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Confessions of a Veteran

Glory Edozien

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The best description of a veteran I can think of is an army officer with a long service record, usually one who has served his country at war. War Vets, as they are commonly called in America, are seasoned military men and women who dedicated their lives to the service of their country. As we all know, not everyone who goes to war comes back alive. A good chunk of those that do return are often plagued with the memories of war so much so that they are considerably different people when they return home. Some have so many physical and emotional scars that they find it difficult to return to normal life altogether.

I recently broke up with my boyfriend of two months. It was one of those relationships that started out fun and before long we were arguing so much there was no point remaining in the relationship. Weeks after our break up we met up for lunch to see if there was anything left to salvage in our relationship. I came armed with a barrage of things he had done, I was ready to give him a piece of my mind and then some. We sat down and ordered drinks, he looked annoyingly calm, which off course irritated me to no end. Then the conversation began, at first it was the usual small talk, “how are you?” “What have you been up to?”… the usual mundane chit chat. Then finally I broke the ice. “Right Lanre, I really don’t see us getting back together, because I don’t think you can ever change”. He looked at me with mock surprise. This irritated me further. I began to recite the long speech I had mentally prepared as I drove to meet him. He was “inconsiderate, selfish, cold and unsupportive…” the list of grievances was longer than my arm! He didn’t say a word. When I finished my well articulated speech, I drew breathe and took a sip from my drink. Waiting for the apologies to begin rolling in. I waited in vain. “Glory, you are a fantastic girl, but your biggest problem is you don’t trust anyone. I am tired of being punished for what your ex did and didn’t do. If you can’t move past that then there is no way I’d want to be with you anyway. You make it impossible for anyone to be with you”! What??? I nearly died! The nerve!!! Infact, for a second I thought he had lost his mind, how dare he speak to me like that! I don’t think I spoke for a full two minutes while he nonchalantly continued to sip his beer.

I drove home in utter confusion. In the million and one scenarios I had played in my head of how this night could possibly end, none came close to the reality. At first I tired to shake off his words, but the sting of those words remained firmly ingrained in my mind. He couldn’t be right…or could he? Was I my own biggest enemy? Was there any truth to what he had said? It wasn’t until the following morning, while I was brushing my teeth, that I finally realized he was right. I was a war Vet. So torn and scarred by previous experiences I have actually forgotten how to care and love my man. Everything he does is never good enough, the slightest mistake turns into a tsunami. I don’t trust a word that comes out of his mouth. If he says he is in a meeting I automatically think he is with another girl. If he doesn’t call back when he says he would, he is talking to someone else. If he doesn’t hold my hand when I sneeze it’s because he is no longer interested. I’ve become so tightly screwed I’ve actually forgotten what it means to be spontaneous and free in a relationship. In short, the fear of past relationships is constantly affecting my ability to have any relationship whatsoever. I no longer know how to be in a relationship.

While the fact that I am over the previous guys I have dated is without question, it is fair to say that the emotional scars from those relationships are anything but healed. I was discussing this with one of my friends the other day and his advice was simple, “Let it all go! Just live and stop letting the ‘what if’s’ of life keep bothering you, especially if you have no way of confirming them one way or the other”. So I have decided to consciously make an effort to trust the next guy I date. No more second guessing, no more unnecessary quarrels over call backs. But if I feel I am putting in more than I am getting out, I will dust my coat and move on, no be do or die.

I wouldn’t normally share something this personal but I guess there is a part of me that believes I am not the only war veteran out there. So just incase you are reading this, this one is for you. Let life and love come to you as it does. Don’t try to second guess your man or woman, the only person that suffers is you. If you find concrete proof he/she is cheating and doesn’t deserve you, walk away knowing that their infidelity doesn’t remove an inch from the person you are or will become. If your partner makes you feel less of the person you feel you are, then being with them doesn’t make sense. But never take that out on the next person. Why ruin a good thing before it even starts. Live life and love to the fullest with no regrets.

