There is so much I could write about it's hard to know where to begin. The time between New Year and my birthday has always been a transitional time. Contemplating the passing year and preparing for the New Year lasts the 3 weeks until my birthday for me. Just to make it even more intense, my brother's birthday is New Year's Eve. His 28th birthday really made me sad. It's hard to believe that he was only 19 when he died. He never even made it to his 20's.
All these negative emotions are coming up double right now- anger towards my parents, self-doubt about being able to make things better, feeling resentful towards my job but then blaming myself for not being more successful, and depression about where I'm at right now and missing my brother. I think it will get better, though. I'm painfully moody, but I think I just need to feel this way so I can let it go.
All this emotional stuff really started about 6 months ago, on the 4th of July. At the time I was pretty much feeling angry at the whole world, like nothing was going my way, and then I got an e-mail from "the psycho". The psycho is my ex-boyfriend. We went out for 4 years, and I left him 3 years ago because he was so controlling and jealous that I thought he would prevent me from finishing school. Since our breakup, he’d been harassing me. He doesn’t know where I live, but he did have my phone number and e-mail.
This was a typical e-mail, but ratcheted up a few notches. He said that the breakup was entirely my fault; I made him into an alcoholic, and closed with “if I see you I’ll show you how I feel about you”. I took that threat very seriously because one night during the time that I was trying to break it off with him, he became violently drunk and I thought he was going to kill me.
I was scared, but I finally got it. Why had I stayed with someone like that for so long? It’s not as if I just realized he was like this. From the beginning, he was possessive and manipulative. He tried to isolate me from my friends; he constantly put me down. He was the first person I went out with after my brother died. I felt guilty and responsible for Jeff’s death, and I was still grieving. I feel like the psycho took advantage of my emotional vulnerability, similar to how my dad became more abusive when I was hurting, like when my dog died and after I told him and my mom that my great-uncle was sexually abusing me. It was exactly the opposite of what I needed. I didn’t think I deserved comfort and sympathy after my brother died, even though that’s what I should have had.
Whenever I think about my relationship with the psycho, I get angry with my dad and sad about my brother. I feel so angry with my dad for teaching me that relationships are a power struggle with one person having everything their way and the other getting nothing, and that I don’t deserve respect and compassion. I feel sad that I’ve spent so much time feeling lost and alone since Jeff died. I don’t know how to explain it, but I feel like I don’t know who I am anymore. I’ve lost my direction. Jeff was the one person I really trusted. He believed in me, and that made me believe in me. But then he abandoned me, without even saying goodbye. That’s a loneliness that I don’t know will ever go away.
I finally realized when I got that e-mail that I was just facilitating the psycho’s harassment of me, so I changed my phone number and blocked out his e-mail. I was still scared, though. I was afraid of running into him, and didn’t know what I would do if he came at me. I kept telling myself that I would deal with it if it happened because I would have a panic attack when I thought about it. I haven’t actually seen him since I left 3 years ago.
A couple days ago, I was driving through Ravenna where he lives, and I decided to drive by his house. I do this once every six months or so, hoping to see my dog or cat (he won’t let me see them), or that he moved away. As I got close to the house, I saw a big “For Rent” sign in front. I also saw his car. Then I looked up at the porch, and I saw him. I stopped the car, and looked at him, and he looked at me. I started to smile. I drove away, still smiling. I felt a huge weight lift off me. He saw me, and nothing happened. I’m not afraid of him anymore.