** Let me just apologize for how long this post is going to be. It’s tough have so much to say and not knowing when to say it but i figured i should start at the beginning of us.
I am not sure why all stories and fairy tales make it sound like the story ends when the prince gets his princess. Not when I feel like after I said “I Do” I got a Part 2 to my fairy tale. I wish that there was emphasis to show that this is a step forward into the rest of your life instead of this is the end game. Let me explain why I feel that way:
My name is Kayla Ram…Brooks – I am a Brooks now.It is taking some getting used to. I was a Ramos. I don’t mind it too much. It was a long discussion on whether I should be a Brooks or a Ramos-Brooks or to just stay Ramos. I owed no allegiance to the Ramos Legacy but it was how I identified myself. Ill probably tell you one day how we made the decision to become a Brooks.
Anyhow – I grew up looking at marriage as a sort of prison. There weren’t many couples in my family that stayed together the first time around and i deeply coveted that. I covered up the want and need for a one time only every after because it is such a useless (meaning not productive or realistic in this case) want. So I carried on with my teenage and young adult life knowing I would never ever have a Derek and Meredith type of marriage. In my head I just wasn’t programmed for that. I wasn’t going to have that because no one around me seemed to be able to stay and work on their marriage or even their relationships. I had not one freaking clue how to maintain a healthy and successful relationship and it showed.
I went through my late teens and early 20’s stuck on one person who was emotionally abusive and in the end physically abusive. This person was, I thought, perfect for me because she (yep, i said she) only wanted what was best for me right? I mean she just pushed me to get skinnier and to stop eating so much. She only wanted me to feel better about myself by dressing better or losing weight. She just had preferences and things that she liked… I had no idea how bad this was for my already fragile psyche. Towards the end of my self imposed torture (it still feels self imposed) I realized how bad things had gotten and so I escaped. I didn’t have a hope in the world of recovering and finding great love. After all the media shoved that great love is dramatic, sometimes traumatic, and very flashy!
Not too long after her (sighs – young and dumb fit me perfectly) I met someone who had all the right qualities. He was respectful (mostly), he didn’t scream at me, he had a great job and a life plan (this was super important to me), a great family, he was trustworthy (this is now debatable), he was disciplined and best of all I knew he wouldn’t ever lay a hand on me. It wasn’t long after meeting him in person (we met online) that I had stars in my eyes and i believed this man hung the moon. I believed that we would be good together. I was strong enough to deal with his military career. I was strong enough to take care of myself and him. I wanted for all the world for this to be neatly tied up in a bow and to save me. I was willing and happy to settle for a stable income and tough love. I was shorting myself and i knew it but i was okay with a business arrangement. I just didn’t want to be as hateful and as bitter as some of the people i know after or in their marriages.
I left that man and not in the kindest way. Things weren’t working. He would say mean things and we just couldn’t communicate which is vital in a long distance relationship. Out of the 2 years him and I were together we were physically together a total of 36 days. I did my best and sent as many extravagant care packages as i could. I skyped and was on the phone as often as possible. I didn’t have the kind of money needed to go overseas to visit him and any attempt at us moving closer together was never discussed. He made it clear his career was more important and I understood. At the end of the day there were plenty of life plans but never plans that directly included me. It was implied in some cases (when kids were brought up) that I would be there but never in a capacity more than housewife. You will get to know me and you will know that housewife is NOT my thing. I respect women who can manage a household but i just am not one of them. Anyways – I had already made it clear I wasn’t happy and i didn’t think things were working. I attempted to leave (which should be easy right!) which only ended up with me apologizing and getting more frustrated. I attempted to have the break up conversation several times for months (November to February to be exact). Anytime I would start I would get diverted or an argument would start and I just got tired of it all so i would shut up for a bit.
I was beaten, broken and exhausted in so many ways. I had a long time friend (like, 6 years long) reach out to me on facebook and attempt to keep me cheerful through everything I was going through. He did his best and we ended up helping each other out in a lot of way. His truck broke down and I let him borrow my car. I needed company to go someplace not really safe and he came with me. I didn’t tell the man I was still stuck with. I didn’t feel like i was dating him anymore. I had expressed that I didn’t want to be with him on several occasions and had attempted to stop talking to him but he was persistent. You may say that I could have stopped answering the phone and i agree with you but you see if i did that he would message my friends, call some of them, email me, message me hateful things, call back to back to back, and in general just make my life hell until i gave in. It made me feel like a cheater. I was trying so hard to move on and just be free to be happy and I couldn’t because he was constantly hanging over my head. He was always in the background and just a phone call away from ruining my day. I couldn’t not answer the phone or else everyone else around me would have to deal with it.
