There’s that moment.
You look at yourself in the mirror and you don’t even recognize yourself anymore. Puffy, black raccoon eyes and a look of emptiness in your pupils. You are broken. Unhappy. And betrayed.
I joked about getting dumped on holidays because it is better to just look back on the past with humor. But this curse continued to Valentine’s Day when I found out the man I had been dating for several months had another girlfriend.
This man was clever. I have been cheated on before, but never like this. He knows exactly how to blindfold you before he rips out the rug from below your feet. He fills your thoughts with travel, love and loyalty. He talked about his tattoo and how he didn’t tattoo honor on his back for nothing. He treated you like you were the only woman on earth and that intimacy was so important to him that you really felt like a porcelain doll in his hands – so careful and delicate with the way he held you.
He was successful and used this to his advantage. I admired him so much for working so hard. So much in fact, that showing up hours late to dinners and dates was just swept under the rug because I wanted to be supportive of his success. Only later to find out he was “late” because working so hard really meant he was with someone else.
I fell in love with the idea of him. I was hesitant in the beginning. He talks about taking off in a helicopter to Catalina and taking you on a trip to Mexico. At first you think, “This guy is unreal and a joke.” I really did not need fancy things. But then he convinces you that he wants to show you the world because he thinks you are special. You put all your logic aside and you enter this fantasy world.
He fills you up with hope and tells you how much he loves kissing you and that he can never get close enough- he only wishes he could get closer.
I was so consumed in him I paid for a weekend in Mexico to treat him to massages, dinners and an oceanfront room complete with wine and chocolate covered strawberries. He is the real life John Tucker. He convinces you he wants to keep his personal life private so he won’t put anything up on his Facebook about you two because it is “only for work.”
And you yet again believe him. How could you not believe him when he looks at you with sincerity and assures you everyone knows you two are together? He invites you along with his friends and to his work events. And again… it is decided to support his work. Be that confident, trusting girlfriend and you end the argument on Facebook commitment.
But little did I know Facebook would soon be the opened door to reality. A simple comment on his photo brought me to this place. Staring at this broken person in the mirror. There was another girl. A few others. Everything he ever said was part of a script. He couldn’t get close enough to any of his women. He spent his Valentine’s Day bringing flowers to someone else as he says to you he is on a business trip and can’t wait to see you the following day.
My heart was heavy and my gut was telling me something was not right. How convenient that I was so understanding, and he was able to celebrate Valentine’s Day with me earlier. Even as we crossed the border from Mexico to the U.S. he explained to the border patrol his reason for traveling, “I travel for business so I’m celebrating Valentine’s Day with my girlfriend this weekend.”
All the lies came flooding out. He had another girl for the past month who was being promised the same trips, told the same lies and believed he thought she was special too.
I’ll never forget how wrapped up I was. Frequently telling him “whatever makes you happy babe,” and “as you wish.” I wanted so badly to relieve his stress and reward him for his hard work. I gave the world to him and he just gave me words without meaning.
How does a man not feel bad when he sees his girlfriend slaving away in the kitchen making a meal from scratch along with cookies and wine after he had just been with the other girl? How does he not feel bad for being hours late? How does he not feel bad for having her drive him to the airport when he was only going to hook up with other girls on his trips?
I stare at the mirror feeling like a fool. Feeling unloved, unwanted and just so very empty. But then I think about him. When he is alone and staring back at himself, he must be empty too. I loved with every inch of my body and broke down my walls to trust. I am the brave one and he is the coward. He still won’t admit his wrong even after I had phone conversations with the other girls.
The answers will be left unanswered and he will continue to fill fantasies in women’s heads. But for those moments I felt special I thank him. Because one day that feeling will be infinite. And one day a man will tell me – and only me – he can’t get close enough to me. One day I will be loved and the man will mean it.
But for now I look at myself and pour water on my face. I wipe the black from my eyes and cover up the bags. I will build myself back up and move forward. Because I am a woman. Beautiful, strong, and ready to be made whole again.