accountability and ownership taking, diary reading and long hug holding, and in a matter of hours we were no longer 15 and 17 years old.
I will never forget that night.
I learned that choosing to be damn crazy is often necessary, and sometimes communication causes conflict. Conflict, though, can be a blessing. We would have never been able to get married had the “small” problems been allowed to fester any longer. What kind of healthy marriage allows you to carry on without being your best self? What kind of spouse shies away from telling the truth?
All in all, I encourage you to go a little crazy. Require the love you desire. Communicate and listen to *Beyoncé’s Lemonade album, haha. <3