Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ghosts

This past week has stirred up a few ghosts for me.

Some that make sense due to the silliness that has occurred in another electronic medium that shall remain unnamed and some that are simply a product of stirring up the murk.

Last night, I had a dream about JJ. (Not the JJ that periodically comments on my blog) JJ was my first. I was 16 when we started "goin' steady". It was in the wake of what happened to Jax ... a wake that for me has never completely stilled.

I think it is safe to say that I was a train wreck already, but our relationship was volatile. We were like throwing a bucket of water on a grease fire, honestly. The results weren't much less devastating.

We were together for just over two years. During that time, I completely flipped my bicky and due to the severe case of Agoraphobia I had developed, was forced to quit school. Following that decision, I hardly left my house for about 8 months. I was afraid of EVERYTHING. Seriously, when I went to the doctor's office - they had to put me in a room alone ... away from the other patients or I would have massive panic attacks and usually pass out. There was even a period of time where I couldn't drive - I was so bad that even the other cars on the road would cause major attacks.

It was after an appointment with a new doctor that JJ had accompanied me to, that it happened. We had left the doc's office and went to a local Tim Horton's coffee shop. I had tea and he had a sour cream donut (they were new then). JJ had been having some allergy issues of late and it seemed like they might be food related, but we had no idea what he was allergic to. The attacks had been worsening. He started complaining that he didn't feel the best before he had even finished the donut ... and by the time we were getting back to the car, he was saying maybe we'd better go to emerg at the local hospital. That was the last thing I heard out of him, because the next time I looked, he wasn't breathing.

We were down town. It was a Wednesday, later in the evening like I'm thinking between 8 & 9pm. THANK GOD! The streets weren't congested like they would have been earlier in the day - or later in the week. I was  easily doing 140 kms/hr, hazard lights on ... beeping my horn like a maniac, just trying to attract some attention. 

I don't remember most of the drive, but I do recall bursting into the ambulance bay and flying out of the car where I immediately started screeching at the top of my lungs for help. I honestly do not know how many minutes passed between when he stopped breathing and when they jabbed him with epinephrine, and started CPR ... it's really a blur, most of it. I know I was forced away from JJ and made to go and move the car (yeah - bright move folks ... send me out to drive in the state I was in ... idiots). When I came back in, they had him in the ER. Because I wasn't considered immediate family, not only could I not see him - I wasn't given any update on his condition. I waited in agony for over two hours ... thinking he was dead. I was 17 years old.

The ER doc had called his parents ... but nobody thought to tell me. In my desperation and complete disregard for their stupid rules, I pushed past the triage desk and went running through the walkways between exam cubbies. I was caught by a couple of orderlies and when I told them why I had resorted to this, they assured me they would find JJ and let me know if he was alright. 

He was, and I was eventually taken to see him. He was released to my care (as per his parents' wishes) and I took him home with a list of appointments and an epi-pen in tow.

Within the month, he was back at that hospital (the main one for the province) as his local (smaller) hospital could not effectively treat him. There had been three other major attacks and it was so bad that there were scarcely seconds between ingesting the offending allergen (still unknown to us) and complete anaphylaxis. It had spiraled out of control and he had begun having seizures.

I was a near permanent fixture in his hospital room. I was there as early as they would let me in and as late as they would allow me to stay. I would have slept there if they had let me. I sat with him through his seizures ... they were pretty scary ... but I was his solid ground. He needed me to be that calm and nurturing force. I recall his group of friends making the 2 hour trip to the city to visit him. They wanted to take him outside for a walk. The nurses decided that it would be okay on three conditions: That I went, that he stayed in a wheel chair the entire time and that they kept it to a 15 minute jaunt.

We weren't outside 7 minutes when he started to seize. The whole bloody lot of them began crowding in around him and I had to physically pull them off in order to get in front of him and talk him down. They left  shortly there after ... and never came back.

Later that evening, a man spoke to me in the elevator. (I was getting a drink for JJ) He asked me how old I was and I told him. He then said that it was pretty impressive how I had handled myself in the face of such a frightening situation ... then he asked what was wrong with my brother. I told him he was my boyfriend and he just shook his head and said: Wow - I hope he's smart enough to marry you ... that's dedication.

We were there for roughly three weeks. I learned in that time that he was allergic to soy (which, incidentally is in nearly everything). There were a few other disturbing revelations during that time that knocked me on my ass. Apparently, JJ had developed quite an alcohol habit whenever I wasn't around. I truly had no idea. We never drank together. Heck - I rarely ever drank at all. It was so surreal to me. He was this whole other person that I didn't know.

In the months following his release from hospital, our relationship changed considerably. He became ... crazy possessive and very rough. On one evening, in particular, he had rented the movie Arachnophobia for us to watch ... now, for those who don't know already, I am quite frightened of spiders. I won't kill them, but I'm pretty scared of 'em. He knew this. When I got ticked off and said I didn't want to watch it, he informed me I was going to watch it. I got up to leave and he grabbed me, threw me down on the floor and proceeded to put his knee on my sternum. I struggled ... and finally started making enough noise that his parents gave a holler down for us to settle down. He finally released me and I flew out of there like a scalded cat. Turns out, our joint effort had cracked 3 of my ribs (though I didn't realize until MUCH later).

