I Saw Him Today…..

In News by Kelley Gunter48 Comments

I saw him today.

On television.

The one who had my heart.

The one I so deeply loved–the one I would have done anything for and the one who stirred my soul.

Thanks to technology, I paused the broadcast and I looked at him.  I watched him sitting there and I remembered all the times he would text me from a similar environment–all the times I would say text me when you arrive safely, and all the times I would sit perched, in front of a television set, hoping for a quick glimpse of him on the screen.

He had that same nonchalant expression on his face that he always had.  As I sat looking at him, it just felt so odd and  uncomfortable and so, for lack of a better word, foreign.   I was struck by how strange life is and how someone can mean so much one moment and then just be out of your life forever the next.   It made me think of the song by Gotye, “Somebody That I Used To Know.”

I remembered the time I held him when he cried because his beloved dog had died.  I remembered how he held me when I cried because my stepdad had chosen a woman over his daughter.  I thought of how I would lay and watch him sleep and how we would always eat breakfast in bed together.  In fact, we ate many meals in bed together—dinner while watching football, midnight snacks while watching Dateline, he was just chill like that.  And I loved him.

I remembered walking in the room and seeing roses on my bed, a rare surprise he had left for me earlier in the day. Another time he left perfume and his t-shirt and shorts so I could sleep in them and feel close to him. Every once in a while, I still sleep in those– as crazy as that sounds.  Sometimes, in spite of everything, it’s still nice to feel close to him.   I thought of the long car rides together, the crazy wild goose chases we went on in search of the greatest deal ever.  And I remembered his smile.

There was always something about his smile. Quite simply put, everything about him was irresistible to me.

He was the one for me.  He was all I ever wanted and everything I had prayed for and dreamed of ever having.  It was as if I put in an order and God sent him.  And I always thought it was too good to be true because I felt as though he was out of my league.  I never thought that I was good enough for him and I never felt that he thought I was good enough for him.  As a result of that, my fear and insecurities prompted me to be a woman I wasn’t.  I was too afraid to be myself in his presence.  I would show glimpses of myself, but I was terrified of being rejected by him.

My pure desire to have him in my life, blinded me to the fact that he never loved me.  He may have liked me, somewhat, but he certainly never loved me.  While I thought he was everything I ever wanted, he thought I was a casual option.  Somewhere deep inside of me, I felt that truth.  So, I was determined to make him see that I was special and that I was worthy and that he should love me.

Yet,  he didn’t.

He said to me once that I never knew how to get what I wanted from him.  My bad, because I thought loving him was enough. But the reality of it really was that he didn’t even know me.  He couldn’t have known me because I didn’t know me.  I was a chaotic mess of feelings and secrets and insecurities and I didn’t love myself.  No one knew the real me.  No one—not even me.  I was so busy trying to hide my secrets and the monsters that haunted me from myself and the world, that I never knew how I was going to feel from one day to the next.  Was it really him I was trying to convince that I was worthy, or was I trying to convince myself ?

And then my life collapsed.

At first, he was supportive and that support meant the world to me, but it didn’t take him long to abandon me.  When I lost everything, he was included in the list.  There was a lot of anger and hurt there, probably on both sides, but when you’re drowning you don’t have the capability of checking to see if everyone on the shore is okay.  He wasn’t alone in watching me go under, he had a lot of company.

Nonnie always said that God brings people into deep water not to drown them, but to cleanse them.  That was certainly the truth in my case.  I spent a very long year alone, seeking treatment and trying to face my demons head on, living through horrific pain and memories that I had buried away years ago, hidden from not only the world, but myself.  That’s how repression works.  There were times I didn’t think I would survive, times I begged God to let me not wake up, times I literally didn’t think I could take one more second of pain.

But God had a different plan. 

Slowly, I began to start my healing process.  There was a time I didn’t think I could possibly cry any more than I had already cried and then the tears would flow again.  But one tear at a time, I became a little stronger, a little wise, a little healthier, and a little more in love with myself. I lost many, many people from my world, but as they say, not everyone you lose is a loss.   One friend at a time, I rebuilt my inner circle and God sent the people he always intended to be in my life—and they carried me, they championed me and they showed me what true friendship was all about.

Day-by-day, week-by-week, month-by-month, I began to realize that I was so much more than what had been done to me and I didn’t have any reason to carry shame around with me.  I was a victim and that was something I couldn’t control.  I had every right to deserve the best in life and to realize that I was okay and worthy of love from anyone.  I didn’t have to push people away or play games with people because of my fear that they wouldn’t love me if they really knew me.  I was enough.   Just plain ole Kelley was enough.

Today, I am proud of who I am.  I am rebuilding a life and doing what God intended for me to do all along.  I realize that God had to destroy me to rebuild me and set me on the path he always intended for me to walk.  Some days are scary and I’ve been alone for over a year now, but there is a peace in being who I really am and being okay with that.  One thing I know for certain is that God intended for me to write this book, tell my story, and let everyone out there know that by openly showing my scars, I am proof that everyone can heal.

