Saturday, November 18, 2023

The Escape

 The Escape

It was year 2011, and I was in the strange situation of being in separation from my husband, whom I’d been with for 6.5 years. We were still living in the same house, but in different rooms, and getting along cordially, since we had a great base-line friendship, despite the difficult shift in our relationship that was occurring.

I saw that my sister had started dating a new guy after her recent breakup, and my still-husband had already briskly moved-on by finding a woman on a dating website, before we’d even found an attorney or started our divorce papers. When I observed how they’d both managed to move-on from their past relationships into another, I decided that I would also try dating again too. So I joined 1 particular dating website, and I did manage to meet a handsome new man…I’ll call him C.H.

Online, “on paper”, he looked like the PERFECT dream catch of a man. He was a handsome, successful guy with a great high-paying job, a very nice house in a desirable part of town, and a nice name-brand car. We hit it off, and began seriously dating.

There was this bizarre sense of security at his house: like this man could PROVIDE for me, and give me a nice home to live in, and a comfortable life. He wanted to take me on a fancy romantic trip to Breckinridge in a cabin surrounded by snow as my Christmas present. But unfortunately, that trip never got to happen.

In reality, there was always this uneasy, underlying feeling I had around him. I guess it’s a glimpse of a feeling that one would have in the presence of a predator. A constant feeling of un-ease, of imminent attack, of not being safe.

Little did I know at the time, but in hindsight, this man’s only purpose really, was to help me get divorced. He began laying on the pressure as to why was I still married when both my husband and I had started to date other people. His influence helped my husband and I to find an attorney, split the fee, and even ride to the courthouse together in friendship to get the divorce done. We didn’t fight over anything, and in the grand scheme of divorces, it was probably the most easy and non-conflictual divorce in history.

Once the divorce was completed, the new guy, C.H., began to rapidly show his “true colors”, and they were frightening. One night, as we were nestling into bed to go to sleep, I just simply began to turn over in bed to get comfortable, and he angrily YELLED at me: “QUIT MOVING AROUND AND BE STILL!!” He literally scared the shit out of me, with his out-of-the-blue sudden angry aggression yelling at me.

Then, the next morning, he announced that he wanted to cook some breakfast together. He pointed at one of his lower kitchen cabinet, and told me to “Grab a pan”. When I opened the cupboard, I kid you not: there was a high STACK of all sizes of pans! Like 6-7 of them! Of similar pan style but ranging from large to small. I asked him, “Which size do you want me to grab?” And he EXPLODED in anger back at me yelling loudly: “JUST GRAB A FUCKING PAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Again, scaring me half to death so badly that I went into a “freeze and tremble” mode, where I had a moment where I froze in fear, but then I was trembling in fear as I just grabbed one of the random pans and handed it to him. I realized there was something VERY wrong with this guy. And it was terrifying.

Fast forward to New Year’s eve, the new guy took me to his friend’s house over-looking a cliff to watch fireworks. By this time, I was completely fearful of this guy. I didn’t know what I was dealing with, and never had dealt with before. The evening went okay, but the next morning, my now-ex-husband had sent me a Happy New Year text or something (We’d just gotten divorced on Dec 28th of that year), and the new guy C.H. saw that my ex had text me on my cell phone, and he acted very mean towards me and he gave me this awkward silent treatment on the entire 1.5 hour drive back home to his house, from his friend’s house. During that long, bizarre, scary silent drive back to his house, I had made up my mind that this guy terrified me, and I was done with it.

As soon as we got back to his house, C.H. yelled at me and clearly wanted to start a heated argument, but all I can remember, was just looking at him, then turning around, and walking straight out of his door, letting it SLAM loudly behind me, without saying a word.

I was done, and I never saw him again. It was actually a VERY empowering moment for me.

The guy tried to call me a few days later to beg for another chance, but I held firm as a NO. His behavior flat-out scared the shit out of me, and I didn’t want to see or experience any more.

