Ever More, Ever More
When You Know, You Know
Toxicity, trauma bonding, codependence, fear of losing control, charm to hide it from everyone but ourselves…Mirrors never lie.
April Kirkwood, M.Ed, LPC
Ralph, executive extraordinaire, playboy, and love of my life was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and Lewy bodies long before I had decided to throw caution to the wind and jump the emotional broom of forever after. I fell flat on my face for him before I finished my cup of coffee. It’s the kind of love that makes you lose your mind. A beautiful insanity that writers never get right. All I know is that for a very long time after seeing him, I didn’t remember one thing I ever learned in life up to that point about relationships and self respect.
In fact, I didn’t know nor did I care for anything but smelling his hair, holding his hands, and making him laugh and sweat. In retrospect, I see that the heavenly clouds of lust and passion must have been strategically designed to hide the doom and gloom of what was to become my life. This chapter of my life would come to be a mixed mashed cluster of love and hate that was somehow felt right. I was miserably content which spells in simple terms the word: toxic. It’s clear to me now that some Greek scholar stupidly created the story of Cupid’s arrow as euphoric when it truth it was hysteria. The tip of cupid’s arrow must have some damn potion that casts a pseudo love causing temporary insanity. It is as if an incurable virus messes with our dopamine and it lasts an average of 24 to 32 months. It hypnotizes couples caught up in the throws of quivers and nauseous, queasy ecstasy so they are blind and deaf to what everyone else sees in our paths. And Ralph encouraged my delusion. He was quiet with subtle vague promises of all I had wished for. He had never read anything on love bombing but I’m sure he was one of the founders of it’s inception. Note to self: Married men are quiet because they don’t want to share much. He blew common sense far from my grasp with one “ Presh, I feel safe with you.” In the end, this man changed my life in more ways than I could count amidst his deep, dark issues. I did not know that his narcissism was only the icing on the cake.
In reality, however, it was just semantics because I gave my heart to him in the first ten minutes I laid eyes on him. It’s weird but when it’s over you often go back and look at the ‘firsts.’ At least that was one of the many places my mind wandered over these last two years. The first time we met, the first time we had sex, the first fight, meeting his friends, family, and kids. When I saw him for the first time, his black shiny longish hair and his boyish mannerisms, I had decided as sure as I chose coffee with a bit of cream that this was my destiny. I was and am more sure than ever that we had been in love in a series of past lives. Better lives with more truth and deeper commitment. Anyway, we were home again and we both felt it. Even he felt and he hated himself and me for it. A man with such low self esteem never gives himself completely to another. He fought it. I fought him. I guess when you know, you know. My body quivered and my common sense disappeared. Everything I’ve ever learned about dating and playing it cool was out the window. My orange chakra was on fire. I was aroused and nothing or no one could contain it.
But at that first night, I had a startling epiphany which made no sense whatsoever. This relationship would be short. I kept saying to him, “Please hurry and get your life in order. We don’t have time to waste.” I must have said it a thousand times. He always looked at me bewildered. I was bewildered. I rarely ever think before I speak…a flaw often resulting in gigantic repercussions. Most of my truths come from somewhere deep inside of me and arrives from a nonlogical pure place. Words quickly sprouted out are often filled with a reality that defies the present. I sounded crazy at the time but years later I see why I felt the things I did.
I somehow found my car and drove home mystified and dizzy. We didn’t even kiss. My pheromones were screaming as I chirped three octaves higher in pitch calling my my 16-year-old daughter, “Dana, I met the man I’m going to marry.” “Who is he, Mom? I’m so happy for you. Finally, you found someone. It’s been so long.” I giggled, “I don’t even know his last name or what he does for a living. I don’t care.” The cliche is true, “When you know, you know.”
Our first actual date was at a bar on the outskirts of town. The first red flag I ignored. I was so nervous that I needed two Long Island ice teas for courage and I don’t drink. It felt like prom night. Then before I could whisper, “Kiss me” in the back of his car our clothes were off. Even to this day, we laughed when we drove past that vacant business parking lot where the magic happened and I was his. I never had a one-night stand and had only been intimate with five other men in my life. Call me old-fashioned but having sex is a big deal. I mean a man enters a woman’s cavity and your DNA and karma are forever mingled. Also, if you give that special kind of moment to everyone it’s not special anymore. I’m a hopeless romantic I want the real deal or nothing.
The next day instead of counting test booklets, I’m scanning china patterns online and writing his last name after my first. Let’s just say I could have played the part in the movie, “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days.” The heart has no mind. Ours didn’t. Feelings easily slipped into obsession and we both fell down the rabbit hole from drinking the kool-aide of phonemes and hot sex. But for some bizarre reason, he loved my childish naive ways. He thoughts my naivety was charming. He got me and It turned him on more which turned me on more. We were heaven or hell. Either way, we didn’t care. C’est la vie!