As for the man I loved so deeply, I don’t blame him for not loving the old me.  No one could love me because I never let anyone close enough to accomplish that.  But that doesn’t mean I didn’t love him.  I truly did and for me the sun rose and set in his eyes.  I have never been the kind of woman who needs a man to be happy, but he is one with which I would have loved to have shared my life.

I pray to God he is happy because I truly love that man.  Did my heart stop beating for a brief second when I saw him on television today?  Of course, it did.   It’s a wonderful, terrible feeling all at the same time.  I’ll never forget the butterflies in my stomach when he was near me and how I literally went limp every single time he kissed me.

But, it didn’t work out.

What did work out is I fell in love with myself and that is a beautiful, life-changing occurrence.   I am open to meeting someone new whenever God sends him, but in the meantime, I’m happy and I am at peace.  I’m learning to love me a little more each day.  Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and that used to be a very hard day for me if I wasn’t in a relationship.  Or if I was in a relationship, but the man didn’t do anything special for me, it was equally devastating.  But this year, I am celebrating the fact that I love me on Valentine’s day.

For all of you out there who have ever felt that you were not enough, that you weren’t loved, that you weren’t special or pretty or any of the things that we try to absorb from what someone else thinks of us, I pray this Valentine’s Day you can learn to fill yourself up with self-love.  Whether you’re in a relationship or not, it is the healthiest thing you can do for yourself.  That is why this year I am celebrating my new-found self-love with fourteen days of Valentine’s.  Starting Feb. 1st, I will be sharing a Valentine with everyone promoting a new message of self-love.   I hope each of you will take those valentine’s and incorporate them into your own mindset and heart and start walking down the path of realizing how truly amazing you are.

I have a heart that has loved deeply and one that has been broken into a million little pieces, but it’s still beating.  I will love again.  As scary as it is, I’m ready to begin anew.  I’m ready to introduce myself to the first man who will ever meet the real me. I no longer fear rejection.   Maybe he’ll like me, maybe he won’t.  But I will, and that makes all the difference in the world.

 

Comments

  1. It is amazing how encouraging and inspiring you and sooo motivating. Thank you Kelly ❤

  2. I am having a hard time after back surgery. I regained so much weight after my husbands cancer. He survived and I realized We are are 2 parts of a whole. 53 years of fighting and loving. I almost threw in the towel , thankfully my sons came home and helped us both
    At this time I am being inspired by those, like you who learned how to love yourself and succeed in not letting food be your go to for everything . Thank you for sharing .

    1. Author

      I am celebrating the fact that you are trying and working so hard to learn to love yourself. It is a long and sometimes difficult journey, but I promise you it is one you will never regret walking. I applaud you !!!! xoxoxo

  3. Another beautiful inspiring post Kelley! I just hope and pray I have the strength to make the change I need and start loving myself one of these days! I don’t think I’ve ever truly loved myself! I believe it goes back to finding out I was adopted and feeling unwanted ! I felt like if my own mother didn’t want me no one else would! I’ve always been shy and for a better word antisocial! Growing up I always heard you should go into modeling … I would laugh because I just didn’t see myself that way! I also had a habit of finding the wrong men to share my life with! As a teen when I would see movies or know someone in an abusive relationship I would always say why don’t they just leave and get out of it! Fast forward to today and I’m one of those women! The constant verbal abuse has messed with my head so much it’s extremely hard to love myself! Being told your useless, or a waste of space doesn’t help with ones self esteem but I get up everyday and take it! I’m slowly trying to take my life back and I know in time I will accomplish that! Kelley thank you for writing your book and sharing your stories with us! Looking forward to your next blog!

    1. Author

      My dear, sweet, beautiful Dee. It breaks my heart to know that you struggle with these feelings, that I used to struggle with as well. Some days I still have to speak my truth to continue my healing journey. You are such a beautiful soul and I love you dearly, in spite of the fact that we haven’t met in person. It’s so hard for me to not try to convince you of how amazing you are, but I know, firsthand, that no one else’s words can fill up the void that only we can fill. I love you my friend and I think you are amazingly wonderful. I know that if I can find self-love, after all the shame and worthlessness I felt about myself, anyone can learn to heal and find it. I will, as always, keep you in my prayers. Always and always. xoxoxox

