How Reconnecting With An Old Flame Led Me Down A Dark Path.

Jeff Blog Post How Reconnecting With An Old Flame Led Me Down A Dark Path.

The reality hit while I was staring at my chewed up nails and running my tongue over the hole I’d worried through my lower lip. I wasn’t proud of my mental breakdown, but not exactly surprised by it either. Over the past few weeks I’d lost a little bit of a lot of things. I’d lost a little bit of my heart; a little bit of my dignity; a little bit of nails, hair, and skin tissue; but most of all I had lost my mind.

I’ll back up, because I’m sure you’re confused. A few weeks ago I told you about how I reconnected with my first love who I dated throughout high school. I didn’t get into specifics but we weren’t your typical high school couple. We weren’t on again off again. We were together for years, inseparable and very much in love. But please understand that I do recognize this was 20 years ago. However for me, the relationship lives inside my heart, and I could play it out as if it were yesterday.

When I reconnected with High School Ex (HSX), and found out he didn’t share the same emotions or have many memories of our relationship, I didn’t deal well. He responded with comments such as, “living in the moment,” “not having many emotions from 18 years ago,” and “not having many memories from that time due to being wired differently”. We talked about meeting up for lunch to reminisce, or as he suggested, possibly a drink after work.

A drink after work. This is what my high school love story had become. Excuse me while I pawn my promise ring. He wanted a quick drink and I wanted a few hours to recall countless experiences we had as teenagers. It was obvious we were on different pages and I should have taken the hint. No woman wants to feel unimportant in any situation, and this situation was particularly touchy. I’ve been known to tell men, “All women are crazy, pick your favorite one and move forward,” and at this point, I was starting to show my crazy.

I knew he hadn’t forgotten me as a person obviously, but to act as if you’ve forgotten nearly 4 years of your first relationship? I was his first girlfriend. Yes. Look at me over here folks, waving the freak flag, first girlfriend! How do you forget that?

As you can see, it all started spiraling out of control from there. I’ve never been shy in telling my readers that I suffer from bi-polar disorder. Since I am medicated, I enjoy a pretty stable lifestyle. But let’s be honest, no medication can withstand staring into the eyes of your first love, and feeling that type of rejection.

After some choice words were shared on a Facebook chat that may or may not have ended in tears and an unfriending, I sat down and got busy. I typed out a 12 page letter of memories from our years together – some good, some bad – and sent them overnight to his office. I know he received them, because I had a tracking number.

Then I waited. And I waited. I started feeling like Rachel in Friends when she wrote the letter to Ross that was 18 pages front and back! And then I waited some more, and my nails and cuticles suffered. Nothing. Not a word. Not even a thank you.

At this point I was desperate for people to be on my side in a game that existed nowhere other than my head. I started asking friends from high school if they remembered how close HSX and I were, just in case perhaps I was imagining it. However everyone I asked did concur that, yes, we were the best couple, inseparable for many years and more in love than any two people they had ever seen. But even that didn’t relieve the itch underneath my skin. It seemed to only make it worse.

Finally when I began angry texting HSX for no reason other than to fight, my husband became horrified. Not out of jealousy mind you. He knew this was all a matter from the past. It was out of concern for my mental health and, even more so, concern for HSX. Yes, you heard right, he had started to feel sorry for the poor guy.

So Tim, being the ever loving husband he always is, looked at me and said, “Stop. You need to stop and leave this poor man alone. Focus for a minute, take a deep breath, and figure out why this is so important to you.”

The answer was staring me in the face. I needed him to acknowledge our relationship and the love that went along with it. I needed him to be equally as excited to catch up with me as I was with him. I needed him to do this, because it was my identity for so many years. I was HSX’s girlfriend and he was Lee’s boyfriend, and in high school we belonged to one another. Those are fragile and formative years to have shared so intimately with another person. The truth of the matter was that only one person in the world could take that away from me, and it was him. He tried to do exactly that, but I wasn’t ready to let go quite so easily, and I put up a fight.

However, as my husband pointed out, it was time to stop. Time to stop fighting with someone to remember me, to remember they cared for me, and to remember how and why. It isn’t fair to HSX, and it certainly wasn’t fair to me. At the end of the day I’m the lucky one. I’m the one who gets to remember how much I was loved and how much love I gave. And since I know I won’t have the opportunity to reminisce with him, I’ll preserve the memories of our youth in my own way – through journalism. I may never get the acknowledgment I’m looking for, but the memories speak for themselves.

sig1 lee How Reconnecting With An Old Flame Led Me Down A Dark Path.

