I used to think that being cheated on was limited to that of carnal knowledge.
But in truth, cheating is the betrayal of love and a violation of my trust. Love should be truth, honesty, respect and much more. I wanted a love that was true to me. A love where you tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but, even when it hurts—ESPECIALLY when it hurts. A love which protects me from harm, even if that harm is my partner. I wanted to be respected for who I am.
I was an open book. You’d know my entire life story in under 15 minutes—10 if I talked fast. I would trust just about anyone; it didn’t take much.
I had never been cheated on, or at least, not that I know of. Not until he violated every boundary I didn’t have, because I thought that’s what love was. When he confessed, I was devastated. His guilt was now my pain. My imagination ran amok. I saw images of them together, sweet nothings they whispered to one another and the jokes they shared (possibly at my expense). I imagined parts of him that touched me now touched her as well. I couldn’t un-think those thoughts; I couldn’t un-feel those feelings. They gnawed at me 24/7, and when I least expected it, the haunting thoughts of them came barreling toward me at warped speed. His adulteress made me feel dirty, and I had never met her. I was sick to my stomach. The violation of my trust was crippling.
His betrayal brought out every insecurity I ever had and lined them up front and center. It unleashed a primal fear in me. Being cheated on turned me into the worst version of myself. I questioned the very essence of who I was and my existence; I even had thoughts of suicide. I wanted to meet her, to see how she stacked up…. to see if she was taller or shorter, fatter or thinner, prettier or uglier. I had fleeting thoughts of how to seek revenge. In under 60 seconds, I had thought of 250 ways to do an awful thing. I became an international spy, skulking around corners, checking his texts, emails, and call logs.
But that was a year ago.
When I came to my senses (in what felt like an eternity), I hung up my catsuit and spy gear. I retreated into my shell like a tortoise and stayed there, vowing to never come back out. I needed the time and space to heal, and eventually I did, enough to put one toe back in, to test the water. I was welcomed back to the world of the living.
For me, being cheated on was a good thing, if you can wrap your mind around it. It taught me that I can still be open, honest and trusting, but I can also protect myself at the same time to avoid being hurt. It taught me that boundaries are okay in a relationship. Actually, they’re vital for any healthy relationship to survive.
So, this is for my future love, whoever you are and wherever you may be. When we meet, I will initially be shy and quiet. I may appear closed off and private. I may seem unapproachable, and you may think I’m aloof. But it’s only because I want to be sure that when I do give my heart to you, I know that without a doubt, you will love it and respect it like it’s your very own.