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In September last year, I ended a 6 year relationship with a beautiful man.

You may know this already, or you may not. For those who don't, this was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make, and it's taken me so long to share any of this story because I respect his privacy, I don't want to hurt him anymore and I don't want to upset anyone. It's also extremely private, raw and upsetting, but something has been calling me to share this with you, so here I am.

I didn’t leave because there was anything wrong with the relationship, and from an outsiders perspective, we had the *perfect* relationship.

* As a recovering perfectionist, I don't like the word perfect, for that is not reality. Imperfectly perfect is more my style.

I left because I wanted and needed more.

Maybe that sounds selfish, but I want to share with you why I left because there may be a lesson for you as well.

When we met, we were both in the police force. We became mates. We had banter. We laughed. He helped me. He inspired me because he’s a fucking amazing detective! He was the dark horse who kept to himself, but let a few people see him for who he really is.

It was the slowest start to any relationship I’d been in, but this was exactly what I needed at the time. He taught me:

✔️ Patience

✔️ Trust

✔️ Silence

✔️ How to be calm and sit with stillness

✔️ What it is to be loved unconditionally

We were completely different, like polar opposites, but I didn’t care.

When I met him, I was a very different person to the person I am today.

I was disconnected to my true self.

I was closed off to my emotions because I had been hurt so often in the past, but I was open to love.

I was all go, go, go - because I hated silence. I was uncomfortable with stillness.

When we started dating, I didn’t really let people SEE me, because I didn’t like who I was. I definitely didn’t love myself. I was comfortable with who I was, but I had 13 years of trauma to deal with - and ain't nobody knowing about that shit. So, his silence allowed me to just talk about nothing and it just worked.

The only concern I had initially was when he told me he’d previously said that he would never allow himself to love again because he didn’t want to get hurt. Me, being 28 at the time, wasn’t up for that. I didn’t want to be with someone that wasn’t going to let me in, and I told him that.

After 3 or 4 months, my question to him was, “What is this?”

His response: “Some kind of relationship”.

And so it was. It was a beautiful relationship. It was loving, supportive, encouraging and unlike any other relationship. In our time together, we had 1 fight. That’s it, There was never a need to fight. There was never a need to bicker.

Sure - we disagreed on stuff, but we never fought.

In 2016. He saved my life.

When I was sitting on my kitchen floor, with a knife against my wrist, trying to work out the most considerate way to end my life - this man saved my life. He was the reason I didn’t kill myself that day. He was the reason I decided I could no longer live the way I had been...

I knew he hadn’t fully let me in to his life, but I knew the pain he carried around from his previous life and I was not going to be the cause of any more pain.

I knew it would destroy him.

I owe him my life. My family owes him. We know that. We love him for that. We appreciate him. We thank him. We are grateful for him.

After that, I became a shell of a human for a couple of years. There wasn’t much laughter in my life. I felt lost. I isolated myself. My anxiety was uncontrollable. I felt alone (other than having him). He was the only constant in my life. The only person I could rely on for a period of time. He was my world.

When others deserted me and stopped talking to me - he was there.

When my relationship with my mum was damaged for a while - he was solid.

When I tried to break up with him because he deserved better than me - he said “ring me tomorrow when you’re talking sense”.

He never left me. He never stopped loving me. He never stopped believing in me.

At times, when my anxiety was so bad, the only way I could fall asleep was to have his hand resting in the middle of my back. It was as simple as that. Just a simple touch calmed my anxiety and allowed me to sleep. I felt safe with him. I felt protected.

He never faulted. He never failed. He was always there.

We built a life together. We bought a house. We had our two fur babies. We were happy.

And I started my healing journey. I decided I didn’t want to live life with constant states of depression and made the decision to change. I made the decision to work through all my trauma. I had to, because after leaving the police force, I had no idea who I was. It had become my identity and I was so lost.

The self-discovery journey is incredible. The personal development journey is addictive.

But, the problem with becoming self-aware, is that WE ARE SELF-AWARE. We become so attuned to what we need, how we feel and WHY we feel, it can be a hard switch to turn off.

I'd learnt to find solace and calmness in the quiet. He wasn’t a big talker, and that was ok. It suited me when I was unhappy. I adjusted to it.

However, once I started on my journey, I started dreaming. I wanted a future where we both thrived. Where we lived a life I’d always dreamt about. Where we were partners who created a soulful future together.

