We don’t need to get into the nitty-gritty details, but through college, I was in a very serious relationship. When I got out of it, honestly, it was something that I was embarrassed and ashamed of. I didn’t want to talk about it and I expect my mom told everyone not to bring it up.
Fast-forward to now – about 2.5 years since it all happened. I saw one of my aunts, the one that looks the most similar to my mom, for the first time since then. I want to discuss a seemingly innocent, brief conversation that took place and the meaning it had on me.
A couple of hours after arriving at the lake, we were discussing someone we know that is in a bad relationship.
While sipping her wine (out of a plastic water bottle), she said, “If anyone ever tries to make you be less than you are, you need to walk away.”
I took another sip of my beer and bitterly muttered, “Don’t worry. I have experience in that.
Passionately, she told me, “And that was so brave of you. I never told you that, but I raised a glass to you doing that.”
“Yeah, and we all liked him. We had no idea,” My brother interjected.
Not wanting to get into a sentimental conversation or dive into anything, I made a noncommittal noise and they seemed to sense my desire to change the topic. Our weekend continued without any other mention or hint of that past.
Let me express myself in writing, though it probably still won’t do it justice how much that simple comment meant to me.
Ever since everything happened, I’ve struggled between feeling like I was weak to be in that situation or strong that I got myself out of it. As previously mentioned, it’s not something that I like to talk about. I’m much more interested into looking forward instead of behind. That being said, that doesn’t mean your demons don’t do their best to remind you they still exist.
Did I realize when I was with my aunt again that the last time we saw each other, I had him with me? Yes. Was I worried about what she thought about everything? Of course. Should I have been? Absolutely not.
That comment is something I’m going to hold onto on the days when everything rushes back and I struggle to push it back down again. Because it was brave that I got out of it and moved forward.