On May 13th 2010, when I woke up that morning no one could have convinced me of where I would be almost a year later. I woke up distresses, anxious, and at an utter loss. The day before my car broke down beyond repair, my boss warned me that if I did not have a car, I would not have a job; money was a problem, found out I had a stomach hernia, and the worst part of it all my girlfriend had run away with her ex all within 24hrs.
The hurt was so unexpected and out of my control, that it spun me into a dark place, which took me months to get over it. It was that week that The Lesbian Guru was created, I felt so lonely in the lesbian community and dumbfounded by the intricacies of being with a woman, I needed to learn more.
Even after I got bran new car, got promote into a new job, money issues were settling, got accepted into a PhD program, and had a sweet new girlfriend; I realized I was still hurting and lost.
Seven months would go by; women would come in and out of my life, with the bitter taste of her ghost staining my memory. Seven months of crying late at night when no one was around. Seven months of cursing the day she was born, and was given the opportunity to leave her imprint on my skin. Seven months of wishing I could erase my memory and say “yes” to those who waited in the dark for me to acknowledge their love. Seven months of pain.
By late autumn, I decided after much self-exploration and questioning that maybe there was such a thing as “never truly getting over a person.” I was finally accepting that pieces would remain missing within me and that life needed to keep moving.
It was at this time one Sunday afternoon that I was sitting with my best friend Ellen in her car, crying for the last time in each others arms of our past loves and hurts that my phone light up with an incoming message. I thought at first I had read the name wrong, but as soon as I took a better look I threw up. Ellen in shock read the name and proceeded to find me (as I got out of the car and started walking). She read the message out-loud, and then stared at me with that WTF just happened look.
It was an “I am sorry” note, and it left me numb and emotionless. I would be a liar if I said it wasn’t something I prayed for or that I did not care. I cared. I cared more than I was willing to admit or even wanted to feel. Part of me hated her for all the pain she had caused me and the other just wanted to feel her skin under my hand, and more than anything I just wanted to know Why.
I think that is when reconciliation begun for me. When a door is open into a relationship we have many choices. The better part of me wanted to enter, leaving the door wide open so that I could leave at anytime. I took a step in her direction; remembering that my intentions are to always be true, to keep an open mind, and have boundaries not wall, and to never punish her for abandoning me.
Individuals are never broken and the human heart is never beyond repair, but when reconciling with anyone it takes all individuals in the relationship to want to do it. Reconciliation is a goal and it requires a team to attain it; one person alone cannot do all the work nor is it fair.
Here are ten tips to help when starting the process of reconciliation:
- Start with friendship. When my ex came back into my life we made it clear that we would be friends. We were so determined to regain trust for one another at that level that we waited over a month to physically see each other again. It was worth the wait!
- We gave each other permission to “ask anything and keep no secrets.” This came with an additional side note “please no details.” We also gave each other room to feel the anger and pain but express it appropriately when we were both calm and ready to listen.
- This is an absolute “no-no,” no yelling, screaming, name-calling, or threatening. No harassing them by texting or calling multiple times! What is done is done, and if you are not willing to leave it in the past than you can forget about it ever working out in the future. Also, don’t play victim and use the past as a weapon, for example “you used to do this, you used to do that.”
- Set some rules and boundaries. Every once in a while you have to set your limits. “There are certain things I cannot and will not be okay with, it’s not a secret and I don’t expect you to read my mind, so I will share them with you.”
- More boundaries. Everyone I have allowed in knows this well about me. I am open to everyone and anyone, but if you hurt me and I give you a chance and you waste it there is no more chances after that. I have learnt that people will not change if they don’t have too, so if you keep giving them chance after chance there really is no point in the person listening to you because they already know they will get away with it. I always forgive those who have hurt me and then I let them go with an open heart, e.g. “I wish all the love and happiness in the world, thank for the time you shared with me.”
- Once you say you are ready to forgive, the work is on you in achieving it. Forgiveness comes from within so only you can make it happen.
- It takes two to make the wheels of a relationship move, therefore we all need to accept responsibility and fix the problem. Sometimes it’s not just about the other person that hurt us changing, but you included. It can be hard work, as we may have to change are attitudes and actions. Think about counseling and therapy if there are too many bumps in the way.
- Don’t beg, that changes the power situation in a relationship and it make you feel like shit. You will not need to beg if you actions and intentions are true, she will be able to see them.
- Keep family and friends out of it. If you need to talk about it that is what we have the mental health profession for “unbiased trained individual to listen.” You don’t need anyone’s approval because if they say that they love you, than they should always be there to understand and support you. There are some who did not want my ex back in my life, but they were supportive enough to know to keep their mouths shut with their opinions and just spread the love (thank you, you are a true friend!).
- Always communicate calmly and rationally or you will only scare them and drive them away. Remember what brought you two together and why it’s worth fighting for, but do it the mature way!
Nothing is guaranteed in life we can only do as good as with what we have been given and understand. I don’t know if this relationship will work out and I don’t care. I only care that some things are too great to let go off and that a chance for a life of true happiness can be found when anger, jealousy, and distrust are left behind; and compassion and love have taken their place.
Alex Karydi ~ The Lesbian Guru