His nephew's birthday was the next day and the present still needed wrapped. So, I thought I'd help and pick out some wrapping paper and wrap it. I went to the closet in the guest bedroom in our apartment. As I was considering the options, I came across a roll I had not seen before that had obviously been used.
It sucked my breath away. And I called out and asked, "What was this pink, flowery roll from?" T~ responded from the kitchen with a vague, "I don't know." My eyes became tearful and my heart sank with my thoughts starting to run all over the place. I commented that I hadn't seen it before and I wondered what it had been used for. He said in a puzzled voice that he didn't know, but then quickly followed that it must have been for his mom and recalled buying her something recently.
I took a breath and felt terrible for the ugly mess of thoughts coming to mind. The wrapping paper was a trigger, unbeknownst to me, reminding me of my past spouse's infidelity. I did not want those thoughts and it upset me to feel those ghostly feelings. It also surprised me, as those distant thoughts seemed dormant, but quickly and sharply came to the surface.
T~ had recognized the change in my tone and came to check on me from the kitchen. At this time I was trying to regroup myself and shake off the old hurt. He hugged me and asked what was wrong as he held me. I shrugged and did not want to talk about it. He asked if it had something to do with my ex-husband, and I nodded. He asked if I wanted to talk about it, and I shook my head no. T~ said he was sorry to see that I was reminded of him and the hurt he caused. And I said thank you.
T~ held me for a moment and I felt better, and secure in our relationship. I am thankful for T~'s patience, compassion and understanding. He did not make me feel less or like I was questioning him. He acknowledged my pain and we moved on, with the rest of the evening quite pleasant and normal.
After the divorce, I had a conversation with a friend who had gone through divorce herself. I felt broken and wondered who would want to be with me having been divorced. My past felt so big and heavy. I didn't know what to do with it. Fourteen years was too much to ignore, but it was not something I wanted to discuss with a romantic partner either. Carli told me that I did not have to hide my past and that one day I would find a man who would love me, all of me, and that he would be able handle my past--not that it would be the focus, but he would understand and not be afraid of it. After thinking about my single days and dating and with my relationship with T~, she was right. And I am happy to say that person by my side is T~.