Friday, July 19, 2013

Remembering My First Love

I have been feeling very nostalgic for some reason... I have been thinking back to my late teen years and my life then. I have been thinking a great deal about my first real love. This doesn't mean that I don't love Matt because I do, but remembering my first love has been... wonderful to my spirit and my heart... as well as heartbreaking.

Let me start with a bit of a back story before I tell you about my first real love... I was always an awkward child and teen. I am still rather awkward as an adult. I think a lot of it has to due with my anxiety issues. I'm not 100% sure, but I would guess that is why. I never had any self-esteem and never felt like the boys my age liked me. I also was always super nervous when it came to talking to or spending time with anyone to whom I was attracted. When I was about 12, I took my first computer course. I loved it. I thrived in the anonymity of the internet. I made a relationship with one of my best friends throughout the remainder of my school years via a Yahoo! Personals ad before they were used for dating. I could be myself and not be afraid of what other people would think of me. That is when I became a computer nerd for life...

I had a ton of internet "boyfriends" throughout middle school and my first year of high school. I didn't think I was attractive enough for boys from my school to like me. When I was a freshman, I dropped 60+ pounds and started getting some attention from boys at my school. My first huge crush was on this guy named Heath my freshman year. He was a senior and a bad boy and I was totally attracted to him. We would chat online and I was one way, and he really liked me, but when I saw him in person, I was a totally different person. Because of this, he told me I was too young for him to date and he apologized. It broke my heart when I found out he was dating a girl who was actually younger than me. I didn't comprehend at the time that he meant I didn't have dating maturity... it had nothing to do with my age. 

My first boyfriend was named Nick when I was 15. He was a guy I had a huge crush on in middle school. He asked me out on a date at the beginning of my sophomore year. My parents made his friend and my younger sister go with us as chaperones. We had a great time and ended up dating for ten months. I didn't know it at the time, but he was very mentally abusive and controlling. My best friend was a girl named Patty and we were very close. We would hold hands and kiss each other on the cheek. It was totally and completely innocent, but Nick accused us of being lesbians and so I stopped spending as much time with her... My favorite pants were this pair of dark blue athletic pants with a white stripe down the leg. I wore them to school one day with a snug white top and he told me I couldn't wear the top anymore because he could see my bra through it. My parents warned me about him, but I thought I was in love. I gave him my virginity. Something that I semi-regret, but I can't change the past. I thought he was my first love, but looking back it was more like lust, infatuation, and a desire to be loved. I don't believe I ever truly loved him...

Before I tell you about my first REAL love, let me say that, to me, age has always been just a number. Because of my childhood, I have always been more mature than others my age... on some subjects. I realize that my emotional relationship was probably wrong on some level, but that doesn't mean it was any less real. Even ten years later, I still love Ryan. I will always love Ryan and I owe him the greatest gratitude that anyone could ever owe another person. I met Ryan via a Yahoo! Chat Room when I was 18... He was 34. Yes, 16 years older than me. At first, we were just really good internet friends. We had so much in common. We would chat about everything from music to poetry to novels to our goals in life. After a while we started talking on the phone. I see those movies where girls are targeted by pedophiles that only want sex, but that is not how it was with Ryan. I know this 100% for certain and I will get there in a bit, but I just wanted to get that out there. He never lied to me about anything. He was always up-front with me about everything. He was always 16 years older than me. He was always divorced. He always wanted children. He always had twin sisters who were quite a bit younger than him (like 20 years younger). We would talk for hours on the phone and there would never be a dull moment. I talked to him every day and told him everything there was to know about me and my life. When I told him that I was falling in love with him, he told me he had already fallen for me. My heart would race any time we talked and I looked forward to it every day. I couldn't wait to tell him everything. I truly loved him with all of my heart...

He lived about two hours north of me at that time working as a recruiter for some computer firm in Eureka. He said he wanted to meet me and I was definitely hesitant. I didn't know how things would turn out once we met in real life, but I decided that I needed to figure it out. He made a reservation at a hotel in my town and drove down for an overnight trip. He text me when he got to town with his room number and I made some excuse to my parents about where I was going. On the drive across town to the hotel where he was staying, I returned to the awkward girl who didn't know what to say. When I arrived, he greeted me equally as awkwardly. We went in his room and... nothing. We didn't really talk. We didn't touch. We didn't hold hands. Nothing happened. We watched TV and that is it. When I decided to leave a few hours later, I could tell that he was crushed that I was leaving, but he finally broke the barrier and gave me a big hug. Had he hugged me like that when I came in, my future could have been very different...

Looking back after ten years, I realize that I was being very selfish. He wasn't completely 100% attractive like the boys my age were, but he was attractive in his own way. He always treated me like I was this perfect girl... We could have been happy... He was devastated when I told him that the age difference had gotten to me... which is only slightly true. I was naive in thinking that we could remain friends after I told him I didn't want to be with him anymore. He stopped speaking to me and my heart broke. He told me not to call. He stopped chatting with me. He wouldn't respond to my emails or texts. I was miserable without talking to him...

We had a mutual friend named Phil. Phil was also an online friend to me, but he was like a brother to Ryan. I told Phil all of this... about how I was devastated that Ryan wouldn't talk to me... that more than anything else, I wanted to be his friend... that I still loved him, but I just couldn't be with him. Phil told me that Ryan had put me on this pedestal. Ryan felt like I was his soul mate and there was no getting over that. No other girl or woman compared to me... or ever would. Phil told me I had to honor Ryan's decision of not talking to him. [Granted all of this is coming from Phil so I'm not sure if it's 100% accurate.] It was the worst time in my life at that point... I wrote a poem right after everything happened... It describes exactly how I felt at that moment in time.

Tough times
Bad thoughts
Worse memories
Rough days
Broken dreams
Shattered hearts
Cruddy moments
Damaging words
Harmful actions
Unwanted advice
Delirious people
Slanderous evidence
Dark mood
Shady personality
Obscure ideas
Undesired attention
Useless feelings
Offensive offers
Murderous looks
Unacceptable life

Since this poem, I haven't written another. I don't know why, but I just haven't. Thinking of my relationship with Ryan, I realize that he taught me so much about myself. He taught me that I could be loved for me. I didn't need to change. I was perfect in my own way and I could be fully and completely loved. I could be someone's soul mate. I could be me... I love him for that... Moreso than I ever have, I love him for giving me that gift. I still miss his friendship... He added me on Facebook a few years back, but he still couldn't handle talking to me and deleted me after about a month. I would give anything to have his friendship again... I would love to be able to tell him all of this myself, but I can't find him anywhere online. Last night I think I found Phil on Facebook so I sent a message asking if it was the Phil I knew... if so, I'll see if he's spoken to Ryan lately and maybe he can pass on the message... 

I want to reiterate what I said in the beginning of this very long entry... Because I still love Ryan doesn't mean that I don't want to be with Matt... or that I don't love him, because I do. There is a big difference between loving someone and being in love with someone. I am not in love with Ryan, but I will forever love him...

EDIT: I feel like I should point out that I may not have ALL of the details 100% correct. I mean, it was 10 years ago and a lot has happened in 10 years, but I feel like all of the important parts are correct.

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