You Are Enough
Part One: Timeline
Two weeks ago, in the middle of my Warm Weather National training camp. I found out my boyfriend cheated on me. More than once. With someone I know.
The week leading into my training camp, he brought me to Hawaii through his work, as his girlfriend. It was absolutely beautiful. A trip I will never forget. I have never been to a place so magical.
The week before Hawaii, I caught a bad bout of the flu. It made me unable to race my scheduled indoor races in Seattle and question if Hawaii would even be feasible. Despite being contagious throughout this week, he still came over with tea, covered me with a blanket, and read me Shel Silverstein poetry until it was time for me to crawl back into bed.
Five weeks ago in January, was the last time I was home. Ready to embrace Hawaii with my boyfriend, as I went straight into a training camp and weekend of races before returning home.
Today, I am back from my travels. My dishes are still in the drying rack, and my laundry on the clothesline is ready to be put away. Home is just as I left it, unchanged. Or so it appears.
After five weeks I realize, it is only me who is changed.
Part Two: Truth
*Names are changed as courtesy and for privacy.
So I’m sure you’re wondering what happened?
The following entails the truth as I came to understand it.
Sunday evening of Week #2 in the camp:
I was given a heads up via a rumour “I don’t know how to tell you this, but Gord is not a good guy.” Since it was late and already time for bed, I wasn’t about to stir anything up and decided to wait for a clear head in the morning. Although my gut knew something seriously wrong was on its way.
Monday, my “off’ ice day:
This means I would have uninterrupted time from running and training. As with any rumour, I went straight to the source and was gentle in asking June if she would be willing to elaborate on why she created the message, “Gord is not a good guy.” Without hesitation she took initiative to call me and explain. It took courage to accept what I was asking, and I am impressed (and appreciative) she was willing to be brave and call me.
The summarized info I took from that call was:
- She claims she didn’t know him and I were dating,
- Because she asked him if he was dating me to which she was told, “it’s nothing serious, Adrea is too independent, and it’s nothing to worry about.”
- So they met up for coffee… And then trailed off.
- When I asked if intimacy was involved I was told I didn’t need to know the details. The answer was, yes.
- I asked if it was more than once? Again, the answer was yes.
- Timeline this happened? This January, (Before departing to Hawaii… Therefore, while I was home, sick with the flu.)
As I mentioned earlier it takes guts to have this call and say this truth. I am grateful for that, but choosing to date and be intimate with someone who has a girlfriend you know, is a hard line to willingly cross.
In an attempt to reciprocate some truth and clear confusion in this call I also explained why I was hurt by these events. As it turns out, unfortunately we were both lied to by Gord. I told her, this fall he sat me down and asked me to be his girlfriend, and I said yes. He gave me the three words (to which I have now been told he didn’t mean). And yes, he took me to Hawaii with him as his girlfriend. I told her this out of courtesy to know where I am coming from. Hearing her reaction on the phone, meant this didn’t match the story he had told her. Somehow, he managed to make us think we were both his first choice. She caught his lie when she saw social media indicating we were together in Hawaii. After their rendez-vous. If this wasn’t just coincidence, it meant that she had gone from having a new date or lover, to being the other woman in a relationship he lied about. I can’t imagine how this must have felt. Jealousy? Betrayal? Frustration?
In my position, I can appreciate that hurt, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But on the other hand, an affair takes two. At this point I can only appreciate the truth she was willing to share with me because of the disappointment I feel knowing she chose to do this. The truly disturbing part was learning the affair happened right under my nose, while I was at home in my bed, sick. This meant Gord did this act, still came and took care of me and spent a week in Hawaii acting as if nothing had happened.
Needless to say it was a rough Monday start to the week.
Monday Evening; The Opportunity of Truth
The same evening I called Gord to hear his response to the current situation.
A large part of me wanted him to do one of two things: either admit to me what had happened and demonstrate his capability to be honest, or prove my earlier conversation was a complete farce. My heart was hopeful but my gut knew it was unlikely for either to result.