Years later, I looked him up on Facebook…and sure enough he’d found some other woman to marry, and have a child with. I immediately, and have ALWAYS felt fear for her. Because I had seen a glimpse of his monster, and I didn’t know the extent to which he could unleash that monster, because I had escaped him after just a short 1-2 months of dating. To this day, 11/3/2023…I still worry for her, and periodically check on their Facebook pages. I did some volunteer work at the San Antonio Battered Women’s Shelter, and in my heart, I worry that she could be someone who ends up there, in that type of scary situation. Just from browsing her photos, it appeared to me that she went from looking healthy in the beginning of their relationship, to very thin, frail, and rather sickly looking. She has to live walking on eggshells with that guy, and I KNOW it because I was with him.

I escaped, and I’m glad that I did, that I was strong enough to walk away when I did, early on in the relationship.

~Mandelyn Reese

The Street Angel

Written 11/3/2023

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The Plummet off The Cliff

The Plummet off The Cliff

March 2020, just as the pandemic was beginning to creep over the world, my beloved and I took a trip out to Maui, Hawaii to attend a couple's retreat together.

Upon reaching the rental car area, we decided to choose a Jeep, and the saleswoman must have liked us or something, because she offered to upgrade us to the larger, cooler, newer Jeep version that they had available, so we agreed on that!

As we were completing our inspection of the Jeep, the saleswoman handed us a list of fun activities to do in Hawaii, and I heard her mention "The Road to Hana". I had no idea what that meant, but it seemed like a big deal for the area.

Once we got on the road to head to the retreat, the closer we got to the retreat, the more jungle-like the sides of the roads looked. I immediately felt some fear and nervousness about the roads. They were dark, very curvy, surrounded by lush thick jungle growth, and unpredictable. That night, my beloved navigated the roads like a champ, and we made it safely to the retreat to check-in.

Views from our room:

A few days into the retreat, my beloved and I grew tired of being stuck in just the one location of the retreat grounds, so we decided to duck out and go on a huckleberry out into the surrounding areas. We did some shopping to get some chill local gear clothing, grabbed some tasty local food, then made the LONG treacherous drive along The Road to Hana.
The Road to Hana is very thin, in many parts of this extremely curvy road only 1 car can fit at a time, so they have lines telling you where to pause your car to check and wait for other cars to pass first. There's also more waterfalls and cliffs along this road than anywhere I've ever seen elsewhere in my life.
Photo of one of the waterfalls along the Road to Hana

While in Hana, we checked out a black-lava beach and had an early dinner at a cute little hillside cafe before deciding to head on back to the retreat.

 The Black Sand Beach
Tropical drink I got at the Hana cafe

Then things took an epic turn....

While my beloved was on The Road to Hana, we came to a point where it was very thin, and another car was passing by us, and as my beloved moved over just a few INCHES, that was enough to cause disaster. The Jeep's tire went off the road, and unfortunately it was a steep embankment, and even though we were going kinda slow and my beloved was trying so hard to re-correct, there was nothing he could do....our Jeep kept tilting farther over until we completely plummeted off of the cliff, rolled-over twice, and came to a stop upright in a tiny creek.
          {You can't tell from this photo, but the OTHER backside corner of the Jeep was crunched-in. You can see the part of the roof missing was right over our heads. And water was up to the wheel wells}

It was in those surreal few seconds of my life, where I felt like I got a pretty amazing gift and insight into life. I was the passenger in this Jeep crash, I was a completely innocent person in this incident, and in those moments like in slow-motion where the Jeep was falling and rolling over, I felt like I literally had NO CONTROL whatsoever over my life. My beloved later told me that he was thinking, "This is it, we're going to die." We had no idea the size of the cliff or that we'd land in a creek. But, despite wrecking off a cliff and totaling our rental Jeep, we looked at each other once we landed in shock, and realized that we were okay! I think we may have embraced and held each other tightly for a moment in relief that we were okay. The roof of the Jeep had busted off during the crash and the roof panels were laying on the embankment. I looked over my body and all I saw was the tiniest little cut on my inner wrist, I guess from flying glass since the back windows of the Jeep had also busted during our roll-overs.
                                                       My injury cut from the accident

Ironically, someone had painted a little wooden warning sign that said "Cliff" that we bulldozered over during our wreck. I found the wooden cliff sign while gathering our belongings out of the Jeep with help from bystanders, and decided to keep it as a souvenir.

