The ex-fiancee and the ex-girlfriend had coffee last night and it was everything I imagined it would be.
She was so sweet. So gracious. So open with me.
I apologized for the weirdness. It felt really weird sitting there across from someone I had wanted to ask so many times, “Is this how he treated you? Am I making this up? Why can’t I leave?” But she was there. And I WAS asking her those things.
She said she moved out here from California to be with him and she had huge reservations then, but she did it anyways. She said there were great experiences but, looking back, she didn’t know if they were worth it. Worth what he put her through. I completely found solace in everything she said. She validated me. I hope I gave her something as well, and I think I did.
“It’s like watching a bad movie,” she said. “You get done and you are like, I will never get those two hours of my life back.”
An hour later, we hugged, said farewell and keep in touch…and left to live our own lives. We had both been affected in strong ways by the same person. We had very different relationships, but the most similar experiences. The only kind of experience that you would have to live through in order to understand what someone meant when they said, “It was traumatizing.”
So what did I learn? I confronted my fear. I trusted my instinct. Something I had been ignoring for a long time. Something that he had emotionally beaten out of me.
And now, today, I feel like I got a piece of myself back. And I am so grateful to her.