I still remember thinking no way would this relationship go anywhere. I clearly remember the moment I poured it out into the universe. I doomed it before it started. I was head strong. I knew what was right. I knew what was safe. This was a recipe for disaster, on so many levels. Yet somehow I was lured in. Slowly I lost my power. I fell out of love with myself and in love with someone else.
We all fall weak to different things. I fall weak to love. Not because someone loves me but because I love and I love hard. I am a firm believer in chemistry. The energy that flows between two people can be like flaming fire, distasteful repulsion or peaceful like calm still water.
He was a stranger with an intense energy that I felt the moment we met at a party in September of 2013. We talked for a while outside while the party was going on inside. I wondered who he was and asked the moment he left. Those connections don’t happen often, I couldn’t pass it up. Turned out he was someone’s, who was at the party, “side” man. Ugh!
I’m not exactly sure how soon after that party he found me on social media. I didn’t even know it was HIM till almost a year after the party. I remember him liking and commenting on many of my posts. Eventually I requested to follow back to see if I knew this person. His page was private and the profile info was of a business, or so it seemed. He accepted and there were no pictures of him for me to see. Still no idea who this was.
About 3 months short a year of that party he started sending me direct messages, small talk and memes that resonated. I had a connection with this person and had no idea it was him. I have made many friends over the years through social media that I am still friends with, some I have never met in person. Going as far back as the AOL days in 1997. After a while it seemed like a new online friend I made.
About a week before my birthday and 2 weeks shy of a year of that party he asked if I had WhatsApp and if we could message each other through there. I still hadn’t seen a picture of this person or had a clue he knew me but his request led to those questions… “Who are you?,” and “do I know you?” He was honest and said we had met once before at a party. At this point that party was a lost memory in my basket. I remember thinking, “Party? I don’t go to parties.” So I asked for a picture, he sent it and still I had no clue. More questions… “Who’s party? Why were you there? Who were you there with?” Finally he said he was at the party to meet up with someone that was there. After digging for more information and racking my brain I put it all together. I realize which girl and I remember exactly who he was but could not remember him looking like the pictures for the life of me. I only remember the connection we had through our conversations out front of the party.
I continued to entertain conversation with him but was defensive, with my guard up, this was sure to be drama. I don’t normally entertain much and certainly not drama at this stage of my life but he didn’t give up.
He asked many questions about me and my life and I learned some of his too. He had two homes, one of which was in Miami and the other in California. He had been in California for the past couple months during this time. Our conversations were very few that week until he sent a picture of him on a plane heading to Miami and asked to see me. There was no way I was going to meet this guy. He was the “side” guy of someone I knew very well. He then asks to at least meet to get a gift he had picked out for my birthday. After going back and forth about it, I agreed. I was driving home from work heading to meet him and I changed my mind. I called, told him I wasn’t interested in him or the gift. He expressed how he didn’t see the harm or understood my view of it all but left me alone.
Two days later, he called and invited me to a University of Miami football game with his friends and sons. My instincts said yes! I felt crazy and was nervous but took the chance, I went. I had a great time and that was the beginning of my disaster, a new relationship that I refused to believe in. It was messy when it started and kept getting messier but his persistence and his ways of caring for me stole the love I had for myself to love for him.
Almost a year into the relationship and I was so confused. We had broken things off several times. There were days he adored me and days that seemed he didn’t care. He distanced himself or would be short to speak and rude. There were times we would spend an amazing week together, and times he would ignore and disappear. I met his family, cared for his sons and met most of his friends but still it wasn’t right.
I didn’t believe I was in love with him. There was too much inconsistency. We were together but we were not. I couldn’t stand it but I couldn’t stay away either. I fought myself. I fought with him. A few times I chose the block feature, disconnected from him but still fell short to weakness and reconnected.
