Monday, March 5, 2012

 You say you remember when you first met me. "You were so different than who I know you to be now", you say. You recall me being a lot "tougher" than how I am now. I seemed to be harder, more bitter, not romantic, and, well, just "tough". I remember it too, to be honest. I was tough. Actually, I was pretending to be tough. Truth be told, I was very broken and very bitter.
 How could you expect me to have been otherwise? Do you not know what I had gone through? Maybe not. I was pretending to not care, pretending to be strong and tough because I had to. It was a survival tactic. I had to act as though I couldn't care less about love, relationships, marriage, and all other sweet and lovely things in life because I could not believe in them or trust them. To protect myself from getting my heart ripped out of my chest and shredded into pieces again, I told myself that love was not real; at least not the love that humans were capable (or in my mind, incapable) of. I told myself that I would never marry. I told myself that my chances with love and happiness with a man were over. Even if someone else came along and tried to persuade me to be with them, I was going to say no. Why? This is why.

 Because people fall out of love, that is why. And if people fall out of love, how could I ever trust someone enough to date them, much less commit my life to someone and marry them. Whenever I had experienced romantic love with a boy or a man, it never lasted. They loved me one day, but for some reason, the next day they did not. Was something wrong with me? Why did it never work? Even in the marriages that I witnessed around me, I was not impressed with human kind's ability to commit to each other and love each other well. I was heart broken for the last time, I swore to myself. "No more of this love stuff!" I thought. Please, no more hurt, no more tears, no more sleepless nights, cramping stomachs, and empty trust. I couldn't do it anymore! Clearly romantic love was just, ephemeral. Short lived. It never lasted, and maybe, it was never even real. It was never even there. This is why I was "tough". Because I HAD to be. I could not allow myself to believe in it. If I did, and I eventually trusted another man with my heart, was vulnerable with him, and if he became my best friend and also the love of my life, then it would very dangerous. There is so much risk in it. I couldn't do it. What if, again, the love did not last? What if I lost him?

Well, believe it or not, someone convinced me to believe otherwise. He somehow got me to give it a try. I was pursued, persuaded once, and then after I backed out, was persuaded a second time to date him. Can you believe it? I gave love another try! I gave human kind a third chance to prove me otherwise; to prove to me that my bitterness and fear towards love was wrong. Maybe a man could love me well and continue to love me, and stay with me. Maybe it would last!

I can't help but have this slight feeling of, well, irony in this situation as I sit here writing these things, and as I remember my bitterness and how I overcame it. I suppose maybe ironic isn't the right word. Maybe the right word is just, sad. I suppose I find it sad, that as I sit here and recall who I used to be more than one year ago, who I have been within the last year, and then how I am feeling now. I bet that sentence didn't really make sense to you. Here is what has happened: 1. broken-hearted and very bitter towards love 2. convinced it might be real after all, and then fell desperately in love completely and totally 3. and now broken-hearted once again, and feeling a certain bitterness and lack of faith in romance return.

I'm fighting earnestly against bitterness. I don't want to be bitter. I realize that love, romance, relationships, and marriages sometimes work out for some people, and I am so glad for that. Also, note that I am speaking prematurely perhaps, as I do not actually know the ending of this love story that I am still sort of a part of, but I cannot help having this intense fear that it is done... over, for good. And if it is, oh the bitterness. However, if this is indeed the ending of yet another epic love tale of Catherine Marchand, I know that this will end much differently than any of the previous tales. Why? Just because of the Lord, and how He is healing my heart and taking care of me. He gives me more hope than any man could. I can always trust in Him, fortunately. So, I think the bitterness won't be as much of problem this time. I will be sad. I will be sad for a very long time if this is the ending, and I may not choose this time ("this time" being hypothetical for now) to say yes or to be convinced by another man. Unless the Lord really wants me to marry some other guy, and unless He makes it very evident to me, then I think this was/is my last go. I know, I know. I sounds just like the "tough" Catherine that I used to pretend to be. But, is it okay if I mean it this time? It's going to be too hard to put my heart into another man's hands. Dating and relationships have caused me so much pain. I'm just not sure I want another try. Would I be giving up a huge, huge dream that I have had since I was a little girl? Yes. But maybe that's okay. I love children, and I love babies. I would love to have my own, but I don't need my own. I can love on any baby or kid out there. There are lots of children around this world that need to be loved and nourished. Men can take care of themselves, I suppose.          

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