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My current relationship, well I’ve been in my current relationship since 2002. That is when L and I started dating. December of 2002 to be exact. However, our relationship/friendship started way before that. You see L and I have known each other since we were Sophomores in high school. And to truly understand our relationship you have to know our history.FB_IMG_1452123121235

Between the fall & spring of 1992/93 is when we met and became friends. Toward the end of our Senior year (’96) we got a little closer, and then after graduation we lost touch for a bit.

In the spring of ’98 after a classmate passed, L and I started dating. It didn’t last long and when it ended I threatened to kill him if I ever heard from him again.

Years passed and he stayed away (smart man, granted he was in the top 10% of our graduating class. There was somewhere between 600-900 I would guess). In March of 2002, I received an email from him apologizing for being an ass. It took me a week or so to respond. I finally accepted his apology and we started fixing our friendship.

One drunken night after just having my appendix removed & my boyfriend breaking up with me I called him. It was late my time, I lived in TX, but not to late his time. (Because of him job he lived on CA) We talked, and that night truly mended our broken friendship. After that we talked a lot either but phone or email. He’d come home for visits and we’d hang out. He told me he wanted to get back together but wouldn’t push.

Even though I trusted him with my friendship, I wasn’t trusting him with my heart. I kept him at arms length as best as I could. It was difficult, because even though we lived in different states he was wiggling his way back into my heart.

In the fall of 2002, when I graduated from paralegal school he sent flowers. When he came home for Christmas we hung out almost every day. He took me to a Cowboys game, where I got drunk, thanks to his brother. Never say you can keep up with a man who drinks every night. I like my Jack & Coke but man a red solo cup full of Jack with a splash of Coke, will do you in. Needless to say I was trashed. After the game his brother wanted to prove I was in love with L. He did this by kissing me. Said since I wasn’t into the kiss (which was done in front of L & his brothers girlfriend) that I was in love with L. Drunk logic. We quickly left his brother’s place and L took me to a hotel to sober up. He was awesome, I rarely drink so much that I get sick but that day I did, and he held my hair and rubbed my back doing everything he could to help me.

By Christmas we were officially dating. This is also when things got interesting. Because of his job he goes to a lot of places and sometimes they go to clubs and do to our past he wanted to be completely honest about everything. Which I appreciate, so the drunk calls after nights out didn’t & don’t bug me. The emails saying “that was us and everything is fine” is a different story. Those freak me out.

That spring I flew out to visit a few times. In March he called my dad, and when I came out there a few weeks later he proposed, while we sat in the courtyard at the Mondovi winery. July of ’03 I moved out to live with him. That summer and fall tested us as I tried to find work in my field. I also went back to school to change my minor into a double major. So while living in CA, working on my English degree I planned my wedding. It’s a miracle it went off without a hitch. Before moving to CA we started planning so my dress was in TX and we were get married in Cincinnati. (That’s where I’m originally from & my family was bigger) The following June (’04) we were married.

We started looking at ways to get to the east coast so I had more choices for law school. However, that didn’t pan out and we were told pack your bags you’re going to Hawaii. So we packed up moved with our 2 dogs and 2 cats. HI didn’t help with the law school. I went from having two schools to choose from down to one. Now let me just say through all this and before I’ve been writing and L has been helping me (by typing everything into the computer because I hand wrote everything), he’s been supportive with both my writing and me wanting to go to law school. He tells me I can do everything and anything I want. So when we get to HI and I finish my second degree I decide I want to get my masters.

Being in HI for five years tested us. It was the start to learning how much a couple can take mentally and physically. The phrase through sicken and in health really did come into play. Not only was I over extending myself with grad school, I was working as close to forty hours as possible, which was making me sick on top of us trying to have a family and not succeeding. Mentally I was beating myself up and L was right there trying to support me, hold me, force pain meds down my throat (when I was being a pain in the ass and refusing to take them), taking me to the ER and taking care of me after every surgery. Not to mention we lost our English Bulldog in 2008, and the cat L pissed off in 2010.

It’s a good thing we make each other laugh, otherwise I’m not sure how we’d have made it through. We started an ongoing joke with my parents that he needed to trade me in for Teresa 2.0 because they sold him a lemon, and I was under warranty. My dad would tell him that he was stuck with me because I wasn’t broken before we got married. We still joke with each other about it.