The events that followed our plummet off the cliff, were nothing short of miraculous also. It was like we had to completely surrender, and God took complete care of us through other people for the rest of the night.

The first miracle (besides not dying or being seriously injured), was that we wrecked right by a little ice-cream food truck that had a covered rest area, free wifi, and an outhouse toilet! And areas like that on the Road to Hana are few and far between! And it was a blessing to have the covered seated areas with tables because it did rain good a few times while we waited.

                                           Us cuddling to comfort each other after the crash

And as if to prove I felt like Alice in Wonderland, they even had a White Rabbit:

The lady in the ice cream truck was one of our angels. She immediately presented us with some free ice cream to help us feel better while she chatted with us. She even offered to put us up in her own house for the night if we needed it! She told us that sometimes when people wreck along this road, they're stranded overnight waiting for help to come from town, and that 2 people had died previously in accidents from the same spot we rolled from. One woman had been thrown from the vehicle she was a passenger in that flipped over and she died on impact with the pavement. {Thank God we had our seatbelts on, that saved us.}

Our Ice Cream Angel

And while we were sitting there eating the ice cream, two different beautiful sweet orange cats randomly came up to me/us, and one of them climbed on my lap to purr and let me pet it! I was like, WOW God thank you for the comforting therapy animals! The ice cream truck lady also had a cute little chihuahua dog that was sweet to pet.

                                                                   Angel Therapy Animals!

A cop arrived pretty swiftly to our scene, and he was so nice, cool, and chill, that he stayed with us for the entire time of several hours that it took for the tow truck to arrive and pull our Jeep out of the ravine. The ice cream lady said the cops never have done that before, and she's seen roll-overs off that cliff like once a week! The cop even walked us back over to our Jeep to help me look for one more item I'd left behind in there.
                                                                Our Angel Cop

Once the tow truck driver extracted our Jeep from the steep hill, another miracle was that he agreed to drive us to our retreat center!!! So, we hopped on into his truck and we took the 1.5 hour drive back towards our retreat. We got to have an enlightening chat with him along the way about all the crazy things he'd seen with other wrecks in the area that he had to deal with.

Upon reaching the road that lead to our retreat center, we realized he'd have to just drop us off there and we'd have to walk the rest of the way (possibly a mile and a half in dark jungle-lined dirt roads) since he couldn't fit his tow truck with our Jeep attached in the road and be able to appropriately navigate and/or turn around. So, we gathered our belongings and hopped out to start our journey.

We hadn't walked very far when suddenly a blue Jeep came speeding down the road, saw us, and screeched to a halt. A guy stuck his head out the window and said, "Hey! What are you two doing out here? Do you need a ride?" We were SO GRATEFUL yet again by our stroke of luck! Out in the middle of nowhere in the jungle on a dark night and we get offered a ride! Turns out it was another couple staying at a retreat center next to ours! So they happily dropped us off as we regaled our story of survival off the cliff to them, and they exclaimed how they'd actually seen our wrecked Jeep as they passed by.

Our plummet off the cliff happened around 4pm, and we were soaking in a hot tub back at our retreat by 9:30pm, reminiscing in shock about how interesting everything unfolded for us, and feeling closer to each other than ever before having gone through all of that together.

And the last miracle that just occurred second week of June 2020: even though my beloved didn't buy the rental car insurance at the time of renting the Jeep, he had excellent car insurance that covered the entire bill for the Jeep wreck of $18,000.

So, the message of the story to me was: there are times you have zero control over your life, and you'll be forced to just "go with the flow" of events as they unfold. Be positive, have faith, surrender, let-go-let-God, be kind to everyone that helps, and be grateful by verbalizing gratitude to others who help as you go along. Sometimes, you just have no idea what life is going to throw at you. Your life is God's rubix cube, and God can shake things up whenever, without warning. The best way to live life is day by day, in the moment, living to the fullest as best you can. Because you just never know what's next. Anything and everything can change at any moment. Let that sink in. And start living your life differently.

                                             Celebrating survival the next day on the beach

We survived <3

Are you happy with everything you've done in your life? If you died, would you be satisfied with all you've seen, all the people you've met, the places you've traveled, the friends you've made, and the quality of your relationships? If not, then get started making positive changes! Make your courage greater than your fears, and start knocking things off of your life bucket list while you have the chance!

