Rebecca found me and my blog through Twitter. After discovering my request, she sent me the following click story that I think is a great example of a moment when something clicks and you make a change. If you are interested in reading more from Rebecca or connecting with her, those links are provided at the end of her click.
I was in love with a guy. He was great. We connected on a level that I’d never connected with anyone before. I think it was maybe because we were both writers and both passionate about the same things. He was eccentric and odd. For a while, it was like being with your best friend in the whole world. Then it gradually changed. He would get depressed a lot. When he was depressed, he would take it out on me. Not physically, you understand, but verbally. I didn’t realise until later quite how much it had drained me over the years. I would just let him yell at me until he couldn’t yell any more. And when he couldn’t yell any more, we would talk out whatever it was that was upsetting him or stressing him out. Quite a lot of the time, there was nothing that I could do about it but listen. It went on for quite a while like this. Sometimes he would even get angry at me because I wouldn’t yell back. I didn’t really see the point in yelling back.
One day, he told me he had leukemia. Of course, this meant he went off the rails with his stress and everything else. It yo-yoed back and forth. And all I did was worry about him. By that point, I was miserable and terrified of losing him. Every time he screamed at me, he crawled back hours later with his apologies. And every time he apologised I would just accept it.
It was shortly after my birthday when he told me that he didn’t love me any more. Except, that it wasn’t just that… He didn’t just say he didn’t love me any more. He said that he didn’t think he had ever loved me. Then he asked to be friends. Stupidly, I thought that I should. After all, I didn’t want to lose my best friend as well. And I tried. I tried really hard to be his friend, but he made it really difficult to do that. He would say things caustically that would hurt and then he would ask me why I was being off with him.
How else was I supposed to be with him?
We ended up not talking to each other, mostly because I couldn’t handle the pressure he was putting on me to be civil whilst he refused to budge. It was a really difficult situation.
A couple of months later, I was still desperately unhappy. I got in the house to catch lunch before I left again and found a parcel waiting for me. A friend had offered to send me two books that I was interested in reading. She’d finished them and said that it would be nice to share them with me. Since we live so far apart, the post was the easiest option to send me the copies. I picked both up and glanced at the blurbs. I was attracted to them both, but, for whatever reason, I was drawn to one of the other two books that my friend had also sent. According to her, she hadn’t intended to send the book at all, but when she’d been placing the others in the box it had seemed right to out that in too. It wasn’t the kind of book that I would normally pick up, either. If I’d seen it on a shelf, I would probably have walked straight past it.
Nevertheless, I opened the first page and started reading. The story was about a girl who went to stay with her cousins when a war broke out. The girl falls in love with one of her male cousins and for a time they’re really close and in love. Then this war comes to their house and they end up getting separated. The protagonist is taken away with the boy’s sister and they strive to get back to the house. Lots of things happen to them in between then and when they reach the house. The boy isn’t there when they get there and the protagonist’s father calls the house. She’s put on one of the first flights back to America when the airports are reopened. She saves for years to go back to the house. When she goes back, she finds the cousin she fell in love with, but he has withdrawn into himself because of something that happened in the war and he refuses to acknowledge her. He’d come to believe that she didn’t love him because she hadn’t found him. The book ends with her staying to tend the flowers in his garden because he seems only to enjoy them. It’s called How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff if you ever wanted to read it.
My point is that if it wasn’t for reading that book, I would have continued to be miserable and to withdraw in the same way that the boy in the book had. It also made me realise that if he ever had really loved me, then he would have strived to be with me like the protagonist had and that I needed to let it go, even if it would take time. Somehow, reading that book just made sense of what I’d been through. Being with him had been like fighting a never ending battle because I’d been so emotionally floored. The book made me feel as if it was peace time and the sun had come out to warm me back up. And, after a while, it managed to.
That’s not to say that I will ever forget him, but I found something that made it easier to accept things as they were.
Here are the places you can find Rebecca and her writing…