In 2010 we were told we had to move, and this time we were headed for the east coast. After being stuck on an island for five years, L and I decided we were going to drive across country during December. Along the way we made a few stops to visit friends and relatives, and the trip originally sounded awesome, that is until we land in CA, and go to L’s sisters place. The morning after we arrive we get woken up because our Boxer was found dead in his sister’s pool. Losing Artemis was hard, and Holly (our then 3 1/2-year-old puppy) and I were extremely depressed. While it wasn’t a trip from hell it wasn’t the easiest trip we’ve ever taken. Once again we had each others back and we soldiered through it.

Christmas of 2010 was one of the hardest for us. Not only had we lost Artemis, we were dealing with my dad having cancer and we had to tell our families that they wouldn’t be getting any kids from us. It was one of the hardest things we had to tell our families.

When we finally reached the east coast, about a month in I was under the knife and s few days later L was driving me back to TX as he was going to be a way for a bit. In May of ’11 as I celebrate my little brother’s graduation, I’m also heading to Cincy as I was told my dad had three weeks to live. L has to rush home so he can be there for me.

L has always been my rock. Always been a gentleman and protector. And during this time he proved why. Not only did he help take care of me but he helped everyone he could. When the shit it the fan, at my dad’s funeral. and the family found out I’d been sexually abused as a child. L was there to protect me from my family, and knowing the stress my body was under and both the mental and physical pain I was in he whisked me away. That was a hard few months, once again he held me close and made me feel loved.

From 2011 – 2014 the only really tough issues we had to face was me having migraines all the time, my final two surgeries and the doctors almost killing me. I know that’s a lot. All of these were huge. They were all very emotional as well. Well not the migraines but the two surgery that truly ended all hopes of having our own children and putting me in to menopause, even though I’d been in it with medication for years. Talk about feeling broken, and I did feel broken. I felt like I let L down, and yet he said “I didn’t marry you to have children we can adopt or be the best aunt & uncle to our nieces and nephews” I’d cry and so would he then he’d say “I’m talking to your mom about that warranty maybe she’ll upgrade you since your dad wouldn’t.” She didn’t bite. In fact I think she said he was shit out of luck.

Now through all of this I must confess that I still held part of myself back. Why because of events that happened in my past. All three L kind of knew about yet he didn’t know the whole story. So while he’s been completely open and honest I had not.

Which brings us to this last year. Once again we were moving. Another adventure and this time all I have to do is write. I’m already in a contract for one book, yet the release date has come and gone. It keeps getting moved. I get asked to move to a different publisher and I go this time the deal is bigger. I’m getting my info out in the community.

Events arise and what could have destroyed L and my relationship actually bring to light how deeply scarred I am from my past and repressed I’ve been. With a hell of a lot of understanding, poking, crying and yelling, all my walls when it comes to L come crashing down. It took twelve years for L to learn all there was to know, and not just touch the surface of the events that closed me off. When I finally was able to delve into my past and tell him some of the issues and details, we became closer than we’ve ever been.

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Photo by Kristen Ariel Photography

I no longer want to hold anything back from him. It’s been the scariest thing I’ve done, opening up like I did, and I’ve had some scary shit happen over the years. But our relationship is better for it. Granted if I wouldn’t have been a chicken shit to begin with and could talk about the sexual assaults, mental & physical abuse then it wouldn’t have taken so long to be this free and close.

It took a strong man to deal with all the health issues (really one recurring issue), it took an even stronger man to accept and help me break through the walls I’ve had in place to protect myself. I’m thankful that every day L tells me how wonderful I am, how much he needs me, how beautiful he thinks I am and that he never wants to let me go. Trust me there are times I ask why, and he looks at me and says “because I love you”.

He is the glue that keeps me together and sane. And while we we’ll always have our ups and downs, he is my partner, my best friend, my biggest support and supporter. Every day I’m glad he didn’t listen to me when he sent the email to apologize, though on some of them I ask myself why I responded. But I can’t see my life without him in it. So in the end my current relationship is amazing and I wouldn’t change it for the world.