~Mandelyn Reese


Monday, March 23, 2020

The Deep Message Within The Rescue of a Kitten

There was this one day, I went outside in my backyard, and discovered that my shed doors were blown open from a recent windy storm, with one side door being detached and having fallen inside the shed slightly. As I attempted to straighten the doors, I suddenly screeched out in excitement, (scaring my boyfriend half to death lol). There, laying in the corner of my broken shed, were 2 tiny kittens. They were cuddled up with each other, staring at me.

I wish I had just grabbed both of them up in that moment to rescue them, but I didn't. My boyfriend and I decided to leave them alone and go to the gym for an hour. Unfortunately, in that one hour period, Mother Cat had frantically moved her discovered kittens to behind a different shed in my back yard, far behind in the center where they couldn't be reached. My boyfriend and I ended up buying them food and feeding them, up until Mother Cat moved them again, and we weren't sure where they went.
          (This photo was taken by my boyfriend's camera that he set up to secretly film the cat family while we fed them):

A few days went by, but I continued to seek all around my house for the cat family, to no avail. Eventually I spotted Mother Cat in my back yard, eating some meat leftovers I'd thrown out there on purpose.

Then about a week after Mother Cat had moved them out of my yard, I was sitting at my laptop, and I heard a very loud, "MEW!!! MEW!!!! MEW!!!!!" Over and over. I knew it was the sound of a kitten screeching for help. I ran out into my back yard, and realized that the mews were coming from behind my fence, so I climbed up on a ledge to peered over into my neighbor's yard, and saw the black and white kitten frantically running around along the side of the fence, alone. It appeared that it was looking for it's Mother, and was very scared and forlorn.

I hopped into my car, and hauled-ass around my neighborhood to the block of homes directly behind my house, and found the home with the yard where the kitten was. I rang the doorbell, and knocked, but clearly no one was home; they were at work. I went to their gate, and could see the kitten was just inside their yard's gate. I didn't want to trespass, but I really wanted to help and rescue the kitten. Luckily, the gate was unlocked, and I was able to step inside just a couple of feet to rescue the kitten.

Oh man, that little kitten was mad as hell at me, and scared shitless! It hissed and growled and swatted at me violently. I incurred 2 good, deep scratches from those tiny paws!

I scurried to my car and put the kitten on the passenger floorboard gently. When I got home, I was able to get the kitten safely into a cat carrier that I had stored in my garage:
You could tell she was scared & pissed by the look on her face!

The kitten was trembling with fear in the carrier. When I'd even attempt to get close or reach in the carrier to give her food and water, she'd hiss and swat at me. I felt sad that she hated me, but I had hopes for her to have a good future somehow.

I had posted about the kittens from my shed on my Facebook page, and my friend Tiffany had contacted me, saying that she and her husband had actually been praying for a new kitten to add to their family, as a play friend to their other young black male cat named Echo. So I called Tiffany right away and let her know that I'd managed to capture one of the stray kittens. Tiffany came within a few hours after she got off of work to pick up her new kitten! So the kitten ended up in a loving happy home, with a playmate and two humans that would love her! It was a win-win situation all around. I told Tiffany that the kitten was a wild, feisty, scratchy one and that they should probably wear some hefty gloves when handling her at first for awhile! Tiffany named her new kitten Ellie.

Meet Ellie!
First night at her new home with Tiffany! She wasn't too happy...

After awhile, the adorable little kitten got comfortable with her new home and family, and began to settle-in. I was so happy that Tiffany would send me updates on her progress. I never saw Mother Cat or the other little grey kitten again. But at least I got to save one of them.

                                                                     Getting cozy

                                                                Getting curious
 Getting comfortable
Feeling safe and happy!

Moral of the story: Sometimes God will suddenly pick you up and completely re-arrange your life. You may hate it, you may be terrified, and even fight the changes. But, it could be completely for your highest good, to put you in a better place.