I called and made sure he was home from his flight and not driving on Bluetooth. The conversation started so normally, my blood ran cold knowing how seamlessly he was lying to me, asking about my day and training camp. To give him a chance I asked, “Is there anything you want to tell me?” To which he said “No.”
To be sure I was fair, I included, “ You might find this interesting, I talked to June today. Are you sure there isn’t anything you want to tell me?” “No. Not over the phone.”
In that bone chilling answer I realized how badly I wanted him to admit it. Not only was I cheated on, but I wasn’t even going to be given the satisfaction to hear him say it. After I asked the direct questions in yes/no format, I finally received the truth. It was done. Yes, he had cheated on me.
But that wasn’t enough. There were the rationalizations that justified it:
– I am too independent
– I didn’t say thank-you enough for going to Hawaii until we got there
– Financially I am too insecure
– When he told me “I love you” he didn’t mean it
– A part of him knew deep down we wouldn’t work out long term
– I was scary, unlike anyone else he had ever dated before
– He was planning to break up with me when I came back from my training camp
The final hurt for me was when I asked if he was ever going to tell me about this? His answer was No.
I finally had what I wanted. Honesty. And it hurt. A lot.
After this was said, I finally received an “I’m Sorry”, followed by silence. I’m still not sure if saying this hurt him or I more. I do think he meant it, but not with the certainty I hoped to have.
My decision might seem obvious, but that night I ended my relationship with Gord feeling blindsided, hurt, in shock, and a tiny wave of relief it was over. It never feels good to do this, but we both know it was for the best. This whole Monday, I could only think about, “with great power comes great responsibility” and “knowledge is power.” This Monday, I had the power of knowing the truth and I can’t emphasize how much I wanted to make sure it was handled right. As I write this in hindsight, there isn’t anything I would do differently.
Anyone who has ended a relationship has probably experienced the chaos and confusion of how to move forward. I’m not sure how I stayed composed, but I was (and am) firm when I said I don’t want to date you, kiss you, run into you, see you anymore. I realize it’s a small city we live in and we will inevitably see each other again, but it can never be as a couple or lovers. My honest solution is that I will always respect Gord as a person and be civil because I know what he can offer into the world. As my boyfriend, I learned for myself that he can never be that for me. We were both able to end our relationship and phone call with the courtesy to hear what the other had to say and more importantly the ability to say goodbye. I do appreciate having this closure and for the first time realize how important it is to tangibly say goodbye to someone.
Part Three: Healing
The thing with heartbreak is even though your brain and gut know ending the relationship was the truest and right thing to do, your heart isn’t as aligned in this thought.
I don’t know if there is ever a good time or place to end a relationship, but in the middle of a training camp ended up being a blessing in disguise for me. I had an extremely patient coach, IST, roommates, teammates, and family at my fingertips (through video calling) who were always ready to listen without judgment. I asked to keep this on the lowdown because I didn’t want it to be camp gossip and I didn’t want to distract anyone’s training nor races. I really appreciate this was respected. With the rigorous workouts and occupied time of a training camp, it was nice to be busy and have a constructive outlet to relay my energy into. I think I was in shock for a few days because I couldn’t cry. I gave myself time aside to let it out, and I felt nothing other than hurt and emptiness. No matter how much I tried, I couldn’t cry.
Despite having everything I should have needed to move forward, my heart still wasn’t giving up so easily. Instead of accepting the said, Goodbye, and allowing me to cry, my heart managed to find and force time to replay the warm, genuine moments of the relationship. Those good moments were times when I learned about and was myself because we were genuinely good and open with one another. I was able to see and experience the true version of him too. The little things like waking up to breakfast in bed, hiking, skating under Christmas lights, watching the stars, the symphony, being tucked in, holding hands, walking along the pier, sharing lunch at work, cooking dinner together, carving pumpkins, making homemade bread and frittatas, and so many other good moments. These are the memories my heart is right in not letting me forget. Even though it is time for me to move on, it is hard to decide where these memories should go and how they should be remembered. Unfortunately the heart knows good when it sees it. For that, I am painfully grateful.
