Dear Annie: In July of last year, I saw three psychics, and they all told me that when I started college in September I would meet the love of my life again. I didn’t believe them because I have no luck in that department. Well, within a week I ran into my old boyfriend, whom I dated at two different times in my life.
The first time that “Trey” and I met was in high school. My brother introduced us. I was 14, still playing with Barbies, and I didn’t know how to kiss. We were both nerds. He wore an orange tuxedo to prom. We continued dating for a little while after high school graduation, before he left for the military. It ended soon after.
When we reconnected, I was 21 and had become a single mom, and he was in Texas for military training. We had so much fun whenever he’d visit. But the distance was hard, and I was struggling with the challenges of single motherhood. We ended things on good terms.
Then I ran into him last fall. He said he’d always wondered if we would see each other again. That day I realized one thing for certain: that the piece I’d been missing in my soul was him. I felt home.
Unfortunately, I looked him up online afterward and saw that he had gotten married in June. That broke my heart.
I know he’s a wonderful man for a husband, and he would make an excellent father. I would be honored to have his children, even if we didn’t end up staying together afterward. Should I tell him how I feel, since marriage doesn’t mean anything nowadays, or live in regret and heartbreak? I feel like we belong together but we did it wrong. He was the only boyfriend who treated me like a person, but I blew it both times. — Pining for the One Who Slipped Away
Dear Pining for the One Who Slipped Away: This man was a love of your life. But he won’t be the love of your life. And while he may have been the first boyfriend to treat you well, he won’t be the last. You will make sure of that by developing better self-esteem. Throw yourself headfirst into your college classes; try new hobbies; get out there and meet new people. In time, you will come to find that Trey wasn’t your missing piece; you were whole on your own. (c) Annie Lane
I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with feeling like someone is a close soul to you, even if said person is married to someone else. What you have to accept, though, is that it’s not going to happen in this lifetime. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened in past lifetimes or that it can’t happen in future ones.
There’s a guy I’ve known since high school named Sam. I swear, I’m convinced he and I have shared past lives together. I don’t know how to account for this belief. In this lifetime, there’s been a lot of animosity and broken trust between us, and I’m glad to finally be in a better place where I have high-quality friends who I can trust. With him, the trust is gone. But I still believe we’ve shared past lives.
I had a crush on him in high school, but considering how many crushes I had, that’s not saying much.
Now, he’s married to a mutual classmate, and they have a few kids. I know with everything in me that if he and I were married (ridiculous “if”), it would be disastrous. He’s very strongly Christian to the point of raising his kids with strict adherence. So is his wife, so they’re freakishly perfect for each other. I’m half-Christian myself, but I guarantee you that he and I would clash all over the place. Being half-Christian only has merit to me. Full Christians sneer at it.
So why the conviction that he and I have shared past lives? I have no idea. But I’ve even dreamt of some of those lives. Go figure.
And when all is said and done, he’s had a huge impact on my current life. It’s impossible to overlook that.
I think about him a lot and mostly find myself dwelling on his strict religious upbringing. He comes from a huge Southern Baptist family where being devout is important to grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, parents, siblings, etc., etc. It was drilled into him, and he believes it. What’s hard, though, is that I think he fears that Jesus doesn’t love him because of how he deigns to associate with non-Christians. (The horror! The horror!) So he justifies it by telling himself that he’s being a missionary to these non-Christians by setting a good, Christian example to them. Hmm.
Anyway, before I had good friends, picture it: 2013. The youth group with whom I grew up was planning a reunion, and I wasn’t invited. They all hate me. Yeah. It’s become a mutual thing, but at the time, they were still the only “friends” I’d ever known, and I was devastated. Sam acted like he was my friend, but he pretty much stabbed me in the back without apology. I put a curse on him. I’m not exactly proud of this, but I told him that if he and his wife had a third child, then the child would be born a psychopath.
There hasn’t been a third child. I couldn’t reverse the curse, so they’re probably better off.
Anyway, you can see that there’s some definite karma between me and Sam. It’s sort of a love/hate thing. A few years after I cursed him, I tried to make things right. I sincerely apologized and told him I loved him. Oddly enough, that seemed to actually make him happy to hear. And I do love him. It’s the only gift I can give him after everything that’s gone wrong. I’m filled with hatred and anger toward him, but I love him. (I realize that sounds contradictory.) And for this lifetime, that’s all there’s going to be. What am I going to do, defy the fates?
But anyway, one past life I remember with him in it was this one: it was a few hundred years ago, and we lived someplace in Central or South America. I was rather large-boned and had a huge nose. I wore a lot of long skirts and colorful dresses. I came from a stable and loving home with parents who never made a stir. It was nice and peaceful. When I came of age, I moved out and stayed on my own, supporting myself by working. Sam was a boy I knew who was five years younger than me. So when I was eighteen and living independently, he’d have been thirteen. He came to stay with me on many occasions to escape his rotten home life. His father was a domestic abuser against his mother, and Sam (or whatever his name was then) needed to get away.
When he came of age about five years later, he moved in with me for real and we got married. Our relationship was incredibly rocky. He was conflicted within himself. On one hand, he’d been exposed to disrespect against women. And I was a woman! On the other hand, even as a young teen, I’d always been there for him. So he felt loyal. The push and pull between his misogyny and his loyalty toward me stayed an issue for our whole lives, but we never gave up on each other, and we never quit trying.
I don’t know what it all means. I’d guess that he and I have a karmic relationship. Maybe we’ll make future attempts in upcoming incarnations. I have no clue. But in this lifetime, I’m already 43 years old, and if asked to list the “major players” in my life, he’s on the list. That means something. I’m pretty sure it does.
I never go back to him, not in this current lifetime. So many times I want to let him know how happy I am now, how great life’s going, how wonderful it feels to have true friends (shout out!). But I don’t trust him to be happy for me. I fear he’d take what I tell him and feed the gossip machines with it. [Shakes head sadly.] I don’t know. That’s not on me, though; it’s on him.
There have been tragic deaths in his ultra-religious family. One was caused by poorly managed juvenile diabetes, another by a drug overdose (from what I understand). I tried to donate to the diabetes organization and contact his uncle, who I used to look up to (he was a youth leader I used to know–Ashley Leia, he’s Uncle Max). But I was shut down and not allowed to have his address, which I needed for the online form to donate and have him know I’d donated. The whole youth group has closed ranks on me because I’ve spoken up over the years, and because I bullied someone else who deeply hurt me. (That would be another blog post.) I’m fine. I’ve moved on with my life. But whenever Sam or his uncle is hurting, I feel it, and I can’t make it okay. That’s hard.
Maybe I’ve risen above them. I no longer need them, and I’ve found true people in my life who appreciate me and accept me. But I’m convinced there’s something to my belief about past lives shared between me and Sam. I don’t know.
Anyway, my belief is harmless. It is what it is. He and I will probably never be closer in this lifetime, but that’s largely because I don’t trust him any longer, and also because we have nothing to offer each other, for whatever weird reason. We’ve screwed up. But there will be other lifetimes. In the meantime, I wish him the best. And I do love him, so there’s that.