So anyway, I thought of him and I realized that today is the 10th anniversary of the day I left him. Keith was my first "real" boyfriend. I was 22 when I met him, so of course I had been involved with guys and kinda dated before...ya know, once or twice ::hehehe:: and I had had relationships of sorts, but he was the first guy I was ever a "couple" with. I met him on November 15, 1988, and by the day after Thanksgiving he had moved in with me and my best friend, Lisa. He was a friend of a friend, and lived on the third floor above us with Dennis. Dennis let him move in, took rent money from him, and neglected to tell him he was 3 months behind on his rent and he was in the process of being evicted. Ummm...nice guy..yeah! Anyway, he moved in with us. Keith was not only my first boyfriend, he was my first other things too. He was my first lover. He was my first dysfunctional relationship (unfortunately, not the last) I have a special talent for those! He was the first guy I ever lived with. He was the first guy to break my heart, first to make me cry, first to make me feel like I needed to fix him, and the first guy I ever had to break up with when I finally realized the relationship was just too unhealthy and too damaging to me to stay. Of course, it took five years to realize that.. I guess I was a slow learner. I just thought that I loved him, and I needed to stay and try to make it work. I finally realized that I loved him, but I wasn't "in love", much later, but it was still hard to do.
I could go into the gory details of the relationship (alcoholic, coke head, petty thief, blah, blah, blah) but that would be more of a novel than I could hope to cover in this blog, five years of emotional and sometimes verbal abuse could cover a lot of pages. I didn't realize that was what it was, at the time. I just knew that the things he did, and the things he said to me sometimes left scars, and it hurt. He did love me, in his way. He was never unfaithful, he would do almost anything for me, and was never physically abusive, or even overtly verbally abusive, it was more subtle with him. We had fun together, we made each other laugh. There just eventually came a point, towards the end of the relationship, where things had changed. We weren't a couple anymore. I realized we hadn't had sex in 4 months and it was fine with me. I didn't want him to touch me. I then started to realize something wasn't right. In the end, it took one comment to make me know that I had to go. I was working part-time and going to school all day, trying to learn transcription so I could get a better job. I was doing it for us. I was busting my ass. One morning, we were running late, and I was in his way in the bathroom while he was getting ready for work, and he got irritated and said "I don't know why you're bothering to go to school anyway, you don't want to work. You're too lazy". I sat in the car on the way to school and didn't speak to him, tears in my eyes, got out of the car without saying a word, got through the day, and the next day I moved out. He came home, and I was gone.
It was hard. It killed me, and I cried off and on for a few days. I stopped crying when my brother told me he was telling everyone that I left him with nothing, which was a lie, and I took his money out of the bank, which I never would. Hell, I left him stuff that was MINE when we met, just because I knew he would need it more than I would. I realized then that I had done the right thing. Since I left him, he has been living with my brother John and his wife. They share a house that Keith bought, on the same street I grew up on. Whenever I go home to visit, I see him, and I think how glad I am that I did what I did. I've learned and have been through a lot in the past ten years, but good or bad, he'll always be my first.