 

 

Comments

  1. 1

    ((hugs)) and your hubby got it right. (and I don’t think you are crazy at all; it was just a love lost. And men are totally wired differently)

  2. 2
    Beeb Ashcroft says:

    Hugs!!

  3. 3

    I think from time-to-time we all have moments where we think (wish!) that if we were to bump into an ex-partner, they would be filled with regret at the break up and see how just gorgeous and amazing you are now. Regardless of his reaction, you know deep in your heart what a special relationship you had, and whilst he may outwardly deny that, he will know. Cherish those memories that you made together, but focus your energy on the people that are in your life now – those are the ones that matter the most.

  4. 4
    Daphne Turner says:

    Riveting reading; loved it. When I read your last paragraph, I said “Bingo.” Thanks for sharing your heart with your readers.

  5. 5

    People can change so much over the years. Maybe he turned into a straight up mean asshole? You are still you and you know who he used to be and now here you are with a loving husband and family. Leave the past behind and move forward. No need to be embarrassed or horrified….we’ve all got a little crazy inside us. <3

    • 6

      Lol I don’t think he is an asshole he’s just changed a lot and I like to putt people in boxes and he outgrew that box.

  6. 7

    As long as you have those wonderful memories than who cares about him. I don’t think men remember some things as well as girls or the significance behind it. Heck my first love wasn’t really good. He wouldn’t even talk to me in public but I was so in love with him on the side. At least you had that love in public and for 4 years!!

    Loved this post Lee! I wish I could give you a big hug.

  7. 8

    People change & experience a lot in all those years. My first boyfriend is actually still one of my very best friends. The thing is, if you asked… neither one of us would remember more than a few moments here & there.

    Someone not remembering much is more a reflection on them, their long term memory’s strength & the whole of what was going on both then & now in their lives, rather than you.

    … now your hubby, that man is a treasure.

  8. 9
    shannon says:

    I have the worst memory. I can not even begin to tell you who I dated in 9th grade. Sometimes talking about stuff with other will trigger my memory. I lost a baby and I blame a lot of my memory blockage on the awful tragedy. He may have blocked his past. It does sound like you spent a lot of time together and he should remember that. I also tend to forget my pin number to my debit card I use on a daily basis.

    Big hugs and hope you can move on and at least you was able to write him and send him a letter. It sucks he did not respond.

  9. 10
    Wendy McBride says:

    I am with your husband on this one also. I understand you just wanted him to tell you it was “real.” My first thought was maybe he was gay or bisexual? I am happy that you have a husband that loves and cares for you.

  10. 13

    I’m not sure what this says about HSX, but it sure shows what a wonderful husband you now have. Cherish it!

  11. 14

    You’ve got a smart husband there, Lee. Keep listening to him. It’s fine and wonderful that you have these memories of what sounds like a great first romance. To one degree, guys are definitely wired differently and probably don’t feel as much in terms of “romantic nostalgia” as women do. That said, this guy definitely still feels/remembers. He may just be acting tough and nonchalent for some reason and pretending it didn’t matter. Or maybe he’s had a slew of relationships since then and honestly can’t remember.

    Whatever the case… that’s all his problem, not yours. You have wonderful memories, so keep them that way. At that time in your life, he was the guy for you and it was great. You’re in a very different place right now and a very different person right now. Same with him. So don’t get hung up on the disconnect in terms of the past.

    • 15

      Andrew it is funny you said:

      this guy definitely still feels/remembers.

      Because this is what my husband and my friend Jack who went to high school with us said. They both were like “Um yeah, bull shit, he totally remembers and is just covering it up for some reason.”

      Either way, it’s over.

  12. 16

    You hub is amazing. I had a first love and I wouldn’t think of asking him if he remembers because men are wired differently, in my opinion. Good job letting go.

  13. 17

    Oh Lee. So funny you write this because I have a deep, emotional connection with my first love. Not my first boyfriend. My first love. The guy I lost my virginity to. I didn’t even like him at first. He persued me for months and I eventually became smitten. I was a senior and he was a freshman. We broke up a year later when I went to college and we realized the distance just wasn’t fair to either of us. Mostly him. He is a musician and I have all of his CDs. His songs show up on my playlist whenever I least expect it and those memories come flooding back. It’s so crazy how strong they are. He will always hold a chunk of my heart. I was thinking the other day about what would happen if we saw one another. I know I would be excited and all of those feelings would come flooding back. But how about him? He was still in high school when we broke up and he had other girlfriends. He has since had many girlfriends. I realized my connection to him is probably greater than his connection to me. I think holding those memories the way you remember them without needing his affirmation is the best way to do it. Women are more emotionally connected than men anyways, regardless of having bipolar or not. Your relationship obviously left a mark on your soul. Just revel in it sometimes and move on. Sending hugs and kisses. Xoxo

  14. 19

    It’s like if Winnie Cooper didn’t remember Kevin on The Wonder Years. I could see how that could be heartbreaking. With that said, I have zero desire to reminisce with my high school flame.

