I am not fixed yet. I learned this today, when I began to have the oh-so-familiar feeling of rejection upon realizing that I had not heard from New Guy all day. I had brief flashes of Christmas of 2006, after I had broken up with Brian and had flown out to meet Aaron 25 days earlier, and had expected to hear from him, and had not. My dad keeps a journal of exactly what happens on Christmas every year, what was received as presents, how the food was cooked and how it turned out, what mood everyone was in, and he wrote "P3 (my mom's initials) - 'Worst Christmas Ever.'" I was in a horrible mood, I didn't talk much, I didn't do much, I just waited and waited to hear from Aaron. He finally called around midnight to tell me that he didn't want to be in a relationship with me.
I have major - MAJOR - PTSD from my "relationship" with Aaron. He made me act quite ridiculously, and made me feel absolutely horrible. I'm not sure whether to blame his time in the military, or something to do with his past relationship (and subsequent divorce) for how he treated me, but having him in my life resulted in my feeling the worst I've ever felt. I felt out of control, and really ravenous for control, so I did everything I could think of - no matter how absurd - to feel back in control. He would go days without texting or calling me, causing me to think that I had said or done something to make him not love me anymore, and since I was less than 9 months out from my relationship with Brian, I needed to feel loved. It went on like that for another three years, with anywhere from one month to six where Aaron and I would go without talking. I'd get this knot in my stomach, which I can only best describe as an impending sense of doom, when I knew he was taking time out from talking to me to "think about things." His thinking about things always ended in his telling me that he didn't want to be in a relationship with me, and in my reacting by doing whatever I could to get him to change his mind (he never did).
I learned a lot from having him in my life. I learned that you can't change people. You can't control other people's thoughts and actions. You can't go back in time and change how you acted or reacted. It's also taken me an extremely long time to not only discover that I actually learned something of substance from my experience, but to apply what I learned. I'm still struggling with feelings of major inadequacy, not just with my self-esteem, but in how I approach relationships with men. I never know how much or how little energy to put into communicating with them, or how forward or how mysterious to be. I hate having to play "the game," where there are unspoken rules about how you act and how long you wait to talk to each other. I wish you could literally just walk into a relationship as Liz Lemon says, "12 years in,