In love, light, and service,
Mandelyn Reese - The Street Angel

-The End-

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

The Happily Ever After

Many people dream of having their ultimate true love soul mate: The One or Twin Flame. If one is lucky, this may happen in their lifetime. If it does, one may never know WHEN it could occur during their lifetime. Not to discourage you, but I once met a 63 year old woman who told me she'd FINALLY met the love of her life. But, I've also known 2 couples from my high school who got together and have stayed together to this day, having children together and making their dreams come true. So there is a whole spectrum of possibilities. Sometimes it's not your first marriage that is your best true love. Some people may have multiple true loves in their life, especially if they lose their first one to an untimely death.

I had always wanted, hoped and dreamed for this One True Love. Truth is, I ended up having several long-term relationships in my life, some with a deeper love and commitment than others, but the fact that those relationships ended really hurt my perception of a "love that lasts a lifetime" existing. Once you go through a divorce, a terrible breakup, an engagement called-off, or some other tragedy in your romantic life, your hopes can be severely dashed.

But, lets go back to my first paragraph, and go from there.

Let's say you are lucky enough to find your 'one' True Love of your Life: That isn't the end of your story. The Happily Ever After that some movies have pitched in our childhood isn't entirely true. Relationships take (a lot of) effort and energy. Aka work. Two people who've come from two different life journeys, fraught with all sorts of obstacles, flaws, mistakes, failures, wounding, scars, and baggage, come together, and then BOOM: alchemy of the two souls. Both of your mini-universes collide and begin to align positively (and occasionally collide negatively) physically, mentally, emotionally, sexually, and spiritually. Integrating both of your lives, careers, hobbies, and families may not be an easy process. Some things will effortlessly come together, while some things may clash terribly. Especially if either or both of you have painful or complicated pasts, and/or differing religious beliefs, sexual expression, love languages, or moral values.  It's different for all couples. Every relationship in this world is a completely unique entity in and of itself. And each person's perspective within the relationship is unique, thus the saying: "There are two sides to every story." Relationships require constant communication and compromise. Because both people within their own unique universe are constantly evolving, and the changes must be discussed as they come. If communication and compromise goes awry, so will the relationship.

Honesty and truth can be tricky. Honesty requires a certain level or amount of safety and comfort to exist and be felt for one to reveal their deepest truths to another, and if that threshold isn't met, then lies and omissions may occur. This level or threshold of safety for honesty could be different for every one, and every couple. People tend to lie for these reasons: 1) They're afraid of emotionally hurting the recipient of their truth 2) They're afraid of the recipient's reaction back at them, including being potentially harmed as a result physically, emotionally, mentally, verbally etc. 3) They're not sure at the moment how they actually think and feel (lack of clarity to give a 100% truthful answer) 4) They're afraid of the overall consequences of revealing their truth. Sometimes revealing truths can unravel someone's life entirely, destroy their current reality, and set their life on an entirely new course, which could look and feel terrifying in the mind. Sometimes I wonder who coined the sentence "The Truth Will Set You Free", because that's not always a true statement either. Just ask a million people sitting in prison what their opinion may be on that sentence... Sometimes I think a more appropriate statement would be something like, "The Truth will hurt you."

Coming together with someone in a deep loving romantic connection, is actually a very vulnerable occurrence, and can bring up so many fears and insecurities. Many of your wounds, triggers, "flaws", and damage get spotlighted during a relationship's progression. This can be cause for great self-reflection, growth, and healing, but also for great pain, difficulties, and sadness as these things get confronted, stirred-up, or unearthed, sometimes over and over again. When you give a person a microscopic view of yourself and your life intimately, you could end up handing them the keys to your undoing, so it's a delicate and vulnerable situation. Your beloved's opinions and judgments of you can feel deeper, more insightful, and more painful to process than anyone else's, besides your family members. You get pulled into each other's hurricane of life. A romantic couple isn't just the two of them, it includes everyone else that each individual is connected to in their life, it's a very large network of people that also has to adjust to the new romantic couple. Everything that happens to you and your beloved, will immediately affect each of them, and those closest to them. It's a ripple effect.

Try to choose your romantic love partner(s) wisely. Look beyond the surface beauty or materialism they may possess, and peer into their personality(ies), energy vibe, and shadow side(s) to get a more accurate analysis. This however, could take months and years to uncover, and even then, everyone is always changing and evolving, so the learning of your partner is a continuous process.
Appreciate the good things about your partner and the beautiful moments shared, as often as possible, to hopefully overshadow the more negative parts and memories. Enjoy the journey, as best you can.