  15. 21

    I really do think guys are just wired differently. Women are much more emotional and we keep people in our hearts, while guys really are in the moment and it seems easier for them to let go. At least from my experience.

  16. 22

    Lee,

    I think your need to have this relationship validated is completely normal. It was a huge chunk of what are really formative years, not only physically but emotionally. I think now? Now it says much more about the fact that you’re still very in touch with your emotions and more likely to not only feel real compassion towards others, but express genuine empathy. Sounds like HSX shed some emotional skin over the years, and with that, lost some of his ability to not only remember the deep emotional feelings he had back then, but to be empathetic to your memories of all that time you spent together.

    Regardless of where ever your HSX is in his life right now, you’re in a great place with an amazing man. Not many would take a breath and NOT feel threatened by how upset you were over the situation and the fact that you still cherish those memories.

    You’re right, the memories will speak for themselves . . . don’t ever forget that.

  17. 23

    I found my first love on Facebook a few years back. We friended each other, I think we both did a little snooping in on each other’s current lives, and then I decided it was time to close the past and unfriended him. I thought about reminiscing, but I was worried that he would be just like your HSX and act like it was no big deal. I might have gone off the deep end myself… and I’m not so sure my hubby would have understood like yours did. I’m glad you regained your focus and know that you are loved right now and in this moment. That is what matters most.

  18. 24

    Lee, my first love was my high school sweetheart. We dated for 2 years in HS and 2 years after and I was the one that broke it up, or we drifted apart because I decided I needed a break. I married a friend of his and we got divorced a year later. My ex at this time was out of college and selling insurance. My mom was having heart surgery and he went to see her and they talked about us and her thinking he’d be her son-in-law. He agreed and said he thought so too. In my mind that meant he still cared so I invited him over to talk insurance and flirted with the man. I knew he had a new girlfriend but that didn’t matter, in my mind he still wanted me. Fast forward 30 years and I’m happily married but found him on FB a year or so ago. He’s married with 2 adult daughters. We don’t chat or talk to each other but I find myself checking his page once in a while and wondering “what if”.

  19. 25

    Ok so this is really timely – since I just reconnected with MY first love. It took about 10 minutes for me to realize that “meeting for a drink” was more about a hook up than reminiscing… it pissed me off AND shook me out of the fog realizing that was NOT someone I ever needed to see again. Jerk. LOL

    • 26

      I don’t think he was looking for a hook up, he dates some pretty smokin women. I’m certainly not in his “league” anymore. I grew up, had 2 kids and got fat. Let’s just say he did a very good job growing up and when we all saw him at our 10 year reunion we kinda did a double take and said “When did he get hot?”

  20. 27

    I don’t want to generalize and say it’s a guy-thing, because I’m sure there are girls like this too. When it’s over, they walk away and think “nothing.”
    You are the lucky one here; you’ve got memories of spending precious time with someone who meant a lot to you. He, on the other hand, sounds like a real w(e)inner at this point in his life. Maybe you got his best, and now life has chewed him up and left him without the capacity to remember things that were so significant.

    • 28

      There is no doubt in my mind I got his best. I’ve actually made great friend with his ex fiance who he shares a daughter and while I’ll say his daughter is the best thing he’s ever done our relationship seems to be second in terms of emotional capacity. He might not exactly remember what we had but I think he was much more emotionally stable when we were young than he seems to be now. Or else maybe he came to the realization it was all kid stuff and lust and not love at all. I can’t even go down that road.

  21. 29

    Thank you for sharing such an emotional post. I am sorry that happened to you. But you know what I think? You have an amazing husband! He’s a keeper! :)

  22. 30

    Men forget so easy, women hold memories for much longer. Or if you are a freak like me you can remember vivid details from age 3, even after assaulting my brain with pot and alcohol in my early adulthood . I do think TIM is a keeper.

