At the ripe ol’ age of 29, I have lived a life most have only read about in fiction novels. Married at 20, divorced at 24. My ex-husband was physically, verbally and mentally abusive. He had numerous affairs, was an alcoholic and, as I found out later, a drug addict. Five years ago I left him and moved from my hometown in Georgia to Nashville, TN to start a new life. I thought I was stronger and had learned my lesson, and in a way, I have.
A year later, I met a man with whom I moved in after a year of dating. I thought he was perfect…with the exception of a few things, which I decided to overlook. We broke up a year into living together, and I found out he was a porn addict and had been looking up escort services while on the road (he was in the music industry). I then moved on, and two years later I met THE MAN OF MY DREAMS. Little did I know this wasn’t even something I could dream up. I recently found out he has been living a double, triple, quadruple life. He had a girlfriend in Nashville (me) and a girlfriend in Atlanta. It gets even deeper with the fact that I decided to Google his favorite author, Chuck Palahnuik, who wrote the book Fight Club. This being his favorite author and book/movie, I find the similarities disturbing. Basically, he’s living out parts of Palahnuik’s life and publishings. The two main characters in one of his books are named Shannon and Brandy. My name is Brandy, and the girl in Atlanta is named Shannon. The subject matter of the book doesn’t pertain to either of us, but the names are eerie enough! There are other similarities, such as in Fight Club, where the character takes on an alter ego, a double life.
I honestly feel like I have been living in a fiction novel! I promised myself I would have a story written by the age of 35, but it seems the story is getting more and more interesting by the minute. I am a good person with bad fortune. Any suggestions or advice you could provide me with?
Brandy, do you by chance play the guitar? Seeing that you live in Nashville, I’m thinking that it wouldn’t hurt to put all this to pen, offering up some of the lyrics at the Bluebird Cafe. Tragedy plus time equals comedy, plus a truck equals a country song. I know that sounds like a tongue in cheek answer, but the truth is, a lot of the time, our life is such a mess, that we have to stop and put it down and figure out why that is. None of our lives is soap bubbles clean. We have ups and downs. It sounds like you’ve been up and down the same knitting needle, weaving the same pattern, something worth exploring—probably with a therapist, someone who’ll likely expedite the process. It’s not a judgement call, shaming you, suggesting a therapist, just hoping to speed along the process. Someone who can see something you’re clearly missing. I also fear that this MAN OF YOUR DREAMS likely shares an illusive quality with these other men who’ve come before, filling some need that simultaneously thrills and threatens you. It’s a treasured toxin to you—you are your own personal fight club.
And the beauty here is that you are young—sorry, I always hate when people say this to me because it sounds condescending, but I don’t mean it this way—and this is just a blip. You’re seeing this pattern early enough to do something about it, walk the inside of the steps until the painting is spun around. You can make this right. Begin by examining what needs you were so eager to have met. Then, and this is big and not at all easy for any of us (HUGE) try to figure out how to fill this need yourself (Yeah, right Stephanie!). Not forever, but at least for a while. Just try it. I think you’ll find that you’ll be much less frantic and needy. I’m here if you need me. A lot of us are.
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