16 Oct SIB Losing Me Week 1
Have you ever been surprised by the thoughts in your own head? Or have you ever heard yourself speak words and then wonder who said them? Maybe you’ve found yourself compromising on things you said you’d never do? You know what I mean, that’s when your “I will never” statements turn into “I don’t usually do this” statements, and then all of a sudden you’re forming new habits that you never would have imagined. Have you ever looked in the mirror and stared into the eyes of a total stranger?
I’m not sure the moment it happened, the moment that I lost myself, but I do know that I found out after everyone else. It was like everyone that loved me had the inside scoop that the “real Bonita” went on hiatus and they were just appeasing the imposter until I returned. My friends and family walked on egg shells around me, and if I had a dollar for every time someone asked me, “is everything really ok with you?” I would be retired and free from student loan debt.
One night I went to drop something off at my best friend’s house, and what I thought was supposed to be a quick transaction, turned into a conversation that I neither expected nor was I prepared for. She looked at me, with what I know was sincerity and tear-filled eyes, and told me that she didn’t know me anymore. She wasn’t sure who I was becoming, but she knew it wasn’t her best friend and that man (we will pretend that’s how she referred to him) was changing me into someone I wasn’t.
I could literally feel my heart break and even though I knew what she was saying was true, the only words that escaped when I opened my mouth were “I don’t know what you’re talking about, I’m the same person.” I could feel tears in my throat, but my pride wouldn’t let them fall until I got into my car. So I cried for the entire 10 minute drive back to my house where I went and buried my head in the chest of the man she had just told me was changing me. The man I loved. The enemy.
Well, I guess I’m starting in the middle of the story, so maybe I should back up a bit…
Lance (I will refer to my ex as Lance) and I met at work in 2007. I’m not going to bore you all with all of the history between us, but I do think there is relevant information in our foundation that plays out in our love story. He approached me romantically back then, but at the time I was in a relationship, and he said he wouldn’t disrespect my situation. He said we could just be friends, and from that moment he never came on to me inappropriately or in any non-platonic manner. Fast forward 2 years later, and my boyfriend and I were in a car accident; my boyfriend didn’t make it, and my life changed forever.
Honestly, the rest of 2009 was a blur in slow motion. I don’t remember very much of it other than doing a lot of sleeping, I went to a couple grief counseling sessions, and argued with a couple doctors about not needing anti-depressants. I wasn’t depressed, I was grieving. Besides, I had mentally put myself on this 3 day cycle, I wouldn’t allow myself to go more than 3 days without leaving the house. So every 3rd day, I got up, got dressed and prepared myself for the nervous conversations of sympathy everybody wanted to have.
One particular 3rd day I was finding it very hard to get out of bed. I was finding it very hard to cope with my grief, and it was impossible to stop crying. My phone rang. It was Lance. To this day, I have no idea why I answered that call, but I did. He was calling to express his condolences although it was about 6 months after the accident (I believe he was away in the military so distance kept him from knowing what happened in a timely manner). I guess it was apparent that I was upset, because he asked me how long I had been crying and what I was doing. I told him “all day and still in bed” and he said, “let’s go out.”
Initially I was offended and defensive; I couldn’t believe he was coming at me like this! But he must’ve been able to read my silence because before I could respond he said “I’m not asking you out on a date, I just don’t think it’s good for you to be crying at home alone, I promise. Just friends.” So I went, we had fun, and we were just friends. The next few months were nothing but a few scattered conversations and some text messages, no more friendly dates, all I knew was he was a nice guy.
2009 passed by painfully, and I was determined that 2010 would bring me some relief. I just didn’t know how. I started indulging in myself, spent unnecessary money on clothes and trips, started drinking and clubbing, and although I was going to church, I wasn’t trusting God with my problems. I was only looking for ways to numb the pain. I just didn’t want to feel the way I had been feeling anymore.
One night I was lonely, so I “did something I don’t usually do” and called Lance over. I wanted to have sex. I didn’t love him at the time, we weren’t in a relationship, we weren’t even conversing regularly. But I knew he was a nice guy and I just didn’t want to feel lonely anymore. For some unknown reason I thought this would make me feel better…
It didn’t. But it was the first of many compromises I made on the path to losing myself…