  23. 31

    Oh Lee… I could have written this post…. My first boyfriend and I are still friends online (I was his first too), and those feelings are still inside of me and it still hurts that it doesn’t seem like he still has put any significance on our past relationship. I really think its a male/female thing, but the pain is real. I get just wanting to get him to acknowledge what we had!

  24. 32

    I just watched that episode of Friends with the letter last night.

    I’m glad you get to hold on to those memories – no matter what happens with HSX.

    You are definitely the lucky one in the end of this situation.

  25. 33

    That’s growth Lee, real honest to Pete, growth. It’s hard. It sucks. You are stronger and better for it.

    Some folks say happiness is having a bad memory, I say holding any memories, good or bad – that’s what leads to happiness.

    Big Hugs from IL

  26. 34

    I’m sure it’s been said here several times men are just wired different. To find a man that is sentimental and holds on to memories the same way as women is very rare. Someone said he (HSX) may have been refraining from showing the same enthusiasm out of respect for your husband. It’s possible he saw your need for recognition and appreciation by him as an opening for disaster – an invitation and blatant misunderstanding. Believe me I know exactly what you mean about having strong feelings for someone and not having them reciprocated – either in the present or in recollections of the past. That’s where I find a serious danger in social media. We have the ability to be snoopers, nosey, and overly curious about what our past flames or love interests are doing. Let’s be clear – I’m not saying this is what YOU in particular were doing. It’s human nature to be curious. You were curious about what he remembered about you and how he felt about it. You unfortunately experienced a danger of letting that curiosity get the best of you.

    Don’t let the rejection by this man mar the beautiful memories you are forming with the man who NOW loves you, has you, got you and promised to keep you til death do you part. He very obviously loves you with all his heart. He knows your ins and outs and wants to keep you safe and happy and let you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that HE loves you NOW.

  27. 35

    This guy obviously never cared or at least not as much as you. I don’t buy the “Guys don’t care as much as girls” line because I’ve seen many guys be messed up over a break up or seeing an ex they cared about. So it’s time to move ona nd stop thinking about it. Your high school love story was mostly in your head, sad but true. You were kids, he’s moved on. Buck up and do as he is doing, live in the present. You seem to have a pretty stellar life so go live it.

  28. 36

    I wish I had something super insightful to offer. I give you a heartfelt hug instead.

  29. 37

    Here is what I really think happened. He did love me 20 years ago. However since then he has had a lot of other relationships. As time went on our relationship became more and more trivial. In his mind we were kids. He’s had better and more important love since high school. That’s life. I’ve only dated one person between him and my husband and that was the guy I literally rebounded immediately after this guy and I broke up in high school. Things are just different for us.

  30. 38

    I can’t really say that I know where you’re coming from given the fact that my longest relationship in high school was a whole whopping year. I made the mistake of trying to reconnect with him on a friend level a few years into my marriage, which was completely disrespectful to my husband. Since then, I’ve realized that the one relationship that I thought was ‘true love’ was actually really trivial and nothing more than infatuation.

    Life moves on and so do people. I’m really glad your husband was so supportive and able to help you through this. There aren’t many amazing guys like that out there, hold on to him tight!

    • 39

      Tim would never find it disrespectful or else he would never say so. He knew what he was getting into when he married me with my huge heart and intense need to connect with people I love and have loved on all levels.

      And yeah Cat. He’s aight ;-) he’s very much looking forward to meeting the famous Cat Davis in a few months to argue extraterrestrial life.

  31. 42

    I am a bit of the idea that HSX probably remembers, but covered up like he didn’t. Could it be regret? I think that’s possible. Spent too much time in the last 20 years living in the past and now refuses to acknowledge it? That’s possible too. Regardless, you know what happened and you held onto the happy memories that made up such an important part of your life back then. Your husband is incredibly wise too!!

    My high school romance only lasted 2 1/2 years, and I’ve seen him around a few times since then (12 years since our breakup). He wouldn’t accept my FB friend request last year, however, and I figure that’s probably a sign that we won’t be reminiscing anytime soon! It’s likely a blessing in disguise!