And as for Lanre and I…well, only time will tell 🙂

Photo Credit: irishantiwar.org

Glory is the host and executive producer of Inspire Series, the web talk show which uses the collective stories of everyday women to inspire others. She believes women are more than hand bags, hair, make-up and other externalities and is passionate about about pursuing purpose and living above societal conformities. She is also a day dreamer, and romantic at heart who loves TV, food and family. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @inspiredbyglory and read more from her on www.inspiredbyglory.com

22 Comments

  1. JPrat

    August 5, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Well, we are truly a product of our experiences in life

  2. chi

    August 5, 2010 at 9:57 am

    True…………

  3. Karimah

    August 5, 2010 at 10:51 am

    @ JPrat: i concur. our experiences have a way of shaping us. while mine is not as bad as Glory’s, i like Glory said have decided to let it go… was thinking about this yesterday so am convinced God’s Spirit is One. I am MOVING ON.

  4. mia

    August 5, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Glory, this was so me 8 years ago and I only ended up hurting myself. When I finally decided to live life to the fullest, and get over the past completely I found “THE MAN” and today we are married.

    I have a couple of friends who are always guessing the guys next move, before he opens his mouth the know what he’s about to say and 90% of the time they are wrong, it just kills the relationship before it starts, I’m not saying you shouldn’t be observant or throw caution to the wind, but you just have to give people a chance.

    Nice piece girl, u rock!

  5. Rosie

    August 5, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Wow Glory! Its as though am looking in a mirror. Thankz for this piece. I’ll live simply and
    enjoy life to the fullest. But e no easy ooooooo. Nice work.

  6. Mary007

    August 5, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Dear Glory, if I were to advice you it would be from articles you have written on this website as well(read them again especially the last), no two situations are the same, there is no way you can go on like this. Honestly from what i have read above you were in a good relationship but your judgemental attitude ended it all. I always say to my friends (the ones who want life partners) its never a win win situation but your instincts would let you know if this is it for you and you learn like a baby to sit up right in the relationship,crawl,walk ,then run with it.

    You say you are over your ex, in your heart are you really over them? Its when they finally have no hold over how you treat a new relationship that you are really going to be over them. Good luck girl and keep writing honest real articles.

  7. jaybee

    August 5, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    You aptly described me!

  8. bcgeorge

    August 5, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    on point…some once said it’s not evry GREAT guy/girl who comes into our lives dat we’ll end up bin married to. Somtyms, I guess som peeps com to inspire d best frm within us, & prepare us for d even greater relationships to com…so take charge,learn d lesson and move on…..peace

  9. There I said it...Rant Over

    August 5, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Easier said than done.

    Sometimes you need the new person to consciously bring out the best of you. Emotional scars run deep, and its hard not to take it out on the next.

    That being said, relationships are like learning to ride a horse.

    If you fall off, get right back on…

  10. My View

    August 6, 2010 at 10:01 am

    This is so true

    I used to watch my man’s every move cos we are in a long distance relationship and trying to prove everything he says so i dnt look like a fool but recently, everytime i check, he is always telling the truth.

    Right now, i have decided to love and be loved and to let go and i could say that i am having a wonderful relationship.

  11. Dee

    August 6, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Very nice article. Thanks for sharing Glory.

  12. Ogo

    August 6, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    This is sooo true!! Glory, i thank you everyday for all ur writings cos u get me..u really do!!!Thank u, thank u, Thank u!!!
    I want to be a better person in relationships, and i will be a better person…

  13. BKNY

    August 6, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    tnx for this……its rilly nice…so from now on….ima enjoy me life

  14. yellow babe

    August 7, 2010 at 8:12 am

    I love you piece, as a veteran myself, I had to make a conscious effort not to let it affect my current relationship.

