How do you walk out of a dysfunctional relationship? I wish I learned earlier, in my life, how to do it. It would have saved me a lot of time. And not just that: it would have saved me energies and happiness.
I had two major relationships that — at some point — involved a lot of stress. The first was this very sensitive girl. We really spent a lot of time together. Almost three years.
A better future
I guess I loved her. Unfortunately I do not think this was enough. Things started to go on the wrong path after a year or so. Myself, I was getting out from an important long-term relationship. And I was probably focused on other aspects — in my life — than saving someone else. At the time, I decided to offer myself a better future: I enrolled at university, keeping my job at the local hospital as ambulance driver. This required a lot of energy and dedication.
Leaving her behind
She never accepted the change, and the girl had her good reasons. Our worlds were parting away. She became extremely jealous — it was not about other girls, it was about the fact that I was more and more involved in a reality she could not access. It was not her fault. Life had not been generous. I had to realize — sadly — that her wounds were beyond my ability to heal. However, it took long time to walk away, so strong was my feeling of guilt for letting her behind.
One coin to get in
The second girl, I am not even sure how I got into that relationship. A friend of mine described it with the words of an old Serbian proverb: “You paid one coin to get in” — he used to tell me — “but now you would pay 10 coins to get out“. She was kinda manipulative, and never gave me a straight answer. On anything. I reached the point where I could never know if what she was telling me was true, or if the girl was making out a story for some other purpose. I feel she had a serious lack of self-confidence. Or maybe it is just me — still giving her some justifications. I had to cry a lot before realizing my happiness was elsewhere.
I broke up with other girls too. Most of the time, it just happened we grew apart. Some, I walked away without looking behind. Some other girls just took a train, and left me standing there. So it goes life, and I am still grateful for all those moments. Each time, I had a unique occasion to start over again. And I would have never met Bella, if I would have been (still) stuck in some older relationship.
“No god will save you from this” — Steve McGhee is a visual artist creating controversial (and yet terrific) representations of disasters, catastrophes and other dramatic events. More of Steve’s work on his website: http://stevemcghee.com/