  32. 43

    I understand wanting to reconnect and reminisce with someone you spent so much of your teenage years with and were so close to. I agree with others that men are just wired differently but I’m sure that he remembers. ((hugs Lee))

  33. 44

    I think it was very brave of you to write such an honest post. Sometimes writing can be therapeutic or help you to achieve closure. It sounds like your husband is a very wise man with a huge heart . . . the perfect partner for you in an even more important chapter of your life. :)

  34. 45

    This shit is ridiculous. I’ve known both you and “HSX” (are we not allowed to say his name for some reason) for years. “HSX” and I had been in school since we were kids and he was a ginger loser all along. In high school I would have given my left nut for a piece of that, hell I watched you like a hawk hoping the two of you would break up. You said you never broke up but you did once because I remember you let me drive you home from school and I thought I had a shot. Then you got back together and I was back to square one. Hell I’ve followed your blog for 4 years just to see what’s going on with you. Don’t sweat it over if he is lying saying he doesn’t remember your relationship, hell half of Brantley remembers your relationship. I never understood it and probably neither did anyone else. He had a good thing and I don’t think he ever even realized it. I mean he obviously loved you because no one could get him away from you but I’m just not sure he realized exactly how many of us were stalking his prey.

  35. 47
    LBHSPunk says:

    I saw him at a club one night about a year back and he looked completely different than he did in school. We still have some mutual friends too. He hooks up with porn star women, damn fine. Penguin boy come a long way. Lee however you was always hot even back in middle school. Still can’t believe you gave that guy a chance and now your crying over him forgetting about you. It’s a bad episode of the Twilight Zone. God smiles down on that guy that’s all I know. I want some of whatever he has. My wife looks good but damn it’s all I’m saying.

    This website you have here is pretty impressive Lee. I’ve never checked it out. You give away vacations and meet movie stars. I’m gonna email you and see if I can get on board. I’m out of a job right now. And don’t worry about him, he’s a player. But you were his first and nobody forgets their first.

    • 48

      Okay first of all, eww. I just edited half your comment. One, because we aren’t sharing his name. Two because you said some really foul words even if you thought they were compliments which…thanks for the compliments but yuck. And at the moment we have enough writers but in the future I’ll certainly let you know. By the way, if you see him at the club you should surely go ask him for dating tips, I’m positive your wife will love that.

  36. 49

    Hold on to your wonderful memories and try not to worry about how he remembers it all. Couldn’t agree more with Tim! ((hugs))

  37. 50

    I knew it, I knew it, I knew it!!! When this all started with him I could see this whole story unraveling before my eyes and I wanted to grab you (maybe shake you a little) and say STOP. THIS WILL END BADLY. But I couldn’t. You are a very determined person and when you’ve got something and holding on so tight – you just have to see it to the very end.
    I hate you went through this. I think all women can relate to some degree, I know I can. Kudos to you for saying it out loud. THIS is why I love you!!

  38. 51

    I am so glad you have Tim to help you through this. I know it sucked getting rejected, but I think he’s right in saying, it’s time to move on. You’ve got a better thing now and that is what is important. *hugs*

  39. 52

    I admire your honesty, Lee. I can’t say I relate to it at all (didn’t fall in love until college) but I know your heart. I can just see you freaking out over his reaction to your 12 pages. But yes, time to move on and let him go. I hate that he came into your life at all. Just bringing up emotions and memories that are better left on the shelf :(

  40. 53

    I feel like unfortunately I’ve failed at the Barney Stinson’s Crazy/Hot Scale. Although in high school I had it down PAT, now I’m off by like a ton.

    http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m6ihmg6I3n1rwqn6qo1_1280.jpg

  41. 54

    sending you a HUG Lee. His loss. YOu have everything you need right now and you don’t need his ignorance or lazy ass attitude to confirm how amazing u were and are. SO Fooyee on him and MOVE On. After all he’s just Jealous he don’t got u in his arms no more and NEVER WILL. Be happy girl YOUR getting MARRIED again next yr. to the love of your life and that guy is NOT IT.

    Be amazing Lee cause thats all there is!!

    ps. I married my 1st love and had a child together. He’s a class A jerk now and if I could never have to deal with him again I’d b oh too happy. He needs my fist in his face about 101 x then and maybe NOT even then would I feel better about the jackass he is to my son. ANYWAY . Most guys change so much over the yrs that they’d have no clue if they lost the best thing that could ever happen to them but the true fact is that I”VE Found the best thing that could ever happen to me and thts my HUBBY now. Think of it that way LEE. you didn’t loose out YOU” Gained someone who’s amazing and cherishes who you are.

    DOn’t look into the pass for confirmation… Look to the future because thats all we have left.

  42. 55
    Betty B. says:

    Wow, I have to say you have an amazingly understanding husband. I know how you feel in a sense this is something i went through with a best friend from long ago and it ripped me apart for months for her to feel like we where never that close. Its hard to not to get that acknowledgement from them. Its great that you’re so open about your emotions…*** sending Hugs ***

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