Today I am extremely thankful to have found a man that is everything I could ask for in a partner. He is sexy, loyal, intelligent, and funny as hell.
Our relationship is the first in my life where I have approached it without looking for someone to make me feel better about myself, to distract me from a breakup, or to be my saviour. I have been able to be more myself with him than I have ever been with another person, and never have I been happier.
He is nothing like any of the guys I discussed over the past few days, but their ghosts definitely haunt me sometimes. They like to come and open my baggage, throwing stuff around the room and making a giant mess.
The first time that Jack and I went to a dinner party with my friends he appeared to be having a good time, but when we left I still had the old reaction of tensing up for a fight about what a horrible evening it had been. When he assured me that he had truly enjoyed the night I broke out in tears of relief. Probably a bit much, but I think Jack realizes that some serious shit went down in times past. He was understanding of the emotional outburst.
While Jack was able to deal with me being a sap about enjoying our evening out, emotional outbursts of the negative kind as a result of your baggage can be very damaging.
Around the same time as the dinner party, Jack and I had a date planned for a Saturday afternoon. We had agreed upon a specific time, but as it approached I had not heard from him. I gave him ten minutes after the time he was supposed to pick me up before I called. There was no answer, so I left a message sweetly asking how it was going. Another fifteen minutes passed; I sent a text asking when he thought he might arrive. Another half hour passed and I sent a text asking if he was okay. An hour after that he called in a panic because he had fallen asleep. He asked me if it was still okay to come pick me up, and I invited him over.
By the time he made the drive to my house I had managed to open up some serious baggage. I was in tears because I felt like I had been forgotten. I convinced myself that his actions meant that he did not care about me.
Through my tears I was saying things like, “When this happened in the past it was because…” Then we made eye contact and I could see how much my words were hurting him. After one honest mistake, I was comparing him to the guys who had come before him and their motivations for treating me as they did. It was totally unjustified.
“I am not any of those guys, and I don’t intend to treat you like they did.” This moment is the closest I had ever seen him to being mad at me.
We all have baggage, but the big challenge is keeping it checked below the main cabin where none of your fellow passengers have to jump over it on their way to the bathroom. There are times when I struggle to keep my baggage contained, but I know that throwing their contents into my current relationship could have a disastrous effect.
I have to talk myself out of my insecurities frequently. It is a challenge that I will always face, but I have come a long way in the past year. Someday soon I hope to be able to uncheck my baggage and leave it behind entirely.