I've felt sad and without hope way too often.
The strange thing is..even though those past situations and occurrences hurt so bad, I think they were necessary. Not only have they taught me that I, at the end of the day, have to honour me and put ME first, but they also taught me that I deserve more; I deserve better.
You know what I thought? I thought that because I have an illness/condition, that I have to..."put up" with things, like perhaps not being treated as well as I should be treated, because I did not have the right to be "picky" about men. I should be so happy/lucky that someone wants to be with me in spite of the fact that I have a tricky and often unpredictable condition. I felt like I was either going to have to put up with that kind of shit, or I was going to need to "date down". When I say date down, I mean that I would have to date someone that I actually had little in common with and wasn't really attracted to simply because they wanted or was willing to give me the time of day.
Having learned to talk to others about my feelings and having learned to be open to and accept the (unbiased) suggestions of others, I began to heal. I healed enough to feel like I was ready to "put myself out there" again. I was guarded-very guarded, but I did it.
I went on many first dates. Many of those first dates would also be last dates, but I did go on many dates and met many nice people. But, while dating these nice people, I had to keep in mind that I'm allowed to be a bit picky. I had to keep in mind that people could be nice people and still not "be for me".
I met one guy in particular-he was great. Our first date was to a local pub for dinner, then out for coffee after dinner. On that first date, he baked me gluten free red velvet cupcakes from scratch. They were quite good, too! We sent text messages back and forth several times a day. We went out a second time, this time for dinner and a movie. He was super nice and I very much enjoyed his company. Pretty cool, huh?
Not quite. Yes, he was a wonderful, kind, and thoughtful individual. But...just not for me. There were certain things about him that I didn't like. I didn't like that fact that he was sometimes...negative for no good reason.
"That movie looks terrible. I wouldn't be caught dead watching that."
"Only an idiot would watch
Aside from that...it just didn't feel right. I knew that he really liked me. When I became distant and pulled away from him, he chased. But I let him go.
Just as I was letting him go, I met another guy. We texted back and forth and spoke on the phone daily for about a week before going on a first date.
The day we were to go on our first date was a day with near blizzard conditions. Undeterred, he picked me up right on time. When he picked me up, he came armed with sour peach candy (I had mentioned that sour peach candies were my favourite type of candy) and had in mind exactly where we were going to go for dinner. Much to my delight, he pulled into the parking lot of a pizza place that I told him was one of my favourites. The fact that he was not only listening, but incorporated these things into our first date was quite impressive if I do say so myself.
We chatted and laughed over pizza, often pausing without words while exchanging shy smiles and giggles.
I like this guy...and this was only after the first date! And what's more? He lives, literally, without exaggeration, about a 1-2 minute drive from my house!
We went out a few more times and I realized that I really did like this guy, and it was very clear that he liked me too. When this realization began to sink in, I knew that the time for me to tell him a little bit about me and my condition was here.
So I told him.
I told him that I had lupus. I told him about my kidney transplant. He knew about my knee surgery, as the scar on my knee is very apparent. I drew my breath in and let it out slowly.I was scared. I was scared about what he would say or how he would feel about it.
What he said next is something I will never forget.
He told me that he wanted to be there for me no matter what. He told me that he would take care of me.
He told me he wanted to be my rock.
I couldn't help it. I burst into tears. No one has ever said anything like that to me. They way he looked right into my eyes when he said it...I don't know how else I can describe it except to say that it was powerful. We sat there for about half an hour, me crying quietly in his arms.
As my tears began to dry, he asked me a few general questions about my condition that I was happy to answer. He asked me if I had any limitations he should know about, or anything that he should or shouldn't do. The fact that he asked these things because he wanted to make sure that I was well and comfortable...it was just plain thoughtful and amazing.
This all happened at the beginning of February. We have spoken to and/or seen each other every day since then.
He's always very complimentary. He makes me feel like the prettiest girl he has ever seen. He never makes me feel self-conscious about my scars or my less than perfect body. He's loving and accepting of all my perceived imperfections...all of my curves and all of my edges. When he looks at me...the way he looks at me..I can tell that he feels just as lucky to have me as I feel lucky to have him. In fact, he tells me this often. I tell him too.
Since our first date, I've told him whenever I'm going to a doctor's appointment, what it's about, what happened at my appointment, etc. Since then, he's been nothing but kind, gentle, caring, and attentive. He has been perfect. There is still much to tell and much to learn, but we're in no rush. I tell him new stuff about me often, and he always impresses me with his amazingly supportive responses.
Is he my knight in shining armour? Is he the guy I'll end up with forever and ever? Who knows. But what I can say is that it's absolutely extraordinary to know that there are (still) amazing people like him out there...and I just feel privileged to call him my boyfriend.
Oh yeah, meet Greg, my boyfriend.