Wounds Wide Open

by Donna Snyder


It was a beautiful warm and breezy fall day in September of 2003 when we met. A man that lived up over the hill from my work place came to introduce himself to me. A mutual friend of ours had been trying to get us together for over a year. Both of us with bad past experiences were reluctant to get involved.

Sometime around the middle of August my friend gave me the mans phone number and said to give him a call.

It had been well over a year since I had dated so I decided to take the chance and give him a call. I had never called a man first so I was very nervous, thank goodness the machine picked up and I was able to leave him a message, explaining who I was and to give me a call if he would like. Well a week had gone by and there was no response so I got that thought out of my head. My jobs were my life and I worked long hours everyday. I had just got home on a Friday night and settled in. The phone rang and I nearly passed out when I heard a males voice on the other end. It was the guy who lived up the road from my work place. We talked for over an hour and set up a time we could meet each other at my job. Little did I know that that day would change my life.

He was tall and very handsome with big blue eyes and a great smile. We only talked for a short period due to me being at work. I returned inside the building and was surprised that soon after he left, the phone was ringing and his name appeared on the caller Id. He was calling to say he wanted to go out with me. We agreed to see each other that following weekend, but as luck would have it, I was put in the hospital for several days. I was concerned and needed to have someone contact him. My daughter had come to visit me at the hospital and I asked her to please call him and apologize for me and I would contact him when I was released from the hospital. Well I did exactly that I called him and we laughed because he thought I was just trying to find a way not to go out with him.

Our first date was September 27, 2003 at the famous scoreboard bar and grill. I could not believe what seemed to be the most wonderful man I had ever met was sitting and having a drink with me. He was so full of life, polite, kind, caring and full of laughter which I did so much enjoy. He had a way about him that was pulling me in like a magnet. From that night on I knew he would be the man for me. I was very scared, confused and I did not trust a single person in my life. That would be a tall order to fill " I thought".

I tried to hold him at bay for as long as I could, but the more time we spent together the more I knew I was falling madly in love with a man I had only known for a short period of time. I kept thinking in my mind that this was way to good to be true. We had so much fun together and had so many similarities from growing up old school.

I had three children, two of them girls and the youngest a boy, all over the age of fourteen. He had a son that was thirteen. It had been awhile before we introduced everyone.

At this point six months had gone by and they were the most incredible and meaningful days of my life. I had fallen deep and hard. I put my heart and soul into us and even put the barrier down to trust this man.

It was Easter of 2004 my most favorite holiday of the year. We went to Sunday services with his family as we often did. There was something different about him that day. He was nervous and couldn't stand still and he even had tears in his eyes. I thought it was because his mother had past away several years ago and he missed her. Well soon after the mass ended he rounded up his family and took me by the hand and we proceeded up to the altar. My stomach dropped. I started shaking. Wondering what was going on in this mans head.

He got down on one knee and proposed to me that Easter day. I was immobilized at first, my words froze and my heart was racing when I answered Yes. What a fabulous day in my life.

The diamond ring was beautiful. It shimmered in the light and was full of love and life. The priest blessed the ring for us. That church was a very special place in my heart that day.

I thought "wow" how could this be, it all seemed to happen so fast, but it was heavenly. My life would finally be filled with joy and laughter and at last happiness.

A man I could be with that I felt like I could trust was by my side, how wonderful it was. We had set a wedding date for the year 2006 on his dads birthday. A day none of us would surely forget. We shopped for months for our wedding bands until we found what we liked and he kept them in his safe.

The whole next year was wonderful. We did things with both of our children. Him and I traveled to many places. There was no stress or tension. It felt so right. I wondered how it was still possible to be this happy so far into the relationship. I had never felt this way before. I often wondered would it last because nearing the end of the year he was changing.

Now two years had gone by and we have done so many things together, from traveling to spending time with our families. I started noticing changes in our relationship and he didn't like to discuss them. I didn't realize that my children were eating away at him because he had never said anything about it. At Christmas time he had mentioned to my sister he wasn't sure that he wanted to continue on in the relationship due to the lack of respect my children had for me and others. I got very upset and questioned why he hasn't said anything up to this point. He made the statement that they were not his children. His son and I had some trouble because he did not want anyone with his father. I tried to get along with him but his father would at times defend him and that would get in the way. His son did no wrong.

Somewhere in the beginning of the next year which was 2006 I noticed nothing was being done to get ready for the wedding and our attendance sheet was around two hundred guests. I was getting upset and frustrated. Why did this man that I had whole heartily fallen in love with just stop talking to me. What have I done I wondered. I would talk about the wedding plans and he always said he would check into it the next week.

We had only five months left before the day that would change and complete our lives as one. It didn't take long and one day after work I stopped by his house for tea. I finally got the nerve to get to the bottom of an on going situation of silence. I just started asking questions. I was tired of guessing what was wrong. I could not read his mind and it was overwhelming me due to his silence. Just from things I had noticed over the year and things I had heard him comment on there was only one question left for me to ask. "Do you still want to marry me I asked him." It got very quiet and a few minutes of silence filled the air. My heart dropped and I felt sick to my stomach. I had already known the answer, but I needed to here it from him. He came back with no" I don't" then started into saying how he was talking to the men at his work site. He had been having second thoughts for quite some time. He could not deal with my children's behavior and lack of respect toward their mother.

I was devastated, crushed and angry all at the same time. How could one person feel so many emotions all at once. It was not me giving him trouble so why was I the one to suffer for other peoples actions. I wanted to just hit him or something I wasn't sure what to do at this point. Now I to had gone into the silent mode with so much anger inside bursting to erode. I had to leave before I did or said something I would regret.

