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