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07-07-2013, 09:46 PM
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So I finally have the time to write what I wanted to last night/early this morning. It's pretty long, so feel free to skip it.

My fellow old timers know this, but I was born physically disabled (arthrogryposis multiplex congenita). I've had 40+ surgeries at Boston's Children's Hospital, and use an electric wheelchair for mobility. On a scale from normal to Stephen Hawking, I'm like a 6 or 7. Handicapped, but not handicapped handicapped.

At the end of high school, I luckily gained myself a girlfriend. A physically normal girl who was the love of my life. Smart, compassionate, cute... just great all around. We would have fights over dumb things (I will never like country music), but never any massive blowouts. We had been friends for a year or so before going out, so we knew how we both ticked.

Things were good for a while, but began to fracture. I never knew how to express my love for her (I tend to be pretty closed off emotionally), and I always feared that a day would come when she'd see the wheelchair instead of the man and feel that all of the logistical things weren't worth dealing with, and she wasn't sure if she was missing out on anything. With a lack of meaningful communication, a complete lack of romantic experience for both of us and, raging hormones on both sides, she broke it off after two and a half years.

I never really hated her. I mean, yeah, I was pissed and disappointed and sad, but it wasn't hate. It was mostly regret.

Fast forward to today, 13 or so years after the fact. I'm 33, living at home with my mother, and can't drive myself anywhere. Any idea of romance with anyone isn't realistic. I mean, "Hey, wanna come back to my place? We can hang out with my mom" isn't exactly a pickup line.

I had Facebook friended her a few years ago, but never talked to her. I figured that she had a life of her own, and likely didn't want to talk to me. I was always curious, and wondered how she was doing (like I said earlier, we were close friends before becoming a couple), but didn't want to just be like, "Herpderp, here's a blast from your past!"

That changed a few days ago. We've been going through some old pictures, so I've been on a nostalgia wave, and then I found that my old, crappy Geocities site I made back in the day still exists (in tatters), with some of my horrible, pretentious poetry. Including one I wrote about her after the break up. So between that, generally being curious about her anyway, I decided to reach out to her.

I'm so very glad I did. I didn't even realize I needed closure until I started talking to her. After some online smalltalk, it hit me like a ton of bricks that I had the opportunity to address all the regrets I had, and tell her the things I always should have said.

She was incredibly gracious, and let me send a rather long and deeply personal email (I wanted to get everything out at once without interruption, and I find that I'm clearer in my intent through writing). She responded in kind. No finger pointing or blame, just both of us realizing that we were dumb 18-20 year olds. And me learning that she did truly love me, but was just scared and confused.

That last part means a great deal to me. I always have this voice in my head that whispers "They're just taking pity on you. They don't really like you." It's maddening.

So, the air is cleared. She has a boyfriend (since 2000, so... yeah ), and seems to be doing well, which makes me legitimately happy. If we can't be a couple, I want her to have a full life with someone who can make her happy.

So, yeah.. I'm happy I gained closure and regained a good friend.

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