The only way I would be freed from this was to fall back in love with myself. Slowly I did things to better my life again. In January of 2016 I made several changes. I took my toxic life and started picking up the pieces. I stopped drinking as often as I used to, it was almost on a daily basis. In February I went back to the gym after years of inconsistency and since then made a daily commitment. I invested in my spare bedroom, made it a room for me to disconnect from the world and connect with myself. Still, things got worse. In May 2016, one of the many times he came back into my life with his amazing connection, he came and left again but this time felt worse than the others. In June I lost my almost 5 year old job. A job that I lived for… Stressed over morning, noon and late evenings at times till 2 in the morning. It felt like I was losing all around me.
I did some researching of his behaviors, certain keywords like toxic people and closure. I soon started following a Life Coach for Narcissistic Abuse learning about narcissism. His behaviors matched it to a ‘T’ and it seemed like I was caught up in it. I couldn’t understand how something like this could happen to me. It was bad. So bad that I needed to find myself again because clearly I was lost.
I was lost in depression. It can take over a person in as quick as a second. I was in complete denial. There was no way of all I had endured in life that these two silly circumstances could have me in a depression. I learned long ago how to accept my short comings and love my life entirely, no way this was happening to me. I thought for sure I was GOOD. I wasn’t.
In July I started searching, reading and investing more in myself. I stumbled across a retreat, not a spiritual retreat, a life coaching retreat with one of my favorite inspirational speaker’s Mastin Kipp from The Daily Love. I started following Mastin 8 years ago when he was just couch surfing, writing for The Daily Love. It was when I initially started learning what it was to invest in myself and was driven by growth. I was invited and decided to join Mastin’s “Enter the Heart Retreat” in Maui for August 2016, it was a month away. Simultaneously I stumbled across a Yoga flyer that peaked my interest. I just wanted Yoga, the advertised introductory session that was in my flyer. I called the Body & Brain Center in Coral Gables, the Master answered. He scheduled my session and it turned out to be an evaluation of LIFE! During my consultation we did some exercises, postures, stretches and he asked some deep questions about my life. There were certain pain points he touched that hurt physically but apparently meant that the pain was from within. I cried my eyes out and ended up registering for a 3 month program. It was at this point I truly realized I fell out of love with myself and in love with a narcissist. I slowly worked my way through it and gradually took my love back.
I decided to start working on my own life coaching business that I aspired to be 8 years prior when I learned about the craft and art of people – who they become and why. I did research. Read lots of articles and books. Prior to the retreat I was working on a logo for my new business. I figured I’d give myself some time for this venture. I looked into volunteering with Kristi House, an advocate for sexually abused children and their families, which I had also learned about 8 years prior. It was a trauma I knew very well about that would be a great tool for my business. I also reconnected with my bible study group that I was involved with 8 years prior, Bible Study Fellowship. All of which would begin after my return from the retreat.
I remember thinking I was crazy once I landed in Maui for Mastin’s Enter the Heart Retreat. I was fine getting to the airport, on the plane, during the ride but once I landed I felt nuts! I was all by myself… Traveling 10 hours by plane to be with God knows who to do God knows what.
I met one of the other women that was attending the retreat at the airport. We were placed in a facebook group prior to the retreat and got to know each other a bit over social media. We organized meeting up at the airport so some of us could drive together to the retreat. I love Hawaii, it’s one of my favorite places in the U.S. The drive to the retreat was refreshing. We checked in, got settled and went off to the first activity on our itinerary. As I was walking up to our meeting space, I was in heavy thought of my crazy fearless adventurous self. It turned out to be an amazing experience. It was a total of 25 of us, beautiful women from all over the U.S., Mexico and Canada. An extraordinary 5 days of awesomeness into self awareness of purposeful lives. I would do it 10 times over again. I hope to one day have a retreat that I may be able to invite you all to. It’s a reconnection with yourself, people and the world like no other.
I ended up launching my business immediately deplaning on September 1st 2016. I became an active volunteer for Kristi House. I try to go once a week to interact and play with the children, I also go when they need extra help in the office. Bible Study started soon after and I ended up becoming a volunteer for them too! And just like that, I fell back to my purpose <3