  4. Wow…I truly 100% feel as if you took the words right out of my mouth I have been broken in many ways since 10/31/2012. That day the person I once was disappeared. I never felt more hurt and have struggled everyday since. Not a day goes by when a memory doesn’t crosses my mind. I have pushed myself to get on with life and that’s all I’ve done – existed. Though I have many reasons to be happy – my kids, my family friends and a great job I just function enough to get by. Tried to date but that was unfair to the men because I didn’t want them in any way. I was just trying and hoping it would get me past that horrible horrible hurt I still had. He had no problems he told me about his reason to move on. He left within weeks, a proposal within 1 month and marriage less then a year of our last night together ( and no he was not dating this person. Long time friends but he was 100% mine and I 100% his along w our kids for 5 years). One night he was there the next night never to speak again as if our life together never existed, as if I wasn’t a wonderful step parent to his children who I loved with all my heart. Gone. How was I to even understand the words “ I love you with all my heart, you are the best thing that has ever happened to me and this may be the biggest mistake I make in my life, BUT I HAVE TO GO. I HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF HER”. Haunting words. I hate everything I used to love. Hate hanging out w my couple friends. Can’t stand weddings. So much makes me sad as I still don’t understand how what was a perfect life someone could walk away and it hurts. Finally after two big events in my kids lives ( one graduation from high school other college) I thought WHY have I wasted all this time. Letting life pass me by. Did I deserve it BY FAR NO. Did he make a huge mistake damn right he did. I decided that day that I have got to think of ME myself and I. I took a leap and got the hell up and decided to make changes big time. I want to be happy and healthy. I want to fall in love and give that person everything I gave him and he threw away. I’m a damn good women and I have a lot of love to give. I set goals and I am sticking to them. I’m on a quest to become the most healthy I’ve ever been. Not just to get back at him but to have a great life w my kids and family. My goal is set. I’m getting back to the fun friendly outgoing person that everyone loved. The day I find myself at my goal … I will find a way to make sure he see’s me.. the most beautiful, thin, fit that he ever saw me. I want him to see me, 1000 memories flash in his head and him repeat for days on end those words that broke my heart … “this may be the biggest mistake I make in my life… but I have to go. “ and say what the hell did I do ??
    It’s people like you Kelly who have inspired me. I’m more PO’d w myself for wasting so many years however I’m a true believer in God’s Plan. It took a while to understand this was his plan for me. It’s been a tough on and that’s without saying the trauma I’d been through w my marriage of 18 years. I’m strong and healthy f I can suffer all these years I can get myself together and be prepared for Gods next plan for me because I plan to Rock it !! Best wishes to all who read this. I hope you find your inspiration!

    1. Author

      I pray you find your happiness and your peace. I know your heart was broken, but you deserve to be happy again. You deserve to discover your wonderful beauty and self worth and fall in love with yourself all over again. It sounds like you are working towards that and I applaud you !! It takes a lot of courage to heal, but happiness and peace is on the other side of that journey. I will keep you in my prayers. xoxoxox

  5. Ok “Miss Thing” you are FAR from ordinary!!! Or plain ole Kelley! That man was NOT the one, he was the one who taught you a lesson. He gave you a gift. Even though it was not what you expected, it was a gift. You would not be where you are today, or doing what your doing had your life taken a different turn, or you staying in the same pattern of what you were doing. You are now in a place to accept THE ONE, when he walks into your life unexpectedly. I am so proud of you, and so happy to be apart of your journey moving forward! ❤️

  6. Holy Moly Canoli. Such a raw, open, vulnerable, detailed, amazing, “heart felt/heart understanding” post! I felt the parallel in some parts and ached for both of us and I saw examples from what you have achieved that I feel happening as I write this. Yes….soul sister, grateful girlfriend, fellow warrior woman, and queen of Cray Cray….. God does have a plan and a man deserving of your love who will also return it abundantly and authentically. Hopefully he has an extra one for me …hehehe! But for now…know that you are loved by all of us….the peeps you are moving with your words and hugging with your heart! Thanks for the ” most awesomest” post about self reflection today…You Rock!??☔????✌??

  7. I read your words and I feel pain, not only for you but for me, You see I saw mine the other day, the one who I loved more than anything, the one I would have gone to the ends of the earth for. He is on about the 15th woman after me, telling them the same stories, crying the same tears, calling them “baby” and his little girl. How do I know this? I dared befriend one of them a few years ago, as we talked I heard the same patterns the same promises and the same stories come from her mouth. It hurt so badly at first. How could he do this? Was I really the fool everyone told me I was during those years? Different from you, the only time he did go out of his way was on Valentine’s day. That was “our” day. I realize now it was his day. The day he could turn on his charm full force and make all those other days of thinking “am I making a mistake”, fade away. My life has changed so much in the years since we parted. I am settled I am happy and still trying to battle the weight and stress and demons that tore apart my body during that difficult time. I am back in the arms of a man who really loves me. I love him more than life itself because he loves the person I am. Not the pretty package Mr. Wonderful so proudly unwrapped in front of his audiences back then. No more pain, no more heartache when the audience is gone. You are so beautiful inside and out and always have been, and you might not have been as alone as you think. Nothing but happiness this day forward. I love you and I am so proud of you.