    On the other side, you should have learnt to spot the warning signals. And how to identify bad behaviour i.e unnecessary lies etc

    Forgive, let it go, BUT DON’T FORGET!!!
    There’s nothing worse than making the same mistake over and over again…

  15. adelegirl

    August 9, 2010 at 11:14 am

    great piece! My girlfriend and I were talking about this just yesterday. We are both “love veterans” and she just met this new guy but accordng to her, she wasn’t “feeling him”. It became obvious that she was comparing the poor guy to her ex who she still had feelings for. I told her, “if he was so great, he wouldn’t be your ex now, would he?” Also, because of her previous experiences, she had cultivated a wall, a defence mechanism against getting hurt, which distorted her opinion of all guys.

    Without doubt, it’s incredibly hard letting go of previous hurts but I have tried and will continue to try and be hopeful that my previous experience (just one – we dated for nine years) will not deny me of my present and future joy with “the one”.

    Forgiveness is key to healing and I believe it’s best to look at this way – you are not forgiving the person who hurt you because of the person, but because of you, your wellbeing and peace…

  16. Olivia M

    August 9, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Thanks Glory.I’m actually going through the same thing with my boyfriend..Mine is even
    worse, because is a long distance relationship.Now, I really dont know what to do ,I’m so confused right now…

  17. goldfinger

    August 10, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    @ Olivia: my dear, you are confused cos u r thinking too much….and when we think too much, its usually bcos we are thinking for ourself and the other (second-guessing)…RELAX…Know that worrying about what he’s up to won’t make a difference if he’s up to no good…If he has given you good reason to be suspicious of him and his activities (i.e. if u have caught him redhanded in d past),then rather than put urself thru the agony, you should talk to him and tell him how you feel and why,,,,

    on the other hand, if he hasn’t given you reason to doubt him then it must be urself you really doubt and you are just projecting it on him…it cud b bcos things have gone wrong in previous relationships and somewhere along the line in your subconscious, you began to doubt urself and ur ability to keep a man’s interest…sometimes, this feeling can be so deep-seated that you don’t even realise its there…

    Bottomline: if he’s gud to you, be gud to him…if he gives u sleepless nites, talk to him (but not in an accusing tone)…if it continues, dump him…a relationship that doesn’t give u peace of mind is not one that’s worth having….now u just need to work out if the cause is the relationship itself *ur man* or you 😉

  18. Molicious

    August 11, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Wow, crazy because I had just finished one relationship on the weekend before it started lol….Lovely article Glory thanks for the reminder and all the best with Lanre ;)…. Relationships are like uncontrolled experiments, a certain action doesn’t always give the reaction you expect and individuals that need some level of control like myself, well, it’s scary but you’re right, life is short and you only have one so might as well live it up 🙂

  19. Eq

    August 15, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    I think this was written for me; i have dated this guy for a year. it was so perfect i couldn’t beleive it when he said it was over. Now am in a confused state because i met another man who is so crazy about me and is doin everything for me to see that. Ex on the other hand keeps sending me confusing messages; he claims he luvs me but does not show it. i still luv my ex and i like this guy too. What do i do now?

    • Kaya

      October 22, 2010 at 1:26 pm

      Welcome to the club babe……i still love an ex that called me another girl’s name like 4times….. we just crazy babe!!!! i’ve left my own to God o cos i no fit again…..what i know is dat wen i dwell on it i feel worse, so rite now i choose not to…i make a concious effort to look @ the good things in front of me n the good people dat are kind to me whether i like them or not…i guess life has a way of springing surprises on us…..pls i’d say focus on the guy in front of u, if the one behind (d ex) wants ur attention again he’ll have to come around to ur front n fight the hell for it!!!! till den enjoy the kind new man……dats my motto babe…gudluck!

  20. jennietobbie

    August 18, 2010 at 5:07 am

    (playing in my head “better with time…Leona Lewis)….thought I couldn;t live without you, it’s gonna hurt when it heals too..
    ..I’m gonna smile coz I deserve too.!

    🙂 Love’s crazy (I heard) but we all gotta love it. That’s why it’s called LOVE! Time will heal it! muahzzz

  21. DimplyMe

    August 31, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Lol…same here…buh i realised that sooner or later i’ll just hv to let evrything go..i cant continue doing this to myself..thnx Glory!

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