Until that moment, I never knew how painful two seemingly harmless (and typically positive) words could be. It had been twelve hours since I saw his face. The face of a man who I thought was in the same place as me, and yet, two words created a divide between us that seemed to have no end.
Of course, my mind began weighing out my options. If I asked him about the comment, he’d know that I was paying attention to his Facebook page (and posts on other pages). And to those of you who want to say you don’t do that…go kid someone else. You’re a damn liar. If I didn’t say anything, I would throw myself into a state of purgatory. There, I’d sit and wait (and wish)…all the while feeling pain. Which was worse? I wasn’t sure.
I knew the best approach was to give it a few days and see if his behavior changed. If it didn’t, maybe he’d won a prize. Maybe he’d won me. If his behavior changed, maybe his prize was being a commitment-dodging bastard. Either way, I’d know by the way he treated me in future conversations. Could I do it? I was unsure, but I was going to give every ounce of effort I could muster because of the rejection I was feeling.
Two days after I made the decision to avoid beginning conversations with James, I was invited out with two of my girlfriends. These girls and I worked together at the part-time gig I briefly mentioned (Ike stalked me there). We were going to have a ladies night. I needed it…in the worst way.
Several margaritas deep, I yearned to hear from James. Anxiety driven, the fact that he was ignoring my existence was resurfacing unresolved feelings for Ike. When things weren’t going the way I wanted them to, it made me begin believing I was the cause of the problem. Was I? No. But again, when you’ve survived an abuser, you always question yourself.
The girls could sense that I was not myself. The solution we all came to was to drink until we couldn’t walk. To make sure I didn’t do anything damaging, I surrendered my phone to Jenny and made her swear that she wouldn’t give it back under any circumstances.
After a night of heavy drinking, our sober driver dropped Jenny and I off at her house. My head hit the sofa hard and I was immediately asleep. I survived my first battle with heart-breaking, I-cant-stop-thinking-about-him/what-did-I-do-wrong feelings. Hallelujah.
The next morning I woke up to the sound of Jenny’s rug rats running through the living room. Rolling over, I saw Jenny sitting in the chair next to me.
Jenny: “I feel like death.”
Me: “Me too.”
Jenny: “Let me get the little one ready for a drive. We’ll get your car in a few.”
Phone in hand, Jenny returned five minutes later.
Jenny: “You’re phone was vibrating like crazy after we got back here. Thank God you were here and I had my phone, otherwise the husband would’ve thought I was out picking up dudes.”
Me: “Did you look and see who it was?”
Jenny: “You don’t have the number saved in your phone. The texts make it sound like someone who knows you.”
I threw up when I got home. Too much booze and too much play make Fina a very unhappy lady. After hugging the toilet for a few hours, I realized something. I was strong enough to allow myself to surrender to a feeling without acting on it. I knew the cause of my sadness. I doubted myself because of Ike; that doubt stemmed from feeling rejected by James.
Regardless, my stubborn piss-and-vinegar ass didn’t cave. I didn’t call Ike or James. I took preventative measures and made the most of my time out with the girls. Holy shit. I could do this.
From that moment on, I vowed that no matter what happened between James and I, I would always remember the first time (since Ike) that I took a stand against feeling like a victim. I was still hurting, I was still curious, and I was certainly still pissed-the-fuck-off, but I survived.
A surge of dignity and self-worth shot through my body with the speed and power of cyanide. I was frozen in that moment for what seemed like an eternity. I was going to be alright. And, no matter what happened, I’d come out of this winning. If James thought he won a prize because he got a weekend ‘ass’ pass, well, he was a pathetic dick monger-er who didn’t know what was standing in front of him (like that? I’m a classy broad sometimes).
I stopped puking shortly thereafter and, after another round of showering, grabbed my phone. My goal? To figure out who had been blowing it up the previous evening.