~Mandelyn Reese~

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Hardest Lesson

If I could go back in time and speak to my more-naive self, something so important I would tell myself is: A person's actions and words need to line up, AND, you can't force someone else to feel the same way as I do about them.

Unrequited love, hand-in-hand with rejection, has got to be one of the most painful human emotional experiences next to grief over the death of a loved one. Because once you finally accept within yourself that the human object of your love doesn't feel the same way in return, it can result in very deeply damaging emotions of grief and despair. I know because I've been there, I've unfortunately had the experience of it, rough and in the raw. And no amount of time or therapy can change the memories of it. They are what they are, and are written in the sands of time, and Akashic Records of Heaven.

Loving the "wrong person" can deplete the life force out of you to the point where you feel next to death, and maybe even feel like you want to die. It's THAT exhausting and awful. Whatever the deep spiritual lesson the experience may contain, it sucks. Maybe it's as simple as: if someone doesn't reciprocate love and actions, cut loose and move on asap. Otherwise, you could end up a depleted washed-up soul-vagabond. Giving to someone who's basically like a black-hole. Sucking away your energy, taking all you give, and not valuing or returning it. Basically taking you, your love, and efforts for granted.

~Mandelyn Reese

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Man Laying on the Street

If this is the last blog I ever write, it will be the epitome of my mission.

On Thursday, January 11, 2018, I went alone to visit the Cathedral of our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles. I had just always wanted to check it out. As I was leaving the parking garage in my car, I noticed a man sprawled out on the sidewalk, looking unconscious or dead. He had no shoes on, and his clothes were torn. Normally when you see a homeless person laying down, you can tell they are just sleeping or resting. But THIS guy looked sprawled out in all directions like a starfish, and it concerned me. I pulled my car over near him. I observed crowds of people just walk right by him. Business men in suits with briefcases, and other women. This guy is sprawled out looking dead on a crowded street, in front of a church...a church that had charged me $20 just to park...and there were scores of cars also just driving past this guy laying out on the street. How long had he been laying there like that, in partial sunlight bearing down on him?? I asked myself, "Is this a test? God, should I check on him?? I'm kind of scared to." The answer I got back from spirit was: 'Yes, go check on him.' 

                                   (This is not the actual man)

I put on my angel wings with the message on the back that said Be Kind. This was going to be an act of kindness in action for others to see, and hopefully do themselves in the future if they come across someone who needs help. I got out a spare jug of water I had in my car, and 2 "Kind brand" granola bars. As I approached the man, I could smell him, and it was bad. As I got close, I could see that the skin on his exposed lower leg was scaly white and cracked all over with open sores on his flesh. But I neared him gently, and placed my hand on his shoulder, shaking him a bit. I asked him, "Brother, are you ok?" And again, until he opened his bloodshot eyes, and said "Yes, I'm ok." I asked him if I could leave some water and granola bars with him. He said yes, sat up, and immediately grabbed both items. He drank some water, then tore open one of the granola bars to eat. I put my hand on his shoulder and told him, "God Bless you, brother." And walked back to my car. I happened to be in a tow-away red zone to be able park near the man. When I had been in the cathedral's gift shop, I had seen a plaque on the wall with a quote from Mother Theresa that said: "If you can't feed the masses, just feed one." 

Do unto others, as you would want them to do unto you.

-The Street Angel
Mandelyn Reese

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Tainted Love

I was quite pleased that I had secured a very comfortable window seat on my Southwest flight back to Los Angeles from Portland. As I situated myself into my seat for the flight, my new seat-mates arrived rather quickly: a sweet young girl with glasses asked if the 2 seats next to me were available, and I said "Go ahead!". She and a guy sat down next to me. It wasn't until after awhile that I realized they were a couple. They appeared to be a very young couple, in my opinion. They had the appearance of highschoolers. At one point when I glanced over at them, I saw the young man looking at the young woman while she spoke, and the WAY he was looking at her, was so beautiful. That deep look of love, that only the eyes can convey. I didn't know who they were, I didn't know their names or ages, but I could tell that he loved her. Just from the way he looked at her. It wasn't until the end of the flight, that I told them that they were cute, and asked how old they were, and was told they were both 19 years old.

