I thought I would introduce you all to Mr. Wonderful. He is this amazing man sitting beside me, lightly touching my leg while he reads and I type. He makes me comfortable and, perhaps most surprisingly, content. I have known of him for years, and could even claim to have known him years ago, but the man I met a few months back is both the same boy I knew and infinite times better.
We went to high school together but he is three years older so once he graduated we lost touch. It had been a dozen years since we talked and by a series of fortunate events, culminating in me sending him a Facebook message, – Weird because I really don’t use Facebook. I am not sure if I have ever really expressed my intense dislike for Facebook here, I tend to avoid it. – we reconnected and began talking frequently. For the most part, we were honest and open from the beginning and in many ways it felt more like deepening a relationship than building one anew.
We have connected in a way I have never experienced before. Yes, I know. I sound like a teenager in love for the first time. In many ways, I feel like I am. But instead of being swept away by passion and lustful feelings, Mr. Wonderful and I have been tentative in our approach to this relationship. There is passion and lust galore, but there is more too. The reckless aspects of falling deeply and irrevocably in love are there but are appropriately tempered by critical thinking and rational thoughts. We have both been in love before, we know how good it can be before it gets really bad. This isn’t the “I can’t live without you” type of love, but it is the “I never want to live without you” type.
We started talking a few months back, and it quickly developed into a passionate and lust filled conversation. We wanted each other, badly. At this point I was still living with C. but we hadn’t made love since before my latest fusion surgery six months before. I am not proud of this, but I made plans with Mr. Wonderful for the weekend before one of my appointments in my hometown. We were living five hundred kilometres away from each other and after weeks of talking I am not sure anything could have stopped us from seeing each other while we were in the same place. Even if I tried to tell myself that there was a decision to be made right up to the last moments, there wasn’t. The decision had already been made in my subconscious if not in my conscious mind.
By the time we finally saw each other we had exchanged thousands of messages and had developed a nightly routine of us talking well into the night. That first night, when I picked him up from work, I was so nervous, for so many distinct and separate reasons. I had not really started physio again so I was no where near what I consider my best shape possible, which made me feel rather unattractive. My body image issues were compounded by the fact that my boyfriend of five years had no interest in sex with me whatsoever. I was feeling rather broken, mentally and physically, and wasn’t sure how he would react to my scar, or limitations. I also didn’t know what to expect from him. We had initially thought we could spend a night, maybe a weekend, together and then part ways but I wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about this.
I think we were already falling for each other by the time I got into town and we lied to ourselves for a long time in hopes of alleviating some undue pressure. Before I came down that first time, Mr. Wonderful tried to back out of our tryst saying he had some ‘stuff’ to deal with. And boy did he ever. He told me about his last relationship and the drama that ensued from it and I surprised myself by saying none of it mattered and actually meant it. The potential for drama is still there, unfortunately it is not the type to suddenly dissipate, but I think we can handle it and be better together for working through it.
Instead of being a source of stress, being with Mr. Wonderful gives me peace, inner strength I had forgotten I had and, unexpectedly, hope. He makes me happy and I am starting to believe that I make him feel the same. There are always smiles and laughter when we are together. He can do nothing more than listen and it’s like a ton of weight has been lifted from my shoulders. He doesn’t tell me what I need to do to change because he thinks I am perfect right now. At the same time he makes me think about my future with more hope, he makes me excited to see where this leads, and he makes me want to be better.
I think this is the biggest change I have seen in myself since I left C., and in this new relationship generally – I genuinely want to try again. Mr. Wonderful makes me want to make his life better, and my life better and, surprisingly and still a bit startling, our life together better. Yes, there is an our life, apparently. While that scares me, it also amazes and delights me. Until it does more of the former than the latter I am endeavouring to feel more and think less. I am still stuck in so many ways, but Mr. Wonderful wants to help me in the ways C. always resented. He wants to be better himself, and wants our life to be good.
With all this, it sounds as though I am basing a lot of my new found happiness and freedom on the fate of this relationship. I am not. I want this to fulfill the promise I sense here, leaving Mr. Wonderful would be devastating, but I don’t need him to be me. There are moments when I feel like I need him near, that I need him to hold me and make the rest of the world stop, but I don’t need him to continue living. I am struggling to make a distinction that is so clear to me but am stumbling over etymology. So let me try again.
While Mr. Wonderful makes my days – and nights – better, he is not my saviour. He has helped me in ways I am not even sure I can articulate. He accepts me and in turn has made me accept myself again. The last five years of my life have been struggle, I am still struggling, but with Mr. Wonderful it is easier. He doesn’t see me as broken. He doesn’t see my scars, the extra weight from post-surgery bed rest, or the spots I missed when shaving my legs. – It’s still a thing to shave my legs. Bah! – And I have tried to shake him. I haven’t hid my pain, or my frustration, or my fears. All those parts I am most ashamed of he embraced, and loves.
This won’t be the easiest road. Tell me what is worth doing that is easy. There will be problems, there will be issues but I think that we can get through it. There is a lot that needs to settle, and many things that don’t really depend on us. But for the most part I am happy, content and hopeful. It’s a nice change.
As always, thanks for reading.