2.24.2012

flashback ramblings

One of the most hurtful times in high school has become something that has forever changed me. I remember coming home one Saturday after being out with my family, feeling happy and content. But it was soon one of those Pride and Prejudice nights. The doorbell rang, but I stayed in my parents bedroom with Hope watching the movie. Soon my parents and brother excitedly ran down the hall to tell me that I needed to come to the door. On the doorstep, candy had been sprinkled around and a stuffed white bear was holding a pink notepad. I can't really remember the exact wording, but it said something to the effect of, "I would be beary glad if you would go to the dance with me." I flipped through the notepad finding letters written sporadically throughout the whole thing. I pieced the letters together into a name and my first thought was, 
"It can't be."

My family and I were so excited about it, dancing around the room. I couldn't even sleep, because I felt so excited. The next day at church, someone asked me if I had been asked to the dance yet and I told her I had. She said, "Yeah, I know about it. It's probably just some kind of a pity date and his actual girlfriend is pretty upset about it all." I went home feeling mad and dejected, I didn't even feel like going now. My parents convinced me that I shouldn't feel upset and the initial excitement returned.

The dance wasn't for three more weeks, but I kept playing scenarios of the night in my mind--what we would talk about, what we would wear, who would be in our group, if we would go to dinner, etc. I didn't find out until the day before what we would actually be doing and in retrospect, that should have been my first clue to how the date would go.

The day activity was fun, but we didn't really talk much and I wondered if we would even have fun at the dance later. Then that night, I started feeling sick to my stomach and I told my family I didn't want to go, but I wasn't sure why. The date ended up being a real doozy...everything from the conversations to leaving me on the dance floor multiple times to find his girlfriend (who went with someone else) to "make sure she was okay" to not walking me up to the door at the end or opening the car door for me. I ended up crying myself to sleep that night.

This guy talked to me in AP Calc the Monday morning following the date and after hearing about it all, he said, "I bet it wasn't really that great, Catherine. I know you and I can tell you didn't have the best time of  your life. And I also know he's kind of full of himself." And of course, he was right as usual, but I didn't want to admit it to him. Everyone else at school was telling me how lucky I was to have gone with him and asking me if I had the best time ever. "He's such a wonderful guy, isn't he?!" "I bet that was the best date you have ever been on." And that's when I lied to myself and others. I would give gushing replies about him and the date, when in reality, I felt so hurt. This guy who everyone was in love with wasn't the knight in shining armor I thought he was and then as I thought about it more, I started to blame myself. "It was probably something I said." "I'm not pretty enough or smart enough." "It's probably because I am not in Sound Ideas (all girls musical group) or in the musical." "It really was a pity date." and on and on and on. The weeks went on and I felt miserable and hurt, though I tried to act unaffected by it all.

By the end of summer and the start of the next school year, I started to feel more normal and happy and then I met this practically perfect guy. We were talking one night after studying and I brought up this date and we talked about what had happened for a long time. He said to me, "Catherine, you should never blame yourself unless you actually have cause to and you didn't. He was a first class jerk to you and you deserve better than that. Do you hear me? You deserve better. You deserve someone who will sweep you off your feet and do anything for you...someone who cares more about you than he cares about himself."

You want to know what the sad thing is? I didn't really believe him until about a year after that conversation. Those words came back into my mind, "...Someone who will sweep you off your feet and do anything for you." It finally hit me that I would do anything for a guy I liked, but I never had anything nor expected anything in return. Why had I never seen that before? It's not that I didn't have self esteem in high school, but I didn't see that I deserved to be treated better. In my institute class lately, we have been talking about how you have to first love yourself and then you will be able to be selfless and love others completely in your relationships, especially in dating which eventually leads to marriage. It can't be all one-sided and it needs to be a give-and-take relationship. I know now that this is what I should aim for, what I deserve, what everyone deserves to have.

It's late and I don't know if any of this makes a bit of sense, but I just needed to vent and get it all out there. The only thing I regret is letting myself feel that it was somehow my fault and being so down on myself. I constantly need to remember that I can't get down on myself, unless I actually have cause to...if I did in fact cause pain or say and do hurtful things and then I need to do all I can to repair the situation. I do not regret these experiences, because they have changed me and molded me into who I am today. I am grateful for these hurts and how they have turned into building blocks....building blocks of who I am and who I want to become. Sigh. Life can be hard, especially loving in life, but I do know that it is also one of the most rewarding and powerful feelings ever. Keep hoping that better things will come your way and they eventually do.

3 comments:

  1. i love this. we all have experiences that are hurtful and the best is when we learn from them like you have. i dated some sucky people before i found jared. but it was those sucky times that made me recognize jared. honestly, in so many ways, he is just like any other person. but i feel like through my awful dating experiences, i was given super glasses, and looking through them i can see that jared is not just any guy. he is such a gem. i'm so glad i found him and never let go.

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  2. glad you realized that you have needs too! i think every girl goes through this at least once (probably more).

    :)

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  3. please marry mr. perfect when he gets home from the mish. i feel like you & i have a lot in common - dating wise. i always let the way boys treat me influence my thoughts and feelings toward myself. it has taken many years to learn as you did that this is not how we should live our lives. we deserve far more. we deserve that sweep you off your feet knight in shining armor kind of guy.

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