    1. Author

      We all have that one person who made us realize that we had to love ourselves. I think every woman has at least one of them, depending on how long it takes her to get the message and some men have probably been the catalyst for more than one woman. I’m happy you are loved and at peace. You are beautiful dear heart. I love you. xoxox

  8. Such a wonderful testimony of your inner strength. You are an inspiration!

  9. Another wonderful blog. I too am working on loving myself and your words are very inspiring to me. Thank you. Xoxo

  10. Without a doubt there is nothing more true than the fact there was a different plan and a different path/journey for you. However, as I sit here with admiration, sorrow, joy and love coursing through my heart as I’m thinking back to so many memories you could never be “plain ole Kelley.” While, I understand and can even agree to the thought behind it: that you are who you are(sometimes hard to handle, someone who loves deeply, who would give you anything) you are one of the most amazing, intelligent, beautiful, and wonderful people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing in my life.
    When we find ourselves struggling to find what it is that we want, we all are guilty of at times taking an easy path. Despite these detours I firmly believe we are never given more than we can handle. Sometimes these trials make us stronger, more beautiful, more seasoned and more open to find our way.
    This man….while I’m sure is a fine example of so much, is far from “the one” for you. The ONE for you will sweep in when you least expect it. He will make you laugh, make you feel comfortable and wanted even when you are having your “Queen” like moments. He will be strong, but yet kind and compassionate, intelligent and witty, because in order to hang with you it will take a wickedly wonderful combination. So, in this moment when “the one” stopped your world for a few, I hope you realized how far you’ve come and just how incredible you are.
    I love you for all your insecurities, greatness, and everything in between. So proud that you are seeing the worth and the growth that others have seen, if even from afar at times. I know this blog had to be difficult, but with the grace of a lady in true Kelley fashion my dear!!! ?

    1. Author

      Your responses always make me cry. lol It’s nice to be understood and loved in all of my imperfectness. It’s something I’m only learning to embrace. Today was a difficult day, but I wrote about it…..and that always helps. I’ve learned my truth doesn’t change by telling it and so many other people feel the same way and perhaps my hurt will spare them some….we can hope. I love you my dear friend. You’ve always understood ….. xoxoxox

    2. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for sharing this. I can’t wait to get my book and start to learn how I to can heal and change. Your a inspiration every day for me now. I can never give back what your giving to all of us but plz know your making a difference and changing lives.

  11. Wow! Amazing. Isn’t it wonderful when we can finally see ourselves realizing that the men we thought loved us really didn’t – but we can finally see them and not fall apart? I’m still learning to love myself. Still finding myself… it’s quite the journey. I still don’t recognize the woman in the mirror. Thank you for sharing your journey and for being transparent.

    1. Author

      You are so correct. There was a time I would have fallen apart, but that time is behind me. I’m thankful for that. He will always have a special place in my heart, but I need someone who loves me back and I’m definitely looking forward to the day God sends that man. Today was a little hard and it definitely hurt me a little, but I’m proud to realize I want someone who wants me too.

  12. Not everyone you lose is a loss. Stopped me in my reading and hit home. Wow was that powerful and something I know I will come back to.

  13. You leave so much of you inside each person that reads you . I know because i can feel each word slice my soul. You are so special and you are You in us all.

  14. WOW!!! It takes a lot for me to be speechless, but you write straight from your heart and the truth is spoken on every line. Self- love is something that takes a long time to develop and hold on to. I have been in therapy for years because of being in toxic relationships. I have loved, I have learned and I have figured out what loving yourself is all about. I have broken engagements, I have been a widow at a very young age and I found loving me after such losses has taught me what I wanted and needed in my future as I healed from the sadness. After years of learning what I desired, I was ready to love and be loved equally. G-d definitely had a plan for me and part of it was to become a strong women who would be independent and able no matter what! Today I am thankful for the years of great self-help and wonderful friends and family who stuck by me in my ups and downs in life. I found a wonderful husband who completes me and loves me for who I am. The love we give to one another is priceless! I am finally in a stable relationship with the man I was meant to be with forever! Somebody once said to me YOU CAN’T LOVE ANYONE, UNTIL YOU LOVE YOURSELF! And I am living proof that is the truth!!

  15. It is a wonderful feeling to love yourself and know you can be happy by yourself !!!!

  16. You are beautiful…you always have been….you always will be. I cherish you and ou friendship.
    I am so proud of everything and everyone you have overcome!
    Giiiiirrrrlllll……I loves you! ❤️

    1. Author

      I love how you said “everything and EVERYONE I have overcome !” Truth. Truth. Truth. I loves you back. Always have, always will.

  17. It’s so strange to me as I read more of your posts and your book, how parallel our lives are. At least as far as feelings. You encourage and inspire me. Thank you.

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