My past has really shaped who I am. To give a quick recap – I married the first person I ever dated. We began dating at 19-20, married at 26, divorced at 28. Early on that road, I found out about his many indiscretions, and kept re-finding out about them throughout the years. His issues with alcohol (consistently) and drugs (at times). He pushed me around here and there and threw hard objects at me, but mostly he was just mean. Really mean. The meanest anyone’s ever been to me. Oh. And the girls. So many girls. So much cheating – I don’t think there was a year without cheating in all of that. There was a long period of time that he was clever enough to have 2 full ongoing relationships outside of our own – with none of the women suspecting a thing. OK, I always suspected – in fact, I always knew, but I didn’t know that I didn’t need to take it. Let’s backup one more time – to my very traditional Indian upbringing. I was raised by a mother who constantly reinforced that because I was overweight and dark, no one would want to marry me. The first time I can remember her making those remarks is from when I was in the 2nd grade. That being said, when I was 19 – a boy actually liked me. Let’s set aside the fact that he treated me like utter garbage from the day we met (he stood me up, no surprise) until the day we divorced. But after believing that no one will ever want you, it’s pretty easy to get swept away when someone does. And then you get caught in this idea that no one else will ever want you, so you better stick it out with the one who does, even if he’s a creepy, low-life. Not to mention the fact that he would pretty often reinforce the fact that no one would want me after him. You hear it enough. You believe it.
This weekend I was surprised by my past when it hit me right in the face. Immediately after my now ex-husband moved out, I deleted anything off my harddrive with his name in it, as well as tons of pictures from our years together. It was painful and therapeutic all at once. Once that was complete, I took all the files from my computer (documents and photos) leading up to our breakup (whether they had anything to do with our relationship) and threw them in a folder called “History” – to be organized at a later date. On Sunday, while creating a mix for my niece, I decided to start sorting through some of the old “History” pictures, mostly of my family. I have so many, from so many years that I thought it was worth organizing them. I’m not sure how, but I got to the documents section and started sorting through those – I can’t believe that I’ve got almost all of my high school and college papers saved. (I’ll have to read through those at some point!) And then it happened. I came across all these files and conversations I saved with my ex. They were almost always from situations where I found out he was lying to me and was confronting him via some e-conversation because he was always too big of a coward to face me. Some of them were saved under weird cryptic titles – possibly because he used my computer frequently and I didn’t want him to see that I was saving all of this. I read a line or two of each doc and quickly deleted them – one by one – with a huge smile on my face. Those memories don’t hurt me anymore. In fact, I see how much I’ve grown since going through all of that – how I’m much happier and more confident woman. I’m strong and independent and am fully aware of how awesome I am. But reading through all of that did make me sad. Sad for my ex. Sad for the person he was – and that, according to all accounts, he’s still that same person. Lying, cheating, drunk, and mean. Just now, he’s someone else’s problem and not mine.
KEEP CALM, SMILE & PRESS DELETE.