Then I had enough – It was valentines day (our 3rd one that went by un noticed). I am not a huge valentines day person but since he was never around i wish he would have had at least said happy valentines day I am thinking of you. I got nothing – well, my brother bought me flowers and my “friend” braved the mall with me. I messaged my friends and let them know that things were going to get ugly and i started apologizing (im good at saying im sorry). I hadn’t answered the phone at all the day before. I didn’t even respond to the messages. It was Valentines Day and I was told to answer the phone or else. I didn’t. I got nauseated watching my phone ring and ring and ring…I watched the messages as they came in and got more and more hateful. I cried realizing that things were going to have to get really nasty before he would stop. The emails started coming in of all the pictures we had exchanged back and forth in the last 2 years (some of them obviously pretty raunchy) and some of those pictures came with threats. I was hurt and then I got angry. I felt betrayed and lied to. I picked up the phone and I let him have it. The whole time my friend is sitting silently next to me, the anger is rolling off of him in waves and battering me, and he is rubbing my back so that i don’t puke or bust a brain vessel. It was a shouting match. We tore at each other and I kept apologizing and trying to say what I needed to but I couldn’t get a word in. The gist? I was a terrible woman and no one in their right mind would want to be stuck with me. I just said that I was sorry he felt that he wasted his time and hung up. I was an awful person and deserved what he said. I cried in my car, in front of the mall, and my friend stayed silent.
My friend (which I am sure you have deduced is Lenny) drove me home, gave me a glass of water, took off my shoes, wrapped me in a blanket, put another blanket as a wall between us and laid next to me. He didn’t say anything. He just laid there and let me deal with it. This moment of acceptance for all the ugly things that have happened to me and for the things i had not yet dealt with – that moment was the beginning of us.
We didn’t know it then. We had no idea where things would go. For the longest time (and sometimes when i think on it now) I still feel so wrong for moving from one person to the next but this time was a little bit different. I was selfish. I chose what i did and did not want to do or deal with. Before a full week was up we went and got similar piercings together, Lenny and I. I knew in THAT moment that I was going to pursue this man. I for one wanted to do the pursuing. I have no doubt that he let me since he did all of the wooing. We inadvertently moved in together after a couple of weeks of sharing a car. I didn’t mind – It was like living with a nicer version of me. We worked well together. We just fit and things were always worked out even if it caused fireworks at first.
Subconsciously i knew that we were dating yet refused to admit it but he let me be. He never demanded a title or an explanation and he soothed the moments that i felt like i was a terrible person for needing him. The first few months were hard. I simultaneously dealt with the feelings that were growing for him while bearing the guilt and failure of my last relationship. I was learning more about myself and my wants and needs. It was all so very overwhelming. The first few months of us dating is romantic in a sort of sad and for better or worse sort of way. I was a mess and like with a dying plant he nourished me slowly and steadily. He didn’t mind telling me i was wrong or that I was doing something wrong. He didn’t mind my quick temper and my tendency to be overly defensive. He weathered the storm that I was. He accepted the consequences of my past and did his best to shed light on what i saw as a dark time. He was a Godsend. The Saint of Patience. We made something that was ugly into something that is beautiful. The beginning of us couldn’t be considered beautiful or perfect in anyway. We were both hurting and together (in an unconventional way) we healed.
Do You See? Before Lenny I had no hope of a good functioning relationship. I had been with all the wrong people. I had watched my parents tear each other down from an early age all the way until i stopped talking to my father at 24. Every couple in my family had divorced at least once and remarried. The idea of Marriage was not a favorable one. He didn’t try to talk me out of that he just showed me that there was a different option. The thing is I was scared to actually marry this beautiful Soul because it meant the end. Every story starts with boy meets girl, boy marries girl, They live happily ever after, the end. I didn’t want the end. I didn’t want that to happen to me! No amount of convincing me that this was false was going to work. Every story i have read or had the pleasure of watching courtesy of Disney just said The End. Uhm hello, I am going to turn around now and I am going to RUN! I wish that we taught our girls 2 vital things that may have saved me some wedding anxiety. 1. Getting married isn’t the end. 2. Getting Married is the Beginning and its fun!
There is such a thing as tough love but it shouldn’t hurt your feelings and make you hate yourself. You shouldn’t change for your prince because he is going to love you no matter what. Don’t lose yourself. It’s okay to find yourself with a person. Love has no timeline. There is no right and wrong to it. If it’s right it’s right. All those cliche things i hated to hear are mostly true.
I didn’t believe in marriage. I said I Do on May 20th, 2016 and I don’t regret a second of it.