I guess I touched on my views of looking back on your past in my previous “What are You Without a Past?” post. Honestly, I’m definitely one of those people who believes that “those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it”. My friends simply think I have a problem with letting go of things… And I guess that’s true as well.
One of the biggest moments in my past, which some would say I haven’t fully given up, is the two years I spent with my ex. We broke up a month before we came to university, him being on a gap year and having deferred his entry to UCLan and me awaiting my A Level results and hopefully heading to the University of Liverpool. He didn’t take the gap year for my sake, as many argued, he’d been planning to work in Africa back when we were simply friends. The same for us breaking up just before we came to university, we never even considered breaking up due to the distance or going to the same university to prevent the distance. I think we were good at knowing what we each wanted.
Of course, I did end up at UCLan and yes, we did break up just in time for university.
These things happen…
However, it’s what happened since the break up that confuses me tonight. When I came to university here at UCLan it was because I’d screwed up big time with my A Levels and UCLan had been my insurance. This was because UCLan, out of my other three choices (I put Liverpool down twice on UCAS), was the only other university I had visited and that had only been because my ex wanted to revisit and it had been the same weekend as my Liverpool Open Day. It gets weirder when I got my accomodation through: out of the dozen or so halls on campus I had ended up in the same halls as him (since he had applied months before me so I knew where he was going to be living). It gets weirder when I drive up on the first day of university and see him walking out of the halls… and ever weirder when I found out he was living in the block next to me… out of 10 blocks. Wonderful. Throw in the fact that my flatmates, who ended up being my closest friends in first year, were good mates with him flatmates and those who believe in Fate would start chuckling to themselves.
Don’t get your hopes up though, this isn’t a “Happily-ever-after” love story. When me and him broke up, we both had the understanding we couldn’t be friends. Though he had argued with my theory that ex-lovers couldn’t be friends after a break up, when the moment happened it was him pushing me away… I mean, I still cared for him and yes, I still do, but I don’t think I could go beyond this “somebody I had a past with but don’t know anymore” relationship we have now. It’d hurt too much.
But today was one of those days. I met a mutual friend of ours and he ended up coming into the conversation. It was ironic that what she was telling me was essentially a reflection on our entire romance; his eagerness to cuddle in bed, his untidiness… None of it was new until she mentioned his aggressiveness. Now, this guy I refer to as my ex would not survive in a fist fight. I know a huge spectrum of male personalities and he definitely wouldn’t make it as King of the Pride when it comes down to it. I’d seen a few, though definitely not many, attempts at gaining an argument out of him when we were together and he’d simply tried to talk it through. We had had a very argumentative relationship because of his passiveness compared to my own aggressiveness. He had this inner calm you gain from having a pretty supportive family network around you, and it was something I couldn’t understand. Now I’m hearing about him slamming doors off their hinges, threatening to punch someone he considered a best friend and refusing to listen to other people’s side of the story.
The scariest part though, apart from the fact I’m completely helpless, is that I actually believe I had some part in it. Maybe that’s a bit arrogant, but when someone treats you badly in a relationship it’s not uncommon for you to turn around and treat someone else in that way. It might be to prevent yourself getting hurt, or maybe it’s completely by accident. But the stuff they’re saying he’s now doing is exactly how I treated him at the time- and it’s exactly how he told them I’d treated him.
Now I’m seeing my friends go through the same thing in their relationships and I’m starting to realise why I’m so weary about getting back into that situation!