Now wondering why couldn't he say anything to me. Why did I have to do all the guessing and questioning him as to what could be wrong. Why did he wait so long before he would say anything. We talked later in the week because I was still searching for answers to unanswered questions that weighed on my mind. My mind was racing back and forth. Yes I wanted to be with him and on the other hand no I did not. How could I fight these feelings. I understood how the disrespect would upset him, but it wasn't coming from me.

My favorite holiday was destroyed, it will never have the same meaning. I felt he was lying to the church and to god by taking back what he had done that day on the altar. He didn't understand how I felt. I had stopped going to Sunday services with him because I could no longer look at the altar of the church. He took so much away from me that day and he stripped me of my happiness. He made it hard for me to trust him now and it took so long for me to regain trust in anyone.

The next several months were very hard for me. I could not forgive him for what he had done to me. Sleeping and eating were difficult. I kept running the conversation over in my head. I could not accept what had happened. I once again let another man kick me down. He seemed so much different them all the other guys. I was so wrong. I wanted to kick myself over and over again.

I had such an empty feeling inside despite the fact that we were still engaged. I felt I could no longer have conversations with him. No matter what I told him he held it against that person and based his feelings on that. Something died inside of me that day. Who was this man, where did my beloved go, he had changed so much. At this point I knew I was right that this relationship was to good to be true. I knew I had to give the diamond ring back to him. I did not want to look at it, it was false, just as false as the man that had given it to me.

I went on working everyday trying to forgive him. Trying to look him in the eyes and most of all continue to love him. It would certainly take a very long time to trust him again and I was not sure that it was even possible. What a beautiful man with a confused mind going to waste all over things he could not forget or accept and had no control over.

Our wedding date that we had set was soon approaching , I was suffocating, distraught over such a hardship. I had to leave the area, it was just so hard to deal with. The weekend came around and the date was staring me in the face. I left for the beach that weekend with my granddaughter. For several days she was able to keep my full attention. She was two years old and so full of energy. It was at bedtime that I had to fight with my emotions. He would call me on my cell while I was there and it was hard to answer, after all I was there because of him.

At this point in our relationship I was fading. Still in love with him and dealing with the hurt. Looking him in the eyes was very difficult to do, he lied to me. However as he said it was not lying he just didn't say anything. To me that is a lie. We stopped spending as much time together. We didn't really talk about anything other than our jobs and his obsession with hunting. That went on for months. Then January of 2008 was upon us, my birthday. It was now two years that I got out of him that he did not want to marry. I battled with my emotions this whole time driving my self insane. I knew that I had fallen deeply in love with him and he could not rape me of that. We went out to a local restaurant for my birthday celebration dinner. I was no longer happy with our relationship. Although I still wanted to be with him at times, the times I did not want to be, out weighed the wanted times. We talked for awhile while eating our food and I knew I needed to tell him I wanted time apart to figure out what it was I wanted and how did I really feel. He was upset. He drove me straight home and again asked me what I wanted. Time apart I explained. He got mad and angry and he wanted the diamond ring back. I was fine with that. After all what meaning did it really hold. It had no value, because his words were fake. As he drove away a sigh of relief came over me. Although my love for him was as strong as day one, I was not sure the same stood true for him.

As time went by dealing with the pain did not get easier. However I knew at this time that I did no longer want to marry the man I was so much in love with. I wasn't concerned about how he felt, because I wasn't sure what was the truth and what was not. All I knew is that I did not have to worry about the things he said, it was the things he was not saying that I had to be concerned about. I wondered could we ever return to a good thing. He is very strong willed and stubborn and wants what he wants, no matter the cost to him or others. Still not talking to him my life seemed even more empty then what he had already made it feel. I wasn't sure how that was even possible. I should be hating this man, I thought. I reached out to talk to people about what had been troubling me. I even went as far as to talk to a counselor. Was it me doing things wrong. Was I wrong about the feelings that over ran my body. Questions I needed answers to. I could not get him out of my mind. He had stolen my heart, yet I was still not sure that I wanted to spend time with him.

After two weeks had gone by there was a message on my phone from him. He wanted to talk, but the question was, did I. After tossing my emotions around for so long I decided to at least sit and talk with the man I was so much in love with, but hated at the same time. After endless hours of talking we resolved nothing and went back to just dating. I allowed him to just be my friend in my mind and that allowed me to get along with him. He was still very set in his ways and that is something that will never change. I felt as if he wanted me to choose between him and my family and I could not do that. I never once tried to change or control him so why would he want to do that to me.

We still do things together, but spend less time with each other. I can not over come the feelings that are deep within me. I need to talk about things and try to resolve them, but he doesn't like to talk. He has now become very silent other then about his job or his hunting adventures.

If we do talk about our relationship it is only because I bring it up and then we get into a heated discussion which is better then no discussion at all.

In the beginning he was everything I ever dreamed of until the bomb of 2006. That day changed my feelings forever. I will always have mixed emotions about this man. Still today I am being torn apart by his failure to tell me the truth about our wedding day. I am still in love with him , but the lack of communication is tough. He will never get past his feelings toward my children, so how can you possibly build a future.

So now here we are three years after the initial hit and the wounds lay wide open. I have tried over and over again to make them heal and turn to scars, but that has not happened yet. We still see each other when our schedules allow. Our time spent together appears to be getting less and less. The silence is killing me inside. I can not work threw something I can not see or I know nothing about.

I believe he to is tired of the way our relationship is going and it is the unspoken word that kills us. It is to bad that something so good could go so wrong over other peoples influences.

We will always be destined to love one another, but that is all it will probably ever be. The wounds remain open.

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