As the flight progressed, I looked over at them, and saw they had fallen asleep leaned against each other, with their hands grasped together. It was completely adorable. I felt compelled to take photos, of this beautiful young love, but I didn't want to violate their privacy. But I did it anyway. If for any reason, to prove to myself that this still existed. Maybe not for me anymore, but at least for the experience of other people. It made me reminisce about my first love....

It was junior year of high school, year 2000, and my history teacher told our class that we had to get into groups of 5 to create a rather large project. I don't remember all of what we had to do, but it was a lot of work that required library research and creating a poster board. Once I had been assigned to my group, we all kind of blew off the assignment, until the night before it was due, then panic ensued. Being a highly studious student in honors classes, I contacted ALL of my group members, seeing who could get together to complete this important homework project. Only ONE person actually gave a damn besides me, and that person became my first epic love, and boyfriend. When we had originally been assigned to this group, we barely noticed each other. I don't think we were remotely interested or attracted to each other....until we ended up together in the library, frantically trying to complete the huge group assignment so we wouldn't fail ourselves and everyone else in the group that didn't do any work (haha). It was somewhere in a random library isle, that the first sparks of love and interest lit up my heart. It was clear the feeling was mutual. We didn't look anything like we were "right" for each other, but fate had other plans. We fell for each other, and he ended up asking me to the prom. Then after a month or two, our mutual friends confronted us, to ask if we were boyfriend and girlfriend, and I just replied "Yes" without hesitation, which startled me a little that I had blurted that out, but that apparently made it official. I had an official boyfriend, finally, at the end of my junior year of high school. I had almost given up hope that I would ever find love in my school career. lol

There is so much I could write to attempt to cover 3.5 years of our relationship. But it was a very slow progression into intimacy. He was very patient. I had a promise ring from my mother, to remain a virgin until I was at least 18, and I kept that promise, and didn't lose it until 4 months after my 18th birthday, when my boyfriend was getting antsy after waiting for 11 months into our relationship to proposition me. In hindsight, I was very grateful for this series of events, because I can honestly say, that I lost my virginity to a man that I loved, who treated me well, and made me feel special and loved. 

But, it didn't have a happy ending. Thus, the reason for this blog. As I gazed upon the so-in-love young couple on the airplane next to me, reminding me of the beauty and innocence of new first love, I actually got a little sad. Because I realized that because I've been broken-hearted several times since my first boyfriend, that I'm tainted. I can't even look at a man that I'm interested in now, without thinking: "How and when will you hurt me?". It's not pleasant, nor healthy. It's a fear-based reality. But how can I change or avoid that? There is no fixing history.

That beautiful first love boyfriend proposed to me all romantically in front of his family at a picturesque setting in front of a pond at a museum, with their cameras ready. Then, just 2 months later, without warning, he pulled the rug out from under me. He broke up with me, on the night of my 21st birthday. And I was devastated. I can't think of any other time in my life that I have been more devastated than that. I wanted to die. I was in dark place for quite a while. I had no idea what to do, or what had gone wrong, or what I'd done wrong. I would have had a 4.0 college GPA had that not happened to me. My senior year after I got dumped, my grades dropped across the board. I would have tears streaming down my face in the middle of class. I couldn't focus. I could barely function. In the days after the breakup, I had a few panic attacks, couldn't eat, sleep, or drive properly. My perception of love, had been forever tainted. It didn't last. I would have taken a bullet for that guy. I would have jumped in front of a speeding car for that guy if I had to. I loved him that much. And in the end, I felt tossed aside like a piece of trash. That's how I remember it. And no amount of time, can fix that.
14 years later, it's still hard for me to think about. It's an experience that I wouldn't wish on anybody.

But...this evening on the airplane, getting to view first hand how beautiful, sweet, cute, and innocent this new love was, was refreshing, and made me miss that. If only I could go back to that place where I wasn't tainted anymore, and experience that love again. I suppose only time will tell, if I will ever get to be loved again.

~Mandelyn Reese