Seven years later and there he stood in all his glory wearing his condescending attitude like a fashion accessory.
I had struggled with the dark force that had defeated me, seeking now to avenge myself in the present for the past, for I was a fighter, a survivor and I demanded apologies and retribution.
Time may have numbed the ache but like an anesthetic it hadn't healed the wound.
Staring at him across the room of my girlfriends lounge, the memories flooded back unannounced.
I had missed the excitement of our heated battles, the time-consuming energy draining drama's. The partings and reconciliations made me feel alive. I had missed the yearning and suspense of our relationship that had created a lot of heart-pounding excitement.
He had been my project from the moment I had met him, vulnerable and desperately needy I had decided then and there to use my sexuality as a tool to manipulate this man into loving me.
It almost killed me, my addiction to the pain and familiarity of this past unrewarding relationship which now stood staring at me in the face yet again.
This man who was impossible, abusive, unpredictable, calculated, unresponsive which had provided chaos, excitement and much stimulation greeted me.
We stood clasped in each others arms kissing silently, tentatively each unwilling to make a sound or say a word that might break the unexpected magic of this isolated moment, in which the past and the present met and all the joy of our years together was distilled and all the pain of the ending forgotten.
I was not physically indifferent to him. There was still something there, a bit of the past that somehow survived what he had done to me.
Our year together had been a time of invaluable experience. I was grateful of course, but there had been a price to pay for this education.
He had been blessed with immense charm.
This con-mans performances rested far more on his charm than on his shrewdness, persistence, courage or skill.
He never exercised it deliberately; he couldn't turn it on, because he couldn't turn it off. He was the kind of charmer who had never had to work deliberately at being charming. He was pragmatic about charm and believed that the only important thing to remember about it was that it worked.
As I looked at him boldly in the eyes I recognized that despite having attempted in every which way to avoid the truth having developed the survival technique of pure denial, I could no longer deny the truth. I still loved him.
Over the past seven years since he had left me, I had run from man to man seeking to develop relationships with them looking for what was missing within.
My numerous exotic involvements were only possible because I felt so little connection with my own body and myself. In order to tune out reality I needed to distract myself and numb the vast emotional emptiness I felt inside. I didn't want to feel shame, my fear, my anger, my sense of helplessness, panic, despair, and disgust of his treatment of me and so I denied both reality and my obsession.
I created a fantasy instead, which was easier to live with. Delusional, I believed that he still loved and wanted me.
I had obviously learnt through the long associations with this man to prefer the pain. Having grown up feeling so alone, unprotected, afraid and worthless, having learnt to put up with incredible amounts of pain in my childhood, loving this man, admiring him, yearning for his company, desperately seeking his approval this familiar territory demanded occupancy yet again!
Here I was a woman who was extremely self-sacrificing and a man who was extremely selfish willing to dance to the same dance yet to a different tune yet again.
Having experienced horrific trauma as a child it seemed to appear and reappear, a constant theme in my life and would no doubt continue until there would be a sense of having finally mastered the experience, until the fear attached to the event was sufficiently diminished.
I had not yet mastered the fear of abandonment or the fear of rejection and now my fear once again greeted me masked as love.
I always saw him as my solution, yet my solution was now to become my most serious problem.
I was still addicted to the pain and the familiarity of this volcanic relationship, it was all I knew.
He had destroyed my life slowly.
A man, who was like a leech, who sucked away at the goodness of my heart until it was dry and all my love had been used up.
It took a long time. He knew; because as woman does, I seemed to have vast reservoirs of goodness within me.
Yet, when you love someone you take the risk, not heeding the warnings of those around you. Love is blindness and it closed my eyes to the most glaring of his faults.
You could love a murderer and simply not believe that your lover could do so much as kill a fly let alone kill someone.
So, here I was, going around the same mountain, down the same track, up the same hill, drowning in the same pool of degrading deceit.
Do you remember you mum ever telling you never to shop when you are hungry?
Hungry people make poor shoppers. I was still after all these years so desperate and hungry for love that I was destined to find him again.
I bought beautiful lingerie, wore his favorite perfume, paid for endless airfares and long distance phone calls. His rapture spurred me on. I fell for the flattery; he managed to say exactly what I needed to hear all over again.
He dripped with conceited arrogance.
He provided the distance and lack of commitment that I knew so well from my family and once again I was giving more than I received from an already empty place within me.
There comes a point when you can longer grieve for everything that life throws at you. It is not that you suddenly accept your fate, you now just understand the truth.
"If I really loved you Melanie, would I pursue these other woman?" It was though a glass of ice water had been inadvertently thrown into my face!
The scales fell away from my eyes and with clarity I recognized that I am valuable and worthwhile.
I had lived like a beggar with a beggars mentality for too long. Counting every penny to calculate the shortfall for that next fix to appease the addiction. I had lain in the gutter like a beggar, legs spread and taken whatever was dished out to me, just for a piece of affection. I had priced myself too low and attracted only those who could pay what I had determined I was worth. Nothing.
He was a bargain hunter, but, he had a rare piece of art and did not even recognize it.
It was time to get clear. Firstly about whom I was and begin to determine to change from a woman who loved too much into a woman who loved herself enough to stop the pain and abuse I attracted.
I can't make platinum from tin fiber and calling him something he clearly was not was delusional.
It was time to look at what I did and no longer at what had been done to me.
For too long I had made my love partners responsible for providing me with all the things I had not done or given to myself. It had cost me my first marriage.
I was now ready to give up the relationship to find myself and get myself in order. I had subjected myself enough tot being berated and degraded, and I had given away too much of myself.
I now had to selvedge what was left.
I had denied for too long what was painful as a natural means of self-protection. The truth was, he was condescending, ego maniac and his continual "helpful hints and tip" directed at my self improvement pissed me off!
Did I deserve better that what the relationship presented?
What was I now willing to do to make it better for myself?
Did I have the courage and commitment to myself regardless of the resistance I may face?
Could I walk through the pain of going cold turkey? I was an addict and my first steps towards freedom were acknowledging the truth.
C.G. Jung has this to say "THE ATTAINMENT OF WHOLENESS REQUIRES ONE TO STAKE ONES WHOLE BEING; NOTHING LESS WILL DO, THERE CAN BE NO EASIER CONDITIONS, NO SUBSTITUTES AND NO COMPROMISES"