When you grow up in a dysfunctional family holiday’s like Thanksgiving tend to be rough. You learn to keep your head down, ignore questions or answer them with short non descript answers when ever possible, and you always fake any happiness in an effort to keep them from robbing it from you. Eventually holidays become days when you start going through the motions, waiting for them to end. When you suffer from chronic pain even more so. I expected this holiday to be no different, except the best person to ever walk into my life had other plans.
I never expected a relationship. I certainly never expected one with him. He had done so much to take care of me while the thing in my head attempted to torment me to death. And then one day, completely out of the blue, on a week when I had been struggling more than ever he sat me down for a conversation that changed our friendship forever. He promised me that the needs we had both been tiptoeing around for months were converging and we were living in a world where we were reading the same page, of the same book, while sitting in the same room, yet looking for someone else to share it with. It was on that day that my best friend and I decided to take our biggest leap of faith yet and see what an open relationship could provide.
A month later I find myself waking up next to him and having to pinch myself as a reminder that I’m awake and laying where I belong. When my PTSD flairs up he shakes me awake, holds me tight, and reminds me that he loves me enough to keep me safe when I’m too scared to fall back asleep on my own. When my head brings me demons I can no longer ignore he is offering me comfort even from 100s of miles away. When my brain tumor brings me amnesia and I take a walk in the middle of the night without shoes or a jacket he always finds me and brings me home. He has given me a life I never thought I deserved, and is continuing to help me build confidence and love in myself when I didn’t believe I had anything left to cherish. He is the best friend I could ever ask for, and one month later more than I ever expected. Rough roads aside, there has never been anyone else more worth me overcoming my fear of commitment for, and I’m glad he was the one to tell me he was willing to see where our non traditional road would lead.