He supported me 100% in this. I studied to be a coach and started my business while working full time. I would train in the morning, go to work and then work in my business after hours. Meaning there were so many hours I either wasn’t home, or was working and on client calls.

He did everything he could to support me in the best way he knew how. He cooked dinner and made sure I ate. He did a lot of the cleaning. He left me alone on weekends when I needed to work. He was my biggest cheerleader. For this, I will forever be grateful.

But this is where our differences really began to show.

I envisaged an incredible life where we both worked in the business together, and travelled and did whatever we wanted. He didn’t like the idea of working with me, but liked the idea of travel and not working.

Whenever I asked what he wanted for the future, he didn’t want to have that conversation.

He knew I wanted babies, and when I asked him if he did, his response was “If you want”.

If I ever asked about his past, there were a lot of things he refused to speak to me about. It was like there was a permanent brick wall guarding part of his heart, and no matter how hard I tried to smash that wall down, I couldn’t.

The silence I once found calming, had become deafening. As the song goes, “silence, like a cancer, grows”.

What I realised in my self-discovery, was that I needed a partnership. I needed open communication. I needed someone who, when I said “What are you thinking about” - told me.

He couldn’t do that.

He had my heart. I loved him so much and thought he’d feel safe enough to let me in. I thought that I would be the person that showed him that it’s ok to trust. It’s ok to love. It’s ok to let someone in and let ME be his rock, like he was for me.

And I wish this was the part of the story where I said he understood me, he opened up to me and we lived happily ever after… But unfortunately it’s not.

I realised that the Jaci I had become couldn’t stay in a relationship where there was no communication. I couldn’t stay in a relationship where we didn’t discuss the future and I got shut down whenever I asked him what he wanted.

I needed more. My needs weren’t being met, and in return, I struggled to meet his.

I tried everything in my power to get him to open up to me, to communicate with me, to know that he was safe - but sometimes the walls are too high and too solid for anyone to get in. Love wasn’t enough for him to feel safe.

We became best mates living together. We both loved each other deeply, but our partnership had been lost somewhere.

We didn’t grow together. I grew. I changed. I discovered who I am at my core. I let go of my past and become connected to who I am. I became self-aware. I evolved. I learnt to love myself.

I had to walk away.

While I write this I have tears streaming down my cheeks and snot pouring out my nose.

It’s heartbreaking to know that someone that saved me was not my forever.

It’s heartbreaking to know that I hurt someone (by leaving) who never did a single thing to hurt me in any way.

It’s heartbreaking to know that a great relationship was over because in order to be truly happy, I had to leave.

I will always love him and be forever grateful to him for everything he did for me. I am grateful that I had the privilege of having him by my side. He is an amazing human and deserves all of the joy, happiness, love and laughter in the world.

And while I never EVER thought our relationship would end, while I never thought I’d walk away from a relationship that was so good - I had to.

Because my happiness matters.

I didn’t want to get to the point where I dimmed my sparkle because it was blinding someone else.

I didn’t want to have to slow down because I was growing and moving too fast.

I didn’t want to change my dreams and put a limit on what my future could look like.

So, for the first time in my life - I chose ME!

I chose my happiness.

I chose to be open to new adventures.

I chose to be open to new love.

I walked away from love because I loved myself too much to stay.

I have shed so many tears over the last 12 months, tossing and turning between what my heart wanted and felt and what my soul needed. One thing I do know, is that I’ve been the most true to myself than I ever have in my entire life. And this is something I am proud of.

The Jaci you would have met 6 years ago would never have been proud of herself for this. She would have hated herself and blamed herself and added to her depression.

The Jaci you see today wants you to never settle for anything less than what your heart desires. You deserve to have all the glitter and gold you dream of. You deserve to live a life where you place no limits on what is possible. You deserve to live a life where you smile from the inside out.

Sometimes finding yourself means losing the ones you love.

Sometimes staying safe and not opening up means losing the ones we love.

So, if there is one thing I have learnt from this and that I want you to know, is that you need to let love in. Whether it’s love from yourself or from someone else - just LET LOVE IN!!!

You deserve it!

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Marisa Damiano
Marisa Damiano
11. März 2021

Amazing journey to read/follow Jaci! Thank you for sharing ❤

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