HA note: This series is reprinted with permission from Caleigh Royer’s blog, Profligate Truth. Part Two of this series was originally published on May 23, 2013.
Also in this series: Part One: What Is Courtship? | Part Two: We Were Best Friends | Part Three: The Calm Before The Storm | Part Four: To Lose One’s Best Friend | Part Five: To My Darling Clementine | Part Six: The Storm Starts Brewing | Part Seven: The Five-Year Relationship Plan | Part Eight: The Means To An End | Part Nine: We Made It | Part Ten: I Am A Phoenix | Part Eleven: Conclusion, Don’t Brush Off the Next Generation
Part Two — “We Were Best Friends, Heart Readers, And We Were Loyal to the Nth Degree”
When I wrote about courtship at the beginning of the year, I sincerely intended to continue on in a series of posts about relationships, but as life would have it, my plans got derailed. I was in the middle of some pretty difficult days, emotionally and mentally, and I didn’t have the words to continue writing. Other topics came up, and this series got put on a dusty shelf for another time. I finally feel like I have the words to get this second post in the series out. I once said that I would never talk about my husband’s and my story, but I should learn to not say “never.”
As I have been working through things with my therapist, the more I am seeing life, my life, from another deeper and wider perspective. What I am seeing is a very comforting picture, and one that makes me proud to say that yes, this is my life. I haven’t, to my memory, ever before been able to say, “yay, I love my life!” at any moment before this.
I told my therapist yesterday that I have never been able to look at my husband’s and my story without feeling guilt, shame, and feeling like it is a story of simply surviving a hellish encounter with forces outside of us. I told her how ever since the moment I met my husband, I have felt like it’s been a non stop whirlwind that has threatened to stop us from being together. It has only been in the past 2 (maybe 3) months that I have finally felt able to take a breath and let my body’s stress and tension melt.
My therapist looked at me and told me that our story was one of the most inspiring stories she had ever heard.
She told me that she would consider it movie material, and she was so amazed that we made it through what we did and are still happily married and doing amazingly well. I sat there looking at her, trying to see from her perspective and understand what she was seeing. In that moment, I think I really did catch a glimpse of the story she saw, and this is what I saw.
* * * **
I met my husband in a fairly normal way.
We met through a mutual friend and were surrounded by my siblings when we first met.
He thought I was the mom of all of the kids, and I thought he was seriously short. I had these feelings of almost intrigued disgust at his height, or lack thereof, but there was also something deep in my heart that did a double take when this really friendly, bubbly guy shook my hand and embarrassingly stammered over his mistake of thinking I was the mom. I felt God tell me to keep my eye on this guy because he was going to be someone really important to me.
We didn’t start talking right away, it took two weeks of me trying to find out what I could about this guy, and not hearing anything from him until we connected over online chat. Right around the same time, my life was falling apart with my fibromyalgia and I still wasn’t diagnosed and still was dealing with tons of doctor’s appointments. Meeting Phil and getting to know him and as our friendship quickly progressed from just acquaintances, he was the one who kept me afloat when I desperately needed that life buoy. Our short online chats very quickly morphed into two hour long conversations about nothing in particular other than wherever the conversation led.
I don’t really know what I think about soulmates, and love at first sight, but I do know that there was something seriously deeply connected between Phil and I. He had this silly rule that he would never talk with a girl on the phone unless that was the girl he was in a relationship with or had a business deal to discuss. I remember feeling frustrated when I knew he wasn’t doing well with something and I couldn’t call him and hear his voice or to yell at him to buck up. We found creative ways around the fact that I didn’t have internet at home, including sending e-texts; texts between his email and my phone. I totally jacked up my phone bill within the second month of our serious conversations because of going over my text limit for the month. Oops.
There was something deeply connecting us.
About three months after I met him, I went through the second time in my life where I cut off anyone who I felt like was sucking life from me or I felt like I couldn’t invest in. I joke that Phil just made the cut. If I hadn’t met him when I did, I probably would have never paid much attention to him, but because of his sincere care for me, and the deep sense in which he understood me, he made it. I started keeping my phone on me everywhere as I felt like he was a life line. He knew the moment something happened that wounded me deeply. He was the first one I texted when something funny happened.
We were best friends, heart and soul readers, and we were loyal to the nth degree.
At the three month mark I strongly wrestled with God over Phil. I told God that I wasn’t going to marry someone short, I had to marry someone tall so they could protect me, carry me. God kept telling me that I had to let go of that dream, I had to let him show me who he wanted me to see. For two weeks, long weeks I might add, I fought and wrestled knowing that as soon as I gave in I would see something I wasn’t ready to acknowledge. At the end of that time I finally gave in and wearily told God that I was ready to hold my dreams loosely. As soon as I did that I saw something in Phil that made me really take a hard look at him. The first thing I saw was that he was nothing like my dad and was one of the first guys I knew that I actually felt safe with.
This was huge, people —
For the first time in my life I felt safe.
I felt safe, and that changed my life.
To be continued.
Feeling safe is one of the most beautiful feelings ever 🙂