By the following May, he had changed so much I hardly knew him anymore. My attachment didn't seem to waiver much ... I loved him, I wanted to help him, but I was running on empty (emotionally speaking) anyway and really didn't have a great deal more to give. One day, the phone rang and it was JJ. He told me he didn't think we should be together anymore - completely out of the blue... 

You could have knocked me over with a breath. After all the accusations of me wanting out and me messing around on him - he just ended it. In hindsight, I see this as a classic transference of his own guilt, but at the time I couldn't see past the gaping hole in my chest. Within the week, it came out that Jax knew he had been cheating on my for quite a long time, and (I can only assume) didn't feel it worth upsetting me in order to preserve any of my own dignity.

Betrayed, by both of them ... I retreated into a deep depression. I remember my mom rocking me in her arms ... broken glass all around us on my bedroom floor from all the things I had smashed when I had entered. She had me facing out and just hugged me so tight and rocked and rocked ... talking into my hair ... all I kept saying was that she didn't understand, that I had nothing left to give anyone else (no drama there) ... because I had given him everything (of course I was referring to my virginity. Mom told me later that she was relieved. She was so worried after everything that came out after Jax's attack that I would never have a normal sex life.). She took me upstairs to the kitchen and made me a white russian. Gotta love my mum.

{As an aside ... it was less than three weeks later that Trigger and I started chuming, so that should offer some idea of the chances THAT relationship had from the start.}

***

A number of years later, I contacted JJ. He had married the girl with whom he cheated on me. They had three kids together last I heard. He told me he was sorry. He said he never could understand what happened to us after everything we had gone through.

At one point, he showed up at the bank where I was working at the time. I was single, it was before Mr Dragonfly. He wound up coming to my house. It was the week that Swiss Air had happened. He was a mucky muck with Emergency Services and was in town for debriefing the volunteers & such. It was bizarre to see him again.

When he left, he told me he always kept a little piece of his heart for me ... and then he tried to kiss me. I put my hand on his face (over his nose & mouth) and pushed him back. (I mean - COME ON, DUDE) He shook his head and said "you always were the best person I ever knew - glad to see that hasn't changed".

What is it with me and these people who have dumped me after sucking out my very marrow?

I joke about my man ... and I have said on plenty of occasions that he is my best friend - but I don't think I can even articulate just how much I mean that. He is a giver. He takes very little from me, yet fills me up at every opportunity. He doesn't try to own me, run me or otherwise control me. He is never mean or rough and always has me planted firmly at the top of his priorities.

If he is my reward for all the crap that happened in my past, I've been over compensated.

I love your guts, babe.

Me

7 comments:

Spot said...

I love "I love your guts, babe".

Sometimes I wonder how you survived your earlier years. Only fair that you should have a great guy now. You are amazing girl.

♥Spot

brite said...

Ah sweetie...you did a lot of living, loving and giving while very young...and despite giving it to people who were incapable of giving it back, you remain a very giving person.You give of yourself on this here old blog all the time and I, for one, am always grateful and feel blessed to have found you.
And yeah, karma is a funny thing...the love you take IS equal to the love you make.

Amethyst Anne said...

I am a firm believer in living your life so that when you are older you hold no regrets and that everything we experience, the good and bad, helps to shape us to be the grown ups we are.
To that end, you are a sum of your parts dear Dani, which makes you such a kind hearted soulful woman.I too am glad to have found you!

I am glad that you and your Hubs navigated your paths towards each other and that you have that kind of relationship that some people will either never attain or understand.

The Grasshoppa:Triplets Plus Two Momma said...

You are an old soul----like me and you deserve all the kindness this world has to offer.

FabuLeslie said...

I can relate to your younger years. Dated a drug addict in high school and kept giving to try to help him through it. Gave him an ultimatum eventually, and he chose the drugs. Years later when we met again told me it was the biggest mistake of his life. Yep. And my luckiest day ever.

BlackLOG said...

Well done for standing by someone in their hour of need and also for not getting dragged down by it, this can sometimes happen. In a strange way the problems you had with JJ may have proved to be a good thing, giving you the strength to get over your fears. What does not kill you only makes you stronger. I feel very privileged that I found my Soul Mate (Mrs B) fairly early on in my life, she was 19 and I was 20. Not many drama's in my love life, going to an all boy school assured that. It makes me laugh when young friends of ours split up because they have not "experience" life. i.e had multiple partners. Mrs B has been my only partner and I'm proud of that....

smArtee said...

...wow you have been through a lot...I am sorry to hear of this especially the abusive parts...but it seems that you have found the man of your dreams...I think we all have some of these same ghosts...I know I do as well... I am glad that you have found the happiness and joy you deserve....!