Monday, March 24, 2008

Fear, Family, Forgiveness, and Falling

I like alliteration. Forgive me.

Last week, I decided to break up with Anthony. He didn't even do anything wrong; I was afraid.

Afraid to get hurt again. It hurt like a mug when Adam and I broke up, and that event happened recent enough that I remember the pain all too well. I don't want to feel that pain again. And, I'm very aware that the odds are things aren't going to work out with Anthony.

Without going into too much detail, I'll explain that last sentance. Anthony wants to marry me. This year. He said it a few weeks ago, casually, as if it were the most natural thing in the world. I made him back up and repeat it to make sure I'd heard correctly. He wasn't proposing, don't get ahead of yourselves, he was just saying what he thinks - that we're getting married sometime this year. The problem is, he's not currently able to get married in the temple, and it's a non-negotiable for me. He says he wants to, eventually, but he's willing to get married out of the temple first and be sealed later. I'm not willing to do that. See the potential heart-wrenching problem?

I'm afraid to trust. Many of you know why. I have a hard time trusting that when a man says he loves me, he means it and isn't just saying it to get something from me. It's difficult for me not to hide behind a protective facade because I don't trust that a man will still love me after he sees my weakness and faults. I'm afraid to surrender my independence, my vulnerability, my heart because I can't trust that they'll be taken care of by the man to whom I'm giving them.

So, I decided to break up with Anthony last week to spare myself the pain of potential future heartbreak. I didn't break up with him, of course. Thankfully.

Holidays are always filled with my family. Kevin came down and was able to have his son for a few hours Saturday. I didn't get to spend much time with either of them, but that's later in the story. Friday evening, Anthony and I went out to my brother's house and dyed eggs with his wife and kids. I love dying eggs! I love it more now than I did as a kid, and I really enjoyed it then! Anthony doesn't like dying eggs, but suffered through it with a willingness that endeared him to me even more. He even wrote on an egg "Anthony loves Julie" and dyed it green. Aaaahhhh. He played with the kids and helped them with their eggs. What a guy! Afterward, we played frisbee golf before going to my apartment to watch Princess Bride. I snuggled up to him and promptly fell asleep. He didn't wake me 'til the credits and then told me I looked pretty while sleeping.

Saturday, I went grocery shopping earlier than I wanted to be awake because I had so much to do. I started to clean but was informed that my family was eating earlier than planned because Anthony's family had invited me to their Easter dinner at 4pm AND because my other brother, Jason, was spending the evening with his in-laws. I hurried over and hung out with everyone for awhile. Anthony came over after 2pm and had to suffer through another bout of eggs - Mom wanted to dye eggs with Scott - before we left for his mom's house. His family is very nice to me. His ornery ole grandpa told him to hold on to me because I made a good jello salad and helped clean up after dinner. His family is different from mine in some ways; not Mormon, not game players, and practically kid-less, but similar to mine in some ways, too; loud, funny, sociable, joking. After awhile, Anthony suggested we go play games with my family (he's hooked on playing games now - Yay!), so we did. We played 'til the wee hours of the night, then talked inside his car in front of my apartment for awhile longer.

Sunday, I actually woke up and made it to church, though just sacrament meeting. I left church and immediately went out to Corey's and played games for a few hours. His wife gave me eggs for myself and Anthony, so I took him his eggs and stayed for an hour before heading to my dad's. I was there a lot longer than I'd planned on, but it was a really good evening. We talked a lot and played a game with my sister. I left there around 10pm with a gallon of milk that my dad asked me to give to anyone who would use it. He had too much milk. It was the % Anthony liked, so I took it to him and stayed another hour talking to him. All in all, a good day. My only regret was not making it to Mom's house like I had planned.

That chat with my dad went a long way towards starting to clear up the issues I have with my dad. For the first time ever, he spoke to me about the things he had done in the past, and apologized for the messes it causes me still to this day. When I told him about my trust issues, he asked if it was because of him. It hurt me to say yes, but I told him the truth, that most of my issues, though not all, stem from him leaving. It was painful for both of us, but I felt like some old, festering wounds were finally being cleansed. Maybe now they'll be able to heal properly.

I really opened up to my dad and told him about my doubts and fears with Anthony. I trusted him. It was a big leap, but I think it paid off. He was able to give me advice that only a father could give. A father that has erred and come back. A father that may actually love me after all. It gives me hope. And, it strengthened the trust I have in my Father, who gave me the idea to go see my dad in the first place.

This is the hardest one to write; surprisingly, considering the work it took me to get that last section out. This section is the reason I decided to break up with Anthony last week, and the main reason I'm not allowing comments.

I'm falling in love with Anthony.

Heaven help me. Please.