After a week of limbo in my heart and physical agony from a training camp, I felt my heart finally break. It waited for my last intense workout of the camp and truly tested me. When I stepped on the line, my body felt hollow and my heart had turned into a heavy brick inside my chest. The trouble with a hollow body is it lacks the confidence and support to continue holding up this new heavy, brick, weight throbbing against my ribcage. As I ran through the first set of the workout I felt tears, endlessly roll down my face. Thankfully, I was wearing sunglasses. There was no hyperventilating, but for some reason my body finally cried. In between my set breaks, my brain was fuzzy, and I struggled to concentrate on what I was supposed to do, because I had never felt my body go through such an uncontrolled shut down that wasn’t induced by the workout. Somehow I managed to finish the workout but would choose a lactic headache over a heart pain, any day. When I went into my warm down jog, I found myself on a trail along the lake, kneeling on my hands and knees in the dirt sobbing. My heart finally let go and the brick inside my chest came exploding out. I know I am not pretty when I cry, and these were hiccupping, gasping for air, continuous tears rolling down my face type of crying. It was finally coming out. My heart finally was accepting Goodbye. The rest of the day I cried off and on and my roommates were there caring for me, making sure I didn’t feel alone but comfortable in my own space. They deserve so much more credit than this blog gives. THANK-YOU! !
Part Four: The Lesson
So why am I sharing this personal heartbreak?
Because I feel there are lessons worth sharing.
Lesson #1) You are Enough
I want any person who has been cheated on to know You are Enough! No matter who tells you otherwise. Your friends and family truly know you and they already know you are enough. Your head, or maybe your heart might feel like it needs some convincing, but trust them; believe them and let your guard down when they say you are enough. Without this experience and recognition of self worth, I might still be wallowing in tears on a trail outside of San Diego. Despite the hardship, I still choose not only to dream big, but I also live big, (and sometimes this is scary). Trust yourself because at the very least, I know you are enough!
Lesson #2) Overcome the fear of Public Judgment
Publicizing a break-up is hard. I best describe it as a comparable feeling to receiving a failing grade on a test. Deep down it stings and you feel shame it didn’t turn out the way you thought it would. But instead of only you seeing the test score and shoving it out of sight, it is now on public display for everyone to see. Judgment Day. Failure. Not a good feeling. This is the sting I feel admitting the correction I am no longer in a relationship anymore. It’s irrational, but there are two people in a relationship and when it doesn’t work, it’s hard not to feel like the burden is also partly yours. It was something or had parts that were good, and mourning those losses are the heaviness, which is inevitable to feel. I recognize this doesn’t define you, but acknowledging these feelings are just as important. No matter how embarrassing or hard it is, don’t let that sting overshadow this huge opportunity to grow! At the end of the day, whomever you had to reinform or update your relationship status to, they aren’t going to think less of you or lose sleep over this information. They ultimately care about you! Chances are, they’ll show you more compassion than you would expect. It is only fair to give them this chance to respond by being honest with them.
After reflecting, I am proud of the way I was able to use truth, and ultimately stay honest throughout the relationship; even during its ending. I believe being honest and truthful has left me with no regrets and this is how I am able to receive closure to look onwards. The process of finding this closure was uncomfortable, hard, physically painful, but worth it.
Today I am back in my flat, as the only one who has changed. It’s been a roller coaster of five weeks, and now it’s time to establish a new routine. A new, better, version of me. Honesty, and truth. This is how I was able to come out of this relationship feeling On Top.
Likewise, this is what also has taught me, I am enough.
P.S. If you are or have a good single friend looking for a date, send them my way. I happen to be open to bigger and better things now.